Tues Dec 28
6125 NE Mallory
For a band that played their first show in 2002, Brooklyn based Aa (pronounced "big A, little a,") sure has some friends in high places. Praised out East by both the Village Voice (who described the band as a "catchily triple-drummed gang-chant racket") and Thurston Moore (who praised them for "club[ing] out bite-sized hunks of neo-no, new-wave-electro-murk, disco-noise"), the band remains relatively unknown on the West Coast--so much so that when asked if he wanted to add anything at the end of our conversation, member Sean Neil told me "Not really. This is my first phone interview. But I'm psyched about playing Portland."
Also called an "urban dance noise nightmare," Aa is composed of Aron Wahl, who sings, plays drums, and controls the electronics; Sean Neil, who sings and programs electronics; singer and drummer Nadav Havusha; drummer Michael Colin; and vocalist and percussionist (maracas) John Atkinson. Yes, you read that right: Aa has three drummers.
"We might set up a fourth drum kit and let audience members play during the set," said Neil. "The original idea was two drums and no guitars, but Aron and I just kept adding."
So what exactly does all of this sound like? Neil, slightly more straightforward then his famous fans, replies, "It's really tribal, due to all the drumming. We don't sing, per se, so much as scream. We get bored quickly, so all our songs are short, and we improvise about half of them. The stuff that's not improvised is constantly being cut and pasted together in new ways. You'll never see the same Aa show twice."