This is sure to be one of the biggest concerts you’ll catch at Strange Matter this year. Two up-and-coming artists from the dream-pop/shoegaze scenes playing on the same stage on one night (separately, not together).
Come see Brooklyn four-piece, Dive, play tracks from their soon-to-be released album, Oshin, as well as their various 7” releases. Yesterday, the cavernous track “How Long Have You Known?" was given the title of Best New Music by Pitchfork and was the subject of a Rising feature in which the band discussed their odd songwriting methods, astrology, the Nirvana song they share a name with, and a certain ubiquitous jingle.
Afterwards, stick around to see former garage-rocker turned synth-popper Frankie Rose. It should be interesting to see how she balances her career output going from her fuzzed-out, 60’s girl group influenced work of Frankie Rose and The Outs to her new solo material, like “Night Swim" which owes more to the works of New Order and early Cure singles.
Who: Frankie Rose/Dive/White Laces/Nelly Kate
Where: Strange Matter 929 W. Grace St, Richmond, VA
I know Bradford Cox declared this the year of the saxophone, but I don’t think I’ve been terrified of a saxophone since David Lynch’s “Lost Highway”. Shining are from Norway and they play black metal…excuse me, jazz metal. In 2010, they released one of the most surprising albums of the year, Blackjazz. Make no mistake about it; this was a Swedish black metal album. The guitars were loud, the vocals were shouted, and there were plenty of double bass drum blast beats.
But there was also a saxophone ripping through the album. And what a saxophone! What are those - 128th notes? It’s almost like you’ve got two iPods blasting with John Zorn in one ear and Slayer in another. And then there was the cover of King Crimson’s “21st Century Schizoid Man” to cap it off. I think my first reaction to hearing it was, “I don’t know what the hell that was, but I want to hear it again. And I’d love to see this played live.”
Unfortunately, I never have gotten to see them play live, but now Shining is releasing the CD/DVD combo, Live Blackjazz, on Prosthetic Records. Rather than a song-by-song recreation of the album, Shining is calling this “the Greatest Hits album we have always dreamed of”. Songs from their back catalogue as well as select Blackjazz cuts are given the live treatment in what appears to be a hi-definition recording of a single concert in Norway (none of those pesky “What show is this from?” live compilations). All the elements are there: the throat-shredding vocals, the blast beats, the prog-rock inspired synths, incredibly loud guitars, and one skronky saxophone.
Live Blackjazz will be released on Prosthetic Records on January 17, 2012. Now would be a good time to invest in some earbuds.
If I’m not mistaken (and I could be), this photo of Snakes Say HISSS was taken at a Famous Class Records showcase at last year’s CMJ. I remember it being sheer pandemonium. There was more stage-diving and crowd-surfing than I’d seen in years, by both the band and the audience - never mind that the stage is only a few feet off the ground. At one point, the band and the audience even completely switched positions, with the crowd overtaking the stage, forcing the band (save the drummer) to play from the floor of the venue. Somewhere in the midst of all this, a man in a three-piece suit stood atop one of the speakers and, in order to cool himself off, poured an entire beer over his head. It didn’t get any better when their labelmates, Darlings, closed out the night. Even though it was a brisk October night in Brooklyn, I left Don Pedro’s covered in sweat, both mine and the crowd’s. It was a show I’ll likely never forget.
And so, imagine my utter dismay at finding out that Snakes Say HISSS will be performing in Richmond this weekend. On the same day I’m attending a wedding. And the day after I will have just driven back from Richmond for another event. So, please, if you happen to live in Richmond, do yourself a favor and go see these guys. Their music is a mix of Microcastle- era Deerhunter and the calliope organ stylings of Passion Pit. I know, it sounds horrible to read (it sounded even worse to say), but it works. Don’t believe me - check out both cuts from their new 7” here and here.
Who: Snakes Say HISSS
Where: Reference Gallery
216 E Main St. Richmond VA
When: Sadly, I don’t know. Reference hasn’t really done a good job of updating their concert page. So call them (804) 225-9007 or e-mail them firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Head to IFC.com (or simply click here) to watch the new video for “Search For The Heart” from the album Robot Learn Love. In part inspired by “portal films” such as Alice In Wonderland, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Wizard of Oz, and more importantly, Stargate, the video deals with the main character’s fear of commitment. Meanwhile, Kyle’s music evokes a sound that might be heard in the discos of the future, complete with sci-fi synths (plus Theremin?), a thick fuzzed-out bass groove, and it all culminates with a distorted guitar solo. It’s still hard to believe this album was written and recorded almost exclusively by one person.