Descending once again upon the Windy City, Battles brought its three live members — drummer John Stanier, multi-instrumentalist Ian Williams, guitarist/bassist Dave Konopka — and a couple of digital friends. The trio was flanked by two tall projection screens, which allowed them to jam alongside video recordings of Gloss Drop guest vocalists Gary Numan, Kazu Makino, and Yamantaka Eye. As usual, the stage floor was packed with pedals, controllers, laptops, synths, and all other manner of loop-friendly gadgetry. Photographer Wallo Villacorta captured these images of the explosive performance at The Vic.
Ponytail: “Easy Peasy”[audio:http://alarm-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/01-Easy-Peasy.mp3|titles=Ponytail: “Easy Peasy”]
After a brief hiatus in 2010, Baltimore art-rock band Ponytail released its third album, Do Whatever You Want All the Time, on longtime record label We Are Free. Its psychedelic artwork, created by Yamantaka Eye of Japanese rock band Boredoms, is matched by the band’s manic vocals and guitar-driven melodies.
In honor of the changing seasons, Ponytail guitarist Ken Seeno shows the band’s more chilled-out side with this ultra laid-back playlist.
A Warm Spring Breeze Blowing Through My Window
by Ken Seeno of Ponytail
1. The Revolutionaries: “Leftist”[audio:http://alarm-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/04-Leftist.mp3|titles=The Revolutionaries: “Leftist”]
A deep, smooth, bouncy groove made by the masters of Channel One. All sway and smiles. Today is a good day.
With its first release since former loop maestro / singer Tyondai Braxton left the band last year, experimental-rock band Battles is pounding the pavement, touring its new material from Gloss Drop, out June 7 via Warp. Guest vocalists on the record include Yamantaka Eye (Boredoms), Matias Aguayo, Gary Numan, and Kazu Makino (Blonde Redhead), and for this tour, the group found an interesting way to bring them along (see below). These shots, from photographer Wallo Villacorta, are from the band’s recent stop in Chicago at Lincoln Hall.
John Zorn: Ipsissimus (Tzadik, 10/5/10)
John Zorn: “Warlock”
[audio:http://alarm-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/John_Zorn_Moonchild_Warlock.mp3|titles=John Zorn: “Warlock”]
Morrow: In 2006, indefatigable composer John Zorn launched another of his countless ensembles — Moonchild, a sludgy power trio built around vocalist Mike Patton, bassist Trevor Dunn, and drummer Joey Baron. In the four albums that began with Moonchild: Songs without Words, Zorn has used the group to explore heavy and spastic improvisations amid composed riffs and directed song structures.
The lineup has expanded a bit for a few releases, but that wild trio is the group’s heart, with Patton offering wordless shrieks, chants, and vocal spasms over Dunn and Baron’s distorted notes and progressive rhythms. Ipsissimus is the group’s fifth release in less than five years, and it’s the first to prominently feature the guitar work of Marc Ribot, who appeared on one track of the 2008 release The Crucible.
Hajduch: In description, this sounds like a whole lot of John Zorn’s projects (in the case of Naked City, you sub out Mike Patton and add Yamantaka Eye of Boredoms, but the description still fits to an extent). In practice, it’s very different. Patton feels extraneous to an extent — like Attila Csihar‘s work with Mayhem, it can seem sort of like there is just this guy, making noises. But also like Attila/Mayhem, there are moments where it just fits perfectly and feels exactly right.