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AMBIENTMUSIC INDUSTRY SHOWCASE at Square Records (Friday, July 23) by jason

Yesterday, I got out my GPS to meet Jayson at Square Records (and yeah…I know I’ve been there dozens of times, but I still need to GPS that shit.) for Ambientmusic Industry Showcase. Or at least, that’s what it was called on the Facebook announcement.

I was kind of skeptical over the whole thing. Ambient music is not something I normally listen too, but I get it. The thing is, I wasn’t sure it could really be reproduced on stage very well. It seems like a very studio-centric genre.

I got there as the first band, HORAK, was playing. Immediately, I thought it sounded pretty much what I figured ambient music sounded like…kind of a controlled feedback loop. Jayson was grinning. Ambient music is his thing, and he seemed to be feeling it. He did say, and I agreed, that this kind of music really can’t be appreciated while standing around a store. You really need a nice place to sit down and relax, to mellow out and let the sound wash over you. So, we did the best we could, and stood there watching the band stand there while they adjusted knobs and sustained chords.

The second artist was Andrew Weathers, who brought two band mates with saxophones. This is where I think I fully got this thing. See, on a recording, to me anyway, ambient music, while soothing, doesn’t sound like it takes much skill. It really just sounds like single notes and chords being sustained for 3 minutes at a time. But seeing Weathers strumming the guitar along with the saxophonists made me realize how deliberate the music really is. After Weathers’ set, Jayson bought a CD and a Tape, and Weathers & Co. were really friendly and appreciative. Nice guys (and gal), them.

Andrew Weathers and ensemble. Nice guys (and gal).

Finally, Moustache Mountain, made up of Michael Tolan (of Talons’ and Trouble Books) and Gabe Schray (also of Trouble Books and his own solo stuff) took the stage. I have a couple of Moustache Mountain recordings. They have a kind of dreamy, distant quality to them. They sound just like that live. In fact, Jayson and I were talking when they started, and it took us a minute to realize it! They kind of blend in with whatever else is going on, but in a good way.

Moustache Mountain blending in.

It was a good show…maybe not the best style of music to be appriciated live, but it was enjoyable, it sounded great, and it made me want to check out some more of this ambient stuff Jayson keeps going on about!



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