Entries tagged with: Akron Family
by Andrew Sacher
Cy Dune, the project of Akron/Family's Seth Olinsky, released his debut EP No Recognize last year, and now his first full length, Shake, is out today (9/9) via Lightning Records. As you may expect from an Akron/Family member, the record deals in a few kinds of psychedelic rock, and Seth does it well. You can order it on iTunes, but if you want to hear it first, give a listen to the full album stream which premieres in this post. We're also offering a free download of its single "Confusion," below.
Cy Dune is opening two dates on the upcoming Sam Amidon tour, including the Brooklyn show happening October 18 at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Sam will be performing with Bill Frisell and Shahzad Ismaily at those shows. Tickets for MHOW are still available.
All Cy Dune dates are listed, with the LP stream and song download, below...
by Bill Pearis
As you may know, Akron/Family's Dana Janssen makes electronic pop as Dana Buoy, having released his debut album under that name in 2012. He's got a new EP, Preacher, due out next week (7/22) via Middle West and we've got the premiere of one of it's tracks, "Isla Mujeres." It's big-hearted, anthemic and you can stream it below.
Dana Buoy will be on tour in August including a run with Sylvan Esso (who have two sold-out shows here in September with Dana). He's got two NYC shows too: Rough Trade on August 8 with The Rosebuds (tickets) and August 9 at Baby's All Right with Janka Nabay (tickets).
All Dana Buoy dates are listed, along with the song stream, below...
by Andrew Sacher
DOWNLOAD: Cy Dune - "Where the Wild Things" (MP3)
Cy Dune is the new project of Akron/Family's Seth Olinsky, who released his first EP under that name, No Recognize, earlier this year. Opening track, "Where The Wild Things," has Olinsky yelping similarly to the best moments of Akron/Family but with heavy garage riffage in the vein of Blue Cheer blaring in the background. Elsewhere on the EP, he toys with other sounds, like the Lou Reed-ish "Resentment," the ballad-y title track, and percussive interlude, "Impulsive Field Occurrence." You can stream the entire EP, along with the video for "Where the Wild Things," below.
Seth will be taking Cy Dune on tour this September, and for that tour he'll be joined by two drummers -- Greg Fox (who used to destroy the skins in Liturgy, and now focuses on Guardian Alien, GDFX, and Zs) and Andrew Barker (Goldsparkle, William Parker) -- and Mick Barr collaborator Tim Dahl (also of Child Abuse) on bass. The tour kicks off in NYC on September 3 at Pianos with MEMs (featuring Deerhoof's Greg Saunier, along with Ofir Gannon, Greg Albert, and Eliot Krimsk), and also ends in NYC on September 10 at a secret venue. Tickets for the Pianos show are on sale now.
All dates are listed, along with the streams and video, below...
photos by PSquared Photography
Akron/Family at Bowery Ballroom - 4/24/13
Akron/Family are about to drop their new album, Sub Verses this week (4/30) (stream it) and they've been supporting that on a tour that just landed the freak folk crew in NYC for a show this past Wednesday (4/24) at Bowery Ballroom. Support at the show came from Eric Copeland of Black Dice, and Sun Araw collaborator M Geddes Gengras, who also joined Akron/Family during their set. The House List writes:
M. Geddes Gengras rounded out the quartet, and either through causation or correlation, seemed to define their sound. Manning a circuitry station that looked like a futuristic switchboard, he brought heavy rhythmic pounding, deep-bass keyboards and plenty of digital ephemera to the normal A/F genre inbreeding. This seemed to elicit a decidedly dark edge to the usual bouncy sound: High-thread-count sheets of guitar nestled under a duvet of constant drumming to make a bed fit for a dark sonic nightmare. The band spent much of the set exploring the space between noise and music, making no effort to make them accessible or to explicitly sell anyone on their upcoming release. No matter, the crowd was very much into it.More pictures and the setlist from the show below...
photos by Sarah Frankie Linder
Polyphonic Spree/Thermals/Diamond Rings
The Main was packed for our Friday SXSWS day party (3/15). That includes the the actual stage, as all 23 members of The Polyphonic Spree on hand to headline. The Spree's joyous set ended with their cover of Nirvana's "Lithium" that had the whole place singing. Diamond Rings -- who now count Miracle Fortress/Think About Life's Graham Van Pelt as a touring memeber -- tore the place up too with one of the most fun sets on our stage this week. So did The Thermals, for that matter. The Main also saw sets from UK neo-postpunk act TOY, Swedish pop vets Shout Out Louds, Akron/Family, and Montreal's Half Moon Run. The Jr. stage was curated by our loud brethren at Invisible Oranges (and Heavy Dicks) and will have pics of that carnage soon. Meanwhile, dig into more of Friday's action from The Main below.
In addition to the music, Onkyo was there, sampling their new headphones which hit stores next month. mophie maker of invaluable iPhone chargers, were giving away discount cards good at their pop-up shop which was set up right across the street on Red River.We were also serving complimentary Jameson, and Zico coconut water, free vegan queso and chips from Food For Lovers, and free vegan breakfast tacos from Pink Avocado. We also had BrooklynVegan t-shirts for the first 50 people in the door, thanks to American Apparel. Also thanks to our other sponsors, M for Montreal, Korg, Vox, Blackstar, Creative Recreation, Signazon, ASCAP, MailChimp and Redigi.
Today (3/16) is the final free BV SXSW day party at The Main and The Jr. The fun starts at noon CDT and The Main stage is co-presented by our friends at Pianos and features Unknown Mortal Orchestra, A Place to Bury Strangers, Austra, Foxygen, Palma Violets, Autre Ne Veut and Empress of. The Jr stage has King Tuff, Dodrums, MS MR, The Orwells, Peace (UK), Feathers, White Lung, and TEEN. That is a pretty amazing line-up if we do say so ourselves.
And tonight is the offical BrooklynVegan/Invisible Oranges SXSW showcase with KEN Mode (who replace Pinkish Black), Homewrecker, Full of Hell, Mutilation Rights, John Baizley, and Pallbearer. If you're in Austin, come on down!
As you know, BrooklynVegan is returning to Austin for SXSW this year and throwing four days of day parties at The Main & The Jr aka 603 Red River Street at the corner of 6th aka the old Emo's location. Those happen Wed (3/13), Thurs, Fri and Saturday (3/16). All shows are 100% FREE with RSVP.
by Andrew Sacher
Akron/Family at LPR in 2010 (more by Anna Scialli)
As mentioned, Akron/Family are releasing their new album, Sub Verses, on April 30 via Dead Oceans. If you've been following the band, you know they're always pretty unpredictable, and that's true of Sub Verses as well, which is generally more on the band's melodic side than its predecessor, Akron/Family II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT. You've already heard the album's first single, "No-Room," and since we last spoke, they've let loose another cut, "Until The Morning." Both are solid tracks and you can stream them below.
As mentioned, the band are supporting the new record with a tour, which hits NYC on April 24 at Bowery Ballroom with M Geddes Gengras (tickets), and also comes to Austin for SXSW, where the band will play a BrooklynVegan day party on Friday, March 15 at 603 Red River St. (the old Emo's location). That party is 100% FREE with RSVP, and the rest of the lineup is coming soon.
Updated dates are listed, along with those song streams, below...
Says the PR
On the heels of a highly successful, critically acclaimed sold-out 2012 festival, the Sasquatch! Music Festival unveils its 2013 lineup, which once again features 4 days of music. The festival, hailed as "a model of well-paced programming...in a four-day schedule as efficient and natural feeling as an expertly built algorithm" by NPR Music while Wired notes, "leave the landscape out of it and Sasquatch! has a lineup to kill for," runs May 24-27 (Memorial Day Weekend) at TheWoot. 2013 Lineup below...
Gorge, the internationally acclaimed concert venue carved in the basalt cliffs high above the Columbia River Gorge in Quincy, WA.
Akron/Family's new album is called Sub Verses and is out April 30 on Dead Oceans. Says the band's Seth Olinsky:
The album started with visions of large monumental sounds inspired by Heizer and Turrell; American works on a grand scale, monuments, dirty hands and an epic American masculinity. Dust, Stone, Sky, Earth.You can stream album-opener, "No Room," below where you'll also find Sub Verses' artwork which was designed by Stephen O'Malley of Sunn O))).
These broad, bold strokes would come to pass but not quite as expected.
A Sci Fi aesthetic narrative emerged. Tackling distant pasts and future humanism, the pain and idiocy of our contemporary culture. How to deal with it open heartedly? The boredom, the sadness and speed. The plots within plots of Dune mirrored in many layers of sound. Creating 3D sonic atmospheres that our songs and singers inhabit.
Our story, a story, all stories. Told in verses, in underground language, in sub frequencies. Not audible, only felt, intuited, imagined in some deepest psychic space that you are yet to know. A strange story. Of the future, of yourself. Of everyone. We are all we are, only this and yet we move forward. Along some line to somewhere. And who knows?
Akron/Family will also be on tour to support the album which includes an NYC visit at Bowery Ballroom on 24. Tickets go on sale on Friday (1/25) at noon.
A list of all tour dates, song stream, album art and track list are below.
Akron/Family at LPR in 2010 (more by Anna Scialli)
Freaky folkies Akron/Family released Akron/Family II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT in 2011, and they've announced that they're planning on releasing a followup in 2013. To help fund the new record, the band meanwhile released a limited edition (1,000 pressings) live double CD which comprises a recording from their show at the Drunken Unicorn in Atlanta from January 2012 and some experimental pieces recorded in El Paso later in the year. You can purchase that CD at the Akron/Family webstore for $20. Each copy was handmade and hand-stamped by the band.
We also spoke to Akron/Family member Miles Seaton about his top albums of 2012. Miles recently moved from NYC to LA, had to get a car, and ended up getting one with a cassette player. So rather than listing his top 10 albums that were released in 2012, he listed the top 10 cassettes he acquired this year to play in his car stereo. His full list with some commentary is below.
by Andrew Sacher
[It's] super muddy and soaked in reverb and distortion, but somewhere in this band's late '80s/early '90s record collection of noisy post-punk and shoegaze, must lie a scratched up, overplayed copy of Is This It that can't help but leave its mark on these songs.You can stream the entire album below and also grab MP3s of two of its tracks above.
The band have a run of dates coming up this month and next including two in NYC. They'll open for Exitmusic at Mercury Lounge on June 28 and for Akron/Family at Brooklyn Bowl on June 29. Tickets for the Mercury Lounge show are still available and the Brooklyn Bowl show is free with RSVP.
All list of all dates and that album stream below...
Swans at Music Hall of Williamsburg (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Swans are back with a new double album, The Seer, due via Young God Records on August 28. The new effort features appearances from Karen O (Yeah Yeah Yeahs), former bandmate Jarboe, Bruce Lamont, Ben Frost, members of Akron/Family ( who served with him in Angels of Light) and members of Low. Gira comments:
The Seer took 30 years to make. It's the culmination of every previous Swans album as well as any other music I've ever made, been involved in or imagined. But it's unfinished, like the songs themselves. It's one frame in a reel. The frames blur, blend and will eventually fade.While you're waiting for August 28 to roll around, you can check out a trailer for the DVD portion of The Seer and all listed Swans tour dates (Nothing for NYC yet).
The songs began on an acoustic guitar, then were fleshed out with (invaluable) help from my friends, then were further tortured and seduced in rehearsals, live and in the studio, and now they await further cannibalism and force-feeding as we prepare to perform some of them live, at which point they'll mutate further, endlessly, or perhaps be discarded for a while.
Despite what you might have heard or presumed, my quest is to spread light and joy through the world. My friends in Swans are all stellar men. Without them I'm a kitten, an infant. Our goal is the same: ecstasy!
Eric Wood of The Bastard Noise at DBA (more by BBG)
With all of the back and forth recently between Bastard Noise and Akron/Family, regarding the MiTB Skull art being used by Akron/Family on a shirt, it might be easy to forget why it was an issue in the first place; The Bastard Noise is an important and pioneering band. Now currently in a new incarnation with Aimee Artz on vocals/noise, Eric Wood's evolving vision has included elements of hardcore, powerviolence, jazz, noise, and experimentalism, but never at the expense of interesting songwriting.
We sat down with Eric Wood to ask him a few questions about his his response to Akron/Family and the cricism he received, his current projects and the future of the band. The results of our conversation is below.
DOWNLOAD: Dustin Wong - "Here We Come 2012" (MP3)
As mentioned, Akron/Family are currently on a tour with Bad Weather California that brings both bands to NYC on Saturday (1/21) at 285 Kent. Since the Brooklyn show was announced, Dustin Wong (ex-Ponytail) was added to the bill and advanced tickets went on sale. Bad Weather California (more about them below) also play Mercury Lounge with Woodsman while they're in town (1/22).
Dustin Wong is releasing his second LP, Dreams Say, View, Create, Shadow Leads on February 21 via Thrill Jockey. The album art and tracklist is below. He recently posted a song to his soundcloud titled, "Here We Come 2012." It's unclear if this has any ties to the new album but you can stream it below and download it above.
Dustin has also been added as an opener to Hospitality's record release show at Glasslands (2/3). That bill also includes Glass Ghost. Tickets are still available.
Speaking of Akron/Family, member Dana Janssen who creates solo material as Dana Buoy, has been added as an opener to some dates on Youth Lagoon's headlining tour. Dana will open the Bowery Ballroom show on March 27. There is still no opener announced for the MHOW show (3/28). Both NYC shows are sold out (but you can still get tickets to Youth Lagoon's upcoming show with Death Cab). All Dana Buoy dates below.
Akron/Family's tourmates Bad Weather California will be the first band (other than Akron/Family) to release a record on Akron/Family's Family Tree Records, when their album Sunkissed comes out on the label on February 21. The album was produced by Akron/Family member Seth Olinsky. Stream the album track, "You're My Friend," HERE and check out a Brass Tree Sessions video and an album promo video below. The artwork and tracklist are also below. After the Akron/Family tour, BWC have a bunch of dates of their own, including SXSW. Those are all listed below.
All dates, stream album art and tracklist below...
Akron/Family at LPR (more by Anna Scialli)
Akron/Family are currently touring Europe through the end of November, taking the month of December to recharge the batteries before heading back out for a string of US dates in January. Kicking off with a date in DC on January 6th, A/F will hit the road with Bad Weather California to play shows along the East Coast and the Midwest. The shows include a final date in Brooklyn at 285 Kent on 1/21 with more bands TBA. Todd P says "ADVANCE TICKETS WILL BE ON SALE, DETAILS SOON."
A/F recently made their previously tour-only limited release Live Sound Fields available for general sale. Each disc is "hand painted, hand numbered and unique" and taken from Live shows 2009/2010". Stream one song from the disc below, alongside all tour dates...
Delicate Steve on Governors Island (more by Andrew St. Clair)
Congrats to Delicate Steve, whose new LP Wondervisions is out now via Luaka Bop. Check out the video below for the title track featuring Dirty Projector Nat Baldwin (who plays Knit on 2/10 - tickets). Its a breezy funky track smothered in vintage keys ala.... you guessed it, Stevie Wonder.
And though Akron Family will take them out on an extensive run of dates including 2/17 at Knitting Factory (tickets) and 3/5 at Bowery Ballroom (tickets), Delicate Steve will celebrate the new LP with a record release show at Public Assembly on Saturday (2/5). As discussed, he'll be joined by Dustin Wong (Ponytail, Ecstatic Sunshine), Grandchildren, & Strange Shapes. Tickets are still available. You can also catch DS at the Meat Locker in Montclair, NJ TONIGHT (2/4) and at BAR Nightclub in New Haven, CT on 2/9.
A few days after Public Assembly, Wong will cross paths with the Woods/Ducktails tour that hits Monster Island Basement TONIGHT (2/4) with Metal Mountains. The tour recently hit Portland, Maine, and you can check out pictures from the Apohadion Theater show below. Ducktails will be back on stage later this month when they team up with Glory Girls to open for Lower Dens at Music Hall of Williamsburg on 2/25 (tickets)
Dustin Wong recently supported Nightlands, aka Dave Hartley of The War on Drugs, at his debut show at Glasslands on 1/19 with Tony Castles (who play Death By Audio tonight). Check out some pictures from Glasslands below. Nightlands went on to perform another four dates before the tour came to an end in Pontiac, MI. That included a gig in Chicago:
"Playing just his fourth show, Hartley's Chicago set began with a few songs alone with his acoustic guitar and some drum machine samples. Apparently having already mastered looping effects, Hartley was maintaining a strong vocal presence without any accompaniment, but opening act Houses joined him for the final two thirds of his set anyway. They brought with them a mandolin, louder percussion, and a noisier electric guitar. Live drumming was essential to Suzerain, the highlight of Nightlands' debut full-length, Forget the Mantra. And the additional set of voices enabled even more dynamic harmonies, especially for their chorally exultant closer, 300 Clouds."Annnnnnd one last reminder, Hartley's other project The War on Drugs is scheduled to support Destroyer on the tour that hits April 3rd at Webster Hall (tickets).
All tour dates and some video/song streams are below...
DOWNLOAD: Akron/Family new album snippets (MP3)
Akron/Family will hit the road in the tail-end of February for the first of a two-legged tour with Delicate Steve. The first leg kicks off on 2/17 at Knitting Factory (tickets on sale 12/10 at 10AM) and conclude at Bowery Ballroom on 3/5 (tickets on sale 12/10 at noon). Full tour dates are below.
The A/F dates coincide with the release of S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT, the band's new LP on Dead Oceans due 2/8. Get ready America, Akron/Family intend to "transcend the internet":
"Finally, after over a month of unanswered emails and text messages, blown deadlines, and pleas to finish and turn in their new album, last week, a large brown cardboard box showed up at the Dead Oceans doorstep.... Opening it revealed a sincere but poorly made diorama of futurist swirling spaces filled with toy astronauts and dinosaurs, four blown out song fragments on a TDK CDR in a ziplock bag, three pictures, a track list written in crayon, and a typewritten note from Akron/Family. A post-it on the bag declared the band refused to send the full album to anyone but the vinyl pressing plant, for fear of leaking and possible lost revenues.While you try and figure that out, dig on snippets "retrieved from the TDK CDR" from the forthcoming LP, in Internet MP3 format, above.
From the note and a short video that arrived days later, we've pieced together that the album was written in a cabin built into the side of Mount Meakan, an active volcano in Akan National Park, on the island of Hokkaido, Japan. It was recorded in an abandoned train station in Detroit with the blackest white dude we all know, Chris Koltay (Liars, Women, Deerhunter, Holy Fuck, No Age). Chris, on tour after finishing the record, commented: "this album will transcend the internet." [Dead Oceans]
In related new, guitarist Seth Olinsky has developed an iPhone/iPad app for his company, New Signal Process, that integrates the Apple device with professional recording equipment. The Breakout is on sale now for all you gear hounds.
New album art, tracklisting, a video teaser and all dates are below.
photos by Anna Scialli
Akron/Family and guests ("Xtended Family") that included William Parker and Hamid Drake played a special collaborative set at (Le) Poisson Rouge on June 30th to close the 11-day Vision Fest XV. Before, William Parker led his own band Southern Satellites.
More pictures from LPR are below...
Following the show they played at Le Poisson Rouge last night...
Monster Island Basement (128 River St. & Metropolitan)
9pm -- Spreaders (creepy soundtrack/improv duo from upstate)
10pm -- Man Forever (Kid Millions of Oneida + his new, insane drum ensemble)
11pm -- Akron/Family
$10 at the door -- first come/first serve
by Andrew Frisicano
Akron Family @ Music Hall of Williamsburg in March (more by Leia Jospe)
The Vision Festival, New York's premier Avant-Jazz festival, returns to Abrons. Now in its 15th year, the Vision Festival gathers the country's most innovative music, art, dance, and poetry. These seven nights will transform the Abrons into a fully interactive space with art exhibitions, a site-specific venue installation ,and events occurring in multiple places simultaneously throughout the night! VF15 honors Muhal Richard Abrams for a Lifetime of Achievement, the legendary Fred Anderson, Michael Reed's People, Places & Things Quartet, Open Loose with Mark Helias, Günter Baby Sommer & Wadada Leo Smith, David S. Ware Trio, Matthew Shipp, William Parker's Southern Satellites, Amiri Baraka, Jayne Cortez, Guillermo E. Brown, By Any Means, Joëlle Léandre Stone Quartet, Hamid Drake, Vladimir Tarasov and a bunch of the best drummers in the U.S. paying tribute to Rashied Ali, and so much more!Vision Fest XV unfolds over the span of 11 days this June 20th-30th at a number of downtown venues. Day passes and festival passes are both on sale.
The closing show for the festival will be Wednesday, June 30th at (Le) Poisson Rouge and will feature a special performance by Akron/Xtended/Family with bassist William Parker and percussionist Hamid Drake joining the band. Also on the bill are William Parker's Southern Satellites and [the] slowest runner [in all the world]. Tickets are on sale now.
The Vision Fest full schedule is here. Southern Satellites opened for Akron/Family at Bowery Ballroom in March and members of the band, including trumpeter Lewis Flip Barnes and gutiarist Asim Barnes, joined Akron during their set. A video of that is posted below...
photos by Leia Jospe
"Warpaint, a four-piece band from L.A., primed the stage with their sultry, pajama-clad jams. Call it psychedelic, call it sexy, call it what you will, whatever is going on here, I want more of it. I have no aversion to all girl bands, and Warpaint gives no reasons to complain. The reverb suspends the sound in a murky haze, with pounding drums in the background. Warpaint is both, exactly what I want to hear on an acid trip, and what I would want to hear if I was deep sea diving. Anything reminiscent of the unknown, dark, mysterious, and curious. These girls invite you to follow them into the rabbit hole, and I'm following their lead.Their EP, Exquisite Corpse is out now, and you can catch them all over SXSW in the coming weeks." [Intercontinental Breakfast]Akron/Family, Warpaint & Please the Trees shared the bill at Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn on Wednesday night (3/3). More pictures from the show beow...
photos by Chris Graham
Happy Holidays! I take on more than I can handle. That results in a lot of unposted content. In the name of catching up, while also taking it easy during this final week of the year, here's some of that lost material.
The 2nd Annual Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco this past August benefited from a combination of improved planning and the luck of some of the nicest weather the city had seen all summer. The result was a far more pleasant and exciting experience for festivalgoers at this food, wine and music extravaganza.The 2009 Outside Lands Festival ran August 28th to August 30th in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Acts that the played the fest's first day included Tom Jones, Akron Family, Q-Tip, The Dodos, Built to Spill, the National, Los Campesinos! and healdiners Pearl Jam. Pictures for Autolux, who also played, are HERE. More pictures from Day One are below...
The venue for the festival is extraordinary, taking up about a third of the massive Golden Gate Park. Once inside, it's hard to believe you're in the middle of a large city. Giant trees and grassy meadows block out any view of outside buildings, and the festival is arranged around the topography so that each group of stages has its own unique look and feel. There were many secluded areas and empty meadows nearby for those in need of respite from the music. Thanks to the efforts of innovative organizers, Outside Lands truly becomes a world unto itself. [Beachside Resident]
Akron/Family @ ATP NY in September (more by Ryan Muir)
Akron/Family are currently in Europe, and they're playing Australia and New Zealand this December, but come March 3rd, the band will be playing a show at Brooklyn's own Music Hall of Williamsburg. Psychedelic folk ladies (and one guy) Warpaint open. Tickets go on sale AmEx presale Wednesday, November 11th at noon. General sale starts Friday, Nov. 13th at noon.
LA's Warpaint were another buzzy band this past CMJ. Their signing was announced soon after...
We at Rough Trade are happy to announce the signing of LA quartet Warpaint.Grab two Warpaint tracks for free above.
Warpaint weave intricate guitar lines,hypnotic vocals and driving post punk rhythms into gorgeous, sprawling songs that skirt the line between psychedelia and intimacy.
At the core of the band are founding members Emily Kokal, Theresa Wayman and Jenny Lee Lindberg who formed the band in 2007.
"We are all very excited about being involved with such a unique and inspiring group and we welcome them to the label".
A 6 track EP Exquisite Corpse will be available in the USA this October and UK & Europe in November through Manimal Vinyl. Rough Trade will be releasing a full length album next year.
Akron/Family's ATP NY set was their last "area" appearance. They write...
In the midst of this amazing tour we stopped off on the Borscht Belt to participate in the Flaming Lips curated ATP. It was a great weekend with one of the most mind/body/soul altering performances we have ever seen by the Boredoms. We also got to participate in Oneida's 10.5 hour performance on Sunday. We had the coveted early slot at noon.A video of that, another live clip and all tour dates are below...
words by Black Bubblegum, photos by Ryan Muir
Steve Albini in Shellac
"We're taking a bath, but I don't care," Barry Hogan told [Sasha Frere-Jones]. We were standing in the makeshift production office for the All Tomorrow's Parties festival, at Kutsher's, a resort in the Catskills."My name is Sufjan Stevens and I am going to play all of my Seven Swans album. That should be a good early afternoon hangover sort of thing"
Kutsher's, where Muhammad Ali trained and a thousand schticks were born, was once the jewel of the Borscht Belt. The main venue at Kutsher's, the Stardust Ballroom, has a capacity of 2,800. But Hogan seemed largely unbothered that only 1,800 tickets to ATP had sold. It is 2009, after all.
Considering the bad coffee situation and the fun that I had the day before, Sufjan was spot on. Clad in tie-dye that the band had purchased at the general store at Kutsher's, the five piece were delicate, light and lilting. Sufjan's bright banjo strums and songs, like the sunny "Sister", resonated so well in the Stardust Ballroom. The Seven Swans album was an excellent choice for a wake-up set on the second day of the three day upstate NY festival (Saturday, September 12, 2009).
After Sufjan, I wandered over to catch a crew of young Aussies named Bridezilla. Though their name is a touch offputting, guitarist/vocalist Holiday Sidewinder has a sexy and breathy coo that recalled PJ Harvey and their her cocktail-dress-ed crew were a surprise and a delight.
Grouper were next, and as a fan of 2008's Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill, I was eager to check out Liz Harris's ambient soundscapes. Playing to a projection of an ocean at night, the stage show wasn't much visually but the tides of noise was otherworldly.
Conversely, Black Dice in the same room was a psychedelic mindfuck. Blasts of tribal noise beats nodded heads and shook them in equal measure.
As a fan of Bradford Cox, it was great to see him pull a doubleheader on Saturday, beginning with Atlas Sound. Rolling solo with guitar, harmonica, and some backing tracks, Cox was engaging both in song and with between song banter. I would regrettably end up missing Deerhunter's set a few hours later. Drowned in Sound was there though:
Bradford Cox is a picture of serenity as he swaps his shirt for a more tasteful number and leads Deerhunter into their Saturday night set. He announces that this will be their last performance for some time, causing the band to roll out the hits in quick-fast fashion. They gallop through 'Cryptograms' and 'Nothing Ever Happened', the positively herculean double guitar sound feeling unstoppable and a sense of jubilation ricocheting between the walls as people succumb to these great big shining pop songs. The closing 'Calvary Scars' is a slab of beautiful kraut-pop, with Lockett Pundt's metallic Tim Gane-esque strum leading the way, face-painted kids jerking their bodies back and forth, and Cox looking genuinely sad that this will be the last time these songs will be wrung from his fingers and throat for a while.Anti-Pop Consortium was my next venture, the first time I had ever seen the crew though I was a long time fan. On the Stardust Ballroom system, APC's distorted and creative beats sounded amazing but save for Beans energetic movement, I was less than impressed with their live show. Live hip hop is hard to pull off, and those who try should heed the great Rakim who said "to me MC means move the crowd". If you want to give them a chance, they're at Santos Party House on September 29th.
Sleepy Sun were line checking when I got back to the second stage, with vocalist Rachael Williams checking her levels in the monitor
"Check. Check. I. Hi. Me. You. All of you. Us. Getting nervous."
If they had nerves, the band channeled them into positive energy. Sleepy Sun's influences fit right in with their hometown, San Francisco, as the band dabble in a psychedelic California sound with some krautrock-y elements. I was most struck by their fantastic drummer Brian Tice as well as vocalist Williams, who ripped out a solo that had the crowd shouting and applauding. Wayne Coyne watched the band from stage left, clearly impressed.
After an elongated line check, El-P came on and with a four-piece band (Chin Chin) and hypeman (Mighty Quinn) to the sound of "Tasmanian Space Coaster". I have a soft spot for El-Producto's Blade Runner beats and post-apocalyptic rhyme styles, and it was great to see a Hip Hop artist who actually puts an emphasis on his live show. As a matter of fact, El-P put a little too much of himself out there, almost falling off the stage after pogo-ing around during "Smithereens". Careful dude... we need a follow-up to I'll Sleep When You're Dead.
I hadn't seen Akron/Family since the then more acoustic-centric band played Tonic many years ago (with Hamid Drake?) and it was refreshing to see their energy were still in place. Against a backdrop of a tie-dyed American flag, the band played a rousing and ripping set. It's good to see that the loss of Ryan Vanderhoof to a Buddhist center hasn't slowed them a bit.
Autolux had the discordant riffs, feedback squalls, and a 90s alt punk sound to hit all of the right influences (Joy Division, Sonic Youth, etc), but unfortunately didn't really distinguish themselves from their influences. Autolux isn't offensive by any means, just not compelling or distinctive, and I find it a touch disappointing that guitarist Greg Edwards was a member of Failure (a band that I dug).
Dead Meadow and their fuzzy freakout psych blues were riffing on Stage Two towards the end of the Autolux set, but by half way in, the crowd had diminished considerably due to Shallac on the main. For shame, as the trio played a ripping set!
photos by Leia Jospe
"We arrived at Other Music at 6.25pm only to be greeted by a queue of NYC hipsters that extended round the corner of the block. It was doors 7pm and space was minimal in the tiny record store. We were worried that we wouldn't get in. After all, we came all the way from Ireland.More pictures from Sunday's Akron/Family show in a record store, below...
Happily, eveyone who queued were somehow squeezed into the tiny venue and Akron/Family proceeded with an incredible hour and a half long set, almost as good as when I saw them in Glasgow (almost becuase they didn't play Ed Is A Portal this time round)." [modest mango]