Throbbing Gristle @ Ricardo Montalban Theater 4/21/09
It’s been twenty-eight years since Throbbing Gristle last scraped the paint off of LA’s walls. In 1981, they were the height of an extremism in a pretty extreme scene, and the passing of thirty-odd years has only enhanced that reputation. They represented the next logical step in popular music, which was to completely remove the necessity for chords, beats and melodies, for notes themselves, for any kind of organization.
Though often named as the pioneers of Industrial Music - and indeed, their label’s late-70s motto was “Industrial Music For Industrial People” - their music, aside from its generally dark tone, bears little resemblance to the often monotonous, formulaic can-banging the term came to imply. TG were a lot more layered than most of their imitators, possessed of a powerful intellect, a sense of humor and a strong desire not to repeat themselves. In that spirit, they’re not returning to LA to re-play their old album cuts, but doing a live performance of their soundtrack to Derek Jarman’s 1974 surrealist film In The Shadow Of The Sun.