Month: March 2008 (Page 1 of 2)

Lydia Oh Lydia


As usual, I’m a day late and a p-fork short announcing this little tidbit of news: No Wave hellions Teenage Jesus & the Jerks will be reuniting for two shows (8pm, 11pm) at NYC’s Knitting Factory on (Friday) June 13th. The reunion shows constitute a release party of sorts for Thurston Moore & Byron Coley’s lavish No Wave: Post-Punk. Underground. New York. 1976-1980 [Abrams].

Strident chanteuse Lydia Lunch will be joined by current Bad Seed/former Jerk & Eight Eyed Spy Jim Sclavunos. Rumor has it that a “lost member” of TJ&TJ will be filling on bass duties, but no word yet as to whom that could be. (Thurston Moore?)

The rest of the evening’s entertainment remains a mystery. Quoth the Knitting Factory press release: “Also on the bill will be a supporting act from the ashes of the original NYC No Wave nightmare.” Hmm. DNA, anyone? Bueller? Paging Tim Wright, jungles of Belize?

For more on No New York and No Wave:“High Voltage Humans”

Interview with Robin Crutchfield, touching on the radical heyday of TJ&TJ

Look for the collected works of TJ&TJ will also be out in June from Atavistic.

Buy tix here. [Jesus 1, Jesus 2]

MP3Teenage Jesus & the Jerks, “Burning Rubber” (from No New York)

MP3Teenage Jesus & the Jerks, “I Woke Up Dreaming” (from No New York)


Black Postcards


Dean Wareham
Lizard Lounge, Cambridge
March 21, 2008

As the former frontman of Galaxie 500 and Luna and currently one half of Dean & Britta, Dean Wareham has become known for a certain kind of highly literate, glacial pop. His new memoir, Black Postcards (subtitled “A Rock & Roll Romance”) finds an intriguing tonal centre between the cerebral and the libidinal. Pulling no punches when it comes to the emotional consequences of endless touring (atrocious food, boredom, distracting female attention), the book is both analytical and immediate —far more satisfyingly in-depth than your average rock & roll tell-all. (You know the ones: they’re printed in huge 12-point type and include the words “As told to” somewhere on the title page.)

Black Postcards begins with Wareham’s idyllic childhood in Wellington, New Zealand, and follows his musical career from the formation (and eventual splintering) of Galaxie 500 to the final days of Luna.

The book’s dramatic centerpiece concerns the hiring of Britta Phillips as Luna’s new bass player. Both Dean and Britta try to play down their mutual attraction but fail to stave it off for long. (Clearly, the way to Dean’s heart is to read Musil’s The Man of Qualities in the tour van.)

Cue recriminations, divorce papers, and band chaos. The usual stuff of rock n’ roll memoirs, true, but Wareham’s version of excess is miles away from the Nikki Sixx school. He comes off as far too eminently sensible to go over the edge.

Rather, the book’s most refreshing quality is its candor: Wareham’s most damning assessments concern himself, as he wrestles with a turbulent marriage, the ups and downs of his musical career, and the perils of touring. Throughout he retains his trademark dry wit and his eye for telling detail.

At Friday night’s reading, Dean picked some of the book’s bawdiest passages to read to the packed crowd, including an account of a tour-van game of “Who’d you open for?” that mutates into one of “Who would you fuck?” (Spoiler alert: Bowie and Natalie Merchant figure prominently.)

Afterwards, Dean and Britta played some stripped-down songs, just the two of them. Dean’s ode to his Dodge Dart, “Blue Thunder,” and the shimmering cover of Jonathan Richman’s “Don’t Let Our Youth Go To Waste” got an airing, marred by muddy sound but still sounding as crisply optimistic as a spring day.

While Dean & Britta’s gorgeous harmonies suggest a fertile (and ongoing) musical (and personal) partnership, let’s hope this isn’t the last time that Wareham adds Writer to his already-extensive resumé.

Dean & Britta| Luna | Black Postcards/Penguin Group

MP3Galaxie 500, “Don’t Let Our Youth Go To Waste (a Jonathan Richman cover fromCopenhagen, Live 1990)

MP3Dean & Britta, “You Turn My Head Around (a Lee Hazlewood cover from Back Numbers, 2007)

Hanna’s Sound World



Last spring, Glasgow-based visual, sound and installation artist Hanna Tuulikki transformed boarded-up, condemned row-houses in Glasgow’s Duncan Crescent, altering these alienated spaces through the medium of sound and light. Animating the inhospitable interiors with “dream machines” —custom-made magic lanterns one featuring her exquisite, Rackhame-esque silhouettes of flora and fauna— she brought the natural world inside, bringing life and light to forgotten rooms.

The sound aspect of these installations further blurred of boundaries between man-made spaces and the natural world. Taking field recordings of bubbling brooks, wind through tree branches, bird song, and other ambient sounds of the forest, Tuulikki mixed them with her own voice to create a sensual, surround-sound hyper-reality of a woodland environment that might have existed had the city not encroached.

It’s this kind of attention to detail and respect for the natural world that colors Hanna’s work with her group Nalle, who begin their first US tour this Sunday.

Consisting of Hanna and One Ensemble members Aby Vulliamy on viola, accordion, and vocals) and Chris Hladowski on vocals, bouzouki, and clarinet, the group’s insistence on building up sounds in the most gradual, organic way is entrancing. Songs shift and ebb in their own otherworldly time-frame, and the effect is as unique as it is immense. Perhaps immense is the wrong word, because the music is, in some ways, small —it’s detail-oriented, micro as opposed to macro, gentle. Yet it feels ancient, out-of-time, and that makes it powerful in a very fresh way.

Nalle have two full-length CDs available: By Chance Upon Waking from lovely Leicester-based labelPickled Egg, and the brand-new Siren’s Wave [Locust]. If you act fast (I sound like one of those late-night informercials, eek!) you might also be able to grab the super-limited edition (only 100 made)live CD out on Secret Eye micro-label Eye Secretions. (The group might be selling it on tour —I’m not sure.)

It’s also music to be experienced live, so startlingly does the ensemble blend their vocals and unique combination of instruments.

The tour is fairly extensive, bringing the group all over the East coast through the last half of March.

Mar 16 | New Haven, CT: BAR with Eric Carbonara
Mar 17 | Providence, RI: AS220 with Eric Carbonara, Eyes Like Saucers
Mar 18 | Boston, MA: PA’s Lounge with Eric Carbonara
Mar 19 | Portland, ME: TBA
Mar 20 | Northampton, MA: The King St. Manor with Defneq, Viking Moses
Mar 21 | NYC, NY: Knitting Factory with Spectre Folk, Vert
Mar 22 | Philadelphia, PA: Brickbat Books with Eric Carbonara
Mar 23 | Baltimore, MD: Warehouse show with Dan Conrad, Susan Alcorn
Mar 25 | Columbus, OH: Skylab
Mar 26 | Chicago, IL: Empty Bottle with Paul Metzger, The Zoo Wheel
Mar 27 | Cleveland, OH: All Go Signs with Black Forest/Black Sea, Paul Metzger
Mar 28 | Pittsburgh, PA: Secret Eye House with Mike Tamburo, Tradition
Mar 29 | State College, PA: Schlow Library with Black Forest/Black Sea, Evening Fires
Mar 30 | NYC, NY: Glasslands with Begushkin
Mar 31 | Jersey City, NJ: WFMU session

Nallemusic [Myspace] | Secret Eye | Eye Secretions| Live performance of “Alice’s Ladder” at at the CCA, Glasgow | Glasgow Nest Installation | Nalle [Pickled Egg]

MP3Nalle, “Ravens (from Chance Upon Waking, Pickled Egg, 2006)


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