Hyphen's music editor Vilar was supposed to accompany me to the show, but she flaked at the last minute with a completely implausible story involving a treacherous gas-spewing City CarShare car, all in the name of buying Rock Band (nothing gets between that girl and her music simulation video games). But, Vilar or no, I was determined to see one of the most kickass Asian Am. bands out there today.
I first saw the band at Pinoise Pop 9 in 2005; afterwards, Ali Wong said she wanted to do things to them that are not legal in many states and are certainly not publishable here. Bay Area legend Hellen Jo (who played cello on their song "Deafening") has also admitted to nursing a serious crush on one member of the band.
But they're so much more than devastating good looks and a politcally progressive, social change ethos — they ROCK. No BS, no gimmicks. No navel gazing. No eyeliner or artfully touseled hair. No skinny ties. Just rock, god love em.
What do they sound like? In their own words:
From Monument to Masses is complex and hypnotic post-punk engineered to act as a revolutionary cultural force in service of the People. The band, the sampled sounds, and the music itself call for international Peoples' histories to be revisited and for any provoked indignation to be acted upon.
Highly influenced by the likes of Fugazi to Tortoise, Afrika Bambata to DJ Shadow, Don Caballero to Godspeed You Black Emperor, FMTM challenges the audience with epic compositions that abandon conventional song structure. Listen, question, act, repeat.