American Analog

performance at Sala Rossa, Montreal

Far away from the Austin I remember, ever-summery they were not. Instead, they were a late night autumnal pause that left me with a relentless sensation that morning would break just out and through the dim-lit interior of the Sala Rossa at any moment...

American Analog are a steady smooth-paced and Austin-edged rock band pushed into yet another form by their admittance and embrace of a drone action that is both harder and more soft than their English twin sister, Stereolab.

A lot of bands carry off a certain notion of drone, but not always to the same cranium-splitting and mind-tilting intensity that is the whirl of Stereolab and, in their most delirious moments, American Analog. They possess that quality found in the best music regardless of its genre: the ability to alter one's habitual experience of a time/space continuum. This alteration seems to occur when music crosses that line of definable sonic mathematics (never sighing predictability) and manages to surprise by opening up a living space in the spectator/participant.

This is why I liked this show: any music, or, indeed, art form that creates enough space for the mind both to be fixed on what's unfolding and to be free to wander wins the gold star from me. It demands that what is being put out be of a certain concentration of intention from which all the rest stems. All the rest is the experience of the spectator/participant. The offering by American Analog pointed to that destabilizing place that denies itself as a thing-being. The music itself became a thing-becoming instead. That place of becoming (paradoxically) produces the results of a thing being a thing to begin with. And a thing stays a thing only by having been experienced as becoming (living memory), as per the spectator/participant. And one can only experience as-becoming what is already a thing to begin with.

The night I had with American Analog was like that. A thing being and becoming by myself as active agent in the house…. It felt similar to the experience I had when I had first heard Stereolab. There were people in my world then whom I really liked—it was a generally good period in my life—excited by the city I was in, a particularly creative time, etc., but the details of everything else had shifted, with the exception of my experiencing memory in this particularly visceral and pointed way, courtesy of art. That's one of the most beautiful possibilities that music and art can create—a living space connected to a personal sense of history. I felt good and, well, the boys in the band were all pretty sweet, too.

—Suzanne Hatt