I unexpectedly got a chance to go see Iggy Pop. Excited to do a live music review again, I searched for the opening act and found this:
"Noveller is the solo project of Brooklyn-based guitarist and filmmaker Sarah Lipstate. Handling the electric guitar as her muse, Lipstate summons a sonic palette so rich as to challenge the listener to conceive of how it’s housed in a single instrument manipulated by a solitary performer."
I was able to do some pre-listening. The description doesn't mention "ambient" or shoegaze" but that's what I was thinking. That was actually my ray of hope, because while listening to M83 at home was grating, I didn't mind them so much live.
Indeed, during the show was better than at home. Lipstate uses a Spartan setup. There is some equipment, but mainly she plays her guitar under a single light, with her long black hair swaying back and forth with her.
I could easily imagine her as the hot bass player in an otherwise male band, but that is an objectifying thing, so surely being out there doing her own thing is better. Still, shouldn't music be musical?
At her best the numbers sound like whale songs; at worst like tinnitus.
My friend and I listened at the show. We discussed Noveller and it wasn't even all snark. However, we also got bored and talked about other things, including how we while we don't really like jazz we are willing to believe that we are just missing something and not appreciating it enough. (Also that we believe that Prince knows enough to get jazz, which seems random but it was germane to the discussion.)
It is also possible to not like some music and to feel pretty comfortable with that dislike.