Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Seasons EP Release Party

Photos by Anita Marto (John of Seasons above)

Friday, April 10, 2009, I went to The Echo for the EP release of Seasons' Spring, hosted by Isgoodmusic and L.A. Underground. I was really looking forward to this, as their 14-song compilation from last year was, for me, one of last years best releases.

I arrived too late for The Hectors' opening set, and was sorry because I enjoy them whenever I see them. But it was time for Karin Tatoyan to take possession of everyone's attention. The music begins, and at first you feel like you've stumbled into the private sessions on the floor of, or under a table in, a psychiatrists office.

But, the more you hear the songs, the more their structure becomes apparent. You realize this art is carefully crafted to showcase the power and fury of Karin Tatoyan's performance and contrast it with the reserve and composure of her extraordinary cello player, Andrew Carter, and the steady pulse of her gifted percussionist, Thomas Greene.
Karin looks like she could have been scraped up off the floor of the Whisky A Go Go (and the glitter came up with her) and Andrew looks like he just stepped out of the philharmonic. It's a wonderful disconnect that's both jarring and enticing.

She's obviously mining some very dark terrain and deeply personal emotions, but it's in the interest of her performance art. Meeting her off stage, she's open, warm and sweet, but obviously, a dedicated and focused artist who can unleash a fearless and ferocious stage performance.

Then there's the voice that is a remarkably flexible instrument. She coos and growls, roars and screams and everything in between. The music can be difficult and challenging, but underneath it all, it is also very beautiful. But she does tend to divide the audience between those who get up close to see what's going on and those who seek the refuge of the back wall. I've definitely seen bands who make me retreat as well, but Karin Tatoyan is not one of them.

Seasons came on around 11 and, with the sound of twittering birds, launched into "India", which is also the first cut on the EP. Also from Spring they played "Empty Spaceships" and "Song that You Know", along with new material that they just seem to keep grinding out.
The highlight was when Corrine of The Hectors (above with Nic) joined them for a rousing cover of Brian Jonestown Massacre's "Anenome". It was an amazing mix because, not only did they recreate the BJM sound, but they still sounded like Seasons all the way through.

They appeared ready to play all night, but The Echo had other plans and cut them off at midnight, due to a dance party set to begin at that time. It was an abrupt ending, but it really didn't matter, Seasons had celebrated and swept the audience up with them and sent us home happy.


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