Gamelan Night

Friday, October 21, 2005
I knew a guy once who was vehimently homosexual, but claimed that he had to have sex with a girl about every 6 months just to remind himself of how gay he was.
I hate shakespeare, for as long as I can remember I have always hated shakespeare. I don’t see that changing anytime soon, and it’s not that I go to see some shakespearian play twice a year to remind myself, rather I avoid him as much as possible. But shakespeare is one of those things… Like Pot or Beer. Whenever I say “I’ve never done Pot.” the reply is always “Oh, I totally have to get you high.” etc…
My buddy Phil is into the noise rock scene. I guess locally he’s well known for it. He told me about some of the groups he plays with called The Gamelan. Apparently they are pretty succesful, and actually get big money grants and stuff.
I was pretty weirded out when I finally reached him after a couple weeks of leaving messages and he said he had been super busy with The Gamelan lately. “I’ve been super busy, we practice 3 nights a week for 4 hours a night”.
4 hours a night. I’m not dissing the genre, but how much do you have to practice to make noise? What’s the worst that could happen? You get onto a stage with your noise band and not make any [noise]?
To get to the point, Phil called me monday to invite me to a performance of his band with a Balinese Shadow Puppetry performance of shakespeare’s The Tempest.
Review here, via your local mega corporate newspaper.
It turns out, Gamelan wasn’t the name of his group, but the type of group.
The screen was giant, like a movie screen, and the images were surreal. The most impressive part of the show was the number of “camera angle” changes. I would say the folks running the lights had the most complex task of all the performers. The puppetry was very surreal, and the adaptation was decent, but it was still shakespeare. There’s no getting around it. Add gats, cars, and ho’s and it’s still fucking shakespeare, there’s nothing you can do to change that fact.
The music was cool, it was the sort of stuff with the guy that goes “awahooooo-o-oh” and the sitar that goes “twang, tway-nay-nay-NAY-nwang” and the drum that goes “BOOooomwoooOM… Boom ba BOOooomwoooOM”.
It was cool finally getting a sense of what Phil does, and the puppetry and scenery where great new experiences.