Text & Photos: Charles Nickles
I don’t know anyone who listens to BORIS anymore (and the only person to I know who listened to Boris was Dave, but we were drinking a lot of gin at the time) and I only know of two or three people who actively enjoy Earth, so it came as something of a shock to learn that this critical pairing of monolith masters sold out weeks in advance of its Brooklyn iteration.
Though, maybe it shouldn’t have.
BORIS were playing PINK in its entirety ( which coincides with the re-release of this legendary LP that is out now on SARGENT HOUSE ), after all, and that record’s about as unfuckwithably rock and roll!
Maybe I’m just running with wrong crowd these days.
Oh, Earth. I remember you. And I listen to your records plenty (from time to time), sure as I’ve found that there’s a distinct place for your apocalyptic aridity in my life, but I was reluctant to see you because the last time we met was at the Knitting Factory (on Leonard) some ten years ago and that performance was so spare and glacial that we spent most of your set smoking cigarettes outside just to regain our sense of space and time. Tonight, however, you were on fire. Not towering infernal as my attention prefers (though Dylan’s postures would indicate otherwise), but smoldering and determined as a Saigon Mahayana with a heart full of desert blues and a head full of the gluey Tacoma truth.
I’m pretty sure I saw BORIS the same year that I saw Earth. They were opening for Sunn O))) at the Limelight (or Avalon, I guess) and tore the fucking roof off the place before Stephen O’Malley and company came and robed us all in a sense of inescapably artful hopelessness. Ten years later, I’m watching them play the same gig, essentially, but the time between (and ridiculous number of releases) has turned them into a unforgivable machine built to dispense pure rock fucking fury. Yeah, they can drone. Yeah, they can noise. They can even Merzbow – repeatedly. But the rat meat in BORIS’ grist really comes from the fuck you, four-floored, heavy-is-as-heavy-does relentlessly proficient lunacy of the band from which they borrowed their name. And tonight they played like giants: stolid, swift and terrifying, and if it weren’t for some balding goon kicking me in the face in a desperate attempt to touch Wata, I would say their set was perfect.
2016.08.07(SUN) The Ballroom at The Outer Space (Hamden, CT)
2016.08.09(TUE) Paradise Rock Club (Boston, MA)
2016.08.10(WED) Bar Le “Ritz” P.D.B. (Montreal, QC) *without EARTH
2016.08.11(THU) Lee’s Palace (Toronto, ON) *without EARTH
2016.08.12(FRI) Grog Shop (Cleveland, OH)
2016.08.13(SAT) Pyramid Scheme (Grand Rapids, MI)
2016.08.14(SUN) Metro (Chicago, IL)
2016.08.16(TUE) Majestic Theater (Madison, WI)
2016.08.17(WED) Fineline Music Cafe (Minneapolis, MN)
2016.08.18(THU) Granada Theatre (Lawrence, KS)
2016.08.19(FRI) Bluebird Theater (Denver, CO)
2016.08.20(SAT) Urban Lounge (Salt Lake City, UT)
2016.08.22(MON) Neumo’s (Seattle, WA)
2016.08.23(TUE) Wonder Ballroom (Portland, OR)
2016.08.25(THU) Fillmore (San Francisco, CA)
2016.08.26(FRI) Regent Theater (Los Angeles, CA)