If you’ve been wowed by the projections at a Sufjan Stevens or St. Vincent show in the past few years, then you’ve witnessed the work of visual-performance designer Deborah Johnson, the founder of multidisciplinary New York studio CandyStations.
Get ready to hear the name Jherek Bischoff a lot more often. The multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer, and ex-Parenthetical Girls member has crafted an epic orch-pop debut called Composed, which is coming via Brassland on June 5.
And if you need a few familiar names to get you interested, the album features David Byrne, Nels Cline (Wilco, Nels Cline Singers), Craig Wedren (Shudder to Think), Greg Saunier (Deerhoof), Zac Pennington (Parenthetical Girls), Soko, Carla Bozulich, Dawn McCarthy (Faun Fables), and even more notables.
Malian blues band Tinariwenkicked off its North American tour last night at Lincoln Hall in Chicago, playing tunes from its forthcoming album, Tassili (Anti-, 8/30/11). To record the new album, the band took to the Algerian desert with only acoustic guitars and percussion. Joining in the recording process were TV on the Radio members Tunde Adebimpe and Kyp Malone and Nels Cline of Wilco and the Nels Cline Singers.
Though the band’s numbers can swell to upwards of 10 musicians, a more-than-capable quintet took to the stage in Chicago. Clad in traditional Malian tunics and turbans, the band worked the crowd into a fervor with equal parts uptempo, guitar-driven rock and plaintive African blues.
Since its formation in 2008, indie electronic quintet A Lull has expanded its lineup and grown into a much louder and more textured unit. After experimentation with a plethora of objects and instruments, the Chicago band has crafted a sonic landscape that’s truly its own. Between thumping rhythms, trance-like vocals, and layers of percussion, A Lull’s debut album, Confetti, pulsates from start to finish.
The band’s live performances are equally infectious in energy. Before Confetti‘s record-release show, two-fifths of A Lull — Nigel Dennis and Todd Miller — discussed making the album and how the music will translate live.
There is definite progression between the Ice Cream Bones EP (2009) and Confetti. What kind of growth did you experience between these releases? Or what did you feel was missing with the EP and the smaller lineup?
TM: [Ice Cream Bones] was pretty early on in the recording process, and those were kind of the first five songs that we got finished, and I think we were just trying to figure out what we sounded like. After that EP, we kept trying to figure out what we sounded like, and I think we all just kind of moved more towards a much louder sound.
ND: I think it also came from playing live together. When we wrote the EP, we hadn’t really played live that much — our first show was December of 2008, and the EP came out in May [of 2009]. But when we were recording that EP, we had the songs already written to play them live in December. We’d extend a song and make it a lot crazier on drums and sort of build on that — so it naturally happened.
Among the thousands of under-appreciated or under-publicized albums that were released in 2010, hundreds became our favorites and were presented in ALARM and on AlarmPress.com. Of those, we pared down to 100 outstanding releases, leaving no genre unexplored in our list of this year’s overlooked gems.
Operating his printing and design practice under the name Crosshair, Dan MacAdam has taken a unique approach to poster art while working with the screen-printing medium for more than 15 years.
His recent work fully integrates the text — which is generally minimal — into the visual context of the image instead of displaying the text and image as two separate entities. Thus the image as a whole appears natural and undisturbed as it provides information to the viewer. In essence, instead of reading, the audience is viewing and absorbing the design.
The first show is already sold out. Get your ticket today, and while you’re at it, check out their new video for “Prepare Your Coffin” from their latest album, Beacons of Ancestorship out now on Thrill Jockey
Holy collaboration — Mike Patton and Justin Broadrick are contributing to a score by Fog‘s Andrew Broder and Adam “Doseone” Drucker for a semi-autobiographical “photographic novel” by Alan Moore. Whoa.
In other news, The Dillinger Escape Plan has signed to Season of Mist, Eyedea & Abilities has a new album, two Rodriguez-Lopezbrothers (not Omar) are releasing a debut full-length, and Múm will release a new disc in August. This and more is in the roundup.