BY BRET MILLER
The Mint, West Los Angeles
July 13 and 19, 2000
Local electronic artist George Sarah enjoyed a residency at West L.A.ís The Mint on Thursdays in the month of July. Playing late on weekdays are a tough ordeal, but following after a diverse collection of bands regardless of genre, Sarah and his string trio took to the challenge with professionalism as well as a sense of fun. On the night of the 19th George turned his keyboards towards the audience and played with more emotion while the string trio dug into their parts, improvising and adding much needed humanity into Sarahís moodier numbers. Sarahís set bounced back and forth between ambient orchestral arrangements such as KCRW listenersí favorite Dusk and his more uptempo dance tracks such as Eyes and Goodbyes. The songs suffered a bit from the absence of the vocals that are included on his demos but the Mint audience took it all in and the focus moved over to the violin, cello and viola as the voices of the songs. Throughout, Sarah played strings on his keyboards and triggered beats with quiet intensity letting the players enjoy their parts. To close his third night at the Mint George Sarah and band treated those of us smart enough to stay until midnight with a live performance of his F-111 single Drag Ass. The driving beats and tasteful strings combined perfectly and made me wish I were at a dance club and not a sit down nightclub. George Sarah has a bright future ahead of him with and without his string trio. Hereís to seeing him signed and touring clubs all over the world. Heís already had a career as hardcore dance producer T.H.C. but this is more mature music, sure to reach a wider audience. Catch him at one of his many club dates while you can, youíre sure to have a great time.BT
July 28, 2000
Trance producer and DJ Brian Transeau made the Hollywood dance club known as Giant rock mightily with his gleeful energy and great personality. Mixing together sequences of synthesizer loops and percussion, BT shook and pushed his synths around amidst smoke and sweat. The audience got off the ground and took to dancing their asses off to the repetitive beats and vibrating bass emitting from the speakers. The audience was diverse and some were dressed in the stupidest outfits: one adventurous fan wore a hair suit as if he were a big brown gorilla. I began to sweat the minute I entered the room and this was before BT went on so I could only imagine mister Kong was about 120 degrees with his outfit on.
A sexy and culturally mixed crowd made it through the gauntlet that is the Giant entrance and got down the vibes of BTís set which included songs from his latest opus Movement In Still Life. Moving away from the straight dance tracks he is previously known for, BT has focused more on vocals and song structure as heard on the Hip Hop meets breakbeats of Madskillz- Mic Chekka with its killer break down and awesome rapping and the heavenly Dreaming with Opus III vocalist Kirsty Hawkshaw. After more than an hour of house, trance and overall sweat-inducing dance beats BT treated us to the incredible Never Gonna Come Back Down featuring the unique vocals of ex-Soul Coughingís M. Doughty. Brian Transeau showed the exhausted Los Angeles Giant denizens what heís made of and gave us a taste of the future of dance music. BT joins the ranks of live electronic acts like Orbital, Chemical Brothers, Crystal Method and 808 State and rocks the dance floor with his own singular take on dance and pop music.
Bobby Gillespie and company hit the stage exactly at 10:00pm and proceeded to attack our eardrums with their patented brand of noisy guitars and dance beats. Gillespie gave the stage to ex-Stone Roses bassist Mani who looked great in his leather pants and floppy white shirt, swinging his bass around and posing. It was Mani who propelled the songs forward with his hyper fingered style of playing. Primal Scream isnít much for song structure yet it was the actual songs that got the audience moving. Their odes to 70ís rock and roll went over best in the form of Moviní On Up, Rocks and Medication. It seemed that no one really knew what to do during the other tunes from their latest release XTRMNTR since the loud guitars overpowered the funky drums. Do we dance? Do we bang our heads? Most everyone in the HOB just stood there and took it all in, the layers of noise, Maniís bass, Gillespieís rare vocals, and the lights. The Scream played the queasy drug anthem Higher Than the Sun which got some of us blissed out. The show got really exciting when they encored with Kick Out the Jams and a Stooges song and THE Steve Jones tore it up on guitar. Maybe Primal Scream should stick to some form of song structure when playing live, they still have some kinks to work out their experimental tracks. XTRMNTR is an incredible album, just the same, it doesnít translate that well live. That weekend I heard from someone who was also at the HOB that the Vinyl show was much better and the band played longer. For me, the HOB show was just fine, the sound was perfect and Primal Scream put on a tight show.
House of Blues
June 7, 2000