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LIVE

Rovo with Buffalo Daughter and Goma

by Suzannah Tartan

With nary a Jerry Garcia reference in sight, neither Rovo nor Buffalo Daughter fit the jam band stereotype. Yet both tend toward complex, improvised songs that revel in their own sprawl. They may not be jam bands, but they certainly jam.

After more than 10 years, the members of Buffalo Daughter play with a fluid connectivity that borders on the psychic. BD (who actually have admitted to liking Grateful Dead bootlegs) long ago jettisoned any allegiance to pop in the classic sense and have embraced the meandering of German progressive rock. Yes, there are still sweet melodies and girly harmonies, but they are endlessly looped, at the mercy of BD’s hypnotic, locked-in grooves.

Rovo shares a similar experimental bent, coupled with a dedication to the dance floor. The band may not sell a lot of records, but their live shows quickly turn audiences into an undulating mass. Fusing noise, techno/tribal beats and improvisation, their expansive sound resembles The Dead — as filtered through William Gibson’s cyberpunk sensibility.

Rovo’s organic grooviness has made them a mainstay on the Japanese festival circuit. They’ll be performing at the Hibiya Park Open-Air Amphitheater’s yearly pop-music concert this year, so there is no need to wait for the summer festival season to enjoy an open-air musical high.