Friday, September 25, 2009

Damon, Naomi, A Hawk, And A Hacksaw



Last night, Missy and I, headed out to THE MELTING POINT to see DAMON & NAOMI and A HAWK AND A HACKSAW. It ended up being what will probably be the best show we will see all year. For starters, Damon & Naomi were two thirds of the influential indie band GALAXIE 500, back in the late 80's/early 90's. They rank as one of my all-time favorite bands and they helped inform the way I write music and play guitar. Anyways, the other member, Dean Wareham, went on to form the band LUNA, who I've seen a million times, and the other two members, Damon Krukowski and Naomi Yang, went on to form Damon & Naomi...duh. Needless to say, I was waaaaaaay excited to see them perform, especially since this was the first time I ever saw them live. They played a lovely, mellow set and closed their show with an awesome rendition of LEONARD COHEN's "Bird On A Wire"...


HAWKHACK 6248 from Raoul de la Cruz on Vimeo.

After their set, we filled up with some sweet potato fries. Missy was genuinely excited that we could order fries in between bands...


Where Damon & Naomi were launguid and a bit melancholy, A HAWK AND A HACKSAW were frenetic and bombastic, a whirling dervish of gypsy sounds from the Middle East and Eastern Europe...Jeremy Barnes (formally of legendary ELEPHANT 6 band, NEUTRAL MILK HOTEL) and Heather Trost make up the core of the band, playing accordion and violin, respectively...they came fully armed with a tuba player who looked like he hiked down from some Alpine village, a horn player, and a dude that played clarinet and some sort of lute...needless to say, they were incredible and you couldn't help but move in your seat. I half expected Gomez and Fester Addams to jump out and dance the Mamoushka! At one point, Heather played this strange old timey-looking VIOLIN-TRUMPET HYBRID that made these eerie scratchy sounds. You could bow it or you could drag this loop of string across the other strings to make a tone...

HAWKHACK 6253 from Raoul de la Cruz on Vimeo.



HAWKHACK 6256 from Raoul de la Cruz on Vimeo.




In true Elephant 6 style, the band marched off the stage while still playing and led the entire audience into the cozy little bar area tucked to the side of the main room. They finished their set with a couple of rousing numbers, sans PA, in true old world style...truly, it was one of those special "you had to be there" kind of moments and I count myself lucky that we were there to witness the whole spectacle in person and to be there in the midst of so much greatness and goodness. The night was an E6 fan's wet dream, with three-fourths of Neutral Milk Hotel standing in the same room, as well as many other members of the Elephant 6 clique in attendence to show their love and support...

HAWKHACK 6270 from Raoul de la Cruz on Vimeo.

HAWKHACK 6271 from Raoul de la Cruz on Vimeo.



(OLIVIA TREMOR CONTROLl's Pete Erchick watches intently from his seated position)

HAWKHACK 6274 from Raoul de la Cruz on Vimeo.

(Missy stands in line behind Scott Spillane - NEUTRAL MILK HOTEL, THE GERBILS, etc.- at the merch table. We came away with a tour poster and a Damon & Naomi dvd - a few things on the table that we didn't already own)

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