Buzz buzz BISCO everywhere I've been turning lately!! Before Saturday, I'd never seen these guys but scene regulars and infrequent visitors alike got me stirred up to check out at least one serving of the Disco Biscuits' two night stand at Irving Plaza this weekend. Regardless of the scalpers trying to pass off paper-thin fakes to eager fans looking for a night of stellar, quintessential jam music, the pre-show mood was happily fueled by Biscuit lovers who attended the band's start late, finish even later gig the previous night. But I didn't hear the rest of the story until I got inside and had a chance to talk to the staff.

So the one word that kept coming up on the Disco Biscuits was "trance" which has also been popping up more and more on the jam circuit so I was interested in seeing what it was all about but what I found is that any quality this band has in that direction was but a small part of the whole. BISCO comes out with endless grooves, leaving no pace, no fill, no spot in the amorphous glob of creative possibility untouched. Before the show, my friend Scott told me I might comprehend my first Biscuits set as one, long tune and he was right on it with that one. They spin it up and around, hang there for a while, and Oh, OK, now we'll go over and see the phicus before we run madly down the street with our hands in the air and ride back doing figure eights on our Big Wheels.

I could definitely glom where the trance label came from, though, by nature of Aron Magner's trippy keys but he and his counterparts clearly showed that they can do more than throw in some technolicious flavoring. They also jam out traditional bluesy piano alongside Jon Gutwillig's thrashing, reaming, soaring, see how many notes I can hit before I carry you over with my delicacy style driven nicely by Sam Altman's drumming and Marc Brownstein's bass. Working together, they produced the intensely flowing energy that's even more amazing considering how infrequently they pause to refresh and begin a new cycle of exertion either through song breaks or lighter moments in the music. Not being familiar with their material, the entire night seemed to me one entire jam starting around ten minutes to 11 and ending just shy of 3:30 in the morning after a double encore of Jamillia & Morph Dusseldorf (thank you discobiscuits.net), both songs noone could describe as short. Who needs a late band when there's BISCO on the menu?

The Disco Biscuits will be playing Higher Ground up in Vermont this Thursday before turning around to New Haven at Toad's Place for Friday's gig. After finishing this tour at Philadelphia's Trocadero on 11/24 (the same night Rebus will be at the Lion's Den here in old NYC) the BISCO boys are having a little five night New Year's run which will call in 2001 as well as many more possibilities for all of us to go see a band that will more than satisfy any degree of need you have for musicianship and hardcore jamming. On the local side of life, don't forget to check out The Slip at the Wetlands Preserve this weekend with their partners for the evening, Actual Proof and the Drepung Gomang Monks who'll give you a taste of enlightenment, deeply rooted in a culture that has striven for decades to keep their peaceful, loving way of life alive despite those forces acting to take it away from them.

Howie Greenberg
JamBase NYC Village Idiot
Go See Live Music!!!

[Published on: 11/13/00]

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