Can't Miss Show: The Octopus Project

Categories: Show Preview

By Steve Jansen

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The Octopus Project: What dreams are made of

I had a strange dream last night.

Possibly because I knew I was writing about The Octopus Project today, or I am truly super jacked up to see the Austin-based noise/rock ensemble.

Either way, the dream went something like this: I was waiting in line with friends at the Rhythm Room (where the band is scheduled to perform on Monday, August 11). It's packed inside. Friends get in. I don't. I explode and chew out the door gal for denying me entry. Then, I'm in a car with a girl that wants my body, but that's another story.

Anyway, the reason I'm so excited that The Octopus Project is visiting Phoenix is because they throw in the perfect amount of experimentation to keep me interested while not alienating the listening experience. For someone like me who loves avant-garde elements in pop music (such as Hanne Hukkelberg), this band, in my opinion, rocks.

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Yvonne Lambert of The Octopus Project

Then there's the theremin, which the group's Yvonne Lambert plays during their shows. I feel that the theremin -- along with the bass clarinet and cello -- is one of the most underrated instruments out there.

My favorite use of the instrument? Clara Rockmore's The Art of the Theremin, a must-have recording made in 1977. The instrument's inventor, Leon Theremin, personally taught the late Rockmore how to play the circa 1919 electronic instrument.

Check out these clips of Rockmore performing tunes from her seminal The Art of the Theremin record.

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