Entries tagged with: Clogs
photos by David Andrako
Shara Worden & The Orchestra for the Next Century, Ecstatic Music Fest 2013
As you may know, the Ecstatic Music Festival is underway in NYC with concerts happening now through March 21 at Merkin Concert Hall in the Kaufman Music Center. Last night (2/6) featured a performance by Clogs and Sarah Kirkland Snider & Orchestra for the Next Century. The latter was presenting the world premiere of Unremembered, a 13-song cycle set to poetry and artwork by New-York-based poet/writer Nathaniel Bellows. DM Stith, My Brightest Diamond's Shara Worden (who performed the opening night) and Clogs' Padma Newsome. sang as part of it. Pictures from the evening, as well as setlist and program notes, are in this post.
The next EMF performance happens February 20 featuring a collaboration between Deerhoof and Chicago ensemble Dal Niente, including new work by Brazilian-born composer Marcos Balter. Deerhoof and Dal Niente previously collaborated last summer as part of Chicago's Wordless Music series. Tickets to the event are still available.
More pics from last night's Ecstatic Music Festival performance are below...
photos by David Andrako
DJ /Rupture @ Ecstatic Music Fest, 2/2/2013
"There's nothing you can do to avoid a museum-ification of your own work when you put out a retrospective box set, but we're doing everything we can to keep it fresh," said [Zs' saxophonist Sam] Hillmer, a thoughtful and passionate performer for whom Zs ("It just means us.") has always held a firm creative perspective.Avant garde ensemble Zs are celebrating their 10th anniversary this year, and just played a collaborative show over the weekend (2/2) with DJ /Rupture at NYC's Merkin Concert Hall as part of The Ecstatic Music Festival. Zs and /Rupture did alternating mini-sets that fed off each other. Pictures from that performance are in this post.
Influenced by overlapping currents of radical sound--free jazz, the 20th century classical avant-garde, punk rock and underground noise--the musicians applied rigorous technique to embrace its enthusiasms without cliché. "One thing that was really prevalent at the time was this kind of salad-bar approach to creating innovative music," Mr. Hillmer said later, flashing back to the early 2000s, when a certain canned hybridization was in vogue. "'Classical music that rocks!' That's a view of music that tacitly renders styles as alienated from one another. We find that to be philosophically untenable and untrue." - [Wall Street Journal]
The Ecstatic Music Fest continues on Wednesday (2/6) with Clogs and Sarah Kirkland Snider & Orchestra for the Next Century. Snider will be presenting Unremembered, a "13-song cycle set to poetry (and with accompanying projected artwork) by New-York-based poet/writer Nathaniel Bellows," and features vocal performances by DM Stith, My Brightest Diamond's Shara Worden (who performed the opening night) and Padma Newsome. The latter will also appear with band/chamber ensemble Clogs. More info is here and tickets are still available.
Clogs (which also features Bryce Dessner) have a new EP out titled The Sundown Song and you can check out the video for the title track below.
More pics from the 2/2 performance below...
Ecstatic Music Festival 2012 (more by David Andrako)
As discussed, the indie/classical Ecstatic Music Festival is returning to the Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Center this year and it begins Friday (1/25) with a show from My Brightest Diamond's Shara Worden and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. The festival also includes shows with Clogs, Laurel Halo and Julia Holter, Deerhoof, Megafaun, and more. The full schedule is below and tickets for select shows are still available.
However, you've also got a chance to attend for free because we're giving away a pair of tickets to a show of your choice. Contest details and the Ecstatic Music Festival schedule, below...
Clogs at Merkin Concert Hall in 2011 (more by David Andrako)
Clogs, the modern classical collective that sometimes counts The National's Bryce Dessner as a member, are releasing their new EP, The Sundown Song EP, the followup to 2010's The Creatures in the Garden of Lady Walton LP and Last Song, on February 5. You can download the title track HERE, or stream it along with the EP's cover art and tracklist, below.
Clogs has two dates scheduled for 2013 at the moment, including the previously discussed show on February 6 at the Merkin Concert Hall for a collaborative set with Sarah Kirkland Snider and Orchestra for the Next Century as part of the Ecstatic Music Festival. Since we last spoke, special guests Nathaniel Bellows, DM Stith, and Shara Worden were added. Tickets for that show are still available. Shara also plays her own Ecstatic Music Festival show to kick off the fest on January 25 at the Greene Space, but that show is sold out.
Bryce Dessner, who is busy with The National, is not confirmed to appear at Clogs' NYC show, but he will definitely appear at their Australia show in March. A list of all Clogs dates and the EP cover art and tracklist are below.
Julia Holter at Bowery Ballroom in August (more by Amanda Hatfield)
The Ecstatic Music Festival is returning to the Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Center in 2013 from January 25 to March 21, where it's happened in past years. Over the course of the approximately two month-long period, the festival will be presenting eleven shows, with multiple collaborations between artists that blur the lines between indie and modern classical. The collaborations include Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond) with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus; Sarah Kirkland Snider with vocalists DM Stith, Padma Newsome (of Clogs), and Shara Worden; DJ / rupture and Zs; Deerhoof with Dal Niente and Marcos Balter; Laurel Halo and Julia Holter with Daniel Wohl; Arnold Dreyblatt with Megafaun; Simone Dinnerstein with Tift Merritt; a Bang on a Can concert, and more.
Full schedule is below.
As mentioned, the Ecstatic Music Festival kicks off on February 4 at Merkin Concert Hall with Jherek Bischoff, who plays with Parenthetical Girls and The Dead Science. He's teaming up with Wordless Music Orchestra and an incredible list of guest vocalists from his upcoming album, which comes out this February, including David Byrne, Craig Wedren (Shudder To Think), Greg Saunier (Deerhoof), Mirah, and Zac Pennington (Parenthetical Girls. Tickets are still on sale now.
Speaking of Parenthetical Girls, their tour began last night (12/1) at Glasslands with Gauntlet Hair, Dinowalrus, and Eraas. If you missed it, they'll also be in NYC this Friday (12/3) at Santos Party House with YACHT and Midnight Magic (tickets).
As previously mentioned, Brassland Records is celebrating its 10th anniversary as a label and debuted a new/old track every day of November via various methods including Soundcloud. None of those tracks can be heard in the player that's embedded below. Those include "Spinney" by This is the Kit (who are opening for the National at Beacon Theater on 12/17) and "Secret of the Machines (instrumental)" by Jherek Bischoff. The latter also features drums by Greg Saunier (Deerhoof), and will have vocals by Caetano Veloso in its album version.
photos by David Andrako
"Sufjan did not disappoint us. He came, he played banjo and sang We Were Here, acting in his self-effacing way just any other hired musician. It was a wonderful moment and a delightful surprise. But I don't want to sell Clogs short. The concert was delightful even before Sufjan arrived onstage.More pictures from the Saturday show, and the full setlist, below...
Clogs put on a beautiful show as part of the excellent Ecstatic Music Festival. Wonderfully quirky vocalist Shara Worden, in an extremely colorful ensemble, joined Clogs to sing and play some guitar on several tunes from the latest Clogs album, The Creatures in the Garden of Lady Walton, on which she appears. The band also did some older tunes and a new song cycle, called Unattended Shadow, by the band's violist, Padma Newsome. (Clogs' lineup is rounded out by Rachael Elliott on bassoon and Thomas Kozumplik on percussion.)
One of the real treats of the evening, though, was the band's interaction with the fabulous Brooklyn Youth Chorus. They performed guitarist Bryce Dessner's new Tour Eiffel, which was premiered at the Nico Muhly Tell the Way show at St. Ann's Warehouse early in February."
[Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone]
Shara, Sufjan & Bryce @ the Bell House (more by David Andrako)
Tickets are still on sale for Saturday's Clogs/Brooklyn Youth Chorus Ecstatic Music Festival show that Shara Worden (and Sufjan Stevens) is also playing. "The set list includes works from recent Clogs albums as well as a new piece from Bryce Dessner (The National) and a world premiere by Padma Newsome."
DOWNLOAD: Clogs - On the Edge (MP3)
The National @ the Studio (more by David Andrako)
Not only did Bryce play a live MTV taping with the National last night, he's playing a fashion week party tonight (Wednesday) and three shows this weekend at St. Ann's Warehouse (Thursday-Saturday), AND he has an Ecstatic Music Festival show on Thursday night too...
Composer/Guitarist Bryce Dessner of The National is excited to premiere two separate compositions in New York City on Thursday, February 10. The first commission was awarded to Bryce by Bang on a Can All Stars' People's Commissioning Fund. The piece will be performed at Merkin Hall by Bang on a Can All-Stars (details HERE).AND, the Bang on a Can show is one of at least two Ecstatic Music Festival shows Bryce is part of, and the St. Ann's show is one of two gigs Bryce has scheduled with the BYC kids. Bryce's other band Clogs teams up with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus and Shara Worden for a show at Merkin Concert Hall on May 12th. Shara Worden also plays Merkin Concert Hall four days later with Sarah Kirkland Snider (I think Shara was kept off the bills until after her recent Lincoln Center show). Tickets for those and other Ecstatic Music Fest shows are on sale.
Bryce will be performing his second piece, "Tour Eiffel" at St. Ann's alongside Nico Muhly, Sam Amidon and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus Feb 10th-12th.
More National tour dates HERE. Clogs dates below...
As previously announced, the 2011 Ecstatic Music Festival, presented by New York City's Merkin Concert Hall in association with New Amsterdam Records, is a showcase of imaginative collaborations between more than 150 genre-pushing composers, songwriters and performers who represent a new generation of artists combining diverse influences and techniques to explore the intersection of classical and pop music. All concerts will include premieres. The festival opens with a free seven-hour marathon on January 17, 2011, and continues with 13 additional concerts until March 28, 2011. All concerts will take place at Merkin Concert Hall.The Ecstatic Music Festival 2011 is almost here. Subscriptions and single show tickets are on sale. The full updated schedule (tUnE-yArDs, So Percussion, Dan Deacon, Craig Wedren, ACME, Nadia Sirota, Buke & Gass, Doveman, Owen Pallett, Bang On A Can All-Stars, and more included), and a trailer, below...
by Alex Lewis
Bryce Dessner (we think) @ the Big Ears Festival (more by Andrew Frisicano)
While in Knoxville for the Big Ears Festival (March 26-28, 2010), you knew you were at the right show if Bryce Dessner was in sight. When The Ex performed Friday night, Dessner was in attendance with his entourage that included his twin brother Aaron and Sufjan Stevens. This turned out to be one of the most exciting shows of the weekend. On Saturday, instead of seeing Vampire Weekend at the Tennessee Theater, he was at the Knoxville Museum of Art for the Big Ears film co-op that featured presentations of experimental films with live improvised performances from a number of the festival's artists. Then again, it was hard to miss Bryce completely, as he performed with Clogs, The National, and in a number of other settings.
The intimate relationship between artists and audience at Big Ears is one of the most unique parts of the experience. This interface takes place partly because Knoxville is small and there are few places for artists to hide. But it's also built into the festival's program and embodied by its co-curator. I met with Bryce at the Knoxville Museum of Art after the film co-op. We discussed the festival, venues in NYC, and more...
How did you get involved with Big Ears?
Ashley [Capps, head of AC Entertainment] called me about a year ago, probably because of Dark Was The Night. But then also because of a much smaller festival that I've run in Ohio for the past 5 years. He was basically just fishing to see if I was interested in coming down [to Knoxville] and doing something. He was very open-minded about what that might be. Originally, he didn't care if The National played. He was more interested in Clogs because we don't often get the opportunity to do something like this. I'm usually wary of curating. Inside Cincinnati I know I can control because it's a very small thing. It's just a very small theater and that's the only venue. It's a very intimate kind of thing and because I've billed it for years now people understand what's going to happen. It's very flexible.
So in the past I've been asked to do other festivals and I've usually said "no", mainly because it's rare to find someone who is open-minded and cool to go with it. So basically Ashley is that person. As much as any musical collaborator that I love and have a great time with, he is that person for this. Working on a festival is so ephemeral and in the moment, that it's kind of my favorite thing in music. More than the commercial side of the industry that's related to releasing records, festivals just happen and then they're over. Especially if there's site-specific going on that's really only happening at that festival. I think that Big Ears is kind of new. It's a different format for hearing music. I got the sense that Ashley was interested in pushing something in that way and that's why I said, "sure".
by Andrew Frisicano
this post concludes our Big Ears 2010 Festival coverage. links to the first two posts are also below...
"When people ask what my favorite place to play is, I tell them about this place. It's like playing inside an Easter egg," quipped My Brightest Diamond's Shara Worden, gazing at the deep-sea blue dome overhead at Knoxville's Tennessee Theater. The psychedelic cavern, a mish-mash of decorative styles and colors, served as the home to the Big Ears festival's largest shows, and its final act on Sunday night, with headliner the National.
The National's presence was felt long before they took the stage - in the hand of guitarist Bryce Dessner, who co-curated the fest, in the National members' supporting gigs, playing behind Doveman, Clogs and others, and in the abundance of friends and fellow Brooklyn-ites in the Big Ears lineup. Of course, those are all connected. One look at the stage during the first song of the National's encore - "Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks" off their forthcoming High Violet - revealed a selection of Big Ears' top acts - Nico Muhly, St. Vincent, Shara Worden and sometimes-National members Padma Newsome and Thomas Bartlett (Sufjan came out for a song, but not during the encore), all of whom performed earlier in the weekend on their own. (Read here about days one and two)
Attendees also had the chance to opt for music outside of that circle. At Big Ears Annex, Tim Hecker and Ben Frost collaborated for a set of fragile, icy noise (they both played on their own earlier too - Hecker opened for Bang on a Can All-Stars' performance of Music For Aiports and the Books at the TN Theater). Trio Konk Pack took the same stage later for improvised noises, pops and whirs - like the soundtrack to an invisible film. The night before, one could choose between Liturgy and Gang Gang Dance - two bands at the top of their respective genres - while Terry Riley's In C filled the Tennessee Theater to its elliptical rafters.
Around the corner from the Annex at the Pilot Light, KnoEars, an unaffiliated, somewhat anti-Big Ears DIY Fest, hosted an all-day lineup that included homemade noise, Replacements-style punk and more emanating into Sunday's rainy street.
Terry Riley, selected to be this year's resident guide, performed four times over the three days - all in different settings. Other repeat acts like Thomas Bartlett (Doveman), who played with Sam Amidon, the fest's first act (interviewed here), and The National, its last, were frequent Knoxville fixtures for the three-day fest, running to their own gigs or enjoying others'.
"Mr. Riley also enjoyed a fair number of other people's shows, especially the art-song band Clogs. ("They were the hit for me," he said, beaming over breakfast on Monday morning. "Great performers, great writing. I'm going to buy their CD when I get home.")" [NY Times]Doveman and Nico Muhly both played earlier Sunday in a set that included material from their recent Peter Pears project, the Footloose soundtrack, and their 802 tour partner Sam Amidon (who had to catch a flight to Germany). That show's headliner, St. Vincent, provided a counterpoint to their pianos with a set of songs steeped in squealing noise and leveling distortion.
More pictures and videos from the fest are below...
by Andrew Frisicano
Collaborations were the order of the day on Big Ears' Saturday, March 27th schedule (day two). At 1pm, the 802 Tour - Nico Muhly, Thomas Bartlett (Doveman) and Sam Amidon with violist Nadia Sirota - performed songs written by each. The National's Dessner brothers and drummer Bryan Devendorf joined for a selection of full-band Doveman songs, and the finale was a clamoring, epic version of the folk song "The Two Sisters" arranged by Nico (part of the percussion included Nico combing Thomas's hair). Sam played his own set with help from Thomas one day earlier, and later Saturday night.
Before that, the day started with Andrew W.K.'s Q&A-heavy lecture at the Knoxville Museum of Art (he played a set of music the night before) and a Bang on a Can All-Stars set that included works by Dave Longstreth, both at noon. Dirty Projectors performed later in the day (3:45pm) at Tennessee Theatre on a bill that also included DJ/Rupture and William Basinski who went on at the same time as Liturgy (who played at the Big Ears Annex at 2pm and then again at Pilot Light at midnight).
Clogs took the stage at the Bijou Theater with guests as well. Rumors of a solo set by Sufjan Steven circulated, but he only played one of his own songs, "Barn Owl Night Killer," on piano. Clogs were also assisted by Shara Worden, Aaron Dessner and Calder Quartet. Matt Berninger was delayed en route to Knoxville, so he didn't make his duet on "Last Song," for which main Clog Padma Newsome filled in. That wasn't the actual last song - new-album closer "We Were Here" was, which featured Sufjan on vocals and banjo along with Shara Worden and guitar by Aaron Dessner. A similar show happened in Brooklyn a few days earlier.
The Saturday headliners - Vampire Weekend and Joanna Newsom - both played to sold out crowds (Vampire Weekend at the sprawling, ornate-adorned 1600 seat Tennessee Theater with opener Abe Vigoda). Joanna Newsom's set was opened by Fred Armisen aka Jens Hannemann, a master of "complicated drummer technique." Armisen also joined her set for one song to play awkward and out-of-place cowbell.
At the Tennessee, the night ended with Terry Riley's Autodreamagraphical Tales - music from Bang on a Can over Terry reading from his actual dreams (Eastern religion and weed popped up frequently) - and In C, led by BoaC's Evan Ziporyn and featuring the rest of Bang on a Can All-Stars as well as Calder Quartet, Clogs, Nico Muhly, Nadia Sirota, Gyan Riley, and Terry on voice. The open-ended song stretched to an hour, canceling out any chance to catch late night sets from Javelin and Gang Gang Dance. Gang Gang was stil going when I arrived, but the club shut down the power mid-song and flipped on the lights promptly at 3am, sending everyone home.
A recap of Friday is HERE. More pictures and videos from Saturday are below...
photos by David Andrako
"Clogs tonight at the Bell House Brooklyn w/ the astonishing Shara Worden and (briefly) Sufjan Stevens: Complex, transfixing, transcendent" - Frank Rose
As promised, Sufjan showed up to perform with Shara Worden and Clogs (featuring members of the National) at the Bell House last night. The whole crew is now off to Tennessee for the Big Ears Festival which kicks off Friday with performances by Sam Amidon, Andrew WK, The xx, Ben Frost and others (full schedule HERE). Some more pictures from last night's Clogs show in Brooklyn below...
Olof Arnalds @ SXSW 2010 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
Chamber group Clogs played live (and spoke) on WNYC on Monday. You can listen at their site (and download it above).
Wednesday night (tonight, 3/24) is Clogs' record release show at The Bell House in Brooklyn. They've confirmed that Sufjan Stevens and My Brightest Diamond's Shara Worden (who also played with them on WNYC and was a special guest at the Regina Spektor show at Irving Plaza Tuesday night) will be their guests. Whether Sufjan will sing or not isn't 100% clear, but like Shara, he does sing on the new album.
The National's Padma Newsome and Bryce Dessner are permanent members of Clogs. Bryce's twin brother Aaron and the National's Matt Berninger aren't, but will also play with the group when they perform at the Big Ears Fest in Knoxville, Tennessee this weekend.
Full Big Ears schedule at their site.
Olof Arnalds @ Rockwood Music Hall in November (more by Vincent Cornelli)
Olof Arnalds will be playing two NYC shows around her trip to Texas for SXSW this march. The first of those will be on Monday, March 15th at Rockwood Music Hall. The second will be a week and a half later, on March 24th, with Clogs (featuring Shara Worden) and Julianna Barwick at the Bell House. Tickets are on sale. We also have a pair to give away; details are below.
Clogs have a new record out now. Olof's new record, her debut, Við og Við, came out in January on One Little Indian. Two tracks from it are posted above.
Contest details, a video, and Olof's dates and SXSW schdule are below...
by Andrew Frisicano
DOWNLOAD: Clogs - Red Seas w/ Padma Newsome (MP3)
Dave Longstreth @ MHOW in December (more by Ryan Muir)
The final lineup for Big Ears Festival in Knoxville TN, March 26-28, has been confirmed and updated, with the addition of King Crimson's Adrian Belew, tape composer William Basinski, NYC metal Liturgy (who are also playing MtyMx), UK avant-noisemakers Konk Pack, punk band Abe Vigoda, Ches Smith (drummer for Marc Ribot and others who'll play with Tery Riley) and Sufjan Stevens, who will be appearing with Clogs.
Also joining Clogs on stage will be the other guest vocalists on their new song cycle/album ,The Creatures in the Garden of Lady Walton: Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond) and The National's Matt Berninger and Aaron Dessner. They'll be performing that work. A new track from the album, featuring
Sufjan Padma on vocals, is posted above.
Other pairings at the fest include Ben Frost and Tim Hecker (collaborating for the first time) and Bang on a Can All-Stars, who will be playing music by David Longstreth, Thurston Moore, Michael Gordon and their own Evan Ziporyn. They'll also be doing a rendition of Brian Eno's Music for Airports at a show with Tim Hecker and The Books (who are also on the bill of ATP NY this year). Tickets to most Big Ears shows are currently on sale; additional shows go on sale Friday at 10am and noon.
Bang on a Can All-Stars will be performing the music of Dave Longstreth next Wednesday, February 24th at their show at Merkin Hall. At the gig, they'll also premiere work by Nik Bärtsch, Oscar Bettison and Christine Southworth plus "performances of a recently commissioned work by Michael Nyman for a film by the celebrated 1920s New York photographer Paul Strand along with a selection from the group's acclaimed live arrangement of Brian Eno's ambient classic Music for Airports." Tickets are on sale. A video of them playing 2x5 directed by Steve Reich is below. The full Merkin Hall schedule for their New Sounds/Contemporary Contexts series (including a May 27th Signal show/Nico Muhly premiere) is below.
Longstreth, Dirty Projectors and Alarm Will Sound play The Getty Address in full at Lincoln Center's Allen Room on Friday, Februay 19th. More below...
With the new National record coming out, don't forget there's also a new Clogs record, The Creatures in the Garden of Lady Walton, out March 2nd on Brassland (cover art above). On that record, the band, headed by Padma Newsome and The National's Bryce Dessner, will be joined by vocalists Shara Worden, Matt Berninger and Sufjan Stevens (who is also a confirmed guest on the new National). Clogs just put out a pre-album EP titled Veil Waltz. They're also playing live including a Brooklyn show at the Bell House on March 24th. Tickets are on sale now.
Shara Worden (aka My Brightest Diamond) recently headlined a show of her own at Bowery Ballroom one night before she made a special appearance for Haiti at Music Hall of Williamsburg.
More info on the new Clogs album and all dates below...
Joanna Newsom is one of the announced acts for this year's Big Ears Fest in Knoxville, TN, March 26th-28th. Others on the initial lineup include Vampire Weekend, St. Vincent, the Calder Quartet, Andrew WK, The Ex, Gang Gang Dance, Clogs, 802 Tour (Nico Muhly / Doveman / Sam Amidon with Nadia Sirota), The xx, Javelin, DJ/Rupture (solo), DJ/Rupture and Andy Moor, My Brightest Diamond, Gyan Riley, and jj. The fest's artist in residence is composer Terry Riley and a number of his works will be performed (including 'In C'). Bryce Dessner of the National is also one of the curators. Weekend tickets are on sale now. Tickets to invididual shows will be announced later this month, along with the schedule (shows are at different venues around town).
by Andrew Frisicano
DOWNLOAD: Aaron Dessner - We Were Born (from the Long Count) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Long Count - Bull Run (feat. Kelley Deal) (MP3)
Twins! (the Dessners & the Deals)
The Long Count kicks off its three show engagement at BAM's Gilman Opera House tonight (10/28). Tickets are still available for the show, as well as for the Friday (10/30) and Saturday (10/31) performances.
The 70-minute music and multimedia piece, commissioned by BAM Next Wave Festival, is the work of Bryce and Aaron Dessner of the National and visual artist Matthew Ritchie. But they haven't been working alone. At every step of composing and arranging the Long Count over the past year, the brothers have tapped into their crew of skilled collaborators. The 12-piece orchestra that will be joining them on stage counts talents like NYC violist Nadia Sirota (who played last month's Archipelago series show), sax/bass clarinet player Colin Stetson, and Antony & the Johnsons' guitarist/violinist/conductor Rob Moose (who in particular assisted with some of the arranging duties).
As previously mentioned, the Breeders' Kim and Kelley Deal (twins) collaborated with the Dessners (also twins) on much of the music - they sing for nearly half of the show. Other vocal turns will be taken by the Nationals' Matt Berninger and My Brightest Diamond's Shara Worden.
All four singers play roles in the narrative of the Long Count, which takes its story from the Mayan creation myth of Popol Vuh. In that, multiple sets of twins (in the story and on stage) experience repeated cycles of life and death until giving birth to the world as we know it. The original tale ties in strongly with a ballgame played by its main characters - an element which the Dessners have woven in with their love of baseball, particularly Cincinnati Reds and the Big Red Machine.
Musically, the Long Count sections posted above, both from the show's work-in-progress performance at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on September 11th, showcase the piece's diversity. The first, "We Were Born," highlights the minimalist pedigree of the show, while "Bull Run" layers those elements with fearsome orchestral lines and extremely creepy vocals by Kelley Deal.
Paired with the spooky nature of Mathew Ritchie's animation (which you can preview here) the show looks to be a good Halloween night warm-up as any. In fact, the early Saturday night show has the most tickets available, and it follows a pre-show Q&A (ticketed separately) led by Brandon Stosuy (who's curating the Mount Eerie + metal show at Market Hotel later in the night).
Bryce generously answered some of our questions over the phone while in the last week of rehearsal (and in the hectic center of CMJ week). More photos from the production, and that interview, where he reveals the existence of an unreleased Christmas album he made with Sufjan, details on the new National record and more, below...
by Andrew Frisicano
Dorit Chrysler @ World Financial Center, 2008 (more by Ryan Muir)
The next free show at NYC's World Financial Center will be "Songs of Love & Despair: A Musical Tribute to Pablo Neruda" on Wednesday, April 15th. The event, "curated and produced by David Spelman, known worldwide for his biannual New York Guitar Festival," will include Clogs, Irene & Vojtech Havel, Colin Stetson, Pedro Soler with Benat Achiary, Bob Holman, Laurie Anderson & Cecilia Vicuna. The last show for Clogs (the instrumental band w/ members of The National) was at BAM on February 26th.
The Pablo Neruda tribute will take place in WFC's Winter Garden (220 Vesey St) -- the same spot as the annual Bang on a Can Marathon which is scheduled this year for Sunday, May 31st. Tortoise will be performing at that event.
If you haven't been to the venue (where all shows are free), "The World Financial Center is a complex of buildings across West Street from the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan in New York City, overlooking the Hudson River. This complex is home to offices of major corporations including Merrill Lynch and American Express as well as Dow Jones and its Wall Street Journal division among others. The entire complex is owned by Brookfield Properties, except for the space occupied by American Express."
Also performing there this summer will be Anthony Gonzalez from M83 on Tuesday, July 14th.
Mountains, who we wrote about in February, play the venue on Tuesday, July 7th with Scanner.
More WFC dates with descriptions, below...
photos by Kyle Dean Reinford
"Shuffle Mode," the Brooklyn Philharmonic program on Thursday night [2/26] at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, put the orchestra on an equal footing with two indie-rock bands: Clogs, from Brooklyn, and Bell Orchestre, from Montreal. Both are connected to better-known indie-rock bands: two members of Clogs are in the National, and two members of Bell Orchestre are in Arcade Fire.All three groups were on stage at the same time (playing in "shuffle mode"). Though the music is/was mostly intrumental, as promised, there were guest vocalists. Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond) sang one song with Clogs and the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and then Shara and Sufjan Stevens joined Clogs for the song "We Were Here". More pictures below...
More to the point, both include conservatory-trained musicians writing what's essentially chamber music, using the same pool of ideas as nominally classical contemporary composers: Minimalist repetition, elements of traditional music and a rediscovery of melody. [NY Times]
The National @ Fun Fun Fun Fest (more by Kyle Dean Reinford)
...the charity compilation that Aaron & Bryce produced for the Red Hot Organization, "Dark Was The Night", will be released this coming Tuesday, February 17th!!! (February 16th outside the US). Please help us support Red Hot's effort to raise money and awareness to combat the HIV / AIDS epidemic and go out and buy yourself a copy next week. It is well worth the money and you'll be contributing to an important cause. The record features 31 exclusive tracks and will be released digitally, as a double CD and triply vinly LP! You can learn more about the project and stream songs here.The National announced some tour dates yesterday. They'll be "trying out new songs (!) and playing some old ones too of course." You heard two of those new songs if you were at the recent Tibet House benefit at Carnegie Hall. No NYC date on this new tour, but there is Boston, DC, and Philly.
For a NYC show, check out Bell Orchestre and Clogs when they share a bill on February 26th at BAM in Brooklyn. Clogs features National members Bryce, Padma, and Aaron "along with special guest vocalists". The National have lots of talented friends who can sing here in NYC. Who knows who they'll bring along. Tickets for that show are now 20% off if you use promo code 9826 when ordering tickets by phone at 718.636.4100 or online.
For an actual National show in NYC, stay tuned for more announcements and keep your fingers crossed for a fantastic lineup at Radio City Music Hall in the name of the above-mentioned Dark Was the Night compilation.
All dates below...
Clogs @ Tonic - November 7, 2005 (more)
Bell Orchestre @ Tonic - November 7, 2005 (more)
Clogs (featuring members of The National) and Bell Orchestre (featuring members of Arcade Fire) went on a short tour together back in 2005. Since then there hasn't been a ton going on with the two higher-art indie-rock side projects, which makes sense, since both the Arcade Fire and The National have been keeping more than busy. That should change a bit in 2009 though, when not only are both groups releasing new albums, but they will also both share a NYC stage once again - this time with the added bonus of Michael Christie and the Brooklyn Philharmonic.
Shuffle ModeTickets are on sale. Grizzly Bear and Final Fantasy play with the Brooklyn Philharmonic two days later. All dates below...
Thu, Feb 26, 2009 at 8pm
Michael Christie, conductor
Shuffle Mode will bring a critically acclaimed independent artist to the mainstage in an exiting new concert format. Using seeming contradictory musical languages to create a dialogue, Michael Christie and the orchestra will team up with a sensational guest artist in a concert accessing a broad variety of sounds and styles.
The guest artist is currently TBA.
BAM Howard Gilman Opera House
Tickets: $15, 30, 40, $50
Castle Clinton seems to be doing a lot more shows this year than usual, and they're all awesome. In additon to Shearwater, Drive By Truckers, The Flatlanders, and Ron Sexsmith, we've also got these two amazing free shows....
The big Battery Park show is July 4th with New Pornographers and Midlake, but then check these out:
Wed 06/13 - Booker T. & the MGs with guest Sharon Jones (more awesome + SJ)
Wed 07/11 - Spoon (maybe why they're not playing NYC in April)
Wed 07/18 - Toumani Diabate's Symmetric Orchestra (African awesomeness)
World Financial Center
Tue 06/26 - The Living Room – A Songwriters' Night starring Martha Wainwright, Chris Thile, Ari Hest, Jim Campilongo and more
The Seaport team is always in tune with our indie needs. This year I'm even a little involved...
South Street Seaport
Fri 06/01 - Animal Collective & Danielson
Sat 06/16 - Target Children's Day & Fireworks w/ Brooklyn Philharmonic
Fri 07/06 - Fujiya & Miyagi
Fri 07/13 - Menomena (in conjunction w/ Brooklyn Vegan & Citysol)
Fri 07/20 - Rock Plaza Central
Fri 08/03 - A Night of Billie Holiday Remixed and Reimagined
Fri 08/31 - Battles
More shows to be announced soon, and the full press release below.....