Live: Hear Hums Storm the Snooze With Typhoon's Intensity, August 26

Hear Hums
With the Dewars, Sumsun, Sexcapades, Sugar Ants, and Love Handles

Snooze Theatre, Lake Park
Friday, August 26, 2011

Better Than:
Boarding up the windows of your house in preparation of a category three hurricane.

As is often the case, the two Snooze Theatre proprietors, C.J. Jankow and Jordan Pettingill, kicked off the night by treating those in attendance to a healthy dose of their Love Handles material. The room was near-capacity as the trio, filled out by Cop City/Chill Pillars bassist Jimmy Bradshaw rocking the maracas, slopped down plate after plate of positive vibes.

The crowd, mostly younger, reacted well to what they laid down. They

bobbed up and down, thrashing curly mops of unkempt hair wildly as they

danced. Love Handles picked up on the reaction, which set the comfort

level to near-supreme levels. This caused them to exchange a

more-than-average amount of onstage banter, most of which was not

understood by those in attendance but still laughed at anyway. In

response, one concertgoer said, "They smoke a lot of weed."

Before each song began, Jankow turned to his bandmates and asked, "What song is this?" Each time, he was informed of the song to be played, and they jumped in together, executing each without flaw, a hilarious gambit, so we think.

The next act was Sugar Ants, which consisted of a bearded young man twirling and moaning over a looping dance beat. Orlando's Sexcapades proceeded to diversify the show's lineup with their brand of classic three-chord punk, which at times had surf tendencies, while the crowd displayed satisfaction with more swaying dance moves.

Wellington's the Dewars then showed a different side of what some might be used to. With no percussion whatsoever, seated brothers Zachary and Anthony took turns playing bass and guitar. The music itself was the most surprising part. They opened with a somber, downtrodden cover of Johnny Cash's "Ghost Riders in the Sky." They then announced that the rest would be a sad set, playing songs that would be best at home with a cry-in-your-beer country honk. The gem of the set was their performance of "Happy Sad Valentines Day," pulling on the heartstrings of everyone within earshot.

Away from the stage, close to the bar, and beneath a dartboard, West Palm electronic wizardry council Sumsun assembled and played a set that was not announced as part of the bill. The pair played both new songs and barely recognizable versions of tracks from their full-length Samo Milagro. Sumsun's live performance continues to evolve. The inclusion of Judson Rogers' guitar playing gives the viewer a better feel of a performance, as opposed to how bland some sets from other DJs or electric artists can feel at times. Watching the two huddled over their mixboards, scrambling around in the dark, and twisting knobs while Rogers plays, gives an overall impromptu feeling.

Although it had gotten very late in the evening before Hear Hums began to play (close to 3 a.m.), no lulls of sleepiness were found in those present as they began with a wildly intense screaming introduction, pounding insanely at the drum set they both shared. As the din faded, a sample of birds chirping over ambient waves of sound soothed attendees, displaying the kind of theatrics found in a set by Godspeed You Black Emperor! They showed a very natural progression of their sound, playing a set made almost entirely of new material. One could not help but take note of the precision of their percussion. The way they moved from microphone to keyboard to drum set to electronic devices was unparalleled. Watching the two interact is the core of a Hear Hums performance, flowing effortlessly and producing a sound that is not easily found. They create a visual experience in the way they move, theatrically displaying real emotion, real art.

Critic's Notebook:

Best reaction to feedback:
No musical performance is free from the wiry tendrils of feedback. While most cringe and cover their ears, one showgoer was heard to say, "It's cool. It's like watching the Jesus and Mary Chain."

Bathroom bummer: Snooze enthusiasts were both cross and let down by an occurrence in the men's bathroom, disdainfully shouting, "Somebody puked blood in our wonderful men's bathroom! Not cool!"

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Ryan Burk