The Triple Crown comes to Irving Plaza: Mission of Burma, Oneida and Turing Machine - Oh My Rockness

Recommended Show
January 10, 2007
Ruth Kaplan
We love it when three heavy-hitters all decide to play the same show. It saves time AND money! There's no filler in this killer line-up: Burma. Onedia. Turing Machine.

Anytime someone describes a band as "art-rock" (Les Savy Fav, Liars, Dismemberment Plan...) you have Mission of Burma (formed in 1979) and their peers Sonic Youth to blame. Both bands were among the first to put the "jitter," the "spazz," and the "math" in rock. Both were interested in finding new ways to fuck up tempos and time signatures. Burma was Boston's version of NYC's Sonic Youth. They were contemporaries with a mutual respect for each other and both helped bridge the gap of punk and new wave by mixing raw guitars with dark, atmospheric synths. And both were underground before anyone knew what the hell that meant.

MOB's forte has always been the dark ferocity of Roger Miller's guitar, resulting in an extremely heavy, distorted assault. It was what Gang of Four was doing times 10. And bassist Clint Conley (who wrote the song "That's When I Reach For My Revolver" that Moby, in turn, fucked up) always provided the undercurrent of cool, British-like spookiness. Together, with Peter Prescott's tight drumming and Martin Swope's high-tech gadgetry, their music gave off the aura of strength and intelligence, still a rare combination. And in 2007, they still play like its 1982. Sure, they may have a few more wrinkles, a little more belly and slightly less hair, but the music is still the same. Mission of Burma are tight, energetic and put on a show that still requires the best earplugs money can buy.

Also playing is our longtime favorite, Oneida. They are one of the strongest bands of an unclassifiable genre. If that doesn't make much sense, well, oftentimes neither does Oneida. They aren't on the up-and-up with you. They're herky and they're jerky. They'll synth you up only to kraut-rock you down. They're art-rock like Liars but with the sonic boom of Can. The riddle that is Oneida won't be solved anytime soon. And that's exactly what you want. Just let their music happen, don't try to figure it out.

Opening is Turing Machine. Wow, if these guys are an "opening" band then our name is Nathan Arizona. This band just explodes from the stage when they kick out their math-psych-rock jams. It is a jaw-dropping experience to watch their drummer and bassist play tag team with the rhythm as the high-flying guitar notes soar above the fray. All members are exceptional musicians, making this show an essential lesson in indie musicology. I often liken one of our other favorites, The Big Sleep, to these guys. You couldn't ask for a better opener to a show.

Mission of Burma, Oneida and Turing Machine play Irving Plaza, on Friday, January 19th.


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