avant

Colin Stetson 2011 Fall Tour + Video Release

To say Colin Stetson has come into his own in 2011 would be an understatement. February 2011 saw the release of Colin's highly acclaimed solo album New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges, broadly received as a sonic, conceptual, compositional and technical tour de force. Thanks to his trajectory as a session and guest player with a diverse crop of iconoclastic pop/rock practitioners ­– Tom Waits, Laurie Anderson, TV On The Radio, Arcade Fire – as well as his own tenure in bands like Sway Machinery and Bell Orchestre, Stetson was poised to bridge the gap between contemporary rock and more rarified currents of avant jazz. With the Judges album, he did just that, garnering high praise from the both the jazz and pop/rock worlds.

Colin's astounding physical engagement with his instruments (chiefly bass and alto saxophones) produces emotionally rich and polyphonic compositions that transcend expectations of what solo horn playing can sound like. Stetson is equally at home in the avant jazz tradition of players who have pushed the boundaries of the instrument through circular breathing, embouchure, etc. (i.e. Evan Parker, Mats Gustafsson) and at the nexus of noise/drone/minimalist music that encompasses genres like dark metal, post-rock and contemporary electronics (i.e. Tim Hecker, Ben Frost – both of whom have mixed or remixed Stetson recordings).

Stetson's non-stop gigging at SXSW 2011 (on the NPR, Pitchfork and Pop Montreal stages) led to hundreds of dropped jaws and just as many superlatives about the man's mind-altering, heart-rending music: how it defies both genre boundaries and the physical boundaries of what one person can sonically generate in live performance with a single acoustic instrument, without recourse to looping pedals or other effects.

Through the 30-odd solo performances delivered in the wake of the Judges release in spring 2011, Colin continued delving into new compositions and especially more long-form trance/transcendental explorations. Having premiered a couple of these new songs at a small art gallery show in Montreal in May 2011, we were duly blown away (along with everyone else in the room) and encouraged Colin to record them while still in their raw, stamina-testing glory. He agreed and brought in good friend (and now Grammy-winning engineer) Mark Lawson (Arcade Fire, Islands) to help capture the performances in Stetson's own basement rehearsal/studio space.

The two pieces on this new EP both clock in at 10 minutes and are documented in direct fashion, using a handful of mic positions and, as usual, no looping or overdubbing of any sort. They are brilliant single-take performances that showcase Stetson's love for minimalism, a subtle pop sensibility, and a mesmerising, mantric, time-warping technical ability.

Those Who Didn't Run EP is an amazing addition to what will no doubt be an expanding Colin Stetson discography in coming years; a wonderfully-realized portrait of Colin's solo playing before he embarks on a year's worth of touring as part of Bon Iver's live band.

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Tour Dates

8/12 - 92Y Tribeca - New York, NY *
8/23 - Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art - Hartford, CT *
8/24 - Delilah's - Ithaca, NY
8/25 - Casbah Lounge - Hamilton, CA
8/26 - The Drake Hotel - Toronto, ON
8/27 - Zaphod Beeblebrox - Ottawa, CA
8/28 - Le Cercle - Quebec, CA
9/2 - Il Motore - Montreal, QC *
10/1 - ATP Festival - Asbury Park, NJ
10/3 - Burlington City Arts Center - Burlington, VT

*8.12 – w/Callers
*8.23 – 8.28 – w/Emily Wells
*9.2 – w/Rebecca Foon

Praxis Collaborate w/ Iggy Pop, Serj Tankian & Mike Patton

On January 25th, the eclectic, experimental hard rock project Praxis will release the latest creation, a bone-crunching new album titled Profanation: Preparation for a Coming Darkness.  The new album finds the trio once again collaborating with various musicians, this time with the spotlight clearly on lead vocalists.  Among them are Iggy Pop, System Of A Downs Serj Tankian, Mike Patton, RAMM:ΣLL:ZΣΣ, Doctor Israel, Wu-Tang protégé Killah Priest and Jamaica-born toaster Hawk.

The US release of Profanation comes with two live bonus tracks not included in the rare, Japan-only import.  The album is also one of the last recordings to feature the gothic futurist RAMM:ΣLL:ZΣΣ, an incredibly multi-talented visual artist, hip hop icon, performance artist, and one of the most unique humans to patrol this planet.

Since 1992, the core members of Praxis – Buckethead (guitars), Bill Laswell (bass), and Brain (drums) – has churned out an eclectic series of albums rooted in aggressive avant-rock improv with slabs of hip-hop, psychedelic, funk thrown in.  On top of that, a constantly morphing army of innovators including John Zorn, Bootsy Collins, Bernie Worrell, Yamantaka Eye(Boredoms), Grandmixer DXT, and scores more have contributed to past Praxis live and studio projects – each one a unique musical experiment.

Click here to listen to "Furies," featuring Iggy Pop.

Gary Wilson to Perform with the Roots on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

Set your DVRs, VHS players, or just plain tune-in to what will surely be a memorable TV moment tomorrow night. For his first ever National TV performance, Gary Wilson, the reigning king of outsider art, and inspiration to artists such as BeckSimpsons creator Matt Groening, and Stones ThrowsPeanut Butter Wolf, Questlove and The Roots personally invited Gary to play with them on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon! The internet is abuzz, speculating as to what will happen during the appearance, with Questlove responding to it all with an "oh hell yeah"[sic].

For a taste of Gary's wild and wonderful, intricate and touching blend of funk, avant-garde jazz, punk, and AM Gold and his legendary performances, check out this interview and live footage on WFMU's Beware of the Blog.

Gary Wilson's highly anticipated new album, Electric Endicott, is out digitally today, with a street date of November 9th, 2010, on Western Vinyl. With his band, the Blind Dates, Gary will be performing at Bar Pink in San Diego on 10/30, and fittingly on Halloween, 10/31, in Los Angeles at Central S.A.P.C.

Phil and the Osophers Debut Three New Vids

Phil and the Osophers unveil three distinctive videos to titillate the senses.  Members of the International Found Footage Society, the band used newsreels from the 1920s-1940s to create the video for Propeller Jet, which narrates the thrill of America's burgeoning love with the golden age of aviation.  Avant-garde Czech films were spliced together to create the breathtaking Well Being video, the last three minutes being a visual and auditory world unto itself.  Phil and the Osophers own travel footage is showcased in the video for Wandering Soul, where cities and climates and time blur together.


Phil and the Osophers have added a new member!  C. Lizbeth Marquez, a Spaniard by birth, has been added to play keyboard, percussion and background vocals.  Come see the expanded lineup at Brooklyn's Bruar Falls on February 15, in a show curated by Pop Jew, also known as Worst Cooks In America winner Rachel Coleman.  The band will also be doing a short tour in March, more dates are TBA.


Phil and the Osophers made their sixth full length album, Parallelo, available on CD and digitally this summer on Factual Fabrications, Phil’s own sustainable label.  The album finds the Brooklyn 3 piece developing into a jingly and jangly artistic indie rock while retaining carefully crafted and philosophical lyrics.  The band has a catalog of over 100 songs, and this new album is their most impressive work to date.
THE SONGS
The 11 song cycle of Parallelo explores parallels and coincidences in our understanding of meaning.  Phil has an interesting explanation for all of these songs- “Uses Of A Man deals with equal rights for all lovers”, Creators “is a thesis on God in the time of slavery”, Propeller Jet is “about suiting up with Amelia Earhart on her last flight” “Cheap Livin is an tribute to the rich folks who lost it all”  …Tie it together with an avant-garde indie pop sound and you have Parallelo.  It is this sort of innovation that makes Phil and the Osophers such a one-of-a-kind act.
The Brooklyn 3-piece have been on a tear recently: playing SXSW and the Northside Festival in Brooklyn, as well as playing shows with Art Brut, Passion Pit, Les Savy Fav, Le Loup, the Ruby Suns, and the Dodos.
In addition, all 3 members have written and published books of poetry and non-fiction through their own publishing house called ILOANBooks. Bass player Gus has published NINE books, Drummer Kevin has published two (including a new edition entitled "Winter Doesn't Care What Your Name Is"), and Phil has written his one book of poetry entitled "SHAKE! and other rattlers".  These books are usually free at shows and otherwise available upon request.