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Her Space Holiday: Dance Machine

 
story by tim mcmahan


 

 

Lazy-i: Sept. 29, 2004

Her Space Holiday
w/ Daedelus, Neotropic, & Octavius
Sunday, Oct. 3
Sokol Underground
13th & Martha
$8










Her Space Holiday mastermind Marc Bianchi promises a more "bombastic" show than the last time he came through Omaha, way back in October 2000 as the opening act for a then-little known local musician who goes by the name Bright Eyes.

Back then, in the smoky, stale confines of Sokol Underground, Her Space Holiday's performance consisted of Bianchi and his girlfriend, Keely, sitting behind a couple keyboards, oblivious to the world as they leaned forward to their microphones cooing to a crowd of akimbo-sitting youngsters with heads craned to the stage, mesmerized.

"The live show is very different now," said Bianchi as he drove across the hinterland between Montreal and Toronto on the way to his next tour stop. "Keely isn't part of the live show anymore. We'll have a live drummer and bass player, and I'll go back and forth between guitar and keyboards. Some of the main elements have been revamped. It's a little more bombastic."

 

 

 

The new approach reflects Her Space Holiday's subtle shift in sound on The Young Machines, Bianchi's latest CD released on LA-based electronic hip-hop label Mush Records in September 2003. Whereas his music used to have a denser, almost Jesus and Mary Chain appeal, The Young Machines is sonically closer to the blip-pop heard on the last Postal Service CD. Bianchi's warm, breathy croon floats like vapor over a jagged, bumpy layer of electronic cacophony; quietly, calmly telling us the story of his life.

And make no mistake about it, it is his life. He doesn't deny that the words are drawn from personal experiences. "All my songs are autobiographical," he proudly declares. Songs like the perfect, piano-driven "Sleepy California," where Bianchi reads us a musical, home-sick letter to his mother. "I never thought I'd say this but I miss my mom / Even though for all those years we didn't get along / And when I stop to think about it I guess we were the same / Too stubborn to apologize, too filled up with rage."

The song goes on to tell about a Christmas-day phone call informing him that his grandmother is dying "in a painful way," and about how, despite being able to, he never visited her before she died.

 

 

 

 

 

 



"That song was about stuff that happened right before my quick departure, and about how, as things get bigger, I'm losing touch with my family."

 

 

 

 
"When I go to shows -- even to something I'm completely blown away by -- I just stand there and take it all in."

 

 

"People in their late-20s blame their geographic location for everything," Bianchi explained. "I fell under that assumption, too. When I was living in California I thought moving to Austin was the answer. That song was about stuff that happened right before my quick departure, and about how, as things get bigger, I'm losing touch with my family. But more so, it's really just me saying. 'What's up, mom?'"

Though "Sleepy California" is a sad, lonely song steeped in regret, it sure has a good beat. Bianchi hopes that while the crowd takes in the meaning, they still feel like dancing. And that's where the new band comes in. "I wanted to give people a more enjoyable, engaging experience," he said. "I used to dread touring, but now it's more like playing with friends. And the tour is useful not only to sell records, but to get people closer to the music."

Still, if you don't feel like dancing, that's all right with him. Bianchi knows where you stand-and-stare types are coming from. He's not the dancing type, either.

"When I go to shows -- even to something I'm completely blown away by -- I just stand there and take it all in," he said. "It doesn't mean I'm not having a good time. You have to let people do what they want to do. I'd rather have them focus on each other than what I'm doing on stage. We want the show to be a loose night on the town. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't."


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Published in The Omaha Reader Sept. 29, 2004. Copyright 2004 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.