I approached Monday's Western Meds show with a fair amount of trepidation. The group's members — Rod Bryan, TJ Deeter, Casey Stuart, Charles Wyrick — all play or have played in some of my favorite bands, groups like the Boondogs, Ho-Hum and W/O, but while I celebrate the idea of experimental noise, witnessing an hour of it live ain't exactly my top pick of things to do on a Monday night.
The Meds far, far exceeded my expectations. Experimental? Sure. But noise? Not even. The dudes kicked out deep, hypnotic grooves. Drum programmer Casey Stuart, a relatively new addition, dropped stuttering, chest-shaking beats that were as fresh and progressive as anything in hip-hop I've heard lately. On the turntables, TJ Deeter worked in blips and lyrical snippets that goaded the music along. Guitar whiz Charles Wyrick pulled synth-y skronk out of a Qchord, a weird cousin of the keytar, and Rod Bryan sat in the pocket on bass some and used it for melodic flourishes some.
Local art whiz Cameron Holifield debuted his companion psychedelic video art last night, too. As awesome as Western Meds sounded, anything that's groove-oriented and jam-y needs something to entertain the eye. Holifield's work far and away filled that need. He told me he hopes to rig a keyboard to his projector, so in the future he'll be able to “play” images along with the other dudes.
If you're hosting a local art or fashion show, a cocktail party for people with relatively progressive musical tastes or you're a rapper looking for some futuristic beats, take note of the Western Meds.