DARCY JAMES ARGUE'S SECRET SOCIETY
Washington, DC, USA
I was pleased to find the Secret Society convening within the "beltway
bubble" for the first time. More pleased to find they survived the trip
on the immigrant Chinatown bus line (which between here and headquarters
actually boils down to a heated dispute between two Orthodox entrepreneurs).
Anyway this board meeting contrasts somewhat with the recent London one
(a sterling representation of which posted here by highly valued British
superagent TomP formed my somewhat long-distance induction into the
For whatever reason that meeting seemed a more electrified rockier affair, and
this one a more finely textured mystery. Both cases are thus ripe for further
study. We have a great mix here (in what can be a challenging cavernous space),
though perhaps the electrified elements were a tad low to my ear. Other than the
turd(-ette) who actually annoyed not just a cross section of the crowd but also
the persons she came over to talk to (not once but !twice! during the show) this
is IMHO better than a board would be (the natural reverb gives it some great
depth that really works with this material, the highly detailed mix and the huge
band). Those side meetings are fortunately quite brief (a second or two longer
and others would have been chiming in to strongly suggest she STFU...). The place
was surprisingly packed out so I didn't quite get my usual position, but wound
up with a nice alternative.
Remarkable original compositions, brilliantly arranged and conducted, and quite
well played. Of particular note to me is David DeJesus on the final number.
This likely will appeal to fans of jazz, big band, orchestras, modern composers,
new music, and/or classical, and perhaps even those slightly inclined to the
avant-garde side of things.
My only complaint was they might have worked one more tune within the limits of
the brief slot they had, but they were on a tight schedule since this adventure
was a two-parter. Unfortunately this agent wasn't able to hang around for the
10:00 meeting in unexplored environs elsewhere downtown. It is doubtful that
any surveillance of that event ensued, but maybe someone else will surprise us.
Note that if you can tolerate 256 kbps mp3's there are several shows freely
available (with a donation encouraged) on the official inter-web locus here :
http://secretsociety.typepad.com/ Since they're mixed boards they're perhaps more
palatable than the usual empty3, though you also thereby know it should sound so
much better... but there's nothing else lossless to be found beyond these two
here that I know of.
Oh and while over there you can find some depots to pick up this fine item too:
"Infernal Machines is the debut studio recording by New York’s acclaimed 18-piece
steampunk big band, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, a group the New York Times’
Nate Chinen describes as “calibrated for maximum intrigue, with a sound that suggests
Steve Reich minimalism as well as orchestral jazz in the lineage of Bob Brookmeyer
(one of Mr. Argue’s mentors).”
This release, which takes its name from a John Philip Sousa quote about the dangers
of music technology, features new definitive studio recordings of material Argue and
the band have been developing since their first gig in 2005."
Over and out.
Recording: 2 x Nakamichi CM-100 w/ CP-1 cardiod capsules >
Oade C Modded Edirol R-44 (recorded @ 24/96)
Edit/Track/Levels/Downsample (to 16 bit/44.1 mHz): Cool Edit Pro 2.1
Sector Realign/Flac/Torrent: TLH
01. Transit (8:45)
02. Phobos (12:55)
03. Induction Effect (13:56)
04. roll call (1:46)
05. Obsidian Flow (11:12)
TT : approx 48:30
Darcy James Argue : Agent in Charge
Sebastian Noelle : guitar
Red Wierenga : piano, keyboard
Matt Clohesy : bass
Jon Wikan : drums
Seneca Black : trumpet
Tom Goehring : trumpet
Matt Holman : trumpet
Nadje Noordhuis : trumpet
David Smith : trumpet
Noah Bless : trombone
Tim Sessions : trombone
Kevin Moehringer : trombone
Jennifer Wharton : trombone
David DeJesus : winds
Rob Wilkerson : winds
Sam Sadigursky : winds
Mark Small : winds
Josh Sinton : winds
Support the artists. Buy the CD, see them live.
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