Doo be doo

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On Tuesday night, Bwogger Jamie Johns braved the mosh pits to see Battles perform.

Battles have been together since 2003. Before that they played in groups like Helmet, Don Caballero, Lynx, Storm and Stress, Tomahawk. Their latest record, Mirrored, could be described as experimental, techno, new music, math rock, jazz and yet none of this explains it. Finger tapping, irregular time signatures, loops, effects pedals, keyboards, tailored shirts – the musical makeup of Battles.

The best part of seeing Battles live was watching them create their music which, on record, seems to come out of nowhere. They played so hard that one song into their hour long set, drummer John Stanier’s shirt was soaked with sweat. He took it off and kept on playing, what a beast. Watching guitarist Ian Williams, dressed in a lovely chest-baring canary yellow tailored shirt, play a note, record it on his echoplex, and then play that recorded loop was pretty tremendous. As Battles played, you could see how much work goes into their music, but they are much more than just guitar tapping and pedal pushing. The band has energy when they play live, probably more so than most “straight-forward” bands. The whole crowd was going insane during their set, especially during “Atlas.” More than anything else they’re a charismatic band, smiling and seemingly having a great time onstage. Dave Konopka (bassist/guitarist) was the unsung hero of the night, anchoring the band at the back of the stage, as he bounced around and smiled. Tyondai and Ian were the showmen; they writhed around, made faces and gyrated back and forth in front of their keyboards. John, along with his seven foot tall cymbal, was placed in the middle of the stage, and he lived up to being the center of attention by having the stamina of a race horse. Each member worked perfectly with one another, making Battles’ last US show of the year memorable. But more than anything else, the show solidified their place as the most interesting band in music right now.

(photo cred goes to billl.



  1. Art-Hum  


    Has anybody taken an Art-hum class with cordula Grewe? Does it involve a lot of reading/after-class work?


  2. ...

    So bwog, any update on the counter protest tonight???

    • word  

      I was about to ask the same thing. Where's the counter-protest story?

      • it was  

        lame as shit. 100 people came, said nothing for 10 minutes, and promptly left. whereas 200 people came in support of the strikers 5 minutes later.

        • hah.

          what a lie. there were about 150-200 kids who were there and then about a 100 strikers who were about half local activists

        • Counter-Protest  

          was great. 150-200 kids showed up, stood next to each other on the steps. A lot of people were talking amongst themselves about why they disagreed with the Strikers. Different people had different disagreements with the strikers, from Rejecting their demands to rejecting their methods, and anything in between.
          Various well-known student group leaders were present. At around 8.50, Josh Matthew talked about making the counter-striker opinion heard, through petitions, emails, etc. and just keeping the voice going.

          Dean Colombo and Dean Shollenberger also showed up to check us out, btw. Please don't try and trivialize the fact that almost 200 people, with no prior connection to each other besides a common facebook group, were able to mobilize without any prior meeting on a Thursday night against this issue.

          • yeah

            thank you.. a bunch of self proclaimed revolutionaries workign in tandem for an extended period of time can't bring out more than a random ragtag bunch of students who probably have never protested before.

            you lose frances

          • the rebellion  

            "ragtag bunch"????

            Since when did this turn into a fucking underdog story on the part of the COUNTER protesters?

          • alum

            ... it's hard to argue that the counter protesters WEREN'T the underdogs here. many of these students had never participated in any protest before, and as post #10 pointed out, before last night they had nothing to do with each other besides all being Columbia students, and being opposed to the strike (for numerous, widely varying reasons). They had no blog, no manifesto, no publicity chairs, no organizational chairs, no recruitment chairs, basically no official structure to the group, no calendar of events for protest, no meetings beforehand to determine how the night would go. i have to admit that i doubted the amount of people who would turn up on such short notice and little organization, but the fact that they pulled it off with more people than their minimum of 100 was pretty impressive.

            not to mention that protesting a protest that has already claimed moral legitimacy is not an easy thing to do. they were definitely the underdogs there.

  3. the most...

    interesting band in music? laaaazzzzyy (not to mention flagrantly wrong).

  4. basement cello  

    jamie's a bwogger?

    bwog just jumped the shark.

  5. 200 people?  

    hyperbole no?

    assuming 200 came, isn't that like less than 4% of the undergraduate population? the other 96% obviously don't care enough about the issue, which basically means, the strikers are failing to gain support since they are the offending party or the ones with anything to gain from this.

    sorry, you lose.

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