Mono w/ Worlds End Girlfriend & Grails!
My Friend Mark and I are going to the Bowery Ballroom next Thursday to check out what is hopefully an amazing trio of post-rock bands. Bowery Ballroom is my favorite place to see shows in NYC and the show was very reasonably priced. 13 bucks!
Mono is supposed to be amazing live. And loud. Though I still most frequently listen to One More Step and You Die, I am assuming that all of their work will translate very well on stage. Especially since they are reported to be very into the crowd dynamics and are know to sink deeply into their music. It seems dualistic, but I think thats what intrigues me even more. I know it is possible so I cant wait to see... I really hope they play Com(?).
Alot of people flipped when Mono and Worlds End Girlfriend released their collaboration in '05. Palmless Prayer / Mass Murder Refrain. I think I was in the wrong mood to digest such a moody piece at the time, but have since learned to respect its craft. It is more subdued overall then the rest of Monos work, and I had not previously heard WEG, so I had no basis for judging his work other then this collaboration. I am sure one day I will hear it at the right time and it will click, and that may be possibly next Thursday. I am hoping the two perform pieces together.
Regardless, I have since looked into a bit more of Worlds End Girlfriends work and have to say, I am pleasantly suprised. His new release, Hurtbreak Wonderland is actually quite incredible, and nothing like the Palmless Prayer collabo. Filled with skittering, Aphex Twin styled drum beats and more strings and horns than you could pack in a suitcase, Hurtbreak careens every which way. Somber, Hopeful, Scary, Muted, Spastic and Serene. The saxophone seems to be a centerpiece on alot of the album and it works really well. I also checked The Lie Lay Land, and while also a very good release, it reeks of darkness and malice. So basically, I like it alot. My past two weeks have been filled with alot Hurtbreak and the Lie Lay Land... It also goes well with the book I am reading, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. OH!
Suprisingly, the name of this page, did and did not come from the title of the aformentioned book. I had, in fact, never read it until about a month ago when I found it for a dollar on the street. I had always wanted to read it, having affinity for things like Zen and things that took place int he 70's. But no, the name does and does not come directly or indirectly from this book. Of course it does, really, but let me shed some light...
Theres a book most of you should read, but probably wont. My pessimism is validated on two counts. Point #1. It is almost 1,000 pages. For some reason, that irks people. Dont be scared. If you read at all, I am sure you have read at least three shitty books in your lifetime, easily totalling more than 1,000 pages. So then you would do well to waste your time on 1,000 pages of hilarity, illumnation, sex, drugs and rock and roll. Also horror, metaphysics, conspiracy, mind control, and dime store philosophy. Point #2. The first chapter has a way of turning people off instantly. I have watched this many times. "Did you like that book?". Answer: "Oh, well, I couldnt get past the first chapter. Africa, then a squirrel in NYC, then a dolphin, then some weird crime caper. I dont know, maybe its not my thing". Me: "Hmmmm."
The first chapter is definitely unorthodox, but Ulysses this is not. Though Joycian in style, it is far more accesible and far more fun. It takes itself less serious. Not so much a Magnum Opus as much as the best shaggy dog joke in all of literary history.
I bet you want to know what book it is...
The Illuminatus Trilogy, by Robert Anton Wilson (RIP) and Robert Shea. Released in 1975, a year after Zen and the Art of Motorcyle Maintenance. So the influence is there, and the authors most definitely read the best selling book. Deep within those pages, is the genesis of this blog. I have read the book three times, a rare feat due to its length, and would love to have someone else read it, so I can bounce ideas of of them, but until then, maybe you will find a fun book to read this summer.
Where. Am. I. Goin'. With. This. ?.
Oh, yeah, to see Mono and Worlds End Girlfriend and Grails next week. Its no doubt that these three bands bring out the reflective qualities in a person. If not, youre a dry, shallow husk of a human being, lacking quality....or maybe its just not your thing. ^_^. Either way, Did I mention how excited I am to see Grails?! They are phenomenal and the main reason I wanted to see this show. They have gotten even better with time and though they are the opening act, I am sure they will coat the place in their eerie glow, setting the proper mood for our faces to be melted off.
So with that... MonoOne More Step and You Die (2003)Walking Cloud and Deep Red Sky, Flag Fluttered and the Sun Shined (2004)You Are There (2006)
------------------------Worlds End GirlfriendThe Lie Lay Land (2005)Hurtbreak Wonderland (2007)
------------------------GrailsBurden of Hope (2003)Redlight (2004)Black Tar Prophecies Vol. 1,2 & 3 (2006)
Here are the remaining dates of the tour:
May 12 Chapel Hill, NC Local 506
May 13 Charlottesville, VA Satellite Ballroom
May 14 Baltimore, MD Ottobar
May 15 Washington, DC Rock and Roll Hotel
May 16 Philadelphia, PA First Unitarian Church
May 17 New York NY Bowery Ballroom
Check it out if you can, as the previous show reviews have all sounded great. I am so psyched... Totally want to purchase the new Grails album, Burning Off the Impurities too. 2xLP with the fourth side containing etched artwork. I am sucker for artistic gimmicks.. I'll have a full report on that show next weekend sometime...
Here are some other shows I am going to see this summer. Mind you, there is no Stoner or Doom in here....Hint to all you Stoner Doom acts out there. New York City wants you to come perform here. (Speaking of which, I missed the Mammatus show two weeks ago. Shame on me.) Anyway, heres the list...
June 7 - The Sea and Cake @ Webster Hall, NYC
June 8 - Snowden @ Maxwell's, Hoboken, NJ
July 7 - Built To Spill @ McCarren Pool, Brooklyn (its actually in a big outdoor pool)
July 8 - Tortoise @ Webster Hall, NYC
July 17 - Slint & Webster Hall, NYC (OMFG!!!! I bought tix for their last reunion in 05, and FORGOT TO FUCKING GO!!!....thats the problem with buying tickets months in advance..)
July 28 - Mouth of the Architect @ Southpaw, Brooklyn
July 28 - Sonic Youth (performing Daydream Nation) @ McCarren Pool. I may go see this instead of Mouth of the Architect
There are alos a bunch of free shows at various parks that I would like to check. the Boredoms are playing on the same day as Built To Spill, so thats gonna be hard. Free Boredoms show, who I have never seen, or a $30 Built To Spill show, who I have seen three times, every time amazing.
Menomena, The New Pornographers and the Animal Collective are all playing. But I may or may not make it out to see them. There are a ton of other shows, but lets face it, I picked out some good ones. I have many other things I want to do this summer, like go camping and hiking and travel to Seattle, and go to the beach as many times as possible.
Thanks for listening, more to come shortly.