Monday, August 4, 2008

Ora Cogan, Aja Rose Bond, Grouper @ Hoko's

Aja Rose Bond

After a month of build up (thanks for getting this thing going, Kris) Grouper made a rare appearance in Vancouver. She doesn't tour much, so this may have be the only opportunity to catch her. It proved worth waiting for. She played a few tracks off of her newest release, Dragging a Dead Deer Up A Hill, but kept the set fairly short. Saelan has done a much better review of the show than I could muster up, so i'll leave that review to him. He did, however miss Ora Cogan and Aja Rose Bond.

Ora played a heart-wrenching set of modern folk that kept half the crowd enraptured but seemed looked over by the other half, who, as they had every right to do, seemed more intent on gobbling up sushi and conversing. The quiet intensity of Ora's set may have come across a little better with the crowd's full attention.

Aja Rose Bond, whom I have written about before in these here pages, followed next. Aja proved to be a great warm-up to the ethereal music of Grouper. Her creative use of electronics, random objects and an electric guitar held up great and even commanded the full attention of the audience. Aja began by rubbing a small metal slide on her heavily treated guitar, which was laid flat on the stage, and produced intricate sounds of delicate distortion that transfixed the crowd. She later began dropping a small rubber ball on the strings, letting chance take over. The set was brief but mesmerizing, and provided a great set-up for Grouper.

To my surprise, Aja and Gabriel have released another collaborative effort and were selling it at the show. This is an incredibly small edition of 40 on tape and features some great packaging. Oh yah, the music is great as well! Pick it up this Thursday at VIVO, where you'll be able to catch Aja play with her other group, Ahna.

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