Wednesday, Oct.10, 2012
Better than: Running away to join the gypsy circus with Mux Mool.
The night began on a sour note. At first, the crowd was scarce due to the rain. When we arrived, LYNX finished her set of belted out originals, closing with some beatboxing magic. To our dismay, Mux Mool seemed another button-pushing remixer. The DJ appeared uninspired and uninterested in being there, like he couldn't wait to get the fuck out. After some humdrum glitch work, a few familiar hip-hop samples, and a Daft Punk-type version of "Love Shack," Beats Antique couldn't hit the stage any sooner for us.
Then the show opened with an intro so stunning, reality was put on hold.
Life outside of Culture Room was highly irrelevant, and all eyes were glued to the magnificent starlet that took the stage. Zoe Jakes was a vision from the very start, outfitted in a gold and crimson bedleh -- the first of many costume changes throughout the night.
She entered from her own den, a makeshift curtained green room that sat center stage, mounted with a chandelier. The music seemed merely a backdrop to the artist before us. As Jakes undulated and isolated different areas of her body, the crowd went wild, rooting on the seductress.
Jakes ran to the back of the stage, where she strapped on a black marching bass drum. Tommy Cappel laid down the beats for "Crush" off last month's release Contraption Vol. II
. As Jakes and Cappel dueled on drums, multi-insrumentalist David Satori blew brassy notes on his trumpet. The energy permeated throughout the room, and from the high bar to the floor, there was something special in the air -- aside the familiar stench of high-fructose nuggets.
Boosting the flow was what I like the call the Beats Antique signature song, "Beauty Beats" from 2009's Collide. Chances are, if you've heard of the act, you've heard this song.
As the trio launched into the Indian-flavored jam, Satori scooped up his viola and began to make sweet strokes, filling the room with his melodic candy. He caressed and lightly vibrated the strings with his bow, creating a throaty, deep mobile sound. Jakes beat the hell out of her drum -- harder than a 300-pound marching band geek releasing high school tensions -- and Cappel held down the fort with a steady foundation of crashing cymbals and modulated beats.
Jakes exited back to her onstage dressing room, leaving a lingering anticipation. The guys spearheaded "Skeleton Key" on their own, and the haunting ballad released bits and bytes of synths that oozed as Satori got to work transforming his banjo from a hillbilly's pluck toy to a masculine power tool. As the track faded, Jakes reappeared right on cue. Glittering in a gold and jewel-encrusted headpiece. She was a sultry Hindu spirit, weaving to the dub-heavy "Colony Collapse."