Sunburned Hand of the Man: September 5, 2014 Three Lobed / WXDU Day Show, King’s, Raleigh, NC (FLAC/MP3/Streaming)

September 23, 2014

[Photos by acidjack]

Review by David Schwentker.

If you’re not a denizen of noise/experimental circles you might not be aware of the legendary¬†Sunburned Hand of the Man, the Massachusetts band who since 1994 have produced several fine albums and¬†over 100¬†releases (mainly self-released CD-Rs and cassettes) in what it might be fair to call “random” fashion. The band has included any number of players over the years, but is anchored by John Moloney, who joined us at last year’s¬†Three Lobed¬†/¬†WXDU¬†Day Show during¬†Hopscotch Music Festival¬†for a collaboration with Thurston Moore (which is slated as an¬†official release … keep your eyes peeled). This was the collective’s 20th anniversary as an entity, and it seemed like the right move for¬†King’s, and a show sponsored by two organizations that respect experimental music, to be their showcase.

Eleven years after being featured on the cover of “The Wire” and touted as being leaders of the “New Weird America” genre, the band had been somewhat dormant in recent years, as releases slowed and band members focused on other projects.¬† In June, the band departed on their first U.S. tour in several years, a brief jaunt¬†down the east coast as a 7 ¬†piece band, including newer, younger band members alongside¬†seasoned vets.¬† On that trip, plans were solidified to take part in this years’ Three Lobed day show during Hopscotch.¬† Sunburned’s membership is always in flux; on tour, it has often been whoever was available to get in the van when the time came to hit the road.¬† For the brief September tour built around this Day Show performance, they were a tight, 5 piece unit and included Chad Cooper, who co-founded the band with John Moloney, but had not toured with the band in the United States since 1999.¬† Longtime guitarist, Paul Labrecque was along for the ride as well, giving us a look at a version of the band not seen in the U.S. in quite some time.¬† Talking to the band before their set, there was a palpable excitement from the players about the music they had been making each night of their tour, and what was to come during this afternoon set.

Like the band’s recorded work, this single piece, entitled “Blues For Richard”, was deeply¬†outre, a melange of organic, found and electronic sounds that brooded and whistled. At its beginning, the piece felt unsettling, like a late-afternoon hike into an unfamiliar wood. Band members began the set on the floor, turning knobs that would anchor the piece’s future movements. What there were of lyrics came just over twelve minutes in, in the form of chants and spoken/read lyrics, supplied by Greta Svalberg.¬† As the guitars turned up and the drums kicked in, the atmospheric sounds turned to a slow burn, psychedelic groove,¬†pushed and pulled by Moloney’s expressive drumming and Adam Langellotti’s elastic bass.¬† Labrecque’s guitar work becomes more and more frantic, while Cooper’s homemade electronics continue to ramp up the intensity.¬† The band threatens to collapse upon itself a couple of times, coming out on the other side heavier and insurgent each time, before finishing in¬†a blazing, explosive three minute stomp that melted a few faces.¬† In short, this half hour set is an excellent summation of everything that makes this band great, unpredictable, and worthy of exploring their vast catalog of recorded music.

I recorded this set in the same manner as all of the recordings from this showcase, with Schoeps MK4V microphones onstage and a soundboard feed. The sound quality is phenomenal on this one, maybe the best of the entire day show (which is saying a lot). Enjoy!

Download the full set: [MP3] | [FLAC]

Stream the full set: 

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Sunburned Hand of the Man
Three Lobed Recordings / WXDU Day Show
Raleigh, NC USA

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Soundboard + Schoeps MK4V (on stage pair)>KC5>CMC6>>Edirol R-44 [OCM]>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (mix down, compression)>Izotope Ozone 5 (effects, EQ)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, fade, amplify, balance)>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 Blues for Richard

Chad Cooper – electronics / percussion
Paul Labrecque – guitar / electronics
Adam Langellotti – bass / electronics
John Moloney – drums
Greta Svalberg – vocals

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Sunburned Hand of the Man, visit their facebook page, and buy their records. A lengthy discography is here, and your best bet to buy all in one place is probably Discogs.

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One Response to Sunburned Hand of the Man: September 5, 2014 Three Lobed / WXDU Day Show, King’s, Raleigh, NC (FLAC/MP3/Streaming)

  1. October 26, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    Dude, I was there! Thanks for posting this!

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