Music gigs at the Fringe are quite common. They tend to be just like a gig played anywhere else. The musicians play their music to an appreciative audience. They will usually chat to the audience between numbers, or might even create a theme for the whole show, with narration between the individual pieces, but the most important element of their art is their music.
This isn't the case with Tim McMillan: Axework for Space Goblins. Here the entire performance, from the silent and unacknowledged space goblin in gold lame that takes to the stage when Tim and Brad do, to the various signals and choreography that pass between Tim and Brad, the very act of playing their instruments, and the often quite surreal spiel that Tim provides between his pieces (or which even interrupting them in mid stream), is a carefully crafted and magnificent work of performance art, pulled off flawlessly.
As to the music itself, is almost impossible to describe Goblincore (the genre of music pioneered by Tim). Even commonly used academic definitions such as "acoustic viking spongebob squarepants vaginal metal" or "post-Austrian dungeon hardcore Cro-Magnon hammer grind" all fall far short of the mark. Just rest assured that it is very very very good. Tim McMillan is an absolute virtuoso on the acoustic guitar, switching techniques and styles with mad abandon as he pulls music from the instrument. Brad Lewis, is laid back and eloquent on the electric bass. Both provide vocals and beats. The Space Goblin, and this is important, does nothing at all. Nothing!
If you are interested in hearing some really excellent guitar work, there are some samples at his ReverbNation page. However, it really needs to be seen live to be truly appreciated. If you are in Melbourne or Sydney I really recommend catching one of his shows. Sadly his stint here at the Fringe is over, otherwise I'd definitely go again. I do hope he is back for a future Fringe (he was a Victorian but is now based in Germany), and shall be keeping an eagle eye out for future appearances.
Feb. 27th, 2012
"Poetry matters. Poetry is what elevates the banal and neglected object to a realm of art. It can transform the thing that might have made people fearful into something that invites them to look and look a little longer, and maybe even understand." – Aimee Mullins.
I stole this quote from Telia's website, because I personally don't have the words to describe Live On Air With Poet Laureate Telia Nevile. She held the audience spellbound for the duration of the show with her fiery and impassioned oratory. Just the right amount of comedy, just the right amount of pathos, just the right amount of tragedy, all expertly delivered by a master poet with a deep and abiding love of the English language.
Just go see it.