Stormy Mondays | Benevento Russo Duo & Bustle Friends 2004

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There was a window of time in 2003 and 2004 when both The Slip and The Duo were at the height of their powers and both bands overlapped regularly, joining forces as guests at the other’s gigs and sharing bills. While the bands certainly differed widely in the music they made, there was an underlying tone and an overarching aesthetic sensibility that they shared, something that was even fundamental than a love of bent-circuit toys tweaking out into microphones. There was a heaviness that could easily be belied by moments of ethereal beauty, or vice versa, and that juxtaposition of passion and playfulness, not to mention young, swaggering virtuosity, made both extraordinary; even more so when their paths crossed.

Over the summer we ran a set from The Slip, and now it’s time to give a listen to The Duo from the same era. In 2004, Marco and Joe opened for the Rhode Island trio in Northampton on October 30. While the show starts out with an always edgy “Becky,” it quickly moves into passages of thick, not-quite-ambient beauty with “Vortex,” “Love Song” and “9 X 9.” For an extra special treat to close, The Duo welcome not Brad Barr for “Mephisto” (which would have made sense), but Scott Metzger and Dave Dreiwitz for a mini-Bustle: “The Song Remains the Same” and a tight “Heartbreaker.” As always, enjoy!

[Taped by Clinton Vadnais]

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Written By: Dan Alford