Saturday, August 28, 2010
Two stages = Fast transitions between bands
2734 N. Milwaukee Ave. (above Pearle Vision)
Chicago, IL 60647
And the “Least Likely To Attend Jessica Hopper’s Next Potluck” Award goes to … Fecalove! These two sides of power-electronics are very much on the super-harsh side of the spectrum, and the thickly Euro-accented spoken vocals overdubbed in different pitches are very much on the silly side of said spectrum, so long as one doesn’t eat pot brownies ahead of time or generally think too hard about how this shit actually SOUNDS. That shouldn’t be a problem, actually. Printed on the back sleeve as well as perfectly understandable if/when consumed via ear-hole, this is very literally a recorded story of oral-rape, with the additional subtext of an old-guy/young-girl dynamic. Wait a second, my secretary is calling with some info I requested before I started writing this review. OK, it turns out that, much to my surprise, that grown adults are behind this. While the depravity does beat the listener over the head, it does so with a Nerf Bat. And some will most assuredly find the subject matter to be inappropriate, and this isn’t EXTREME in the bright green sports soft drink sense of the word; my biggest issue is the blatant stupidity of the whole package. Check, please! 200 numbered copies, pink vinyl. (http://bloodlust.blogspot.com)
Thursday, August 26, 2010
- The Atrax Morgue 7-inch master has been sent to the pressing plant. Details will follow soon, but I am anticipating a mid-October release
- Upcoming shows:
08/28 - Mark Solotroff (solo) @ The Mopery
09/04 - Mark Solotroff guests w/Frontier @ The Empty Bottle
09/11 - Anatomy of Habit @ The Abbey Pub
10/16 - Anatomy of Habit @ The Abbey Pub
10/31 - Mark Solotroff guests w/Rabid Rabbit @ The Hideout
- Heavy rotation:
Swans "My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky"
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
21 August 2010
The Empty Bottle
Margaret Chardiet (Pharmakon) - Keyboard, Vocals
James Moy - Synth, Vocals, Live Mix
Isidro Reyes - Synth, Vocals
Pieter Schoolwerth - Synth
Mark Solotroff - Vocals, Synth
01. LAKE STREET
03. WITHIN THE WALLS
04. IN THE MOOD
05. ANGEL OF DARKNESS
06. PORN LORDS
07. A SONG FOR LISANNE, A YOUNG MODEL
08. MIND THE GAP
09. LEAK (CADAVER IN DRAG)
10. GENITAL PANIC
12. NOW IT IS A PRIVATE THING
13. TWO DROPS OF BLOOD
14. VISITING AN EX-GIRLFRIEND IN THE HOSPITAL – AIDS WARD
15. OUTSIDE THE GATE
Very rare, indeed. From a technical standpoint, the night was flawless --- and with everything on the line due to us using the new Korg Monotron synths - and running them through FX pedals --- and just for context, our last show with pedals was No Fun Fest 2005, which was a glorious clusterfuck --- let alone adding a new person (Margaret) into the mix with her keyboard. Of course, James handled the live mix in a masterful way, and everything came through loud and clear and Pieter managed not to get tangled up in the FX wires... just my mic cords and all of our synth cables. I actually forgot that I had a synth set-up on stage, and I only noticed/remembered at the end of the set, as I was too wrapped up in the performance. The not-exactly-unfamiliar set was designed to flow easily and quickly and to keep the crowd participation at a high, which it did. We tore through the 16 songs in under half an hour and the recordings of the show sound pretty fucking great. Aside from all of the people who were there to see A-Frames and Headache City, we had a really nice group of friends who came out early to support us, not to mention a decent-sized crew who took some time out to come down from the festival being held at the Viaduct Theater, so we had a pretty active pit in front of us. There was a humorous mix of bodies flying around, including Alex from Climax Denial, Ted from Twodeadsluts Onegoodfuck, and Dave Phillips (Schimpfluch-Gruppe/Fear of God) who was in town for the festival. Nice! Of course, the focal point for us all was the new song ("Now It Is A Private Thing") that Margaret and I had specially prepared for the show. James took over on her keyboard, allowing her to step up front with me, and she immediately began to stare me down in the most disarming manner. The atmosphere was completely electrifying... chilling, really... and it made my delivery - at least - all the much more effective. We have been getting such amazingly positive feedback over the last few days, particularly about the new song -- and it is clear that we need to record it with her in the studio ASAP. Overall, the layers of Pieter, Isidro, and James' synths combined with Margaret's keyboard chords, sounded fantastic. And just when songs needed an extra push, Isidro and James were there with their strong and contrasting vocals. I did not end up too bruised or sore afterward, so I am not sure if that means Pieter went easy on me or if I just managed to dodge him better than I usually do, but I will take it. Isidro had to jet back to work right away, which was a shame, and Margaret headed to the Viaduct, but the rest of us spent the night between the Bottle and one of the Polish bars down the street where a large group of friends had gathered. It was funny to have the poppier of the two bands follow us, but Headache City tore through a set that somehow took in the melodic style of The Jam, maybe, with a heavy dose of Misfits swagger and structure... weird... ultra-catchy. Insane drumming action! No synth on Saturday, though. Even with a blown guitar amp (we saw smoke!), A-Frames soldiered through a deep set of dark, snarky, and paranoid songs that painted a very grim picture of our future. Ultra-minimalistic Gang of Four structures, Joy Division textures, and J.G. Ballard-influenced storytelling. I would like to see them paired with Daily Void someday. At one point, I was reminded of Special Affect, but my memory of that LP is extremely fuzzy, as I sold it years ago during Wax Trax! fever at Bleecker Bob's, so who knows??? A big THANKS to Margaret for playing with us. Thanks to all of our friends for the excellent support. Thanks to Wes for shooting video. Holy god, the slow motion footage of the song with Margaret is beyond intense! Thanks to The Empty Bottle for having us back, as always, and for the great hospitality. And thanks to Arman for inviting us to play his birthday show. Photos soon, I hope... I saw some good ones.
Saturday September 4, 2010
The Empty Bottle
1035 N. Western Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60622
Frontier returns to the Empty Bottle in Chicago to play 3 sets spanning 10 years of material. Join us as we celebrate Mark and Heather's wedding. Kevin Drumm DJs throughout the night.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Mopery Closing Its Doors
Tiger Hatchery at the Mopery. Image via Tiger Hatchery's site.
A DIY venue since summer 2008, the Mopery is a collaborative effort run by Jason Comacho and Mike Hart of Lechuguillas and Mike Forbes and Andrew Young of Tiger Hatchery, all longtime friends hailing from Denton, TX. But, as Comacho tells us, these guys didn’t relocate to Chicago intending to start up an underground venue. Looking for a place suitable as both a residence and practice space, they made their home in the huge converted warehouse that is now known as the Mopery. They’d often invite friends over for jam sessions, and when more and more people started showing up it just eventually blossomed into the notable underground venue it is now.
In its two years, the Mopery has served as a haven (though maybe a dank and dirty one) for little-known local noise and experimental acts. As have so many DIY venues before, it’s closing due to the landlord’s request and fear of legal repercussions of operating without a Public Place of Amusement license, which is required for all entertainment establishments in Chicago. Unlike commercial venues that benefit from exposure, underground performance spaces are adversely affected, as growing popularity puts them at greater risk of being discovered and shut down by the Department of Business Affairs and Licensing. Many unlicensed venues try to avoid this by simply not publicizing the venue or promoting shows, but this often leads to a fizzling out when they simply can’t bring in enough funds to stay open.
As sad as it is to watch the underdog lose, maybe these types of venues are better off short-lived. After all, if a particular space were allowed to become too popular, it would lose its inherent intimacy and exclusivity and draw in a broader audience that might not embrace the creative freedom of experimental music. And besides, it seems that when one venue closes in this city another is discreetly opening its doors. Comacho tells us that the guys behind the Mopery have no intention of starting up another performance space in the future, not because of the legal hoopla, but rather because they don’t want to force it - after all, the Mopery came about by happenstance. And when asked to recommend another DIY venue, Comacho declined because he didn’t want to expose an unlicensed space, and instead simply said, “They’ll know how to find it if they want to find it.”
If you want to experience the Mopery before it’s gone for good, check out their final show Saturday, Aug 28. But be aware that this hidden gem is quite literally hidden. Nestled between a grocery store and a Pearle Vision, the entrance to the Mopery has no sign, just a steel slab door that leads you up a stairwell and into the converted warehouse. It’s BYOB, but you can walk a block south to Red Star Liquors and choose your beverage of choice. Make sure you pick up plenty, because with its 12-band line-up, this show is sure to run late into the night. Full line-up after the jump.
The Mopery’s final show is Saturday, August 28 at 7 p.m., Suggested Donation, All Ages
Scheduled: Lechuguillas, Running, Loose Dudes, Bad Drugs, Unmanned Ship, Sun Splitter, ONO, Mark Solotroff, Jason Soliday, Battleship, Sunglasses, Paper Mice, and Tiger Hatchery.