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POP MUSIC REVIEWS : Long-Windedness Mars Psychic TV Set

August 29, 1995|CHRIS RIEMENSCHNEIDER

In his opening, spoken-word act at the Dragonfly in Hollywood on Sunday, Pigface mainstay Martin Atkins cursed "free-form, masturbatory jazz," along with a hundred or so other things he doesn't like.

Headliners Psychic TV should have taken offense at that. The group's set was as formless and self-indulgent as can be.

Fronted by Englishman Genesis P-Orridge, Psychic TV played a lengthy, tiring concert featuring lengthy, tiring songs--if you can even call them songs. Unconventional numbers are one thing, but these often got so loose and outlandish that it seemed all five members (six when Atkins joined them on drums) were each playing entirely different tunes. Not surprisingly, it also often sounded as if they were making a lot up as they went along.

This psychedelic-tinged band, longtime stars in the industrial-rock underground, tries to combine elements of everything from Syd Barrett to Ravi Shankar to PiL's "Second Edition" album. As with all of these, fans get a highbrow satisfaction that they're listening to something wholly unusual and original. But that did nothing to cure the boredom Psychic TV created Sunday.

Opening act Evil Mothers--who, like Psychic TV, are featured on Atkins' Chicago-based Invisible record label, played a much tighter, livelier set full of the industrial-rock musings Atkins is associated with.

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