Choose Your Own Adventure

Sunday, February 28

Hear Via Audio and Pattern is Movement Tonight at Soundlab

Tonight, Sunday, February 28, 9pm--VIA AUDIO, PATTERN IS MOVEMENT, ALL OF THEM WITCHES. By Jon Wheelock for Artvoice: It might look like indie-pop has started to tread the slippery slope towards anonymity, becoming the kind of stuff you hear for a few seconds on The Hills or in iPod commercials. Then Brooklyn-based quartet Via Audio comes along, putting back into songwriting the craft that the indie-rock world has been sorely lacking. The band shows that songs can be catchy without being discarded as poppy filler music—that they can still be meaningful and intelligent. Formed in the halls and practice rooms of the Berklee College of Music in Boston in 2003, Via Audio has garnered attention from the likes of Pitchfork, Spin, and Filter since releasing their debut album Say Something (Sidecho) in 2007, produced by Spoon drummer Jim Eno. Singable, danceable, and approachable, Via Audio infuses their songs with a myriad of flavors: folk, funk, R&B, lo-fi, and dub—among others. Singer Jessica Martin’s voice is a light, almost haunting complement to the atmosphere the rest of the band produces. Their sophomore album Animalore (Undertow) is set for release on March 9, so catch them at Soundlab on Sunday (Feb. 28) while you can. Philadephia’s Pattern is Movement and Buffalo-based All of Them Witches open the show.

Saturday, February 27

Watch Adele Friedman Interview Hollis Frampton (1978)

Historic interview between Adele Friedman and Hollis Frampton in Chicago, 1978. From Ubuweb, courtesy Bicameral Research:
"I suspect that the intellect of the west (at least) has been struggling for quite some time to invent a natural counter balance for language as a way of accounting for the world - a way of doing it through images."

"...A counter machine for the machine of language..."--HF interview 1978.
Check it out here.

Check Out Mr Lif at Soundlab Tonight

Tonight, Saturday, February 27, 10pm, $10--MR LIF. By Cory Perla at Artvoice:
Boston based hip-hop MC Mr. Lif is ready to tell you what he thinks about the government, no matter who is in charge of it. On the title track of his newest album, I Heard It Today (2009), which he released on his own record label, Bloodbot Tactical Enterprises, he makes references to the housing crisis of 2009, September 11, the 2008 election, and the war in Iraq…in his first verse alone. His lyrics come off like a news ticker, filtered through a conspiratorial libertarian point of view, and dripping with a sense of mistrust that he is not hesitant to express, even in the era of Obama: “Oh I see, so uh, we all supposed to just start trusting the government again cuz we got a friendlier face to it now, huh?” He’s fed up with all the promises and his only comfort now is a little bit of smoke to settle his nerves. His style and sound are similar to some of the artists he has collaborated with—such as Aseop Rock and Akrobatic—but Mr. Lif takes it to the next level lyrically, and even musically. “I Heard It Today” is full of his typical, in-your-face rap style and huge beats but is contrasted by the kind of electronic bleeps and blips you might expect to hear on a Brian Eno album. His diverse collection of words, beats, and sounds has plenty of pop sensibility, while drawing inspiration from rock and electronic music as well. Expect an equally diverse crowd of indie music fans, grooving hip-hoppers, and forward-looking political crusaders when he hits the stage of Soundlab on Saturday (Feb. 27).

Friday, February 26

See Mutus Liber, VWLS & More Tonight at Soundlab


Noise shows are fun!

Mutus Liber (Chase Middaugh solo, first live show in 2 years. ambient incubation chamber)

VWLS (Bobby, if you please! droned out noise bubbles)

Pacing (members of Inerds. noise therapy)

Blessed Sacrifist (milwaukee experimental)

Wednesday, February 24

Read an Interview with Steve Swell

By PLWN for the Roulette blog:
“One of the most adventurous and prolific members of the New York free-jazz community” according to Ed Hazell of Signal To Noise, Steve Swell’s reputation, work ethic and committment to excellence has kept him in the forefront of improvised music and a leading voice on his instrument for more than 20 years. On February 27th at Roulette, Swell presents a concert featuring his new ensemble with some of improvised music’s finest contributors: Rob Brown, alto; Chris Forbes, piano; Hilliard “Hill” Greene, bass; Michael T.A. Thompson, drums, percussion. It will feature Swell’s writing along with his unique, on the spot direction of incorporating this group’s rich improvisation abilities along with his compositions.
Read about this particular project and more here. Steve Swell has performed at both the old and new Soundlab on multiple occasions in multiple formats. Here's the breakdown: 07/03/02 Jameel Moondoc/Chad Taylor/Tom Abbs/Steve Swell, Hylozoa; 03/08/03 Steve Swell Trio, Protozoa; 06/24/04 Gebhard Ullman/Steve Swell/Hill Green/Barry Altschul; 10/17/04 Blue Collar (Nate Wooley/Steve Swell/Tatsuya Nakatani), Padhermlardbacz Horn Trio + Drums (Ravi Padmanahba/Mike Hermanson/Mike Allard/Steve Baczkowski); 12/02/04 Sabir Mateen's Shapes Textures & Sound Ensemble (Sabir Mateen/Raphe Malik/Steve Swell/Matthew Heyner/Michael Thompson); and on 09/09/05 Fire into Music: William Parker, Hamid Drake, Jameel Moondoc, Steve Swell. Most of these were in association with Hallwalls.

Tuesday, February 23

Celebrate Black History Month with the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble at BAVPA Thursday

Thursday, February 25, 6:30 & 8pm--A Celebration of Black History: a Look at Buffalo and the Niagara Movement feat. KAHIL EL' ZABAR & THE ETHNIC HERITAGE ENSEMBLE (Chicago). Buffalo Academy for Visual & Performing Arts, 450 Masten Ave. Buffalo, N.Y. 14209 • (716) 816-4220 $6/3 adults/students of BAVPA, $15/10 general public

A multi-media, multi-disciplinary celebratory extravaganza featuring a collaboration between the students of Buffalo Academy for Visual & Performing Arts and Chicago's internationally renowned jazz legends Kahil El' Zabar & the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble.

Kahil El' Zabar (drums, percussion, voice)
Ernest Khabeer Dawkins (alto/tenor saxophone)
Corey Wilkes (trumpet/flugelhorn)

The Ethnic Heritage Ensemble was formed 35 years ago. Kahil El'Zabar is the founder of the band and led its first performance at Child City Arts Center, in Chicago, in 1973. This was a year after he had returned from the University of Ghana. His goal was to combine concepts of African American music making with the earlier roots of traditional African music and make it something new. After 35 years, this legendary band is still serving the people worldwide with their special brand of 21st century Griot music. The current band consists of the young trumpet titan, Corey Wilkes, along with Chicago Saxophone legend, Ernest Khabeer Dawkins and the award winning multi percussionist, vocalist, and composer, Kahil El'Zabar.

The EHE is now in the pantheon of jazz history. Few bands have lasted more than three decades and there are no signs of this illustrious ensemble slowing down. Their music conjures a spiritual journey to the inner self. It spans time through multiple expressions that transcend styles and genres. There is an extremely personal virtuosity to the EHE's way of making music. It appears simple on the surface, yet when one goes deeper in the music they are amazed at the density of form.

Read "Insound Launches 'Studio Sessions' Program With Surfer Blood"

By Tom Breihan for Pitchfork: The online indie rock emporium Insound has been selling music for more than a decade, and now they've launched their own live performance internet TV show.

"Insound Studio Sessions" is a monthly program in which Insound films bands playing live, and then offers the videos for free on their site. Songs from the session will be available as free mp3 downloads, or as special bonuses if you buy the band's album from Insound. A new episode will go up on the third Monday of every month, but they're starting things off more quickly with the first two.

The first Insound Studio Session went live today: Three songs from Surfer Blood, including the unstoppable "Swim" and a free download of "Twin Peaks". And a week from today, another Rising band, Free Energy, will get their own studio session. Beach Fossils will follow.

Check out the Surfer Blood session here. Surfer Blood visits Soundlab with Turbo Fruits on Tuesday, April 13 at 9pm, $10.

Attend Screening - "Dreaminimalist" & "Slap the Gondola" with Tony Conrad and Filmmaker Marie Losier at Squeaky Wheel Thursday

Thursday, Feb 25, 8pm, $6/$4 members--Screenings of "Dreaminimalist" & "Slap the Gondola" with filmmaker MARIE LOSIER and TONY CONRAD in-person. Marie Losier and Tony Conrad will present a special screening of DreaMinimalist (2008), wich captures two years of Tony Conrad's life playing with costumes, practicing his violin, cooking pickled films and his involvement with Flaming Creatures and SLAP THE GONDOLA (2009), which captures a beautiful day transformed into a slimy Fish Fight on the great rusted Ferry of Brooklyn involving thirty of the filmmakers friends wildly dressed in handmade costumes dancing to the music of April March, starring two mermaids, Tony Conrad and Genesis P-Orridge - What a treat!

Download New Dum Dum Girls - "D.A.L.", Hear It Live at Soundlab Sunday, April 4

By Brandon for Stereogum:
We’ve been enjoying Dum Dum Girls’ Richard Gottehrer-produced I Will Be, most recently via the new version of old favorite “Jail La La” that appears on the album proper and a single backed by sock-hopping “Over The Phone.” As far as other I Will extras: Folks pre-ordering the full-length receive a copy of the self-titled five-song EP, originally released by Dee Dee and Brandon Welchez’s Zoo Music in a limited edition of 100 or so copies. One of our EP favorites is “D.A.L.,” aka “Dream Away Life,” aka the perfect song for when you find yourself awake at 3:37 a.m. and need another ghost in the room.

Download Jack Rose's "Woodpiles on the Side of the Road"

Listen & Buy.

From Other Music:
We'd been anticipating the release of Jack Rose's new album for a while, and sadly, its arrival couldn't be more bittersweet, with the guitar virtuoso passing away late last year at the all-too-young age of 38. Luck in the Valley is the perfect amalgamation of this prolific Pelt-man's talents and interests. Rose and his band (which includes the Black Twig Pickers and players from the Dr. Ragtime and His Pals LP) move through rollicking hoe-downs, bluesy pre-war-influenced Americana (including a few covers of classics by W.C. Handy, Blind Blake, and Dennis Crumpton and Robert Summers), as well as some lengthy, drone-based steel-bending assuring this album a place amongst his best works like Kensington Blues.
Jack Rose performed with Peter Walker at Soundlab on 12/04/06; and on 09/29/07 he returned with Glenn Jones.

About Last Night... Peep Pics of ESKMO, Big Gigantic, Gaslamp Killer, Prefuse 73 & More




Photos by Nate Peracciny.

Preview Mountains' "Etching"

Listen & Buy.

By Brian Cassidy for Other Music:
Other Music alumnus Koen Holtkamp and longtime collaborator Brendon Anderegg recorded Etching in one take, real time, to release as a CD-R for their national tour behind their exquisite Thrill Jockey debut, Choral. (Thrill Jockey would also release Etching not long after as a very limited vinyl pressing.) It's a sublime and intriguing record, near-impossible to decipher exactly what was where and when, with layers of organ, synthesizer and acoustic guitar, processed on the fly, and I am in awe that there are no overdubs here. This kind of pastoral electonica elicits direct comparisons to 1970s German bands like Popol Vuh and Harmonia, but that is just a leaping-off point in Mountains' musical genome. Add in touches of Fennesz and Stars of the Lid and you begin to fill in the holes. Etching feels more sprawling and reaching than the duo's earlier work, living and breathing in the most organic, satisfying way. The first part of Etching is built around acoustic guitar and gently layered until it becomes something much more, while the latter half delivers a wall of light and fuzzy drone, drawn out and shimmering, continuing in more directions at once than might be tracked.
Mountains appeared with openers Tape at Soundlab on 1/27/10.

Monday, February 22

Watch Extra Life "Head Shrinker" Video

By Amrit for Stereogum:
Charlie Looker busily collaborates to myriad projects that flirt with abrasive, experimental, and/or extreme sounds around the city, but it's BTW Extra Life that allows him space to fully express his singular blend of dexterous, classically inclined modal melodies, dense and winding composition, and a dark hued, metallic heaviness that hammers hard despite the band's tendency to steer clear of guitar distortion. And the shit jams live, where Charlie coaxes a sort of controlled violence from his precise guitar playing and adenoidal vocals. In the waaaaay creepy Peaking Team-directed video for "Head Shrinker" he plays the title role, but instead of controlled violence from a guitar he's coaxing from his psychotherapy patient discharge that's both emotional and surreal. (Surreal = pulling gold coins from a gash in his belly.) I guess the video's shifting between stark black & white and a fantasy masked sax player, or depiction of Charlie as a fastidious doctor with a quiet menace, sort of touches on that control/violence dichotomy in Extra Life's music. But mostly it's just super unsettling and probably the perfect look for Extra Life. Watch it here.

Extra Life played Soundlab on 02/28/08 with Tentet/Octet and Casperous Vine. Prior to that Extra Life's Charlie Looker performed on 08/23/06 as Seductive Sprigs with Nat Baldwin. Looker's first appearance in Buffalo was at the old Soundlab, where on 08/10/02 he played with his band Lavender on a bill that also included John Long and Tassels from a Day Sale live original soundtrack to Dziga Vertov's Three Songs of Lenin.

Sunday, February 21

Watch New Caribou Video - "Odessa"

By Ryan Dombal for Pitchfork:
The video for Caribou's recent Best New Track "Odessa"-- from the upcoming LP Swim-- is dreamy. But not Joe Jonas dreamy as much as it's about that dream where you're lost in the woods and a really scary childhood memory comes back to you and next thing you know there's blood running down your face and you wake up and the blood's still there...I've said too much.

Directing trio Video Marsh made it and it's kinda NSFW and you can watch it at or here.
Caribou played Soundlab in the summer of 2008.

Friday, February 19

Watch Cage Fest Coverage on AVTV

Prepared by Sean McElroy for, this clip interweaves commentary by Don Metz, organizer of the 3-week series devoted to the legacy of John Cage, with a sampling of one day's performances.

Thursday, February 18

Catch Eskmo Saturday at Soundlab

Saturday, February 20, 9pm, $10--ESKMO with special guests Big Basha & Mark Kloud.

By Peter Vullo for Artvoice:
ESKMO is the brainchild of San Francisco-based producer and performer Brendan Angelides, who turns his laptop into a snarling digital beast churning out only the heaviest of beats and hisses, influenced by such electronic giants as Aphex Twin, the Chemical Brothers and Moby. Songs like “Lands and Bones (feat. Swan)” quickly turn into an eerie graveyard stomp propelled by Angelides’ heavy use of bass and snare, like rattling bones. Angelides’ has been on the electronic music scene since 1999, releasing countless singles and EPs. He recently formed his own digital label called Ancestor, whose latest release Hypercolor jumped to the top ten on websites like Beatport, Addictech, and Digital Tunes. The album was also rated number one on Boomkat’s list of “14tracks” in May 2009. This growing exposure has led to earth-quaking performances throughout the U.S., Canada, and overseas. Be prepared to move. This is dance music for the apocalypse.

Friday, Join the Communist Party with Special Guests The American Dream Team

Friday, February 19, 10pm, $5--Scion, & The Communist Party! present: THE AMERICAN DREAM TEAM w/ guests: Smash Gordon (Baltimore), Bev Beverly, and Commie residents Mareo Speedwagon, Flava Braun & Sir Richard Rector.

Read "Animal Collective Taking Over The Guggenheim"

By Rob Harvilla for the Village Voice Sound of the City blog:
Oh yes. Animal Collective, partnering with longtime visual-arts cohort Danny Perez for a one-night-only deal Thursday, March 4. Per the Goog: "For the Guggenheim's 50th Anniversary, the band Animal Collective has collaborated with artist Danny Perez on a site-specific performance piece that will transform the museum's rotunda into a kinetic, psychedelic environment. Transverse Temporal Gyrus will feature original recorded music composed specifically for the work along with video projections, costumes, and props, rendering the band members and performers into intense, visual abstractions."

So then. Tix on sale tomorrow for members, Friday for the unwashed masses. Objective, short version: to "unite this room of sound with the inside of your brain." The long version, per the boys themselves, here. Good luck.
Animal Collective hit Soundlab on 04/14/05 with Ariel Pink.

Read - NYC's Bang on a Can All-Stars to Debut New Works by Dirty Projectors' Longstreth

By Tom Breihan for Pitchfork:
The new music ensemble Bang on a Can All-Stars will debut three new works composed by Dirty Projectors frontman Dave Longstreth at the People's Commissioning Fund Concert at New York City's Merkin Concert Hall on February 24. Make plans accordingly, New Yorkers. You can always just DVR "Idol".

The Longstreth pieces are titled "Instructional Video", "Matt Damon" (!), and "Breakfast at J&M". Longstreth himself will be there, and though he won't perform, he will introduce the pieces alongside WNYC's John Schaefer. The ensemble will also play new pieces by composers Nik Bärtsch, Oscar Bettison, and Christine Southworth.
Dirty Projectors performed at Soundlab 3 times: on 06/29/05 with Wind Up Bird and Nat Baldwin; on 04/18/06 with Why? (and "The Getty Address," an animated film by James Sumner); and on 08/27/07 with Yacht and Vampire Weekend.

Wednesday, February 17

Watch Thee Silver Mt Zion Memorial Orchestra - "I Built Myself a Metal Bird" Semi-Live Video

By Jessica for Stereogum:
Silver Mt. Zion's sixth LP Kollaps Tradixionales is out today, and the band celebrated by releasing this semi-live video for "I Built Myself A Metal Bird." After some careful scene-setting, Mt. Zion play the song in front of a very small, very serious audience (everyone has their brows furrowed). The seriousness is appropriate enough for this song -- with fewer members in the mix, SMZ's players work twice as hard to create the track's feverish crescendos. Even the breakdowns remain tense here. Doing a live version for the video also makes sense, since "Metal Bird"'s been a live favorite for a couple years now (its other half, "I Fed My Metal Bird the Wings of Other Metal Birds" follows this song on the album). This video was directed by fellow Montrealer Seth W. Owen in their hometown.
Check out the video and/or MP3 here. A Silver Mt Zion visited Soundlab on 08/29/06.

Discover Proof That Animal Collective Songs Can be Performed Without Instruments

By Stelios Phili for the Village Voice's Sound of the City blog:
Did you somehow doubt that the alien-spatter electronics of Animal Collective could be performed by actual humans, as opposed to bits of broken and tie-dyed machinery? Wrong! Thanks to Momo & the Coop, an a cappella group comprised of Lewis & Clark students, AC's "Leaf House" has been successfully funneled through vocal chords. The result is a mosh of convulsing collegiate torsos, gleefully harmonizing Ave Tare's mid-song monkey screech before settling on a chordal interpretation of the ending "meows." A noble attempt to bridge the seemingly disparate realms of Animal Collective and Grizzly Bear, indeed.
Animal Collective visited Soundlab on 04/14/05 with Ariel Pink.

Read "Xasthur and Marissa Nadler Collaborate on New Album"

By Tom Breihan for Pitchfork:
It's not exactly right to say that the mysterious, misanthropic California black metal auteur Xasthur and the Boston narco-folker Marissa Nadler are each other's stylistic opposites. After all, both make dense, atmospheric, and immersive music, and both seem like they have really comfortable throw rugs and large numbers of candles in their apartments. But the two have never made a whole lot of music outside of their respective chosen lanes, and there are a few worlds of difference between black metal and folk. So it comes as somewhat of a surprise to learn that Xasthur and Nadler are working together. Continue reading here.
Marrissa Nadler performed at Soundlab first as part of the Tonight Let's Make Love in Buffalo freak-folk fest, and then with Picastro on 09/08/07.

Read Hollis Frampton's Letter to MOMA Re: Compensation for Work As An Artist (1973)

In this letter to Museum of Modern Art film curator Donald Richie, Hollis Frampton addresses Richie's offer of a complete retrospective "all for love and honor and no money is included at all." While flattered "in principle," Frampton eloquently identifies the absurdity of an economic phenomenon wherein everyone from film manufacturers and lab technicians to film projectionists and security guards derives income, but the artist does not: "it seems that, while all these others are to be paid for their part in a show that could not have taken place without me, nonetheless, I, the artist, am not be to be paid." It's a good read, although somewhat sad when you consider that funding for artists is likely even harder to come by today than in 1973.

Tuesday, February 16

Download a Bunch of Neon Indian Remixes

Here, courtesy of Brooklyn Vegan. Neon Indian plays Soundlab on Friday, March 12, 9pm ($13/$15).

Read: YACHT'S Claire Evans is a Science Genius

By Tom Breihan for Pitchfork:
Claire Evans, one half of YACHT, also writes a science blog called Universe. And on March 21, she and astrophysicist/The Five Ages of the Universe author Fred C. Adams will speak at New York's Rubin Museum of Art as part of a lecture series called Brain Wave. Together, they'll address "Is There Life Out There? A fundamental question about the universe," which sounds pretty ambitious.
On 08/27/07, YACHT played Soundlab (pre-Evans) with Dirty Projectors and Vampire Weekend. The duo version of YACHT returns with Evans on Sunday, March 7, with Bobby Birdman (9pm, $12/$14).

Watch Footage of Gaslamp Killer's Soundlab Freakout

Matt Quinn at Artvoice captured Gaslamp Killer's tiff with the dance floor flashbulb brigade. Here's his take:
Yo! it is rare that i am turned onto a dj that i havent heard of before that totally rocks me... Well the Gaslamp Killer is HOT HOT.. As soon as i heard the start of this guys set i knew i was in for something special. Thing is.....the guy was pissed about so many cameras in his grill during his recent performance in Buffalo. Soundlab was packed, Prefuse 73 was about to get ready to take the stage....and the Gaslamp Killer.... Well watch the video! turns out this guy is totally awesome.

Read "Erasing the Timeline," by Robert Ashley

Interesting excerpt on musical time and linearity with reference to Morton Feldman among many others (via New Music Reblog):
We have recently - about fifty years ago - come upon a new idea in thinking about music, but I think it is not even approached in theory. This new idea does not use the timeline score....

By timeline music I mean music having any number of parts, a piano score or an orchestra score, that are coordinated by bar lines. This music must, by definition, be "linear."...

Curiously, the most famous proponents - for Europeans and Asians as well as Americans - of a new kind of music among American composers, John Cage and Morton Feldman, could not escape from the timeline practice. They made wild (sometimes seemingly desperate) attempts to make a new kind of music, but their attempts were fundamentally still trapped in the timeline way of thinking. (I don't mean that their music was unsuccessful... I mean that to attribute to these two composers the kind of radical departure that one recognizes in Wolff or Brown, Behrman, Lucier, Amacher, Niblock, my own music and a few younger composers, is wrong.)

For everybody else who appeared around 1960 and is still around - Babbitt, Wuorinen, Reynolds, and countless others - there is no question that they ignored the message and continued exploring the timeline.
Read the rest here.

Listen to Reissued Animal Collective - "Campfire Songs"

Listen & Buy

By Kandia Crazy Horse for Other Music:
Now that B'more-bred Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavilion has been deemed the leading sonic work of the times by the Village Voice's Pazz 'n' Jop poll and anointed throughout the past year in an endless procession of hipster-bait rags, it doubtless seemed the move to begin reflecting on the group's back pages via the reissue of Campfire Songs. Oddly, Campfire Songs, originally released on Catsup Plate -- one of two recordings dropped by them in 2003 -- had gone out of print. Thus this reissue, on the group's own Paw Tracks label, comes off as a rare relic of the relative salad days of Panda Bear, Avey Tare, and Deakin -- recorded as it was (in 2001) on the long-forgotten mini-disc player (plied by Geologist). The disc's stark, rockin'-on-the-porch psych represents a quite different aspect of their aesthetic journey. The five hushed and subtly shifting songs herein offer the opportunity to experiment with how far out one can go hanging on the supposed limitations of three guitars, pastoral atmospherics, and unvarnished harmonies. You can't dance to it but, for all the lyrical darkness, you could trip to the mystic.
Animal Collective performed with Ariel Pink at Soundlab during these salad days: 04/14/05.

Monday, February 15

Listen to New Pattern Is Movement, See 'em Live at Soundlab February 28

From Richard Metzger at Dangerous Minds:
Here’s a very heavy new track, the first in nearly 2 years, from my Hometapes labelmates Pattern is Movement of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Chris Ward’s drumming is truly amazing here. Utterly unique and that’s hard to do in this tidy digital age.

Read "Akron/Family Want You to Cover Their Song, Go to a Show for Free"

By Tom Breihan for Pitchfork:
Lately, the freak-folk wildmen in Akron/Family have been ending their marathon live shows with a patriotic anthem of sorts called "Woody Guthrie's America". The song hasn't seen any kind of wide release yet, but the band is doing something else with it instead. They're using the song to spur a sort of open-source internet project. They want you to record your own version of the song and send it to them. If you do, you'll get into an Akron/Fam show for free.

The band is asking people to send their version of the song to, along with a photo and the name of your hometown. They'll post any versions that they get on this website. And if you tell them which of their headlining shows you'd like to hit up, they'll put you on the guest list. So this is sort of an internet-age version of the thing where Rocket From the Crypt would let you into their shows for free if you had a Rocket From the Crypt tattoo. Sort of.

Thus far, the project has already inspired versions of the song from folks like Megafaun, Slaraffenland, and actress Charlyne Yi (Paper Heart). You can hear all of those versions on the site.
Akron/Family played Soundlab on 03/17/07.

Watch Neon Indian's "Fallon" Performance, See Them Live at Soundlab March 12

By Tom Breihan for Pitchfork:
Norwegian folkies Kings of Convenience were originally slated to be the musical guests on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" last night, but Eirik Glambek Bøe's illness forced them to cancel. And so Texas hypnagogic popsters Neon Indian became the last-minute replacements, thus giving the glo-fi movement its biggest spotlight moment to date.

The band shied away from their obvious singles, instead doing a medley of two Psychic Chasms tracks, "Terminally Chill" and "Ephemeral Artery". Frontman Alan Palomo busted out some serious dance moves,too. Watch it here.
Neon Indian visit Soundlab Friday, March 12 at 9pm. $13/$15.

Read "Breaking the Waves: Wavelength’s Sunday Music Series is Done — is the Community Around it Done Too?"

Interesting reflection on Toronto's avant-indie scene past and present (and the now departed weekly Wavelength series in particular), by Dave Morris for Toronto's Eye Weekly:
For the handful of bands who played Wavelength on their way to making it big, the ones who are playing this weekend’s 10th anniversary festival (and weekly series farewell) are mostly like the hundreds who didn’t: sometimes noisy, frequently experimental and, above all, indifferent to everything but having fun and making art.

Like fellow now-shuttered indie institution Touch & Go Records, Wavelength’s weekly series supported bands who weren’t necessarily courting a mass audience. That some of them found it anyway is now part of the series’ legacy; the Sunday series that will forever be mentioned in the same breath as “Broken Social Scene” and “Torontopia.” But Wavelength wasn’t merely supposed to be the farm team for would-be indie stars; it was a place where lovers of the weird sounds lurking on the fringes could form a community.

“I remember when I was living in Peterborough,” says Jonas Bonetta a.k.a. Evening Hymns. “I’d read the weeklies and look for shows I wanted to go to.” Like many of the newer acts playing the series, Bonetta saw Wavelength’s Sunday series as a “gateway into the Toronto scene,” and after moving here and playing his dusty, subtly magical neo-folk songs at a handful of gigs, he managed to snag a Wavelength show. “I was trying to play Wavelength for a while,” says Danger Bay’s Brendan Howlett, who became both a regular attendee and a performer in various different configurations. “It was just an easy, good way to play shows.”

Now that the Sundays will be no more (the organizers will focus on booking special one-off Wavelength concerts, a number of which are already lined up for the coming months), what happens to that community? Is it online, or in a new physical space? Has it fractured into niches, or is there still a broad interest in new indie music? The answer, according to the mix of veterans and new bands playing the Wavelength 500 festival, is d) all of the above. Read the rest here.

Download New Mattin MP3

Listen to "Reveal The Structure" which will appear on Mattin's forthcoming LP Exquisite Corpse coming out on Parts Unknown (via The Wire). Mattin performed as part of a trio with Tim Barnes and Tony Conrad on 04/30/05.

See John Linberg's Tripolar This Week at Hallwalls

Thursday, Feb 18, 8pm--JOHN LINDBERG'S TRIPOLAR. $15 general admission, $10 members/students/seniors.
Don Davis (reeds)
John Lindberg (contrabass)
Kevin Norton (drums, vibraphone)

Featuring multi-reed instrumentalist Don Davis—renowned for his formidable work with the Microscopic Septet and a wide array of other associations ranging from the Swollen Monkeys to Levon Helm, Don now brings his unique voice and musical vocabulary to TriPolar.

Also featuring master percussionist Kevin Norton doubling on drums and vibraphone—well-known for his numerous albums as a leader in his own right, and for his work with artists as diverse as Anthony Braxton, Milt Hinton and Tony Malaby. Kevin is a long time colleague of Lindberg in various other projects and his special energy brings a vital dynamic to TriPolar.

John Lindberg has recorded over fifty albums that feature his original compositions, while touring worldwide for over thirty years. In addition to his voluminous work as an ensemble leader, he has established himself in the music world through his 32-year run with the String Trio of New York, and through compelling associations with artists such as Jimmy Lyons, Wadada Leo Smith, Tony Coe, Steve Lacy, Albert Mangelsdorff and many others.

Watch "Around Town: Shock & Awe"

Short posted to by Aaron Smith. Check it out here.

Catch the Halverson / Pavone Duo Tonight at Soundlab

Tonight, Monday February 15, 7:30--MARY HALVERSON/ JESSICA PAVONE DUO.

By k. o’day for Artvoice:
Free-jazz? Folk? Classical? The ongoing collaboration between guitarist Mary Halvorson and violist Jessica Pavone is as difficult to classify as any in the genre-defying NYC improvisational scene. Notably affiliated with composer Anthony Braxton—both as former students and members of his ensemble—the two Brooklynites have their fingers in multiple musical pies with numerous projects. They split writing/composing duties and produce simple melodies injected with bursts of free-form dissonant bits, seemingly uncontrived yet impeccably arranged. Their debut, Prairies, came in 2005 (Lucky Kitchen), followed by 2007’s On and Off (Skirl Records). Last year saw the Thirsty Ear release Thin Air, the duo’s latest effort, showing them working at a steady rate of an album every two years. This kind of predictability belies their musical temperament, which is anything but. Listen at Local sound improviser Poverty Hymns opens this show on Monday (Feb. 15), which starts early for Soundlab. Doors are at 7:30pm.

Listen to New Japandroids - "Art Czars"

By Zach Baron for the Village Voice's Sound of the City:
It'd be tempting to chalk this up to the inevitable post Post-Nothing leap from sounding like Drive Like Jehu to sounding like Hot Snakes, but "Art Czars" was apparently recorded during the actual Post-Nothing sessions, as were the four other singles the band plans to release on Polyvinyl this year. Each 7" will be limited to 2000 copies, with a cover on the B-side. "Art Czars," due out in April, sports Big Black's hatefuck of a song, "Racer X," on the flip. The duo are on a long tour right now that next lands them in New York (at the Bowery, with Best Coast) on April Fool's Day, which seems suitable somehow, though they tend to opt for puns over pranks. Although is making a song called "Art Czars" about selling out a pun or just kind of witty? Unclear. Check it out here.
Japandroids played Soundlab on 09/28/09 with Mt St Helen's Vietnam Band.

Friday, February 12

Read - Toby Driver of Kayo Dot Interview

By BBG for Brooklyn Vegan:
Toby Driver is an "other". Not like Benjamin Linus or one of the Dharma Initiative, but in that his artistic endeavors Kayo Dot and Maudlin of The Well exist in the in-between, and outside. Driver's current project, Kayo Dot, is prepping to release their fourth album Coyote via Hydra Head on April 6th. On Coyote, elements of goth, avant-jazz, prog, ambient, and the kitchen sink meld with the avant-garde, making for an intensely fascinating and eclectic listen.

Driver was recently asked to curate the month of February at The Stone, John Zorn's non-profit club in the East Village. We sat down to ask Driver about some of the bands he chose which include solo sets from members of Krallice, Dysrhythmia, Extra Life, and Bloody Panda in addition to Baby Dee, Oxbow, Gnaw, and a full performance by his own band doing Coyote from start to finish, and the recent resurrection of Maudlin of The Well.
Full interview here. Kayo Dot performed with Novelist at Soundlab on 09/19/06.

Read "If At First You Don't Succeed: a Conference on Failure in the Arts"

By Colin Dabkowski for the Buffalo News' Artsbeat:
For Gary Nickard, a University at Buffalo professor, former director of CEPA Gallery and member of the provocative art/performance troupe Monsters of Nature and Design (which I have written about in this space and in my ArtsBeat column), is what you might call a proponent of failure.

His work as a theorist and artist has yielded a number of different projects, the most recent and perhaps most visible of which was a performance with UB grad and London-based artist Craig Smith on the lawn of the Burchfield Penney Art Center. Before that was a performance during which he and some collaborators destroyed a pair of pianos on the back steps of theAlbright-Knox Art Gallery (and before that at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, in a well-attended performance at which audience members took home fragments of the destroyed pianos as souvenirs).

On Friday, Nickard and a group of like-minded artists and professors will present a mini-conference on the positive side of failure. The whole affair gets under way with a panel discussion featuring Nickard and associates Colin Beatty, Craig Smith, Benjamin Van Dyke and Gayle Young. That will be followed, at 1:30 p.m., by a keynote lecture from Karen Lewis, a professor of architecture at Ohio State University. It all goes down in UB's Center for the Arts screening room, room 112.

Rather than try to parse Nickard's approach to the concept of failure, I will reprint the fascinating rationale for the conference from Nickard's recent announcement, here

Tonight at Soundlab... My Bloody Valentine's Day

Tonight, Friday, February 12, 6:30pm, $5--A whole bunch of bands performing covers of classic love songs! Feat. Red Tag Rummage Sale, Roger Bryan and the Orphans, Fourem, The Bear Exchange, At Sea, Mock Syringa AKA Julie Byrne, Sleeping Future, Mercury Club - DJs AIM and Fire.

Wednesday, February 10

Listen to New Thermals - "Canada"

By Tom Breihan for Pitchfork:
The Thermals might live in Portland, but they love them some Canada. That's the main thing you'll take away from "Canada", a new track that may or may not be from their forthcoming album Personal Life, which isn't set to drop until September 7. That's a long ways away, but "Canada" is for sale right now on iTunes, and you can stream it right here.
The Thermals visited Soundlab on 05/02/09 with Shaky Hands and Point Juncture, WA.

Download New Ninjasonik: The Matt-and-Kim-Sampling, Dan-Deacon-Namechecking "All Our Friends"

By Camille Dodero for the Village Voice's Sound of the City:
Why isn't there universal shorthand for tracks in which rappers individually single out their loved ones, from God to Mom to the local corner slinger? Lupe Fiasco's "Outro" is a bloated example that comes to mind, with 12-plus Food & Liquor minutes of Cornel West's model citizen shouting out everyone he ever added on MySpace, but these things really do need a name. "Crew clip," "homie holla," "family props," or "posse cut," as one intra-office dialogue yields, don't quite seem right. Rap nerds, where's your clever?
Check it out here. Ninjasonik played Soundlab twice in the fall of 2009, on 10/02/09 with Matt and Kim, and on 11/14/09 in conjunction with the Communist Party.

Tonight at Soundlab... Trevor Dunn's Mad Love

Wednesday, February 10, 9pm--TREVOR DUNN'S MAD LOVE with RED TAG RUMMAGE SALE

I recall sitting around my kitchen table after one of two visits (I can't recall whether it was the first or second) by Mr Bungle/Fantomas bassist Trevor Dunn and his partner, avant-harpist Shelley Burgon. Dunn is a veteran of downtown New York's experimental scene, having performed with dozens of musicians like Erik Friedlander and John Zorn, and at Soundlab he played an out set on upright bass that one facebook commenter (possibly expecting genre-bending rock along the lines of Mr Bungle) recently remembered as Dunn "rubbing a sponge up and down his bass for an hour." At some point in the midst of one of our conversations, he sort of provocatively, with a sly smirk, threw out something along the lines of, "how do you feel about Britney Spears? I love her." Shelley rolled her eyes as if she knew where this was going. I answered, "Oh yeah, of course. I love Britney. I love all that stuff." He shook his head: "No, i'm not joking," and I was like, "me neither. I totally love all that stuff." He looked at me not entirely sure if I was putting him on, but I wasn't. I assumed he was being sincere, but I also had to wonder if he was putting me on. It was a weird moment... 2 people who in our own ways had a longstanding affiliation with and dedication to forms of music that defy mainstream expectations trying to determine who was the more authentic fan... of Britney Spears.

I recall that story, which I hope I didn't make up but I'm quite certain that I didn't, only because Dunn has been getting a lot of press for his new band, Mad Love, by leaking that it was in some ways inspired by Britney Spears. Of course, it really isn't, although it is a much more mainstream rock project than what Soundlab audiences witnessed before ("rubbing a sponge up and down his bass for an hour"). Still, it's Dunn's version of mainstream. Check it out tonight with Red Tag Rummage Sale opening.

Listen to YACHT Cover Weezer

By Ryan Dombal for Pitchfork:
A four-track iTunes Sessions EP from electro-pop duo YACHT and their Mystery Lights Band is out now. (That's the gender-bending cover up there.) It features three live versions of tracks from last year's Best New Music recipient See Mystery Lights and a cover of Weezer's Blue Album classic "Holiday". Listen to the Weezer redo over on YACHT's blog or stream the track here.
Yacht played Soundlab once before, on 08/27/07, with Dirty Projectors and Vampire Weekend. Yup.

Read "Sole Leaves Anticon"

By Tom Breihan for Pitchfork:
Back in 1998, Tim "Sole" Holland helped found the art-rap crew and collectively run label Anticon. In the years that followed, Sole's dense, polysyllabic, politically enraged rap style and intense, wrathful live show helped to define the Anticon aesthetic.

For at least a few of us, the greatest moment in the label's history came when Sole, a white man, roared that the white man's the fucking devil on the 2003 track "Da Baddest Poet."

But today, Sole announced on his website that he's leaving Anticon to focus on putting out music on his own. Read more here.
Sole visited Soundlab on 02/10/08.

Saturday, February 6

Watch Corsano/Baczkowski Live in Toronto, September 2009

2 clips from the duo's set at The Tranzac, 9/16/09: Part 1. Part 2. Both Steve and Chris have played Soundlab many many times, in a variety of combos. Together, they performed as part of a quartet with Paul Flaherty and Tony Conrad on 04/30/04; as a duo on 03/10/05; and again with the Flaherty/Conrad quartet on 09/19/05.

Watch Clips of Recent Live Visuals by VJ Deliria

Here are some short clips of visuals performed live by VJ Deliria at recent Soundlab shows. Enjoy!

Big Gigantic
Prefuse 73
Gaslamp Killer

Friday, February 5

Watch Paul Sharits' "Tails" (1976)

Via Ubuweb:
A series of tail ends of varied strips of film, with sometimes recognizable images dissolving into light flares, appear to run through and off of a projector. A romantic "narrative," suggesting an "ending," is inferred.
. Watch it here.

Download New Free Energy - "Hope Child"

By Tom Breihan for Pitchfork:
On March 9, DFA/Astralwerks will release Stuck on Nothing, the first full-length from the Rising Philly retro-rawk band Free Energy. LCD Soundsystem/DFA main man James Murphy produced the album, and that ridiculously awesome image above is the cover art. You can also stream or download album track "Hope Child".
Free Energy played Soundlab on 09/10/09 with Worrywort. They return this Wednesday, March 10 with Foreign Born and Clovers.

Thursday, February 4

Read "Lecture on the Weather: The Politics of John Cage... "

In this piece, Jack Foran discusses Cage's politics int he context of the 23 day Burchfield-Penney Cage fest:
Why weather? Why that particular topic? Lecture on the Weather, from 1975, is a distinctly political piece. It was commissioned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in recognition of the American Bicentennial, and Cage wanted it performed by 12 expatriate Americans living in Canada to avoid service in the Vietnam War.

So, Weathermen, one thinks. But surely weather in a more substantial sense than just reference to some fringe and flaky political group.

Art has always been about control. Controlled effects. John Cage is the guru of uncontrol. Of the vanity and folly of control. Of the violence of control.

The political message was that what the Vietnam War came down to was America trying to control the rest of the world. And if Cage were around today--he died in 1992--no doubt he would have similar thoughts about the Iraq and Afghanistan adventures.
Check it out here.
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