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TV Ghost at Cataracts last weekend...

Due to that nagging, unshakable curse known as a “full-time job,” I was only able to catch the very last band at Cataracts Music Festival in Fountain Square last Saturday. But it was well-worth driving cluelessly around Fountain Square for twenty minutes to see TV Ghost play a killer set.

Walking down Morris St. in the dark, old Speckman and I followed the sound of symbols and electric bass to the back of a white, two-story house, where Lafayette-based TV Ghost were already playing to about 100 rapt fans in various states of intoxication, some of them jostling and moshing in front of the deck.

Fronted by lead singer and guitarist Tim Gick, TV Ghost play what can best be described as psychedelic horror punk. There’s no better way to put it than that. Even applying the word “punk” to them seems like a cop-out, for they defy categorization. My main memory of these guys will always be the psychotic, zombie look in Gick’s eyes as he jerked his mane of curly hair—stuck up like a rooster’s comb—wildly in the air, gyrating and jumping like a re-animated corpse.

To put a finer point on it, TV Ghost have a kind of dark, industrial sound; heavy, thumping, repetitive beats and a rusty, distorted assembly-line sort of mechanical feel to the rhythm guitar parts. Overlay Gick’s disembodied wail and you get a very freakish, night-mare generating grime. You can almost see the armies of zombies marching toward the one last human being left on earth; if that were the plot of the next zombie movie, TV Ghost would play the soundtrack.

At one point during the set, Gick came down off the stage into the crowd, unstrapping his guitar and lifting it into the air like an offering to the gods as he mouthed the microphone, setting off a few electronic pops and hisses that only added to the erratic element of the band’s music. The pulsing movement of the crowd eventually pushed Gick back onto the stage where he finished out the set to the raucous applause of those in attendance.

No idea when these guys are coming back to Naptown, but they have two albums out: Mass Dream (2011) and Cold Fish (2009).


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