Back on the home front, one of the more enlightening Sunday-night club features to hit town in a long time is Solarium, which goes down every couple of months at the 7th Street Entry. Basically a low-budget nephew of the Future Perfect multimedia trancefest (which will descend upon Intermedia Arts Nov. 14), Solarium is billed, a bit pretentiously, as “A Celebration of the Sun.” The event (hosted by electro-escapists Skye Klad) is basically a showcase for a cast of local eccentrics specializing in various strands of ‘difficult music.’
Frankly, I stop by mainly for the reading material: The playbill’s assortment of mystery-animal reports, Great Pyramid diagrams, and profiles of unconventional thinkers such as paranormal theorist Charles Fort (1874-1932) is the perfect accompaniment to the atonal stuff on stage. Admittedly, the performances themselves are hit or miss, perhaps by design. But last time out I stayed for Skye Klad’s (too) late headlining sets, in which they prove to be virtually the only rock band in town that’s willing to map out 14-minute sonic topographies, replete with numerous time changes and multipart song structures. In other words, it’s a thrill. Ari Rosenthal’s sax is rendered through an array of effects, while the band’s guitarist plays the role of a sort of Blank Generation surrealist. The singer’s voice is frequently a dead ringer for that of Joy Division’s Ian Curtis.
By the way, both “Solarium” and “Skye Klad” are references to Wicca and/or paganism, though the significance of this to the assembled musicians and the music they make remains a happy mystery. The band is going underground for a while as they hold auditions for a new bassist; in the meantime, subscribe to their e-mail list and UFO updates at http://www.skyeklad.com
– City Pages by Simon Peter Groebener 10/28/98