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This Little Underground

Our live music columnist checks out Tiny Waves, the Blind Shake, Riverboat Gamblers and more

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Experienced concertgoers know how critical the venue's sound engineer is to the show experience. Well, sound dude extraordinaire Wayne Shook has been running things right in this city for years at top clubs like the Social, the Beacham and Will's Pub. Despite a frightening ability to knock down the Jäger like nobody's business, he has long been one of the most professional and skilled guys around. Unfortunately, we're losing him to another city soon. So it's our turn to direct the applause at him by attending his farewell show (Oct. 10, Will's Pub) where the Legendary JC's and Paddington Ambush will rock for free.

The Beat

The one-year anniversary party for the arty bunch over at culture blog Tiny Waves recently happened (Sept. 30, Peacock Room). In their year of existence, they've managed to kick up a little more than their name suggests in the scene, so happy birthday to them.

Among the most notable things there was a full-band performance by the usually solo Maximino, and it was interesting to see Gerald Perez's music presented in such a full and linear manner. Besides the welcome added dimension and wingspan, there were even moments of full-steam motion not heard in his ambient solo stuff. If this is what the next level might look like for Maximino, things could get interesting.

But let me stop right there and say this: A good, straightforward stage-and-audience concert is a solid thing. Once in a while, though, you're lucky enough to encounter a true event, something truly transporting. And one happened here.

Unquestionably, the night's most significant and arresting performance occurred outside the club and was the unnamed parking lot project by Tiny Waves music editor Steve Head and the aforementioned Perez. Kindred in spirit to the Flaming Lips' Zaireeka-era parking lot experiments, this event involved distributing CDs to about a dozen participating cars parked in a ring with doors and trunks open. A countdown sounded off, all the play buttons were pressed and a full-scale, open-air and exceptionally communal surround-sound experience instantaneously materialized. And it was absolute magic.

For one, it was a sight to see everyone gathered in the center, moving about to soak in the sounds in different combinations and angles. But it was quite another thing to actually experience it. This was something enveloping, dynamic and utterly alive. The sounds coalesced into a living, almost tactile thing that seemed to physically move around you.

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