Words and Pictures by Rose Lamela
Last Thursday I decided to stay local and hit up WFMU's Monty Hall. The Messthetics and The Royal Arctic Institute were the lineup on a rainy night in one of my favorite cities. I am not a big fan of instrumental music or anything related to jazz; but, after listening to The Messthetics' album, I was drawn by the fast drums and noisy guitar. I figured I would try them out live. Then I found out they were Brendan Canty and Joe Lally of the band Fugazi along with guitarist Anthony Pirog.
It was raining as if the world was coming to an end, which seems to be a constant in Jersey these days. I got to Monty Hall, and I was the first one there. My punctuality sometimes gets on my nerves. The paranoia of not getting a good spot takes up way too much of my brain. It was not crowded which is a preference these days. It was the perfect amount of people for what would be a super chill show.
The Royal Arctic Institute opened up the event. I had forgotten that they are also lyricless. The audience was very attentive which made the transference of their notes more open for reception. Their music is very peaceful; and, even though they have plenty of jazz sowed into their music, it didn't turn me off. I do prefer more upbeat music, but sometimes you need to take a step back and breathe. This is easy to do while they perform. I mostly enjoyed the tune "The Grubert Effect" which takes you out of their trance for a moment.
The Messthetics came out next to headline the show. I was drawn to the silver bell that drummer Brendan Canty has as part of his kit. After they started, I was just drawn to Canty, as he is fun to watch. The Messthetics consider themselves "Jazz Punk Jam," and I'm not quite sure what that means; but it was definitely jazz with a lot of noise. Whatever it is they or others describe them as, I found their music to be creative and original. Something that could not be played off if they weren't so connected as a band.
The rain stopped, and I was able to walk to my car and not have to run for cover. I went into my car and blasted some Fugazi. It's great to get out of your comfort zone when it comes to going to see live music. For me, I'm back to the basics as soon as I turn on the car and take a minute to pull up something on Spotify for the way home. I'm always back to the noise and passion of rock and roll as I cruise out of Jersey City.