Weekend Planner (9-19-08)

If you’re in New York or Chicago, you have some mighty fine festival options this weekend. Check out our recommendations for ATP New York and Chicago’s Hideout Block Party, including My Bloody Valentine, Tortoise (shown above), Plastic People of the Universe, Tim Fite, and many others.

ATP New York
September 19-21
: Kutshers Country Resort, Catskills, NY

Summary: Seven months before its tenth anniversary, English music festival All Tomorrow’s Parties hits New York with a lineup co-curated by My Blooding Valentine. Friday, the first day of the festival, features Don’t Look Back performances by Thurston Moore, Tortoise, Meat Puppets, Built to Spill, and Bardo Pond.

ALARM’s picks:

Tortoise (Friday): Performing fan-favorite album Millions Now Living Will Never Die in its entirety, Tortoise treats attendees to material from the only disc to feature former guitarist Dave Pajo (Slint). The 1996 release rivals Standards and It’s All Around You for the honor of the group’s best album, and it includes “Djed,” a twisting 21-minute epic.

Om (Saturday): Comprised of former Sleep bassist Al Cisneros and new drummer Emil Amos, the San Francisco duo’s heavy, experimental rhythms are inspired by droning sounds and Tibetan chanting, giving their music a spiritual, if hazy, vibe.

Shellac (Saturday): Known as much for its thick, distinct guitar and bass tones as its hard-hitting rock songs, Shellac has garnered critical acclaim without a PR team. Excellent Italian Greyhound, the trio’s first album in seven years and a gem, is its most experimental in song structure.

Fuck Buttons (Saturday): Can dissonance be beautiful? Experimental and melodic noise duo Fuck Buttons gives its all to that purpose, seemingly inspired as much by My Bloody Valentine (playing later in the festival) as Skinny Puppy.

My Bloody Valentine (Sunday): A friend of ALARM recently described the band’s live show as so loud that you can feel the rumbling of the bass, but also that you can “feel the guitar too!” ‘Nuff said.

Mogwai (Sunday): Due out next week, The Hawk is Howling returns Mogwai to the instrumental prowess and stylistic diversity of albums past. Check out our lengthy feature on the Scots in ALARM 33 (available in October).


Hideout Block Party
September 20-21
: The Hideout, Chicago, IL

Summary: Tucked away in an industrial corridor, the Hideout lives up to its name while hosting rock, blues, jazz, country, hip hop, and experimental shows. The venue’s 12th annual Block Party brings an assortment of talent to Chicago.

ALARM’s picks:

Plastic People of the Universe (Saturday): Outspoken against communism and the Kremlin’s “normalization” process, avant-psych rock group The Plastic People of the Universe celebrates the 40th anniversary of its inception this year. The band hails from Prague, where it experienced Soviet rule in the late 1960s and where it began assembling blends of minor-key classical music, experimental rock, and film-score sounds.

Monotonix (Saturday): You may leave the set by this Tel Aviv rock ‘n’ roll three-piece drenched in beer and smelling of other people and the garbage that was (accidentally) flung in your hair, but we guarantee you won’t leave disappointed.

*Read our feature on Monotonix from ALARM 32.

Vieux Farka Touré (Saturday): Before performing at Chicago’s World Music Festival, Malian virtuoso guitarist/drummer Vieux Farka Touré brings his unique fusion to the Hideout in the middle of a US tour. Touré’s self-titled debut album, released in 2007, includes the work of Malian kora sensation Toumani Diabaté.

Tim Fite (Sunday): If you’ve only heard one song by this Brooklynite, you might not know whether he’s a hard-edged rapper or a light-hearted chamber-folk singer/songwriter. Both descriptions are apt, as Fite’s talents know few limits.

*Read our exclusive web feature on Tim Fite.

Dark Meat (Sunday): As we always say, what better way to round out the festival season than with a 17-piece psych-rock band from Georgia? Dark Meat (short for Dark Meat/Vomit Lasers Family Band/Galaxy) is hell bent on breaking the boundaries between band and audience, putting on a show that feels akin to a sweaty basement party, no matter how big the stage.

Mucca Pazza (Sunday): And if Dark Meat’s 17 members aren’t enough for you, check out Mucca Pazza, a Gypsy-rock marching band whose size can swell upwards of 30 contributors. Don’t miss them if you enjoy booty-shaking beats mixed with witty cheers (from the group’s cheerleaders, of course) about the mathematical properties of the number one.