Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Nomo Live, with DJ Bongohead, August 15, Northampton

Yes folks, that's right - Nomo played a great concert last Saturday, August 15, at the Iron Horse (I will dig up the poster some time). They did all our favorite songs (some great ones from the new album, Invisible Cities) and the guys were just in tip-top, killer form!! There were two drummers, some amazing brass work, heavy bass, and nice chunky guitar, all in an afro-jazz dance mode - the audience were converted to the Nomo philosophy of melody as rhythm! I took pictures for them - Matt the bassist gave me his nice camera and said to shoot away so I did - maybe I can post some in the future if I can get Matt to send me some. Elliot was playing his amazing homemade mbira 'thumb pianos' (kalimba or sanza to some, and in Cuba, the 'marimbula') - my favorite element in their sound. They had the audience going gaga at the end when they did their ritualistic communal thing of playing percussion down on the dance floor among the club-goers (I was banging away on a cowbell over by the DJ console). I got to DJ some afrobeat, funk, Turkish psych, Ethiopian, and funky early 70s jazz fusion before and after the show. It was a small turn out but the band played as if it were in front of thousands - next time they come it better be! Then Nomo and 2 friends stayed at my house - we talked until 3 am about harmonicas, dogs, and Atlantic Records, and what if Arthur Russel sang ads for hotdogs and other silly 3 am stuff. Radio personality Mr. Charlie Lewis was down from Brattleboro for the show, and he crashed at chez Bongohead as well - a good time was had by all. Elliot was telling me about his mother's paintings which are on some of their covers (check out the cover for their afro-elctro-disco reworking of Sun Ra's Rocket # 9 From The Planet Venus) - totally dope artwork! Next day Nomo had to take off in the early morning hours for a 14 hour marathon road trip up to Chicago where they were doing a big open air concert in a park. Never met a nicer bunch of musician house guests! Make sure you check out all their albums if you have not heard their sound - truly beautiful.