I was trying to think of a Béla Fleck/Abigail Washburn song to post, since this incredible duo will be playing at CC in a matter of hours. While I could have played some of Béla’s selections from Rocket Power (the best Flecktones album, in my opinion), or from his recent duo album with Chick Corea which absolutely blew my mind when I heard it, or something of Abigail’s insanely creative “City of Refuge”, I decided to go with a new and seemingly humorous piece the married duo performed almost a year ago.
When I talk about their performance of Europe’s “The Final Countdown” as humorous, I am really only extending the degree of levity to the superficial: the wigs, The A.V. Club’s tradition of comedy, my obsession with GOB from arrested development. All other aspects of this performance, though, are met with the gravest intent, as if the duo are performing a sacred Appalachian folk song from deep within their repertoire. From her first chord, Abigail sets the tone of the performance as different and beautiful. Her accompaniment to Béla’s tender rendition of the melody and chorus make turn the performance on its head. Where others like to keep in the A.V. Club’s tradition of satirizing popular music (of course, not that this is a bad thing!), the duo quietly and methodically go about fulfilling their endless creative impulses and leave us, the listener, with a piece of astoundingly spiritual beauty.
This past Saturday night CC students gathered at 666 Uintah to let out some energy to the sounds of CC student bands Ominous Animals and Kauzmann On Ice. Above the roar of friends gathered around, upbeat guitars and smashing symbols keeping the room sweaty, lively, and full until the bitter end.
While I personally showed up late to the Ominous Animals set, friends like Lena Farr-Morrissey shared that they brought a lot of energy to the room with groovy jams like their rendition of “White Room” by Cream. They have been consistently creating an incredible atmosphere for every live set. These talented musicians have been around the CC music scene for a few years now and they that have come together under the name of Ominous Animals. The crowd always adores their performance and were sad to see their set end.
After the crowd filed out quickly for a short smoke break, Kauzmann On Ice followed Ominous Animals to complete the night. While Kauzmann On Ice was the name of this band this past Saturday, the official name of this group has yet to be decided. So continue to keep an ear out. With influences from CC student bands such as the beloved Randy and the Reptiles, curiosity elevated the crowds excitement. Extended downtempo jams on the guitar gave the room a spacey ambience as those next to me began to shut their eyes and dance for nobody but themselves. As the tempo increased so did the amount of collisions in the crowd. A perfect mixture of groovy bass, upbeat guitar, and loud, rhythmic drums riled up the crowd for the climax of the night. A crowd surfer passed overhead and fell soon after, but everyone still had smiles on their faces.
With another dynamic performance from Ominous Animals and Kauzmann On Ice’s lively debut show, Saturday night was one to remember. The intimate venue, the abundance of tigers, and high-spirited music created an exhausting yet refreshing experience for those who were lucky enough to attend. Keep an ear out for these bands next show, you don’t want to miss it.
Photos by Leo Turpan ’18