Tag Archives: albany

[Preview 04.04.12: Kraftwerkers, Show Tix + More]

Apparently, Hitler is not the only one upset over their inability to see Kraftwerk’s retrospective concerts at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC next week. Headed by the GalariesNFS, a group in Buffalo is organizing a “mirror event,” or string of shows from April 6-17 to honor the German electronic music pioneers and to give those that won’t get a chance to see the group live in NYC to take part in the retrospective (Hitler, reportedly, will not be able to attend due to being dead since 1945).

Details are scant, but it looks like things will kick off on Friday at Hallwall’s with a viewing of the documentary Kraftwerk and the Electronic Revolution, followed by a re-interperation of Kraftwerk I  by Jim Abramson, Scott Valkwitch, Pat Cain, & Gabe Gutierrez.

If more details emerge before airtime, I will be happy to impart them to you on the air. Regardless, we will do a block of Kraftwerk in honor of the event. *NOTE: The full schedule is now up on the FB Page. 

Also! We have two tickets to give away to the Disappears, Lotus Plaza, and Location Ensemble show going down in Albany on Wednesday, April 18.  These tickets are courtesy of WCDB Albany 90.9 FM. Make sure to tune in to find out how you can win the tickets.

Edwards and Friedberg's set up at EMPAC for 'Hant Variance'

Other stuff we will get to tonight include a preview of the Peter Edwards and Sabisha Friedberg’s Hant Variance exhibition at EMPAC (which is tonight), an absolutely INSANE re-construction of a famouse Beatles song by Buffalo artists Wendy Carlos Williams, and plenty of other awesome, amazing stuff that no doubt will make your head explode.

Show starts at 10pm on 91.3FM WBNY. Stream at WBNY.org.


[Review: Location Ensemble, ‘S/T’]

The Location Ensemble is a motley 9-piece guitar ensemble whose membership reads like a who’s who of experimental Albany-area musicians. It currently includes Thomas Lail and Patrick Weklar from soundBarn, Tape Drift owner Eric Hardiman, Ray Hare from Century Plants, other Albany Sonic Arts Collective regulars Holland Hopson and Matt Weston, an Albany rock club owner Howard Glassman, Tara Fracalossi, and Jason Martin. The group came together in 2010 when soundBarn joined with other ASAC members to perform Rhys Chatham’s “Guitar Trio,” which has been expanded since it was composed in the late ‘70s to allow for six to ten guitars.

This self titled CD out on Tape Drift is the debut release of the group and captures their performance from last year in Saratoga Springs where they performed original compositions by three members of the band.

Thomas Lail’s “Untitled (All the Times She Loves Me),” is a gamelan-influenced take on alternative tunings used originally by Sonic Youth. Inspired by a live performance of Sonic Youth’s “I Love Her All The Time,” Lail took the multiple tunings found in the Sonic Youth song and split them between members of the ensemble creating two distinct tuning groups with one half of the ensemble using one tuning and the other half using another.The effect creates a haunting and dissonant sound that is still somehow ephemeral–at least as ephemeral as eight guitars can  be over the course of 18 minutes–with different parts shimmering for brief moments only to disappear as the piece moves through its three distinct segments.

Eric Hardiman’s composition, “Diversion #3,” takes an almost Krautrock approach in that it is propelled by an internally forceful minimalism. While “Diversion #3” lacks that steady motorik beat of a lot of Krautrock, the piece chugs right along driving you forward with it as it incrementally speeds up. The piece lurches around, speeding up as if everything was frantically trying to move at once then suddenly locking up, only to do it all over again. The performance is tightly fused together but always on the verge of overwhelming itself and having everything be torn apart.

Drummer Matt Weston, the unsung hero in this guitar ensemble, shines here, pummeling his way through the song, dragging the guitarists along with him faster and faster in this big insane machine. His drum patterns are very physical in nature contorting the listener to the music, the repetition pulling them along.

While “Diversion #3” has a manic machine-type cohesiveness, Holland Hopson’s “Six Chords Every Rock Guitarist Should Know” has a much looser feeling almost to the point where the piece seems to be in danger of decaying right in front of you. It is, in a way, a call and response piece with Hopson playing a phrase and the rest of the group playing it back in turn. This creates a dizzying sound that spirals up with sheets of sound whipping around, building up and then falling apart.

Throughout all of this, one wonders what was lost of the performance in the recording. With seven or eight guitars fighting for space in a mix you can’t help but feel that the recording must fall short at times trying to capture those moments where all those instruments coalesce into something much larger. For those who have yet to catch one of the all too rare performances by the group this recording will have to do, and–make no mistake–it does it well. Each piece is great and the album as a whole is a fascinating listen for the three different takes on the sonics of mass guitar. But for the full impact of these pieces, one can’t help but think that this recording is nothing more than a tease for the live experience. Fortunately, the ensemble will be opening for Disappears (Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth and Brian Case of The Ponys) and Lotus Plaza (Lockett Pundt of Deerhunter) on April 18th at Valentine’s Music Hall in Albany.

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Review by Andrew White


[Free Music Friday: Skeleton Zoo, ‘Broken Sky Welder’]

New song from Albany’s Skeleton Zoo here. Whatever they put out as a follow-up to the awesome Busride EP is worth checking out. Enjoy.