Kayo Dot self-describes as “avant goth”, “progressive experimental doom”, and “abstract modern composition”. A bit outside the realm of mainstream metal, but they’ve got a following of their own. So much so that member Toby Driver had his own six night residency at The Stone in New York City this past August, featuring Kayo Dot and some of his other musical projects.
Guest writer Brad Cryan attended the event and reviewed his experiences there in this six part piece. You’ll find the first installment featuring maudlin of the Well below, and the rest will follow throughout the week over on our Tumblr page.
TOBY DRIVER AT THE STONE
by Brad Cryan
Dozens of young White men line an unassuming East Village block. Some passersby do double takes at all the lanky, septum-pierced, black-clad misfits. What the hell is going on here? One man, curious but not shocked, engages me in conversation.
“This used to be a bar called The World. I used to come here all the time. Lot of good Black music, Latino music – everything. It really was the world.”
“Someone got shot. They shut it down. Heh. The shot that shut The World down. Haven’t been in there since.”
8/25/15: maudlin of the Well
This dingy little room on the corner of 2nd Street and Avenue C was repurposed some years ago to the chagrin of the surrounding Black and Latino community, but it’s not finished making history. This week, it plays host to a six-night residency and career retrospective of metalhead, singer-songwriter and all around avant-garde weirdo, Toby Driver. His first band, maudlin of the Well (the M is lowercase), plays its first show in 14 years tonight.
Towards the beginning of the set, the band plays “Girl With A Watering Can,” a longish song that starts off quietly but builds into massive metal riffage. The sound is shit, and the band turns knobs in a continuous war against feedback, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that every cell in every body is vibrating. maudlin’s sound features fleeting moments of delicacy that cut through their aggressive metal aesthetic – a delicacy that Driver would devote his entire post-maudlin career to exploring. But maudlin sounds best at their most elemental.
Toby rarely does encores, but this is a special night. The last song that maudlin of the Well ever plays, ever, is “Birth Pains Of Astral Projections,” a prog odyssey from their early days. This time, it isn’t just a song. It’s a reconciliation between brothers.