Friday, August 20, 2010

Flavorpill on Tomorrow's Show

From Flavorpill

MUSIC: Punk/Metal
A Frames
when: Saturday Aug 21 (10pm)
where: The Empty Bottle (1035 N Western Ave, 773.276.3600) map
price: $8

Smart money would have bet against an A Frames tour even happening: the Seattle trio has been largely inactive for the last five years, following original drummer Lars Finberg's departure to the Intelligence; and other members have more recently focused on their AFCGT project. The long shot won, thankfully, and even if they are touring behind an odds-and-sods collection, 333, rather than new material, their back catalog of ultra-mechanical robo-rock still sounds way ahead of the curve. (2005's Black Forest enjoyed Sub Pop distro, but the band's deserved rank — no hyperbole, one of the decade's finest art-punk bands — eludes them.) Try early marvels like "Hostage Crisis" or "Surveillance" (2000), which despite traces of Wire and the Urinals, sound wholly singular. - Stephen Gossett

The Reader on Tomorrow's Show

From the Reader

Critic's Choice
A Frames, Headache City, Bloodyminded
Sat., Aug. 21, 10 p.m.
Rock, Pop, Etc

In the 2020s and beyond, assuming civilization and the biosphere both hold up, it's a sure bet hipster kids will be getting nostalgic about the turn of the millennium, raiding it for musical inspiration and kitschy thrift-store fashion ideas. With any luck the more intelligent among them will recognize that Seattle's A Frames best captured—in a beautifully covert way—the paranoid schizophrenia of those years closest to 9/11. While the emo bands of the time whined their relatively privileged lives away, the A Frames built meaty metaphors, using surveillance cameras, hostage crises, electric eyes, and spy satellites to talk about the human condition. Their wired, wiry music combines the herky-jerky robot beats of Joy Division with the alien guitar skree of Stickmen With Rayguns, then deconstruct those influences so radically that the results transcend comparison—you get the sense these songs might've begun as rather accessible, conventionally structured pop, but like Steve Martin early in his stand-up career, the A Frames have methodically stripped away all traces of unoriginality from their material. Their latest release, a 42-song triple-LP retrospective of singles, demos, and rarities called 333 (S.S. Records), proves just how consistently they've succeeded. It also proves that drummer Lars Finberg (who left in 2006 to devote his full creative energies to the Intelligence) did a great deal to push the A Frames away from standard rock rhythms—what Captain Beefheart dismissively called the "mama heartbeat"—and toward something much more brutally hypnotic. Newer bands like Tyvek, who play similarly deconstructed post-post-postpunk to similar effect, owe big debts to these guys. Tonight's show is not only a rare opportunity to see the A Frames—they've been pretty quiet since 2005's Black Forest—but also the debut of the resuscitated Headache City. Formerly local, they played their not-actually-final show in late 2008; since then co-front men Mike Fitzpatrick and Dave Head have both moved to New York, Fitzpatrick to Ithaca and Head to NYC. Their second LP, We Can't Have Anything Nice, came out on P. Trash in spring 2009, while the band was inactive, and this year they started writing songs together again with an eye toward a third record. They're looking for a permanent drummer, but for this gig they'll play old material with their old drummer, Lisa Roe of CoCoComa. —Brian Costello

Time Out on Tomorrow's Show

From Time Out Chicago

Postpunk, post-garage and in fact post lots of other things, the A Frames seemed ready to conquer the world back in 2005 with the release of their cool Black Forest. Clearly, another record was not a priority, but half a decade later we presume the band is hard at work on one. Led by ex-Chicagoan Mike Fitzpatrick, aptly named opener Headache City is all about the rush of no-frills punk, with long-running sonic antagonists Bloodyminded specializing in earsplitting electronic noise.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Saturday Night...

On Saturday August 21, 2010, Seattle's A-Frames storm The Empty Bottle in support of their new triple-LP set on S.S. Records, which serves as a long-awaited follow up to their critically acclaimed "Black Forest" LP on Sub Pop Records. The vast new "333" set gathers the post-punk/noise-rock band's singles and e.p.s, along with demo recordings, outtakes, and unreleased tracks. Joining them will be a revitalized Headache City, the dark garage-punk band launched in Chicago and now calling New York home, while they lock in with a new drummer and prepare to record a new batch of songs. The group continue to turn heads and assault ears with their late-2009 LP "We Can't Have Anything Nice" on P-Trash Records. Starting off the night with a bang, Chicago's BLOODYMINDED will deliver their punk and noise-rock inspired brand of heavy electronics, characterized by jolting analog synth blasts, chaotic feedback and howling vocals. For this very special show, the band will be joined by NYC's Pharmakon - AKA Margaret Chardiet - who performed a jaw-dropping set of hard-hitting death-industrial music at The Empty Bottle in July 2009. BLOODYMINDED's Mark Solotroff and Miss Chardiet are writing a new song for this show, which they intend to perform as a lovely duet.


Saturday August 21, 2010

The Empty Bottle

1035 N. Western Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60622

10:00 PM



A-Frames at Subterranean 2003 by Canderson

Headache City

Headache City 2006 by Canderson

with special guest Pharmakon

Pharmakon 2


Event Links:



Sunday, August 15, 2010

Friday Recap

I had a blast playing with Plague Bringer at The Abbey Pub on Friday. It was a really strong night, overall. Lungs from Minneapolis opened up, and they had a sort of brooding, Neurosis meets Amphetamine Reptile label style sound... doom metal meets noise-rock, with lots of nice guitar texture. I Klatus were the great surprise of the night for me... I am pissed that I never saw them before, and now they will be on a live show hiatus. They combined early Tampa death metal, a la Morbid Angel, with a Sunlight Studios/Swedish death style, with a gnarlier, more atmospheric thing... maybe Neurosis again... layering in samples/FX, weird retro-cyber video projection, and a pedal-board-rig/band logo sign that could have come right from a Wolf Eyes show. Very bizarre and totally excellent. Blood of the Tyrant play with an ultra-high level of musicianship, but just when you think that they are going too far off into some proggy Isis or Pelican place, they bring in some much-welcomed muscle to balance things out. Melody meets atmosphere meets power and rage. Plague Bringer was up next and I played synth (Korg Monotron) throughout the set, adding backing vocals here and there, but especially on their new song, "One Into Parts," which garnered really nice words from several people after the show. I have rarely had the experience of hearing my own instrument through my monitor as loud and clear as I did on Friday. It came through so startlingly heavy at the beginning that it made me nervous that I was way too high in the mix. All was good, but I am just not used to actually getting a monitor mix exactly like I asked for. Nice! Witchbanger was up last, and draped by a really excellent projection of what I interpreted as barren or charred trees that filled the entire stage, the group bulldozed through a set that somehow had the rage and rawness of High on Fire, yet rarely strayed from the slothful pace of Sleep. Knowing some of these guys' pedigrees, it was no surprise that they brought such a heavy game to the stage. Thanks to Greg and Josh for having me back. Thanks to Sean at The Abbey Pub. I am looking forward to heading back there in September and October with Anatomy of Habit...