I have to admit I was a hater of the early output from Liars, it just went way over my head. However when they started experimenting with dance beats, I fell madly in love. Their last two albums have both been, and still are on heavy rotation in my shuffle. The three piece band was incredible, all playing a verity of both analog & new school gear.
Many thanks to my friend Scott Porter, for showing us around his his whole operation over there, which includes the spectacular venue The Wick, another connected venue, The Well & recording studio Room 17. The Wick, where the Liars played is kind of like my dream venue, raw, cavernous & loud.
For anyone still not familiar with Liras, check these..
For the three years that Frieze has come to NY, Gary Pini has kindly been my hook up to get into the press preview. A game we play at art fairs is spotting unintentional themes that sometimes emerge.
Gary started taking photos of guitars & cats, & half way though the massive quarter-mile tent, we noticed there was also a gazillion other animals.
Below is the first song that dropped from Luminous, & below that is "Still Life," which has possibly now gone into my top ten songs of all time.
Live performance is also great, part Shoegaze, and by projecting real 16mm film loops on hung sheets for a screen it's part DIY hippy Warhol/Factory vibe. My only criticism of last night was that the sound was akin to a dustbin, with some of the band playing in another room. I’ve no idea if that's simply the norm for the House of Vans--which is an awesome skate room but not necessarily a great venue for a band that obviously cares so much about sound. But because it was some kind of secret/industry gig, Ned & I were able to place ourselves dead center in front of the stage. :)
As a youth, the idea of jumping in on a train, or renting a car to go see a band, or some DJ at a rave in another city was a common thing. As i’ve aged, and art has become so important to me, its nice to know that juvenile fanboy mentally is still alive in me.
On the spur of the moment, I asked my buddy Paul Weston (a very gifted artist in his own right) if he’d be up for driving my son Max & I down to Philly if I paid car rental. Always down for whatever, we picked car & Max up from school sharp at 4.00, naively thinking it would take ninety minutes to get there. Four painful hours of Friday rush-hour & the tortures NJ Turnpike later, we got to the gallery with only ten minutes of the opening left. Luckily they let it run overtime, so we got to check out all the work by the 3 artist, Dan Murphy, Isaac Tin Wei Lin & of course Barry. Even got to chat for minute with Todd James, and ask Barry to tag up the poster from the show. Wicked Cheesesteaks from legendary spot Pat's also helped to relive the frustration of the journey there. It took us exactly 90 minutes to get home. I really hope Max grows up with a fond memory of the trip, rather than a bum one.
Try to go to the show, or see gallery link for full images. Department of Neighborhood Services is on on till April 11th at Fleisher Ollman Gallery.
My favorite piece in the show..
Max, Barry & Todd.
Tag on the the Philly streets. Looks like that youthful spirit is still alive & kicking in Barry too.
Hard to believe but, I bought my first Kraftwerk record forty years ago, but that's when Autobahn was a hit in the UK, and that was actually four years after the bands formation. So having never seen them live, last night was a real treat.
Normally I'm really not one for nostalgia, and very rarely go to shows by bands that I loved when both I & they were young. Back in 1990 I saw the Stones & decided that it was a mistake as my image of them was now sadly cracking due to the reality of age. I guess I believe that rock n' roll is a young man’s sport, or maybe it just highlights my own dissatisfaction with aging & the mortality of my existence. Either way, I don’t really try to see many old rockers. However when my good friends Hang & Tim offered me tickets to see Kraftwerk because Tim had the flu, I jumped at the chance. I knew they were not going to be leaping around the stage, trying to act like teenagers. It would be a much more reserved affair, dubbed "An Evening With Kraftwerk 3-D Concert."
As my friend Gregory Hoffman, who came with me, astutely observed, it was like watching a musical history lesson. They showed their influence on multiple genres, from techno & house, to industrial, to electro, and still clear in the synth pop of today. Most people acknowledge that there’d probably be no New Order and Depeche Mode, or even Daft Punk, if not for Kraftwerk. They are the original robots.
Another factor that made the show so great, was that the band clearly cared about the venues for this tour . Last night's was at the incredible United Palace Theatre. Hope more bands follow the lead & use it in NYC.
Obviously these iPhone pictures & the video don't do any justice to the effects of the impressive 3D enhanced performance.
Fascinating read is their Wiki.