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Archive for the ‘Explosions in the Sky’ Category

[POSTPONED: April 6, 2020] Caspian / Pianos Become the Teeth / Maserati

indexMy friends Liz and Eleanor have told me that Caspian was one of the best shows that they had seen.  I have been planning to see them ever since.  Because of the trip scheduled for this weekend, I’m not sure I would have been up for going, but I would have loved to.

I thought I knew who Pianos Become the Teeth were, but I was thinking of Roomful of Teeth an apparently very different band.  Given Pianos become the teeth’s comparisons to Explosions in the Sky and Mogwai, I think I’d like them.

Maserati has been around since 2000 and also get compared to EITS and Mogwai.  I’ll be I would have loved this whole night.  I hope the show gets rescheduled as is on a night I can go.

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[ATTENDED: October 12, 2019] Explosions in the Sky

I saw Explosions in the Sky three years ago. It stands as one of the most memorable shows I’ve seen and I knew that I wanted to see them again whenever I had the chance.

I don’t know if the band doesn’t tour all that much or if they just didn’t come my way, but after three years, when I saw they were playing at the Starland Ballroom on their 20th Anniversary Tour (part 1), I got tickets right away.

It took about 20 minutes for EITS to come out on stage.  It was nice to not have those horrible red lights that flooded FACS.

Before they actually started, the lights were natural, so I made sure to snap a few pictures before the colored lights came onto the stage.

All five guys came out and guitarist Munaf Rayani (the only guy to talk) said they were Explosions in the Sky from Texas–looks like some of you know us.  That’s good.”  And until he said good night that was the only voice for 90 some minutes. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: October 12, 2019] FACS

I saw Explosions in the Sky back in 2016 and the show blew me away.  I knew I’d be seeing them again some time.

For that show, the opening band was Disappears.

I really enjoyed Disappears and wound up buying their records.  For this show, the opening band was FACS.  I had never heard of FACS at all.  When I looked them up I discovered that FACS is (technically was)… three-fourths of Disappears!

According to the Chicago Tribune, Disappears:

broke up in 2016 with the departure of bassist Damon Carruesco, and holdovers [bassist] Brian Case, guitarist Jonathan Van Herik and drummer Noah Leger reinvented themselves as Facs, which explored a more abstract but no less fascinating – and sometimes downright spooky – sound.

Then Van Herik quit, and Facs had to regroup yet again, this time with Case switching back to guitar and newcomer Alianna Kalaba on bass, joining Leger in the rhythm section. There was only one catch: Kalaba had never played bass before. She was previously the drummer in We Ragazzi and the Dishes, but Leger already held that job in Facs.

“In Disappears, we had strict ideas about repetition and minimalism that are still ingrained in us,” Case says. “But with Facs, we took everything out of that comfort zone until we found something we liked and honed into it.

I didn’t really remember much of this going into this show.  I just remembered that they were probably going to be very cool.

And indeed they were.

(more…)

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[ATTENDED: May 20,2019] Mono

It seems entirely possible that I could subsist on rock bands from Japan for a couple of months.  Between Acid Mothers Temple, Boris and now Mono, I have an amazing collection of experiences both on record and in person.

I was unfamiliar with Mono when Union Transfer announced that they’d be playing a “big, intense show, like usual.”  But I had to check them out…  (especially since tickets were only $10–a criminally low price for such an amazing show).

Mono has released some ten albums (plus EPs and more) since 2001.   They have been a band since 1999 with only one lineup change.  The original drummer left in 2018 and was replaced by New Yorker Dahm Majuri Cipolla. (more…)

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moors SOUNDTRACK: CHRIS FORSYTH & THE SOLAR MOTEL BAND-Tiny Desk Concert #549 (July 15, 2016).

solarIn the blurb about The Solar Motel band, Lars Gotrich says that Chris Forsyth’s group usually plays high energy and maximum volume.  But here, they have picked some of their more mellow pieces.  And I frankly think they are all fantastic (I actually don’t even want to hear their louder stuff).

“Harmonious Dance” opens with four single repeated notes before the slow echoed chords fill the room.  The drummer is playing with brushes and dangling some bells (which he eventually holds in his mouth while playing with both hands).  There’s a feeling of Explosions in the Sky on this song–but without as much drama.  Rather, the mid section turns away from the vibrato to a more structured picked section which allows room for a guitar solo.  The blurb says the song “meditates on a gently unfolding melody shared between Forsyth and guitarist Nick Millevoi.”

Speaking of the drummer, the blurb tells us that “due to touring conflicts, The Solar Motel Band’s rhythm section is different here than on record, but bassist Matt Stein provides a grounding force, as drummer Ryan Jewell … loosens the very ground beneath it all.”

Forsyth introduces the second song with the strange comment: “It gives me great pleasure to say the title of this next song: ‘The First Ten Minutes Of Cocksucker Blues.'” Why great pleasure?  Anyhow, the title refers to the unreleased Rolling Stones documentary directed by Robert Frank.  There’s a kind of funky, rougher edge to this song that has Forsyth playing some simple chords while Millevoi plays some wailing classic-rock-style solos.  In fact, the whole thing has a classic rock feel, except with a more contemporary jamming feel.

A buzzing drone segues into “Boston Street Lullaby.”  Unlike the other two songs this one is very mellow and kind of trippy. At times (especially the way that Millevoi bends some of his guitar licks it feels distinctly like Pink Floyd’s “Echoes.”  The end has some cool jangly spacey guitar and Jewell is doing all sorts of interesting things to the kit, including changing the sound of his snare by pressing on it at different spots.

I am curious to hear what other kinds of stuff they play.

I am bummed to read that they opened for Super Furry Animals this summer.  I really wanted to get to that show, but I was out of town.  That would have been a great double bill.

[READ: November 14, 2016] The Moors

Back in 2014, I ordered all 16 books from Madras Press. Unfortunately, after publishing the 16 books they seem to have gone out of business (actually they are switching to non-fiction, it seems). They still have a web presence where you can buy remaining copies of books.  But what a great business idea this is/was

Madras Press publishes limited-edition short stories and novella-length booklets and distributes the proceeds to a growing list of non-profit organizations chosen by our authors.  The format of our books provides readers with the opportunity to experience stories on their own, with no advertisements or miscellaneous stuff surrounding them.

The format is a 5″ x 5″ square books that easily fit into a pocket.

Proceeds from Marcus’ book go to the Friend Memorial Public Library in Maine.

This is a story that is set in the time it takes for a woman to fill up her mug of coffee.

It begins with the amusing concept that our protagonist Thomas saying that he felt bad about speaking in baby talk to a colleague.  And then it pulls back so we can see just what is happening.

Thomas has incredibly low self esteem.  He immediately takes a dislike to this colleague who is so composed and together.  He wonders if there’s a word for the contempt that he imagines she feels for everyone around her (based on the way she walks and is dressed).

And then over what seemed like three dozen too many pages, we learn the extent of his insecurities.  He is too fat, he might have erectile disfucntion, he believes that they are throwing pigeons at the windows every hour to mark time.

He is so insecure and his lashing out is just so unpleasant that I really didn’t want to read about why he acts this way (which we do sort of learn at he end).

Essentially this is man at a loss.  The way his home life has been going has certainly compounded his loss.  But the road to get there felt too long and either too misogynistic or self-pitying most of the time.

If this had been half as long I would have liked it much better.  Although I really don’t think I could ever actually enjoy reading about this character–baby talk or not.

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[ATTENDED: May 20, 2016] Explosions in the Sky

2016-05-20 21.43.53I’ve been a fan of EITS for years.  Their brand of epic instrumental has always been symphonic and grand–building up intensity and then, yes, exploding.

The band was inexplicably pretty late getting on stage (and then had to come out and fix their gear themselves).  As they came out on stage I realized that I had no idea what the band members looked like.

I was excited that I was able to get so close to the stage (the show was sold out).  And, I was pleased to realize that EITS was a no mosh pit kind of band, so things were fairly mellow so close to the stage.

The band’s set up was that there was one microphone placed kind of far to the stage (there’d be no singing tonight).  When the band came out guitarist Munaf Rayani (the only guy to talk) apologized for them being so late.   He then said they were Explosions in the Sky from Texas.  And until he said good night that was the only voice for 90 minutes (except for a half dozen of idiots standing nearby talking way too loud and taking selfies). (more…)

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[ATTENDED: May 20, 2016] Disappears

2016-05-20 20.46.47 This was my first show at the relatively new Fillmore Philadelphia.  The venue is really nice.  There’s a balcony with bleacher seats and a very large floor area.  It’s also reasonably easy to get to (although kind of hard to leave–bottleneck city!).

I was there to see Explosions in the Sky, but I had given a listen to a few songs by this opening band and was certainly looking forward to seeing them.

I was intrigued that their sounds was described as a mix of shoegaze, krautrock and garage rock.  Three things which don’t really seem to go together.  The tracks I listened to were really rather dissonant, which I found interesting.  It also seems that each album is a little different, with the earlier stuff being a bit more garage-y.

I was also intrigued to read that Steve Shelley, drummer from Sonic Youth, played with them for an album and a couple of tours.  But he was not with them now, having been replaced by Noah Leger.  I’m not sure what Shelley did with the band, but Leger was really amazing to watch.  More on him later.

The rest of the band is Brian Case on guitar and lead vocals with second guitarist Jonathan Van Herik and bassist Damon Carruesco. (more…)

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