Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Books @ KFLA

After seeing the Books at the J. Paul Getty Museum last month, it seems that I could have ended my relationship with them then because, to be honest, it would have ended on a great note. The Getty was the perfect place, the perfect atmosphere, and the perfect time. With a perfect memory of how the Books envision a performance of their art, why would I now want to experience anything less than, well, um...perfect?

Upon entering the Knitting Factory in Hollywood to get my second fill of the Books in just as many months, my expectations were low. Basically I just wanted to sit back and enjoy their show of song and film, without thinking about how the overcrowded, stuffy, hot Knitting Factory was not going to be the Getty.

Fortunately, the less than appropriate arena did not keep the Books from performing at the top of their game. Below you will find a video for the song “That Right Ain’t Shit” with a found film piece of early Mormon leaders. Their “found film” has proven to be more than just a fixture of distraction, as it guides the audience throughout their live performances. These short films have become such a staple of their live set that it is hard to separate the visual from the aural in performances of The Books' art. This fusion of sound and vision may prove to be the next step in Zammuto and De Jong’s creations.

Another fun bit was the introduction of the “Magic Zammuto Smoke Sender” that sent perfect smoke rings out over the audience in the final song. Made of spare parts from a gramophone, lampshade, toilet plunger, and vacuum, the Smoke Sender is one of the many handheld works of genius that Zammuto has created. Check out other pieces that he created here.


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