Friday, September 01, 2006

1960's Synth Legend Jean-Jacque Perrey In Concert

I stumbled upon an advertisement on boingboing about Jean-Jacques Perrey performing in San Francisco. Not realizing who it was, I almost ignored it, but then reading further I discovered he was the composer of the theme of the Main Street Electric Light Parade! (Originally called "Baroque Hoedown") Then somehow I decided to look at the Knitting Factory website and voila! He was performing in Hollywood! $8! Two blocks from my apartment! On stage, I recognized some of the keyboards: a Moog Voyager "Blue Meanie" version, a Nord Electro 2, a Korg MS2000B, and a Dave Smith Poly-Evolver. But there was a strange antique wooden box with piano keys in front of Jean Jacques. He could play vibrato by sliding his fingers against the keys. It turns out that it's an Ondioline, a 1930s/40s vacuum-tube based instrument, heard on songs like Del Shannon's "Runaway" solo.

Opening for him (and his collaborator Dana Countryman) was one half of Seksu Roba, an excellent Japanese theremin player wearing a white robe and sunglasses. He played classical violin soloes and sci-fi techno music.

The crowd did not seem especially nerdy or unhip -- apparently even some LA types like retro happy-pop and space lounge music.
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posted by Brian at 2:59 PM


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