Spy Music Festival 2013
Northern Spy presents the third annual Spy Music Festival
FESTIVAL PRE PARTY Friday 9/6 - 11pm @ The Grand Victory | 245 Grand Street, Brooklyn | $5 (free with festival pass)
Drink specials provided by Sixpoint Brewery | Performances by Swindlella (mem. Cloud Nothings) and Colin L. Orchestra
(ex-USA is a Monster) | Hosted by the illustrious gender-bender Sticky Greg | Special Guest DJ Shanmations
Saturday, September 7th at Spectrum
$10 admission - 121 Ludlow
Loren Connors & Suzanne Langille
Diamond Terrifier (ZS)
Sunday, September 8th at 285 Kent
$10 admission - Free Six Point beer with ticket !
Aa (aka Big A Little a)
Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band
Sean Lennon & Greg Saunier
- Time Out New York
photo by Charlotte Kemp Muhl
(Sean Lennon & Greg Saunier)
Mystical Weapons is a brash new experimental-psych project from Sean Lennon (The Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger) and Deerhoof drummer Greg Saunier. The two formed after meeting at a Plastic Ono Band show, added filmmaker and artist Martha Colburn on visuals -- and the rest, as they say, is improv history.
Seaven Teares is a New York band formed in 2010 featuring singer/songwriter Charlie Looker (Extra Life, ex-Zs), experimental vocalist Amirtha Kidambi (Sequins and Skeletons), Robbie Lee (Howling Hex) on woodwinds, guitars and synth, and percussionist Russell Greenberg (Yarn/Wire). The bands’ mostly acoustic sound brings together a number of disparate influences: dark post-Industrial folk (Death In June, Current 93), 1960’s co-ed pop folk groups (Mamas and the Papas, Ian & Sylvia), the drones and textures of modern composition and experimental improvisation, and the cold alien vocal harmonies of Gothic era liturgical music. The seven slow-burning songs shift between abstract raga-like meditations and straight melodic hooks, set against acoustic guitars, dark synth ambience, vibraphone, bells, and occasional harsh electronics, as well as authentic Medieval pump organ and recorders.
Musical labels are hard to attach to Justin Frye’s pet project, PC Worship. Similarly, Frye, also of Gary War and Teeth Mountain, has a hard time himself attaching a meaning to the acronym that begins the band’s name. From personal computer and politically correct to Phil Collins and “Pantera [is] cool,” each definition seems fitting as a conceptual approach in defining PC Worship’s music. Akin to this idea of blending genres and meanings, PC Worship’s music is a constant sonic collage featuring numerous instruments. The band members live together in a Brooklyn warehouse and are said to have hundreds of instruments (horns, strings, woodwinds, pianos, percussion) stacked up for use at any moment. Listening to one of PC Worship’s tracks is as much a psychedelic journey as it is a lesson in how to collapse as many seemingly uncommon sounds into the tiniest space possible. Tracks like “Staring at the Sun” and “Wake Up in the Dark” owe as much to Daniel Johnston and early lo-fi Beck as they do the proto-punk and fragmented jazz that many of their tracks venture toward. While being compared to Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, PC Worship seem to have less to prove than the West Coast band that has become one of indie pop’s weirdest trophy names. PC Worship’s music has more of an experimental attitude, sprawling into dark forests of free-form jazz much before attempting to find a pop hook. Frye and company are a bunch of dudes living it up—jamming in a garage and releasing tons of seven-inch vinyl singles, CD-Rs and cassettes with a raw sound that lends itself well to those media choices. Frye sometimes performs alone; other times he runs with a gang of collaborators, The Mutant Soul Band. Either way, get ready to rock perfectly and weirdly.
While working in industry, Gayle studied piano in his spare time. Eventually taking up the tenor saxophone, he became involved in the New York avant garde movement of the 60s. At the end of the decade he was back in his home town but returned to New York where for the next decade he often scuffled for work, sometimes playing in obscure venues and even in the subway. He worked briefly with Sunny Murray and in 1984 was heard by Peter Kowald who, recognizing a fellow free improvising spirit, invited him to visit Europe. During the late 80s and early 90s, Gayle played in various US and European locations, and also made records under his own name and in a trio with William Parker and Rashied Ali. A forceful, dramatic player in the ferocious sound-and-fury tradition of New York’s loft scene, Gayle is also very effective when he plays bass clarinet. He has continued to play piano occasionally, albeit less successfully than when he appears on reed instruments. His multi-instrumental abilities were displayed on Unto I Am, on which he plays all three of his regular instruments together with the drums. Gayle’s playing, which initially is somewhat reminiscent of Albert Ayler’s, is forceful and demanding of listener and performer alike as it proceeds with relentless intensity. With repeated hearings, however, the impressions of Ayler recede, revealing Gayle to be an endlessly inventive improviser who is very much his own man. Nevertheless, a newcomer to Gayle’s work might well find it useful to test the waters with the relative orthodoxy of Ancient Of Days rather than dive right in to the storm-tossed oceans of sound that suffuse most of his work.
logo image and above photo by Dusdin Condren/The Wire
Loren Connors & Suzanne Langille
Guitarist Loren Connors was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1949. Best known as a composer and improviser, Connors has issued over 50 guitar records on his own imprints (Daggett, St. Joan, Black Label) since the late 1970s and over two dozen on other labels across the globe. He has recorded under the names Guitar Roberts, Loren Mattei, Loren MazzaCane Connors and other variations. Connors’ singular adpation of the blues is a distinct personal vision combining the Delta bottleneck sound and the ancestral blues voice (appearing as distortion, baying hounds or multi-tracked guitar), with hauntingly unexpected sounds. Outside of Connors’ three decades of solo work, he has collaborated with Suzanne Langille, Jim O’Rourke, Darin Gray, Alan Licht, Christina Carter, Keiji Haino, San Agustin, Jandek and many others, as well as leading the group Haunted House. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band
Guitarist Chris Forsyth's hypnotic compositions assimilate art rock texture with folk, blues, and experimental influences. Long active in underground circles as a member of Peeesseye, he's released a series of acclaimed records over the past few years, including his 2011 LP Paranoid Cat on Family Vineyard and Early Astral, a 2012 duo LP with Mountains' Koen Holtkamp on Blackest Rainbow. His 2012 Kenzo Deluxe LP/CD on Northern Spy has been described as "resonant [and] incisive... a cosmic abstraction of the American guitar tradition, reducing blues, rock, folk and improvisation into their spare, hypnotic base elements." (Philadelphis City Paper). In October 2013, Paradise of Bachelors will release his most ambitious full-band recording yet, the immerseive four-part suite Solar Motel. According to critic Tony Rettman, "sneak listens to Solar Motel hint that the best has yet to be heard. Solar Motel is broken up into four parts, each of them escalating in sequence with head-swelling psychedelic bliss while showcasing Forsyth's equal admiration for the guitar interplay of both Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd of Television and Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead. It serves as a perfect example of what Forsyth calls his music: Cosmic Americana." In anticipation of this release, Forsyth has assembled the stellar Solar Motel Band, featuring guitarist Paul Sukeena (Spacin'), drummer Steve Urgo (ex The War on Drugs), and longtime collaborator Peter Kerlin on bass. Download hi res photos here and here.
NYMPHNYMPH is a Brooklyn-based seven-piece that has been active in the New York psych, noise and jazz scenes for seven years. The outfit’s expansive approach confounds thumbnail genre ascription, and yet does not depend on confusion or combinatorics for its impact; rather, the fluid and multifarious membership enjoyed by the former duo-plus-band of Matty McDermott and Eri Shoji has expanded, edified and enlightened NYMPH’s approach to texture, composition and execution. Truly, the band’s sound represents a seamless and exuberant amalgamation of heavy psych, free-jazz, modern minimalist composition, kosmische kraut, and visionary desert blues.
Ava Luna“Brooklyn’s Ava Luna is the rare band that needs to be heard to be believed. In the band’s hazy, floaty, post-TVOTR-maybe conceit, post-punk grooves, soaring soul harmonies, and classic indie detachment join forces for something beautiful, infectious, and damn-near indescribable. The twisted brainchild of Carlos Hernandez, the son of a soul DJ and occasional producer of bands like Fucked Up, Ava Luna is the sum of a lot of somehow congruous parts. The drums/bass/synth lineup kicks out the most skeletal era of Ze Records postpunk/nufunk; a chorus made up of three backing singers adds a razor sharp doo-wop lilt; the sweatsoaked Hernandez is up front stirring soul like Jamie Lidell or James Chance for the Misshapes age.” —Christopher Weingarten, Village Voice
ODOBright formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1993 initially as a recording project, with Mark Dwinell (guitar, vocals) and Joe LaBrecque (drums) creating songs with minimal vocals, extensive Krautrock-influenced improvisation and repeating measures. Initial raw sessions were documented at the Albatross Guest House on a 4-track recording machine and were later overdubbed. A cassette tape culled from these recordings initially released on Eek records made its way into the hands of Ben Goldberg at Ba Da Bing! records. To fill out the group and facilitate live performance Bright brought more musicians into the fold – Jay Dubois (bass) and Paul LaBrecque (guitar, trumpet) In 1996, they released their eponymous self-titled debut on Ba Da Bing! records with veteran studio engineer Jacques Cohen (Mercury Rev, Silver Apples, Jerkwater) recording. In 1997, The Albatross Guest House 4 track sessions was released and Bright reverted to a duo by the following year. During that time, the group recorded the mostly instrumental Blue Christian for Darla records Bliss Out series. Parting ways with Jay and Paul, Bright recorded Full Negative (or) Breaks in 1999. In 2000, the band now included Michael Torres (electric guitar, nylon string guitar, violin) and Mike Cory (bass guitar) and covered Captain Beefheart's Korn Ring Finger for a tribute album to frontman Don Van Vliet and his Magic Band. At the close of 2001, Bright went on hiatus; Mark Dwinell recorded his solo debut NONLOC in 2002 (including various back-up by Torres) . In 2003, Bright began performing again sporadically, at times a six piece with all former members performing, and also picking up Nate Longcope before heading back to the studio in 2004 to record Bells Break Their Towers, released by Strange Attractors Audio House in 2005.
Diamond TerrifierDiamond Terrifier is Sam Hillmer of Zs’s saxophone and electronics solo incarnation. Named after the English translation of the Indo-Tibetan god-name Vajrabairahva, Diamond Terrifier is concerned with the potential positive qualities of destruction as mediated by noise/drone sheets of sound music.
AaAa (say "Big A little a") has been one of the most restlessly innovative bands in Brooklyn over the past seven years, steadily evolving their unique, intensely stylized brand of DIY maximalism through frequently-changing lineups and instrumentation. Like an ADD-afflicted Boredoms or Aphex Twin re-imagined as a self-taught marching band, the group's hyper-hyphenate, polyrhythmic sound evokes elements of global dance, hardcore, electronic, pop, psych, and other influences with a sensibility that transcends pastiche to create something wholly, bracingly new. Now featuring multiple hybrid acoustic/electronic drummers, dense, laptop-generated soundscapes, heavily processed vocals, and a distinctive, starkly minimal light show, Aa's live performances are atmospheric, frenetic, and constantly surprising.
DriphouseDaren Ho, former Raccoo-oo-oon member, owner of Synth shop Control, and one-time synth jammer in the Colin L. Orchestra, delivers catacombs of electronic espionage and modular-esque synth compositions.