Connan Mockasin @ 7th Street EntryMay 09, 2014
The show began unpromisingly with a string of technical difficulties that delayed the show by half an hour and a small turnout of about thirty people. But the artists paid no mind to these things, and proceeded to put on a killer show anyways. Andrew Broder, a local DJ from Minneapolis, opened solo with some of the most inventive and quirky mixing I’ve ever encountered, combining screeching beats and whirring industrial sounds with what sounded like dolphin noises, as well as chanting and acoustic tracks. Broder hurried away as quickly as he arrived, unfortunately with little attention or applause.
KIRIN J CALLINAN
Next, the Hannes Kaschell, Kirin J Callinan’s German drummer, took the stage with a bizarre impromptu stand-up routine during which he at one point pretended to urinate on stage. About twenty minutes later, the rest of the band joined to play a deafening (but enjoyable) goth electro-rock set from Callinan’s latest album, Embracism, which he released in December last year. Callinan came on stage fully dressed with a cane and a satin robe, and by the end of his set had stripped down to his pants and shoes, showing off his DIY tattoos. The songs themselves were intense, but it was the deadpan backup musicians, coupled with Kirin Callinan’s own bizarre drunk discussion of alien abductions and slightly threatening shouts at audience members that made this perhaps one of the creepiest shows I’ve ever watched. Towards the end, he left about six of these business cards at the edge of the stage:
Finally, Connan Mockasin and his band, who had all been standing in the audience, took over the stage. Connan played nearly every song from his newest album, “Caramel,” including a fabulously groovy rendition of “Do I Make You Feel Shy,” as well as a few of his older tunes, like “Forever Dolphin Love,” and for his final song, played his five-part “It’s Your Body.”
I was lucky enough to be at the front of the floor only four feet from Connan, who was wearing a white shirt and red vest open to his navel and a conical white sheepskin hat, which he constantly removed to shake his messy white hair in front of his face. Though you wouldn’t realize it on camera, he’s a strikingly tiny man in person and speaks in a voice not much lower than the cartoonish falsetto that characterizes his songs.
While most artists would be disappointed with such a small turnout, Connan instead walked off the stage and into the middle of the audience pit, sat us down in a circle, and played cross-legged on the floor. Although he climbed back up on stage a couple of times, he spent most of the show playing long, psychedelic jams down with the audience. Shows this beautiful are unfortunately rare and it’s a pity more people didn’t come to share in the moment, but perhaps the low turnout was what made it so marvelously intimate.