A paranormal researcher, a physicist, an engineer and a local citizen are trying to prove that ghosts exist, when they find themselves in neck deep in a series of encounters with apparitions through out different locations in their city. Little do they know that these are signs of a cataclysmic haunting that is about to befall New York, as some one or something is trying to awaken all the ghoulish perils that lurk. This unlikely team must now put their wits, and ingenuity to the test in order to save the world as we know it.
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Miami is not the most accessible or hospitable city for touring musicians. We’re about as far out of the way as metropolitan cities get, and more importantly, it gets way too hot and humid here during our extended summer “season”. The only true reason development continued West of 27th Avenue and into the Everglades (other than the exorbitant profits) was that, even in the early 20th century, most Miamians would rather endure the hardships that come with venturing deep into the wilderness than settle with having to live in Broward County.
On Thursday, Ty Segall, accompanied by Wand and Miami’s own Plastic Pinks, put on a hell of a show. The Stage hosted a crowd that spilled out beyond the open warehouse-like gates towards the lone food truck in the far back serving goodies. Plastic Pinks opened the gig with a few tunes they put together to get the night started when suddenly, June Summer (vocals) busts his head open stage diving. That isn’t even the most impressive bit— after taking this major hit, June gets right back up as if he had just successfully ridden the baddest wave off the coast of O’ahu’s North Shore and finished the set. He was eventually treated for his work-related injury. The fine gentlemen of Plastic Pink played a fairly quick set of anthem garage tunes that got the crowd shakin’ bums and bangin’ noggins.
Next up was Wand. The group, originally from Victoria, British Columbia, will continue touring with Ty for another five dates through mid-September. The men who fill the ranks of Wand are certainly less hairy than the men of Plastic Pink. In sharp contrast to Pink’s bearded, melodic, and chorus driven songs, Wand played a precise set of guitar wailing songs – more akin to Ty Segall’s new ventures in Manipulator. Wand’s set was not as eventful as Plastic Pink’s, but it was just as fun. The crowd, while not as familiar with them as they were with the opening and closing acts, did react in a positive way to their performance style – a loud and abrasive collection of instrumentals sustained by Jzero Schuurman (drums). The man was a force of nature.
Soon after Wand finished, Ty and his band began to set up their equipment. Mr. Segall was greeted by a hearty “Wooo!” from those up front as he carried his first piece of equipment on stage. Though seemingly reserved, as soon as he gets his band ready and a guitar across his chest, Ty transforms.
Before the show began Cowboy Jim, the band’s “manager”, arrived on stage carrying swagger on one side and his gear (a plastic cup) on the other. He introduced the already excited crowd, to the “Manipulators”, a band from “the planet Jupiter’s fourth moon”. It seemed to have struck a chord with Ty himself, who then decided it was about time that we salute his colony’s flag and join him an impromptu anthem sing-a-long. Not knowing the words kept me from joining, but I must say that he seemed to thoroughly enjoy himself.
Jim walked offstage and the mayhem began. The playful sound of the synthesizer gave away the first song: The title track from “Manipulator”, which sounds like a Beatles-influenced jam tailored to fit Ty’s soft, yet resonating, voice. Carnival-like sounds began flowing through the crowd guided by Ty’s relentless lead guitar. Those huddled in the center totally lost their minds.
The band played over half of the new album, much to my surprise (and joy). Every tune was coated with sugar. What I respect most about Ty’s music is best described through his live performance. While his studio-recorded tunes might sound a bit too revealing to those familiar with the eras of music he has been known to emulate, when you see the band get together, they completely own their sound. “It’s Over”, the album’s punkiest garage track is more than just a testament to Ty’s ability to revive old sounds. It turned the eager group of dancers in the center of the crowd into an uncontrollable stampede only calmed by the song’s abrupt end.
His most recent studio effort is best characterized by his efforts to become slightly more visible in the music landscape. Each track sounds from Manipulator seems to reveal a different artist or style he would like to share with the listener. The band ended the gig with “Girlfriend”, a track from “Melted” – one of Ty’s earlier albums. When the lights were turned on, it became clear that they had absolutely torn through the place. Everyone was absolutely exhausted, sore, and drenched in an uncomfortable mixture of beer and sweat.