Art + Music = MUSEing

Art + Music = MUSEing at LACMA w/ Saint Motel & The Silent Comedy
7/7/2011
By: Trina Green

Ladies and gentlemen, the summer is here…upon us like a fine sheen of sweat on our sexy skin. You like that visual? Yeah, us too.

It’s official: museums are fun! Especially when there’s a summer music series involved. Oh yes, it’s a beautiful thing here in LA because it’s an opportunity to celebrate visual art and auditory tunes, things that many of us love above and beyond reason. Thursday night kicked off the Los Angeles County Museum of Art Muse Concert Series in conjunction with the Tim Burton exhibit (holy vroom, vroom Batman!) and it was a hella blast.

With a stage set in front of the lit and luminous piece “Urban Light” by Chris Burden, Muse paid homage to art and the thriving and lively music scene of Southern California. One museum, one stage, two bad ass bands equaled bringing some high quality and unique versions of common genres to new eyes and ears. Saint Motel and The Silent Comedy just jumped off their co-headlining Summer Sweat Tour and stop #3 was here at LACMA.

Folk music has its place in the world and, more often than, not tends to soothe the spirit rather than raise the roof. Enter the San Diego quartet The Silent Comedy who are Joshua (vocals/bass), Jeremiah Zimmerman (piano/guitar/vocals), Chad Lee (drums/percussion), and Justin Buchanan (banjo/mandolin/guitar) who are all about kicking your musical ass with their incredible, must-be-seen-to-be-believed live show where they tell tales of the human condition and make your soul and body move in the process. It’s folk and it’s rock and it’s one of the best (and freshly unique) things to come on the music scene in years. Ever seen a dude head bang with a banjo? It’s epic on a whole other level. They were accompanied by the live painting from artist Mike Maxwell who prettied up Justin’s keyboard base. Now The Silent Comedy had a healthy number of fans in tow at LACMA and a fair crowd when their set kicked off, but approximately 1 1/2 songs in and that “fair” crowd grew deep with fascinated folks sucked into their sound, their feel, and retro aesthetic they project. That’s just how irresistible The Silent Comedy is and how they roll. And a finer dressed bunch of good-looking guys, you’d be hard pressed to find.

But wait, there’s more!

LA has no shortage of really good bands to choose from and Saint Motel sits high on the “Best” list and the ladies love them. Love them! They are AJ Jackson (guitar and vocals), Aaron Sharp (lead guitar), Dak Lerdamornpong (bass) and Greg Erwin (drums), all former film students and it was more than appropriate that they be a part of the inaugural Muse concert series because the nature of their powerhouse music and fiercely electric live shows is highly artistic an stimulating. Even though they were sans the full package and impact of their usual background imagery, they still created a sonic landscape that’s as visual as it is audible. Kicking off their set with the shamelessly pop nod towards hedonism “Do Everything Now”, the hands started clapping, the feet started dancing, and the museum was once again rocking. These Saint Motel guys are young bucks but they’re creativity and intelligence show through their badass musicianship and unconventional song structures. We dig what they do and even have to tip them for boldly going where not everyone dares to go: covering a song by The Who. The majority of the room may not have known the acid trip Saint Motel slipped under their tongue, but it was a playful and damned good version of “A Quick One While He’s Away” and if you felt even the faintest urge to do a guitar windmill, well then here’s a “m/” for you!

Good times, boys and girls.

Check the photos by Genie Sanchez: