Fight the Big Bull to Hit U Street

Wednesday night is Cous Cous night. Fight the Big Bull has made this so, and now that the Richmond super-group has made its debut on the world stage earlier this month with its Clean Feed release, Dying Will Be Easy (which has enjoyed an excellent reception), Wednesday nights at Cous Cous will only become more […]

Wednesday night is Cous Cous night. Fight the Big Bull has made this so, and now that the Richmond super-group has made its debut on the world stage earlier this month with its Clean Feed release, Dying Will Be Easy (which has enjoyed an excellent reception), Wednesday nights at Cous Cous will only become more popular.

On October 1, Fight the Big Bull (perhaps going under the alias “Ride the Big Bull” as the festival’s schedule suggests?) will be appearing with Marty McCavitt at the Sonic Circuits Festival of Experimental Music in D.C. at Velvet Lounge. Tonight at Cous Cous was the group’s first appearance with the artist and a preview of what they’ll have to offer in D.C. next week.

Immediately noticeable tonight was a new dimension of sound floating above the rest, electronics over a mostly acoustic band. McCavitt worked his amplified zither in various ways: during “California is for Suckers,” his effects made the band sound like they were playing from within a grandfather clock. “K.V. Experiment #1” (written by band leader Matt White for the band’s Chicago gig with Ken Vandermark) began by nicely blending together McCavitt’s Hohner keyboard with bassist Cameron Ralston’s arco under a chorus of subdued horns.

The themes of that tune–including a frantically plucked and strummed zither accompanied by only a choppy drum beat and two trombones–certainly made it a highlight of the first set. Not overshadowed, however, was the amount of sheer soul in “Uncloudy Day.” The piece sounded straight out of the hymnal, fit for a baptism in the James River.

To our D.C. readers: they don’t cross the Potomac often, so catch them while you can next Wednesday.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Sonic Circuits Festival of Experimental Music (9/28-10/5)
Fight the Big Bull with Marty McCavitt
Also performing: Paul Flaherty/Randall Colbourne Duo, Elliott Levin/Dan Scofield/Aaron Martin/Britton Powell/Scott Verrastro Quintet, KBD
9 pm (doors)
$8, 18+
[where: 915 U Street NW, Washington, DC, 20001]

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Dean Christesen

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  1. Note: Pinson Chanselle’s hi-hats seem to be in working order.

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