Ripley Johnson (Moon Duo)
  • K.C. Fennessy
  • Moon Duo's Ripley Johnson

I've got the kind of schedule that makes it impossible to attend all-day festivals, let alone half-day festivals, like Octopus Fest, which took place at LoFi Performance Gallery on Saturday (the event was scheduled to run from 6pm to 2am). But a few hours to spare for Moon Duo and Lumerians? No problem.

More pictures, a few notes, and a rather interesting video below.

Sanae Yamada (Moon Duo)
  • K.C. Fennessy
  • Moon Duo's Sanae Yamada shrouded in smoke

I expected good things from Moon Duo, who I'd never seen before, but I didn't know what to expect from Oakland's Lumerians. The former certainly sounded good, but the minimalism that makes their records so appealing doesn't translate into the most scintillating live show. I'm not saying they were bad—far from it—only that Lumerians had more tricks up their sleeves, from the dedicated percussionist (Sanae and Ripley rely on programmed beats) to the keyboardist who doubles on guitar and the guitarist who doubles on keyboards. It was psych-rock infused with free-jazz energy, which is to say: it was pretty fucking proggy.

  • K.C. Fennessy
  • All hail the Minimoog (far right)

Leif, a co-worker, knew Sanae when he lived in Colorado, and never realized she was a "music person," so he was more than a little surprised when I told him she was in a band called Moon Duo. Maybe she knew how to play when they met, and just never happened to mention it. She plays as if she's been at it for years.

  • K.C. Fennessy

You can't tell from my photographs, but vintage film clips were projected through the bass drum head during the Lumerians' set. It made for a really cool effect.

  • K.C. Fennessy

All five guys were feeling it, but the guitar/keyboard player had a particularly visceral approach. Having worked at a chiropractor's office for a couple of years, it was difficult to restrain the thought that dude's gonna need a little spinal alignment in the years to come (he was bent over like that the whole time).

  • K.C. Fennessy

So, I missed Brain Fruit, Hair and Space Museum, This Blinding Light, Rose Windows, and The The The Thunder, but I did get to hear Segal and Explorateur spinning scene-setting discs between sets, and they played some great stuff, none of which I recognized, but that's always preferable to the opposite.

Lumerians - "Chevaux Fous" from m m on Vimeo.

Above: Lumerians cover the Osmonds' unhinged "Crazy Horses" (from the 1972 record of the same name). Near as I can tell, it's a non-album track as it doesn't appear on 2008's Lumerians or 2011's Transmalinnia, their latest long-player.