Entries tagged with: Colin Stetson
by Andrew Sacher
Buke and Gase at Prospect Park in 2011 (more by Toby Tenebaum)
After tonight's show, Father Murphy, who are here from Italy, head out on tour with Xiu Xiu and Dirty Beaches (which hits Bowery Ballroom this Friday 5/4). Their album was mixed by Deerhoof's Greg Saunier who is one third of, but not the drummer of, Les Bonhommes (that also features William Kuehn from Rainer Maria).
Other performances throughout the week include former Parts & Labor noisemaker Dan Friel and Bunnybrains on 5/4; a Tonic reunion featuring Mephista with John Zorn, Steve Bernstein's MTO and more; Extra Life's Charlie Looker, Greg Fox, & Jamie Saft and Glass Ghost on 5/11, gonzo drummer Greg Fox and Hubble on 5/12, a powerhouse grouping of Ryan Sawyer, Colin Stetson, Nate Wooley, C. Spencer Yeh Quartet on 5/13, and Matana Roberts and Ches Smith on 5/15, among others.
Buke & Gase don't actually play any of the shows they curated but they do play the Dessner-curated Crossing Brooklyn Ferry fest on May 4 at BAM.
The second half of May at the Stone is curated by Gyan Riley.
Check out the full schedule below...
Built to Spill at BV SXSW 2012 (more by Ryan Barkan)
The Hopscotch festival in Raleigh, North Carolina will celebrate its third year from Sept. 6-8, 2012 in downtown Raleigh, with 175 bands in 15 venues. The initial lineup, released today, runs the gamut from traditional indie favorites to punk to noise music to hip hop to noisy black metal and all stops in between, featuring performances from Built to Spill, sunn 0))), The Roots, The Jesus & Mary Chain (who played SXSW), Liars (who have a show coming up at Webster Hall), Baroness, Deerhoof, Death Grips (who play NYC soon and have new material on the way), Danny Brown (who was at Coachella and plays Prospect Park soon), Pallbearer (who play an exclusive East Coast Show soon), Screaming Females (who recently played NYC and are on tour now), Thee Oh Sees, The Spits (who just played NYC twice), Tenement, The Mountain Goats (two sets, one of which will be an all metal-covers set!) and so many more.
(and now we know the Jesus & Mary Chain are coming back soon)
Tickets are on sale. The full lineup and flyer (update: and a few more announced J&MC dates) are below...
PIANA is an album of instrumental, solo piano pieces written by Gregory Rogove and performed by John Medeski (Medeski Martin & Wood). It also includes a DVD of musical and visual reinterpretations, or "remixes," of the piano pieces.Piana is out now on Knitting Factory Records. The full tracklist and list of remixers is below. The Billy Martin (also of Medeski Martin & Wood) remix is downloadable for free for the first (legal) time above.
Gregory Rogove, who you may also know from his work with Devendra Banhart, Priestbird and Megapuss (Devendra Banhart, Fabrizio Moretti, Gregory Rogove), will be performing songs from Piana on the previously mentioned 'Alone Together Tour' As you know:
The tour, consisting of a West Coast and East Coast run, will kick off on April 7 in Brooklyn, NY and will include three instrumentalists from different-but-related musical communities stepping out of the band atmosphere to present their solo compositions. The tour line-up includes Gregory Rogove and Sarah Neufeld (Arcade Fire/Bell Orchestre / violin) on all dates, Billy Martin (Medeski Martin Wood / percussion) on the east coast leg, Colin Stetson (Bon Iver, Laurie Anderson / saxophone) on the west coast leg. Each artist will perform solo on their respective instrument, exploring a variety of different compositional approaches.More info on the record with the videos for "Sunken Ships" and "Jackyl" and all dates, below...
"Colin Stetson was crazy good at Glasslands. Like putting Ornette Coleman under a powerful microscope and throwing him off the jazz deep end." - Liam A
Colin Stetson at SXSW 2011 (more by Ryan Barkan)
Now both musicians will team up as part of the "Alone Together" tour - An Evening of Solo Works - with Gregory Rogove (Devendra Banhart, Priestbird, Megapuss) and Billy Martin (Medeski Martin & Wood), though Colin Stetson will NOT be on the first few dates of the tour that stars in Brooklyn at Littlefield on Saturday (4/7) and also hits Le Poisson Rouge on April 10. Tickets for the Littlefield show (no Stetson) and the LPR show (no Stetson) are on sale now.
To quote a tour description:
Neufeld will present her unique and vibrant solo violin pieces, Martin will perform his impressive array of spontaneous percussion/drum set compositions, Stetson will perform his spell-binding solo bass saxophone work, and Rogove will play his minimalist, solo piano pieces, from his recently released PIANA album (Knitting Factory Records).All tour dates, the live Stetson video, and video of Sarah playing with Pulp in 2011, below...
Colin Stetson at SXSW 2011 (more by Ryan Barkan)
Sax monarch Colin Stetson is heading out on a North American tour this spring. Most of the dates will be supported by Sarah Neufeld, who Stetson has played with in Bell Orchestre (with Richard Parry), and who is also a member of Arcade Fire and sometimes The Luyas. The tour will bring the two musicians to NYC on April 3 at Glasslands. Tickets for that show are on sale now. All dates are listed below.
Towards the end of last year, Colin Stetson made a video for "Those Who Didn't Run," off the EP of the same name. The video was directed by Isaac Gale, who has worked with Colin in the past, in addition to working on many Doomtree-related videos (Doomtree are on tour too). You can watch that video below.
Speaking of the Arcade Fire, if you missed it, you can watch their entire recent episode of Austin City Limits online. Time will tell if they support Obama again in the upcoming election.
All Colin Stetson dates and the video below...
Fergus & Geronimo at BV-SXSW in March (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Happy New Year's Eve Eve! We've already given you a list of concerts and parties happening tomorrow and followed that with even more things to do. Some are already sold out (like 285 Kent and Glasslands). Some still have tickets (like Deer Tick). Here we are yet again with some more options.
Fergus & Geronimo are playing The Gutter (12/31) in Brooklyn with NT, My Teenage Stride, and The City Streets. Fergus will reportedly be "headlining at midnight" and "debuting tons of songs from their FUNKY new album." Brooklyn's NT are working on a new record and they've got a new song from it up for free download on bandcamp called "Reflection."
Superhuman Happiness are DJing at Union Pool (12/31) with DJ Partypants and visuals by BAMiAM.tv. As Superhuman Happiness point out on facebook, this is a DJ set and will be a very different show than their live set at Cake Shop TONIGHT (12/30). Tonight's post-Phish late show is a Dog Gone Blog presented show that features special guest Colin Stetson and DJ sets by Dog Gone Blog, Unicorn Pudding, and like tomorrow's Union Pool show, visuals by BAMiAM.tv.
Rub associate Nick Catchdubs is also DJing a New Year's Eve event in Brooklyn, at the Built by MeanRed party at Loreley (12/31) with Jubilee and a surprise guest. Tickets are available.
The Rub will also DJ at Brooklyn Bowl on January 15 for The Freedom Party vs. The Rub. Tickets are on sale.
One more NYE option is Murray Hill's New Year's Eve Extravaganza at Knitting Factory with Dirty Martini, Bridget Everett, Angie Pontani, Neal Medlyn, Trixie Little & Evil Hate Monkey, Amber Martin, and DJ Sirlinda. More expensive VIP tickets are sold out but $45 general admission tickets are still available.
DOWNLOAD: Austra - "Spellwork" (MNDR Nighttime Remix) (MP3)
Austra at Santos (more by Vincent Cornelli)
2011's short list of nominees for Canada's Polaris Music Prize were announced. They include a mix of indie veterans, grammy-winners, a sax player who has played with those grammy winners, and some new kids on the block like the super buzzy The Weeknd whose resume includes working with Drake. Full nominee list is below.
One of the artists, Austra, will release a remix EP to follow-up their latest release Feel it Break. The remix collection, entitled SPARKLE will be released digitally on July 26th and on wax on August 23rd. The release features remix contributions from MNDR, Mark Pistel, and Planningtorock with the digital collection having an additional four bonus remixes. Preorder it at Domino, and download/stream one track, "Spellwork (MNDR Nighttime Remix)" above/below.
Reminder, look for Austra to play a FREE show on July 14th supporting tUnE-yArDs at Pier 54 in NYC. They'll also be on hand to support Cold Cave at Bowery Ballroom on August 6th (tickets). Cold Cave also plays NYC next week, at Knitting Factory with Cult of Youth on July 12th (tickets).
Braids, also nominated, recently announced a ton of tour dates.
Austra song stream and dates and the Polaris Music Prize nominees are below.
Colin at SXSW 2011 (more by Ryan Barkan)
Avant-saxist Colin Stetson, who was just added to ATP NJ, has some other dates scheduled this summer. Those dates include a NYC show on August 12 at 92YTribeca with Callers. You can also catch Colin performing as part of Bon Iver's 9-piece band on Bon Iver's tour with The Rosebuds which includes sold out NYC shows at United Palace and Prospect Park in August. Colin also recorded on the recently released album which recently made No. 2 on Billboard.
The 92YTribeca show is after Callers finish up a tour with another weirdo-instrumentalist Nat Baldwin. That tour doesn't hit NYC but the Dirty Projectors member plays on July 29 at Union Pool with Nomo. All dates are listed below.
Speaking of weirdo-instrumentalists, Colin Stetson also tours with Emily Wells who "will crush any preconceived notions you ever had about classical music and hip hop". They don't play any dates together in NYC but Emily will play on July 12 at Tammany Hall, August 14 and 21 at Ace Hotel, and November 12 at St. Peter's Luterhan Church (at 9:30am and 4:45pm). Emily is also currently working on a new full length "Mama" and scoring a documentary film about the beat writer Richard Brautigan (author of cult classic Trout Fishing In America).
All tour dates for all artists mentioned here, below...
All Tomorrow's Parties returns to the USA this September in the new location of Asbury Park, N.J. bringing an I'll Be Your Mirror event to the iconic waterfront. For the inaugural U.S. I'll Be Your Mirror, Portishead will curate and headline their firrst East Coast shows since 1998 on the Saturday & Sunday.Say that all three times fast. All three day pass options are still on sale. More details on all ATP ticket options are below.
As well as Day Tickets, ATP have to date been selling two types of weekend pass - "Three Day Jeff Mangum" passes that include Jeff Mangum's Friday show and guarantee access to one of the Portishead shows (as well as everything else at the festival) and "Three Day Portishead" passes that do not give access to Jeff's Friday show but give guaranteed access to both Portishead shows as well as the rest of the festival. Today we announce a third type of weekend pass...
Portishead have invited Jeff to play an extra show on the Sunday night of the festival. Therefore this week we release new "Three Day Jeff Mangum Sunday Passes" - these give access to all three days of the festival to passholders who will see Jeff Mangum on the Sunday night and are guaranteed to see one of the two Portishead shows. The original Three Day passes for the event are now called "Three Day Jeff Mangum Friday Passes."
That means Jeff is playing Asbury Park three times, twice during the actual festival (see above), and, as you know, once on Monday (10/3) at Paramount Theatre (the day after ATP and not actually part of the fest itself). The Monday show has been sold out for a while now, but ATP are releasing a few more tickets for it. "To buy email email@example.com with JEFF MONDAY TICKETS in subject line, and tell us how many tickets you want. We will respond as soon as possible. Payments must be made by Paypal." A Hawk and a Hacksaw (ft. Neutral Milk Hotel's Jeremy Barnes) open the show.
ATP NJ has a few other lineup additions including Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 (they first reunited to play the Animal Collective ATP that recently happened in the UK), avant guitar hero Marc Ribot, avant sax hero Colin Stetson, avant comedian Reggie Watts, and others. Also: "Today we are also very pleased to announce that in conjunction with The Jonathan Levine Gallery, renowned artist SHEPARD FAIREY (who has created the art for this event and will also DJ) will be presenting an exhibition of his art over the weekend entitled Revolutions: The Album Cover Art of Shepard Fairey. More details of the exhibition will be conﬁrmed soon."
The updated lineup is below, along with updated Jeff Mangum tour dates (he added a few other shows recently too)...
Justin Vernon @ MHOW in 2010 (more by Paul Birman)
According to a press release, Bon Iver's August 10th 'Celebrate Brooklyn' show at the Prospect Park Bandshell will be his biggest NYC show yet, and...
"For the shows Justin Vernon will perform with a 9-piece band that includes many musicians who contributed to the forthcoming album 'Bon Iver,' out June 21 on Jagjaguwar. The touring band will consist of regular Bon Iver contributors Sean Carey (drums, piano), Mike Noyce (guitar) and Matt McCaughan (drums), Rob Moose on violin and guitar (Antony and the Johnsons, The National), Mike Lewis on bass (Andrew Bird, Happy Apple), and a horn section including Reginald Pace, Colin Stetson (Tom Waits, Arcade Fire), and C.J. Camerieri (Rufus Wainwright, Sufjan Stevens).Tickets go on "Celebrate Brooklyn" presale today (4/28) at noon. I believe the password is "celebratebklyn". Bon Iver's only other scheduled date at the moment is in Wisconsin.
Speaking of Andrew Bird, you don't need tickets at all to see him play the same venue this summer.
Bon Iver, the musical project of Justin Vernon that emerged to international acclaim in 2008 with 'For Emma, Forever Ago,' has confirmed the June 21 release of new album 'Bon Iver' on Jagjaguwar. Featuring 10 new songs penned by Vernon, the album expands the group's sonic palette beyond the rustic acoustics of the debut into a lush landscape of silky electric guitars, beautifully intricate keys, and subtle horn and string sections while keeping the ghost choirs and densely layered vocals intact that Bon Iver has become so known for.Justin's most recent accomplishments include playing with Gayngs, the National and Kanye West at Coachella over the weekend. That's the "Bon Iver" cover above. The tracklist is below...
Painstakingly crafted over three years, the album was recorded and mixed at April Base Studios, a former veterinarian's clinic in Fall Creek, WI, converted into a recording studio by Vernon and his brother. Bon Iver regulars Sean Carey, Mike Noyce and Matt McCaughan contributed vocals, drums and production; Rob Moose (Antony and the Johnsons, The National) helped with arranging and strings; and Jim Schoenecker and Tom Wincek (who have previously collaborated with Vernon under the Volcano Choir moniker) provided processing. The album also features the pedal steel of Greg Leisz (Lucinda Williams, Bill Frisell) and a horn section including Colin Stetson (Tom Waits, Arcade Fire), Mike Lewis (Andrew Bird, Happy Apple), and C.J. Camerieri (Rufus Wainwright, Sufjan Stevens)." [press release]
Colin Stetson @ SXSW (more by Ryan Barkan)
"Alternating between his huge bass sax and an alto, the Colin smothered his sound in grimy specks of noise, all coming from somewhere in his body. On one song he beatboxed next to the mic, maintaining his looping figures at the same time. On another he hummed a melody that crackled through, like an old 78, underneath the sax notes."...Colin Stetson can be found headlining his own show at Glasslands in Brooklyn tonight/Sunday (4/17) with openers Lone Wolf and Blast Off!!!. From there Colin heads north on his way to Canada. All tour dates are listed with a song, below...
most of the words & photos by Dominick Mastrangelo
They played for over 3.5 hours before the sun set on LCD Soundsystem in a cascade of white balloons dropping from the Madison Square Garden ceiling in NYC Saturday night. I wished they played even longer. Everyone I talked to agreed.
But James Murphy and co. gave everything at Madison Square Garden last night (4/2). And the sold-out arena crowd gave in return. For two months - through the initial on-line ticket debacle, the addition of four T5 shows to make up for it, constant hype, and lots of guessing at what guests might turn up (sadly there was no Daft Punk) - it all made this final act in the drama, The Long Goodbye, even more of an event.
From where I was in the middle of the front GA section nobody stopped dancing, or singing along or smiling the entire night. (Save for, like at all four Terminal 5 shows, the couple of awkward, yet brief and deserved intermissions.) Every turn to scan the Garden saw people full-on, in the groove dancing; not just some barely-registered shuffling back and forth. Honestly, everyone who was there should take a bow because they were fantastic. During the first break, video footage was shown of an interviewer talking to fans outside the venue, Aziz Ansari included.
And no, there was no Daft Punk, but there was Arcade Fire singing joyously along on "North American Scum" (the third set's highlight) and an appearance by Reggie Watts who also played with the band at three of the four Terminal 5 shows. The boys choir featuring members of Mr. Dream was there, as were the two female backup singers, and the horn section that included Kelly Pratt and Colin Stetson. Original LCD guitarist Phil Mossman was back and featured a few times in addition to LCD band members
Nancy Whang, Tyler Pope, Pat Mahoney, Matt Thornley, Gavin Russom, and David Scott Stone. Liquid Liquid opened the show like they did at the first two Terminal 5 shows. Shit Robot, who opened the second two T5 shows, again made an appearance during the show. Shit Robot and Juan Maclean, for one song, were alien vocalists in mysterious cardboard-looking spaceships that were set up in seats behind the stage (pictures and video below).
Pitchfork streamed the whole show for those who couldn't be there - you could see the cameras all over the place, including on the shoulders of cameramen walking through the GA crowd. Filmmaker Lance Bangs was seen dancing in the crowd and working backstage on the video of the show, and yes the clouds made it to the two screens that were hanging on the sides of the stage.
LCD started with "Dance Yrself Clean" and "Drunk Girls" followed. The first set was breathtaking and included "Daft Punk is Playing in My House." After an intermission, the band tackled most of 45:33. Watts came out for "Part 2" and Murphy spent most of the middle set off in the background letting the band tackle the instrumentals.
The first encore featured a cathartic and riveting "Someone Great" as well as "Losing My Edge" and "Home." For me that block was the highlight. During "Losing My Edge," the video screens featured images of some of the influential bands mentioned. When I looked up I saw The Sonics.
Their Harry Nilsson cover of "Jump Into The Fire" was part of the final 3-song encore. Murphy, his voice sounding a bit hoarse, paused between songs to thank everyone who came out and everyone who helped put the show together. "Three songs left," "two songs left," and then after saying "this is our last song", and a bit more banter including an admission to his family who was in the audience that he was wearing his dad's watch (as you can hear in the video below), he led the band into their final (ever) number, "New York, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down." It started slow with Murphy even laughing and pausing 'for dramatic effect' but by the end of the raucous outro the crowd was in a frenzy, only for the band to launch back in and cue the balloon drop. As the crowd was preoccupied with balloons of various size descending upon them, the entire band slipped off stage, almost completely unnoticed, and into history.
VIDEO OF THE ENTIRE SHOW (from the stream), and lots more pictures and the full setlist, below...
You could see glo-sticks being passed back among the crowd as LCD Soundsystem began their third straight night at Terminal 5, the hump day of their week-long career wind-down extravaganza. The moment set-opener "Dance Yourself Clean" goes from quiet to loud, someone near the stage flung about a hundred of those glo-sticks into the air, making for the first of many memorable moments of the night.
Despite having done this three-hour tour-de-force the last two nights, James Murphy and crew didn't show any signs of flagging. The eight or so musicians on stage -- not including female backup singers, male chorus and occasional horn sections -- seemed to be having a blast. As did the crowd that pretty much went mental for the entire first hour of the set, which included "Too Much Love" for the first time this week.
High point for me was watching the crowd react to "All My Friends." I was looking down from the third floor balcony and it was amazing to see so many people connect so deeply to it. That will definitely be one of my top concert moments of the year. I stayed against the balcony for the whole show (my first time at T5 if you can believe it) which I think probably made things more tolerable for me.
The bulked up band really made a difference, especially that male choir which includes members of the band Mr. Dream -- "Get Innocuous" and "Sound of Silver" sounded much fuller because of them. It was also nice to have Hot Chip's Al Doyle back, his presence was missed on last year's This Is Happening tour. He kept his shirt on tonight, but played guitar, vibes, timbales and even trumpet at one point.
The mid-section, an attempt to recreate the Nike-commissioned "45:33" was a bit hit or miss. Some parts were fleshed-out into more song-like structure, but without much singing it seemed like a good opportunity for the crowd (and band) to catch its breath.
For the third act, LCD Soundsystem got the crowd moving again with "Us Vs. Them" and kept the crowd bouncing through "North American Scum" and "You Wanted a Hit." With the pingpong bass of "Tribulations" the crowd surfing began, and then it turned into a pit for the thrashy "Movement."
There was also crowd favorite "Yeah" (it always kind of destroys), the throbbing "Someone Great," and LCD signature tune (and first single) "Losing My Edge" which seemed to take on extra meaning (and some new lyrics) in the hours before their retirement. Al Doyle also threw the keyboard hook from "Da Funk" into it at one point -- probably the closest we'll get to Daft Punk playing in LCD's house this week. (Though who knows what surprises are in store at MSG?) Also a treat: the band also threw in their cover of Harry Nilsson's "Jump into the Fire" in the encore, plopped in-between "All I Want" and "New York I Love You." Another highlight.
I don't know if he was saving his voice for singing, but James Murphy was rather unchatty between songs. Which is okay, the music spoke loud enough.
Shit Robot opened the show, and their set included LCD's Nancy Whang on vocals for "Take Em Up". They also later joined LCD on stage. Special guest Colin Stetson joined LCD on horns. Original LCD guitarist Phil Mossman played on some songs.
Only two more nights left for LCD's existence: tonight at Terminal 5 and then the big blowout Saturday at MSG. More pictures and video, and last night's setlist, after the jump.
The Antlers @ The Parish
One of the highlights of my day on Thursday at SXSW was the NPR showcase at The Parish. Though I didn't arrive in time to see Colin Stetson or tUnE-yArDs (I saw the latter the following day), I stuck around for the rest of the line-up, including the grand finale: The Antlers, who, as advertised, played their unreleased upcoming album (Burst Apart) in its entirety for the first time in public. But more on that later.
I arrived to the sounds of Malian singer Khaira Arby, who Jon Pareles of the New York Times later confessed to me was his go-to recommendation for the festival. I don't typically see much world music, but there's no denying Arby's effortless ability to captivate the audience with her rich vocals and rhythmic percussion.
The Joy Formidable @ the Parish
Up next were The Joy Formidable/ I confess it was hard to get past singer/guitarist Ritzy Bryan's wild stare, but if anything, the sheer intensity of her gaze was well suited to the tough indie rock strains of the London-based trio.
The energy level in the room continued to climb as Wild Flag took the stage. Not only does singer/guitarist Carrie Brownstein have a dedicated fan base thanks to her past band - Sleater-Kinney, she also received quite a warm welcome from NPR Music's Stephen Thompson due largely to the time she spent blogging and contributing to the site. This familiarity imbibed an otherwise strictly rock performance with a genuine warmth that made for a compelling combination on stage. Though their current musical project is young, these veteran lady rockers put on a triumphant and confident performance. Of course, it helps that the remaining three band members (Mary Timony, Rebecca Cole, and Janet Weiss) each have quite an impressive musical ability (and resume), themselves.
Wild Flag @ The Parish
Next came the part of the showcase that I was most anticipating - the preview of Burst Apart. After the Antlers' 2009 release, the cinematic and harrowing concept album Hospice, I was eager to hear what course they would take in their follow-up. Apparently, one of the biggest challenges the band faced leading up to the show was figuring out how to effectively translate all of the layers and effects found in the studio recording into a live setting. Being unfamiliar with the material, it's hard to tell if they achieved this goal.
I enjoyed the chance to hear the new material without having read any spoilers online, but at first listen, it seems that Burst Apart does not boast the same kind of sparse, sweeping intensity and catharsis that distinguished Hospice... but maybe that's a good thing.
In an interview with Pitchfork a few months ago, chief singer/songwriter Pete Silberman confessed:
For a while, I thought the next logical step from Hospice was to make some very sad, post-Hospice concept record. But thinking in those terms started to feel really manipulative and gimmicky. So I just let go of that idea and, from that point on, I was much happier. In a lot of ways, this album is an easier record to listen to than Hospice; you can put it on and not feel like it has to be a severe emotional experience. It might be. But it could also be on in the background.Like Hospice, portions of the new album seem to project a dark kind of resignation to pain, sickness, and heartbreak. But in addition to the darker songs, it ended in a surprisingly hopeful, (albeit Gothic) vein as Silberman sang, "I'm not going to die alone. I stitched the stuff up so to close up the hole" in a particularly Hospice-like song.
Burst Apart will be releaesd by Frenchkiss Records on May 10th. The Antlers will head out on tour a week later with stops at both Music Hall of Williamsburg (May 19th) and Bowery Ballroom (May 20th). Both shows and much of the tour is with Little Scream who meanwhile is on tour with Sharon Van Etten. Tickets for both NYC shows go on AmEx presale Wednesday at noon, and then general sale Friday at the same time.
All tour dates and more pictures from the NPR show at the Parish, below...
words & photos by Andrew Frisicano
Twin Shadow @ Fader Fort
A crowded backyard tent filled with cigarette smoke, free open-faced tacos (pork, chicken, brisket or veggie), a man carting a dolly of Lone Star cases through the crowd, and a pair of middle-aged guys picking a fight with each other on a Wednesday afternoon. "Doesn't he know I'm a ticking time bomb?" the offended guy says, a bit like he's not joking. JEFF the Brotherhood is playing too, which is more or less the occasion for all of this, my first show of SXSW 2011. The JEFF brothers aren't really the focus though, since they'll be playing a dozen other times this week, and most of the people are concentrating on the tacos, their conversations or their inability to get away from the door of the totally (did I say?) packed room.
In spite of that, the band is tearing through songs from Heavy Days and their new LP We Are the Champions, and between songs tossing out free vinyl singles into the crowd: "Those are going to slice someone's neck open," says Jake before slinging a few more across the room. They go into "Bummer," a ballady, Dino Jr.-style headbanger, that's one of the standout new tunes.
Trash Talk @ BV/Feed the Beat Day Party (photo by Samantha Marble)
Ty Segall's entertaining and totally worthwhile band is up next, but the BrookylnVegan day show at Emo's is also currently happening, the highlight of which has to be the simulatneous staging of Cali punks Trash Talk (who went on before Kylesa) and Mister Heavenly (who went on before Surfer Blood). Mister Heavenly are a supergroup of-sorts you've heard about. On the inside, Trash Talk frontman Lee Spielman towers over everyone with the body of a scarecrow and a scary-as-hell perma-scowl; he smashes his forehead with the microphone a few times to draw blood. "Stick around for Surfer Blood," he says, before crawling into the crowd and standing on what I can only hope were someone's shoulders. People start edging toward the door. On the outside stage, Mr. Heavenly performs an appropriately lovely set, its two frontmen trading verses in their own styles.
After that, the Fader Fort brought Twin Shadow on stage, the bedroom-pop project of George Lewis Jr. that's become a wildly good live band. For an outdoor venue, the system sounded impressively balanced and clear - which would turn out to be a rarity at the festival. That was 'specially good for Yelawolf, whose songs sounded vital in a way that your iPod just can't do. With no crew to speak of, his solo athletics put in an early bid for best-of.
Yelawolf @ Fader Fort
Later that night at Stubb's, Yuck and James Blake played what would be the first of several for both. Both did well on the big stage, a portent of things to come, vibing out in their respective styles: fuzz rock and chilled-out pop. Check out both of their sets for yourself at NPR- Blake and Yuck.
by Andrew Frisicano
Speaking of Colin Stetson, you can see him tonight at the Blue Note (2/25), where he plays with Steven Bernstein (trumpet), Vicente Archer (bass) and Dan Weiss (drums) as part of Spontaneous Construction, a new series put on by Search & Restore happening at the venue most Fridays (midnight doors, with a $10 cover). The idea is to pair up musicians that don't regularly play together into one-night combos, and the schedule for the next few months includes big names like Jason Moran, Bobby Previte, Ari Hoenig, Nasheet Waits and Dave King (with plenty TBAs too). All the sets will be recorded for Search & Restore's ongoing video project, which launched earlier this year. For a taste of the quality of those videos, check out their recording of the group Four Bags, posted below, with the Spontaneous Construction schedule thus far...
DOWNLOAD: Colin Stetson - The stars in his head (Dark Lights Remix) (MP3)
"Today, February 25, at 12pm noon, a very small number of tickets to Godspeed's Thursday and Friday (March 17-18) shows at St. Paul the Apostle will be released for an exceedingly short time." Those are two of the five total NYC Godspeed shows coming up including Terminal 5 which is now also sold out.
The other NYC openers are Kurt Wagner, Eric Chenaux, Kurt Wagner again, and Samara Lubelski (in that order).
All remaining GY!BE tour dates with openers, listed below...
photos by Rahav Segev, words by Andrew Frisicano
Laurie Anderson's Delusion, the first production in this year's BAM Next Wave Festival, is in effect the artist opening up her notebook to the audience. The 90-minute work recounts dreams, stories, parables, musings, jokes and melodies strung together with moody cinematic projections. Some of the stories we've heard before, like "Another Day in America," a song intoned as Laurie's male alter-ego, from her stellar LP Homeland was was released earlier this year. Others - an emotional story about the death of her mother, sharp one-liners and surreal scenarios about the afterlife - were fresh from the workshop.
Above all though, Laurie's sonorous voice, and her ability as a monologuist to travel to different places (the moon, Iceland, dreams), drove Delusion. The metronomic brilliance of the words and cadences would've been enough to propel a one-woman show in any downtown space. Here, they were supported by the projections and stage elements - one main screen in the center, with a smaller projector focused on a covered seat, and two smaller screens on either side.
Her supporting cast loomed beyond those side screens: violinist Eyvind Kang and horn & reed player Colin Stetson. Their silhouettes, namely that of Colin's unmistakeable bass saxophone, rocked steadily behind the backlit screens as they added layers to the evening's instrumental moments. The pair peaked up mainly during Delusion's chaotic interludes, when a red light washed over the stage, evoking the landscape of hell, with Anderson the Mephistophelean figure guiding the madness.
Clearly, Laurie was having a good time on stage, during the goodtime moments, with a permanent grin and a wink. The wink, as we found out, might be genetic; it also speaks to her style of communication: subtle, everyday gestures that unfold in countless ways. "Not a lot of people know this but..." one of her stories goes.
Delusion is at BAM Harvey Theater through October 3rd, every day except Monday. Tickets are on sale.
More pictures from the show are below...
by Andrew Frisicano
Laurie w/ the dogs in Australia (more by Roberta W.B.)
Some in the audience howled with glee, others stood on trembling legs and a few drooled in delight as famed performance artist Laurie Anderson debuted her original "Music for Dogs" composition outside the Sydney Opera House on Saturday [June 5th].Laurie Anderson, queen of this year's Mermaid Parade, performed her piece "Music for Dogs" at Sydney's Opera House on June 5th accompanied by Eyvind Kang, Skúli Sverrisson, and Colin Stetson. The event was part of the two-week Vivid Live Festival, which is being curated by Laurie and Lou Reed (king of this year's Mermaid Parade).
Hundreds of dogs and their owners bounced around as Anderson entertained them with 20 minutes of thumping beats, whale calls, whistles and a few high-pitched electronic sounds imperceptible to human ears.
"Let's hear it from the medium dogs!" Anderson called out from the stage, as a few dogs yipped in return. "You can do better than that -- come on mediums! Whoo! WHOOOOOO!"
The concert was originally billed as a performance for dogs' ears only, and was going to be largely limited to electronic noises played at a frequency too high for human ears. But Anderson changed things up when she decided she wanted people to have some fun, too.
"We didn't want to do something that humans couldn't hear," she said. "We brought the octaves down into our hearing range so we could all have the experience." [AP]
Laurie Anderson will be performing her new work Delusion this fall at BAM as part of the Next Wave Festival. That show will go on tour as well.
Before then, Laurie's new record, Homeland, comes out June 22nd on Nonesuch. It's streaming in full at NPR (up till the release date) - check it out. She'll play songs from that album on a very short tour this July. Stops include on-air sets at World Cafe Live and Late Show with David Letterman, and a Tuesday, July 13th show at (Le) Poisson Rouge. Tickets are on sale.
The album has some alright guests (including Laurie's male alter-ego Fenway Bergamot)...
On Homeland, Anderson is joined by a diversity of collaborators, from the Tuvan throat singers and igil players of Chirgilchin to New York experimental jazz and rock players including Rob Burger (keyboards), Omar Hakim (drums), Kieran Hebden of Four Tet (keyboards), Shahzad Ismaily (percussion) Eyvind Kang (viola), Peter Scherer (keyboards), Skuli Sverrisson (bass), Ben Witman (percussion and drums) and John Zorn (saxophone). Antony Hegarty contributes additional vocals.Beyond those projects, "Anderson is also preparing a major retrospective of her visual work that will open in Sao Paolo in August 2010 and a book of her stories that will be published in 2011."
Videos from the "Music for Dogs" performance and tour dates are below...
photos by Paul Birman
"Thanks to everyone who came to the BV Haiti benefit last night. You made it really special." - St. Vincent
"St. Vincent and Justin Vernon performing together was easily one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen/heard." - Steph Lo
Wyatt Cenac was funny. Then came Britt Daniel (of Spoon) with White Rabbits frontman Stephen Patterson. They had such a good time on stage together, you can tell they were buds. Janeane Garofalo came next - she has the smartest humor and is a strong rooted New Yorker. Made a ton of jokes about the L train and hipsters which the crowd took very warmly to. Gosh she's tiny. St Vincent went on and sounded like the lovely thing she is. Someone yelled while she was setting up 'show us your bush'????', In which she replied, 'that is the strangest thing someone has ever said to me...on or off stage'. Adorable. Following her was Zach Galifianakis who everyone was undeniably waiting for. It really looked like he just rolled out of bed, picked up some papers from a table and walked on stage totally winging his whole act...hilarious. Alas came Justin Vernon (aka Bon Iver). His voice sounded just as amazing it does on record. The room was at its most quiet during "Flume". Unreal. He was the last act but did say something about a special guest - I heard it was Megafaun/My Brightest Diamond (had to leave early), which I imagine rounded out the benefit nicely. Really awesome that these guys all came together"...Thanks for that partial recap S&S. You should have gotten there earlier and stayed later though!
[Stadiums & Shrines]
The night opened with a great debut set by singer-songwriter John Shade (previously Dave Godowsky) who brought out Justin Vernon on drums for two songs. Before and after John, and between every set of the night, came comedy by our two able hosts: Bobby Tisdale and Leo Allen. St Vincent's set included a National and a Nico cover. Justin covered John Prine. Britt Daniel did three songs, which was one less than he played at Sound Fix a few hours earlier.
And yep, the special guest after/during Justin's set was in fact Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond) who (after headlining Bowery Ballroom one night earlier) played two jaw dropping numbers - one with Colin Stetson on his most-insane giant saxophone, and a cover of Prince's "How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore".
But it didn't end there. A supergroup called Songer Singwriter featuring Annie, Justin, drummer, and Brad from Megafaun came back to close the night off right with a set of four more covers. Neil Young's "Harvest Moon", Tom Petty's "Face in the Crowd" (with Brad on lead), Dolly Parton's "Jolene", and Annie Lennox's "Why". Each of those final covers was better than the next. To quote one of my tweets, "To quote my friend, 'Sounds like sonic youth playing a dolly parton song. Sick!' and now Annie Lennox Why! Full room Bon Iver singalong".
We ran almost non-stop for 3.5 hours straight (8-11:30), and raised over $20,000. I'm still waiting for an exact number. More pictures (one of two sets we have) and some videos from the show, below....
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
DOWNLOAD: Colin Stetson - Letter to HST (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Colin Stetson - Time Is Advancing With Fitful Irregularity (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Erik Friedlander - May It Please Heaven (MP3)
As previously mentioned, Saxophone player Colin Stetson and cellist Erik Friedlander get together for a night of music Friday, June 5th (tonight) at Abrons Art Space Recital Hall (466 Grand Street, NYC). Tickets are on sale.
The show is being put on by the Manhattan New Music Project, which works to connect new-music artists and the community "by reaching out to adult audiences through performance and recording, and to children through residencies in New York City public schools."
Credits for Friedlander include collaborating with John Zorn, Mountain Goats, Sting, Yoko Ono (on her new EP) and others. Stetson has played with the Arcade Fire, Antibalas and Bell Orchestre, and opened on tour for The National.
At the gig, Friedlander will be playing selections from his Zorn disc Volac, Book of Angels, Masada Book II. Speaking of Zorn, Erik will also be playing The Stone (where Zorn is artistic director) on Sunday, June 14th.
Live solo videos of both performers, below...
Like Tonic did, The Stone frequently brings on guest curators (not coincidentally Stone founder John Zorn was one of Tonic's most regular hosts and played at Tonic's final show). Now, with guitarist Grey Gersten's monthlong May curatorial run ending Sunday, May 31st, former Tonic co-owner Melissa Caruso Scott comes out of booking retirement to take the reigns in programing the first two weeks of June at The Stone.
Speaking about her choices Scott said, "These artists played some of my favorite Tonic shows and I can't wait to see them again." Her picks include Japanese musician Yuka Honda, who's also playing a Summerstage show with Mike Watt, guitarist Charlie Hunter, Elysian Fields, Vernon Reid, Joan as Polcewoman, cellist Erik Friedlander, and more. Her full schedule is posted below.
Speaking of Friendlander, he plays on Yoko Ono's new DON'T STOP ME! EP (out June 9th Via iTunes Exclusive Digital Download), and you can also catch him live on June 5th along with saxophone player Colin Stetson at the Abrons Art Space Recital Hall. The show is presented by The Manhattan New Music Project, and tickets are on sale.
Before the time of both Tonic and The Stone, the original Knitting Factory on Houston Street featured an ecclectic mix of avant and experimental music (frequently with Zorn and others). The co-founder of that venue, show promoter and current owner of City Winery Michael Dorf, will curate the second half of the June at The Stone.
Acts on his schedule include Shilpa Ray & Her Happy Hookers (who have completed their Pianos residency and are also playing Citysol), Ethan Iverson (of the Bad Plus) with saxist Tim Berne, and Marc Ribot, the guitarist who's had considerable presence at each of the aforementioned venues -- gigging regularly at the Knit on Houston St, getting arrested for protesting the closure of Tonic, and hosting several nights of his 55th-birthday retrospective at The Stone in mid-May.
Check out the full June schedule for The Stone, below...
by Andrew Frisicano
Bell Orchestre @ BAM (more by Kyle Dean Reinford)
Starting in April, Bell Orchestre (featuring members of Arcade Fire) will tour its native Canada, followed by US dates that include a NYC show at Le Poisson Rouge on April 30th with The Havels and Colin Stetson. Tickets are on sale now.
Bell Orchestre just released its sophomore full-length, As Seen Through Windows, on March 10th on Arts & Crafts...
As on their previous album, Bell Orchestre's music is essentially cinematic. Though it has features of minimalism and occasionally seems completely rootless, the group's too impatient, too modern to spin meaning out of extended repetition. Their music's evocative and romantic, casually taking advantage of modern tools in the service of the creation of their potent soundscapes. So As Seen Through Windows will likely continue to solidify Bell Orchestre's reputation for making interesting and occasionally challenging instrumental music that not enough people have heard. It shouldn't be too hard to change the last part. [PopMatters]All tour dates and a band-made European tour video featuring new song "Water/Light/Shifts", below...