Passage Walkers at Mythos Fine Art

Saturday night, Jesse Michael's new band, Passage Walkers, played at Mythos Fine Art, the Berkeley gallery where Jesse and I are in a group show. After the short music set, Josh and I decided to check out the new Polanski film, CARNAGE (2011). What a perfect night, driven, overheated cow punk in a cinematic art setting followed by narrative noir and Jodie Foster's hot-tempered brilliance. Both events were righteously timed and well-written, with pointed endings. I really enjoyed the opening act and audience banter with special guest James Leste. His voice has an M. Ward timbre.
During the Passage Walkers set, Ralph Spite and Mick Leonardi kept a handle on the fast-strumming rhythm and sometimes surf-rock guitar licks, although Mick said he was sweating as much as if he had been playing thrash metal, not surprising considering the short breaks between songs and the 16-string sound coming out of his folky instrument. Jesse painted on a layer of low talking-singing during one number, punctuating the lyrics like a good story-teller. High points were when the three band mates sang in harmony and cut out at a precise predetermined moment, quickly damping their strings and voices, signaling a characteristically punk non-faded ending. I really look forward to hearing them play in a larger venue, with the vocals turned up a bit in the mix.

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