(Ghost Ghost played the Knitting Factory Saturday, April 2nd and we were on hand for journalistic purposes)
By Michael Scott
I am currently leaning against the bar in the back room of The Knitting Factory. It’s very dark in here and I am perched under the only real light source in this place – an overhead coffee table light (I actually didn’t realize that this place had moved to Brooklyn, my brother used to live right next to the previous iteration so I’d stupidly assumed it hadn’t randomly moved to Brooklyn).
The band takes the stage, with only two members present, each of them on at least three instruments. And if that’s not enough, they bring a painter up with them who begins working on a canvas while they play… should be an interesting show.
Ghost Ghost describes themselves as a freak folk band. There’s no better description. With huge guitar parts and incredibly intricate keyboards, their sound dominates everything around it, washing everything in psychedelic goodness. I am compelled to dance. They start up their second song called “Unreal City”. It starts off with pounding drums and a surf rock bass line. It makes me feel like I’m at Venice Beach, dancing with the waves, drunk on rum. The guitarist/drummer Karl Ward starts singing and his voice reminds me of someone I can’t place, like a person I used to barhop with in a past life. Kevin wails on the keys and they manage to crawl up into places I didn’t know existed in my brain.
They kick into the third song, called “Hide and Seek”, a song protesting the war in Iraq. It’s pretty dreamy and spaced out with vocals that proclaim: “I know you’d tell me to get some sleep/ I just can’t remember where I put my bed.” It’s rather peaceful and the painter, Charlie, works diligently behind them. It’s a strangely beautiful painting, with great swaths of red and pink. I think it might be a raw steak and now he’s filling up the empty space with neon lime green and Kevin just called out: “We came from space! We brought machines… it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.”
I’ve never been to a show like this.
Kevin is now playing a second set of keyboards while standing on a bench. He’s dual wielding like a madman. I wish I knew the name of this song for future reference. All I know is the last line is “This is not a valentine.” They’re starting up their last song called “Coney Island, You Old Bastard”. They’ve been projecting trippy visuals onto the wall behind them the whole set and now they’re throwing up a flickering image of the Wonder Wheel. I bite my lip a little bit as they manage to express exactly how crummy Coney Island is now.
“Coney Island, you old bastard/ no one’s listening/ so if you wanna say one last thing/ you can.” It raps up a wonderful and strange show.