Proof of vax is NOT required for this event
This is a record of halves.
Angela Seo sings on half of the record. Jamie Stewart sings on half of the record. Half of the songs are experimental industrial. Half of the songs are experimental modern classical. Half of it is real. Half of it is imaginary.
The real songs attempt to turn the worst life has offered to five people the band is connected with into some kind of desperate shape that does something, anything, other than grind and brutalize their hearts and memory within these stunningly horrendous experiences.
The imaginary songs are an expansion and abstract exploration of the early rock and roll “Teen Tragedy” genre as jumping off point to decontaminate the band’s own overwhelming emotions in knowing and living with what has happened to these five people.
What none of this record does and despite the oft repeated assertion, what Xiu Xiu has never done, is attempt to superficially shock the listener. Instead, Xiu Xiu has spent twenty years grappling with how to process, to be empathetic towards, to disobey and to reorganize horror; there is no other word for it other than horror.
The motivation for writing Ignore Grief to be about a child who was sold into prostitution by his mother, a junior high student who was kidnapped and murdered, incessantly choosing alcohol and cocaine over one’s family, becoming lost in the bleakest, darkest aspects of cultish spirituality and committing suicide as means to escape and protest a life of violent sex work is because the members of Xiu Xiu themselves are deeply shocked.
Old friend and new member David Kendrick (Sparks, Devo, Gleaming Spires) joins Angela Seo and Jamie Stewart through whatever this may be and whatever it may mean and why ever it may have occurred. The point of aesthetic examination is to see if there is any way to come out the other side or if there is even any reason. In either case there may not be but to simply turn away would be yet a further act of destruction.
“I had now lost all confidence in myself, doubted all men immeasurably, and abandoned all hopes for the things of this world, all joy, all sympathy, eternally. This was the truly decisive incident of my life. I had been split through the forehead between the eyebrows, a wound that was to throb with pain whenever I came into contact with a human being.” -Osamu Dazai
Every moment is a gift. Each moment has richness, complexity, and singularity. Once it’s gone, it can’t be recaptured. Can you be present? Can you open yourself up and appreciate it in its fullness — the ugliness and confusion as well as the beauty and joy? The members of the Brooklyn, NY psychedelic rock quintet GIFT believe you can. Momentary Presence, their debut set, is a chronicle of that chase, and a celebration of the eternal now.
Those teachings, drawn from Be Here Now, the 1971 spiritual guide and counterculture landmark by guru Ram Dass, feel particularly relevant in 2022. GIFT bandleader TJ Freda, applied those lessons to his own search for peace. He’s discovered transcendence through music: he and his bandmates Jessica Gurewitz, Kallan Campbell, Justin Hrabovsky, and Cooper Naess have a knack for conjuring soundscapes that are simultaneously turbulent and gorgeous. Right in the middle of those mixes you’ll find Freda himself, commanding the storm, lighting lamps in the midst of turmoil, singing about psychic destabilization and the quest for balance, in a voice that feels like a caress.
GIFT’s debut LP ‘Momentary Presence’ is a natural match for the new label co-founded by Oliver Ackermann of New York City noise-rock and psychedelic legends A Place to Bury Strangers and Death by Audio. Out on now via Dedstrange Records.
GODCASTER: INTERNAL DREDGE AND THE CHEWING STRIKE LIKE TEETHQUAKE
Godcaster is an experimental and hard rock band ephemerally founded by Judson Kolk and Bruce Ebersole when they were eight and eleven years old. Since then they’ve experimented with quite a few different styles and have had several incarnations of the band. The current cast consists of: David Mcfaul (keys), Von Lee (flute, vox), Bruce Ebersole (bass guitar), Sam Pickard (drums), and Judson Kolk (vox, guitar). The band is known for their ecstatic live performances, serendipitous visual make-believe, and gritty gut dials. Delve into the fervencies of their sword-like barrage.