Blonde Redhead, Beach Fossils – Tickets – Irving Plaza – New York, NY – December 31st, 2012

Blonde Redhead, Beach Fossils

Blonde Redhead

Beach Fossils

Bubbles, A New Year's Celebration

Mon, December 31, 2012

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Irving Plaza

New York, NY

$35-$40

This event is 16 and over

Blonde Redhead
Blonde Redhead
On September 14th, BLONDE REDHEAD will release their third album for 4AD, titled PENNY SPARKLE. It is another sonic twist in their already adventurous canon.

Blonde Redhead has always been a band that innovates with each album. They challenge themselves with each recording situation, and the results have been stunning every time. Their music is always inspired by the same emotions, but their tastes and ways they choose to execute those emotions are constantly evolving. It was the early conversations about how to make this record that led the band to work with the up and coming Swedish duo Van Rivers and The Subliminal Kid (Henrik von Sivers and Peder Mannerfelt) as producers on the record. Drew Brown (Radiohead, Beck) also came on board to record the tracks that would eventually be used in Stockholm.

This really marks the first time that the band has worked in such a collaborative manner with their producers. Kazu says "it was a real test – it shook everything up quite a bit". In fact, they were very much working outside of their comfort level, forced to move into directions that were completely unexpected, with many different opinions in the mix, which led to many challenges along the way. With friction however – there is also great art. And that's exactly what we have with Penny Sparkle. It's a truly gorgeous album, one that the band is VERY happy with. Although it took over a year to get there, the completion of the record lifted a huge weight off the band's shoulders.

The band initially spent 6 months upstate working on the songs for the album. Despite the beauty of their upstate surroundings, there was no escape. Simone said "I wasn't crazy about being upstate because there is something really sad about it – just being up there, completely secluded – it's really beautiful, but I had no escape – no friends, and nowhere else to go." They couldn't just take a break and go meet friends like they could at home in New York City, so they ended up feeling quite trapped and isolated.

When it came time to record, they decided to do a trial run with Henrik and Peder. Kazu headed to Sweden to work on one song, "Here Sometimes" – to see how it might go. It was a little awkward for her – working away from Amedeo and Simone with people she barely knew in the middle of the grey winter. She really loved being in Stockholm, but she felt very isolated and looked forward to working on the record again back in New York with the twins and getting their thoughts on the collaboration.

Kazu returned and the band spent time working with Drew Brown at The Magic Shop to record some basic tracks, and also to work on incorporating the electronic elements that Henrik and Peder had worked on. It was over Christmas and New Years, and was one of the coldest winters New York had seen. No one celebrated the holidays with their families – they just worked and worked – although at times felt like they weren't accomplishing anything. When they had more tracks recorded, Kazu went back to Sweden again, as it was finally decided that the collaboration would work.

Finally, in February – the band realized that they in fact had accomplished quite a bit. Everyone – the band, Drew, Henrick and Peder met together in New York to finally all work in the same room – Sear Sound. This was just a few months before Walter Sear, the studio's owner passed away. He helped them program the moog for the sessions. This is where the songs finally found their finished form. It took a long time, and it was very difficult, but the journey it took to create Penny Sparkle is well worth it.

The results of everyone's very hard work are found in the 10 songs that comprise Penny Sparkle. It's an emotional album full of discreet electronic flourishes, lush and sultry vocals and interesting sounds you have never heard on a Blonde Redhead record before. Sonically, the album sounds amazing on any stereo – which was also a goal of the bands. They really wanted it to sound perfect on any type of listening device.

It's no wonder that the band has some tensions to release after recording a record like this. In their spare time, Kazu and Amedeo both turn to horse riding, and Simone escapes on his motorcycle. Speaking of spare time, it's a wonder they have any at all. Between the year that it took to make Penny Sparkle, plus the soundtrack work that Simone and Amedeo have taken on, there really isn't much time to spare at all.

Simone first got into motorcycles about 10 years ago. Since then, he has educated himself about their inner workings and can fix his own bikes – Moto Guzzi being the preferred brand.

Kazu spends time upstate, where she rides and takes care of horses, including her own. It's also where she met the album's namesake horse, "Penny Sparkle". The stables that Kazu keeps her horse at are the same place that she had her riding accident at in 2002. It's often surprising to some that she still rides after such a horrible accident, but it really brought her closer to her hobby and made her work even harder at it. Amedeo rides too, but he enjoys more of the training side of it.

Blonde Redhead have ended up with a thing of beauty in Penny Sparkle. Despite the rocky road they went down while making it, Kazu says "I know that we have never made a record this way and if I could go back in time, I would do it exactly the same way again." And if the band is happy, then we should all be too.
Beach Fossils
Beach Fossils
Beach Fossils began in 2009 as the solo project of Dustin Payseur. Before and after the 2010 release of the S/T debut LP and 2011’s What A Pleasure EP, they performed around the world with a lineup that once featured Cole Smith (DIIV) and John Peña (Heavenly Beat). They quickly became known for their highly energetic stage show, bringing the recorded work to a volume and tempo that would make even the indie-est of crowds wind up in a frenzy. With the exception of drummer Tommy Gardner, that lineup dissolved to pursue their ambitions with the aforementioned projects. Wanting to bridge the gap between the live and recorded aspects of the band, Dustin began writing Clash the Truth determined to capture the urgency, human flow and spontaneity of the live performance.

Now with a full time drummer (and co-writer of two tracks on the LP) Beach Fossils entered the studio in the fall of 2012 with producer Ben Greenberg of The Men. Instead of merely going from a “bedroom DiY” project to a “better fidelity studio project” the deliberate decision to work with Ben was determined to capture, if not in style, the spirit and enthusiasm of punk and aggressive music in general. To ensure that dynamic, the drums were recorded live in a room with Dustin on bass to give the album a driving and energetic force. Consider the titles “Generational Synthetic,” “Caustic Cross” and “Burn You Down,” it’s easy to see how the record, while not a punk or post-punk record by strict definition, certainly nods to the first major influence of Dustin’s creative spark. The first two notes of the title track that kick the LP off are a clear indicator of where his head was at.

The LP also sees Dustin stretching his songwriting muscles, with the acoustic Lennon-esque “Sleep Apnea” and the dreamy “In Vertigo”, which features the vocals of Kazu Makino (Blonde Redhead). During the recording period, the studio was flooded and destroyed by hurricane Sandy and the band had to relocate to another studio to finish the LP in earnest. It all came together when the work of legendary video artist Peter Campus was finalized to be featured throughout the release and on the striking cover. Clash the Truth marks a clear progression in the ongoing story of Beach Fossils. Drawing from the previous works’ melodic strengths and uncanny guitar textures emboldened by a sound closer to their energetic and cathartic live set, it’s the clear next step in the trajectory of the band and the dis-association from the home-recording boom from which it originated.
Bubbles
Bubbles are Alain Levitt (Beats, electronics) and Jason P. Grisell (Vocals, electronics, live instruments). Together they make inclusive and deeply personal synth-pop music that continually careens and falls forward. Ecstatic wordplay and vocals are coupled with brilliantly inventive beatmaking that is furthered by explorations of low-end frequencies, noise guitar, melodic bass guitar lines and analog and digital synthesis. The goal? To experience the simple human pleasure of listening to a song that speaks to the emotions, the brain, and the heart; to craft perfect pop songs and euphoric hooks capable of piercing through the paranoia and depression of the modern world.Bubbles’ compositions are initially created apart, a flurry of emails between Manhattan and Brooklyn transporting the various musical parts back and forth until both Alain and Jason come together to complete the mix. Their initial songs were a strange brew of 90s West Coast hip-hop and an unidentified band off of the soundtrack to a John Hughes film. These sounds were soon to be followed by nods to classic dance floor styles of downtown NYC circa the 1980s, post-punk scratch, ghostly synth-pop hooks, survivalist spirit, the orange juice drinking, ecstasy eaters of Manchester, bedroom beat-makers and DIY explorers worldwide - all coming together in what a fan at one of their shows was heard calling, “a blend of The Pet Shop Boys and Suicide”.Jason and Alain are transplanted New Yorkers, both having left California nearly ten years ago. Alain can often be found scouring New York looking for old and forgotten drum machines and synths. Jason is usually found in the New York Public Library with his face in a book. Since the band got together a year ago they have played a number of well-received shows in NYC at venues such as Webster Hall Studio, Don Hills, Max Fish, Secret Project Robot, Glasslands, Santos Party House and outdoor festivals such as Pandamonium Park. In the Spring and Summer of 2011, Bubbles supported U.K. band Florence and the Machine at Central Park Summerstage, toured several East Coast cities with Gang Gang Dance, and played numerous shows at NYC galleries, stores, and performance spaces. In November 2011 Bubbles will be curating a residency at Santos Party House in New York City with Spencer Sweeney, Sean Hanratty, and Johnny Misheff for the friday night party, Spencer’s Gifs. Bubbles will be re-issuing their sold out debut EP on the Playbutton format and Vinyl 12”. They are currently recording their follow-up full length release.
Venue Information:
Irving Plaza
17 Irving Place
East 15th St. and Irving Place
New York, NY, 10003