Boris, Michio Kurihara, and Damon & Naomi descended into the Virginian valley

Japanese sludge metal band Boris and Michio Kurihara from Japanese psychedelic folk rock band Ghost rumbled Satellite Ballroom in Charlottesville on Thursday, October 25, 2007.

Hundreds of fans, indie music enthusiasts, metal-heads, punk kids, hipsters, and gen-x'ers crowded their stormed-drenched bodies into the Ballroom to witness Boris' ultra-live presence on stage. With a three-foot gong, countless effect stompboxes spilling out of pedal boards, stacks and stacks and stacks of amps, and dry ice (!!), Boris and Kurihara made the most godly sounds while descending in the valley of central Virginia. Kurihara's first guitar solo of the set, in "Rainbow," barged in like an alien with a desire to devour all of mundane earthliness, howling and growling. "Heavy", indeed, as described by many critics. What emptied me out was their generous outpour of unbridled melancholy mixed in with the uncanny.

In an email I wrote to a friend, I revealed my afterthought:

"i woke up this morning thinking that i just saw an otherworldly show last night. seriously, so many things about it made me feel like it was produced by superhumans - the drummer's choreographed taiko-like gestures, the nonchalant non-showman-like asskicking FEmale lead guitar, the double neck bass/guitar player who played out of two fucking stacks - and of course michio kurihara's virtuosic guitar effects and solos (man, his first solo took me to some sort of imaginary land with hendrix-like 'greatest guitarist of our time.')"

Boris in action

Boris drummer Atsuo - surfing

Damon & Naomi opened with a bittersweet set

one half of Kurihara's pedal board [more images of the show]

After the show I spoke with Naomi Yang of the acid-folk duo Damon & Naomi and the now-legendary indie-folk Galaxie 500. Naomi introduced me to International Sad Hits Volume 1: Altaic Language Group, an album featuring Asian singer-songwriters from the 1960s put out by Damon and herself. These artists, she explained, were discovered by them when they toured in Turkey, Korea, and Japan. I intend to review this album once I get a close listen of it. Damon & Naomi are on tour with Boris and Kurihara this fall.

I witnessed the gods of rock and roll channeling through Boris and Kurihara that night.

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