Posts Tagged ‘ Hopscotch ’

MAKE: September 9, 2016 Hopscotch Music Festival, Pour House (Raleigh, NC)

September 29, 2016
By

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MAKE represent another of my favorite recent finds from the Triangle in North Carolina. The three-piece, consisting of Scott Endres, Luke Herbst and Spencer Lee, make the kind of intense, loud-as-hell, but thoughtful metal that, with doom, black, and stoner elements, and a decent dose of flat-out classic rock, puts them in a category beyond a single niche scene. Like more than a few bands in the area, MAKE has been fighting hard against North Carolina’s bigoted HB2 law, including with their most on-the-nose contribution, the song “Human Garbage,” featuring Governor Pat McCrory’s face on the cover. That song made the rotation during this Hopscotch Music Festival show at the Pour House in Raleigh, which remains one of the best places in the area to see heavy music.

The band’s performance, kicking off the night in the venue, shook the rafters with Endres and Lee’s deep riffage, bringing the heaviest elements of the band’s sound to the fore. That’s in keeping with their latest album, Pilgrimage of Loathing, which (perhaps reflecting their view of the political situation) is a harder-edged and more rage-fueled affair than 2015’s The Golden Veil, which keeps company at many points with an entirely different group of bands (Sleep, Om, Arbouretum) than the references you might hear on Pilgrimage. The juxtaposition was thrilling live — experience the whip-turn from “The Somnabulist” and “Human Garbage” to “The Absurdist” and “The Architect” from The Golden Veil. It showed, in a relatively short set, how versatile, and how enjoyable, this band can be, and one would hope to see them around this part of the world (paging Saint Vitus) sooner rather than later.

I recorded this set with Schoeps MK4V at the soundboard booth. The vocals are a bit quieter than I would like in the recording, but otherwise this is an excellent representation of this band. Check out Pilgrimage of Loathing on bandcamp, which is also streaming below, and the band’s other records. Enjoy!

Download the complete show: [MP3/FLAC]

Stream the complete show:

Check out Pilgrimage of Loathing:

MAKE
2016-09-09
Hopscotch Music Festival
Pour House
Raleigh, NC USA

Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Schoeps MK4V (LOC, at SBD)>KC5>CMC6>Zoom F8>24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (hard limiter)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks
01 The Somnambulist
02 Human Garbage
03 The Absurdist
04 [banter]
05 Birthed Into A Grave They Made For You>
06 The Architect

PLEASE SUPPORT MAKE: Facebook | Bandcamp

mccrory

Al Riggs: September 9, 2016 Hopscotch Music Festival, Deep South (Raleigh, NC)

September 28, 2016
By

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[Screen capture from this video]


As happens more and more frequently these days in North Carolina, Al Riggs dedicated one of his songs — “Carolina Peacemaker” — to the state’s governor Pat McCrory, whose brazenly incompetent and offensive campaign against LGBTQ people has lost the state several major concerts, the NCAA tournament, a major PayPal facility, and the NBA All-Star Game, among other things. As he detailed in an interview this summer, Riggs, who is gay, didn’t set out to make his music political, at least not about that topic. But he, like many of his fellow citizens, has found that if you live under this regime, you no longer have a choice.

If you leave out the political stuff, the most notable detail about Riggs is the volume of his output, made mostly by himself, mostly using his iPhone or laptop. His work (he was heading up to record a new album the following week in New York) finds its moment when he decides, rather than the practicalities of a “release schedule” or studio time or the various other trappings of most musicians’ lives. As a result, he’s able and willing to share his ideas at a furious pace, about whatever topic suits him — from state politics to the (very) unfortunately (since re-)  named Durham restaurant “Hattie Mae Williams Called Me Captain.”

Being a festival-length set, this Hopscotch Music Festival performance at Deep South the Bar could hardly do justice to Riggs’ entire body of work, but it gave those of us who hadn’t seen him live a flavor of what he’s capable of. Riggs, with a sing-speak delivery that purposefully doesn’t obscure his words, lives in both the rock and folk worlds, able to deliver a forceful choogler like “Afraid of Heaven” with the same degree of skill he brings to more subtle tunes like “All The Cells” — a song, he said, “for every queer kid’s parents who are trying to figure out what to do next.” Even if this set was billed simply as “Al Riggs,” one has to give  credit to his band, the Inconveniences,” who appear on his most recent album (though it’s hard to keep up) Night Freedom. While Riggs has been successful at recording on his own, there’s no denying the additional power of the live act, and his music and this modest-but-accommodating venue were a natural fit. It’s not really worth leaving New York to see the bands that play here all the time (which is most of them). It’s the shows like this, by the local gems that you’d hate to miss, that make the trip.

I recorded this set with a relatively modest setup, Audio Technica AT 853 cardiod microphones mounted in the center of the room. While there are some occasional spots of crowd noise here and there, the sound quality of this recording is overall quite strong. Enjoy!

Stream and download this show on our bandcamp page

Al Riggs
2016-09-09
Hopscotch Music Festival
Deep South
Raleigh, NC USA

Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Audio Technica 853c (2’ split, DFC)>CA-UBB>Sony PCM-10>24bit/44.1kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (compression, fades)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks
01 Don’t Smoke In Bed
02 [banter]
03 Young Hegelians
04 Afraid of Heaven
05 Reagan Slain By Hero Cop
06 All The Cells
07 [banter2]
08 Carolina Peacemaker
09 [banter3]
10 Tunnel of Gore
11 [banter4]
12 Hungry Months

PLEASE SUPPORT AL RIGGS: bandcampFacebook

Bachman-Toth Band: September 9, 2016 Three Lobed/WXDU Day Show, King’s, Raleigh, NC

September 15, 2016
By

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[photo courtesy of David Schwentker]

If the Watery Love set was the volume plateau of the Three Lobed / WXDU Day Show at King’s during Hopscotch Music Festival, the joint appearance by longtime site faves James Toth aka Wooden Wand and Daniel Bachman was undoubtedly its whimsical peak. This day happened to not only be one of the consistent musical highlights of the year, but also it was Toth’s birthday, so he and Bachman were probably in a celebratory mood. Whatever the reason, reality was that this combination of players had never existed before — Bachman, Toth, Forrest Marquisee on guitar, and Ian McColm on drums — and they hadn’t even soundchecked. What would happen was a mystery to everyone, even to some degree the people on the stage.

However much the 20+-minute drone-ified version of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” that emerged was or wasn’t planned, the outcome felt like more than a mere lark. As with everything these players do, this was done with spirit, turning this into one of those off-the-cuff, daring improvisational moments that have come to define what is always the highlight of this music festival. There’s not much more to say about it than that — listen to it and you’ll understand.

I recorded this set with Brad Womack’s soundboard feed and Schoeps MK4V microphones onstage. The sound quality is outstanding. Enjoy!

Download the complete set: [MP3/FLAC/ALAC] [Note: the files need to be re-tagged with the correct band name]

Stream the complete set:

Bachman-Toth Band 
2016-09-09
Three Lobed / WXDU Day Show
King’s
Raleigh, NC USA

Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Soundboard (engineer: Brad Womack) + Schoeps MK4V (stage lip, DFC, PAS)>KC5>CMC6>Zoom F8>3x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (compression, fades)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks
01 [intro]
02 War Pigs [Black Sabbath]

Support these artists: Daniel Bachman website / facebook | Wooden Wand website bandcamp

Jake Xerxes Fussell: September 10, 2015 Hopscotch Music Festival (Raleigh, NC)

October 28, 2015
By

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[photos courtesy of Kenneth Bachor for BrooklynVegan]

Jake Xerxes Fussell occupies a slightly different niche among his contemporary folk counterparts. Rather than reinterpreting old traditions into new sounds,  Fussell is more of an archivist and explorer, one who gives listeners a window into the original experience of the tunes being played. The Durham, NC-based singer appeared on the very Durham-friendly bill on the first night of Hopscotch Music Festival at the Fletcher Opera Theater, one slot before Phil Cook took the stage (that recording here). Fussell isn’t some latecomer or dilettante to the Southern material that’s on his mind; much like Alan Lomax followed in the footsteps of his father John, Fussell grew up with Fred C. Fussell, a folklorist whose work took him, and often young Jake, across the South, bringing them into contact with many traditional musicians in the process.

Paradise of Bachelors just releases Fussell’s debut record this year, produced by William Tyler, and as you’d expect, this set paid some attention to it. But there was more than that, too, owing to Fussell’s encyclopedic knowledge of the pool from which he draws, which one album can hardly contain. So we got versions of “Man At the Mill” and “Push Boat” from the album, we we also heard some classic Pete Seeger, in the form of “The Bells of Rhymney” and Virginian folk singer Helen Cockram’s “Pinnacle Mountain Silver Mine.” Fussell didn’t need much in the way of flash to get his point across, as he sat along on the broad semicircular stage in front of Cook’s ample stage set. It felt more like a fireside sing-a-long, as given by the kind of music professor you always wished you could’ve had.

Our friend Larry Tucker recorded this set with a soundboard feed together with Peluso subcardiod microphones. The sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!

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

Stream the complete set: 

Jake Xerxes Fussell
2015-09-10
Hopscotch Music Festival
Fletcher Opera Theater
Raleigh, NC USA

Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded by Larry Tucker
Produced by acidjack

Soundboard>PCM-M10 + Peluso CEMC6-CK21 (subcardiod) (Room center hung from balcony rail)>Fostex FR2-LE>24bit/48kHz WAV>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Audacity 2.0.5 (track, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks
01 If I Lose Let Me Loose [John Lee Ziegler] (cuts in)
02 The Bells of Rhymney [Pete Seeger]
03 Pinnacle Mountain Silver Mine [Helen Cockram]
04 Man At the Mill [traditional]
05 Push Boat [traditional]
06 Jump For Joy [Duke Ellington]
07 Raggy Levy [Georgia Sea Island Singers]
08 Copper Kettle [Albert Frank Beddoe]
09 Pork and Beans [Rosa Lee Hill]

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Jake Xerxes Fussell, like him on Facebook, and buy his debut album from Paradise of Bachelors.

Tashi Dorji: September 11, 2015 Hopscotch Music Festival (Raleigh, NC) – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

October 7, 2015
By

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It’s no secret to followers of this site that we are big guitar fans — we’ve covered the heroes of the new American guitar movement, from the neo-traditionalists to the most avant-garde experimenters, with some regularity. Tashi Dorji, currently of Asheville, NC, is one of the finest in the latter category, and we finally got a chance to check him out live at the Hopscotch Music Festival, where in addition to his set with Elisa Ambrogio and Ben Chasny earlier in the day, he delivered a mesmerizing set at the Kennedy Theatre later that night. As Dorji progresses through the set, you almost forget that he is improvising every note, or that he is just one player, alone onstage. Dorji, even more than most, has forged his own path in life, teaching himself the guitar in his home country of Bhutan before he moved to the United States for college. Once here, he moved beyond the stratified realm of traditional rock into the alien terrain he occupies now, where he rarely if ever plays what the traditional boundaries of music require. “Alien” could describe the sounds of this set as well, as Dorji turns a single guitar into a mini-orchestra of sound, with insect-like finger-picked high notes combining with looping bass notes to create a wall of sound. The Kennedy Theatre is a perfect venue for this sort of thing — it can get dark in there, very dark, and it is cool and spacious enough to allow listeners to sprawl on the floor, eyes on the lone-lit player, bathed in music. Dorji has released several notable records, particularly this year’s Appa on the Asheville label Bathetic, but watching him create live gives a much clearer understanding of his magic. He did all of this with just one guitar and four pedals, and even watching it live, you couldn’t quite grasp where it all came from.

I recorded this set with a soundboard feed from the always-excellent NC-based engineer Wayne, together with Audio Technica 4051 microphones. The sound quality is outstanding. Enjoy!

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

Stream the complete set:

Tashi Dorji
2015-09-11
Hopscotch Music Festival
Kennedy Theatre
Raleigh, NC USA

Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Soundboard (engineer: Wayne) + Audio Technica 4051 (at SBD, DFC, PAS)>Edirol R-44>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (mix down, fades, compression)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Audacity 2.0.5 (track, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks
01 improvisation

If you enjoyed this recording, please support Tashi Dorji, visit his website, and buy his latest albums from Bathetic Records.

Birds of Avalon: September 12, 2015 Hopscotch Music Festival – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

October 2, 2015
By

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Birds of Avalon are the best kind of local heroes — a band of serious players whose main reason for not being more prolific is simply that they’re too busy doing other things. That makes each of their appearances a special treat, and the crowd spilling down the street from the overstuffed Pour House attested to what a draw they were. Cheetie Kumar, Paul Siler, David Mueller, Missy Thangs and the dual-drummer attack of Jason Alyward and Scott Nurkin kicked off this Hopscotch Music Festival set with a vengeance, tearing into the longform, unreleased jammer “Emblems” before settling into the brand-new “Goin’ Under” from their newly-released seven-inch of the same name. With their last full-length LP having dropped in 2010, the band brought out lots of new material to sate those who waited, including most of the Disappearance EP, which like the “Goin’ Under” seven-inch is available from Third Uncle Records. The band plays loud, fast guitar rock n’ roll with distinct psychedelic overtones, and that and the vocal harmonies echo classic bands like Shocking Blue. Siler and Kumar (a husband and wife team who also own local club King’s and the restaurant Garland) were in the well-loved local band Cherry Valence, and the influence of that work is felt here as well. This set was made extra-special by the appearance of improviser-in-residence and one of NYC’s most outstanding experimental drummers, Greg Fox, on “Wasted Hours.” I’ll dedicate this recording to the many Triangle denizens who tried to squeeze into the Pour House too late and missed this one — hope this recording can be a decent substitute!

I recorded this set with Schoeps MK41V microphones at the soundboard cage, together with a soundboard feed from Pour House’s veteran sound engineer, Jack. The sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!

 Thanks to Missy Thangs for the setlist and approving the recording.

Download the complete show: [MP3] | [FLAC]

Stream the complete show:

Birds of Avalon
2015-09-12
Hopscotch Music Festival
Pour House
Raleigh, NC USA

Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Schoeps MK41V (LOC, PAS)>KCY>Z-PFA + Soundboard (engineer: Jack)>>Roland R-26>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (align, mix down, compression)>Izotope Ozone 5 (effects, EQ, imagage)>Audacity 2.0.5 (track, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 40:15]
01 Emblems [new]
02 Goin’ Under
03 Guffaws
04 Disappearance
05 Come Loose
06 Eyesore
07 Over Your Shoulder
08 [Greg Fox comes onstage]
09 Wasted Hours

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Birds of Avalon, visit their website, like them on Facebook, and buy the Disappearance EP and “Goin’ Under” 7″ from Third Uncle.

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[photo courtesy of “Chauncy Buttertooth”]

Elisa Ambrogio-Ben Chasny-Tashi Dorji: September 11, 2015 WXDU/WXYC/WKNC Day Show (Raleigh, NC) – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

September 24, 2015
By

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With Three Lobed Recordings on a temporary hiatus from their traditional day show with WXDU on the Friday of Hopscotch Festival, WXDU took matters into their own hands and teamed with fellow college radio stations WXYC (UNC-Chapel Hill) and WKNC (N.C. State) to produce a two-stage day show worth of the tradition. Perhaps the centerpiece of these sets was the trio of Elisa Ambrogio (best known for her work in Magik Markers) and Ben Chasny (aka Six Organs of Admittance), who have been touring together, with the guitar improviser Tashi Dorji. The three of them got down to some serious experimental improv that captured the imagination of the crowd (and had a couple of bewildered college students plugging their ears). The sum of this team was clearly more than its parts, combining noise, free verse, and melodic interludes. By the end of this 20 minute burst of inspiration, our only regret was that it couldn’t be longer.

I recorded this set with the Schoeps MK4V microphones you see in the photo below, together with a soundboard feed by the day’s very capable engineer, Justin. The sound quality is outstanding. Enjoy!

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

Stream the complete show:

Ambrogio / Chasny / Dorji Trio
WXDU/WKNC/WXYC Hopscotch Day Show
King’s
Raleigh, NC USA

Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Schoeps MK4V (onstage, roughly ORTF)>KC5>CMC6 + Soundboard (engineer: Justin)>>Edirol R-44>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (mix down, compression, fades)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects, imaging)>Audacity 2.0.5 (amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks
01 improvisation

Musicians
Elisa Ambrogio – vocals, guitar
Ben Chasny – guitar
Tashi Dorji – guitar, effects

Support these artists: Elisa Ambrogio | Six Organs of Admittance | Tashi Dorji

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[photo of Tashi Dorji courtesy of David Lee of This Is That Song]

Elisa Ambrogio: September 12, 2015 Hopscotch Music Festival (Raleigh, NC) – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

September 21, 2015
By

Elisa Ambrogio

We’ve already twice caught Elisa Ambrogio this year touring last year’s solo opus, The Immoralist. Each set has been something special—in January she performed as a duo with Nathan Bowles on drums and in April it was a trio with Ben Chasny on guitar and Adam Payne on drums. This set from Raleigh’s Hopscotch Music Festival pairs Chasny on guitar with Bowles on drums and classes things up for the theater setting with Jenifer Gelineau on violin. Besides new arrangements on songs we’ve heard before, this set adds two tracks from The Immoralist that we hadn’t yet heard live, “Mary Perfectly” and “Reservoir,” making it a perfect compliment to the sets from earlier this year.

Ambrogio’s tour on behalf of The Immoralist continues this November. She’ll hit Union Pool on November 6 as part of a monthlong trek to both coasts and some places in between with Mike Donovan’s new outfit, Peacers. Don’t sit this one out: full tour dates are over at Drag City.

I recorded this set with the mics set up right next to board, combined with a feed from the Fletcher’s FOH, Rick. The sound is fantastic. Enjoy!

Download the complete show: [MP3] | [FLAC]

Stream the complete show:

Elisa Ambrogio
2015-09-12
Hopscotch Music Festival
Fletcher Opera Theater
Raleigh, NC

Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by Eric PH

Soundboard (engineer: Rick) + AKG C480B/CK63 (FOB, PAS) > Roland R-26 > 2xWAV (24/48) > Adobe Audition CC (align, balance, mixdown, normalize, fades) > Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ) > Audacity 2.0.5 (downsample, dither, tracking, tagging) > FLAC (16/44.1, level 8)

Tracks [39:09]
01. Mary Perfectly
02. Superstitious
03. Clarinet Queen
04. [tuning]
05. Kylie
06. Stopped Clocks
07. [tuning]
08. Far From Home
09. [banter]
10. Reservoir

Band:
Elisa Ambrogio, guitar/vocals
Ben Chasny, guitar
Nathan Bowles, drums
Jenifer Gelineau, voilin

Support Elisa Ambrogio: Buy The Immoralist from Drag City

Landlady: September 6, 2014 Hometapes / Trekky Records Day Show, Pour House, Hopscotch Music Festival, Raleigh, NC – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

October 6, 2014
By

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[photos by acidjack]

Brooklyn’s Landlady is a really good live band, and they’re good in a way that flatters their musical skill as well as drawing a crowd. Where most music has to make a choice between being interesting or mass-appealing, they seem able to do both, to hang in a narrow band that includes acts like Vampire Weekend, TV On the Radio, and The Dirty Projectors. That I pulled those references from the prior decade isn’t unintentional; Landlady feels like the pleasing synthesis of a few different strands of late-aughts rock, created and executed by Adam Schatz and his bandmates since 2010. Schatz has called Landlady’s songs his “big songs”, and the veteran brings a certain big-tent gusto to the songs that makes them distinct from other projects in which he has been involved, like Man Man or Father Figures. It’s as if Schatz — a multi-instrumentalist himself, including saxophone — distilled some of his other project’s textural complexity and general weirdness into something still-complex but more ready and willing to be liked.

That was all in evidence on the final day of the Hopscotch Music Festival, as Raleigh’s Pour House packed in for the Hometapes / Trekky Records day show. Landlady were representing the former, an outfit recently moved to Durham, North Carolina, and made their label proud. It’d be easy not to care about a day show crowd on a festival’s last day, just near the end of a month-long tour. The band had played Hopscotch Thursday, traveled to Richmond, VA on Friday, then back to Raleigh on Saturday because, as Schatz put it, “we like you”. The band treated us like a special crowd, too, giving us a brisk but powerful set that awakened even the most jaded and hungover festivalgoers. Landlady’s music has an at-times tribal quality to it, abetted in part by the use of two drummers, and that gives the music a festive air. Songs rarely stand still, shifting textures and ideas more often in the space of a single number than many bands achieve in entire albums. True to Schatz’s reputation as a showman, the band saved probably the two biggest standout tracks — “Maria” and “Above My Ground” for the end, though “The Globe” would come in a close third. That final number “Above My Ground” gave Schatz a chance to give a mini-speech mid-song in which he ruminated on the impermanence of things before exhorting the audience to sing the song’s one-word refrain — “always”. As Schatz said, the song is about having lost something, and you got the sense that Landlady would genuinely miss us. They are, after all, a band that stands out the most when they have a packed crowd to watch.

I recorded this set with Schoeps MK41 microphones and a soundboard feed from the Pour House engineer Jack. The sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!

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

Stream the full set: 

Note: All of the material on this site is offered with artist permission, free to fans, at our expense. The only thing we ask is that you download the material directly from this site, rather than re-posting the direct links or the files on other sites without our permission. Please respect our request. Feel free to re-post the Soundcloud links.

Landlady
2014-9-06
Hometapes / Trekky Records Day Show
Hopscotch Music Festival
Pour House
Raleigh, NC USA

Hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Schoeps MK41>KCY>Z-PFA + Soundboard (engineer: Jack)>>Roland R-26>x24bit/48kHz WAV> Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (align, mix down, compression)>Izotope Ozone 5 (effects, EQ)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 Under the Yard
02 Girl
03 Washington State is Important
04 [banter]
05 Dying Day
06 The Globe
07 [banter2]
08 Maria>
09 Above My Ground (extended version)

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Landlady, like them on Facebook, and buy Upright Behavior from Hometapes.

Circuit des Yeux: September 5, 2014 Hopscotch Music Festival, Tir na Nog, Raleigh, NC (FLAC/MP3/Streaming)

October 1, 2014
By


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[rather bad photo by acidjack]

Circuit des Yeux makes lacerating, personal music that belongs in a certain kind of place, both spiritually and physically. Haley Fohr is four records in now at age twenty-five, and her latest album,  Overdue, was hailed by the ever-reliable Marc Masters of Pitchfork, along with several others, as her best yet. Fohr’s music is somber and dark, delicate at times, unafraid to be dissonant when it needs to be. The Chicago-based musician has played in and around New York several times, but I had missed my chances. As happened a few times this year, Hopscotch Music Festival let me correct that mistake.

Over time, especially on Overdue, Circuit des Yeux’s compositions have taken on a grander scale, and we saw that in action right off the bat, as Fohr led with a brand new, as-yet-untitled song. Along with another new song and two more Overdue tracks, the set was bookended by “Acarina”, one of three Overdue tracks played. In this setting, it became a slashing, sprawling explosion of distortion that made the original seem almost polite — a gem of a live version. I might venture that the added fury packed into it paired well with Fohr’s mood, as I’ll discuss below.

The truth is that somebody could not have picked a worse venue for Circuit des Yeux, seated alone on a low stage in an Irish bar best suited to party music or cover bands. Despite that I knew several people who came to the venue specifically to see Circuit des Yeux, that couldn’t overcome the fact that this was difficult music being played in a loud bar to a crowd much more indifferent than they ought to have been. This is the kind of scheduling mishap that also led, in part, to the festival’s well-publicized artist blowup across town this same night. To her credit, Fohr didn’t call names or lash out. She leaned into her guitar, hair obscuring the louder side of the room, and sang with an intensity that fought its way through. For me as a fan, what is most striking about this set is just how good it is in recorded form — that is, with the advantage of being able to remove most of the audience from the equation.

That’s all well and good, but to read Circuit des Yeux’s take on this set is to be reminded that a concert is not a one-way event. Granted, unlike an artist’s own show, a festival audience may not have paid to be there specifically to see that artist. But that doesn’t mean that the crowd doesn’t have a responsibility to the performer they are seeing. To be in an audience is to be an active participant in the artist’s experience of the show. An audience can elevate, and an audience can also hurt. Before you bother to finish the rest of this, or click play on the streaming tracks, or do anything else, I would urge you to read Fohr’s piece. No musician — be it one you like, one you dislike, or one you’re indifferent to — deserves to be treated like a performing monkey. An artist owes us to do their part, and we owe them as an audience to do ours. A concert isn’t church, sure, but it is a shared space with a single focal point — the artist. Anything that takes away from that is doing damage: to the artist, to the other fans who paid to be there, and to the whole enterprise of what live music is supposed to be about.

For my part, I found Fohr’s performance compelling and look forward to her next steps. Circuit des Yeux isn’t easy or conventional, and that is part of what has made it a favorite of both critics and the other forward-thinking artists such as Xiu Xiu who have toured with her. This music deserves our continued attention and respect. For those that don’t “get it”, whether that’s the case with this artist or with somebody else, please stay away or shut up. The rest of us are trying to hear.

I recorded this set with a soundboard feed provided by Brandon, the night’s engineer, plus Audio Technica 3031 microphones, which were turned way down in this mix. It ended up sounding quite good. I hope you enjoy it.

Download the complete show [MP3] | [FLAC]

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Circuit des Yeux
2014-09-05
Hopscotch Music Festival
Tir na Nog
Raleigh, NC USA

Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
recorded and produced by acidjack

Soundboard (engineer: Brandon)+ Audio Technica 3031 (at SBD, ROC)>Roland R-26>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (align, levels, mix down, compression)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, balance, fades, dither and downsample)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 39:34]
01 Untitled 1
02 Untitled 2
03 [tuning]
04 Nova 88
05 [tuning2]
06 Lithonia
07 [tuning3]
08 Acarina

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