It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine.
Timur and the Dime Museum might not agree with that famous lyric by R.E.M., but the L.A. conceptual rock group’s apocalyptic new show “Collapse” is so full of dark intensity and black humor that you’ll feel fine for experiencing it – but maybe a bit pensive as well.
The theatrical post-punk band that combines indie-rock and classical sounds with a bohemian attitude brings its self-described “post-ecological Requiem” to the Light Box Goldman Warehouse in Miami on Friday night. It tackles the somber subject of climate change, and it was an admittedly tricky task to make such a potentially dry topic compelling to an audience.
“We were trying to avoid doing something that could fit the needs of the United Nations’ climate report,” says front man Timur, an opera singer described as “a brilliant architect of tension” by LA Weekly magazine. “We didn’t want to do something that’s, like, “Let’s save the world, and let’s sing a song about it.” So we thought we’d create a project that has a very dark sense of humor, and by keeping this satirical outlook, it would allow us to bring the audience closer to the subject, then turn things around and show the seriousness of things through laughter, a wry smile.”
Although it’s certainly not a rarity for a rock band to have a social conscience, it is a bold move to dedicate an entire show to a cause. But for the group, the direction it believes Earth is going demanded action.
“Once we started reading about it, it was kind of depressing – it was sad and mind-boggling,” Timur says. “It’s so hard to carry the message through, which has such a serious and prophetic way of telling where this planet is heading.”
In keeping with the group’s theatrical nature, “Collapse” is a visually driven show as much as it is musically, and will also feature live-mixed projections by acclaimed video artist Jesse Gilbert.
“Jesse incorporates familiar styles like big stadium rock shows with bright visuals,” Timur says. “But some images could be distorted, some images might create other patterns, and whatever images the sound creates is also part of the mix as well. And he’s really good at creating this sort of portrait of the planet’s demise [laughs].”
Costumes by Victor Wilde of The Bohemian Society also play a major role in the show.
“Victor has created a beautiful, beautiful vision in the costumes and how we look,” Timur says. “It’s very distressed – he almost deconstructs textured fabrics and textiles with burned-out orange color, sort of depicting how an apocalypse could happen – will it be crazy, will it be wild, will it be the type of thing where you’re just going down the hill drinking champagne?”
Despite the concert’s heavy subject matter, Timur and the Dime Museum is definitely not all doom and gloom. In fact, the band is hosting a karaoke night Saturday to serve as the Miami Light Project’s annual fundraiser, because “what better thing to do after a requiem than a karaoke show, and sing a lovely song about it?” says Timur.
“It’s kind of a laid-back party, and I’m gonna be the MC, but I’m not gonna be making fun of anyone – I’m just gonna be joining everyone in singing as well. Everybody is secretly a rock star, so we’re trying to unlock the potential – it’s really all about education, you know.”