Posted in music | pictures on November 4, 2009

words & photos by Jake Forney

Fuck Buttons

Monday's show was a display of the full spectrum of showmanship, from milking the crowd to ignoring it. Openers These Are Powers found all three members nearly equal in enthusiasm, vocalist/noise-maker Anna Barie only barely distinguishing herself as the front-person of the group. Bassist Pat Noecker (formerly of Liars) marched along to his riffing on his modified bass, often in the upper register, leaving much of the low-end to drummer/sampler Bill Salas. Of the three bands, they were the most pop-oriented, playing the only set that was not non-stop from start to finish, but had distinct beginnings and ends of songs. Their forward-driving beats have an undeniable dance-ability, getting even a half-full room to move a bit. Their next NYC show is this Friday with three bands from China.

Growing, also of New York, presented a complete about-face. The trio took the stage, each behind a table with their respective pedals. Aside from guitarists Joe Denardo and Kevin Doria rocking back and forth to their delay-drenched loops, the band remained relatively stagnant. The crowd however, did not. The beats blasting out of the Ampeg onstage rivaled the PA for anyone within the first ten rows. In response to the music, the crowd sometimes limply nodded heads or draped limbs, though other times the Ballroom could have been mistaken for a nightclub, hands in the air, and yes, even some grinding was witnessed. As the last loop faded and the lights went up, newest member Sadie Laska simply looked at the crowd and raised one eyebrow with a small grin and then exited the stage.

Headliners Fuck Buttons presented a high-energy mixture of the two openers in demeanor. The set, primarily their new album Tarot Sport, didn't take long to get the now packed room moving again with the heavy club beat of album-opener "Surf Solar." Each track was surprisingly spot-on to the recording, the only variations were nuanced changes - sometimes sooner, but more often later in a song than on the album. Standing at opposite ends of a folding picnic table, the British duo, Andrew Hung and Benjamin John Power, kept an eye towards the crowd. They read the room for the right time to push the scale of things from grand to epic, or to take it away, fading the beat into a static of chords, produced from a collection of small keyboards and pedals housed in suitcases. Their teamwork was evident too, simple nods led to the next transition, most evident during the encore of "Sweet Love for Planet Earth" off last year's Street Horrrsing.

It's hard to deny the grandeur of Tarot Sport. And even harder when you can feel the floor shake when they unleash the gnarliest synth drones from small, modified kids' toys. The effect is akin to the visual of the movie 300, except Fuck Buttons has nuance and adrenaline-laced buildups where the movie has cheese and abdominals.

Fuck Buttons and Growing are now on tour and will in fact be back in NYC to play Market Hotel on November 27th. More pictures from Bowery Ballroom below...

Growing

These Are Powers

These Are Powers

These Are Powers

These Are Powers

These Are Powers

These Are Powers

These Are Powers

These Are Powers

These Are Powers

Growing

Growing

Growing

Growing

Growing

Growing

Growing

Growing

Growing

Fuck Buttons

Fuck Buttons

Fuck Buttons

Fuck Buttons

Fuck Buttons

Fuck Buttons

Fuck Buttons

Fuck Buttons

Fuck Buttons

Fuck Buttons

Fuck Buttons

Fuck Buttons

Fuck Buttons

Fuck Buttons

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Comments (23)

im over seeing pictures of merch. i dont need to see what they're selling unless its something other than the usual. heck im over band tees in general. just as much a brand as anything else you put on a shirt. i only wear shirts with optical illusions on them, or no shirt at all.

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2009 12:01 PM

Zzzzzzzzzzz.......

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2009 12:36 PM

zzzz..

Posted by annie momus | November 4, 2009 12:46 PM

There's a pay version of the site where they remove the pictures of the merch.

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2009 12:51 PM

was black dice there claiming copyright infringement on dissonant noise?

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2009 12:52 PM

This just seems like a lot of technological dicking around. Oh well, I did enjoy the Fuck Buttons set at McCarren two summers ago.

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2009 1:07 PM

"This just seems like a lot of technological dicking around."

-------

There are other ways of making music? HA! What, you play GUITAAAAAR?

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2009 1:12 PM

Nice to meet you, Jake!

Posted by Lori | November 4, 2009 2:38 PM

12:51 way to steal my joke. loser!

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2009 2:56 PM

people on stage turning knobs and staring at computer screens = sweeeeettt!

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2009 3:11 PM

Did anyone else see the third band member they secretly brought on stage during "Colours Move"?

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2009 3:19 PM

setlist people

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2009 4:36 PM

No, Black Dice wasn't there claiming copyright infringement on dissonant noise...they were tired of Fuck Buttons and Growing ripping off their shit, so they stayed home.

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2009 7:21 PM

if black dice make a record as good as tarrot sport then mabye your jokes will have merit.

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2009 8:05 PM

really? a comparison to 300? yikes.

also, growing sucks balls.

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2009 8:46 PM

Black Dice are not the only band that makes semi-melodic noise. They weren't the first and weren't the last. Bummer that they're the only reference point for such music that you can come up with, but I bet if you checked around you'd be pleasantly surprised with what you found. Go check out an Oval record. Or even a Fennesz album. Hope it's cool with you guys that they're not from Brooklyn/Providence.

Posted by Anonymous | November 4, 2009 8:47 PM

Black Dice started noise rock wikipedia said so

Posted by Anonymous | November 5, 2009 12:35 AM

setlist?

Posted by Anonymous | November 7, 2009 1:16 AM

yes it IS technological dicking around and fyi Growing has been around since shortly after Black Dice started up, so do your homework before you start bashing the hype. Someday, you fucks will finally realize that music doesn't have to have any form or technique and its completely irrelevant how its being made. That being said, this tour is coming to LA and im stoked!

Posted by Anonymous | November 11, 2009 1:05 AM

the comments on this site are easily more entertaining than anything that's ever been posted on this blog.

love Black Dice and FUck Butons but yea i dont get why people think FB is ripping them. it really doesnt sound anything like black dice.

FB= Noisy, ambient Techno

BD= Slimy experiments in combining hip hop, noise, and punk

they really sound A LOT different

Posted by Anonymous | November 11, 2009 11:04 AM

It should be noted that Growing did, in fact, inspire Fuck Buttons. Quite a bit. The band has said so in interviews, you can look it up if you're curious. Clearly Growing is not butt hurt about them being "ripped off" though because they went on tour fucking opening for them.

And Growing has in no way ripped off anything by Black Dice... just compare their respective career paths... but I would venture to say the two are contemporaries of the same genre.

Posted by Anonymous | November 12, 2009 5:05 PM

And with all that said.......... ohhhh man I am so excited to see this double bill tonight in LA. Driving 4 hours just to experience it!

Posted by Anonymous | November 12, 2009 5:08 PM

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