Entries tagged with: Matmos
Brooklyn's Issue Project Room will be closing in 2015 for renovations to its Boerum Place theater. One of the final events before it closes will be a special IPR benefit on December 9, featuring electronic duo Matmos performing scenes from Robert Ashley's groundbreaking television opera Perfect Lives which ran from 1978 - 1983. Tickets are available now for IPR members and will go on sale to the general public on Wednesday (10/22). It's Matmos' only show on their schedule. Here's a little bit more about the performance:
Perfect Lives (1978-83) is Robert Ashley's opera "about" bank robbery, cocktail lounges, geriatric love, adolescent elopement, et al, in the American Midwest. One of the definitive text-sound compositions of the late 20th century, it has been called a comic opera about reincarnation. Originally commissioned by the Kitchen in the early 80s, Ashley's Perfect Lives, the opera for television is widely considered the precursor of music-television and a masterpiece of the American vernacular. A Spanish-language adaptation of Perfect Lives, Vidas Perfectas, was commissioned by ISSUE Project Room in 2012 and later staged as part of the 2014 Whitney Biennial.The Matmos performance even takes place just after the Kim Gordon & Loren Connors show at Issue Project Room on 12/3 with Gary War. Tickets for that show go on sale to the general public on Friday (10/24).
Danny Brown at Pitchfork Festival 2014 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
You can browse our full NYC show calendar for all of tonight's shows, but here are some highlights...
Neutral Milk Hotel, Circulatory System @ Prospect Park Bandshell
While Jeff Mangum hasn't released any new music since 1998's In The Aeoplane Over the Sea, nobody really seems to mind now seeing how he and NMH are finally playing shows again, and many people are getting to hear those songs live for the first time. Following this past winter's shows, he and the band now return to NYC for a victory lap at these two outdoor Celebrate Brooklyn! shows, which sounds like a nice place to hear the classics. This is night 2.
The Fresh and Onlys, The Shilohs, Christines @ Glasslands
Lumped in with the SF garage rock scene, The Fresh & Onlys make a twangy, tuneful brand of psych rock with distinct postpunk flourishes courtesy guitarist Wymond Miles. They really don't sound like anyone else and are always worth catching live. Canadian ourmates The Shilohs make a decidedly Beatlesque brand of pop, and openers Christines owe just a little to '90s-era shoegaze.
FREEMAN, White Lighters @ Baby's All Right
With his long-running band a done deal, the artist formerly known as Gene Ween released his new solo album today via Partisan. He's got a soft spot for '70s pop on the new album which is an enjoyable listen.
Witch, Ruby the Hatchet @ MHOW
Though J Mascis is maybe the all time great indie rock shredder, he likes to rock out on drums too and his stoner rock band Witch (fronted by King Tuff main man Kyle Thomas) gives him a chance to do that. This Converse Rubber Tracks Live show is free if you RSVPed, which is now closed.
Field Mouse, Frances Cone, Weed Hounds, Lithuania @ Rough Trade
Field Mouse's new album is finally out now, and it mixes the shoegazy pop they'd become known for with shinier, mid '90s-style electropop-tinged alt-rock. Tonight's their record release show.
Bl'ast, Villians @ Santos Party House
Bl'ast released three albums of essential hardcore in the '80s on SST. They're now reunited, and the current lineup includes bassist Nick Oliveri (Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age, Mondo Generator) and drummer Joey Castillo (Queens Of The Stone Age, Danzig, Eagles Of Death Metal, Goatsnake, Wasted Youth) supporting original members Clifford Dinsmore (vocals) and Mike Neider (guitar).
UPDATE: Bl'ast have actually cancelled all of their East Coast dates.
Crow Bait, Eureka California, Good Grief, Deep Pockets @ Shea Stadium
Good bill at Shea tonight spanning a few genres with the alt-country punk of Crow Bait, the indie pop of Athens, GA's Eureka California, the Superchunk-inspired Liverpool, UK band Good Grief, and shouty, slightly Hold Steady-ish punks Deep Pockets.
Man Forever, White Suns @ McCarren Park (Summerscreen)
The free Summerscreen series continues tonight. Before a screening of Cry-Baby there will be sets by the dark experimental metal band White Suns and Kid Millions' (of Oneida) project Man Forever.
Matmos, So Percussion Summer Institute, Kid Millions, Brian Chase @ Silent Barn
Speaking of Kid Millions, he also plays this show as Silent Barn that features veteran experimentalists Matmos, the So Percussion Summer Institute ("an intensive two-week chamber music seminar for college-age percussionists"), and Yeah Yeah Yeahs drummer Brian Chase.
Beech Creeps, Mutwawa, Brat Pit, Corido Ron @ Death By Audio
Beech Creeps are a bit of an NYC noise/experimental supergroup, featuring Lehrhoff (Ex Models), Luke Fasano (Yeasayer / People Get Ready) and Mark Shue (The Library is on Fire, and Monster Crunch granola maker).
PHOX, Trails and Ways @ Mercury Lounge
Wisconsin indie pop outfit PHOX combine sunny melodies with folky arrangements (and honeyed, breathy vocals) for a sound as airy as a summer breeze. This is their second of two NYC shows this week.
Total Abuse, Rectal Hygienics, Ligature @ Home Sweet Home
Austin hardcore band Total Abuse celebrate their new "Looking For Love" 7" at tonight's edition of Nothing Chances, and they'll be joined by Chicago noise rockers Rectal Hygienics and Chris Hansell's (Warthog, Foreplay, ex-The Men) Ligature project.
Baby Mollusk, Sergio Napoletano, Barelyon @ The Rock Shop
Baby Mollusk make the sort of kinda folky kinda punky indie rock that any fans of Hop Along, Speedy Ortiz, Swearin', etc should dig.
Jesus Christ and the Hallucinogenic Allstars, Pussywolf, Pharaoh, Mount Salem @ Saint Vitus
Chicago's Mount Salem wear their proto-metal and traditional doom influences on their sleeves, but they do it well. They're over in NYC for this show.
Action Bronson, Danny Brown, Schoolboy Q @ Best Buy Theater
Three of the best contemporary rappers come together for what should be an excellent time at Best Buy Theater tonight.
Leif Vollebekk @ SubCulture
This underrated Canadian singer-songwriter released his most recent album, North Americana, at the start of this year and its folky charms will work especially well at an intimate venue like SubCulture.
Braid, A Great Big Pile of Leaves, Marietta @ Asbury Lanes
16 years after Braid's now-classic Frame & Canvas was released, the emo vets are finally back with its followup, No Coast, and it was worth the wait. It picks up where they left off but sounds like a contemporary of the newer bands in the genre too. They'll hit NYC this Saturday, but the tour's also nearby in NJ tonight. Openers A Great Big Pile of Leaves make this a great double bill and Braid fans should dig them too.
Quiet Riot, Gilby Clarke, Faster Pussycat, BulletBoys @ The Paramount
Cum on feel the noize. Girls rock your boys. We'll get wild, wild, wild...with only drummer Frankie Banali remaining from the QR lineup that did that song.
Big Terrific Comedy Show @ Cameo Gallery
Max Silvestri hosts the free weekly comedy show in the back of Williamsburg's Lovin' Cup. No word on who's performing tonight, but Max usually lets us know via his Twitter.
For all of tonight's shows, and tomorrow's, check out our NYC concert calendar.
For laughs, check out the NYC Comedy calendar too.
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by Ian Chainey
Just when you thought the week was going to pass without an Iron Maiden dual harp cover, the Harp Twins deliver a suitably angelic performance of "Dance of Death." Wait. . .what? Indeed, worry not, I didn't mistakenly huff ether: The Harp Twins are a real thing. Perhaps you've even heard selections from the Double Mint-identical sisters, Camille and Kennerly Kitt, playing at finer buffets. They've cut two records, Harp Attack (hard rock covers) and Harp Fantasy (movie/TV covers), and have upped the harp equivalent of irons before, previously plinking "Fear of the Dark." Their fingers are nimble, though the 'we're on a boat!' stage presence might need a little work. (Same goes for the 'that's not my fart' head movements, but, hey, maybe I'm jealous.) Still, if you forgot to get a May Day present for your bud before the Wicker Man burning, here it is. Stream it below.
Of course, the Harp Twins aren't alone. Welcome to the wonderful world of weird metal covers. Heck, in the past two weeks, we've seen a flood of new stars. Chicago's Rob Scalon recently turbo-picked through Slayer's "War Ensemble," utilizing the bane of every bus commuter: the ukulele. It's actually not as horrifying as that reads. Plus, his squeaky clean execution goes a ways to move it beyond novelty.
That said, it can't even step to The Soft Pink Truth for pure bananarama-ness. Why do the Heathen Rage?, the newest album from Drew Daniels of Matmos, might inspire a kvlt kvetch conniption, taking black metal standards and re-doing them as Hi-NRG rave bangers. Corpse paint to day glo in mere seconds. (The record is subtitled ""Electronic Profanations of Black Metal Classics.") The record features guest vocals from Antony Hegarty (Antony and the Johnsons), Terence Hannum (Locrian), Jenn Wasner (Wye Oak) and more. Thrill Jockey will release that one into the wild on June 17. Preorders are up now.
Poking around, one finds a ton of this stuff, since there's nothing like tweaking the over-serious by trading br00ful timbres for the incongruous. Soon, you gravitate to favorites and have trouble listening to the originals after indulging. For example, it's difficult to separate Gleb Kanasevich's clarinet cover of Necrophagist's "Fermented Offal Discharge" from Muhammed Suiçmez's O.G. shred fest after hearing it once. Same goes for Opium Jukebox's Bhangra Bloody Bhangra, the record nerd curio that de-blackened Sabbath classics and redid the doomfathers as bhangra body-movers. But, lest you think these covers are solely the domain of outsiders, there's Mr. Fog. Last year, his group, the UK black metallers Ewigkeit, turned a Burzum tremor into. . .wait for it. . .a dubbed out reggae slow jam. Well played, sir. Well played.
And, yes, we've only dug down as far as our pinky nail here. Hopefully more weird is yet to come courtesy of those with inexhaustible free time.
All of the metal covers mentioned in this post are streamable below.
Oneohtrix Point Never recently announced some shows, and there's been a few updates to his live schedule since we last spoke. The tour was expanded to include more North American dates, and the NYC show happening at Music Hall of Williamsburg was moved from May 16 to May 24. It was also announced that experimental electronic vets Matmos and former Gang Gang Dance member Dutch E Germ will open the show. Tickets are still available, and all tickets purchased for 5/16 will be honored. Updated dates are listed below.
OPN is also releasing the Commissions I 12" for Record Store Day (April 19). The 12" features three pieces "developed form [his] commissions for artwork, performance and film." You can stream one of those, "Music for Steamed Rocks," with the tracklist and more info, below.
OPN in Austin in 2013 (more by Tim Griffin)
Electronics wizard Oneohtrix Point Never has a few shows coming up this year, including some festival appearances like Austin Psych Fest. Not long after APF, he'll return to Brooklyn and play a hometown show at Music Hall of Williamsburg on May
16 24. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (3/7) at noon with an AmEx presale starting Wednesday (3/5) at noon.
UPDATE: The show was moved from May 16 to May 24, and Matmos and Dutch E Germ are opening.
It seems possible that more shows will be added, but all currently announced dates are listed below...
"We're Gonna Die" was inspired by an insight she traces to this incident, the idea that sadness brings isolation. We are most alone, most cut off from the possibility of comfort, when we are most in need of it. "It's not even like you can like rip off the mask and let it all hang out when you're in private around people who care about you," she confides, "because there's only so long you can keep dumping your pain on other people before eventually they start to get fed up. Which makes being in pain an incredibly lonely experience."Earlier this year, playwright Young Jean Lee adapted her cabaret We're Gonna Die, that she debuted in NYC at Joe's Pub in 2011 (the show the above review is from), into an album -- the debut release by her band Future Wife. The album has an impressive list of guests either performing or reading monologues, including David Byrne, Laurie Anderson, Kathleen Hanna, Ad-Rock, Matmos, Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld. It was produced by Shannon Fields of Stars Like Fleas and Leverage Models. Lou Reed was a fan too, and called her "one of the most accomplished, articulate, versatile and hilarious playwrights, musicians, artists that we in America have to offer."
Also a universal one of course. The charm of "We're Gonna Die" is in how effectively (and humorously) Ms. Lee converts the exaltation that pop music can spread into a kind of collective consolation for life's unavoidable woes. Employing the same basic tools of songcraft -- catchy choruses, relatable lyrics, uplifting melodies -- she applies them not to the eternal subject of swooning romance but to darker if no less common experiences (more common experiences, probably): loneliness, unhappiness, the gut-churning 4 a.m. fears about the pointless mystery of life that all sensible souls are prey to. There is comfort, Ms. Lee suggests, in public celebration of the private misery we keep locked away for fear it will leave us too exposed. [NY Times]
She's now made a video for one of the album's tracks, "I'm Gonna Die," which makes its premiere in this post. You can watch it, along with the album's tracklist, below...
by Bill Pearis
#1 LP of 2013 according to 'The Quietus'
Online UK music mag The Quietus started five years ago and quickly became (I think) one of the best sources for music writing on the web, giving a home to many former NME, Select and Q writers who are still seeking new music but are not so interested in the flavor of the month. The Quietus are not staffed by contrarians, nor sheep. To wit: the site just published its Top 100 LPs list of 2013 and topping it is Glynnaestra, the third album from UK duo Grumbling Fur which came out via Thrill Jockey back in August. From The Quietus' write-up:
Grumbling Fur make me want to take drugs. And I don't mean drugs like a few puffs on a spliff before bedtime or on a lazy Saturday afternoon, or a cheeky dabble at a rave to keep the energy flowing - I mean proper, don't-eat-for-18-hours-beforehand, make-sure-you've-got-a-couple-of-good-people-around-you, psychically prepared voyaging, preferably on a warm and sunny but slightly overcast afternoon in a field somewhere in the West Country, or in a friend's house cluttered to the rafters with fascinating and peculiar objects.The Quietus' Top 10 also includes some records you might have heard (David Bowie, Nick Cave, Foals, Factory Floor) but probably some others you haven't. And if you haven't heard Glynnaestra (I hadn't) you can stream it in full below.
You can check out The Quietus' entire Best LPs of 2013 list in this post, and they also made a Spotify playlist to accompany it. Their list, along with the Grumbling Fur album stream, is below..
One of the most eclectic lineups in the US, Hopscotch Festival in Raleigh, NC, will be back for 2013 on September 5 -7. Pulling from all genres, this year's line-up includes names like Big Boi (who plays NYC tonight), Spiritualized, Sleep, Wolf Eyes (who have a new video), The Breeders (performing Last Splash), John Cale, Kurt Vile & the Violators, Gorguts, Inter Arma (who play NYC on Saturday), Double Negative (who played NYC this past weekend), Swearin' (them too), Pissed Jeans, Dan Friel, Waxahatchee and many many others. Three-day wristbands are on sale now with individual day tickets going on sale in June. Full lineup is below.
by Bill Pearis
Baltimore-based experimentalists Matmos are set to release The Marriage of True Minds, their first album in five years on February 19 via Thrill Jockey. The record's birth, much like their Ganzfeld EP from last year, is a bit odd, even for this duo. Here's a bit from the press release:
For the past four years the band have been conducting parapsychological experiments based upon the classic Ganzfeld ("total field") experiment, but with a twist: instead of sending and receiving simple graphic patterns, test subjects were put into a state of sensory deprivation by covering their eyes and listening to white noise on headphones, and then Matmos member Drew Daniel attempted to transmit "the concept of the new Matmos record" directly into their minds. The resulting transcripts became poetic and conceptual scores used by Matmos to generate the nine songs on this album. If a subject hummed something, that became a melody; passing visual images suggested arrangement ideas, instruments, or raw materials for a collage; if a subject described an action, then the band members had to act out that out and make music out of the noises generated in the process of the re-enactment. "The Marriage of True Minds" boasts a promiscuous cast of guest musicians, an array of sonic tactics, and a broad swathe of musical styles, but this diversity is joined together with a common purpose: the translation of this archive of psychic experiments into a delirious hybrid of conceptual noise and electronic pop.Matmos created a Tumblr detailing their Ganzfeld experiments which makes for heady reading. While there are moments of beauty and danceable rhythms to be heard on The Marriage of True Minds, the album ends with a doom-y cover of The Buzzcocks' "ESP" that features vocals from Gerry Mak of Brooklyn metal band Bloody Panda. It's an interesting album.
Which should also make for interesting live shows. While they're scheduled for a European tour in March, Matmos only have one U.S. date at the moment and it's in NYC: February 11 at Le Poisson Rouge and tickets are on sale now.
Cover art and track list for The Marriage of True Minds is below, along with a list of all tour dates
Dan Deacon @ MHOW, 11/16/2012 (more by David Andrako)
Dan Deacon made his national network television debut last night (12/13) on Jimmy Kimmel Live, playing "True Thrush" from his most recent album, America. Like at his live shows, Dan and his band played mostly in darkness and incorporates an iPhone app into his crowd-participation antics. You can experience a little of that symbiosis in the video from the Kimmel performance which has an interactive element, which you can watch below. Dan's North American tour wraps up this weekend in Florida and he'll head to Europe in February for a short tour there. All dates are listed below.
Meanwhile, Dan gave us his Top 10 LPs of 2012 which includes Baltimore pals Ed Schrader's Music Beat, Beach House, Dope Body, Chester Endersby Gwazda (who Dan brought on tour with him this year) and Horse Lords. You can check it out below, along with a list of tour dates and the 'Kimmel' video.
Yesterday, we mentioned that Thrill Jockey Records will be celebrating their 20th anniversary this year, and in honor of it are hosting a show at Webster Hall on September 15 with Tortoise, Future Islands, Matmos, Liturgy. and D. Charles Speer. That show is actually just one in a series of 20th anniversary shows the label are putting on around the country, including a much smaller one in NYC at Death by Audio on September 14 with White Hills, Guardian Alien, Man Forever (who also plays DbA on Friday, 7/20), Dan Friel, and Rhyton. Tickets for the Death by Audio show and the Webster Hall show are on sale now.
In addition to the shows, the label will also celebrate their anniversary with newly commissioned silk screened posters, like this one and this one, and 2-minute video shorts, like the one by Ashby Lee Collinson that you can watch below. They've also asked a number of comedians, including Fred Armisen, to write two jokes (one clean and one dirty) and Thrill Jockey will be recording reactions to the jokes and pressing them on limited edition vinyl.
In related news, experimental duo Matmos (aka M.C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel), who are playing some of the anniversary shows including the Webster Hall one, have just recently signed to Thrill Jockey, and they'll put out their first release for the label, the Ganzfeld EP, on October 15.
All currently known Thrill Jockey 20th anniversary shows (more TBA) are listed below with lineups...
Tortoise at ATP NY 2010 more by BBG)
Chicago label Thrill Jockey Records, who focus most heavily on experimental music and indie rock, will be celebrating their 20th anniversary in NYC on September 15 at Webster Hall with a stacked lineup of Tortoise, Future Islands, Matmos, Liturgy, and D. Charles Speer & the Helix. Tickets for that show go on sale Thursday (7/19) at noon.
Meanwhile, Liturgy will play NYC even sooner with an also very solid, but very different lineup of Sepalcure, Machinedrum, White Ring, and MikeQ on Saturday (7/21) at 171 Lombardy in Brooklyn. Tickets for that show are on sale now. As discussed, Liturgy also plays the Basilica Music Festival in Hudson, NY (Aug 11-12) with Mick Barr, Gang Gang Dance, Prince Rama, and more.
Lists of all Tortoise, Future Islands, Liturgy, and Machinedrum dates, and videos from all the bands are below...
Terry and Gyan Riley have been performing together since the late 90's and have appeared in concert throughout the USA and Europe. The music has a connection to the improvising traditions of both Jazz and Indian Classical but more importantly depends on a synchronous intuition that has developed between a father and a son. Sometimes they begin with a structure where melodic, harmonic, modal and rhythmic elements are predetermined along with a flow chart of sequential events but one of their favorite forms is starting from a place where neither performer has an overview and they must find their way together. Terry on piano, keyboard and vocals, has been on the worlds stages for over 50 years. Gyan has generated a lot of excitement with his astounding guitar virtuosity and his brilliant compositions. In 2011 they appeared at All Tomorrow's Parties in Minehead England and at Moogfest in Asheville, North Carolina.Terry Riley & Gyan Riley (with help from percussionist David Cossin and violinist Tracy Silverman) play a seated show at Le Poisson Rouge Sunday (5/13). Tickets are still available.
Gyan Riley can also be found this month at the Stone, where he curated the second half (May 17 - 31) of venue's May programming. (Buke & Gase handled the first two weeks.) Riley's run kicks off Thursday, May 17 with a solo performance by Tracy Silvermann who uses loop pedals to create soundscapes with her six-string violin. The late show that night is BLIXT aka Bill Laswell (bass) Morgen Agren (drums) Raoul Bjorkenheim (guitar).
Other highlights include Ian Williams of Battles on May 19, guitarist Charlie Hunter and drummer Scott Amendola on May 22; pianist Jenny Lin playing works from various Merce Cunningham composers on May 23; Riley and percussionist Dave Cossin performing as Superballs! on May 26; and Bang on a Can/Paul Simon cohort Mark Stewart on May 27.
Full schedule for the Gyan Riley-curated second half of May at The Stone is below.
DOWNLOAD: Bloody Panda - "Gold" Matmos Remix (MP3)
Bloody Panda 2011
The idea of a remix album for a metal band is an odd one, but Bloody Panda is anything but conventional. So when the topic was broached about remixing their 2009 LP Summon, the NYC Doom band put out the call to a litany of great contributors including Matmos, Sanford Parker, Mick Barr, and Jarboe as well as members of Portal, The Legendary Pink Dots, Burning Witch and a host of others. The result is the self-released Summon: Invocation, a remix LP due via the band on November 15th. Between now and then Bloody Panda will release individual tracks until that release date, including the Matmos remix of "Gold" which makes its first appearance here today. Grab it above.
We asked Bloody Panda about why they would create a remix album, and cornered Matmos to inquire about their contribution. The results of both interviews are below, alongside a stream of the song...
Matmos with Kronos Quartet last year
The Chiara String Quartet and NOW Ensemble come together Friday, May 6 at (Le) Poisson Rouge for a joint album release concert, celebrating two fresh albums from New Amsterdam Records with some of the foremost performers and composers of this emerging self-reliant generation: NOW Ensemble's sophomore statement, Awake (with compositions by ensemble members Judd Greenstein, Mark Dancigers, Patrick Burke, and commissioned work by Missy Mazzoli, Sean Friar, and David Crowell), and Jefferson Friedman: Quartets, performed by the Chiara String Quartet and special guest, electronic duo, Matmos.Both Awake and Jefferson Friedman: Quartets are out now via New Amsterdam (congrats to both groups). As stated above, Matmos will join in to assist in the performance of the latter at the show, which will also house a screening of the new animated film Plan Of The City "about the architecture of New York City blasting off into outer space and resettling on Mars". Whoa, far out bro. Check out a teaser for that film below, and get you tickets for the May 6th show at LPR while they are still available.
Matmos is also scheduled to head out to the Manchester International Festival in July to join Marina Abramovic, Antony Hagerty, Willem Defoe (yes, Green Goblin from Spider Man) and more as part of the stage production of The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic:
Manchester International Festival and Teatro Real Madrid present the world premiere of a startling new piece for the stage: The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic, a biography of the godmother of performance art, re-imagined by visionary director Robert Wilson.No word on if the pieces compsed for the production will ever see the light of day outside of the UK.
The show features scenes from Abramovic's life and career, from her Serbian childhood to her work as a performance artist. Featuring original and traditional music, including songs written and performed by the incomparable Antony (Antony & The Johnsons), this ground-breaking show brings together the worlds of theatre, art and music to thrilling effect.
In semi-related news, the ever-collaborative Matmos has worked with members of The Princeton Laptop Orchestra (PLOrk) in the past and the collective will play 92YTribeca TONIGHT. PLOrk will bring an "evening of wildly innovative electronic music, live 3D video and hacked video game hardware." Tickets are still available.
Matmos is hitting the road in Europe in May much to the semi-disappointment of Matmos member Drew Daniel:
"Drew is very sad that he will be missing Maryland DeathFest this year, but touring Europe with Jay Lesser and John Wiese will make up for missing Corrosion of Conformity's reformation of the Animosity lineup." - MatmosTurn that frown upside down Drew, you can still catch the Animosity lineup on tour (they play Brooklyn Bowl on 7/20, tickets go on sale at noon today).
Tour dates for that Matmos trek, the Plan of The City Teaser video and more, below...
words by Andrew Frisicano, photos by David Andrako
I was prepared to be disappointed by the Dan Deacon/So Percussion collaboration on Thursday night. I've seen Dan Deacon several times over the past few years and it has always seemed like more or less the same show ("Hey, it's that people-bridge thing."). With So Percussion, the last I saw of them was an evening-length piece at BAM titled Imaginary City. There the music was competently performed, but presentation was underwhelming; the ensemble got swallowed in their junkyard of instruments, too delicately played for the large theater space. My hope was that the group would be less calculated and more playful, which is when they're at their best, with Deacon (the amazing finale of their Matmos collaboration had them alternately chugging and playing beer cans).
Another reason to be skeptical: if you can remember back to May 2009, So Percussion described a Deacon-penned piece they'd be playing at a performance that month. An e-mail from the group warned that the piece "may include pouring liquids onstage, amplified coke bottles, and other oddities..." Well, it didn't end up coming together in time for the show. But it did last night. I figure, any project delayed more than two years is either a catastrophic trainwreck (Chinese Democracy) or a landmark breakthrough (Finnegans Wake or something). Part of that curiosity is what drew me to the show.
The night was divided into two halves, the first with So Percussion and Dan Deacon performing individual sets, then with the groups together. So Percussion's Jason Treuting was absent for the evening, off spending time with his new baby, who'd just been born two hours earlier, and substitute drummer Eric Rosenbaum did a great job of filling in. The band had the crowd sing "Happy Birthday" into a cell phone for the newborn, which was the first of several crowd-performances of the night.
Their opening set comprised of several short pieces, mostly based on videos submitted by friends: a bearded man using an electric toothbrush, a child playing with an orange balloon (replicas were thrown into the crowd to play with), and Martin Schmidt from Matmos looking very John Cage-ish, straight-backed and in a bow tie, playing a succession of musical objects into the camera. The ensemble improvised over the clips in meditative waves, aided by guitarist Grey McMurray.
Up next was Dan Deacon's solo set, which he didn't really perform in at all. In an obvious reach-out to prose scores (by John Cage and others I'm less familiar with) and aleatoric pieces like Terry Riley's In C, Deacon passed out a 24-step pamphlet with instructions for audience members to perform in their seats. The steps were to be repeated variously, before moving to the next in the sequence. Some instructions said to focus on breathing, others instructed you to sing a tone or scream, several involved using a cell phone, either to set off its alarm, create feedback with a neighbor's phone, or call a friend and have them sing to you (one stranger serenaded the near-silent hall to "Proud Mary"). The gambit paid off, both as a natural extension of the crowd-participation Deacon has previously employed and as a link to "new music" tradition.
There was an intermission, then "Ghostbuster Cook: The Origin of the Riddler," a collaborative piece with So Percussion, whose performance centered on drumming a row of soda bottles of varying sizes. They emitted a marimba-like sound that Dan Deacon manipulated with a row of effects. The next stop was a series of bass drums and congas, that sounded at times like a drum corps. When Dan Deacon fired up his sequencers, which took a few moments to lock in with the drums, it was the closest the night would get to a standard Dan Deacon set: overwhelming sound with chaotic execution (So Percussion didn't seem exactly at ease with their cues here). The group moved back to the pitched containers while members emptied more soda bottles into plastic tubs. Stoppers at the bottom of two playable bottles were let out and a misting sound filled the hall. Then, the silence. For what must have been more than ten minutes, So Percussion stood perched over their marimbas and vibes waiting for the running water to stop (no doubt a reference to the silence of John Cage's 4'33"). One enraged audience member exclaimed "Are you fucking kidding me?" before storming out the back. Then the water ended, and the group came in with an arrangement of twinkling mallet percussion, with a melody that hinted at Danny Elfman's film scores and polyrhythms that tugged in several different directions.
Was the night a success? Partly. Dan Deacon seemed serious about his concert hall debut; the prose score was fun and effective. So Percussion's solo set was a stellar example of what makes the group great: aural treats born out of playful experimentation. Their collaboration was a risk that had an admirable scope, and paid-off in parts, but stopped short of making a cohesive whole (again, the thing was called "Ghostbuster Cook: The Origin of the Riddler"). If Deacon and the group had put together a suite of short pieces, with spots to recalibrate and adjust, I suspect the result would have been a full success.
As it was, only one crowd member in a sold-out crowd leaving (as far as I could tell) is more than a minor victory. The biggest regret is the fact that the program's final piece, So Percussion's "I Love You, Goodnight," didn't happen. They skipped that song, possibly for time, or perhaps because Jason was absent, but I wish I had a video of it to post here: It's an amazing lullaby to send off an audience.
More pictures from the Ecstatic Music Festival show at Merkin Concert Hall (the next one is Craig Wedren, Jefferson Friedman & ACME on Saturday) below...
by Andrew Frisicano
Matmos and So Percussion at the Whitney, 2006 (via Matador)
New music quartet So Percussion and electronic duo Matmos (Drew Daniel and Martin Schmidt) are collaborating on a new record, Treasure State, set to come out July 13th (July 8th digitally) on Cantaloupe. They recorded the record at the SnowGhost Studios in Whitefish, Montana, where "San Francisco plunderphonicist Wobbly then chopped and edited the results on several tracks, and finally, with frequent interventions from Matmos' M. C. Schmidt, 'fifth' So Percussion member and produced by Lawson White overdubbed extra elements, processed, and mixed the results." The instruments used include ceramic planters, pails of water, aluminum beer cans and cactus needles - not totally surprising if you've seen their live show.
Matmos and So Percussion will be playing at (Le) Poisson Rouge on Wednesday, June 9th. Tickets are on sale now. A full tour tour for the groups will be announced soon.
Before then, So Percussion's schedule includes an appearance at the Look & Listen Festival (which they play annually) on May 8th at Gary Snyder/Project Space (250 West 26th St). The other events for the three-day fest, details here, happen at Chelsea Art Museum. Tickets are on sale.
This summer, So Percussion will play on one night of Lincoln Center's two-night "Complete Works of Edgard Varèse" program. They'll join International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) to perform music by the highly influential composer (though Poème électronique will play itself). The second night features NY Philharmonic. Details on the program are below and tickets are on sale.
If that seems far off, in 2011 So Percussion will join Bang on a Can All-Stars, eighth blackbird and Kronos Quartet for a "Music of Steve Reich" concert at Carnegie Hall on April 30th. They'll perform new works and2009 Pulitzer Prize winning Double Sextet.
As for Matmos, they perform at Mutek Music Fest in Montreal on June 2nd.
Album tracklist, all tour dates, and more info on the Look & Listen and Lincoln Center shows are below...
by Andrew Frisicano
Darcy James Argue
New Amsterdam Records is putting on Undiscovered Islands, a month-long exhibition of work by label artists and friends at Brooklyn's Galapagos Art Space (16 Main St in DUMBO). The series' four Friday shows start May 8th. Tickets are on sale now.
The lineups include two record release shows: one for Darcy James Argue's Secret Society's Infernal Machines on Friday, May 8th; and another on May 15th for Nadia Sirota's first things first. Sirota will be appearing with the Chiara Quartet, itsnotyouitsme, Clarice Jensen, Nico Muhly and others.
Friday, May 22nd's show will feature ensemble Signal premiering Sarah Kirkland Snider's Penelope with Brad Lubman, Steven Mackey and Rachel Calloway, and So Percussion playing new works.
The final Undiscovered Islands of the month will feature NOW Ensemble and Abigail Fischer premiering Missy Mazzoli and Stephen Taylor's "Song from the Uproar" followed by a preview premiere performance of William Brittelle's Television Landscape on Friday, May 29th. New work Television Landscape is described in the release as "a fully-notated concept album that brings together the epic tradition of Pet Sounds, Purple Rain, and OK Computer with Brittelle's idiosyncratic... compositional style."
tonight in NYC
* Mucky Pup @ Mexicali Live
* Eugene Chadbourne @ Cake Shop
* Lady Sovereign @ Tribeca Grand Hotel
* Himalaya, Signal To Noise @ Monkey Town
* Nouvellas & the Black Hollies @ Glasslands
* So Percussion, Matmos, PLOrk @ The Kitchen
* The Faint, Ladytron, Crocodiles @ Webster Hall
* Black Dice, Skint, dphokcheong 2000 @ Market Hotel
* The Jenny Scheinman Trio (w/ Nels Cline @ Blue Note)
* Extra Golden, Meta & The Cornerstones @ (le) poisson rouge
* pow wow!, The Vacant Lots, Blowtorch, Little Gold @ Cake Shop
* Francis and the Lights, Four Tet (DJ) @ Santos Party House
* Friendly Foes, Real Estate, Prussia, Sharon Van Etten @ Pianos
* Knight School, Sisters, Pants Yell!, World Atlas @ Dead Herring
* Mr. Lif, Junk Science, The Beatards @ The Studio at Webster Hall
* Violens, Apache Beat, Blonde Acid Cult, Bottle Up & Go @ Santos Party House
* Napalm Death, Coliseum, Kataklysm, Toxic holocaust & Trap Them @ Gramercy
* Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3, Christina Courtin @ Irving Plaza
Andrew Frisicano says, "Last night at the Kitchen, So Percussion, Matmos & PLOrk joined together to form a 15-person ensemble that ran through songs that included Matmos' newly re-arranged "Supreme Balloon" - complete with a huge psychedelic video projection. If you check it out tonight, watch out for the rank stale beer smell that may be eminating from the room - last night's encore employed 12 cans of Bud Light ("because it sounds good"), which the group hit with sticks, spilled on much of their intstruments, and chugged to end the night."
Anvil! the movie is playing at Angelica and AMC Empire 25. Trailer below.
the Homosexuals @ WNYU (more by Leia Jospe)
today in NYC
* DJ Bob Mould @ Southpaw
* Yeasayer & Ponytail @ NYU
* Little Joy @ The Wonder Bar
* The Forms & Javelins @ Union Hall
* Drew Daniel of Matmos @ Housing Works
* Butch Walker & Jesse Malin @ Maxwell's
* Lebowski Fest w/ Tragedy @ Irving Plaza
* Sunburned Hand of the Man @ Silent Barn
* The Homosexuals & The Octagon @ Cake Shop
* The Giraffes & Goes Cube @ Mercury Lounge
* Kaiser Chiefs & Oxford Collapse @ Webster Hall
* John Zorn Improv night @ The Stone (early & late)
* Girl Talk, The Death Set & CX Kidtronik @ Terminal 5
* Fredrik, Twi The Humble Feather & Django James @ Pianos
* Calexico, Bowerbirds, & The Acorn @ Tarrytown Music Hall
* The Calder String Quartet w/ Andrew W.K. @ Le Poisson Rouge
* AC Newman, The Oranges Band & Bird of Youth @ The Bell House
@ Housing Works: "Matmos's Drew Daniel will read from his book on Throbbing Gristle (Throbbing Gristle: Twenty Jazz Funk Greats, 33 1/3 Books), answer questions, and do a solo dance music/noise laptop performance (aka dance party)."
@ Le Poisson Rouge: The Calder Quartet featuring Andrew W.K. - Performing composed and improvised music for string quartet and chamber ensemble, as well as solo compositions to be announced, Doors at 7:00pm, show at 8:00pm
@ The Stone: 8 and 10 pm - John Zorn Improv Night I--A Stone Benefit - John Zorn (sax) Scott Johnson (guitar) Ikue Mori (electronics) Jim Staley (trombone) Eyal Maoz (guitar) Trevor Dunn (bass) Ches Smith (drums) and many special guests. Come out and support The Stone! A night of wild improvisation East Village style to benefit The Stone. TWENTY DOLLARS.
@ Irving Plaza: Lebowski Fest New York Movie Party - Music by Tragedy (metal tribute to The Bee Gees), Creedence Clearwater Revival Revival plus a re-enactment of the Landlord's dance cycle by Paul Green. Followed by a screening of The Big Lebowski!
On January 10, 2008, Lou Reed and John Zorn, joined by special guest Laurie Anderson, played two benefit shows for The Stone, an avant-garde performance space on the corner of Avenue C and 2nd Street in Alphabet City that supports itselfs solely on donations, giving all door revenues directly to the performers. Zorn, an alto-saxophonist and founder of the music label Tzadik, was the principal force in establishing the Stone in 2005 and currently holds the title of artistic director. [WallyG]Tonight (Aug 21) @ The Stone in NYC: Beirut's Jon Natchez & Kelly Pratt & Ryan Sawyer "for a set of improvisation and original composition"
Saturday (Aug 23) @ The Stone: Ryan Sawyer/Thurston Moore Duo with Susan Alcorn
September @ The Stone: Everything JG Thirwell picked.
Matmos kick off their two-night run at new NYC venue (le) poisson rouge tonight (July 18, 2008). I have tickets to give away (a lot of them). To win a pair, email BVCONTESTS@HOTMAIL.COM (subject: Matmos FRIDAY or Matmos SATURDAY). (the subject depends on which night you want tickets for). Include your first and last name. Winners will be contacted ASAP.
All Matmos tour dates below...
DOWNLOAD: Matmos - Rainbow Flag (MP3)
In Baltimore. soon...
HIGHLIGHTS:(LE) POISSON ROUGE, the awkwardly named new 800-capacity music venue ("multimedia art cabaret") opening where The Village Gate used to be in the West Village has revealed their floor plan. Click HERE for a larger version.
* 158 Bleecker btwn Thompson & Sullivan in Greenwich Village
* 800-capacity flexible performance space (250 seated)
* 130-capacity attached, soundproof lounge bar
* 28' x 21' fixed corner stage w/ various staging additions
* 16' dia. portable, trundled round stage
* acoustic engineering by John Storyk/WSDG (Electric Lady Studios, etc)
* 2 cinema-sized screens with Meyer 5.1 Surround Sound
* 23' dia. hardwood sprung dance floor
* 9' Concert Grand piano
* 2 elevated VIP Opera Boxes and 2 private entrances
* full catering kitchen, concert bar menu, and daytime lounge menu
* restrooms in 2 areas at opposite ends of the venue
* furnished green room with en suite bathroom, shower & tour office
"The adjoining lounge will be open during the day as a café, and at night as a secondary bar and event space." The full June schedule is also pasted below....