The Fader magazine threw a party to celebrate their 45th issue last night at the National Arts Club, a pretty snazzy beaux-arts building on Gramercy Park South. Since I didn’t get a chance to see Lavender Diamond there earlier this month (too jet-lagged from vacation), I thought I’d check this out.
I haven’t seen Bill play in almost four years (since I worked with him), and it was refreshing to see him doing his thing, which he does oh-so-well. The trio of Bill, Joanna Newsom on piano and Jim White on drums was very subtle, but very beautiful, providing a new treatment/interpretation of Bill’s older songs (favorites included “Bathysphere,” “Cold Discovery,” “Leave the Country” and “Rock Bottom Riser,” among others). I was seated up in front, between Jim and Bill, and I gotta say just getting to watch Jim up-close was pretty amazing. Obviously I’ve known of his awesome drumming for years and years, but when you actually get to see him up-close and pay attention to all the thing’s he’s doing, it’s pretty mindblowing.
Other highlights of the evening included free beer, the djing antics of Mr. Joshua Wildman, watching a bartender duct-tape a piece of paper to a Tiffany lamp in the bar, and seeing Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson look sleepy.
So sorry that I haven’t updated in ages, been super-busy and super-procrastinatin’. Lots of stuff in the pipeline, though, that I should have finished soon – most of it intended for publication in the latest issue of Swingset.. Will let you know when they’re ready. In the meantime, there’s this AMT takedown in this week’s Baltimore City Paper:
Messiness, overindulgence, repetition, and amateurishness are often fine ingredients for great music; some of the most memorable albums of the past 50-odd years have been great combinations of all four. Think of Tony Conrad and Faust’s 1972 magnum opus Outside the Dream Syndicate – a fantastic and fascinating tour de force of mind-numbing drone set to a stomping beat so simple that it resembles nothing so much as the human heart. A more contemporary version of such stupid greatness might be Dread by Michigan’s Wolf Eyes, a mix of terror and bad chemicals so traumatically creepy that it sits on a plane higher than most attempts at “dark” music. (That it was made by three fairly normal goofballs doesn’t hurt.)
Yet these four qualities can just as easily collapse on themselves in combination and make for an awesomely bad time…
For some reason, WordPress is acting weird and won’t let me post the rest of the review, which is too bad as the second paragraph is where the takedown occurs. So check out the link, and watch ’em run off the rails.