Jim O'Rourke & Loren Mazzacane Connors
Review of his gig in Whelans, 3rd May '00
There seems no more fitting a way of starting this than to mention that masturbating on your guitar is not a spectator sport so therefore Loren Mazzacane Connors, his guitar and people who like him should not be let near a stage for the time being.
Tonight, we are to be subjected to an improvised set. Firstly with Mazzacane and O'Rourke together. It is not good. The sounds Mazzacane is coming out with would put you in mind of the sounds of the brakes on a 15 year Dublin double decker bus after being on the most potholed route in the city - except less audio-friendly or coherent for that matter. Mazzacane needs to retire and think about what he's doing. If I was a teacher I'd give him lines saying "I must not play my guitar ever, these lines are more constructive". The strange thing about it is that even in his most outlandish meandering there is something that suggests there may be something of more substance in his back catalogue or in the future.
Take a bow then Jim O'Rourke. He gives the crowd ten minutes to get a pint before he starts his solo effort. It is a wise move as the crowd are not exactly endeared to what they have already witnessed tonight. Again it is predominantly an improvised set but with some songs taken from last year's brilliant 'Eureka' album. The gentle sounds which float from his strings, beautifully compliment his mellow voice. He is not Tortoise anymore but he is coping very well. Whereas I can safely guarantee that tonight is not a complete success, there is hope there.
My only thought is why is he improvising a set when he is just launching his solo efforts? His solo recorded work should be reproduced live because it is music which should be heard and not just swept under the carpet.
Unlike Mazzacane, O'Rourke should not go to jail, should pass go and whereas I wouldn't let him have £200, it is worth £9.50. Come back soon - without the opening shite.