This also isn’t one of the more technically complex songs from San Francisco’s Deerhoof, but it still incorporates some great time changes in an otherwise straightforward piece. This was one of the heavier songs from last year’s La Isla Bonita and its velocity translates well in this performance. I was lucky enough to catch this show at Baby’s All Right back in November and the set featured lot of great math-based Deerhoof tracks. The band closed with “Come See the Duck”, an incredibly fun and impressive song that the whole audience got join in on. Singer and bassist Satomi Matsuzaki and the ever-talented drummer Greg Saunier make for one hell of a show.
Piglet reissued their debut EP, Lava Land last year and included this song, “Mad Science” as a bonus track to the record. It shortly became one of my favorite songs ever from the band, and this live video from a house show is a real treat. I’m not sure exactly when it took place, perhaps around the time the EP was released (2005) but we can be grateful that someone captured this performance and uploaded it.
Southern California’s Pretend bring a whole new level of beauty to instrumental math-rock. The repetition of the four-piece’s twinkly guitars seem like a form of guided meditation at times, as does most of their sole release Bones in the Soil, Rust in the Oil. The dark purple lighting and overexposed christmas lights in the video make for a very fitting companion to Pretend’s brand of garage.
One of San Diego’s greatest math-rock bands, WITT, came and went too soon, leaving behind an extremely impressive EP. 2009’s There’s Blood is a perfect slice of avant-garde jazz-influenced math rock (how’s that for hyphenations?) that can’t really be compared to any one math-rock record. This footage from their last show, appropriately held at UCSD’s Che Café, showcases the opening 8 minutes of the There’s Blood EP. It’s played so well, you almost can’t tell it apart from the recording itself. WITT has been reincarnated into many bands including members from the next video’s band, Japandi.
This video of Japandi bringing in the New Year starts off with Future Crooks’ Mike Rogers, fawning over the band and being shocked by the amount of people at the house show. This performance of The Great Dinosaur Mystery’s “Dawn of the Dad” was definitely deserving of a large audience, with drummer Marc Deriso speeding up the track to make the song even more technically impressive than it already was. Be sure to check out the other videos from this 2008 NYE show in the related videos column, they’re all worth a watch.
My latest math-rock obsession has been Chicago’s Paper Mice. When I was first shown this live set from WHPK, I watched most of it over again directly after. The explosive emotional bursts combined with the ultra-techincality makes for an extremely stimulating performance. There’s not a bad song in this whole set – the band is so together, I kept watching just to see if they’ll mess up. (Spoiler: they don’t.) The video features songs from both of their releases; 2012’s The Funny Papers and 2009’s Paint it Pink. Notice how much fun they’re having with the set as well, like they know how fucking good they are. If you liked this video, make sure to watch part 2 to hear their track “Fresh Hair” about former Chicago governor Rod Blagojevich.
This is a guest post by @locustmanor, aka the radiant Brandon Kirshner.