EK are basically a rock quartet with music stands. They played a couple of pieces by Nick Didkovsky, one by Marc Mellits, and Jacob TV's recent Iraq-inspired piece "White Flag" (minus the video -- there was a screen set up, but something must have gone awry with the projection). They sounded a lot more relaxed and authoritative than the last time I heard them (when they played Ethel Fair at Symphony Space). This time around, it seemed like they were digging deeper for the grooves, which made the stuff they performed much more convincing -- especially the Mellits piece they closed with.
Toronto's DMST were a revelation. I'd heard and enjoyed a few tracks from their records, but nothing prepared me for the full-bore intensity of their live show. Many of their tunes would slowly build up these gloriously noisy, super-saturated climaxes that sounded like they were right on the verge of breaking apart. At times they sounded like a supersized Sounds of Science-ish Yo La Tengo, and in certain hushed moments, like a noisier, synth-inflected Calexico. Their entire set was transfixing and cathartic.
Wordless Music continues next Thursday with Beirut and Bard College's Fifth Veil doing Golijov's The Dreams and Prayers of Issac the Blind, at a venue that sharp-eyed Society fans might find somewhat familiar.