Set-up time at the 2010 Micro-Pixel-Rites showcase flew by in a whirlwind of flying ice chips and quarter inch cables, but I do remember the moment when Big Troubles bassist Luka Usmiani squinted up at me from the concrete doorstep he was sitting on and quietly asked if he could perform an impromptu opening set as No Demons Here, his solo project. Sadly, I was on a wild bicycle chase after a renegade neighborhood taco stand when the showcase began and Luka stepped up to the mic, but the extreme close-ups in this video by Samantha Cornwell almost make me feel like I was there. I have to say: hiding beneath his sandy-brown forelock and seemingly taciturn demeanor is a wellspring of grumbling emotion that would make even Calvin Johnson weep. Never did I think I would breathe the words “Luka” and “roller-coaster ride” in the same sentence, but I think that is precisely what makes this rendition of “Cradles II” so riveting. On second thought, I guess it was already spelled out for me in the name.
“Cradles II” is a song off a forthcoming No Demons Here cassette. His first cassette outing, Boy Eaten By Thing In Water, can be downloaded for free on his MySpace.
Video: Samantha Cornwell
Words: Emilie Friedlander