Entries tagged with: Suicide
photos by Greg Cristman
Suicide / Pharmakon
Legendary NYC synthpunk duo Suicide played a hometown show at Webster Hall on Saturday (3/7). Though Alan Vega had to be helped into a chair during the set, he and Martin Rev still sounded excellent -- and really loud -- and remain a huge influence on modern music.
NYC newcomer Pharmakon opened, and she was as great and confrontational as she is in smaller venues. Like she often does, she went into the audience screaming and cutting a swath through the crowd. After her came psych duo The Vacant Lots, who put out their Sonic Boom-produced debut LP last year and seemed like they probably take some influence from Suicide. Pictures of the show are in this post.
Pharmakon plays her hometown again on April 2 at Saint Vitus with Shredded Nerve and Ciarra Black, and in May at the Ende Tymes Festival. She's also a member of the punk band Cheena, who open for Iceage side project Marching Church and play New York's Alright in April.
List of all Pharmakon dates, and more pictures from Webster Hall, below...
photo: Pharmakon at Saint Vitus in 2013 (more by Fred Pessaro)
NYC's Pharmakon, whose 2014 album Bestial Burden placed at #64 on the Pazz + Jop Poll, will be on a North American tour for the rest of this month and most of February. Upon returning to NYC, she'll open for hometown legends Suicide at their Webster Hall show on March 7, also with The Vacant Lots. Tickets for that are still available. All of Pharmakon's dates are listed below.
In somewhat related news, tonight (1/15) is the issue 15 launch party for Nuts! Fanzine (which has previously interviewed Pharmakon) at Printed Matter (6-8pm). NYC punk band Flykills will play a set at the event which runs from 6-8 pm.
Flykills feature former members of the Florida punk band St. Dad, who White Lung named a song after, and who White Lung singer MIsh Way is openly a huge fan of. You may have seen Flykills when they opened for White Lung at Glasslands last year. Their latest release, the snotty raw Lump of Flesh EP, was also Tweens' third favorite album of 2014. You also may have seen Flykills last year at Cake Shop with the Tweens-related band Vacation.
Stream the Flykills EP and watch a video of them at that Glasslands show, below...
Martin Rev at Webster Hall in October (more by Amanda Hatfield)
One half of pioneering New York synth punk duo Suicide (Martin Rev) recently played Webster Hall opening for Zola Jesus, and now he and his partner in noise Alan Vega have scheduled a headlining Suicide show at that same venue for March 7. Tickets to see these legends in action go on sale at 10 AM on Friday (12/12).
One of Suicide's songs was recently performed by another CBGB veteran, David Byrne, at Arcade Fire's Barclays Center show in August which CBGB vets Television opened. Meanwhile, the same month as that Suicide show, David Byrne will be celebrated at Carnegie Hall.
Listen to some Suicide below...
We posted this when it was first announced, but here's a reminder about the three day event happening at the Brooklyn Academy of Music this weekend (11/6-11/8):
Part of 2014 Next Wave FestivalTickets are available at BAM's site.
The Andy Warhol Museum and Dean Wareham
Featuring live performances by:
Bradford Cox (Deerhunter, Atlas Sound)
Eleanor Friedberger (The Fiery Furnaces)
Martin Rev (Suicide)
Tom Verlaine (Television)
Dean Wareham (Galaxie 500, Luna)
The films of Andy Warhol are provocative milestones of underground cinema, flaunting convention simply by letting the gritty world be itself. They include a motionless eight-hour shot of the Empire State Building, a short of Lou Reed drinking a Coke, and erotic acts aplenty.
In Exposed: Songs for Unseen Warhol Films, curated by The Andy Warhol Museum, 15 never-before-seen, digitally restored selections from the 1960s are unveiled. Five artists representing a musical trajectory from the post-Velvet Underground 70s to today--Dean Wareham (Galaxie 500, Luna), Tom Verlaine (Television), Martin Rev (Suicide), Eleanor Friedberger (The Fiery Furnaces), and Bradford Cox (Deerhunter, Atlas Sound)--perform live alongside Warhol's celluloid oeuvre, featuring Marcel Duchamp, Edie Sedgwick, Donovan, Warhol himself, and others.
Television also have some shows coming up.
Luna do too!
Martin Rev recently played with Zola Jesus.
by Andrew Sacher
Zola Jesus is less than a month away from releasing her anticipated new album, Taiga (due 10/7 via new label home Mute), and after releasing the single "Dangerous Days," she's now back with another cut from the LP, "Go (Blank Sea)." Like its predecessor, it sounds big enough for a stadium but without losing the eccentricities that makes it a Zola Jesus song. Check it out below, via The Fader.
Since we last spoke, openers have also been announced for most of her US tour stops, including the NYC show happening October 19 at Webster Hall. That one will be with Suicide's Martin Rev and Ninja Tune producer/Joey Bada$$ associate Lee Bannon. Tickets for that show are still available.
Updated dates (openers for other cities included) are listed, with the new song, below...
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin, words by Andrew Sacher
Arcade Fire @ Barclays Center - 8/24/14
Arcade Fire completed the three-night Barclays Center run of their current tour last night (8/24). Like the first two, Dan Deacon and the reunited Unicorns opened, but this one was extra special because it also included an opening set from New York's legendary Television.
The Unicorns kicked things off early at 7:15 PM, and unfortunately the soon-to-be-filled venue was mostly empty for them, but this rare set (one of six dates they're playing this year) was a treat for those in attendance. They mostly stuck to material from their classic Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone?, and despite Nick Diamonds and Alden Penner's more "serious" recent projects, they retained all the quirk from their Unicorns days for this show. Alden and Nick both ran around on stage, cracked jokes ("Some people have told us now that they've finally seen us they can die happy ... that is very accurate"), and seemed to be having a genuinely good time on stage playing those old songs. We certainly had a good time hearing them.
Television followed with an excellent set that included half of the classic Marquee Moon ("See No Evil," "Prove It," "Torn Curtain" and it's sprawling title track), but was more of a jammy psychedelic trip than a rehashing of old favorites. The band, whose lineup is 3/4 of the one that recorded Marquee Moon (Jimmy Rip in place of Richard Lloyd), are now almost 40 years past the release of that album and they don't perform all that frequently, but they were dead on last night. The interlocking guitar solos went on endlessly without dragging, and the rhythm section was locked in for all those jams. As improvisational as some of it sounded, parts like the ending of the instrumental break on "Marquee Moon" were exactly like the album. It was as powerful blasting from the stage at Barclays Center as it was the first time you heard it on record.
Immediately after Television's set, Dan Deacon got started on the small stage on the opposite end of the floor, hosting a huge dance competition on Barclays Center's ground floor which ended with the whole floor dancing. A second dance competition was then framed as a battle between Brooklyn DIY venue Death by Audio and NYC print-only show listings publication Showpaper. This was the second recent show we've attended that a now-big act playing to a lot of people in NYC gave props to Death by Audio from the stage (the last was Future Islands). Also spotted dancing in the crowd to Dan Deacon was fellow bald, bearded indie music maker Tim Harrington of Les Savy Fav (Dan thanked him at the end). Dan's set was both a fun/funny activity for the crowd and an entertaining precursor to what was to follow.
Arcade Fire then took the stage at 9:30 for a 2-hour set (encore included) which was all thrills. At least in the world of music blogs and music twitter, Arcade Fire have gotten more than a little criticism for the last year or so of their career, which has included an elongated album rollout, lots of costumes, cover songs, and other gimmicks. But last night's show was such a truly good time, you'd have to be bitterly cynical to have been there and felt otherwise. Yes, it is a huge spectacle built for the huge venues they now typically play (this was their third arena show of the weekend in Brooklyn, and all three were full), but they do it without falling into bombast.
One of Arcade Fire's first NYC shows was ten years ago at the tiny Mercury Lounge (October 2004 to be exact). Core members Win Butler, Régine Chassagne, Richard Reed Parry, William Butler, Jeremy Gara, Tim Kingsbury, and Sarah Neufeld were all on stage that night, and impressively they're all still there ten years later. This time around they're joined by multiple other musicians (including sax genius Colin Stetson who you can catch in a more intimate environment at Baby's All Right TONIGHT (8/25)), a few people in paper mache bobblehead masks, dancers, confetti, and an elaborate light show, but they make it all unmistakably their own. The Arcade Fire of 2004 may not have written the dance-heavy "Reflektor" or "Sprawl II," but when the Arcade Fire of 2014 plays them right next to "Rebellion (Lies)" and "No Cars Go," nothing sounds out of place. The setlist was heaviest on Reflektor and lightest on Neon Bible, but it mostly felt like a very well curated collection of the many sounds Arcade Fire have made over the years, each song flowing perfectly into the next.
You know by now that Arcade Fire have been doing location-specific covers on this whole tour, and with NY Dolls' David Johansen (as Buster Poindexter) joining them for a cover of "Hot Hot Hot" on Friday, followed by Marky Ramone joining for two Ramones songs on Saturday, and Television opening last night's show (not to mention Deborah Harry joining them at Coachella), it seemed like a pretty good bet that they'd keep the CBGB theme going for this final show. And they did. But Television, though their opening set fit the theme, did not end up being the guest. Win Butler, like Dan Deacon before him, did point out how amazing it was to play with Television though. In fact, Win said last night's show was the best lineup of bands they ever played with at one show.
Arcade Fire & David Byrne
The CBGB-themed cover ended up being Suicide's "Dream Baby Dream," after a fake-out of LCD Soundsystem's "All My Friends" playing through the PA as The Reflektors mimed the song from the smaller stage at the back of the floor. Nobody from Suicide joined them for this one, but they brought out Talking Head David Byrne (who was also on stage with Arcade Fire almost ten years ago) to sing guest vocals, complete with white face makeup on. It seemed like a good bet that David would be joining them when we heard he was spotted in the building, and we're pretty sure he was even out dancing in a mask to Dan Deacon. (There was a rumor they'd be covering Bruce Springsteen after someone got a hold of the setlist early, uploaded it to setlist.fm, and must have mistakenly not realized Bruce's recording of that song is in fact a Suicide cover.)
"Dream Baby Dream" segued into "Here Comes the Night Time," followed by "Normal Person" (which included Win singing "New York I love you, but you're bringing me down" over the intro, further teasing those of us who were hoping for a James Murphy cameo), and then the show ended with the longest-ever version of "Wake Up." Even after the song's huge ending and the crowd's applause, Win started singing the "whoa-oh, whoa-oh-oh-oh" part again as he and the band walked off stage, then the horn players joined back in, and the whole band proceeded to leave the stage in marching band fashion (the same way they had entered the venue 2 hours earlier) playing the song even once the PA was turned off until they fully exited the room.
Pictures of the third and final night are in this post (though unfortunately none of the openers this time). Saturday pictures HERE. Friday pictures HERE. More from Sunday, with a video of the Suicide cover and AF's setlist, below...
"There was a certain amount of science to it. An entire week of work experience students left the office thinking that cutting-edge music journalism in 2014 mostly involves calculating which bands have been mentioned most in NME in the past two years, then hunting out references to the bands that influenced those acts online and finally adding up the number of times each influence came up. This gave us a rough list which our editorial team - heads swimming with all of the bands that Wolf Alice (or whoever) have raved on about over 4am ciders - then took to the pub, tore into shreds, fought and shouted about and finally reconstructed in the rundown of 100 you see in the mag today. The Beatles didn't make it. Sorry." [NME[NME went ahead and listed who they think the 100 most influential musicians and bands are (their latest cover story). Radiohead topped the list. Read the rest with justifications at NME, or just look at their full list below...
[Craig] Leon moved to Manhattan in the early 1970s where he accepted an A&R position at Sire Records in New York under Gottehrer and his partner Seymour Stein. There he was responsible for the discovery and early development of the Ramones and Talking Heads amongst other artists. He produced the first Ramones album and also concentrated on licensing more adventurous European records which the majors were unwilling to release in the U.S. At Sire, Craig learned the skills necessary for the production, as well as manufacture of recorded music.Craig Leon, who (as the above bio states) has produced Ramones, Talking Heads, Richard Hell, Blondie, The Fall, Suicide and more, also put out music of his own, including 1981's and 1982's synth albums, Nommos and Visiting, respectively. Those albums are now both getting reissued as Anthology of Interplanetary Folk Music Vol. 1 on June 24 as part of RVNG Intl.'s archival series. (Nommos was reissued in the UK last year via Superior Viaduct.) If you're unfamiliar with Craig's work, preview the new reissue with the track "One Hundred Steps" below. Album artwork and tracklist below too.
After producing the 'Live at CBGBs' compilation for Atlantic Records, Craig joined Richard Gottehrer and Marty Thau to set up a production company called Instant Records. Projects included the early Blondie records, Richard Hell & The Voidoids and Suicide.
...He has written and performed on three albums of his own, including "Nommos" (a dance piece based on North African ethnic themes and electronic music, that was used by members of The Twyla Tharp dance troupe which was also used as the opening exhibit for the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art in 1981),and the full length score of the Kosh Dance Theatre piece, "Klub Anima", which deals with alternating classical and modern electronic forms.
Craig will be making the US debut of Nommos at RVNG's Moogfest showcase in Asheville, NC this April, and just after that he'll come to NYC for a show on April 30 at Le Poisson Rouge to perform it with the American Contemporary Music Ensemble. PAN's Bill Kouligas is also on the bill. Tickets will be on sale via LPR's site and the show flyer is below.
by Doug Moore
Martin Rev -- the instrumental brain behind the epochal synth-punk innovators Suicide -- came out of a five-year hiatus a few months back for a Bowery Electric show with You. and Eraas, which he followed up with a Glasslands show with Tempers.
Rev has now announced another Bowery Electric show on 12/21 with a killer (and extremely noisy) supporting lineup: Child Abuse, Forma, and Netherlands. You may recall that Child Abuse just completed a tour, while Netherlands recently released an album and are playing Death By Audio on 11/30 with Wild Yaks, Low Fat Getting High, and Grandfather.
Tickets for the 12/21 Rev/Child Abuse/Forma/Netherlands show are on sale now. Stream tuneage by all four bands below.
Pooya (far right) with The Free Keys
This week saw the tragic news that members of Yellow Dogs had been murdered by Raefe Ahkbar, former member of Yellow Dogs "sister band" The Free Keys, who committed suicide soon after. Now, Pooya Hosseini of The Free Keys, who was there the night of the murder, has recounted his experience in a new interview with The New York Times:
Mr. Hosseini listened to the gunfire. Then his door crashed open.Read the rest of this depressing story at NY Times.
First all he saw was the gun, and then he focused on Mr. Rafie's face, wild-eyed, not with anger but with a strange beatific purpose, an almost happy demeanor.
" 'You think my bullets are not going to go through those coats and your body and the wall?' " Mr. Hosseini recalled, using English to recount Mr. Rafie's words, which had been spoken in Persian. "I said, 'Definitely, sure, but don't kill me. Just let me talk to you.' "
For the next several minutes, they spoke, Mr. Rafie, pointing the end of a .308 caliber, Spanish-made assault rifle at Mr. Hosseini, still crouched on the floor.
"He asked me, 'What happened to us?' " Mr. Hosseini recalled.
The two had been friends in Iran, playing music together and accompanying each other on mountain bike rides in the hills north of their Tehran homes. They came to the United States together, hoping to find musical freedom in Brooklyn.
But almost from the moment the men arrived together at Kennedy Airport in December 2011, relations were fraying. Mr. Rafie made little money as a bicycle messenger and began to steal things. He would hop turnstiles, frightening Mr. Hosseini and others who were seeking asylum and trying to assiduously follow the rules.
After about five months, the men kicked Mr. Rafie out of the band and stopped living with him. Mr. Hosseini said that, apart from a text message a few months ago, the two men had not spoken.
The surviving members of the band also gave an official statement.
From left to right: Ali Eskandarian, Arash Farazmand and Soroush Farazmand
Photo Credit: Gabriela Fellet
The Yellow Dogs have released an official statement on Sunday night's tragedy. Read it in full below...
After yesterday's confusing, sad news that members of Yellow Dogs were murdered by Raefe Ahkbar, former apparently disgruntled member of Yellow Dogs' "sister band" The Free Keys, the surviving members Koory and Obash have paid tribute to their bandmates, though briefly for now and via social media. On Facebook, they wrote "Thanks every one for all your prayers and condolences. We still can't believe this tragedy . R.I.P Arash Farazmand, Soroush Farazmand , and Ali Eskandarian." They also tweeted "Still in shock, we lost 3 of our brothers, Soroush Farazmand, Arash Farazmand and Ali Eskandarian, Rest In Peace."
Other bands have paid tribute too, like Black Lips, who posted a message yesterday, and Bear In Heaven, who tweeted, "Got the news about The Yellow Dogs at 830am from an old friend. Instantly sad, now feels totally tragic. Unprecedented. :/"
Now, a message has also been posted by The Free Keys, Yellow Dogs' sister band and former band of the shooter. They write, "We are shocked and heartbroken. We lost our family which we spent our lifetime together. Arash and Soroush were my true brothers. Thank you to everyone for the support. I don't know what I can say."
The Free Keys don't mention Ali Eskandarian by name. Ali is also the one that every news story claims is not in the Yellow Dogs, but according to recent interviews and pictures we found yesterday, he was also in the band, at least for a little while, and as recently as March.
Meanwhile, another detail on the shooting emerged that the gunman had 100 rounds of ammo on him. Police were said to have found 81 unfired rounds and some magazines in a guitar case on the roof where the shooter killed himself.
Pictured above is today's NY Post's new cover where the band is pictured with the sensationalist headline, "Fled Iran only to be gunned down in B'klyn." If you were wondering why they left Iran to begin with, you can take a look at the intriguing but sad cable released by WikiLeaks that details the trouble they faced for being a rock band by the Iranian government, which caused them to apply for US visas in 2009.
Watch a video by Yellow Dogs below...
Yellow Dogs at MHOW in 2012 (more by Greg Cristman)
In the statement from Yellow Dogs' manager (who was previously identified as a publicist) on the murder-suicide that killed "two" of the band's members, it was revealed that the shooter, allegedly Raefe Ahkbar, was not a member of Yellow Dogs, contrary to initial reports. USA Today and many other sources mention that the shooter was actually a former member of Yellow Dogs' "sister band" The Free Keys, who also came over to the US from Iran, and were also featured in Baham Ghobodi's film, No One Knows About Persian Cats. Arash Farazmand, the Yellow Dogs drummer who was murdered, was also once a member of The Free Keys.
Meanwhile, it's still not clear who from the Yellow Dogs was killed. The band's manager's statement said that only two of the victims were in the band, Sourosh "Looloosh" Farazmand (guitarist) and Arash Farazmand (drummer), while the third one Ali Eskandarian was a friend and fellow musician. However, in a March 2013 interview with SO Magazine, Yellow Dogs mention that Ali had been their new singer for four months. He's also pictured with them in this photo on their Facebook, and was with the band when we caught them at Music Hall of Williamsburg in December 2012. Yet, the band's Facebook still only lists the other four members sans Ali. An AltSounds interview from 2011 points out that Ali had been living with Yellow Dogs and The Free Keys in the same Brooklyn loft for years.
Yellow Dogs manager Ali Salehezadeh said the shooter hadn't spoken to the victims in months due to "a very petty conflict." Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said that detectives suspect it was over a money dispute, but that they were still investigating. Update: The NY Times now points out that "There were accusations that [the shooter] had stolen money from the Free Keys, who forced him to leave the band last year, said John J. McCarthy, the Police Department's chief spokesman." Initial versions of the story mentioned he was kicked out of the band, but now it seems it was The Free Keys, and not the Yellow Dogs, he was kicked out of .
In a January 2012 interview with Yellow Dogs' Siavash "Obash" Karampour, Popgun asked:
You've been asked a lot about your Western influences and what sort of American stuff is big in Iran. Which Iranian artists, aside from Yellow Dogs of course, should the US airwaves be expecting, or does the censorship make that impossible?Many articles, like a feature on the Free Keys Filter did in 2007, bring up the DIY space that the two bands ran together in Iran.
Although it's censored and there are restrictions with high internet speed, artists still have a chance to get their music heard. You should definitely look out for our best friends and "sister band" the Free Keys, as they arrived to BK yesterday and will be calling Brooklyn home. This Glasslands show will be very exciting because it will be the first time for them to see us play since the two shows we did together back in the DIY illegal space we built together in Iran. Also be on the look out for the talented street artists and skater brothers ICY and SOT.
The Free Keys, though Ahkbar was not a member anymore, played as recently as 10/12 at Arlene's Grocery. Yellow Dogs played 10/23 at Brooklyn Bowl.
Earlier today the Black Lips released a statement on the killing
Yellow Dogs at MHOW in 2012 (more by Greg Cristman)
This morning, it was reported that there was a shooting related to a Brooklyn/Iranian band, and it was speculated to be the Yellow Dogs. An official statement from the Yellow Dogs' manager (previously thought to be their "publicist") reads:
The shooter was not a former member of the band The Yellow Dogs, he was in another band from Iran and the two groups were acquaintances in the past. A personal conflict between the guys resulted in the dissolution of their relationship in 2012. The shooting resulted in the death of two of the members of the Yellow Dogs, Sourosh Farazmand (guitarist) and Arash Farazmand (drummer), along with a friend of theirs, fellow musician and author Ali Eskandarian. The shooter died from a self inflicted bullet wound on site. [via P4k]UPDATE: Despite what the above message says, it seems Ali was also a member of Yellow Dogs. The killer's band has also been revealed.
A musician furious over being thrown out of a rock band extracted bloody revenge in an early morning attack in Brooklyn Monday -- using a military-style rifle to fatally shoot three people believed to be bandmates, wound another person and then take his own life, law enforcement sources said.Speculation after the story first broke and has since been confirmed by The New York Times that the band in question was Brooklyn/Iranian band the Yellow Dogs who we recently called "constants in the NYC indie circuit". We last caught them with !!! at the end of last year at Music Hall of Williamsburg.
The triple-homicide took place at 318 Maujer St., a Bushwick building where at least some members of the band are believed to live.
The killer, brandishing a Century Sporter .308-caliber semi-automatic weapon with a 20-round magazine, showed up around midnight and opened fire on a person standing outside.
That person was wounded.
Then he stormed into the building and kept firing off round after round...
...The band is made up of Iranians who have been in the country for a while and were seeking asylum here, law enforcement sources.
A neighbor, who identified himself only as Frank, said the building has been hosting boisterous parties.
"During the summer it was ongoing, really loud parties with the street blocked off by gypsy cabs,'' he said.
"It was the usual hipster rave scene.'' [NY Post]
UPDATE (1:44 PM): Yellow Dogs' manager has released a statement that says the assailant was not in Yellow Dogs but in another Iranian band, and that two of the three victims were in Yellow Dogs: Sourosh Farazmand (guitarist) and Arash Farazmand (drummer), along with a friend of theirs, fellow musician and author Ali Eskandaria.
UPDATE 2: Actually all three killed may be in Yellow Dogs as originally reported, and the killer was in their sister band The Free Keys.
An ABC news report video is below as is a 2009 interview CNN did with Yellow Dogs on the underground Iran rock scene.
Our thoughts go to the victims' friends and families.
by Lukas Hodge
Cold Cave in Winslow / dancers in Pittsburgh / Cat Power in Barstow
Just after you walk through the front doors of the historic La Posada hotel in Winslow, Arizona, a news clipping hanging from a bulletin board reads "Another City too Strong to Die". An interesting statement when you think about it due to the fact that it suggests that in all likelihood, this is not a place that's supposed to still exist. It almost advocates feelings that this is a city stuck swimming upstream. The question is raised, what here is worth preserving? If you ask a local, or even just walk a single block through the small downtown area, you'll understand quickly that the hope of this town rests on a song written by Jackson Browne in 1972. Everywhere you go there are signs advertising the town crux: a street corner two blocks from the train station named "Standin' On The Corner" park. Dedicated to one line in a single song, it's surrounded by murals, shops, and even a bronze statue which may or may not be in Jackson Browne's likeness. The song, is of course, "Take It Easy" as performed by The Eagles. And while no other part of this tour really comes close to the level of polarization created by an arena-filling rock band, the story of Winslow works as an effective allegory to sum up the meaning of why myself or anyone rode a customized train disguised as a moving piece of art, complete with recording studio, post-production office, dining hall, and one of Frank Sinatra's private rail cars, from New York to California.
The answer comes from multi-media artist, Doug Aitken, who's devoted his life to the pursuit of collaboration and performance. The "Happenings", as Aitken branded them, were never overwhelming. The numbers were intentionally kept low at each date allowing every participant a feeling of intimacy with each piece of art they encountered, whether it be a stark and awkward Cat Power set in the backyard of a railroad inn, or a UFO high above the California deserts and a Beck set featuring a full choir. This was most noticeable at the Barstow date, a little over one thousand people showed up to the happening within the walls of at least a 4,000 capacity drive-in theater. It's obvious that Aitken's focus was not on attendance and not on outsiders but on bringing together different artistic communities that would almost never normally interact. And hey, a thousand witnesses can't be a bad thing.
Levi's ®, who made the public art project known as Station to Station possible, had their own tents that resembled nomadic sculptures, known as Yurts set up at each date where independent artists and designers could create their own denim products out of locally sourced goods under the "Makers" brand. To quote Maker Laura Sato via an interview with Vice:
The Makers yurt was Levi's® artistic contribution to Station to Station. Levi's® Makers is a collective of artisan's from across the country who sell their handmade goods under the label of Levi's® Makers.The yurts which were also traveling with the train and acted as evolving installation pieces. The Nomadic Sculptures range from Carsten Höller's yurt pierced with holes that visitors can throw a Frisbee through, to Liz Glynn's creation of the universe that develops at each stop. At some stops, filmmaker Kenneth Anger screened a film in his Yurt.
For the majority of the trip, we had four other Makers along with the Levi's® Tailor Shop who had their stations set up in the yurt. Forestbound (one of a kind tote bags made of salvaged materials), Folk Fibers (hand-stitched, natural dyed quilts), Junkyard Jeans (customized chain-stitch embroidery), and Tangleblue Weavers. We also had a few guests along the way for a couple stops; Cobra Rock Boot Co.(handmade boots), Chimayo Weavers, and Teranishi (leather goods).
The yurt really gave us a platform to create and collaborate while allowing the public to observe our process and ask us questions. I've worked for the Levi's® Tailor Shop making handmade goods for almost three years, but when I met my fellow Makers on this trip it really hit me what a special thing I'm a part of. I got to work and become close with some of the most inspiring and talented people, all of us tied together with the common thread of loving to create and work with our hands. There was definitely a special energy inside the yurt.
Every stop on the trip included a combination of visual arts, installations, and live music, all in a very unforgettable fashion. Some of the Happenings take place inside actual train stations (Chicago, Pittsburgh), while others exist within hubs at the creative centers of communities (Brooklyn, Barstow). How the tour arrives at each stop is the truly unforgettable part. Within each of the nine train cars, each serving a distinct purpose, it was almost impossible to find someone without their face glued to the windows admiring the little seen landscape from up on the rails or with their hands on one of the many interactive tools ("for the modern frontier") made possible by Levi's ®. Included in these was an original 1901 Underwood No. 5 typewriter linked directly to Twitter, a 1939 web-enabled Graflex Speed Graphic still cam for taking Instagram pictures, . and a 1960's Gibson hollow body plugged straight into Soundcloud.
Aitken has repeatedly begrudged the term "tour" and endorses the idea that the project is an entity which "constantly changes". All posturing aside, whatever you want to call it, it's impressive and ambitious. Each station had a very distinct feel and was drastically different from the happening prior. In Brooklyn, it kicked off in a dark noise-filled soundstage on the river with sets from electronic pioneers Suicide, tour staple No Age, and psychedelic locals Ariel Pink (who performed at multiple dates), as well as a youth marching band from Kansas City. By the time it reached Chicago, Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore had joined for his set with drummer John Moloney as Caught On Tape. The Legendary gospel diva Mavis Staples also performed.
As the train rolled on, it finally made its way to the southwest and, in my opinion, its defining showcases. When the train, decorated in highly visible, flashing, LED lights, pulled up on the beautifully restored grounds of the almost century old La Posada hotel (which was the original Winslow train stop) the traveling event arguably achieved its most characterized evening. Between the location of the stage being only a few feet from the train, and the recently restored Inn doubling as a local art museum, this seemed to be the exact platform from which Levi's ® and Station to Station creator Doug Aitken wished to "make their mark". Jackson Browne tossed out a few classics before finally playing "Take It Easy, which resulted in a fevered reaction from every middle aged resident sitting in their lawn chairs. Another tour favorite was Cold Cave, who in Winslow, played atop an elevated platform overlooking a haystack maze full of puzzled onlookers.
One of the main themes being pushed was that the most important part was not the "happening", but what comes after it. For someone like Doug Aitken who's constantly looking forward to the next collaboration or project, it makes sense that the aim of the entire undertaking was to push imagination into the future while taking educated hints from the past. What better place exists than being in a shuttle riding the exact tracks that helped shape the land moving beneath it?
You already saw pictures and heard more about the NYC and Pittsburgh stops and saw a set of pictures from Chicago. More pictures and some videos from the train along with the Chicago, IL, Winslow, AZ, and Barstow, CA stops, below...
by Lukas Hodge
Ariel Pink / art "yurts" / Yoshimi of Boredoms @ NYC Station to Station 9/6/2013
The cross country Station to Station tour, a public art project made possible by Levi's, was launched on Friday night in Williamsburg in a massive sound stage located right on the east river waterfront. Conceived by artist Doug Aitken, Station to Station involves a rotating cast of visual artists, musicians, filmmakers, and more who travel together on a single train. The NYC show, which happened at Riverfront Studios in Williamsburg on Friday (9/6), felt more like an art event (or Fashion Week party) than a concert and very much the "happening" it was billed as. (Most of these happen at actual train stations.) A welcome change to normal show-going.
Accompanying the musical aspects of the tour are rotating art installations, or, "Nomadic Sculptures." Designed by artists from all over the world, the pieces are built as small huts or "yurts." Watch a video below about the nomadic sculptures in Pittsburgh.
One of the yurts, designed by experimental filmmaker Kenneth Anger, worked as a screening room for his film "Lucifer Rising." Other sculptures included Belgian artist Carsten Höller's interactive yurt which was full of holes that participants could throw frisbees through. Another, maybe more ambitious, sculpture by Los Angeles artist Liz Glynn acts as an interactive reconstruction of the universe itself. Evolving as the tour goes on, her yurt began as a pitch black walk through complete with heavy black curtains and headlamps used by participants to navigate. All of the sculptures are positioned outside of the ticketed area, allowing anyone access to them (though this was not the case at the Brooklyn kickoff).
Additionally, tour sponsor, Levi's had their own yurts set up as well. One included a loom from which denim products were constructed in real time, personalized with patches and products sourced locally from each stop by artists, and then sold in another tent known as the "Makers yurt.
The Kansas City Cobras, a marching band based around community outreach for young teens, have been opening the nights up so far by performing outside and marching into the respective venue, collectively segueing into Los Angeles Sub Pop outfit No Age's set in an impressive display of collaboration. Intentional or not, it absolutely sets the tone for the entire Station to Station experience.
As for the music, Ariel Pink, YOSHIMO aka Yoshimi of Japanese experimental group Boredoms (who also opened for Kim Gordon's band Body/Head at Union Pool last night), and No Age (their second NYC show that week) all performed at both New York and Pittsburgh dates. Electronic pioneers Suicide headlined the Brooklyn kickoff show and their sandblasting noise was as loud as any metal band. Thurston Moore and John Moloney joined the tour in Pittsburgh (and dedicated songs to both Yoko Ono and the Steelers).
On the entire nationwide tour, the stage is wrapped in three giant screens which work as both impressive lighting/backdrop for the performances and also to showcase short films between sets. There were also non-musical between-band performances, like a slo-mo choreographed piece on rollerskates. The Brooklyn kickoff finished with a bit of pyrotechnics: a metal trellis wired with a rainbow of smoke bombs exploded against a battery of bright lights. Pictures from the whole night are in this post.
Station to Station hit Chicago last night (9/10). Mavis Staples joined the party in the windy city, and we'll have a full report and pictures from that soon up on BV Chicago. The next stop is in Minneapolis on Thursday (9/12) with No Age, Eleanor Friedberger and White Mystery.
Check out more pictures from the NYC kickoff event, as well as some from Pittsburgh, below.
Suicide at Moogfest 2011 (more by Diana Wong)
As discussed, artist Doug Aitken is presenting a traveling variety tour, Station to Station: A Nomadic Happening, which kicks off in NYC on September 6. The NYC show was initially set to happen at Duggal Greenhouse but has been moved to Brooklyn's RIverfront Studios (420 Kent Ave). The lineup for NYC has also been expanded to include synthpunk legends Suicide, in addition to previously announced names like No Age, Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, The Boredoms and more. Also, Charlotte Gainsbourg & Connan Mockasin have dropped off.
The NYC stop on the tour is sold out, but tickets are still available for other stops on the tour, some of which also just got lineup and venue updates. Other additions includes Thurston Moore & John Moloney/Caught on Tape (Pittsburgh, Chicago) and Evan Holm (Oakland). And the Santa Fe stop has been moved from Lamy Happening to the Santa Fe Farmer's Market Pavilion.
Updated Station to Station tour schedule below...
Starred at The Paramount in July (more by Greg Cristman)
NYC goth label Pendu Sound has announced that it will do its CMJ showcase at Europa on October 17 this year. It's a lineup of all local duos, including Starred, Tempers, and Azar Swan (whose members were both in Religious to Damn). Tickets for the showcase on sale now.
Meanwhile, Tempers have other hometown shows coming up too, including a previously mentioned Union Pool (9/13) show with Xeno & Oaklander and Bootblacks (tickets); and another supporting Martin Rev (of Suicide) at his Glasslands (10/9) show with Infinity Shred (tickets). Stream their recent "Strange Harvest" single and their cover of Swans' "Killing For Company," below.
Meanwhile, Starred recently made a video for "LA Drugs" off 2012's Prison to Prison EP, and they had one of the standout tracks on this year's Sub Pop 1000 compilation. We recently caught them in Brooklyn and Long Island on their tour with Courtney Love.
All streams below...
Kevin Seconds (of 7Seconds) and Kepi Ghoulie (of Groovie Ghoulies) are both playing solo sets in NYC on August 13 at Bowery Electric. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
The Angry Samoans are playing Bowery Electric on September 15 with Downtown Brown. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
Local H are playing Santos Party House on October 5 with Monkey Paw. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
She Keeps Bees is playing Glasslands on August 29 with Last Good Tooth. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
LIght Asylum, Celebration, Mirror Mirror, and Lone Wolf are playing Bowery Electric on August 29. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
Browse our 'Tickets On Sale' tag for more recently announced NYC shows.
Martin Rev w/ Suicide at Moogfest 2011 (more by Diana Wong)
You may remember that NYC synthpunk legends Sucide were supposed to play a hometown show last year but cancelled due to illness, which means it's still been some time since we've had a chance to see them locally (though they have been somewhat active). Still no word on a NYC show from the duo, but one half of the group, keyboardist Martin Rev, will play his first solo show in NYC in five years on June 21 at The Bowery Electric. Support at the show comes from You. and Eraas who definitely owe more than a little of their sound to the groundwork Suicide helped pave. Tickets for the Bowery Electric show are on sale now. A full stream of Suicide's 1977 self titled debut and a couple Martin Rev videos below.
That same support lineup, You. and Eraas, also support ADULT. at their previously discussed NYC show on June 8 at 285 Kent. Black Marble is on that bill too. Tickets are still available. Eraas also have an upcoming Glasslands (6/29) show with Soon-To-Be Innocent Fun and Ritual Howls (tickets).
If '70s NYC punk is your thing, you may also consider heading to Bowery Electric TONIGHT (5/30), where The Dictators NYC (aka the new name of Dick Manitoba's band, which also features former Dictators Ross "The Boss" Friedman and JP "Thunderbolt" Patterson) are playing with Radio Birdman guitarist Deniz Tek, long-running Queens garage rockers The Fleshtones, and Brooklyn punks Livids (the new project of New Bomb Turks frontman Eric Davidson). Advance tickets for tonight's show are sold out, but the venue will have some tickets at the door. First come, first serve so get there early!
Videos and song streams below...
Suicide at Moogfest 2011 (more by Diana Wong)
Due to illness, Suicide has cancelled their previously discussed appearance where they were planning on perforiming their first LP in its entirety. Bush Tetras, originally scheduled for the support slot at LPR on 11/29, has now moved to the top of the heap alongside supporting band Sediment Club.
All tickets will be honored for the show, which is now billed as a release party for Bush Tetras new LP Happy. The record, laid tape in 1998, was released last week via Reachout International. The first 50 people through the door get a copy for free.
by Andrew Sacher
What we didn't know when we first mentioned that show, is that Suicide will be performing their influential 1977 debut LP, Suicide, in its entirety at the show. If you're unfamiliar, it shared ground with the desolate monotonic sounds of no wave, the spirit of early punk, the ever-growing synthesizer innovations of the era, and it has gone to directly influence the synthpunk genre (plus other things like Bruce Springsteen). You can stream the whole album below.
The show will be supported by Brooklyn no wave revivalists Sediment Club, whose members include Austin Julian, son of Bush Tetras' Cynthia Sley and Voidoids' Ivan Julian. Ivan spoke about his son's band last year, saying, "They sound like a mixture of The Voidoids meets The Bush Tetras meets The Contortions. Amazing stuff!" Though Ivan essentially says it sounds like his dad's band meets his mom's band, it's actually a pretty fair assessment and the band sound pretty great. You can stream some of their stuff below.
All streams and a list of all Sediment Club dates are below...
Suicide back in the day
Le Poisson Rouge will seem a little like Max's Kansas City (30-some years ago) this fall when NYC punk (and post-punk) legends Suicide and Bush Tetras co-headline the place on November 29. Tickets for that show go on sale July 17 at noon.
Not much else seems to be going on with either band, tour-wise. Suicide play the OFF Festival in Katowice, Poland (Aug. 3 - 5); and Bush Tetras (who lost bassist Laura Kennedy last year)' only other upcoming date is at the Echoplex in LA on November 2. A couple classic clips from Suicide and Bush Tetras are below.
photos by Joe McCabe
Xiu Xiu at Bowery Ballroom 5/4/12
Xiu Xiu and Dirty Beaches (whose live show is no longer a one-man affair) are wrapping up a tour together which hit NYC on May 4 at Bowery Ballroom with support from Father Murphy. Xiu XIu's set covered pretty much his entire catalog, reaching as far back as "Suha" off his 2002 debut, Knife Play, through stuff off this year's Always, and also threw in a cover of Joy Divison/New Order's "Ceremony." He returned for an encore to cover Suicide's "Frankie Teardrop" (video below). It's too bad he didn't bring out his Suicide-worshipping tourmate to help him on that one.
After Xiu Xiu and Dirty Beaches finish their run together this week, Xiu Xiu will continue to tour into next month with Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, who we recently interviewed on bvChicago. That leg of the tour won't return to NYC, but as discussed, YT//ST will play their own show here on June 13 at Mercury Lounge with YVETTE. Tickets for that show are still available.
More pics, videos, and setlist from the Bowery Ballroom show below...