Friday, May 6, 2011

Sleepytime Gorilla Museum Close Their Doors

Quite possibly my favorite all time live act, "Sleepytime Gorilla Museum" (SGM) announced their grand closing recently and ended their days touring with 2 final shows on April 10th 2011 at the Independent in San Francisco.  I was able to attend the very last show in the evening and watch as the world becomes a darker place without them. I have been struggling with a back injury and worried about standing or even sitting the whole show,  but I could not miss the finale as I have been watching the band for about 10 years and doing my best not to miss a show in my area. The donkey headed-adversary of humanity must have been shining upon me and I was able to talk the security into letting me behind the scenes to the sound room upstairs! There I met a few great people, one guy who had toured with the band for about 10+ years was filming from multiple angles for an upcoming SGM live DVD. They allowed me to setup my 3D camera and record the entire show! Unfortunately I only got about 11 or 12 songs, but that was far more than expected, and some of the best footage I can get with full tripod. I talked to a couple others who have known members of the band for years including the sound guy who was running in multi-track s for later mixdown of the dvd.

One interesting thing I found about SGM, each time I saw them over the 10 or so years, they improved. Each time I was convinced this is the best performance they have ever done and they will not exceed it. Each album I thought the same. Each time the band has proved me wrong, adding new instruments, new styles, heavier riffs, crazier stage setups and costumes... more technical compositions... pretty much every aspect of them has improved, and this is why it is hard to see them close, knowing they have not yet reached their full potential, as impossible as it may seem. I am happy to have been able to witness this decade in history as this band grew and became one of the most interesting art projects on the planet. I am sad to see them close, but look forward to them fulfilling their final promises in the form of  a live DVD, another album, and an actual full movie. Without a doubt they will be historic works of art. 

Below is some footage I shot at the final show

Sleepytime Gorilla Museum - Ambugaton
*View On Youtube To Turn Off/On 3D*

For those reading who have not been exposed to these truly gifted artists, words cannot express the creativity that goes into their performances and compositions. Playing most of their instruments in unconventional ways, and sporting a truckload of instruments they made themselves, the sound is truly like no other. The best visual I can make is the Children of the Corn decide to form a black metal opera band who secretly play folk music and spend nights reading fairy tales. If that doesn't help, here is a brief description taken from Wikipedia:

SGM's music can be likened to experimental rock or avant-garde metal; however, as inherent to the music, the band attempts to escape any categorization. Some influences include Mr. Bungle, Trey Spruance, Mike Patton, King Crimson, Thinking Plague, Univers Zéro, and so on. In a review for SGM's second album Of Natural History, David Moore of Pitchfork Media states that SGM's debut album Grand Opening and Closing was an amalgam of Meshuggah and Secret Chiefs 3, resulting in "some truly cracked prog-metal anthems."

More footage from the final show

Sleepytime Gorilla Museum - Angle Of Repose
*View On Youtube To Turn Off/On 3D*

Watch All Footage From Final Show (11 Songs)

Be sure to check out more about this amazing band and all its members at:
Each member is amazing and has his/her own side projects which are each unique and high quality!

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