Wooden Indian, Yellow Minute - MIM Music Theater - 8/19/2013
Going to the Musical Instrument Museum from central Phoenix feels like an occasion, even when it isn't--you're on the interstate all that time, the cars are getting gradually more expensive, and then when you get there, and park your car in the enormous lot, you walk into a lobby that will either read as "school field trip" or "I think I should be wearing a tie," depending on your frame of reference.
Going to the MIM to see Wooden Indian and Yellow Minute actually was an occasion. But I was still worried about violating the dress code.
I shouldn't have been, of course--the crowd for this particular "I Am AZ Music" show was a surprisingly cohesive mix of people who looked like Wooden Indian and Yellow Minute fans and people who looked like they spent a lot of time at the MIM's impressive theater.
Promptly at 7:00 the emcee introduced both bands, and Wooden Indian launched into its defamiliarizing, atmospheric set. I can't think of a band that takes better advantage of an expensive sound system than Wooden Indian--even with six people (including members of Yellow Minute) on stage, and guitar loops being built up as we watched, I heard several people in the audience wondering where all the sounds were coming from.
I understood the confusion. There's a moment in lots of Wooden Indian songs where everything locks into the same strange ungainly gait, like the Baby Elephant March repurposed for insectoid movie aliens, and you suddenly realize how loud you've got your headphones, and how each weird chiming guitar loop has combined to form a weirder and more chiming whole.
Live, over the MIM's respectful hush, they found that moment and hung around in it.