Bryan and I were invited to Colorado to play and document the Communikey Festival. I had a fabulous time catching up with old friends, visiting a gorgeous part of the country, eating yummy food, and hearing really good music.
I just returned back from a weekend of deep listening in Boston. It was amazing to see my old Boston friends and meet some of my favorite musicians. I am thankful to Jon Whitney for putting this festival of strange and wonderful music.
The Brainwaves festival started on Friday sharply at 8pm with JG Thirlwell’s Manorexia project, a symphonic mix of strings and electronic sounds that sway from beautiful to haunting. Manorexia was the highlight of the Friday performances for me. JG Thirwell is a good friend of mine and I love the direction his music is going in these days. Each day Steven Stapleton of Nurse with Wound fame, played some songs in between acts. I was not sure why he did not perform in the festival but it was great to see him hanging around all weekend. I made it my mission to get to know him. I have been listening to the strange surreal music of Nurse with Wound for over 20 years. His is a kind and modest man. I learned that Stapleton is a shepherd living in the countryside of Ireland where he works on his music and art. When I asked him how many records he put out he said he had no idea. He may not know his own discography since 1979 but knows exactly how many sheep, chickens, and goats he has living on his farm.
The highlight for me was meeting Steven Stapleton/Nurse with Wound. Photo by Bryan
On Saturday I was most excited to see The Threshold HouseBoys Choir the new project of Peter Christopherson from Coil. His performance did not disappoint. I was super excited to meet him and shake his hand. Part of me wanted to go on and on about all how much I love his music, but I spared him what he already knows.
Threshold HouseBoys Choir
Little Annie AKA Annie Anxiety’s quirky cabaret performance of standards, was a nice break from all the experimental music. Little Annie has collaborated with Nurse with Wound, Marc Almond, Coil, and dozens of other people. She was like a gothic Edith Piaf on stage. Brainwaves ended on Sunday with a luscious dreamy performance by The Stars of the Lid. I saw them perform at a church in NYC a few months ago. Their Boston show was totally different but just as good.
Stars of the Lid
Lovely Video Projections at Brainwaves
Meat Beat Manifesto played a great set at Brainwaves but the whole time I was wondering of I was a decade too late on seeing them. Their sound might not have aged well but there were plenty of gorgeous video eye candy to keep me entertained.
Meat Beat Manifesto
Brainwaves 2008 Schedule
with DJ Steven Stapleton spinning between sets all weekend long.Friday, November 21, 2008
Meat Beat Manifesto
JG Thirlwell’s Manorexia
& a special Greater Than One video presentation
Saturday, November 22, 2008
His Name Is Alive
Rivulets feat. Jessica Bailiff
Nmperign feat. Jason Lescalleet
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Threshold HouseBoys Choir
Reformed Faction (Mark and Robin of Zoviet France, Rapoon, Dead Voices On Air)
Andrew Liles & Jonathan Coleclough
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Stars of the Lid
To Kill A Petty Bourgeoisie
Windy Weber (of Windy & Carl) & Thomas Meluch (of Benoit Pioulard)
I just found my ATP photos so I wanted to post them even though the concert was weeks ago. Sorry better late than never! Bryan and I mostly go to techno parties and performance so it was a nice breath of fresh air to leave the city, barely know anyone in the crowd, and hear some classic guitar bands from our youth. Plus we convinced my parents to buy tickets and come to the festival too. The All Tomorrow’s Parties festival was great but it did not compare to the first time I saw My Bloody Valentine perform when I was 15, and at the time it was one of the loudest shows I have ever been to. Spectrum’s set was the highlight for me.
All photos by Seze.
My parents at the cafe, they actually were having a great time.
Sunday line up
Spectrum performing an amazing set
Bryan listening in pink light, he is wearing his Neu shirt from high school
My Bloody Valentine
creepy “Flowers in the Attic” painting in the lobby of the country club
Last night I was one the lucky few to see a special solo performance by Michael Gira at The Stone, a tiny little venue in the lower east side. It was just Micahel Gira and a guitar, which in my opinion is the most intimate way to experience someone’s music. The highlight of the show was when he played Blind, one of my favorite Swans songs ever. It was a real treat to hear his stripped down version. If you are unfamiliar with the magical sound of The Swans, Love of Life is a good record to start with.
written by The Swans on Drainland
Now some of us are weak, and some endure
And some people live their lives, with a violence that’s pure and clean
But I saw a man cry once, down on his knees
In the corner of a darkened cell, and his pain meant nothing to me
But I was younger then, and young men never die
When I walked out in the sun, I was strong, clear minded,
And please don’t ask me a question, you’ll just be misunderstood
And if you could step inside me, you’d feel what hatred brings
And if you could see with my eyes, you’d see what self-deception means
I was younger once, and I created a lie
And though my body was strong, I was self-deluded, confident,
Now show some pity, for the weak of will
Because when we’re drinking, we can never be filled
And show some undentanding, for the lonely fool
Because when l’m drinking, l’m out of control
No I was never young, and nothing has transpired
And when I look in the mirror, I feel dead, I feel cold,
I am blind.
When Reves Mechaniques (2005) by The Hacker came out I think I listened to it everyday for about 6 months and to this day I am still not sick the album. So I am really excited to finally see him perform tonight with another one of my all time favorites Miss Kittin.
Shot live at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City on Icelandic Independence Day, Sigur Rós @ MoMA is a unique concert film highlighting new material from the band’s latest album, as well as classic Sigur Rós songs. Directed by Alex Simmons.
This lovely black and white movie was much better than I expected it to be. It was so exciting to see the first film made by one of my all time favorite photographers Anton Corbjin. Each shot was more gorgeous than the last and the acting was really impressive. It was so true to life, at times I thought I was watching a documentary. I can’t wait to see what Corbjin comes up with next. www.corbijn.co.uk
I ended up having more fun at the smaller festival Mutek because of the intimacy of the events. We were only there for the last two days of the festival. Saturday night we headed over to Metropolis for an amazing line up. I was excited to see Chloe live but for me the best act of the night was a debut dubby set by Code 9 and Space Ape. This normally isn’t even the kind of music I like but there was something really transcendent about their performance. After their set ended DJ Olive said “Wow that was like Sun Ra!”
The real highlight of the weekend was the outdoor Picnic Electronique with Mathias Kaden & Onur Özur djing together. We danced all day in the foggy wet light rain. No one seemed to be phased by the crappy weather because the music and the vibe was so unbelievably good. In their totally creative set Mathias Kaden & Onur Özur mixed strings and horns into techno tracks. Plus they were super cute to watch as they picked records to play and danced together.
Me and my new fellow pink haired new artist friend Megan, we instantly became friends after I walked up to her. Photo by my dear friend David Last
We arrived at Metropolis right when the night started, the empty dance floor filled up soon thereafter. Photo by Seze
The visuals were gorgeous and totally different for each act. Photo by Seze
Bunker Bryan with Philip Sherburne, one of my favorite music writers and a super nice person as well. Genevieve & Matt (Portland Techno Promoters Kulture Szene) and Derek are behind them.
Stupid snapshot by Seze
How lucky we are! We danced under a Calder sculpture all day in the rain.
Photo by Seze
I love the pee pee dance logo by Picnic Eletronik
Photo by Seze
Last Friday The Bunker presented a Raster-Noton label showcase. Carsten, Frank, and Olaf performed separately, with their own accompanying projected images, and then together as Signal. Their visual and audio work has been a huge influence on me for over a decade and I was super excited to see them live. They exceeded my expectations and did not disappoint. Here are some of my favorite photos I took from the event:
Bryan’s Press Release for his night:
We don’t think it is an understatement to say that Raster-Noton is one of the most important record labels in the world. Formed when Carsten Nikolai’s “noton.archiv für ton und nichtton” record label merged with Frank Bretschneider and Olaf Bender’s Raster Music label in 2000, it quickly gained international acclaim with the ARS Electronica award winning “20′ to 2000″ series of 12 cds released monthly in 1999, featuring 20 minute sound pieces from electronic music heavyweights like Wolfgang Voigt, Ryoji Ikeda, Mika Vainio, and Thomas Brinkmann alongside the core R-N artists. They have gone on to release many dozens of amazing projects since then, building a core group of fans who pretty much buy everything they put out. The sound of the label is decidedly minimal, composed of micro-elements, glitches, bleeps, static, and electronic interference sounds. Their sound is extremely different than most of the music which has been called “minimal techno” (pretty much a completely meaningless term at this point) in the past 5 years or so. It is deep and experimental, but not without humor and funk.
We have been wanting to present a Raster-Noton label night at The Bunker ever since we saw the same line-up we have for this show in Mutek back in 2004, which completely floored us. For various reasons, we were never able to connect with the label and pull it off on their visits to the USA. Then, back in October, we were at a small Raster-Noton show for Bender and Kangding Ray and Bunker photographer Seze found a cell phone on the floor. She got a panicked call on the phone from the German guy who lost the phone and told him to come back to the venue and get it. He was extremely grateful and bought us a few drinks and started talking to us. He was in town for his opening at Pace Wildenstein Gallery (this is a blue chip gallery for those of you not familiar with the visual art world). We were in disbelief when we put 2 and 2 together and realized the cell phone guy was Carsten Nikolai, and quickly invited him and the rest of the crew to the Thomas Fehlmann show at The Bunker that week. Well, he showed up and had a great time, agreed to come back for a Raster-Noton showcase, and everything fell into place.