Pewter Cub and Fur are both offering albums on Friday the 13th.
Meanwhile our slightly more psyche-ish shoegaze leaning power-trio Fur offer their second EP, Devestate the Details (and what journo couldn't get behind a title like that?)
Check out these dates within the vicinity of the Great Lakes
August 3rd Kool Haus Toronto, ON#
August 4th Kool Haus Toronto, ON#
August 7th Lollapalooza Chicago, IL
August 7th The Metro Chicago, IL
August 8th Val Air Ballroom Des Moines, IA#
August 9th Anchor Inn Omaha, NE#
August 11th Iroquois Amphitheater Louisville, KY#
August 12th Ryman Auditorium Nashville, TN#
August 13th The LC Amphitheater Columbus, OH#
August 14th The Fillmore Detroit Detroit, MI#
# with The Black Keys
Then, the 3-r-D annual "Phonophest" party gets the 3-D treatment - paired with Motor City Special's vinyl-revival's stacked line up - 7/31 at the Crofoot. Info
If still just a trio, every instrument sounds huge. Fur leans toward the noise-experimentation/haunting beauty sides of psychedelic music. Most strikingly, from these 3 songs, is their ability to elucidate a bit of space between an otherwise flush sound of howling vocal-effects, strident soaring guitars, drum-fill heavy pummeling and an ever plodding bass.
While things can get so tight in the title track’s BRMC-ish classic-rock deconstructionist tear of torrential guitar slices, strangled hooking drums and winding bass, there’s palpable breathing room between the beats and rising surf-twanged guitars of distinguishing “Pretty Thoughts” – which, while it leans into familiar shoegaze territory, introduces a cherubic/banshee synth wave that brings in a slightly more dreamy, even warmer, quality, to save it from all those macabre clouds of metal-y, noise-rocky stuff.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Jr.
Bars of Gold
Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas
The Victorious Secrets
+ Artist Dan DeMaggio aims "to tell the story of how imagination becomes speech" through 3-D films (enhanced, of course, with 3-D glasses).
Meanwhile, in the Pike Room:
Marco Polio and the New Vaccines
The Jesus Chainsaw Massacre
Performing bands will be recorded live for a Motor City Special limited edition vinyl release made at Archer Records in Detroit! (Admission to the Pike Room show gets you into the whole shebangin' BBQ)
Remember when fans still got upset about selling out, or changing styles/sounds?
Athens-based disco-dashed-pop-nebuloids Of Montreal have accelerated, twirled, and contorted way beyond their first flirtations into beat-driven fuzz-frayed realms back in the early 00’s (Sunlandic Twins) and have since dived into dark, moody grooves (Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?) and catapulted into heady and ravenously libidinous, strutting, deconstructed soul (Skeletal Lamping).Is it even anything, any real shock or drama, anymore, when the once “vaudevillian lo-fi psychedelic pop thing” heads into a lavishly equipped studio (Ocean Way) in Los Angeles with its prolific mastermind Kevin Barnes breaking his solo-home-production precedent and laying his songs upon the aural accentuating operating table of Grammy-nominated Kanye West co-producer Jon Brion, whilst also continuing to flourish his (Barnes’) public display of mutual admiration (via collaboration) with head-spinning space-pop soulstress Janelle Monáe and then invite a duet with R&B popstar (and famous little sibling) Solange (Knowles)?
Such is part of the forthcoming False Priest’s recipe. Remembering a dozen years prior to Barnes’ early penning of cutely-quirked pop, “I just happened to start doing that when I first started putting out records.” He had been writing songs since age 14. “It’s like there’s a division between those two worlds. But I don’t really think of myself as one or the other. I don’t think I’d be defying myself to make a folky record, I’m totally open to do whatever I feel like doing. If somebody got upset because I changed directions it wouldn’t really bother me, because it would be like: ‘Okay, well, then, don’t listen to it.’”
Fauna, though heavily electronic, triggered considerable acclaim, while Skeletal’s alter-ego nightmarish opera was cast as labyrinthine. Priest is a bit more immediate, still dazzled and wrung with spiny surfy guitar dressings and gracefully intertwining cerebral sci-fi conjuring lyrics, but it seems to slide, seems more palatable, more playful; dark and biting still, but no longer haunted. “All the stuff I do is complex, I rarely write a 3-chord song. So, Skeletal Lamping was maybe a bit more fragmented and schizophrenic; I would take fragments of songs and piece them together to create something new. With False Priest I guess arrangements are slightly more linear in a way but it’s not really straightforward dance-pop.”
Compositionally, Barnes said he was “influenced by the same certain things I’ve been influenced by in the last three to four years: soul music, 70’s funk and r&b, things like that and then trying to create something that is interesting on a musical level but also interesting on an intellectual level, for the lyrics. It also is fun and immediate; it’s kind of the thing I always try to do – something that has immediacy but also has layers so it’s not just a one dimensional experience.”
It’s mid July and Barnes has just returned from putting the last touches on Priest in L.A., back to his family’s ethereal home planet, “Sunlandia” before heading our way for Jackson’s Land of Nod Experiment. The band (Bryan Poole, Dottie Alexander, Davey Pierce, Clayton Rychlik) have been holding creative meetings with Barnes and his brother David regarding the ambitious, reality-melting new incarnation of their live show.
“We’ve done a lot of theatrical things the last couple tours,” Barnes said, “and the Skeletal Lamping tour was by far the biggest production we’d ever attempted. But it got kind of exhausting towards the end; it became a bit mundane because it was like the same thing every single night. We want to keep a level of spontaneity so the theatrical aspect of the tour can evolve as well. We’re gonna do a thing where they’ll be two or three layers to the performance and the band is gonna be bathed in this mysterious light; we’re gonna figure out a way where the musicians are sort of involved as part of the stage and the stage is a living organism, the performers are sort of living inside of that world. Everything is live too, which is another thing that was sort of detrimental on the Skeletal Lamping tour, we had a lot of backing tracks that dictated the tempo and the length and everybody was following that. If you follow a computer it’s always going to be the same. We’re trying to give the musicians a lot of freedom; I’m actually not going to be playing guitar very much at all.”
“The idea would be this invisible wall between us and the audience, almost like we sort of existed in this parallel universe and we have a sense of them and they’re with us, watching us and listening too, but it wouldn’t necessarily be us interfacing with the audience in that traditional sense. It would be more like we exist in this dream world – like the relationship you have with your dreams; you’re sort of experiencing on all these levels but you can’t change it, you are at the mercy of the fate of the dream.”
The band won’t be able to pull off the dream vision for the Land of Nod (the outdoors is just not conducive to the stage lightning) but will feature new band members: Phayer on piano and synth and Nicholas (of Sugar and Gold) on synth and bass. Of Montreal will align with Janelle Monae in the fall for a duel-tour that will incorporate the “dream wall” and have the two bands meld into each other’s performances, breaking down any set changing pauses.
Monáe and her crew of contributing artists/musicians, the Wondaland Arts Society, have served as Barnes greatest inspiration over the last year, spurring him to new inspiration and “wanting to create something interesting. I always had, with David (Barnes, brother) and Nina (Barnes, wife) but it’s always great to branch out and bring more people into the family. Hanging out with them, sending them songs, getting their feedback and collaborating with them was such an exceptional thing for me. I started listening to Janelle’s record (ArchAndroid) and knowing all the time, the energy and heart and sweat that they put into that and seeing how much they love it and seeing how much they care about it is really inspiring. (ArchAndroid) meant so much to them, they invested so much—emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, into that record and so to see people who care that much about their art, or anything that they do, is always extremely inspiring.”photo: Patrick Heagney
False Priest Out this Fall on Polyvinyl.
“You do immediately get a shot of some sort of visceral kind of impulse from your surroundings,” the tall lanky Australian admits, as can be viewed online in full wall-bouncing explosiveness. “And, yeah, I felt very connected to that space. The idea of being kind of locked up, especially in that kind of prison is a really interesting kind of physical embodiment of some of the ideas that I think we play with, with the music that we make.”
The latest batch of music made by Liars is this spring’s Sisterworld, an almost-concept album inspired by some dark elements of society particularly on display in Angus’ neighborhood in Los Angeles – blunt and bellicosely tongue-in-cheek haranguing of ugly displays, some of them intrinsic to L.A., others perhaps indicative of many streets throughout any metropolis. The trio (with Aaron Hemphill, Julian Gross) met at art school in that city, formed soon after at the millennium but soon transported to New York where they fell into the brief media craze of the early decades’ spate of no-wave inspired dance-punk revivalism. They survived, evolved and elevated to noise-rock aristocracy, endeared to many by their austere and beautiful compositions of fright and freak framed rock storms balancing falsetto whisper howls with phlegm fired battle screams.
They resettled around L.A. after 07’s guitar-fuzz dominant self-titled album and would wind up recording this latest album in about a dozen different locations around the world. It’s songs are not all L.A. murk and melodrama; less an indictment and more a lifting of rose-colored lenses. L.A., after all, has always felt like a home for the band.
“There’s a lot of things that are good about L.A. that are also not that well understood,” Andrew said. “That’s part of the allure for me, for L.A., is this idea that it’s not very well understood and that there are things about it that you can still discover that are surprising. One thing is the notion that L.A. is about having a car and driving a lot and dealing with the freeways and stuff. I enjoy this sort of enclave that you can find here where you don’t really need to live or drive across the whole city.”
For now, Andrew said, L.A. fits.
“Personally, I think I go in and out of phases of being interested and then disgusted by American culture. Sometimes I’d feel like I really want to engage with it and then sometimes I feel like I need to get on the other side of the world from it.” As he did, in fact, spending the mid-to-late 00’s in Berlin. “At the moment, I’m into it.”
The perennial descriptor stuck upon Liars is their propensity for swerving off into different styles from album to album, throwing off any attempt to label them as dance-punk, no-wave, rhythm-heavy drone, shoegaze, noise-rock, whatever it may be, it never sticks for long, through their 5 major albums. But sensory words like dread, anxious, or spooky (they did have a Witch-themed album) always come up.
“Over time,” Andrew said, “it’s become maybe clearer to people that even though stylistically some of our records have been quite different, that, actually there is this vein that runs through everything and I think particularly when you see us play live, nowadays, where we’re able to play songs from each of the records, it feels like that there isn’t actually that drastic of a change between records.”
Why the spook, why the dread, why the alarm. “Why they’re there, I don’t know,” Andrew said. “I think that’s something that we tried to tackle with Sisterworld; this idea of being displaced or in some sense out of touch with the middle-you or whatever. A sense of detachment and sort of fear or paranoia that comes with that and how do people deal with that? I think that’s sort of stuff that was being written about but maybe in Sisterworld we tried to explore some sort of answer to…”
Whether any sort of comfort can be found in a jail cell, Andrew admits that the band are more than comfortable, particularly lulled a bit into a state of confidence to experiment, in the sometimes fantastically perceived world of Los Angeles. It is the point of their genesis and now, ten years later, returned to and somewhat documented on their latest album.
“It really felt like, in a lot of ways, even though it’s not my home, it was in a sense a coming-home record,” Andrew admitted. “And, in a way something that we felt like we kind of earned after having been traveling a lot over the last few years and trying out a lot of different things and places to live. It was a chance for us to really regroup and for the first time take the amount of time we wanted to on making it, which was completely new because we were always in a rush on all the records that we made. Finally we’d earned the right to take advantage, maybe, of what we’ve achieved and utilize it in order to make the record we wanted to make.”
Sisters' "Slow Suicide"