The Live Music Show Curated by The Sadnesses
When I first started discussing the possibility of curating an episode of the Live Music Show with the good people at Network Awesome, I already had a very specific playlist in mind, but as I started whittling down my selections, a certain theme emerged, totally different from what I had originally planned. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it meets somewhere at the nexus of the mastery of unusual instruments, breathtaking artistry, and as the Fall put it, "the three R's: repetition, repetition, repetition."
Taraf de Haidouks
Two of the most amazing live bands in the world, Taraf de Haïdouks and Kocani Orkestar join forces to tear it up. Apparently, they didn't even share a common language and used no sheet music. The only way they had to communicate was through their instruments. Astounding.
the Trons - self playing robot band
This video questions the very idea of a live performance. Yes, there is a band and yes, they are playing instruments, but of course everything was programmed beforehand, which in itself is quite remarkable. Is this any different than seeing a "laptop artist" perform? Or is it more like an animatronic band at Deisneyland? You be the judge.
gamelan gong kebyar
An orchestra of bells, with each orchestra using its own specific tuning on a non-western scale-- all played from memory. Repetetive and complex, pure bliss.
I suppose you could say that she is a master of her instrument, but if you take away the mesh dress and the suggestive posing, would the song be any good? I can't be bothered with this question, as I am still trying to decide if she is actually kind of hot, or if I have been tricked.
Gal Costa - "Relance" (TV Record - anos 70)
Gal Costa takes this simple, repetetive accordion hook and turns it into a breezy, hypnotic groove. Belinda Bedekovic could take a few lessons from Gal.
Zs | NYC @ Cake Shop | Dec 02 2006
I just recently learned about this band and I am struck by their extreme precision and dedication to repetition. Sometimes repetition in music can be as much an endurance test as an epiphany. This video is testament to that idea.
Kasai Allstars / Masanka Sankayi
I saw this band from DR Congo a few years ago on a bill with Konono No. 1. It was one of the most energetic and amazing live music experiences I have ever had. I was completely taken away by the groove. I think I was too stunned to even move my body much, but my head was exploding.
Andy Kaufman: "I Trusted You"
Again repetition, this time working toward a visceral, comedic goal. He may have been joking, but was probably drawing on a real experience of being betrayed. Or not.
Singing Tesla Coil at Duckon 2007
How does one become a master musician on Tesla coils? I have no idea, but I guess the first step is to get ahold of some Tesla coils.
Synthesizer Medley 1985
Sure, these are all great musicians-- each a master of his instrument-- so why is this so painful?
legendary Tsehaytu Beraki in London
Some people might find this 10-minute groove too extreme in its repetition, but I find it uplifting, cathartic and beautiful. The people dancing in the audience are hardly moving more than a single step in either direction, but it still looks like the best party in the world.
Don't Brush My Hair In Knots
This band is at least as good as Happy Flowers, which is a commentary on at least one of them. Personally, I am eagerly awaiting the full-length.
The Sadnesses are an American musician based in Berlin. Since the mid-90s, the Sadnesses have released 4 full-length albums, have appeared on multiple compilations and released a few singles. Over this time, the Sadnesses have had the pleasure of collaborating with such great artists as Aero-Mic'd, Foibles and Solex. Upcoming projects include the long-awaited full-length "Fäustchenamt" as well as contributions to the soundtrack of the documentary "Doppelleben".
The Sadnesses' likeminded podcast can be found here: