Acid Mothers Temple
April 6th, 2011
The Empty Bottle
Roland Edirol R-09 (onboard mics, low-cut on, AGC off) > GoldWave (first 0:12.886 patched in from alternate R-09HR source) > WaveLab (Puncher (hard density, 75% effect, 0% output gain) + SL-1 StereoExpander (100%)) > CDWAV (tracks split and saved as .FLAC level 8 ) > foobar2000 (Tags + ReplayGain)
Location: Back and to the left of the soundboard op's head (with no apologies to Oliver Stone)
Taper: ZaPenguin (zappa.penguin(AT)gmail.com or
SBD man: N/A (venue policy is that only the board owner, not the board operator, can give permission for patches)
SOUND QUALITY: A- (drums a bit boxy, and I'm sure professional equipment could give an even better sound, but there's surprisingly nice stereo seperation even before the plugins, and no real low-end distortion to speak of - something about the city of Chicago just breeds good audience recordings)
Tsuyama Atsushi: monster bass, voice, cosmic joker
Higashi Hiroshi: synth, guitar, voice, dancin'king
Shimura Koji: drums, latino cool
Kawabata Makoto: guitar, voice, speed guru
01. "Space Ritual Jam" [5:30]
02. "Thank You, Thank You, Chicago" [1:12]
03. > "Have You Seen..." [0:39]
04. > Chinese Flying Saucer [9:51]
05. La Novia [18:26]
06. "We Shall Hungover Come" [0:26]
07. > "Tsuyama Flute Interlude" (q: 25 or 6 to 4) [4:55]
08. > Pink Lady Lemonade [26:14]
09. > Cometary Orbital Drive > Speed Guru [14:55]
10. Audience [1:15]
11. "Tsuyama's Oral Jungle" [0:41]
12. "From Outer Space (Where Did You Go?)" [8:05]
"Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O. (and subsequent offshoots) is a Japanese psychedelic band founded in 1995 by members of the Acid Mothers Temple soul-collective. The band is led by guitarist Kawabata Makoto and early in their career featured many musicians but by 2004 the line-up had coalesced with 4 core members and frequent vocal guests.
The band have a reputation for phenomenal live shows, and releasing frequent albums on a number of international record labels, as well as the Acid Mothers Temple family record label which was established in 1998 to document the activities of the whole collective."
- Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia which every 14 year old has edited.
THE JOURNEY & THE SHOW:
Compared to the journey across the Rockies, the trip from Lincoln to Chicago was a complete non-event, probably the most laid-back leg of the entire cross-country trip - especially given that, since we were skipping out on the Minnesota show, we had an extra day to fart around in the "Arnhampalmerton Inn".
The only real hurdle in our journey was, as I'm sure any Chicago native can guess, the insane toll system along the stretch of I-88 known as the "Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway". I guess if you're going to take a closed-access turnpike and lower the tolls to the point where their overall usefulness is rendered questionable while preserving the underlying annoyance of actually stopping every ten minutes to pay these nickel-and-dime mosquitoes, you might as well name it after the man who did the same for taxes. If only they could figure out a way to charge Hummers and other luxury cars even less to truly make the road live up to its namesake!
Honestly, I think the whole thing would be far less annoying if they just gave you a stamped card when you got on and charged you the appropriate amount when you got off, like, you know, practically every other turnpike in the country.
As for the show itself, your humble taper decided, once his Edirols were safely tucked away in a non-threatening location (no soundboard for this show, as it seems the venue's policy is that only the actual owner of the soundboard can grant patch-in permission, and said actual owner evidently had more interesting things to do than listen to the Acid Mothers Temple), to do his impersonation of a social butterfly. He remembers being called a "groupie" by a soon-to-be Acid Mothers Convert, and a very animated conversation with a covert-hooch-bottle-carrying self-described "Hippie-crit". He recalls watching a very well-orchestrated display of Ms. Pacman skills, and donating a quarter that the Pacman Fever might continue another round. He vividly recalls his quarter being responsible for the machine's new high score, though the name of the joystick operator eludes him. He remembers drinks one through four, and the filthy look given to him by the bartender when he specifically requested the cheapest drink on the menu by name. He does, however, also remember the bartender filling a pitcher with water after only the second refill-request - a gesture that was appreciated as it was efficient. And, as the concluding act to this particular three-act memory lane sequence, he also remembers two water coolers that he discovered on his own, which provided both refreshment and comraderie as he formed a near-monogamous relationship with aforementioned objets de rafraīchissement. He even remembers, with perhaps a little chagrin, a somewhat vile encounter with a proud and upstanding member of the plant kingdom - to be a bit more accurate, the ground around said plant; an encounter no-doubt fueled by the swig of Hippiecrit Hooch.
As for the music, it served as a perfect soundtrack to the night. The band definitely went "out there" in places, particularly Mr. Tsuyama - whether he's playing a lengthy quote of Chicago's classic "25 or 6 to 4" on the recorder, setting up a particularly haunting whistling loop to kick off what may be the best Cometary Orbital Drive of the tour, or just playing the sickest bass you've ever heard in your life, he's definitely giving his all as a driving force of the Acid Mothers sound - the Patrick O'Hearn to Kawabata's Zappa. He even treats us to a rare performance of the tear-jerking "We Shall Hungover Come", not heard by these ears since Baltimore 2010. Even with all these highlights, the most memorable moment by far was the encore - instead of the usual-for-this-tour encore of Dark Stars, Chicago was treated to a spontaneous composition, with a very active rhythm groove that's somewhat of a cross between Primus and moe., and could perhaps even be mistaken for a jam from one of those acts were it not for the very Kawabatian guitar extrapolations on top. Interestingly enough, elements from this jam would crop up in later shows - a development which will, of course, be re-examined at a later and more appropriate date. Could this be the birth of another Cometary Orbital Drive, which - by all accounts - started life in 2008 as part of a Pink Lady jam in Austin, and has gone on to feature in virtually every AMT live show since?
Due to the lack of soundboard access, for this show I was able to run a "battle of the Edirols", and the results were a little bit surprising. With both units resting on the same surface, about two feet apart (so as not to cause too much of a "dampening" effect in one channel of each recording), the recording produced by the R-09 seemed to be overall better than that of the R-09HR - at least to these ears. Now, granted, this wasn't the most scientific of tests - the better detailing in the R-09 recording may just be due to the input levels being set slightly higher than the input levels of the R-09HR - but the fact that the R-09 produced a better stereo image is definitely cause for dedicated "hmm"ery.
Whether this is due to more rugged, less sensitive microphones, or simply the design of the unit itself (better anti-vibration resistance, better/different microphone shielding), the bottom line is that under "similar" conditions, the R-09 delivered punchier sound, with wider stereo separation and perhaps even a tiny bit more detail than the R-09HR. The difference isn't overpowering by any means, and I'd hardly consider the HR a waste of money - I can imagine it out-performing the R-09 in quieter conditions, say that of a classical music concert - but for the time being, the R-09, clumsy battery-door design and everything, will go back to being my audience unit of choice.
Rest assured that this won't be the last test your intrepid experimenter will conduct.
LqStuart: Illinois, uh
LqStuart: Here's another sixty fricking cents, fuck you
Beer, then liquor? Never been sicker - yet it's amazing what a soulful dedication to a venue's water cooler can do to make the morning after bearable. And just because it's "HR" doesn't mean it's "better".
REQUESTS & REMINDERS:
Do not sell this recording. Do not buy this recording. Do not sell this recording, then buy it from yourself. Beer, then whiskey, is only mighty risky if one considers the act of oral expulsion on a public city street a "risk".
The people of Chicago - Comraderie, Conversation, and Coin-ops.
LqStuart - Driver, Jaunty GTalk Gentry
Torrented by the taper: ZaPenguin
email - zappa.penguin(AT)gmail.com
web - http://db.etree.org/zappapenguin (always woefully out of date)
Band page: http://www.acidmothers.com