Monthly Archives: June 2012
UP HIGH & DOWN LOW – Music Box in New Orleans & Sled Island in Calgary, Alberta
This summer, I had the good fortune to be invited to some very unique events. QUINTRON invited me to take part in a project called The Music Box, which was was a collection of musical houses, which would be occupied and played by myself and other musicians. “You’ll see when you get here.”, Quintron said. Also around the same time, ANDREW WK invited me to play the Sled Island Music Festival in Calgary, Alberta. A friend of mine told me that there’s an amazing synth museum in Calgary, so I was crossing my fingers that my schedule would allow for a visit. That’s when I got a message from NATE YOUNG , who was also invited to play Sled Island, asking me if I would like to co-host a tour of the NATIONAL MUSIC CENTRE with him. So there it was. June 2012, all sewn up. I’ll cover Sled Island first, followed by The Music Box.
DAY 1: TUBBY DOGS
On the first night of Sled Island, after meeting the mysterious ALEISTER X, Nate and I had a gig together in a great hot dog joint called TUBBY DOGS, alongside new pals BAD BRILLIANCE and #BodyDJs and this 15+ group of rappers from Vancouver called TOO HIGH CREW. They had a smoke machine, a stripper and a 40 of OE containing something pink. We bailed after the stripper.
DAY 2: NATIONAL MUSIC CENTRE and BAMBOO
The next morning, Nate and I had breakfast, goofed around in the artists lounge in the Calgary tower, then headed over to the National Music Centre to host our tour. We were humbled by the extensive collection of instruments there. Aided by the immensely helpful SARAH DAVACHI, Nate and I were treated to an incredible array of keyboard instruments, some dating back to the 1700s.
After that, we headed over to Nate’s gig over at LOCAL 510, where he treated the afternoon crowd to some abstract sound.
NATE YOUNG live at LOCAL 510
MAGAS live at BAMBOO at SLED ISLAND footage courtesy of FAST FORWARD WEEKLY
DAY 3: ANDREW WK’s PARTY HOUSE
The next day we spent hangin’ with our new crew and waited for the big show: ANDREW WK’S PARTY HOUSE featuring Andrew WK, Nate Young, Cherie Lily, Aleister X, Snakatak & Tessa G, Magas, Hooded Fang, Baby Dee and Devon Sproule. Needless to say, everybody was amazing. The show culminated with crowdsurfing on Andrew WK’s stage, then off of it, almost like a human waterfall, which was eventually deemed unsafe and the houselights came on. It was an amazing time, thanks to curator Andrew WK and the whole team at Sled Island, who really went out of their way to make sure everyone was comfortable.
EARLY JUNE: MUSIC BOX in NEW ORLEANS
Earlier in the month, I arrived in New Orleans for The Music Box. Quintron assembled a variety of musicians to play a semi-improvised composition, using the Music Box as their instruments. The sonic shantytown orchestra consisted of myself, Dustin Crops, Steve Kenny, Steven Slane, Donald Miller (of Borbetomagus), Rosalie Tamborine Lady, Rotten Milk, Lefty Parker, Rob Cambre, John Joyce, George Langford, Tom Van Buskirk, Baby Dee and Shaye Cohn, all being conducted by Quintron, who also worked on a loose score for the proceedings. We all settled into our musical stations, designed and built by a team of artists including Swoon, Quintron, Taylor Lee Shepherd (who built the voxmurum), Serra Victoria Bothwell Fels, Eliza Zeitlin, Ranjit Bhatnagar, Micah Learned & Elizabeth Shannon, Rainger Pinney & Johah Emerson-Bell, Ross Harmon, Angeliska Polachek & Colin McIntyre, Ben Mortimer, Aaron Kellner, Ratty Scurvics, Jamye Kalal, Frank Pahl, Andrew Shrock, Lindsay Karty, Mahnk Smith, Patty O’Connor, Aaron Taylor Kuffner, Lindsay Karty (aka VIKI) and Simon Berz, all under the direction of Delaney Martin. The atmosphere was very laid-back and we all got along famously. I was very excited to try the instrument that I’d been assigned, the voxmurum, which was also played by Andrew WK and MANNIE FRESH during prior performances. It was essentially a loop sampler with 8 sturdy pedals and being a vocalist, I took to it right away. It was located in a booth atop a tower, connected to a bridge, which BABY DEE sung atop. I was joined by my wife, Bridgette and my daughter, Stella, whose voice I put to work right away for a high-pitched squeal in the sampler. Stella had fun when I’d show up early for rehearsals–the Music Box was a playground suitable for imaginations of all ages. She gravitated to the gamelan house, which had a great array of colorful, Space Invaders-style buttons that controlled an array of metallic percussion instruments. We did 4 performances, which were seemingly recorded, filmed and photographed. Keep an eye out for that stuff to surface. After the shows, some of us went to concerts by old friends Nautical Almanac and Negative Approach. When it was over, I took the train home with my family and began to prepare for Sled Island.
Voodoo Temple near the Music Box[/caption]
MUSIC BOX PERFORMANCE VIDEO:
THE MUSIC BOX, NEW ORLEANS, LA
Friday, June 8th – 7:45 and 9:15
Saturday, June 9th – 7:45 and 9:15
The Music Box is a prelude to the building of Dithyrambalina, a permanent musical house designed by the artist Swoon in collaboration with New Orleans Airlift. Local and international artists and musicians will bring Dithyrambalina to life through their inventions OF musical architecture. The Music Box is their laboratory.
Magas // Dustin Crops // Steve Kenny // Steven Slane // Donald Miller // Rosalie Tamborine Lady // Rotten Milk // Rob Cambre // John Joyce // George Langford // Tom Van Buskirk // Baby Dee // Shaye Cohn
Music Box Artists:
Quintron // Taylor Lee Shepherd // Serra Victoria Bothwell Fels // Eliza Zeitlin // Ranjit Bhatnagar // Micah Learned & Elizabeth Shannon // Rainger Pinney & Johah Emerson-Bell // Ross Harmon // Angeliska Polachek & Colin McIntyre // Ben Mortimer // Aaron Kellner // Ratty Scurvics // Jamye Kalal// Frank Pahl // Andrew Shrock// Lindsay Karty // Mahnk Smith // Patty O’Connor// Aaron Taylor Kuffner // Lindsay Karty // Simon Berz // Swoon
Creative Director: Delaney Martin
Associate Curators: Theo Eliezer + Swoon
Musicians curated by Quintron + Jay Pennington
SLED ISLAND FESTIVAL, CALGARY, ALBERTA
Thursday, June 21st at Tubby Dog
Brass Monkey Party: Too High Crew, Nate Young, Magas, Bad Brilliance
Friday, June 22nd, 12pm at National Music Centre
Weird Instruments, Weird Sounds – Hosted by Nate Young and Jim Magas
Friday, June 22nd at Bamboo
Duchess Says, Magas, Windom Earle, The Parish of Little Clifton
Saturday, June 23rd at #1 Legion
Andrew WK’s Party House
Andrew WK, Nate Young, Cherie Lily, Aleister X, Snakatak & Tessa G, Magas, Hooded Fang, Baby Dee, Devon Sproule