Following a time-honored tradition, Mystery of Two are colliding art and punk. From Wire’s 1977 debut Pink Flag to No Age’s latest 2009 EP Losing Feeling, art-punk purveyors have been pushing rock music into more visceral visual forms, painting new sonic boundaries using jagged guitar stomps, atmospheric effects, avant-garde arrangements and many times visual arts to back it up onstage.
Every Saturday evening in February (starting this weekend and continuing the 13th, 20th and 27th), Cleveland power-punk trio Mystery of Two (along with some friends) will be showing folks how their avant-rock goes well with art. They will play four live concerts at Arts Collinwood while displaying their own photography, projections and homemade collages. They’re even introducing a new video to celebrate the event.
“The video for ‘Mornings Call’ was a fun one,” says singer and guitarist Ryan Weitzel (who also helps run Cleveland’s Exit Stencil studio and label). “We used one of the artist’s studios at Arts Collinwood, pretty much just one corner, covering the walls in foil and then filled the rest of the space with white stuffing that would normally be used for pillows or stuffed animals. I hung a small amp from the ceiling and we pretty much went to town playing the song and just throwing that stuffing all over the place.”
Somehow that also describes their musical style, slathering the walls with an abstract style of epileptic rock and roll where Pere Ubu, the Voidoids and the Talking Heads get tossed between Nick Riley’s frenzied percussion, Jeff Deasy’s splatter-shot bass and Weitzel’s artful guitar work and absurdist warble.
Opening night director Jon Mancinetti will project the final cut of the video with other visuals while Mystery of Two play mostly from their 2009 self-titled LP along with a few new tunes, which are “different,” says Weitzel, “but so are we.” Doors open at 9 p.m. with DJ sets and stellar starters including Buried Wires, Filmstrip, Founding Fathers and Freedom. Best of all these four shows will be entirely free of charge. It reminds Weitzel of the good old days.
“It’s something bands used to do and don’t anymore,” he muses. “Pere Ubu did it in the Flats, when the Velvet Underground would come to Cleveland. They would set up shop for a weekend — Friday, Saturday, Sunday — it was a residency. We all knew that there wouldn’t be much traveling happening this winter as we attended to our personal lives and started working on new material so the residency ideas stated to get kicked around. Pairing it with our visual art and at the same time putting some pressure on ourselves to produce new material, it seemed like a win win win situation.”
Here's the complete schedule:
* Feb. 6 w/ Filmstrip ( Closing night for the Terry Durst gallery show )
* Feb. 13 w/ Buried Wires
* Feb. 20 w/ Freedom
* Feb. 27 w/ Founding Fathers
Doors open at 9 p.m. —Keith Gribbins