8 PM / $10 / ALL AGES
8:00 PM / ALL AGES / $12 ADVANCE / $15 DAY OF SHOW
Austin's favorite experimental pop band, The Octopus Project, is set to return with their 6th studio album, Memory Mirror, in March 2017. The album was recorded by the band, mixed by Danny Reisch (Shearwater, White Denim) & Dave Fridmann (Tame Impala, Flaming Lips), and mastered by Greg Calbi (David Bowie, Talking Heads).
The Octopus Project has been releasing joyous party music since 2002, following a musical path that veers through blown-out rock’n’roll, vivid electronic colors, surreal pop and expansive psych landscapes. As performers they’ve earned a reputation for elaborate multimedia experiments and extremely loud, extremely fun live shows - a practice they’ve pursued over a decade of worldwide touring that has included festival stages such as Coachella, Lollapalooza and All Tomorrow’s Parties, and tours as handpicked support for artists as diverse asAesop Rock, DEVO, and Explosions in the Sky.
Also active as composers for video games and film, they were awarded the Special Jury Award for Musical Score at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival for their work on the film KUMIKO, THE TREASURE HUNTER. They are currently working on another film score to be released in 2017 -- DAMSEL (directed by Zellner Bros. // starring Robert Pattinson & Mia Wasikowska).
8:00 PM DOORS / $10 ADVANCE / $12 DAY OF SHOW / ALL AGES
Thomas Csorba is a singer/songwriter from Houston, TX who grew up listening to artists like Townes Van Zandt, Buddy Holly, and Woodie Guthrie. Soon after immersing himself in these artists' work, he felt compelled to start making music of his own. He released his debut EP, "Kentucky", in the spring of 2014. With this release, he secures his place among the storied voices of folk and Americana music. Melancholy and nostalgic, this songs are written for old souls. Csorba's songs -- rustic, honest, and as mournful as they are sweet -- recall the best of the artists he admired as a kid. "Kentucky", in that great tradition, is the offering of a man both weary and hopeful, a traveller on a long journey home. With the release of his sophomore album "Hard Truths and Noble Lies" the following year, Csorba continues to show his skills both lyrically and vocally. HIs discography shows his true outlook on the world around him and give the listener a different perspective on life: one from the eyes of a young man who is pursuing a dream.
TAKE THIS FEST AND SHOVE IT!: THE NEXT, BUCK BILOXI AND HIS FUCKS, TALK SICK BRATS, DAGGERHEAD, OFF CENTER AND THE HOLES, TRAMPOLINE TEAM, DIE ROTTZ, TROUBLE BOYS, MYDOLLS, HISS, THE COPS, BLACK ABBA
DAY 1 APRIL,8TH DOORS AT 4
5:00 THE COPS
5:30 THE MAHAS
6:30 OFF CENTER WITH HOLES
7:00 BURNING ITCH
7:30 BLACK ABBA
8:30 MANIC AND DEPRESSIVES
9:00 BUCK BILOXI AND HIS FUCKS
10:00 TRAMPOLINE TEAM
10:30 CHEAP FUR
11:00 DIE ROTZZ
11:30 TROUBLE BOYS
12:00 THE NEXT
DAY 2 APRIL,9TH 2PM TO 6PM
HINESSIE PARK PUNK ROCK KICKBALL BBQ WITH
3:00 TALK SICK BRATS
4:30 THE GENZALES
DAY 2 FINAL NIGHT
7:00 THE GILLIGANS
7:30 KILLER HEARTS
8:00 PRETTY SHITTY
Jonathan Toubin, who VICE Magazine calls “the only DJ we actually like” and Rolling Stone says is “the most liked man in the soul music scene,” was just awarded 2015’s “Best DJ” in the 60th anniversary Village Voice “Best of NYC” issue. In over 2000 gigs in the last nine years, New York Night Train’s conductor and soul proprietor has gone where no rock and/or soul vinyl DJ has before – tirelessly hitting hundreds of nightclubs on five continents and dozens of major music festivals – everywhere from All Tomorrows Parties (five times) to Bonnaroo to practically every major European music festival. He’s done his thing at concerts by everyone from Jack White to Kendrick Lamar to LCD Soundsystem. His Soul Clap and Dance-Off isn’t only the world’s most popular and prolific soul party, but is also the only dance party to get an entire official night dedicated to it at Austin’s South By Southwest (where it has been the official closing party five times) and the only DJ party to get its own night at Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night’s Swing. Not only is Toubin the first 45 DJ with Burger Records cassettes, but he’s also the first living DJ with compilations on the legendary Norton Records – with four “Souvenirs of the Soul Clap” LPs released internationally last year. Toubin has achieved all this and more without playing any fashionable contemporary genre and without belonging to any musical/cultural clique. Creatively cutting together raw, wild, and uncommon original 45rpm sides by unsung artists for the today’s dance floor, Jonathan Toubin and his New York Night Train party machine’s slow steady nightly work has built a unique space in contemporary culture and influenced scores of DJs and parties everywhere. 2016 finds Jonathan Toubin touring the world and completing his next four compilation LPs.
Baltimore's weirdo comedy & video collective, Wham City, will be here 4/17. Most recently IFC released their new series, The Mirror which is a spoof of televangelist education programming, and is essentially what would happen if Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood and The Jim Bakker Show had a delusional and slightly paranoid baby.
They've created a series of infomercials for Adult Swim including Unedited Footage of a Bear, Live Forever As You Are Now W/ Alan Resnick, Commencement Speech, and most recently This House Has People In It.
More about Wham City:
Wham City is an art and performance collective based in Baltimore, MD. Members of Wham City include musicians Dan Deacon and Ed Schrader, visual artists Jimmy Joe Roche, Dina Kelberman, Connor M. Kizer, Robby Rackleff, Alan Resnick and Ben O'Brien.
6:30 PM / ALL AGES / $13 - $15
ALL AGES / 8 PM / $12 - $15
Mitski warmly recalls a quote from sculptor El Anatsui, "Art grows out of each particular situation, and I believe that artists are better off working with whatever their environment throws up."
With this nerve exposed lyrically, and having dived into her new beginning, Mitski chooses her 2014 breakthrough album Bury Me at Makeout Creek to explore uncharted sonic territory, trading in large string arrangements for guitar and bass. While studying composition at SUNY Purchase's music conservatory, she previously recorded music with a full orchestra.
However as college graduation inched closer, Mitski moved away from the concert hall and into the campus' active DIY scene. Upon relocating to New York following graduation, she entered stages at Death By Audio, Silent Barn, and Bed Stuy basements, entrenching her songs of love, fear, lust, and brilliant clarity into entirely sympathetic ears.
Since releasing Bury Me at Makeout Creek, Mitski has received international acclaim for her distinct, arresting sound and profoundly reflective lyrics. Pitchfork applauded the release as "inventive and resourceful," while Rolling Stone celebrated her "deep-cutting lyrics." NME said of Bury Me, "it's a record that doesn't tug at your heart-strings as much as it mercilessly pounds at them, taking to your emotions like a lead pipe to a piñata." She has also received widespread attention for her "cathartic" live shows as dubbed by The New York Times' Jon Caramanica.
"I was so young when I behaved 25," Mitski sings on "First Love / Late Spring," "yet now I find I've grown into a tall child." This veritable thesis speaks to sentiments of the poetry and beauty of struggling up the hill to adulthood. Mitski follows El Anatsui's humbling advice, cathartically revealing snapshots from her adventures in youth, and theempowerment found in sharing these stories with others. In2015 Mitski is poised to continue delivering her particular flavor ofsoul-baring rock, and tour throughout North America and beyond.
8:00 PM / ALL AGES / $12
The story of The Besnard Lakes begins at Besnard Lake: a spectacular yet secluded water feature in rural Saskatchewan which the Montreal group’s husband and wife core, Jace Lasek and Olga Goreas, visit each summer for inspiration and escape. This year the couple’s campsite was surrounded for a worrying few days by forest flames, a literal ring of fire which informed the devil-may-care spirit of their exuberant fifth album.
“Besnard Lake is usually the place where we get the germination of ideas,” explains Jace. “We set up a small recording rig in the trailer we have up there .This time there were also helicopters with giant water tanks flying over us while we were fishing on the lake!”
Armed with demos and memories from their trip, the pair returned to the city and entered Breakglass Studios. Co-founded by Lasek a decade ago, this popular recording facility has long been a hub for Montreal’s fertile, collaborative and proudly DIY music community. Having met and fallen in love in Vancouver, where Jace was a photography-trained art student and Olga a bass-slinging star on the underground rock circuit, the pair relocated at the turn of the millennium. Vancouver had gotten too expensive. By contrast, “Montreal was super cheap because there had been the Quebec referendum in ’95 and a lot of the Anglos had left. There was a political teeter-totter happening, so there were tons of empty places. We moved out here and were able to live, rehearse and record in a loft for next to nothing.”
The predominantly French-speaking province’s economic depression birthed an ever-evolving scene that’s become internationally renowned for such disparate independent avatars as Godspeed You! Black Emperor and The Arcade Fire. Unique among their furrowed brow peers, The Besnard Lakes are unafraid to marry textured, questing headphone sonics to the honeyed pleasure of radio hits past: the rapture of My Bloody Valentine entwined with the romance of Fleetwood Mac. (Echoing prime FM they actually now have two girl/boy couplings in the line-up, keyboard player Sheenah Ko and guitarist Robbie MacArthur joining powerhouse drummer Kevin Laing and non-touring studio axe hero Richard White.) Imagine dreamy Beach House riding Led Zeppelin dynamics, with unabashedly androgynous vocal harmonies. This melodic yet mountainous soundworld was sculpted at Breakglass, their own modest Paisley Park. As the longterm sporter of a Love Symbol tattoo, Prince’s pop alchemy is especially potent for Jace.
“You look on the back of his early records and it’s produced, arranged, recorded and performed by Prince. When I realised that as a 12-year-old I was like, Oh fuck! So this kid can make a record all by himself. So then why can’t I? He was also the guy who made me realise that it was ok to sing high. Just throw caution to the wind. He’s not concerned about being super macho. Once I started getting into punk rock in high school, Prince was still there. He didn’t lose relevancy for me. Prince was still there when I started getting into prog rock, too. We’re just absorbed in music of all sorts.”
Olga, meanwhile, has been exploring a new creative outlet via her domestic interpretation of the occult, inspired by a Disinformation lecture given by comic book writer Grant Morrison. “He was talking about sigils,” remembers her adoring partner. “It was really personal for Oggy, like a meditation she would do in the morning, and also just a fun thing. She developed these 11 sigils, which you can see on the inside of the record’s jacket. For the deluxe edition she’s hand engraved them onto these little tags. The meanings are very simple: one is love, another is empathy. That leads back to this whole idea of mystery and the myth of the band.”
Channelling their obsessions with the paranormal – Jace was a teenage ghost hunter – as well as the dark arts, A Coliseum Complex Museum is populated by cryptozoological creatures (The Bray Road Beast, Golden Lion) while also luxuriating in natural phenomena and beauty (The Plain Moon, Nightingale). These themes are sincere yet good-humoured. The LP’s title jokily refers to a landmark-heavy road sign spotted on tour in Texas, the varied emotional impulses within reflected by its environmentally warped artwork.
“For a long time we were trying to keep secret that we love being out in nature,” admits Jace. “Because it’s kinda cliché. But with this record we decided to stop fighting what we love so much. So the front cover actually has a lake on it, but it’s also got this giant orb shooting light into the water, which is creating a hole that’s opening a portal to the coliseum complex museum. It’s kinda fucked.”
8 PM / $10 - $12 / ALL AGES
London's BOOZE & GLORY suffer no curiosity towards anything but their tried and true brand of hook-laden, red-brick sidewalk stompin', Skinhead Oi! Rock 'N' Roll. They have no interest in detouring into awkward metal riffs, compromising mainstream tendencies or any other fraudulent leanings. BOOZE & GLORY stick to who they are, what they know, and what they love — working class Oi! punk rock 'n' roll.
They herald their love of their favorite football team, West Ham United. They recant the tales of pub sessions with good friends and cold booze and the struggles of being a drinking man on a workingman's wage. And they tell the stories of friends gone wrong and life gone astray. Influenced by their English forefathers such as The Cockney Rejects, The Business and the 4-Skins, BOOZE & GLORY are poised to charge forward hard and far as the primary contemporary carriers of the British Oi! torch.
Having already laid their claim to the European territory through years of hard touring and strong festival appearances, BOOZE & GLORY are now ready to make themselves known in the US. Sailor's Grave Records is honored to welcome the boys to the fold.
For Fans Of: The Business, Evil Conduct, Cock Sparrer, Sham 69
Adult Mom began as the solo project of Stephanie Knipe in a Purchase College dorm room in 2012. Adult Mom now falls between the playful spectrum of solo project and collaborative band with beloved friends and musicians Olivia Battell, Mike Dvorscak, and Bruce Hamilton. Through reflections and explorations of the personal and hidden, the crux of the writing produced by Knipe is focused on excavation. The dredging out of secrets, putting it all in a pan, waiting for the gold to rise. Honesty and intimacy form as Knipe writes clever pop songs that offer a glimpse into the journey of a gender-weird queer navigating through heartache, trauma and subsequent growth.
With their debut LP, Momentary Lapse of Happily, Adult Mom bravely shined a light on the darkness and allowed the listener to experience and feel those moments along with them. Soft Spots, the project’s sophomore LP, is an exploration into the physical and emotional acts of opening up, the vulnerability that produces love, and then ache. With this record, Knipe proclaims that everybody has soft spots. Spots that get cared for and tended to, that grow and fade, that produce feeling that can linger for years and years. Knipe shares with us their process of learning how to cradle and understand their own softness without finality, a story without an end.
Free Cake For Every Creature is a pop band currently based in Philadelphia. Beginning as the secret home-recording project of songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Katie Bennett, the band has since expanded to include a rotating cast of colorful friends and musicians. Inspired by the DIY ethos of bands like Beat Happening and Rose Melberg, Katie & the cakes have self-booked numerous tours across America, taking pictures and posting online journal entries of their explorations along the way.
In April 2016 the band released their first record, “Talking Quietly of Anything With You,” on Double Double Whammy. Colin Joyce at Pitchfork praised the title track, saying it “represents Bennett as a singular songwriter, one who’s able to transmute her influences—K Records’ ramshackle charm, Yo La Tengo’s slower, stiller moments—into pithy, affecting turns of phrase.” Rob Sheffield at Rolling Stone listed the album in his top 20 albums of 2016. “Talking Quietly of Anything With You” navigates the surrealism of young adult life with a sonic range from warm, contemplative passages, to exuberant pop hooks.
8:00 pm / ALL AGES / $10 - $12
BUY TICKETS/ $7 ADV $7 DOORS / 8:00 / ALL AGES
Hearing Will Csorba play guitar is like traveling in time: With his Martin, Csorba looks to the future; with his Weissenborn, he channels the past. Drawing from musical traditions as far-flung as Mississippi Delta blues, Indian raga, and Christian hymnody, Csorba connects these seemingly discordant influences into a unified whole, one that uses the paths of Henry Thomas, John Fahey and Glenn Jones as guides for its own. Csorba is remarkably prolific, having released thirteen records in just under two years. His studio debut, Because I Was Flesh, was released this fall by Icehouse Music, complete with cover art by Tony Millionaire. And yet he's already looking ahead, pushing the boundaries of his primarily guitar-based music in his work with Autumn Kiskinis, Irrelephant, KA and others, making music the likes of which few have heard before. He's a fixture in Houston's experimental music scene, sharing bills with Sandy Ewen and performing live with KA. His second album for Icehouse and first with violinist James Trimble, The Cornfields, is set for release in the spring. The solo guitar world is small, and Will Csorba's primed for a breakout. You heard it here first.
Eli Winter is a guitarist and songwriter attending the University of Chicago. A rising star in Houston's experimental music scene, fans and musicians alike have long noted both his musicianship and the improvisational nature of his sets, especially for someone as young as 19. But his move to Chicago has seen him write an accompanying burst of new songs--one will be released on Impossible Colors in the spring--with compositional chops to match his skill on the guitar. He has recently released a live album, appeared on the compilation album Down with the Trumps benefiting the Chicago Community Bond Fund, and performed with Daniel Bachman. In addition, he has received praise from Daniel Bachman, Bill MacKay, Cory Rayborn and Jana Hunter, among others, and has plans to go on tour this summer.
Tom Carter's electric guitar work weaves strands of melody, drone, fuzz, and charged silence into intricately detailed instant compositions. He lives in New York City.
Best known for his work with iconoclastic acid-folk improvisers Charalambides (which he co-founded with Christina Carter in 1991), Tom Carter has focused on solo performances and recordings since 2012. His 2015 double LP on Three Lobed Records Long Time Underground is the final installment of a trilogy begun in 2009 with The Dance From Which All Dances Come and continued with 2014's Numinal Entry. Long Time Underground was selected as the number-one experimental album of 2015 by The Out Door/ Pitchfork.
FREE FOR 21+ / $5 FOR UNDER 21
8:00 PM / ALL AGES
8:00 PM / ALL AGES / $10 - $13
From the prolific cultural epicenter of Montreal, Marie Davidson has emerged as one of the foremost electronic artists working in contemporary pop today. As a long-time member of Essaie pas (DFA Records, Teenage Menopause) and DKMD (Giallo Disco Records, Fur Trade Recordings), Davidson has had the opportunity to hone her many talents. She has been participating in the city’s vibrant experimental community for much of her adult life. However, in 2012 she began to unveil compositions under her own name, revealing a solo artist who possessed the combined confidence and vulnerability required to write, produce and perform unaccompanied. Davidson’s intimate solo work is embodied through a host of synthesizers, sequencers and drum machines which coalesce in synchronized harmony, punctuated by vocals, half sung, half spoken in both French and English. She masterfully shapes the overall mood, themes, emotion, expression and intensity of her work, which gives the final result a distinctive, cinematic quality. Her live sets are energetic, built for dancing, as audiences become immersed in hypnotic rhythms, absorbed by the tightly sequenced bass lines and engaged by her vocal delivery. Not only will she will spin you a tale, her music will immerse your soul in haunting images of sweet anxiety and glamourous sensuality.
In the last two years Marie Davidson has caught the attention of the press by releasing “Perte d’identité” (Weyrd Son Records 2014) followed by “Un autre voyage” (Holodeck Records 2015). Both albums have been acknowledged for their unique blend of upbeat and ambient material. She is now about to release her first fully dance floor oriented piece of work on the distinguished label Cititrax (the division of Minimal Wave records which focuses on new contemporary music). As a solo performer Davidson has played internationally renowned festivals such as SXSW (Austin), MUTEK (Montreal), OUTLINE (Moscow), OBEY Convention (Halifax), City Of A Thousand Suns (Fort Gorgast, Germany), Phénomena (Montreal) and Pop Montreal. She has also toured Europe four times and twice in the U.S. Demain est une autre nuit, the latest release of her duo Essaie pas was nominated for the Polaris Music Prize of 2016. Marie’s forthcoming solo album, “Adieux Au Dancefloor” is coming out on Cititrax in October 2016.
8:00 pm / ALL AGES / $10
It's very strange ("Or not strange at all! Hi!" says feminism) that most of the music we funnel into little girls' ears—even music written by former little girls—is about how women are petty, pretty garbage whose only valuable function is to hold perfectly still in men's boudoirs and wait for intercourse. "I wanted to make songs that were the opposite of 'Genie in A Bottle' or 'The Boy Is Mine,'" Sadie Dupuis says of Slugger, her new solo album under the name Sad13. "Songs that put affirmative consent at the heart of the subject matter and emphasize friendship among women and try to deescalate the toxic jealousy and ownership that are often centered in romantic pop songs." What!? Songs for women that actually champion women's autonomy, reflect women's desires, listen to women when they talk, and let women be funny and normal and cool, like women actually are?
After being born, which she totally nailed, Sadie grew up in New York City, toured internationally with a professional children's choir, then bounced around Massachusetts before eventually landing in Philadelphia "like every other feminist punk." She has an MFA in poetry from UMass Amherst, likes comics WITH AN ALL-CAPS PASSION, has written for Nylon and Spin, and is mega-beloved for her rock band Speedy Ortiz. Most recently, finding herself disillusioned with a lifetime of misogynist radio pop and yearning for the megalomaniacal autonomy of a solo project, Sadie/Sad13 churned out Slugger in a two-week fury.
Slugger is a pure solo effort. Sadie didn't just write and sing and play guitar, she recorded and produced the record herself in a subletted bedroom in Fishtown—a not insignificant act of feminist defiance. Despite millennia of evidence to the contrary, women in music are still relentlessly pigeonholed as, essentially, decorative. Sure, you can be a girl singer, or a girl tambourine player, or, once in a while (the height of novelty!), a girl drummer, but a girl producer? A girl engineer? Cool X-File, Mulder! Sadie steers Slugger with a serene sure-footedness, vaporizing that old lie better than any howling polemic ever could. The best revenge is to do your work.
Slugger's musical touchstones are vast and varied: contemporary pop à la Charli XCX, Santigold, Kelela, Grimes; folk songwriters Karen Dalton and Connie Converse; '90s trip-hop; riot grrrl (duh); plus Sad13's feminist indie and punk contemporaries like Tacocat, Waxahatchee, Mitski, and Bully. Slugger shouldn't feel like a revolution, but it does—in both content and execution. This is fun music about real shit.
Stef Chura's debut studio album Messes, is born of her years of experience playing around the Michigan underground, setting up DIY shows in the area, and moving around the state-nearly 20 times. "Right when it starts to feel like home / It's time to go," she sings literally on its opening cut, "Slow Motion," a twisty, dim-lit guitar pop song where she curls and stretches every word. There are worlds of emotion in the ways Chura pronounces phrases with twang and grit, alternatingly full of despair, playfulness, and abandon. Chura calls her music "emotional collage," eschewing start-to-finish storylines in favor of writing intuitively about feelings, drawing from experiences and references related to a certain sentiment.
Originally from Alpena, Michigan, Chura moved to the Ypsilanti area in 2009, where she began playing shows before ultimately moving to Detroit in 2012. Chura has been home-recording and self-releasing her songs for six years, playing bass in friends' bands as well. With a trove of demos and 4 -track home recordings, some of which she'd released on small runs of cassettes over the years, Chura says she wasn't sure what to do with her life before heading into the studio. "One of my best friends passed away and I thought, what do I have to do before I die? I have to at least make one record."
"Faded Heart" is an ode to that friend. "I thought I saw you standing on that little cloud / How did you get so loud," she sings. The second verse references something she heard Joni Mitchell say in a documentary- "If you hold sand too tightly in your hand, it will run through your fingers." Like Joni, Chura favors finger-picked guitar, a style she's been honing for over 10 years, drawing inspiration from other folksingers such as Leonard Cohen and Buffy Sainte Marie in addition to Cat Power and 90s feminist punk.
Later on "Thin", she sings, "Thin like the skin on a lottery ticket / Tried you on for a bit just to see if it's fitting / I forgot who I was." A song written about her old job cocktail waitressing at a strip club, she recalls "It's funny because it sounds like a folk song, but it's more about the disgusting feeling I would have when I would come home from that place. And I was just like, who am I? I am not this person, I'm just in a weird place in my life right now. I feel like everyone has done that. You try something different just to be someone else."
Messes deals with these sorts of internal anxieties: power struggles, friendships falling apart, even one song about a conflict with a landlord. "It's more about pain than anything," she says. "A lot of these songs are a cathartic release of overwhelming emotional stress. "On and Off For You," for example, deals with being gaslighted and controlled by a lover. "Putting in overtime to get my revenge on you," she sings. "When I look back on that time period I obsess about how I should have left or done better for myself or been a stronger woman. It's the emotional or mental overtime I think a lot of people endure."
She recorded the entire album with Fred Thomas (Saturday Looks Good To Me) throughout 2015. Thomas plays bass on most of the record, and a bit of guitar and drums. Drummer Ryan Clancy of Jamaican Queens and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. adds the bulk of the drums. Through intricate guitar work and warm, textured production, Messes finds her trying to make sense of life's ups and downs. "It's about emotional mess, not physical mess," Chura says. "The title track is about knowing that you are going to do something the wrong way, but you're doing it anyway because you want that experience. I've had to do a lot of things the wrong way in order to figure out how to live my life."
8 PM / ALL AGES / $8 ADVANCE / $10 DAY OF SHOW
“Those who still defend the supremacy of white male hetero-patriarchy had better watch out.”—Angela Davis, inauguration-day speech, 2017.
Now that the United States has a despot instead of a president, Downtown Boys are that much more driven to use their anger and their joy to drill away at the walls of white supremacy’s brain. Based in Providence, RI, the band released their acclaimed debut album, Full Communism, in 2015, and they have been touring their powerful live show throughout North America and Europe since 2012. They bring an aggressive dissonance to make a harmonious message against the erasure of people of color, queer people, femmes, and those of us who have always been in the center of the pit whether you knew it or not.
The band is currently working with Greg Norman and Fugazi’s Guy Picciotto on their second LP, and they join the countless people filling streets and airports around the country to loudly proclaim #NoBan, #NoRegistry, #FuckWhiteSupremacy.
Late for detention
Wanna be amphibian
Fusion over fission
Door to door
Knees on the floor
Seashells by the seashore
Like most of Sneaks’ music, “Future” is in constant gyroscopic movement—thumping rhythm cutting around deep bass, spoken-word patterns somersaulting through image fragments, childhood nostalgia, and cryptic wordplay. The song is a fitting culmination for It’s a Myth, Sneaks’ second album due March 31, 2017, on Merge Records.
With little more than a bass, drum machine, and deadpan vocals, Sneaks, a.k.a. Eva Moolchan, makes minimalist music that takes up space—something she herself has made a point of doing in the male-heavy Washington, D.C., DIY punk scene that has been her home. Moolchan’s compelling songwriting, along with the fervid energy of her shows, prompted breakout D.C. label Sister Polygon to release her 2015 debut Gymnastics, which Merge reissued in September 2016.
It’s a Myth builds on Sneaks’ playfully stark approach to post-punk, which, as her hometown City Paper described it, causes listeners to go “from curious to provoked to hungry.” Hungry, in part, because the new album clocks in at just 18 minutes of 10 taut, captivating tracks (but still a feast compared to Gymnastics’ 14 minutes). It also adds Jonah Takagi and Ex Hex/Helium frontwoman Mary Timony, who recorded the album at Timony’s D.C. studio. “She’s got art in her brain,” Timony has said of Moolchan. “Her brain is making beautiful stuff.”
Though it flows from influences like Pylon and Bush Tetras, much of that beautiful stuff is hard to categorize or compare to anything else. It’s herky-jerky and fluid all at once, childlike and yet deeply perceptive. “I’m so sure what I’ve been told and I don’t need it,” she sings on “Devo” (a title that appropriately conjures another incarnation of robotic insight). “I don’t know what I’ve just learned but I won’t repeat it.” And while some songs revolve around repetition of the mundane (“Me n me n me n me n you/ You n you n you n you n me” in “With a Cherry On Top”), others are unequivocal confrontation (“You think you got a lot to say/ No you think you need a bigger stage/ You think I can’t contain my rage/ Let me see you bend your breaks” on “Hair Slick Back”).
Moolchan calls Sneaks “a character” that she’s playing, and there’s certainly an element of mystery around the persona and her riddles. But it’s also all her, born out of full solo creative control after stints in a number of D.C. bands. “When I’m writing songs, it’s actually pretty selfish, because it’s like, this is what I need to hear right now in my life,” she has said. It’s surely what others need to hear as well.
This is not an all ages event.
Festival Hours: 8pm-12am
Thursday, February 23:
Notsuoh, 314 Main St, Houston, TX 77002
Friday, February 24th:
The Secret Group, 2101 Polk St, Houston, TX 77003
Saturday February 25th:
Walter's, 1120 Naylor St, Houston, TX 77002
Houston’s groundbreaking international performance art festival set for Feb. 23-25, 2017 Experimental Action will showcase groundbreaking performance art from across the globe The Experimental Action Performance Art Festival will take place over the course of three night in three downtown Houston venues. This year’s roster consists of local performance artists alongside visiting artists from across the globe, representing: Spain, Canada, China, Serbia, Brooklyn, as well as many other geographies and cultures.
Additionally, a FREE presentation and discussion panel featuring Alison Starr (Dallas) and artists participating in the festival will take place at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.
The Experimental Action international performance art festival facilitates and spotlights avant garde experimental art that excites, inspires, and pioneers ideas. The objective of the event is to cultivate an environment of engagement, exchange, and exploration through progressive creative action while exposing Houston audiences to innovative performance art. This festival has taken over two years to come to fruition and was born out of Houston’s underground performance art community. The management team consists of Julia Wallace, Evan McCarley, Jonatan Lopez and Jana Whatley. “Even though we are a few weeks away from this year’s event, the energy and excitement is already building to a fever pitch,” ExA co-founder, co-curator, and co-director Julia Wallace says. “We are absolutely thrilled by the roster of incredible artists joining us from all over the world, and we feel honored by the opportunity to engage and shine a spotlight on such powerful creativity. I can assure you that Houston will never be the same after this year’s event.”
Performer's traveling to this year’s festival include: Abel Azcona (Spain), Chun Hua Catherine Dong (Canada/China), Marta Jovanovic (Serbia), Miao Jiaxin (China/NYC), Peter Clough (NYC), Amanda Gregory (San Francisco), Vincent Tiley (NYC), Christian Cruz (Dallas), Michael Anthony Garcia (Austin), and Ryan Hawk (Austin).
Local performers include: Jim Pirtle, Clay Zapalac, Celestina Billington, Eric Thayer, Nestor Topchy, Brittani Broussard, CAT SCOTT, Unna Bettie, Emmanuel Nuno Arambula, Agnes Yit, David Graeve, Raindawg, Andrew DiMatteo, Z'maji and more.
Those interested in learning more about Experimental Action 2017 should visit the festival’s official website at http://www.experimentalaction.com/
Experimental Action is a sponsored project of Fresh Arts, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the purpose of Experimental Action made payable to Fresh Arts and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law and can be made here- https:// www.fresharts.org/content/experimental-action
Cover image: Peter Clough, Peter (Happy Faggot) courtesy of Margit Selsjord
RESCHEDULED SHOW INFORMATION WILL BE ANNOUNCED SOON
8 PM / $10 / ALL AGES
Following the release of his critically-lauded 2015 album All Are Saved, songwriter/producer Fred Thomas entered a period of enormous transition. He gave notice at the writing job that had offered stability for years, got married and moved to Canada, all between multiple tours that ran the spectrum from sold out opening slots to sleeping in the car after empty gigs. At the end of yet another tour he returned to Athens, Georgia, to again work with producer Drew Vandenberg (of Montreal, Mothers, many more) on an album aiming to encapsulate the nonstop changes that had sprung out of this phase of his life. Naturally, this record is named Changer.
The unflinchingly direct lyrical approach that defined All Are Saved continues here, with themes of uncertainty and struggle coming up over and over. A working title for the record was “Hope I’m Funny,” a reference to the opening line of an especially bleak Richard Pryor routine. The comedian found himself confused at the audience’s applause before he’s even uttered a word, certain he was going to disappoint them and feeling a little set up, but still hoping for the best.
That sense of floating between dread and promise runs through the album, present in the drunk-dial desperation of live favorite “Brickwall” as much as the chopped up harp samples that propel the electronics-heavy “Echolocation.” The production here is some of the densest in Fred’s catalog, with straightforward guitar pop burners like “Voiceover” melting into synth-heavy instrumental segments like the glistening, Boards of Canada indebted “Oval Beach.” That these moments of textural ambience make sense alongside stripped-down guitar pop speaks to the overall flow and vision of the album, which was meticulously edited from an hour long first draft to the lean 33 minute final product.
Taken from start to finish, Changer slowly tells a story that is more felt than explicitly narrated. Rather than insisting on finding an answer or some greater meaning in the shifting nature of lives in motion, these songs simply offer vivid snapshots and strange scenes. Even in its darkest moments, however, there’s an underlying sense of hope, that every mundane laundromat trip, every bummer night, every empty gig, hours logged at pointless summer jobs, or even the pain of tragedy could be for something bigger and lead to the next beautiful change.