Entries tagged with: Tortoise
Brokeback in 2013 (photo by Jim Newberry)
Long-running Chicago post-rock band Brokeback (led by Douglas McCombs of Tortoise and Eleventh Dream Day) are on tour now with Come/Codeine guitarist Chris Brokaw (who's opening for them and playing in the band). That tour comes to NYC on Friday (4/17) at Trans-Pecos also with Holy Sons, the project of Emil Amos (Om, Grails), who played NYC earlier this week too. Tickets for Friday's show are on sale now. All dates are listed below.
Doug McCombs and Chris Brokaw also collaborated in the band Pullman, who released Turnstyles and Junkpiles in 1998 and Viewfinder in 2001. Those albums have been out of print for over a decade, but Thrill Jockey is reissuing them on Saturday (4/18) for Record Store Day.
Stream a Pullman song, with Holy Sons' cover of Black Flag's "Breakdown On the Beach," and the list of Brokeback dates, below...
by Andrew Sacher
Grizzly Bear at Terminal 5 in 2012 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Grizzly Bear are still producing singles off of 2012's great Shields, and they've just made a video for "gun-shy," which was directed by Kris Moyes. Like their video for "Two Weeks," it shows their love of trippy, creepy body manipulation, but instead of warping their faces, this time they're picking their bodies apart with medical tools. Sick. Watch it go down below.
Like Deerhunter and TV on the Radio are doing in May, Grizzly Bear and Yeah Yeah Yeahs (who also like creepy imagery) are each curating and headlining ATPs in the UK. YYYs do it on May 4 and Grizzly Bear on May 5, less than a week before the TVOTR one. YYYs' lineup so far includes The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Black Lips, Anika, The Field, Dirty Beaches, King Khan and the Shrines, and Mick Harvey; and Grizzly Bear's includes Van Dyke Parks, the Walkmen, Tortoise, Real Estate, I Break Horses, and Cass McCombs. Tickets go on sale Thursday (1/31) at 9 AM.
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...
Yo La Tengo @ the Bell House in September (more by David Andrako)
All eight Yo La Tengo Hanukkah shows are sold out, and frankly, even catching a free Yo La Tengo show during CMJ can't compensate for missing one of those shows, so I won't pretend this is good news for those that got shut out of Maxwell's, but this is good news nonetheless. Yo La Tengo will play a free Mog-sponsored CMJ opening night show at Brooklyn Bowl on Tuesday, October 19th (M.I.A. style). And it gets better. Screaming Females, also from NJ, will open the free Brooklyn bowling alley show. It kicks off at 8pm (doors at 6).... and UPDATE: Dom is playing it too!
Don't want to wait in line to maybe catch Screaming Females for free when you can guarantee your way in the door to see the same band two nights later? Want to see them twice? Hate bowling alleys? Don't go out on Tuesdays? You're in luck, because as previously-mentioned, Screaming Females are also playing the official BrooklynVegan CMJ showcase at Music Hall of Williamsburg on October 21st with the stellar lineup of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, The Blow, Yuck, and Young Man. Some tickets are still available (and we'll be letting in a whole bunch of people with CMJ badges).
Yo La Tengo recently got back from Vegas where they helped Matador celebrate 21 years in legendary fashion, but before that they took part in a Brooklyn show that may be remembered as a legendary show for alternative NYC comedy (though not necessarily for nice reasons).
In November, City Slang is having a 20th birthday party in Berlin. Yo La Tengo are playing that anniversary celebration too. Full lineup, including The Notwist playing "Neon Golden" from start to finish, below...
words and pics by BBG, additional Sonic Youth pics by Samantha Marble
Unlike Friday (and Sunday), people weren't throwing devil horns on Saturday. With the Saturday lineup dominated by indie acts, including many longstanding ones (Sonic Youth, Tortoise, Dave Pajo/Papa M, Shellac, The Breeders, etc etc) there were less shirts that repped the heaviest of the heavy, like Dystopia, Grief and Electric Wizard, and more "vintage look" Judas Priest and Dio with bowl cuts, and 80's style librarian glasses. In other words, there was a definite crowd shift from day one to day two at the 2010 edition of ATP New York.
While cruising through the lobby on my way to my first performance, Text of Light with Lee Renaldo, I paused to catch Helen Money (on tour with Shellac) at the "Lobby Stage". The 10+ minutes of Text of Light was a bust - squalls of guitar feedback with wailing sax made for a fascinating few minutes, but grew tiresome quickly. Helen Money's looped cello was already gone by the time I had returned from the second stage, but I wish I hadn't left. Later on I would catch Frankie Don at the lobby stage, who played hits of the 70s and 80s with Casio presets while the drunk, acid-drenched, and generally out-there spazzed on the dance floor. It was my own personal Tim & Eric Awesome Show episode.
Fuck Buttons were the first band I caught on the main stage, and the tribal drumming, rumbling saw wave bass tones, and pulsing electronic soundtrack were well-represented in the Stardust Room. The band's live show stuck to their recent recorded output and was quite the contrast with my next conquest, the out-there chamber-folk of Fursaxa on stage two, complete with cello and harp. I preferred the former.
After a bit of Tortoise's jazzy math post-rock rhythms, I scooted down to Sleepy Sun (playing Knitting Factory Monday night) on the second stage; the Cali psych-rock band impressed me so much in the exact same room last year. Their set was not as impressive this time around, but more so than The Breeders who played the larger stage later that night and were a touch messy/off-key as they stammered through hits like "Divine Hammer".
On the other hand, Shellac (who also played in 2009) and Papa M killed it though in much different ways. Shellac's treble-y stomping punk rock was a triumph, and their Kutsher's set ("We are Shellac, and we only play ATP shows") included recent faves like "The End of Radio" and "Steady As She Goes". The band nixed their now famous Q&A session during their show due to their shortened set time, so their usual dry-sarcastic humor didn't play out as much this go around. Hopefully they have no curfew Tuesday at the Bell House. Papa M delivered ambient-y guitarscapes on the second stage, impressing immensely.
If you live in NYC, you've probably had your share of live Sonic Youth experiences. I've seen them at least six times. But whether it was the atmosphere, perfectly balanced soundsystem, or the band having a particularly ripping night, SY delivered probably my favorite Saturday set, focusing primarily on earlier material (Daydream Nation was a focal point it seemed). The sound in the Stardust Room was (still) flawless, and they closed out the night with a bang (set list below).
I also saw bits of Avi Buffalo, The Books and Hallogallo on Saturday. I completely missed BEAK> (stay tuned for our coverage from their Bowery Ballroom show though), Sian Alice Group, and Apse (catch them Monday and Wednesday night in NYC). I also missed Explosions in the Sky, but Sam caught them (her pics coming soon).
Read about Friday HERE. Sunday coverage is coming. Saturday (with more pics also coming later), continues below...
Kurt Vile at Brooklyn Masonic Temple (more by Lori Baily)
It's almost final and official, ATP New York is ruling. The best Hudson Valley festival to ever be held in a 1960s time capsule has announced the "final additions" including two comedians chosen by Syd Butler of Les Savy Fav (more to come... that's all "so far"), as well as a few new and interesting additions to the Jim Jarmusch curated date. Behold:
by Andrew Frisicano
DOWNLOAD: Guilty Simpson & Bumps - Drums (MP3)
A new Madvillain track, "Papermill," is online to stream and download. The Madlib's wirey '70s cop chase sample and top-form wordplay from DOOM are both good signs that the pair is putting in some serious effort to follow-up 2004's Madvillainy. The label writes that the song will be on the new album, which is still a work in progress.
The song is online as part of the Adult Swim singles series, which has been distributing tracks weekly. Madvillian was the second song, and there's already one from Bonnie "Prince" Billy and Matt Sweeney. On the way is music from Black Lips, Freddie Gibbs, Killer Mike, High on Fire, Cults and Washed Out.
To measure just how long the new Madvillain is taking in Madlib-years (remember, he already put out his own part 2 of their debut), consider the fact that Stones Throw gave the beatmaker his own label imprint, Madlib Invazion, in early '10, and that's now in the process of releasing one Madlib CD a month for 12 months. The most recent edition, Madlib Medicine Show #5: History Of The Loop Digga, 1990-2000, collects "Madlib's previously unreleased, made-for-cassette 90s work" under the Loop Digga name (and comes with a comic book to boot).
Madlib's "OJ Simpson" collaborator Guilty Simpson recently released a track with Bumps, the beatmaking trio of Tortoise drummers John McEntire, John Herndon and Dan Bitney. You can get that above. The OJ Simpson album is out now on Stones Throw.
All Tortoise dates and some classic Madvillain videos are below...
Boris @ ATP NY 2009 (more by Ryan Muir)
There aren't many music news items that get me excited as ATP lineup additions. This one is no different. Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions, Torotoise, Bardo Pond, Beak> featuring Geoff Barrow of Portishead, Sleepy Sun, Avi Buffalo, Sunn O)) & Boris performing material from their collaborative album Altar, Dungen, and White Hills have all been added to the already-stellar bill of the 2010 festival at Kutsher's Country Club in Monticello, NY (Sept 3-5). All confirmed artists and more details below...
DOWNLOAD: Tortoise - Prepare Your Coffin (MP3)
Tortoise are currently wrapping up a short run of February shows. They'll be in NYC this June for a performance at (Le) Poisson Rouge as part of the Carefusion Jazz Festival New York happening June 17th-26th. Also on the bill are Aethereal Bace, a trio comprised of drummers Nasheet Waits and Eric Mcpherson and tenor sax player Abraham Burton. Tickets are on sale.
The track above is off the band's 2009 record, Beacons of Ancestorship, which came out on Thrill Jockey. Their 2009 dates in have support of that. Tortoise's John McEntire has also been at work co-producing the forthcoming Broken Social Scene record.
All tour dates, videos from Tortoise's most recent tour and a set list from their Atlanta show on February 14th are below...
Glenn Kotche's Top 10 albums of 2009 (via)
1. Califone - All My Friends Are Funeral Singers
2. Jim O'Rourke - The Visitor
3. Alex Cline - Continuation
4. John Luther Adams - The Place We Began
5. Tortoise - Beacons of Ancestorship
6. Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca
7. Frank Rosaly - Milkwork
8. Nels Cline - Coward
9. Bobb Bruno - Dreamt On EP
10. Chris Corsano - Another Dull Dawn
photos by Joseph Juechao Xu
"TORTOISE was good and everything, but way better the first year i ever went (when i was 14) probably because they were the headlining band that year and played late at night when it was dark. and their setlist flowed better....the request the night thing was cool but i think it really put a damper on the band's moods. EXCEPT! for the JESUS LIZARD. that was so awesome and intense. they didn't act old at all. BUILT TO SPILL on the other hand was a disappoint. sadly :( they looked like they were having the worst night of their life and i could barely hear it. to top it off....drunk bros were behind me screaming the words. you don't scream or dance or yell for built to spill. they even "wooed" the instrument parts between singing. bleh. but it was still pretty sounding and cool to see. i didn't watch YO LA TENGO. i think they're eh." [maybemae]I watched some of the stream and what I saw of Yo La Tengo was much better than "eh"!, and I thought Tortoise sounded great (though it was funny to hear them say something like, "we have a new album out, but we're not playing any of those songs... BECAUSE NONE OF YOU REQUESTED THEM!"). I do agree 100% with the above review of the Jesus Lizard though. David Yow is still a monster, and I can't wait for the Irving Plaza show. I didn't watch Built to Spill, but according to Jim DeRogatis, that was probably the right decision anyway.
Tortoise is on tour and plays Le Poisson Rouge in NYC on Tuesday night. The rest of the pictures from Day One of the 2009 Pitchfork Festival, below...
DOWNLOAD: Tortoise - Prepare Your Coffin (MP3)
Tortoise has added a July 18th in-store performance at Other Music to its schedule of upcoming shows. The band is on tour in support of Beacons of Ancestorship, out now on Thrill Jockey. "Prepare Your Coffin," above, is from that record.
To get into the in-store, Other Music writes:
The price of admission is the purchase of their new album from us in any format (CD, LP or MP3 download), 1 ticket per purchase, limit 2 purchases per person. As you can imagine, capacity is extremely limited, so grab one while you can, they won't last.That performances comes three days before the band's July 21st show at (Le) Poisson Rouge with Grey Reverend. Tickets for that are still on sale.
Those tour dates are just two stops in the band's show-filled summer. They tour North American in July, with a European tour in August, and random show scheduled through December.
Tortoise recently played NYC gigs at the Bell House on May 30th and the Bang on a Can Marathon on the 31st. Outside the group, Tortoise founding member John McEntire has been producing the forthcoming Broken Social Scene album.
All tour dates are below...
by Andrew Frisicano
Ryuichi Sakamoto & the Bang on a Can All-Stars
"This year's marathon offered works by 28 composers on Sunday, from noon to just past midnight, at the World Financial Center in Lower Manhattan. Like the last several, it was presented as a free concert, part of the River to River Festival. Early in the day listeners came and went, but by 5 p.m. the center's atrium (which holds 2,000) was packed, and it remained so to the end." [NY Times]Sunday, May 31st was the 22nd annual Bang on a Can Marathon in the World Financial Center's Winter Garden. The 2008 fest ran from 6pm to 6am, with a 4am Dan Deacon set in the early morning lull. This year's concert took a more diurnal approach, with a noon start and a finish coming after Tortoise's encore-less set a little past midnight. When the final introducer asked who'd been there since noon, a weary cheer came from that select but healthy part of crowd. Near night's finale, the Winter Garden stairs and seats were all full, and as Tortoise set up, even more filtered in, perhaps from one of the other shows that night.
Around 10pm, Ryuichi Sakamoto sat behind the room's piano for a quiet solo piece punctuated by sparks of crackling static. Mid-set he paused to call a BoaC tech over to fix the piano, before finishing with a burst of dreamy chords and carefully spare melodies.
After welcoming the Bang on a Can All-Stars on stage (a sextet of guitar, bass, percussion, cello, keys and clarinet), Sakamoto and two band members "conducted" with pocket mirrors, reflecting the room's lights on the white backdrop in what looked like lens flare from a sunny photo. The sustained textures of the ensemble's first piece gave way to a more structured, percussive songs that focused on a repeating three-bar phrase and its variations.
The BoaC All-Stars remained on stage for their performance of Steve Martland's Horses of Instruction, apparently an old standard for the group. They certainly had fun with it, adding percussionist Eduardo Leandro on marimba. Clarinetist Evan Ziporyn traded for a tenor sax as he led the piece jumping and gesticulating through the changes. The busy work juxtaposed the restrained Sakamoto songs with parts that moved from shredding cello to Frisell-like guitar comping to swinging and pulsating drums. The song was a sufficient energy boost to prep the crowd for Tortoise, who'd be closing the night.
Tortoise was recently discussed at length in a review of their show at the Bell House one night earlier, but briefly speaking, the band played a short, 7-song set largely driven by its two drum kits. Other songs abandoned the drums for malleted percussion, which moved the group away from driving jams to more minimal pastures. Their volume drowned out the room's rattling air conditioners, but at times the drums, right up front, overwhelmed the total group sound in the echoing hall. Granted, shifting, propulsive beats are kind of Tortoise's raison d'être, and their groove-heavy songs capped the Marathon with engaging, kinetic energy. A collection of psyched devotees jammed along in an area next to the stage.
The Marathon officially kicked off this year's River to River Festival, which will host many shows throughout the summer. Tortoise will be back as well, with a July tour that includes a show at (Le) Poisson Rouge.
Bang on a Can will use the Marathon's momentum to host two benefits this week -- both taking place Wednesday, June 3rd at LPR. The big-money early show and bargain-priced late show will feature established big names and talented up-and-comers, respectively. More specifically, Steve Reich, Meredith Monk, David Cossin, Wu Man, Maya Beiser, Talujon and Doug Aitken appear for the intimate dinner and music early benefit. So Percussion, Gutbucket, Newspeak and NOW Ensemble hold it down late. Tickets for the late show are still on sale.
Check out some videos from the whole day, and a few more pics from the late-night portion, below...
by Martin Longley
DOWNLOAD: Tortoise - Prepare Your Coffin (MP3)
Tortoise @ the Bell House in Brooklyn - May 30, 2009 (Ben Sisto)
Less than a month before Beacons Of Ancestorship is released, Tortoise hit town for two highly contrasting gigs over a single weekend. First, they played a sold-out show at The Bell House, in Brooklyn's deserted Gowanus canal zone, then they climax the Bang On A Can marathon at the World Financial Center (tonight, 5/31). It's a return to full-on activity, as Tortoise's sixth studio album is effectively their first in five years. And now, their summer tour schedule is dawning.
Even though The Bell House is at capacity, this still doesn't make the gig uncomfortably crowded, particularly when taking advantage of the handy raised-bar area. The stage is kinda old-fashioned in its open-access bandstand look, allowing plenty of room for the massed multi-instrumentalist antics of Tortoise. All is in near-darkness, so the constant swapping of instruments isn't so disruptive or distracting.
Once at the vanguard of research into improvised roccolage, the quintet have become old established experimenters, whose former ramming together of cut-up elements now seems like a slickly-gliding fusion. Their sound is still their own, though: a unique mixture of rock, jazz, electro and minimalism, with all parts becoming Tortoisian once fed through their stylistic masticator.
Sometimes, the Tortoise output can become a tad stodgy, veering from nimble post-rock into behemoth prog. It's as though the band have become so familiar with its once-wild techniques that their results now sound too pre-formed, with all spiny encrustations smoothed into an aerodynamically efficient shape. At some points, they are sounding alarmingly like Yes. Most of the power surges as the Johns Herndon and McEntire coincide simultaneously on the drumkits, driving through interlocking beats inspired by samba, techno and the entire continent of Africa, sometimes during a single song. There's real marimba and a virtual vibes/percussion sample-trigger set-up too, ably deployed on the more minimalist stretches. The core Tortoise set lasts for an hour, but their enthusiastically-won encore stretches out for another 25 minutes, beginning with "High Class Slim Came Floatin' In", which also opens up the new album. It's the best tune of the evening, an immediate grower that's set to become a Tortoise classic. This is finding them at their techno end, and it's these moments, as well as their several headbanging rock-riffing cluster-outbursts that provide the peaks of the show.
If you miss Tortoise this time around, they'll be back again in July. Their new video for "Prepare Your Coffin" is below...
DOWNLOAD: Tortoise - Prepare Your Coffin (MP3)
Tortoise @ ATP NY in September (more by Zach Dilgard)
Tortoise has announced July and August shows around North America, Europe and Japan. Included in those is yet another NYC visit. Tickets are now on sale for a Tuesday, July 21st show at (Le) Poisson Rouge. Other dates include the previously announced Saturday, May 30th Bell House show with Bird Show, and a headlining spot at the Bang on a Can Marathon on Sunday, May 31st. The Bell House gig is sold out, but the venue writes "limited tickets may be available at the door." The band warms up for those NYC shows with a Friday, May 29th show in Buffalo, NY. All dates below.
Tortoise's new album Beacons of Ancestorship comes out June 23rd on Thrill Jockey Records. "Prepare Your Coffin," from that album, is posted above. A video for the song, plus a 2004 concert and all tour dates, below...
by Andrew Frisicano
Tortoise @ All Tomorrow's Parties (more by Zach Dilgard)
Instrument-driven Chicago post-rockers Tortoise have announced a NYC show happening a little less than a month before the release of of their forthcoming LP, Beacons of Ancestorship, out June 23rd on Thrill Jockey. The Saturday, May 30th gig at the Bell House in Brooklyn is just one of four performances currently on the band's schedule. Bird Show is opening, and tickets are now on sale.
While in NYC, Tortoise will also make an appearance at the previously mentioned Bang on a Can Marathon happening at the Winter Garden in the World Financial Center in Manhattan on May 31st (free).
The band's other dates include a May 29th show in Buffalo, NY and a July 17th appearance at the Pitchfork Festival in Chicago, where the group will play the fest's "Set Lists by Request" evening on Friday. Stay tuned for more dates to be announced.
Beacons of Ancestorship will be Tortoise's first proper album since 2004's It's All Around You. The new album's first track, "High Class Slim Came Floatin' In," will be included on the Thrill Jockey Record Store Day comp, Records Toreism . The LP comes out on Record Store Day (April 18th) and is limited to 900 copies. Also, "the band will be releasing a series of 5" records following the album's release."
"A characteristic Tortoise album is one that traverses an encyclopedia of styles and reference points, a document of where musical intersections and dialogue are occurring at a given moment in time. Beacons of Ancestorship is no different, with nods to techno, punk, electro, lo-fi noise, cut-up beats, heavily processed synths, and mournful, elegiac dirges. We see these ideas working out in compositions like "High Class Slim Came Floatin' In," an eight-minute track which playfully references the world of ecstatic rave and dance culture with a curiously ambivalent, multi-part suite overlaid with robotic, machine-sounding melodies that stop and start in several different time signatures before the song's ultimate resolution; and again in "Yinxianghechengqi," which begins as a straightforward uptempo math-rocker before steadily accelerating into a wall of fuzzy atonal sqwonk."All tour dates, Beacons of Ancestorship track list, and video of Tortoise from last year's All Tomorrow's Parties in Upstate NY below...
Built to Spill @ ATP 2008 (more by Zach Dilgard)
The 2009 Pitchfork Music Festival -- to be held in Chicago's Union Park Friday, July 17 - Sunday, July 19 -- is announcing the first round of band's to perform at this years festival, as well as a new series that will include Friday's performances. On Friday, the festival welcomes Yo La Tengo, The Jesus Lizard (first show in Chicago in eleven years!), Tortoise and Built to Spill; Saturday will see performances by The National, Pharoahe Monch, and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, while Sunday's event includes Grizzly Bear, The Walkmen and Vivian Girls!To recap the 2009 line-up so far:
In years past, Friday night has been presented in conjunction with All Tomorrow's Parties and their "Don't Look Back" series, which is devoted to artists playing one seminal album from their back catalogue in its entirety. In 2008, Mission of Burma performed Vs., Sebadoh played Bubble & Scrape, and Public Enemy performed It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. 2007 saw Slint performing Spiderland, Gza/Genius performing Liquid Swords, and Sonic Youth performing Daydream Nation.
This year, the Pitchfork Music Festival is mixing things up a bit and putting the set lists in the hands of the fans, under a new series titled "Write the Night: Set Lists By Request." When someone buys a ticket they will receive a confirmation email that will include a link to a web page where they can vote on which of each band's songs they'd like to hear during their set - and truly be the ones to "Write the Night." Voting will begin on March 13 (when tickets go on sale) and will end on June 12.
Ted Leo @ the Big Shoulders Ball @ the Black Cat in DC - Jan 19, 2009 (sara.h)
"Last night I went to the Big Shoulders Ball at the Black Cat. The show was tons of fun and without all the pomp and cheese cubes. The ball was "thrift store formal." And it was a benefit too. Highlights: Ted Leo covering Pete Seeger and Curtis Mayfield. Andrew Bird's wondrous violin plucking that he looped and looped. Tortoise finding a rhythm and sticking to it. Ken Vandermark's tribute to Sun Ra. And Honeyboy Edwards showing how the blues used to be played." [Washington City Paper]In addition to being Obama's Inauguration, today is also the release day for Andrew Bird's new album. All Andrew Bird dates HERE.
Obama is scheduled to take his oath of office at noon today (though they just said on TV that they might be running a little late). Aretha Franklin will sing "My Country Tis of Thee" shortly.
A recent video of Ted Leo playing Bruce Sprinsteen's "Dancing In The Dark" below...
photos by Zach Dilgard, words by Black Bubblegum
Part one HERE. Part two below...
Friday night (sept 19) was the "Don't Look Back" night of the All Tomorrow's Parties festival at Kutscher's in upstate NY. That means bands on the bill played one of their older, well-regarded albums in its entirety.
Tortoise played Millions Now Living Will Never Die, sounding super tight and extremely impressive. Dueling xylophones were heavenly against the backdrop of synth/noise looping, and Doug McCombs definitely knows his way around a baritone guitar and bass.
Thurston Moore was up next, and if you have ever seen Sonic Youth or happened to read our recent review of Thurston's solo show in MA, you know what to expect.... Thurston wailing on the guitar, hand sliding up and down the neck like he's jerking it off, and feedback squalls even for a record which I found to be relatively poppy. Joining him on stage was "the only remaining member of the Psychic Hearts" band, Steve Shelley.
"Do you realize this record was written in a day?" Thurston said somewhat incredulously. "Recorded that day and mixed that night." Yeah, we can't believe it either.
I cut the Thurston Moore set a tad early to catch the last 5 minutes or so of Eugene Mirman's set (I completely missed Joe DeRosa and Maria Bamford) followed by Patton Oswalt. The comedians were playing the second stage, more of a ballroom-conference room-y space adorned with odd crystal chandeliers and lots of chairs set up for the comedy set. It might be tough to see the bands there, I guess I'll find out Saturday.
photos by Zach Dilgard, words by Black Bubblegum
Zach & BB are up at Kutscher's this weekend for the first-ever NY All Tomorrow's Parties festival...
"I feel like David Lynch would walk into this place and say 'This is perfect! Production designer, you're fired.'"
Leave it to Patton Oswalt to say exactly what I was thinking.
"I half expect to walk by a room and see a guy getting blown by somebody in a bear suit."
Kutscher's Country Club is an odd "resort"... a decaying, frozen-in-time artifact from the 60s with shag-carpeted walls, pale pink wall paper, musty smell, and brown water showers to prove it. But let's get real, no one came to Kutscher's for the surroundings.... It was for the sights, sounds, and overall vibe and in that respect, the location for the New York version of All Tommorrow's Parties delivers in spades.
Due to more traffic traffic than I anticipated, I ended up missing both Bardo Pond and Meat Puppets, sliding into Kutscher's slightly before Tortoise hit the main stage, the Stardust Room, on Friday (Sept 19, 2008).
The Stardust Room is circular, comparable in size to NYC's Nokia Theater and also tiered, presumably for dinner-shows. It's painted black and covered in stars and while it may have passed for "class" in the age of the beehive, in 2008, Stardust feels more like a rejected set from Star Trek. Where it counts though, the sound, I was definitely impressed, and from all viewpoints.
words to be continued. more assorted photos from Friday below....