Thursday, May 13, 2010

Live Review: Ramona Gonzalez and Bitchin Bajas at Mortville

Text Mr. Nitetrotter - May 13, 2010 

I nitetrotted over to this show with a comrade at our usual lateness of about two hours. Ramona Gonzalez of Nite Jewel was playing so we had to go. Bitchin Bajas is Cooper from Cave's solo project which also sounded interesting. It also wasn't at a dumb bar but rather at the always fun Mortville in Little Village. I didn't have a chance to catch the name of the band before Ramona who set up and played for over an hour if not more(the reason we had to walk home two miles in the rain because the Pink Line only runs until 1). 

I walked in to the show and it was the first time I had been to Mortville with their new spring decor. They have a very open free flowing beach party thing going on that is very cool. Mortville changes how the space is set up about every four or so months. At the moment it is my favorite warehouse venue in Chicago. They always get an interesting stream of people.

So we missed probably two bands and the first band we saw was ok they had some some mildly crucial jams. You could just tell the drummer was probably a guitar player, and they switched around on instruments which is very hard to pull off well. The girl singing had a great voice that reminded me of a early Patty Smyth or something. They just played too long. It wasn't their fault they probably did bring a lot of people but sometimes you just got to pull the plug! 

Ramona was up and I didn't know what to expect. I had only heard the Nite Jewel material with other players and more beat centric. This was spaced out songs just her and a synth with sparse drum machine accompaniment. A lot of it seemed to be based around cleverly simple psychedelic melodies and dream like vocal lines. She had an echo effect on her voice that wasn't overdone. Much of this sounded like creepy mall music from Mars, which is awesome. I think a some people came to hear her play dance music or were just their to party. The room was split between chit peaknuckling party goers and people up front paying extremely close attention. I wish it was louder but I feel like I was watching a unforgettable secret concert in a room of talking drunk people. The best part of the set was that she pulled the plug. She didn't drag on but instead she left us all hanging on for more. I am always one to appreciate that. I would rather be left wanting more instead of less.

Up next was Bitchin Bajas. He started out right away with quoting a riff from his band Cave's repertoire but that made it exciting. I was impressed by this set. His heavy psychedelic kraut esque riffage was exactly what the doctor ordered as we split for our hike through the pouring rain back to Pilsen. 

Right before we left I had to ask Ramona a question. I went up and asked her what she thought of R Stevie Moore. She said she loved his music, I didn't ask her more about it but it was peace of mind for the nite.

Good times at Mortville.

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