Sunday, 9 August 2009
Gravitar - Live at the Gold Dollar, Detroit 1999
I was lucky enough to see Michigan magicians Gravitar play live one time - this very gig in fact*, a release show for their then-new "You Must First Learn To Draw The Real" CD on Monotremata. Me was so crazy about Gravitar's colossal racket, I drove all the way from Oshawa (about a four hour trip one way) to see them - and the band were every bit as good as I'd hoped they'd be and then some.
I was shocked at how small-scale it all seemed initially: Geoff Walker on vocals (and occasionally guitar), sitting in an ordinary chair like some old bluesman, surrounded by effects pedals; his brother Mike on guitar; Eric Cook on drums. They looked like normal enough guys, nice guys.
This didn't visually promise anything like what erupted from the speakers when they actually started playing - immense sheets of gnarly GRIT noise and tripped-out vocal ECHO assault, HUGE psychedelic godhead RIFFS, caterwauling free jazz FILLS coming faster & harder than could be mentally absorbed.
Forget the room, these guys rocked the universe. I bought everything they had for sale and babbled like a goon to them afterwards about how great they were. Eric even mentioned my driving all that way on his website.
So yeah, I was a big fanboy of Gravitar. As far as I was concerned, they were the last word in heaviness at the time. I even bought their box set 'Ten Years of Tears' (from Enterruption) when it came out - this went through four editions, each slightly different, of which I think I have No. 2.
One of the discs in this box was an exclusive called 'Live 1999-2000' -- featuring two sets from the band; the Detroit 1999 set, and another the following year in San Francisco. I have struggled mightily to upload this second set, but the second half of it is stubbornly resisting all my efforts so you'll have to make do with just the one, sorry.
If you'd like to know more, including what became of Gravitar, here is a wonderful recent interview with Geoff Walker and Eric Cook.
Gravitar - Live at the Gold Dollar, Detroit 1999 (@ 320 kbps)
*based on info at the Gold Dollar's archived historical schedule, it was their only show in 1999.