Instrumental rock is a tough sell. It's hard to sing along with, for starters. (What I am supposed to do with this hairbrush, brush my hair?) And it's often boring, a film score without the film. But Australia's Dirty Three do it right. Really right. Violinist Warren Ellis is like Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson without the flute and the ren-fair tunics (and, of course, the singing)-all shambling madman with crazy eyes and messed-up hair and guitar-hero chops and poses. Drummer Jim White and guitarist Mick Turner provide him with elegant, restrained romance for backdrop. By all means, see them live if you get the chance. Here, in this Pitchfork video clip, they play in a hotel room, with guest keyboardist Nick Cave. (Who, we reiterate, we love, despite what he did to The Road.) It's long, eight minutes, and it starts off slow and quiet. But by the end, it's like driving on the rim of an erupting volcano. Watch!
Tuesday, December 1st, 2009