Early Tuesday morning, GFX and Caustic Castle packed ourselves amongst our gear and drove to Princeton, New Jersey for our second collaboration as a trio. Everyone but the driver had to carry gear on their lap and wind their feet around hi-hat stands and guitars. We had to make it fit, even my 24-in bass drum. We were trying something new to us that focused on creating gestures in time (rhythm by another name) and fluctuations of texture. We worked some structural ideas out over email amidst our busy weeks, but had never tried it face to face.
We were invited to play at Princeton University as part of FFMUP (Free Form Mash Up) series curated by Charity Chan. The set also included the cricket and fiddle drone-scape of Travis Johns and Liz Meredith as well as the dynamic free guitar/drum improv of Not the Wind, Not the Flag on tour from Toronto.
The series took place in Terrace Eating Club, which is better known for its support of alternative culture than for its food (or so we were told). Princeton organizes undergraduate dining after the second year through subsidizing private eating clubs whose social function replaces or at least references the greek fraternity system found at other universities. Our GPS first sent us to the other end of Washington Street, where we found only private houses and warehouses. We began to imagine the eating club as an underground alternative secret society. After searching for too long with that image, (and sing “Eternal Flame” a capella,) we went toward the campus and stopped at the first fancy English-style house we saw. And we were there.
After the show, Charity invited us all to hang out at a graduate student bar subsidized by the university. Debasement Bar is located in the basement of a cathedral-like grad student residence hall. We had a few drinks, some wasabi peas, and chatted about music and grad student life before driving to New Brunswick to stay with Wendy’s cousins.
We enjoyed our short time the immensely – thanks to Charity and the other bands for creating such a wonderful night.