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Monday, August 31, 2009

Aman Amun & Boombox, Names in Lights!

Thursday night marked my return to the beloved 40 Watt Club. Finally! Splashed across the marquee were the names Boombox and Aman Amun. I'd been waiting for this GA Theatre-presented show for weeks, so I'm sure you can imagine just how excited I was that the day had arrived!

Unfortunately, my friend Sheila and I encountered a few problems in the form of some already drunk out-of-state visitors who happened to sit beside us. Let me tell you, getting stared at, unblinkingly, by some girl for ten minutes and then having the same girl (that you didn't talk to) accuse you of making her cry and complain to the bar staff about you for no reason kind of sucks. Then getting harassed by her boyfriend who continuously insists that you and your friend look foreign and "don't belong here" will definitely put a slight damper on your spirits. Luckily, though, once Aman Amun started his show, all of my anger and confusion melted away.
Now picture this... You're in a dark room and in front of you hangs a large screen. A solitary figure stands before you holding a guitar and an array interesting objects. As the music begins, lights and colors flash across the screen, created by the music itself, in an array of stunning brilliance. This is just a taste of what the Aman Amun experience is like.

Aman Amun's downtown debut quite exceeded my expectations, and that's saying something, as any of my twitter followers can attest. He started with a remix of one of the songs off his Waxing CD, Exploring the Obvious. Using one of his newer technologically fascinating gadgets, he managed to make his live singing sound like it was spouting from some sort of electronic robot. Even cooler, as he sang, the smiley face drawn onto the screen behind him moved it's mouth to his words. And he used something that I'm quite sure was an iPhone to control a bit of the performance as well. Wow!

Aman Amun's stage before the show

One of my favorite things about his shows is that they're completely dynamic and unexpected. He's always improving and perfecting every aspect of his live performance so that each show is not only different from but better than the one before it. Following his first song, he introduced a few of his newer songs, presumably from his upcoming album. These had an electronic rock feel that still maintained the deeply moving essence and beautiful lyrics of his earlier songs but also incorporated a more danceable beat. Pretty soon, the members of the audience had crowded around the stage, moving and dancing, some quite exuberantly. He finished his set with a new take on an old favorite, Scapegoating. Watching his shows, I always feel like I'm privy to something special, something filled with incredible potential. To sum up, I'll quote Flagpole's Michelle Gilzenrat who put it best when she tweeted from the show, "Aman Amun is genius [...] Give him 1 year. 1 year."

After Aman Amun's set ended, the Alabama duo Boombox stepped onstage. The first thing that caught my eyes as they began their show were the massive, color-changing lights that flashed around them. They were seriously beautiful! Once I'd been thoroughly mesmerized by the lights and the wild patterns they made on the floor, I began to listen to the music. If I had to place Boombox into a genre, I'd call their sound techno jazz with a touch of disco. The lyrics in their songs were few and far between. I was actually quite surpised by the fact that most of their music seemed to be layered over the same constant beat. From what I had read of them, I was expecting something different, I suppose. Their tunes certainly had everyone dancing, though. One of their songs in particular captured my notice because it parted from the similar beat, providing everyone with a more unique, and quite enjoyable, dancing experience, more of what I was expecting of them. Yay.

All in all, it was a pretty visually and musically tasty night, an awesome way to usher in another year of brand new downtown Athens music adventures!

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