Faust at The Comet, Seattle, 10/15/2012 by Ian Buck
A friend of mine asked me the other day if I was going to see Faust play and I said “No” and then I saw this apocalyptic footage of Tuesday night’s show at The Comet Tavern in Seattle and I think I might change my mind!
Emily Pothast writes on the translinguistic other blog
“HAVE YOU EVER PARTICIPATED IN A GENOCIDE?” a wide-eyed Jean Hervé-Péron asked a roomful of enraptured onlookers. “YES,” he answered himself, with a near-maniacal grin. “AND SO HAVE YOU.” As the improvised cacophony swelled around him, abstracted, acid-damaged images of Mitt Romney and Barack Obama arose and melted away like candied phantoms emerging from a zig-zagged field of processed video feedback.
I’m admittedly biased, since I had something to do with coaxing the event into existence in the first place, but I’m fairly certain that I just witnessed history being made. Faust—yes that Faust, the sublimely absurdist German “krautrock” band—just performed a concert that opened with an improvised soundtrack to a live feed of the US presidential debates, psychedelicized by Hair and Space Museum (the multimedia duo comprised of David Golightly and myself.)
The happening happened at the Comet Tavern, a Seattle dive bar that barely accommodates 150 patrons (a far cry from the music halls that Faust has commanded in Europe for decades). It came together at the last moment as the result of a half-joking fantasy about how to best spend the day off that Faust had to kill between scheduled Seattle and Vancouver shows. (My band Midday Veil played both shows with Faust. I am infinitely humbled by the opportunity to spend time with these amazing artists.)
If it weren’t for Faust, many people in the room would have probably been at a regular bar watching the debates for real, myself included, but I think this actually may have been the more informative way to experience them. There was a moment during the set, when Jean-Hervé was singing into the cement mixer, the sound of gravel nearly drowning out his voice as a horrific, hot-pink Romney floated ominously overhead, when I thought to myself, “Huh. This may well be the single most inspiring artistic performance I’ll ever witness.”
What the hell was I thinking? Faust play tonight in Los Angeles at REDCAT and tomorrow night at CalArts.
Thank you Chris Musgrave of Lumerians!