Celebration easily wins for a band with an apt-sounding (if not optimally Google-able) name. Their upbeat sound threads the needle between organic and electronic in a way that invites a host of meaningless microgenre phrases like “psychedelic soul” and “cabaret-punk”. Whatever you want to call it, the root of the matter is that the band’s key appeal rests on two pillars — the voice of Katrina Ford and the sounds made by multi-instrumentalist Sean Antanaitis, the one most responsible for the band’s hard-to-classify sound. By this point, the Baltimore band has been at it a full decade, yet the only really clear thing I’ve read about them is that they’re friends with TV on the Radio. Such is their blessing and curse — Celebration don’t fit into many neat boxes or narratives, the less so the longer they’ve been around.
This show at Mercury Lounge was styled as a bit of a release party for the band, being the New York debut of the material from their 2014 LP, Albumin, along with some numbers even newer than the current releases. If you didn’t know the band at all up until the first song played, that album’s track “Razor’s Edge” might have convinced you that they were standard-bearing shoegazers, leaving the confusion at the door. But that was just the first song. “Tomorrow’s Here Today” — next up on the album as well as at the show — takes things in a completely different direction, drawing inspiration from New Wave. Owing perhaps to being the anchor act on a late-going bill, the band kept things loose, taking their time between songs and playing the new material unselfconsciously.
I recorded this set with Schoeps MK41 supercardiod microphones and a soundboard feed from Mercury production manager Dave Lefcourt. The sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!
Stream the complete show:
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New York, NY USA
Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by acidjack
Schoeps MK41 (ROC, PAS)>KCY>Z-PFA + Soundboard (engineer: Dave Lefcourt)>>Roland R-26>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (align, mix down, compression)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Audacity 2.0.3 (tracking, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )
Tracks [Total Time 53:25]
01 Razor’s Edge
03 Tomorrow’s Here Today
04 In This Land
06 Freedom Ring
07 Blood Is the Brine
10 Walk On
12 [new song 1]
14 I Got Sol