Chris Forsyth extended a recent run of excellent work with The Rarity of Experience, a double LP that earned plaudits from Pitchfork to The New York Times. Much has been made of the record’s unequivocal commitment to out-and-out riffage, but that has always been Forsyth’s MO with the Solar Motel Band. The side of him that produced The Island, the delicate, mellowed out collaboration with Koen Holtkamp, is still out there, but when he takes the stage with this band, expect an out and out rock show.
That’s what we got at this NYCTaper-sponsored show at Trans-Pecos, which represented the formal NY album release party for the record. Things kicked into high gear immediately with “High Castle Rock” from the new record, followed by its appropriately-named Anthems I and II, and then its title track. Our only detour to Forsyth’s earlier work came in the form of “The Ballad of Freer Hollow” from 2014’s Intensity Ghost, which nestled in well with the extended two-part jams “Anthem” and “The Rarity of Experience” (notable also for adding vocals to the mix). In a nod to the band who inspired so much of improvisational guitar music (not to mention the practice of fan-based live concert recording), Forsyth and crew gave us their take on the Dead’s “Cold Rain and Snow.” It was a worthwhile reminder that while Forsyth’s name is front and center in the proceedings, part of what makes these performances special is the interplay among a very, very talented group of band members. Forsyth’s delivery wouldn’t be what it is without bassist Peter Kerlin and drummer Ray Kubian doing more than just making a backbeat, nor fellow guitarist Nick Millevoi providing the other half of the guitar attack. You don’t get a sound this all-encompassing with a “solo” artist and some guys; this is truly a band. And, for those of you who missed them this time around, head to Union Pool on May 28, where you can catch the band opening for Heron Oblivion.
I recorded this set with a pair of Schoeps MK22 microphones at the stage lip, another pair of Schoeps MK4V back by the soundboard, and a direct soundboard feed of house engineer Ned’s mix. The sound quality is outstanding, and a perfect representation of the enormity of the Solar Motel Band’s sound. Enjoy!
Download the complete set: [FLAC/Apple Lossless/MP3]
Stream the complete set:
Chris Forsyth & the Solar Motel Band
Queens, NY USA
Exclusive download hosted by nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by acidjack
Schoeps MK22 (stage lip, DFC, ORTF)>Nbob Cables>PFA>Aeta PSP3 + Soundboard (engineer: Ned) + Schoeps MK4V (at SBD, ROC, PAS)>>Zoom
F8>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (align, mix down, adjust balance of SBD, compress SBD, adjust levels)>Izotope Ozone 5 (effects, EQ)
>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )
01 High Castle Rock
02 Anthem I
03 Anthem II
04 The Rarity of Experience pt. 1
05 The Rarity of Experience pt. 2
06 The Ballad of Freer Hollow
08 The First Ten Minutes of Cocksucker Blues
09 Cold Rain and Snow [Grateful Dead]
11 Boston Street Lullaby