Mother Kali and Parallel Path play by ear

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The improvisation of jam bands Mother Kali and Parallel Path took the limelight at Aggie Central Station Oct. 4.

The night was a one of a kind experience, with musicians that never play shows the same way twice. Parallel Path started the night with a performance full of pop surprises and endless switch ups. Though Parallel Path is only a two-man band made up of Corbin Larson and Spencer McConaghy, they weren’t lonely on stage as they switched off playing an array of instruments for each song.

The band was a crowd favorite, proving the power of local love is a driving force for upcoming artists. It’s clear that the two are talented and can play just about any instrument imaginable. There seemed to be a lack of focus though, making the set scattered.

Parallel Path is new to the show circuit, but received a promising start winning last weeks Local Love competition at Aggie Central Station that included a $150 cash prize and three hours of recording time.

“We’ve been playing for three years, but just started playing shows this past summer. We started at open mic nights at Aggie Central Station,” said Larson, who plays keyboard, drums and guitar player. “I’ve got to give props to Jimbo Ivy. He’s really helped us progress.”

It’s clear that Parallel Path will improve with each show, as they grow more into their alternative rock stride. This is a group who wants to do it all, and flows with off the cuff, original tunes and performs their best when playing on a whim. Their sound has a definite jazz influence, but is rock at its core. Watching this band progress will be promising to those along for the ride.

Then, came the creator and the destroyer, Mother Kali. Don’t make the mistake of calling these musicians a band, as they prefer to be called and truthfully are more along the lines of performance art. At least half of each show, they play in improvisation. They also welcome those who feel the music and want to jam with them on stage.

“I’ve described it more as performance art as opposed to a band because a band gives people the idea that we practice and rehearse and have an ambition to go on tour or something,” Talon, percussionist, said. “This is really Shiva, Kelby, Talon and Dean on Fri., Oct. 4, getting together to play some music.”

It truly was a set full of twists, turns, never ending jams and even surprise guests jumping on stage to rock with the band. The group’s sound is reminiscent of psychedelic rock, full of soul and built on raw emotion. Anything goes as long as it’s something that’s organic in the room that particular night. When their improvisation is on point, it’s described as a feeling like none other.

“Listening is key, it’s like a conversation between everybody,” Kelby, bassist, said. “It’s crazy when it really clicks, I describe it as a real strong moment like having an orgasm at the top of the roller coaster right at that first drop and it’s like a total extreme vertigo. You feel everybody — all the waves. Everything is coming together, and it’s a spiritual thing.”

Mother Kali truly is a group based on feelings, passion and spiritual connection. They never practice, live in different cities that are hours a part, and see one another mostly just for shows. Still, they have succeeded as a unit for 13 years.

It
wasn’t only a great night for music, but for K-State as well. At least one member o
f each act is an alumnus. Larson graduated with a degree in communications in spring 2011. Dean Linton, percussion for Mother Kali, graduated in percussion performance in 2009, as well as a member of the K-State marching band.

“Nothing gets you to bleed purple like being a drummer in the marching band,” Linton said.

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