One thing I am really going to miss about the summer is all the great music festivals. Another thing is the lunchtime series Audible Architecture presented by Pitchfork Media that has been put on each Monday lunchtime. I have been to a few of these, including one touting the great Bill Callahan but this one was my favorite. The Ex, hailing all the way from the Netherlands, plays rarely around these parts so to see them is, in and of itself, a treat. To top it off, they brought the great Ethiopian saxophonist Getatchew Mekuria and another African dancer, Melaku, that did choreographed sparring with lead singer G.W. Sok. Certainly, not something one should miss!
I'd only seen the Ex once before and it was before they were touring with the aformentioned guests. The indie punk rock band has been around as many years as I've been alive starting way back in 1979. In some ways, I see them as a Netherlands version of Mission of Burma only with more members, which sometimes adds to the complexity of their sound.
Monday's lunchtime show saw them playing for over an hour with two standing ovations. The brass section was especially vivid at points and the band really seemed to embrace both Mekuria and the African dancer. It was a little surreal but also made for a very vivid set. The songs really came to life with drummer and vocalist Katherina Ex's singing alternated with instrumental portions and G.W. Sok coming up to the front of the stage from the back to rant sing. Overall, it was edgy at the same time as it was triumphant or challenging at the same time that it was fulfilling.