Entries tagged with: Beck
photos by @griffinshot - Tim Griffin
St. Vincent / Jimmy Cliff / Temples @ ACL Fest, 10/10/2014
Despite the late afternoon sun shining brightly into the eyes of the spectators, the Dallas native attracted thousands to hear the guitar goddess peel off insanely good riffs in between stylized vocals and strangely robotic choreography that has become her hallmark.The second weekend of the 2014 ACL Festival kicked off on Friday (101/10) at Austin's Zilker Park, with sets from St. Vincent, Beck, Jimmy Cliff, Outkast, Temples, Belle & Sebastian, and lots more. Pictures from the day are in this post.
Towards the end of the performance as her band rocked through an instrumental portion, St. Vincent calmly climbed the stage truss support (in spiked high heels), arching her body out over the stage, throwing her head back several times before returning to the safety of the riser below her. -[Examiner]
If you're not in Zilker Park this weekend, you can stream select ACL sets live. Saturday (10/11) has Mac DeMarco, Interpol and Broken Bells streaming. You can also check out pics from Weekend 1 of ACL, and we'll have pics from the rest of Weekend 2 to come. Meanwhile, check out out more pics from ACL Weeekend 2, Day 1 below...
Outkast / Belle & Sebastian / St. Vincent
Murdoch is an effortless master of banter and was the most magnetic presence I saw on stage all day -- flirting with the crowd, sitting with legs crossed on the stage's edge, and pointing out that pretty much all songs are about sex. He also had some observations about Austin.The 2014 ACL Festival wrapped up its first weekend, kicking off on Friday night (10/3) in Austin, TX's Zilker Park with sets from Belle & Sebastian, Outkast, Beck, St. Vincent, Sam Smith, Jimmy Cliff, Temples and lots more. Pictures from those sets and more are in this post.
"Last time I was here none of those buildings were there," Murdoch said, pointing to the Austin skyline. "What the [expletive] happened? Are y'all having loads of children or something?"
On stage behind Murdoch and the 13 other members of the band was a backdrop with black-and-white shots of Belle & Sebastian's eight full-length albums arranged in a grid. Later in the set it was replaced with a couple of music videos accompanying a pair of new songs, "Perfect Couples," which was sung by lead guitarist Stevie Jackson, and "The Tricks in Your Head Are Alive." - [Austin 360]
"There was a certain amount of science to it. An entire week of work experience students left the office thinking that cutting-edge music journalism in 2014 mostly involves calculating which bands have been mentioned most in NME in the past two years, then hunting out references to the bands that influenced those acts online and finally adding up the number of times each influence came up. This gave us a rough list which our editorial team - heads swimming with all of the bands that Wolf Alice (or whoever) have raved on about over 4am ciders - then took to the pub, tore into shreds, fought and shouted about and finally reconstructed in the rundown of 100 you see in the mag today. The Beatles didn't make it. Sorry." [NME[NME went ahead and listed who they think the 100 most influential musicians and bands are (their latest cover story). Radiohead topped the list. Read the rest with justifications at NME, or just look at their full list below...
Beck / Sun Kil Moon / disgruntled Death Grips fan
The 2014 Pitchfork Music Festival began on Friday afternoon (7/18) in Chicago's Union Park with a variety of acts packed into the compressed schedule. Friday headliner Beck was led up to by sets from Giorgio Moroder, Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks, Sun Kil Moon, Sharon Van Etten, Factory Floor, and others...
LA via Florida experimentalists Hundred Waters kicked off the festival with a 3:30PM set on the Red stage. The quartet's delicate arrangements translated surprisingly well to the festival setting -- standout tunes "Cavity," "Out Alee," and "Down From the Rafters" were awarded additional layers of gauze-y production and live percussion. The crowd grew steadily throughout their set, and were extremely attentive on quiet numbers like the a cappella The Moon Rang Like a Bell opener "Show Me Love." -ZP
Post industrialists Factory Floor performed on the Blue stage and effectively disrupted everyone's nap in the shade with their looped heart-thumping beats and nightmarish soundscapes. The band's show was as much an experimental art performance as it was a musical one, combining everything from arpeggiated synths to random strikes on a wooden block. In addition, the band's singer created some brooding soundscapes by clanging what looked like a drum stick against her guitar's strings, occasionally making a few heavily processed vocals in a nearby mic. Overall the band performed a challenging set that rewarded anyone tough enough to stay for the whole thing. If Swans and Kraftwerk had a baby it would most likely sound like Factory Floor. -MM
Neneh Cherry's appearance at Pitchfork Fest was only her second-ever in North America despite a twenty-some-odd year career. Frequent collaborators RocketNumberNine backed the singer, and the trio delivered a fun performance. Blank Project cuts "Spit Three Times" and "Everything" saw Cherry's energy at its highest point, while Ben and Tom Page churned out their great industrial clamor. And yes, she finished her set with the classic "Buffalo Stance." -ZP
British musician and producer Bobby Krlic, otherwise known as atmospheric drone artist The Haxan Cloak, brought a live drummer to add intensity to his dark afternoon set. Familiar songs from his 2013 record Excavation morphed into grooves that were nearly danceable. (If you're wondering why this is so surprising, listen to his dropless song, "The Drop.") While fans enjoyed the tension and release of the forty-five minute set, one couldn't help but imagine it might be more appropriately suited for a small, dark room, rather than a bright, mid-afternoon festival stage. -AG
Sharon Van Etten
As I continue to see Sharon Van Etten live, her performances only get better and better. This time around, she was joined by new-ish live members Brad Cook (Megafaun) on bass and Darren Jessee (Ben Folds Five) on drums, in addition to usual suspects Doug Keith and Heather Woods Broderick. Sharon and her four-piece band were heavy on this year's great Are We There, but older tunes like "Save Yourself," "Don't Do It," and "Serpents" were also played. SVE provided a welcome, laid-back, early evening set, and it served as a great precursor for Sun Kil Moon. -ZP
Legendary Italian producer and composer Giorgio Moroder closed off the Red stage last night with an eclectic and seamless DJ set that drew from his long list of hit collaborations. Morodor, now 74, no doubt looked a little out of place on stage alongside the psychedelic visuals, perplexing some of the younger fest goers, but he was as lively as DJs a quarter his age, enthusiastically pointing his fingers in time with the mix, and starting a few waves and clap-alongs with the crowd, appearing to have as good of a time as his audience. The mix, a career retrospective of sorts, followed a chronological timeline, playing his disco hits including Donna Summers' "I Feel Love" (which Beck later covered in his set on the Green stage), before transitioning to the '80s anthem "Take My Breath Away" which was accompanied by visual snippets from Top Gun, featuring the
vampire ageless Tom Cruise. Not content with just playing old hits, Morodor also threw in some of his more recent work into the mix, including last year's collaboration with Daft Punk, as well as his excellent new track "Giorgio's Theme". For a guy in his 70s, Moroder showed he still has the chops to get crowds moving, cueing enough buildups and drops to satisfy any Monster guzzling EDM fan in attendance. -MM
Alt-rock legend Beck played a career-spanning set with heavy emphasis on his most recent records. He didn't shy away from the hits, pleasing both longtime fans and casual listeners. Opening with the classic Odelay cut "Devil's Haircut", Beck and his band were possibly the tightest act of the entire day. Particularly exciting was his tribute to fellow performer Giorgio Morodor, a cover of Donna Summer's Morodor-produced hit, "I Feel Love." Beck kept the crowd excited for his entire ninety-minute headlining set with a palpable energy during "Loser" and a particularly rousing rendition of "Where It's At." Peep his full setlist below. -AG
Pitchfork Festival continues today (7/19) with sets from Neutral Milk Hotel, St. Vincent, Danny Brown, tUnE-yArDs, Cloud Nothings and more. If you're not there, you can stream it online.
photos by Gretchen Robinette
Beck @ Hammerstein Ballroom 6/30/2014
...more than once he brought up British death metal band Carcass. He seemed mostly charmed by their insane-sounding song titles ("Cadaveric Incubator of Endoparasites" was a favorite), but based on Beck's show at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom on Monday night, he also digs Carcass because, when given the chance, he likes to shred.For those worried the gentle nature of Beck's new album, Morning Phase, would mean we wouldn't get the fun, funky side of the singer on this tour, fear not. At last night's show at NYC's Hammerstein, Mr. Hansen divided his set into two halves: the first being songs from Morning Phase and other acoustic-oriented songs, and then the second half where the party started. Pictures and setlist from his Hammerstein show are in this post.
Nothing in Beck's catalogue has the same sort of buzzsaw growling as "The Granulating Dark Satanic Mills," but there were several re-arrangements of his classic tunes that added a new kind of six-string heft and double-kick-drum thump. Both "Devil's Haircut" and "The New Pollution" were riff-heavy and extra loud, and even the Midnite Vultures robo-funker "Get Real Paid" had some fresh Gary Numan-esque metallic sharpness.
It was the sound of Beck, ever the shape-shifter, tweaking his old hits and reinventing them however he saw fit -- though despite their new wrinkles, they still retained a fundamental funkiness that let him indulge in his best white boy dancing. - [EW]
Tonight is Beck's second NYC show, this one happening at at Central Park Summerstage and is sold out. It, like last night and the rest of this run of the tour, is with Sean Lennon's The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger. Pictures of their set, and more of Beck's, below...
A man is in critical condition after he fell over a stair railing at the Fox Theatre [in Detroit].Beck's tour continues in NYC today with shows at Hammerstein Ballroom and Central Park Summerstage. We recently caught Beck at Coachella and Firefly. He plays XPoNential Music Festival in Camden later in July.
Police say two intoxicated men were leaving the Beck concert, when the victim told his friend he was: "going to take the easy way down."
That's when he fell over the railing on the fourth floor. Officers believe he fell 30 to 40 feet.
Police say they don't know if the man was trying to slide down the railing, or was so drunk he thought he could simply jump.
Beck / Chance the Rapper / the 'Beek @ Firefly 2014
Foo Fighters set the bar high Friday night with its impromptu five-song set of covers, but they weren't the only ones tapping into the deep well of other artists' hits.Dover, DE's Firefly Music Festival just wrapped up its third year, drawing about 80,000 attendees over three days. We already posts sets of pictures from Weezer, Courtney Barnett, San Fermin and Outkast's sets at Firefly, and here's the rest of what we shot, including Beck, Arctic Monkeys, Foo Fighters, Phantogram, Sleigh Bells, Washed Out, Girl Talk, Iron & Wine and lots more.
Arctic Monkeys played a bit of Black Sabbath's War Pigs, Sleigh Bells teased the crowd with the intro to Extreme's More Than Words and Imagine Dragons paid homage to Rush with a powerful rendition of Tom Sawyer. And that's not even taking into account the collaborations, including Cage the Elephant jumping on stage with Imagine Dragons to play the latter's hit Radioactive.
The talker of the festival, though, was Beck's funkified version of Michael Jackson's Billie Jean -- including moves fit for the King of Pop -- during his Saturday night set on the lawn stage. - [USA Today]
Firefly has already announced dates for next year which will go down June 18 - 21, 2015. Lots more pics from Firefly 2014 below.
The Hold Steady on Pier 26 in 2013 (more by Tracy Allison)
The Wiggins Park shows feature The Hold Steady, Old 97's, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Hurray for the RIff Raff, Lucius, Man Man, Nicole Atkins, Diego Garcia, Houndmouth, J. Roddy Walston & the Business, Dave Hause, Caitlin Rose, Trigger Hippy (featuring Joan Osborne, Jackie Greene & Steve Gorman), and more. 3-day passes that get you into the whole festival are on sale now.
Full lineup below...
The Austin City Limits Festival returns to Austin's Zilker Park for two weekends, October 3-5 & October 10-12. The lineup was just announced and includes Eminem, Pearl Jam, Outkast, Beck, The Replacements, Spoon, Belle & Sebastian, Interpol, Broken Bells, St. Vincent, Jimmy Cliff, The Gaslight Anthem, Jenny Lewis, The Rosebuds, Sam Smith, Real Estate, tUnE-yArDs, Jagwar Ma, Mac DeMarco, Polica, My Brightest Diamond and many more.
Tickets go on sale today (4/22) at 10 AM CDT. Full lineup below...
Coachella 2014 has featured a slew of unannounced guests over its two-weekend bow, but perhaps the biggest surprise of all came on Sunday night as Arcade Fire performed its headlining slot.Coachella 2014 weekend 2 just wrapped up, and like last week, featured a ton of guest appearances. This time headliners Arcade Fire, who brought out Debbie Harry at weekend 1, brought out two people dressed as the Daft Punk robots (but most likely not the actual members) for a slowed-down version of "Get Lucky." Not the first time that song was performed at the festival, considering Pharrell played it in his set a day earlier. Video below.
It was then that frontman Win Butler announced "some very special guests and we're just going to bring them up up front." Some in the crowd claim to have heard Butler say "Paft Dunk." [Billboard]
Arcade Fire also brought out Beck, who had covered Arcade Fire's "Rebellion (Lies)" during his set that day, to sing with them on their cover of Prince's "Controversy." No video of this one yet.
Now that Coachella is behind them, they've added two LA dates to their ongoing tour, which hits Brooklyn for three nights at Barclays Center in August (tickets). Updated dates are listed, with the "Get Lucky" video, below...
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin
Motörhead / Chance the Rapper / Little Dragon / Toy Dolls
However, Sunday's lineup thankfully featured some guitar-brandishing acts, besides Motörhead, who proved that rock is not dead at Coachella -- or in general. For instance, British punk veterans the Toy Dolls pulled a respectable crowd to the Mojave Tent (opposite the very different Calvin Harris's set) and kept a proper counter-clockwise, Doc-Martens-kicking-up-dust slam pit going at full churn throughout their high-energy performance. "Do you think I'm getting too old for this?" spiky-haired frontman Michael "Olga" Algar asked the crowd. It was likely a rhetorical question, but fans ceased their slam-dancing just long enough to shout back, "Noooooo!" - [Yahoo! Music]The first weekend of Coachella 2014 wrapped up Sunday night (4/13) with dance music and Arcade Fire, but there was lots of other stuff going on too. Motörhead, with Lemmy back in action after some health issues, was there to show them how it's done and brought out Slash for a few songs; punk pranksters Toy Dolls and indie rock vets Superchunk both played a high energy set that would tire bands 20 years their junior; and Chicago's Chance the Rapper brought out, um, Justin Beiber.
There were also Swedish pop charmers Little Dragon, Australia's very talented Courtney Barnett, photoshy North Carolinians Neutral Milk Hotel, industrial-techno outfit Factory Floor, and lots lots more. Pictures from Coachella weekend 1, day 3 are in this post.
Beck's 2014 tour in support of his new album Morning Phase includes a stop at Central Park Summerstage on July 1 which is now sold out. For those who missed out on tickets, Beck's added a second NYC show happening the day before (6/30) at Hammerstein Ballroom. Tickets to the Hammerstein show go on sale Friday (4/4) at 10 AM with a presale starting Wednesday (4/2) at 10 AM (password: MORNING).
The Hammerstein show is one of a few added to to his tour, and all dates are listed below...
Following his recent appearance on Saturday Night Live, Beck played The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon last night (3/12). He was once again joined by Father John Misty's J. Tillman, and performed the Morning Phase cuts "Waking Light" and "Say Goodbye."
Check out the footage below...
Tickets for all dates, including Central Park Summerstage in NYC on Tuesday July 1st, go on presale at 10am Wednesday (3/12). The general presale password is MORNING. You can also use the BrooklynVegan presale password PHASE for the Summerstage show. Tickets go on general sale Friday (3/14) at noon.
Beck also plays The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on 3/12, and will be on Ellen on 4/1. If you haven't checked out Morning Phase yet, you can stream it via Rdio. Dates below...
Forecastle Festival returns to Waterfront Park in Louisville, KY from July 18-20 with a lineup of Outkast, Jack White, Beck, The Replacements, Slint (their first US reunion date so far!), Spoon, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Jenny Lewis, tUnE-yArDs, Action Bronson, Against Me!, Sun Kil Moon, Sharon Van Etten, Black Lips, Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks, Waxahatchee, Young & Sick and more. Tickets for the festival go on sale Friday (3/7) at noon.
Full lineup below...
Beck was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live last night (3/1) which was hosted by Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons. He performed two songs from his elegiac new album, Morning Phase: single "Blue Moon" and was backed by a string section for "Wave." On both he was joined by Father John Misty's J. Tillman. You can watch both in this post.
Next weekend, SNL goes full Brooklyn with host Lena Dunham and musical guest The National. Beck videos below....
Pitchfork Music Festival returns to Chicago's Union Park from July 18-20 and the lineup was just announced. It includes Neutral Milk Hotel, Kendrick Lamar, Beck, Slowdive (their first reunion show in the US so far), Giorgio Morder, Sun Kil Moon, Factory Floor, Death Grips, the Haxan Cloak, Sharon Van Etten, tUnE-yArDs, The Julie Ruin, Grimes, Wild Beasts, DIIV, Ka, Circulatory System, Pusha T, The Range, Mas Ysa and more TBA. Tickets are on sale now.
In related news, Pitchfork is teaming up with ATP and Primavera Sound for London's Jabberwocky Festival which includes Neutral Milk Hotel, Electric Wizard, Deafheaven, Kode9, Earth, Pissed Jeans, Connan Mockasin, The Ex, Speedy Ortiz, Iceage, Vatican Shadow, Joanna Gruesome, Metz, Jesu, Chelsea Wolfe, Hookworms and more.
Initial day-by-day Pitchfork Fest lineup below...
Once the Sochi Winter Olympics are behind us and releases their deathgrip on NBC, Saturday Night Live will return on March 1 and Beck will be the musical guest. (Jim Parsons of Big Bang Theory is the host.) That's a week after Beck's new album, Morning Phase, is released (2/25). If you haven't heard "Blue Moon" from the album, you can stream it below.
Last week we got a snippet of the first single from Beck's forthcoming Morning Phase (due 2/25). Today he's put up a full stream of that song, "Blue Moon," which you can listen to in this post. If you pre-order the album you get an instant download of the song.
Stream "Blue Moon" below...
As mentioned, Beck's first new album in six years, Morning Phase, will be out February 25. That's the cover art above. You can get a taste of album track "Blue Moon" -- and watch the LP's vinyl getting cut -- in a video below. That track will also be on the upcoming Girls soundtrack (out a couple weeks earlier, 2/11).
Beck video below...
by Bill Pearis
Kim Gordon on 'Girls'
HBO series Girls was nominated for two Golden Globes but didn't win either on last night's awards ceremony. (The show lost to Brooklyn Nine Nine and Lena Dunham lost to Amy Poehler [who also co hosted the GGs].) At the same time elsewhere on the television dial, Girls made its Season 3 premiere with two back-to-back episodes. We knew this was coming but didn't know when -- the first episode featured Sonic Youth / Body/Head's Kim Gordon as Mindy, a member of Jessa's (Jemima Kirke) support group at rehab. The two don't get along. This is actually the third show with "Girl" in the title Gordon has acted in (the others being Gossip and Gilmore) but this is by far the meatiest part she's played. HBO has the whole premiere episode up on its YouTube channel to watch for free.
Meanwhile, a second soundtrack from the, titled Girls Volume 2: All Adventurous Women Do, will be released February 11 and features music by Vampire Weekend, Lily Allen, Beck, Cat Power, Jake Bugg, Aimee Mann and more. One of the tracks exlusive to the soundtrack is Jenny Lewis' "Completely Not Me" which features in the second episode's closing credits, is apparently a collaboration with Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij. You can listen to that over at Entertainment Weekly. Tracklist for the soundtrack is below.
In related news, while not the song from the Girls soundtrack, Lily Allen has released a new track, "Air Balloon," from her forthcoming new album and that can be streamed below.
Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival 2014 - April 11-13, April 18-20
Read the full lineup below...
Vampire Weekend @ Roseland in April (more by Robert Altman)
The Monday after Thanksgiving Weekend is looking to be Official Year-End List Day, as we've already got SPIN, and Paste, (plus ones from UK mags Q and Mojo) and now here's the one from elder rock statesman Rolling Stone, who have Vampire Weekend's Modern Vampires of the City in the top spot, with Kanye West's Yeezus at #2. RS' Top 10 also makes room for John Fogerty, Paul McCartney, Lorde and more. Haim are at #31 for those keeping score. You can check out their entire Top 50 LPs of 2013 list (which includes a couple EPs) below...
Beck at Station to Station (more by Lukas Hodge)
The music business is changing a lot, it also changes the way people listen. So I thought a lot about what it means to make music, whether people pay attention. (Citing an example in the frenzy leading up to the release of David Bowie's The Next Day, which fizzled by the time the record was released, Beck continues) It seems that major artists released an album and the next day no one talks about it.Beck's new album Morning Phase is due out in February 2014.
So many musicians feel that we are taking some time to acclimate to the new environment, we are trying to figure out what it all means. As a society, what does it all mean? What are you doing to our brains, our nervous systems and our souls (laughs)?
I think most musicians feel alienated from the business side of music. We are in a business created specifically for business people, marketing. And that's how the world works, because music is like any other product they have to sell. I need to think about how to deliver it to people. But if left to musicians it would be something completely different, I'm sure. I'll try to keep that in mind.
[The rise of these sites are] inevitable, it's something that is coming like it or not. But I pose the question of how I can hold on, because what Spotify pays me is not even enough to pay the musicians playing with me or the people working on the disks. The model does not work.
I think the saddest thing about streaming is the issue of sound quality...it's like watching Citizen Kane on your phone. That's what people are listening to!
Hopefully, we will find the way to change that. There are many opportunities to improve the digital files and I know that Neil Young is working on a system for that. Eventually it will happen and people will fall in love with the music.
by Lukas Hodge
Cold Cave in Winslow / dancers in Pittsburgh / Cat Power in Barstow
Just after you walk through the front doors of the historic La Posada hotel in Winslow, Arizona, a news clipping hanging from a bulletin board reads "Another City too Strong to Die". An interesting statement when you think about it due to the fact that it suggests that in all likelihood, this is not a place that's supposed to still exist. It almost advocates feelings that this is a city stuck swimming upstream. The question is raised, what here is worth preserving? If you ask a local, or even just walk a single block through the small downtown area, you'll understand quickly that the hope of this town rests on a song written by Jackson Browne in 1972. Everywhere you go there are signs advertising the town crux: a street corner two blocks from the train station named "Standin' On The Corner" park. Dedicated to one line in a single song, it's surrounded by murals, shops, and even a bronze statue which may or may not be in Jackson Browne's likeness. The song, is of course, "Take It Easy" as performed by The Eagles. And while no other part of this tour really comes close to the level of polarization created by an arena-filling rock band, the story of Winslow works as an effective allegory to sum up the meaning of why myself or anyone rode a customized train disguised as a moving piece of art, complete with recording studio, post-production office, dining hall, and one of Frank Sinatra's private rail cars, from New York to California.
The answer comes from multi-media artist, Doug Aitken, who's devoted his life to the pursuit of collaboration and performance. The "Happenings", as Aitken branded them, were never overwhelming. The numbers were intentionally kept low at each date allowing every participant a feeling of intimacy with each piece of art they encountered, whether it be a stark and awkward Cat Power set in the backyard of a railroad inn, or a UFO high above the California deserts and a Beck set featuring a full choir. This was most noticeable at the Barstow date, a little over one thousand people showed up to the happening within the walls of at least a 4,000 capacity drive-in theater. It's obvious that Aitken's focus was not on attendance and not on outsiders but on bringing together different artistic communities that would almost never normally interact. And hey, a thousand witnesses can't be a bad thing.
Levi's ®, who made the public art project known as Station to Station possible, had their own tents that resembled nomadic sculptures, known as Yurts set up at each date where independent artists and designers could create their own denim products out of locally sourced goods under the "Makers" brand. To quote Maker Laura Sato via an interview with Vice:
The Makers yurt was Levi's® artistic contribution to Station to Station. Levi's® Makers is a collective of artisan's from across the country who sell their handmade goods under the label of Levi's® Makers.The yurts which were also traveling with the train and acted as evolving installation pieces. The Nomadic Sculptures range from Carsten Höller's yurt pierced with holes that visitors can throw a Frisbee through, to Liz Glynn's creation of the universe that develops at each stop. At some stops, filmmaker Kenneth Anger screened a film in his Yurt.
For the majority of the trip, we had four other Makers along with the Levi's® Tailor Shop who had their stations set up in the yurt. Forestbound (one of a kind tote bags made of salvaged materials), Folk Fibers (hand-stitched, natural dyed quilts), Junkyard Jeans (customized chain-stitch embroidery), and Tangleblue Weavers. We also had a few guests along the way for a couple stops; Cobra Rock Boot Co.(handmade boots), Chimayo Weavers, and Teranishi (leather goods).
The yurt really gave us a platform to create and collaborate while allowing the public to observe our process and ask us questions. I've worked for the Levi's® Tailor Shop making handmade goods for almost three years, but when I met my fellow Makers on this trip it really hit me what a special thing I'm a part of. I got to work and become close with some of the most inspiring and talented people, all of us tied together with the common thread of loving to create and work with our hands. There was definitely a special energy inside the yurt.
Every stop on the trip included a combination of visual arts, installations, and live music, all in a very unforgettable fashion. Some of the Happenings take place inside actual train stations (Chicago, Pittsburgh), while others exist within hubs at the creative centers of communities (Brooklyn, Barstow). How the tour arrives at each stop is the truly unforgettable part. Within each of the nine train cars, each serving a distinct purpose, it was almost impossible to find someone without their face glued to the windows admiring the little seen landscape from up on the rails or with their hands on one of the many interactive tools ("for the modern frontier") made possible by Levi's ®. Included in these was an original 1901 Underwood No. 5 typewriter linked directly to Twitter, a 1939 web-enabled Graflex Speed Graphic still cam for taking Instagram pictures, . and a 1960's Gibson hollow body plugged straight into Soundcloud.
Aitken has repeatedly begrudged the term "tour" and endorses the idea that the project is an entity which "constantly changes". All posturing aside, whatever you want to call it, it's impressive and ambitious. Each station had a very distinct feel and was drastically different from the happening prior. In Brooklyn, it kicked off in a dark noise-filled soundstage on the river with sets from electronic pioneers Suicide, tour staple No Age, and psychedelic locals Ariel Pink (who performed at multiple dates), as well as a youth marching band from Kansas City. By the time it reached Chicago, Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore had joined for his set with drummer John Moloney as Caught On Tape. The Legendary gospel diva Mavis Staples also performed.
As the train rolled on, it finally made its way to the southwest and, in my opinion, its defining showcases. When the train, decorated in highly visible, flashing, LED lights, pulled up on the beautifully restored grounds of the almost century old La Posada hotel (which was the original Winslow train stop) the traveling event arguably achieved its most characterized evening. Between the location of the stage being only a few feet from the train, and the recently restored Inn doubling as a local art museum, this seemed to be the exact platform from which Levi's ® and Station to Station creator Doug Aitken wished to "make their mark". Jackson Browne tossed out a few classics before finally playing "Take It Easy, which resulted in a fevered reaction from every middle aged resident sitting in their lawn chairs. Another tour favorite was Cold Cave, who in Winslow, played atop an elevated platform overlooking a haystack maze full of puzzled onlookers.
One of the main themes being pushed was that the most important part was not the "happening", but what comes after it. For someone like Doug Aitken who's constantly looking forward to the next collaboration or project, it makes sense that the aim of the entire undertaking was to push imagination into the future while taking educated hints from the past. What better place exists than being in a shuttle riding the exact tracks that helped shape the land moving beneath it?
You already saw pictures and heard more about the NYC and Pittsburgh stops and saw a set of pictures from Chicago. More pictures and some videos from the train along with the Chicago, IL, Winslow, AZ, and Barstow, CA stops, below...