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Re: AMAZING LIVE LOOPING SHOW: Argentina's Juan Molina in SF

Fantastic review!

I wish I'd been there to see her with you, Rick.  I've been a fan for quite a few years now and with ETHEL I used her Tres Cosas for pre-music for all of our shows on our tours with Rundgren and Jackson, and Segundo, another record is an electronic music jewel.  I LOVE her.  And then on a Bang on a Can marathon two years back, she did a middle of the night set for us (2.30 am), and I ended up helping her pack her gear and getting her back to the hotel.  I was totally honored.  Twas a nightmare set for her as the soundcrew had changed over and there were some pretty heavy wireless issues.  She was pissed, but eventually delivered a great set.  Her rig, which was somewhat the same as what you described, was patched together with chewing gum and chicken wire, it seemed, and bugs were nearly impossible to track down... But that was the thing, the whole gestalt was full of drama, full of magic, full of intensity (she's a VERY intense person).  Somehow it all came together in the end.  It was a real lesson for me to watch her navigate and see just how much she knew her music and her gear, and how much of an individual artistic language she had created, different than anything I've ever ever heard.  She basically changed the way I look at and hear the art of song, and I'll always be so thankful for that. 

Juana Molina continues to be a huge influence on me, I'm so excited you got to see her and wrote that great review for the rest of us!

On Thu, Aug 14, 2008 at 8:47 AM, Rick Walker <looppool@cruzio.com> wrote:
Because I've produced the big loop fest in Santa Cruz for many years and because
I've been fortunate to play several festivals in other countries over the past five years,
I've had the great fortune to see some of the world's best live loopers do their thing
in front of an audience.

Tonight,  I saw one of the most impressive shows I"ve ever seen a live looper play.
I drove up to San Francisco and saw the Argentine singer/songwriter Juana Molina
play to a sold out house at Yoshi's, SF,  the beautiful jazz club on Fillmore Street.

Man, oh man,  was it an amazing concert!    I felt like jumping up and down after watching it.

This former famous television commediene in Argentina who gave up here life to return to music
was firing on all cylinders.

Using a very, very sparse setup that included a BOSS RC-50,  a Lexicon reverb (couldn't tell but it
looked like an older MXP-500),  a Korg O1W synthesizer and a beautiful steel string
acoustic guitar,    she had seemless mastery of her looping.

She also could go from playing almost childlike simple guitar/voice compositions with a delightful and
very childlike voice to incredibly complex polyrhythmic multi-looped parts.
She also occasionally used really dense timbral loops against very simple melodic parts and she also
used a lot of very, very complex modern and dissonant harmony against, yet again,  very simple
and memorable melodies.

Her rhythm playing was impeccable on both guitar, keyboards and voice.

She really did beautiful things with backing her voice up with loops that were very wet, reverb wise against
a very dry initial vocal style.

She did tunes that were so simple as to almost be confounding and then would turn around and do a track that
have up to 10 or 12 loops on top of one another in a cacaphonous but beautiful mass of sound.

She even attemped one song in English............fucked up the lyrics (four different times) and had the audience
shouting them to her (from the poem, The Love Song of Alfred Prusock by TS Elliot) and yet
ended the song with the audience rooting for her and cheering that fact that she made it through.

I have to say I was incredibly impressed............as impressed as I've ever been by anybody.

She's a killer guitarist,  a great rhythmatist (and this comes from a bit of a rhythm snob here),  a
beautiful and challenging timbralist (her synth designs were modern and edgy but always simple)
and an engaging and frequently humorous performer.

FIVE STARS on this puppy.  Check here out

Juana Molina

September at Le Poisson Rouge with David Little and Newspeak, as well as Neil Rolnick's Economic Engine. In New York from the 1st to 17th.