Home > Classical, Concert Photos, Indie Rock, Jazz & Avant, Post-rock, World Music > REVIEW: Thee Silver Mt Zion Memorial Orchestra @ Mississippi Studios (Portland, OR – 2/4/12)

REVIEW: Thee Silver Mt Zion Memorial Orchestra @ Mississippi Studios (Portland, OR – 2/4/12)

6th Feb 12 (Mon) Leave a comment Go to comments

FYI… PHOTOS of the SHOW at the BOTTOM

Montreal’s Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra appear to have an identity crisis.  They’ve been known as A Silver Mt. Zion, The Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band, Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra and Tra-La-La Band with Choir, and Thee Silver Mountain Reveries.  For short hand, I’ll simply refer to them as Silver Mt Zion.  I’ll admit, I am new to their music… I got into them via ambient post-rock giants Godspeed You! Black Emperor, who share three members with Silver Mt Zion (singer/guitarist Efrim Menuck, violinist Sophie Trudeau, and bassist Thierry Amar).

More on Silver Mt Zion later…

The opener was a one-man band called Total Life.  He played a 25-minute, ambient/drone guitar & loop set (his clear guitar to the right).  It had a slow burn, then quickly morphed into a wall of sound.

For most opening gigs, this would not do, but for a post-something crowd, Total Life’s 25 minute experiment showed the audience’s patience and respect.  All bundled up, he was barely moving making the sounds, but sweat started dripping down his forehead and nose until the final note.

While GY!BE tend to stay in the ethereal, ambient, sweeping post-rock movement, Silver Mt Zion are a little more difficult to pin down.  They have many components similar to GY!BE, but they definitely write more in a “song” vein, with vocals.  Yet, I wouldn’t call them a singer-songwriter troupe.  The first two “songs” alone clocked in at 35 minutes.  They sweep, they go places, come back.  The vocals sometimes have choruses, and sometimes it more resembles lofty prayers… to whom? I do not know.

Their label describes their influences as “free jazz, community sight-singing, Minimalism and American folkways – still anchored to a punk-rock take on neo-classical and modern music tropes.”  If that narrows it down for you, well, you’re more forgiving of “genre-fication” than I.  Whatever you want to call them, they made great music on Saturday night at Mississippi Studios in Portland.

Setlist: about 90 minutes

  • 13 Blues for Thirteen Moons
  • There Is A Light
  • What We Loved Was Not Enough
  • Black Waters Blowed / Engine Broke Blues
  • Take Away These Early Grave Blues
  • Blind, Blind, Blind
  • Horses In The Sky
  • Encore: God Bless Our Dead Marines

more photos below

The Appropriate Linkage:

They only have a select number of dates on this tour.  Definitely go see them if you have the chance!  Check out more tour dates below.

Next shows for me… back-to-back Secret Chiefs 3 & Dengue Fever co-headlining in both Eugene (2/6 WOW Hall) and Portland (2/7 Dante’s).

~Dan – np: John ZornFilm Works IX: Trembling Before G-d

THEE SILVER MT ZION MEMORIAL ORCHESTRA PHOTOS
all pictures (cc) 2012 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

Thee Silver Mt Zion — 2012 Jan/Feb Tour Dates

  • 31.01.12 Calgary, CAN The Republik
  • 02.02.12 Vancouver, CAN The Rickshaw Theatre
  • 03.02.12 Seattle, USA The Crocodile
  • 04.02.12 Portland, USA Mississippi Studios
  • 06.02.12 San Francisco, USA Great American Music Hall
  • 07.02.12 Santa Ana, CA, USA Constellation Room
  • 08.02.12 Los Angeles, USA Troubadour
  • 09.02.12 San Diego, USA Casbah
  • 10.02.12 Tucson, USA Club Congress
  • 12.02.12 Dallas, USA Sons of Hermann Hall
  • 13.02.12 Austin, USA The Mohawk
  • 14.02.12 New Orleans, USA One Eyed Jacks
  • 15.02.12 Birmingham, USA Bottletree
  • 16.02.12 Cincinnati, USA MOTR Pub
  • 17.02.12 Buffalo, USA Soundlab
  • 18.02.12 Ottawa, CAN First Baptist Church
  • 19.02.12 Montreal, CAN La Tulipe
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