Taking a walk through downtown Arcata in the weeks prior to the evening’s event, one would have to be blind not to know that Beats Antique and Lynx were coming to seduce the small city’s most beautiful, bizarre and spaced out spunsters into the Arcata Theater Lounge. The poles of the streets radiating from the college town’s epicenter displayed, relentlessly, the face of the beautiful Zoe Jakes, as well as other worthy announcements of the coming arrivals of EOTO with MiM0SA and Marty Party, and Bluetech with Gaudi. These acts and more come to town via World Famous Productions, who go all out to bring diverse artists to play shows with some of the highest production quality in the area. World Famous does their part to bring all the lights, sound, visuals and talent, but even they proclaim that its all about the people who attend the local lazer filled venues. There is a lot of overhead and a ton of headaches in the business, and it wouldnt be worth it, if not for the feather donned forest fairy princesses and bassfaced 30+ year old sexytimes; the mountain harvest trim squads looking for a release from the relentless tedium on the hill, and exotic belly dancer aficionados, jangling and spinning in the crowded spaces of the ATL. A show is put on for the people, and the people attending become a key factor in how you perceive the experience during and after. That is why I love the special feeling shows have up here above the redwood curtain, where “local” is a way of life and bass is the preferred attribute to any event. This time was no exception, as we packed in asses and elbows at the ATL. No one in the sold out venue minded a bit, as we danced into the evening on the crowded floor, drenched with spilt microbrews and LSD laced face puddles.
We arrived at the ATL as Lynx began her set sans her usual dulcimer drumming counterpart Janover. Settling into a roomy nook in the crowd, I was again, as always, struck by the dream-like aura of hearing Lynx live. Upon first appearances, one would most likely presume a musician of her description to smash lead vocals in a punk rock or death metal band, and there is no doubt she would fare well in such a gig. However, her blend of melodious wind pipery, complex beat-boxing and emcee skills, as well her ability to play along live with what I presume to be a lute, sets her in a talented category well above most. Her diverse acous-tronic sound is a perfect compliment to that of Beats Antiques’, which is a damn good reason for them to go on a 5 week tour on an eco friendly solar/bio diesel refitted bus. (Check out beatsantique.com/upcoming-shows to see if they are coming to a city near you). Lynx herself is no stranger to the road, with a non stop festival season taking her across the country, to the pleasure of people with many different musical interests.
Lynx played in somewhat of a recital format, with minimal to no mixing, allowing for a small moment of silence between tracks. When this split second of silence was broken with the highly popular “Shout it Out” off the Between Worlds album, the crowds energy picked up in response, as well as an increase in the intensity of the visuals on the theaters’ 2 story screen, courtesy of Aix Battoe in the projection booth. (Aix, pronounced “eye,” is the resident VJ for most World Famous events, and at every show, it seems, the visual experience is better than the last). With the swell in energy, I was quick to notice the temperature of my hand me down press jacket exceeding comfort levels, contributed to by the steadily growing crowd and the assortment of pre-game concoctions. The room was pulsing with body heat and positive vibes as Lynx finished her set with the accompaniment of female Emcee’s laying it down over her impressive beatboxing. As Sidecar Tommy arrived on stage to give props to Lynx and fine tune his drum kit, the capacity was nearing full house and the mass began to swell; the temperature rose. Overwhelmed, I shuffled outside, the cool moist air doing wonders to my drug induced anxiety and acute case of claustrophobia. Like a quick adrenaline shot to the jugular, the elbow room, cool air and calming smoke allowed me to regain a cool-like-a-mother-fucka composure and prepare for the upcoming dance party in sweat box conditions. (Despite the good ventilation and tall ceiling of the Theater, the balmy conditions are unavoidable with a sold out crowd.)
Back inside it was immediately apparent the press jacket had to be removed, and upon doing so David Satori and Sidecar Tommy were settled into their positions behind the computer screen and drum-kit, respectively. Over the summer I had seen the duo perform a laptop DJ set at Shambhala, and although they were top 5 of all the acts I saw there, I was relieved upon arriving to see the drums set up, shining in the colored lights, awaiting the rhythmic abuse of Tommy Cappel. After a signature bass heavy, Middle Eastern influenced warm up track, Satori made an announcement that was rather devastating. Group organizer and trademark of the image that is Beats Antique, Zoe Jakes, was stuck in a hotel, alone, with a rather nasty ear infection. In fact, it was a close call that the headliners made it at all, due to the notorious Humboldt fog on the coast. The duo on stage had arrived in town literally minute before their performance. “I know we are all missing her right now, but we all need to send her our love and allow her to get better.” Considering the rather noticeable empty spot on stage, the evening was without a doubt a success.
With the bad news delivered, we plunged into the depths of the bass of my personal favorite “Dope Crunk.” This track, as well as the majority of the groups repertoire, has the ability to transport the crowd to a far away land where exotic women in belly dancer apparel sit lazily on flying carpets, smoking hookahs of Bubba Kush while Void subs pump out the bass as violas and foreign reeded instruments play live in swirling smoke. The ATL was transformed into an Electro-Sheik’s Royal Palace for the evening, the walls lined like a harem with concubines donning veils, admiring the royal palace mosaics in the form of Aix’s handiwork. The projected images began at the stage floor, spawning up the giant movie screen and continuing on a new dimension, crawling across the ceiling, engulfing the shadows of the chandeliers for the length of the venue. With the use of a video element, the figures on stage and screen behind them were projected, giving the room-full-of-mirrors effect. The use of different visual elements was stunning… literally fly-in-mouth jaw dropping at times, and proved to be what I would consider the most notable aspect of the evening.
The jams, new and old, continued into the evening flawlessly, with expert live guitar and viola accompaniment by David Satori and an all out assault of kicks, snares and toms from Sidecar. As the dreaded 1:30 “lights on” neared, David called up Lynx again for some collabo tracks they have been working on, found on the Blind Threshold project. “She’s Looking For Something” is my favorite track they have, as it incorporates BA’s signature sound, expert beat boxing and the melodious chorus delivered by the angelic Lynx. As the lights came up and the artists waved themselves off stage to tease us into a frenzy for more, I braced for what I was hoping to be a rendition of a track from Sidecar Tommy’s solo project. To my delight, they returned to whomp us with the more dubstep influenced riddims of Tommy’s work, and as he emphasized the ones and threes on the drums, the stage flooded with friends of the Electro-Sheik headliners. The cookie monster, a zebra and a trio of the most attractive locally recruited gypsy shwillies led the crowd in a grand finale dance off to the pleasure of all. Ending on a scene that was a mix of sexy and hilarious, I put on my press jacket and, smiling ear to ear, sauntered with the masses of pleased spectators into the evening with an afterparty in my sights.
LostinSound would like to give a phat big up to Matty, Julia and Josh with World Famous Productions, as well as the many gypsy mamas, speaker creatures and weekend whomp warriors who make each experience what they are. Whether you are into feathers and leather or glow sticks and spandex, we all come together to celebrate music and dance, and the positivity that engulfs the shows makes it truly too easy to enjoy one’s self while in front of the subs and under the colored lights. This is The Doctor of Rage signing off, reminding you to take the time to acknowledge the beautiful people in our lives, show love to your fellow music enthusiasts and strengthen the ties that bond all of us in those wee hours of the night. Rage Responsively.