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Rhys Chatham Asks Guitarists to Jam in Richmond
On November 17 experimental post-punk icon and producer Rhys Chatham (‘Reese Chattam,’ if you’re wondering) will be bringing his guitar army to Craneway Pavillion in Richmond, CA, for an evening called A Secret Rose for 100 Guitars
—and you’re invited. to shred.
"Calling All Electric Guitarists!" the Secret Rose team beckons in title format on their website. “[Music community] Other Minds Invites You Onstage to Perform.”
That is, you can apply to be a working artist who’s one of 100 curating an epic wall of sound, mentored by the guy who kind of inspired Band of Susans,
From Rhys’s Website: High on New York (1981), courtesy R.C. Road Crew. (l-r) Rhys Chatham, Tim Schellenbaum, Michael Brown, Karole Armitage, Joe Dizney
You’ll also probably get to show-for in front of an audience of thousands of people if not just the ten of your friends and relatives—a range in numbers that Chatham’s used to manning.
The premise behind Chatham’s 100-guitar exercise in syncing-up is not unlike his G3 number, which was renamed from its original “Guitar Trio” title for its addition of a few more guitars and rhythm instruments.
Arts organization The Lab on their website describes the makeup and historical importance that classic, monochromatic score, which has been in performance since 1977 and just happened in Richmond this June:
"G3 is Rhys Chatham’s signature composition, and with good reason. With a single, repeated chord, Chatham permanently altered the DNA of rock by splicing the gritty, overtone-drenched minimalism of John Cale and Tony Conrad with the elemental fury of the Ramones." Tonight’s performance teams Rhys Chatham up with some of the best musicians in the Bay Area."
This time around, that accomplished musician could be you.
Scroll down to apply on Secret Rose's website via the embedded form, after considering a list of six rules, including “each guitarist must bring his or her own equipment for all rehearsals and performance,” with specs like no acoustic guitars, and no hollow body electrics. And definitely leave vibrato or whammy bars at home next to your air guitar.
Tune into KALX Sunday, June 16 at 9:00 pm to hear Chatham talk about the event with DJ Home Alone.
And for further history on Chatham’s guitar orchestras check out this Consequence of Sound retrospective, which covers his history in the No Wave scene a little further, and notes that he is the contemporary of avant garde composers like La Monte Young, Philip Glass, Steve Reich, and Glen Branca, and has commissioned artists like Tortoise and the members of Sonic Youth to play his “Guitar Trio" piece.
"When you see a musician pick up a guitar onstage, nine times out of 10, you have a pretty good feeling as to what it’s going to wind up sounding like," writes Adam Kivel in the October 11 article. "[But] Rhys Chatham has something completely different to say when it comes to that six-stringed constant."
Rhys Chatham, “Die Donnergötter” (“The Thunder Gods,”) 1985:
Speedy Ortiz’s 10-Ton Mixtape, Pending LP, and Current Tour
Photo by patthickey
Hot off being awesome on last year’s Sports, Speedy Ortiz let out a limited edition two-song 7-inch this April that wasn’t as critical, but at under five minutes total, still served as a solid interlude between releases.
It seemed. They slowed their stampede and drifted more into singer-songwriter territory (jangly Giant Drag-y), minimizing reelings/magnifying feelings with this month’s single "No Below" in preface of their pending full-length Major Arcana, out July 9.
Which means their best offering lately comes from a Soundcloud mixtape hosted by label Carpark Records, revealed just today—mixtape as in playlist of artists who’ve influenced the band (versus just building a hook over already established tracks).
It might sound pretty nice on a Saturday evening with a couple of porched-out friends stirring beers while hairplay and sketches of concept drawings bond the throb of competitive-slash-friendly conversation.
It’s also a total nod to their locality.
"It compiles a bunch of our favorite songwriters, bands and songs from Massachusetts (our state of origin)," said the band this afternoon.
Speedy Ortiz posted the mix link and set list on their Live Journal (really, except yeah why not), and it goes something sharp, guitar-heavy, fuzzy, and unaffected like this:
They don’t forget to levy the grunge with variety like The Gutters’ synth-textured, spoken-roboticist track called “Lobotomy,” which urges masturbation and pants-pissing; Bell Biv Devoe’s cluttered harmonious post-Chronic “Gangster;” and Morphine’s floaty violin- and sax-tinged “I’m Free Now.”
1. Deluxx Folk Implosion “Daddy Never Understood”
2. Swirlies “Pancake”
3. Big Bear “Song 16”
4. Come “Secret Number”
5. Heatmiser “Busted Lip”
6. Drop Nineteens “Winona”
7. Sneeze “Dark Elf”
8. Grass Is Green “Somebody’s Something”
9. Sebadoh “Punching Myself in the Face Repeatedly, Publicly”
10. The Gutters “Lobotomy”
11. Blake Babies “Girl in a Box”
12. Bell Biv Devoe “Gangsta”
13. Helium “Pat’s Trick”
14. The Cars “My Best Friend’s Girl”
15. Morphine “I’m Free Now”
16. Wicked Farleys “Fitchburg, MA”
17. The Barbarians “Moulty”
18. Cave In “Moral Eclipse”
19. Spore “Number One”
20. Jonathan Richman “Twilight in Boston”
Review the entire post for spot-on descriptions.
Notable cuts that missed the bill (from their we-love-you-too/afterthoughts list) are Pile’s “Big Web,” the always-good "Academy Fight Song" by Mission of Burma and Galaxie 500 jam “Fourth of July.”
Despite a recorded shift in direction, a good mixtape is telling of decent taste in all things and attention span, so initial impressions of said band’s other latest stuff could benefit from a subsequent shift in listening context/perspective, you know, if you’re snide sometimes.
Speedy Ortiz are on tour around North America for the summer. They’re unfortunately missing the Bay, hitting up San Diego’s Soda Bar; a Colorado venue even farther away; and a coolly named but we don’t care cuz it’s not here bar in AZ instead.
To Watch For: Hausu - Total (Hardly Art, 2013)
Bearing the same name as a ‘77 Japanese terror movie, Portland rock quartet Hausu aren’t all that scary (and relievingly their album cover isn’t as blatantly startling as that poster). But they are worth freaking out about enough to mark your release date calendars for.
After finally signing to Hardly Art within a few years of songwriting for 5-track tapes and local gigging, their completed record will be available for public review and pleasure listening the 25th of this month.
Photo via Hasu’s Facebook
Hausu gives a pensive history of Total and an its sort-of manifesto on their label page:
Our band was born between March 1991 and July 1992 but formed in 2010 while attending college in Portland. We started as many do, with a desire to write and play songs to and for our friends, evolving slowly, ever-mediated by our academic schedules. What Hardly Art will release this summer is a collection of songs written step-wise in Portland, Seattle, and Los Angeles between March 2011 and January 2013, recorded at YU Contemporary in Portland by Dylan Wall.
Total then serves to document the evolution of our experience, to be understood in spite of and indebted to our time in school. Our tastes have changed and the emotions that informed earlier songs have faded into memory. In any case, music listening and playing has always remained crucial. As a result, our record is an assemblage of observations made by four different people collected in one place.
Pop Reviews characterizes Total as “dense, complex and freaked out,” a;so calling the “nervous and edgy record” post-slacker rock.
Check the opening track, which Spin calls “a sweetly sour mix of Dischord-ant post-punk drive and vintage alt-rock gnarl (via Dinosaur Jr. et al.):
Hausu - Total track list:
2. Leaning Mess
3. 1991 - 2091
7. John Codeine
8. Vasari Joust
9. Kool Off
A solid show to catch, they’re playing the Bay Area’s Hemlock Tavern July 7th. Browse their other North American tour dates on their website.
Kimya and Aesop’s The Uncluded - Hokey Fright (2013, Rhymesayers)
Washington state songwriter Kimya Dawson’s discernible twee voice and vulgar sense of humor has charmed listeners since the late 90s with her many, mainly acoustic singer-songwriter endeavors: as half of the Moldy Peaches’ via self- and K Records releases, on lo-fi home-recorded solo efforts, and with her one-off children’s record characteristically titled Alphabutt.
Lately, sans Adam Green and Third Eye Blind, she’s been creating under a project called The Uncluded with fellow alto and conscious rapper Aesop Rock. And even if you’d never read about their lightly promoted new album Hokey Fright, you’d guess the whispery, tuneless twang to be Dawson’s as soon as it enters in the first eight seconds of anti-folk album opener “Kryptonite.” And Aesop equally holds it down narrating the album’s uneasy stories with his own recognizable, purposed bravado.
Both sporting hoodies and Aesop Rock a week-old beard (Dawson in floral bandana), the pair sat down for a video interview with their label Rhymesayers to talk about the process of creating their April release, as well as how they got their name, and the noticeable carry of Kimya’s vocal persuasion.
As the camera pans in, Rock pitches up his voice and closes his shoulders demurely to mimic Kimya’s response to his praise for her music.
"Cool," he says, poking fun at her in high-tone. "Thanks."
"Keep in mind that I had just given birth or something," retorts Dawson, alluding to the time frame of their partnership.
Though Dawson’s child, Panda Delilah, was born over half a decade ago in 2006, she started collaborating with Rock only a little later after, releasing songs with him under the name Geniusis; Rock also played a Daytrotter session with her and guested on her 2011 solo Thunder Thighs.
Hokey Fright, a half-rapped, half-sung cohesive pack of moderately paced, informed and silly music, is their first full collection of songs together, finally out.
And their band name has just as much meaning as the record’s individual track subjects, which tell about natural disasters, the physical and mental pain of literal headaches, and losing yourself with the loss of someone else.
In the Rhymesayers clip, Rock reads the definition of his inspired band tag from an art book of made-up definitions called Imaginationally, which is “alphabetical,” Kimya notes.
"Unclude," Rock announces, holding up the leftmost white page of the bright blue, hardback book for the camera’s convenience.
"Keeping things you don’t appreciate out of your life. Example. I drinked milk once and it made me sick. So for now on I will unclude milk from my diet like forever."
Whatever the duo are hoping to edit from their life, the weighted pair’s word selection “unclude” may subsequently be dubbed a bigger statement than curing your name from drive-by bathroom wall graffiti because Kevin O’Neil Is A Dead Boy sounds cool.
And as aforementioned, that thoughtful moniker choice trickles down to the album lyrics.
In “Delicate Cycle,” Aesop narrates a story about shipping out your own severed limbs and torso to friends who may need them as cathartic canvases for their impending skull drawings.
"Earthquake" strays Kimya from her kids-themed songs to recognize the detriment and reflective power of death.
"Cuz his mother died the other day," she sings in layered vocals and a light instrumental backing chug, describing a three-year-old boy’s sudden loss. "Her body’s gone but her soul is here to stay."
Kimya and Aesop aren’t the only ones serious about what they’re saying. Half the tracks labeled “explicit” on Spotify, fans are still enthusiastic about the writing.
"Lyrically the best album of the year so far," said listener Jason McFarlane on the Youtube video for track seven of Hokey's “Jambi Cafe.”
An Uncluded enthusiast like McFarlane [if not just this site] might ultimately call Hokey Fright a dense record of beats, ideas, everyday stories and sometimes fun that reveal the glory and gory of life, and keep you interested with its details for more than a few listens.
And the details may come from the variety of mediums used to create the record.
"The Uncluded’s debut album," says their Rhymesayers page, "was recorded over the course of a year using a variety of locations and devices, from voice memo recorders to fleshed-out studios. Aesop and Kimya wrote, performed, and recorded the whole album."
Yo La Tengo Drummer James McNew also adds drums to track two of sixteen, “Delicate Cycle.”
The Uncluded are currently on tour, mostly around the West Coast.
06.22.13 Houston, TX Fitzgerald’s
06.23.13 Austin, TX Central Presbyterian Church
06.25.13 St. Louis, MO The Firebird
06.26.13 Kansas City, MO The Record Bar
06.28.13 Milwaukee, WI Summerfest (Harley Davidson Stage)
06.29.13 Madison, WI High Noon Saloon
06.30.13 Minneapolis, MN The Cedar Cultural Center
07.01.13 Des Moines, IA Wooly’s
07.03.13 Omaha, NE Waiting Room
07.05.13 Denver, CO Marquis
07.06.13 Colorado Springs, CO Black Sheep
07.23.13 San Diego, CA Irenic
07.25.13 Los Angeles, CA First Unitarian Church
07.26.13 San Francisco, CA Slim’s
07.29.13 Portland, OR Wonder Ballroom
07.30.13 Seattle, WA Neumos
07.31.13 Vancouver, BC Fortune Sound Club
08.02.13 Missoula, MT The Palace Lounge
08.03.13 Salt Lake City, UT Kilby Court
Spotify’s carrying the entire explicit album, and listen to the skittish, synth-driven “Tits Up” below (NSFW):
Wolf People Release New Video
Yesterday Jagjaguwar’s most soulful sixties-inspired prog band (Renaissance jam band) Wolf People blogged a new video for “Empty Vessels” from their latest record Fain, released at the tail end of April.
The video was directed by London’s Phillip Poole, whose resume includes a recorded conversation with John Cage, live film of Jarvis Cocker, and behind the scenes pieces for The Gossip.
Jagjaguwar correspondent Katie explains Poole’s inspiration for “Empty Vessels”:
"Inspired by the artwork for their Fain album, the video is a collage of live performance and album imagery. [Poole] created the video “as an abstract piece exploring the many layers and depths to the track, through a combination of unorthodox visuals and motion graphics.””
And if the song (and album) sounds like a dreary storm, the lore surrounding the recording process may further explain Fain's washed-out overcast tone.
"It rained constantly throughout the recording process," reads the Fain promo on the UK quartet’s one-page, “and the house was so packed with gear and recording equipment the band were forced to sleep in tents and caravans parked outside.”
The band also released a handful of American show dates to supplement their European tour.
Pay homage to Wolf People’s creative process by lining up in advance with your tent at a venue near you (more dates TBA):
07/05/13 Paddock Wood, UK - Hop Farm Festival
07/27/13 Slaidburn , UK - Cloudspotting Festival
08/18/13 Skipton, UK - Beacons Festival @ Heslaker Farm
10/14/13 Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall w/ Unknown Mortal Orchestra
10/15/13 Montreal , Canada - Cabaret Mile End w/ Unknown Mortal Orchestra
10/16/13 Toronto, Canada - Lee’s Palace w/ Unknown Mortal Orchestra
10/17/13 Detroit, MI - Magic Stick Lounge w/ Unknown Mortal Orchestra
10/18/13 Columbus, OH - Ace of Cups w/ Unknown Mortal Orchestra
10/19/13 Pittsburgh, PA - Altar w/ Unknown Mortal Orchestra
11/29/13 Camber Sands, UK - ATP ~ End of An Era Part 2
11/30/13 Camber Sands, UK - ATP ~ End of An Era Part 2
12/01/13 Camber Sands, UK - ATP ~ End of An Era Part 2
Also check out the full album on Spotify, or via Soundcloud below:
This Week’s Bay Area Show: Parquet Courts @ The Rickshaw Stop
Parquet Courts playing Bunk Bar in Portland, Oregon, January 18, 2013.
Photo credit: Darcy Dubose
On Friday, June 7, “not from New York, but of it” Brooklynite-Texans Parquet Courts will be headlining for local acts Cocktails and Pang at the Rickshaw Stop, 9 p.m.
A hardworking quartet forebearing alt-rock acts like Pavement, Lifter Puller, and Dismemberment Plan, Parquet Courts are fresh at the start of a U.S. tour for their 2012 debut LP, Light It Up Gold.
They released the LP’s second pressing at the start of the year in all black vinyl with a new center seal for “collector scum.”
"If you were lucky enough to get the first pressing note that it has gold labels," writes the band on their Wordpress, “and the 2nd pressing has a lovely baby blue center label.”
Check the tenth track from the record, “Stoned and Starving;” a non-romantic, two-chord foray into hanging out and in there:
Front guy Adam Savage and his brother Max (drums), guitarist Austin Brown and Sean Yeaton on bass will play through June to a stop in Buffalo, NY, before attending a string of overseas festivals like What We Do Is Secret Festival in Göteborg, and then seeing out the rest of the U.S. from July through September.
Parquet Courts at South by Southwest.
Photo credit: KEXPLive
The band are big supporters of their tour and label-mates prompting, “buy this shit you fools,” of stuff like Smart Alec Kid and Olympia’s Naomi Punk.
Return the favor/enjoy them this Friday or on any other of their many tour dates. They’re also playing 1-2-3-4 Go! Records Sunday in Oakland.
Felt - “Penelope Tree”
Pitchfork Sells Out 3-Day Passes; Single-Day Tickets Left
Indie website Pitchfork announced today in an email to fans that 3-day passes to their annual music festival in Chicago’s Union Park have disappeared due to people who listen to stuff and like to do things deciding that they want to go.
At 10:22 a.m. on June 3rd, Pitchfork addressed the message to friends that “three-day passes to this summer’s festival just sold out.”
To compensate any sadness about possibly missing Bjork and Solange during the July 19-21st gig, Pitchfork reminded audiences that, “Single day tickets are available for $50 each, but going fast!”
Among the aforementioned artists, the full lineup includes bands like M.I.A, Joanna Newsom, Wire, The Breeders playing Last Splash, Frankie Rose, Yo La Tengo, Woods, Parquet Courts, Savages, Lil B, Swans, Killer Mike, Low, Waxahatchee, METZ, Julia Holter, Tree, and “dozens more.”
Pitchfork boasts the festival as an “independently run, three-day event” that is “one of the most inviting, reasonably priced and exciting weekends of music around.”
"In addition to its musical offerings, the Pitchfork Music Festival features a wide array of other activities. The fest not only supports local businesses and economy with its 50 individual vendors and specialty fairs, but also promotes the Chicago arts community as a whole to its 50,000 attendees of all ages from all over the world."
Fans can purchase single-day passes via ticketweb, and in the meantime waste more time at work browsing soon-to-be-launched The Dissolve, their new movie review site.
Tranquil Eyes - “Television”
Portion Control - “Swerve”
Vicious Pink Phenomena - “Je T’aime”