Rubblebucket and Los Elk–Feb. 24, 2012

On Friday, February 24th, Skidmore will be graced with the presence of Rubblebucket, a band from Brooklyn who describe their sound as “yes wave” and “psych-pop and dance.” Originally from Burlington, Vermont, Rubblebucket was founded by Kalmia Traver and Alex Toth, who met while both studying music at the University of Vermont. Upon graduation, they joined reggae band “John Brown’s Body” and toured the US. It wasn’t until June of 2007 when they met Craig Meyers (percussion) at an art opening at an old Hood Milk factory in Vermont that they began forming what is now known as Rubblebucket. By March of the following year, Rubblebucket had added five other members to the band and released their first album “Rose’s Dream” under the name “Rubblebucket Orchestra.”

Since then, Rubblebucket has released two more albums, “Rubblebucket” (2009) and “Omega La La” (2011) as well as an EP entitled “Triangular Daisies”, and have played shows with groups such as Twin Sister, Kurt Vile and Das Racist. Their music is full of complex harmonies and horn sections, and when listening, it is evident just how greatly influenced Toth and Traver are by John Brown Body’s–whether through the emphasis on horn sections or the general funk-esque rhythms used. All in all,  Rubblebucket’s sound is upbeat, complex and easy to dance to. As they said themselves in an interview on blog, “Alright; I’m Wrong” when describing their shows: “We are like little fires maybe and mischievous and weird. We are weirdos. We put our whole spirit into the live show. We perform and dig in hard. We go wild.” If so, Friday’s show should be a great one.

Total Slacker and Widowspeak– Feb. 3, 2012

Total Slacker

There has been a huge 90’s revival with bands like Yuck, Bleached, and Pavement. Total Slacker is a nice addition to the movement.  Total Slacker is very reminiscent of a lot of lo-fi punky type bands from an era not long ago . In fact, the band’s whole aesthetic and theme relates to the 90’s era. They named their band after Richard Linklater’s 1991 film about aimless Austin-ites Slacker. Their lyrics cite “Full House” and New Kids on the Block, and they even have an entire song about a VHS collection.

Total Slacker is a Brooklyn based rock band, with garage and psychedelic leanings. Their live shows are known to be lively Drummer Ross Condon and bassist Emily Oppenheimer grew up in Sante Fe, New Mexico where they attended high school together. Vocalist and frontman Tucker Rountree hails from Salt Lake City. It wasn’t until after moving to Brooklyn that they truly came together as a band.

Want more info read a g-chat interview with Total Slacker over at Impose Magazine.

Widowspeak

When describing Widowspeak’s sound, critics (and the band themselves) have thrown around phrases such as “90’s grunge” “60’s psychedelic” “hazy atmospheric dream pop” and “shoegaze.” While these descriptions may not appear to be cohesive at first, the band’s eponymous debut LP, released in August 2011, employs all of these styles. Their songs are melodic and often upbeat, yet Widowspeak still manages to add the “David Lynch-esque darkness” that they describe themselves as having. Molly Hamilton’s vocals convey darkness through their sultry smokiness, a feeling Rob Thomas continues with his crisp guitar. And it doesn’t hurt that both Hamilton and Michael Stasiak (drums) are both from Washington state. In fact, they describe their music as being “songs about homesickness, about longing for pine forests, reckless youth and dark nights in strange cities.” Throughout the LP, it is easy to see just how influenced they are by their home state.

Though Molly Hamilton and Michael Stasiak originally met as teenagers, Widowspeak was only official formed in May 2010 in Brooklyn, when Stasiak and Hamilton asked Rob Thomas to join. By the following Fall, the group had recorded six songs on a cassette using only garage band and a built-in laptop microphone, calling it the “October Tape”. From there it wound up at Brooklyn’s Captured Tracks, and, merely a few weeks later (and after their sixth show) the group recorded their first 7” single, entitled “Harsh Realm”. They followed up “Harsh Realm” in August 2011 with “Widowspeak”, their first LP, and since have played shows with headliners such as Twin Sister, Dum Dum Girls and Kurt Vile.

Widowspeak will be opening for Total Slacker at Falstaff’s on Friday, February 3rd. Check out some of their tracks here and herein the meantime.

Bio: Atlas Sound

“Atlas Sound;” those were the two words that Bradford Cox uttered into a homemade converted karaoke cassette machine when he was just in sixth grade. Since the genesis of its name in 1994, Atlas Sound has become the solo moniker and a representation of Deerhunter’s front man and provocateur, Bradford Cox.

Incidentally, Atlas Sound was also derived from the brand of tape player he used to make those initial experimental recordings. Even though the karaoke cassette recordings were Cox’s original materializations, it was not until 2008 that Atlas Sound’s first album, Let The Blind Lead Those Who See But Cannot Feel, was released.

Even from his humble beginnings as a budding artist, Cox was revolutionary and creative in his musical endeavors. Through reading a Beck interview, he discovered that he could utilize his family’s disused karaoke machine as a rudimentary multi- tracking device (the Beatle’s whirling Leslie speaker should be darned!).

However, it is these innovative recording processes that are central to his music and sound, and it colors the intimate feel of Atlas Sound in a more translucent manner. Then for the second Atlas Sound album, Logos, which arrived in 2009, there was more of a pop rooted sensibility present. Logos featured collaborations with Animal Collective’s Noah Lennox and Stereolab’s Laetitia Sadler and this was the album that progressed from intense introspection towards an ostentatious pop plateau, translating his sound and work into a more comprehensively engaging form.

To quote the musical blog 4AD, “Cox’s work as Atlas Sound represents a feral and prolific musical voice. With its scorched beauty, stream of consciousness, and wonderfully cohesive pop narrative, Atlas Sound is another outlet for Cox’s relentless creativity, distinctly remaining the product of just one man’s vision.” Now, Cox has six full- length releases as Atlas Sound: Let the Blind Lead Those Who See But Cannot Feel (2008), Logos (2009), and Bedroom Databank (2010), which is separated into four different albums.

Seeing that Cox’s song writing style is a musical stream- of- consciousness, it is especially evident in his latest album, Parallax, which was recently released on November 7th, 2011 (on CD, vinyl, and digitally). On this album, all of the songs were written and performed by Bradford, but he had a little help from his musician friends, Andrew VanWyngarden (MGMT), Carrie- Anne Murphey, and Paul McPherson. According to the music blog 4AD, “all but two tracks on Parallax were recorded in June 2011 at New York’s Rare Book Room and were produced by both Bradford Cox and Nicolas Vernhes.” When listening to Atlas Sound, just let your mind go and freely allow it to flow.

Sources: 4AD and Wikipedia: http://4ad.com/artists/atlassound

Here are some Youtube videos that incorporate Atlas:

Atlas Sound w/ Noah Lennox- Walkabout:

Atlas Sound (on Parallax): “Terra Incognita”

Atlas Sound and Laetitia Sadier: Quick Canal

Atlas Sound- Quarantined

Bio: Laura Stevenson and the Cans

Laura Stevenson is a Brooklyn, NY-based singer-songwriter, as well as an alum of cult-DIY collective Bomb the Music Industry! Stevenson self-released her first album, A Record, in 2008, and her wonderful sophomore effort Sit Resist was released this year on Don Giovanni. Her band The Cans includes scene-documenter Dave Garwacke (of www.ifyoumakeit.com fame) on drums, who recently blogged this recipe for the official Laura Stevenson and the Cans mixed drink:
“The Laura Stevenson and the Cans”

6 oz. Kirsch
6 oz. Ginger Beer

Combine in highball glass and serve. Stir quickly.

Anyways, Laura’s music has drawn comparisons to Regins Spektor and Joanna Newsom, because she’s a cute girl who writes cute songs n’ such. Also, one time the Cans’ violinist Wen-Jay Ying made me a cup of hot water, to drink. Which is pretty cool, I think. This is what she looks and sounds like:

Come see Laura and her Cans opening for Atlas Sound this Saturday @ Zankel

ATLAS SOUND AT ZANKEL!!!!

WHO:

Atlas Sound with Laura Stevenson and the Cans

https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=217314718333664

WHEN: 

Saturday, November 19

7:00: Doors

8:00: Laura Stevenson and the Cans

9:00: Atlas Sound

WHERE:

Aurthur Zankel Music Hall

(Helen Filene Ladd Concert Hall)

HOW:

Buy tickets online or in Case Center

5 for students, 12 for public

http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/209135

WHY:

Atlas Sound

Laura Stevenson and the Cans

Just Shoot ‘Em

SEC is super excited to present BIG SHOW with TV ON THE RADIO and AUSTRA this Friday, October 7th! This semester, the Company is trying something new that requires the help of all you feet-stompin’, body-bouncin’ party-goers. We want your help documenting the event! We’ll be passing around some light blue cameras at the show for you to get snap-happy with.

(Our camera's will look like this BUT WITH an SEC LOGO)

Take a few pictures and pass it on to someone else! At the end of the night we’ll be collecting all the cameras in BIG BLUE BOXES as you walk out of the gym. We’ll develop them and upload them onto our facebook page, and here on the BLOG. Tag yourself, tag your friends check out some shots of the killer bands!