December 18, 2009
JezebelMusic.com @ Glasslands
December 10, 2009 | Ana Lola Roman, Behavior, Perpetual Mvmt <> Snd
The night at Glasslands was off to a slow start. For a long time, it was impossible to tell whether it had started at all. Perpetual Mvmt <> Snd, a performance group from Philadelphia, toed the line between art and accident in a kinetically monotonous, tepid act. A man played a large clarinet-like instrument that sounded like a car backfiring with a kitten wedged in the exhaust pipe, and was joined by a cellist doing a convincing imitation of fingernails on chalkboard. As one man rustled paper into a microphone, two women made halting movements toward the center of the stage, cruelly teasing the audience into expecting something to happen. Then, as would continue between all movement sequences, a seated non-performer hissed “stop” and the beep of a stopwatch resetting was heard, the girls returning to their seats amid farting noises from the not-quite-clarinet and generically ominous sonic atmospheres emanating from a laptop controlled by another performer.
There was a briefly entertaining zoological moment as one girl started flapping her arms in the birdlike fashion of five-year-old kids playing Pretend and the other prowled the stage like a lioness. The primate camp was represented by the formerly paper-rustling man, who squatted purposefully at various key junctures as if relieving himself.
The paper-rustler repeatedly presented what appeared to be his interpretation of an open mic night—tapping the microphone, clearing his throat, clapping abortively—a non-indictment perhaps even less interesting than his concentrated bouts of mimed shit-taking. Everyone periodically referred to papers under their chair, all business in between spasms of bunny-hopping and ticking noises. One girl turned around and began flapping enthusiastically again, revealing an unintentionally hilarious tramp stamp. End. Naming one’s group Perpetual Mvt <> Snd and displaying as little as possible of either movement or sound may be high concept and ironic, but it makes for a very dull show.
More on Ana Lola Roman, Behavior, Perpetual Mvmt <> Snd @ Glasslands | 12.10.09