A few weeks ago, the inscrutable John Maus delivered a secret performance in a viber’s paradise located a few doors down the street from the Pixel-Rites Bushwick HQ. PIXELHORSE took a camera down to the site, and we thought you might like to get a sense of what transpired. Ladies and Gentleman, the outsider anthem to end all outsider anthems, “Do Your Best.”
Back in Art History 101, I remember being slightly distressed when my professor pulled up a slide of Bernini’s Ecstasy of Saint Teresa in the Santa Maria della Vittoria and I detected a strange twist of agony in the figure’s marble expression. According to my textbook, the statue is a representation of a 16th century Italian nun who experienced a combination of spiritual epiphany and bodily pleasure when she was visited by an angel and stabbed in the heart with a long golden rod. The French postmodernists like to read it it as a cloaked allusion to the female orgasm, which it may very well be, but I am unable to get past the fact that Saint Teresa doesn’t really look all that ecstatic at all. In fact, to judge from the nun’s own journals, I think it is fair to say that she was unable to experience all that ecstasy without simultaneously experiencing an equal amount of pain — or, perhaps, that the two are actually one and the same thing.
The pain was so great, that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I could not wish to be rid of it. The soul is satisfied now with nothing less than God. The pain is not bodily, but spiritual; though the body has its share in it.
So what does Saint Teresa have to do with Pure Ecstasy playing a set at a Tortilla Factory in Bushwick? Not all that much; though I think you will find, in this glorious video by PIXELHORSE, something lurking beneath all those those blazy afternoon bliss vibes resembling ecstasy’s oh so bittersweet underside. And it’s not just the way Nate Grace’s face contorts when he sings, the scorched caresses of guitar, the debilitating throbs of bass; it’s the way Pure Ecstasy’s songs make us feel. Bypassing all the art historical jargon and cutting straight to the meat, “Alexandria” just hurts so damn good.
Like the supremely chill afternoon of live music and bbq that the Underwater Peoples hosted at a cattle ranch outside of Austin the day before, Micro–Pixel–Rites’ SXSW debut on Thursday, March 18 was a family affair — and not only because it united a host of musicians, label people, and “blogger types” who were already acquainted either online and off. Even if you rolled up to a sea of strange faces, the afternoon was so long and the summer camp vibe was so strong that you were pretty much bound to leave feeling like you had known everyone there since you braved your first canonball off the dock. I know we are adults now, but it was just that kind of day. (more…)
SXSW 2010 was as blissed-out an exercise in excess as an exercise in excess can be. All in all, the Visitation Rites mobile reporting team (videographer Samantha Cornwell and I) probably caught more sun, saw more live bands, walked more miles, ate more tacos, drank more beer, laughed more, bickered more, took more photos, tweeted more tweets, shot more video, and reunited with more old friends than in all of 2009 combined. After five consecutive days of non-stop partying and documenting, however, we couldn’t help feeling a bit crestfallen when we realized that SXSW wouldn’t last forever. (more…)
Remember when I told you that Thursday’s Micro-Pixel-Rites SXSW showcase was inspired by an obscuro musical collab between none other than Annie Lennox and Aretha? Well here, coming at you just two short days before our very own Austin frolic of beer, bands, and babes, is Micro-Pixel-Rites’ official video homage to sisters everywhere, past and present, doin’ it for themselves. And also our brothers, of course. (more…)
The ladies of PIXELHORSE, Microphone Memory Emotion, and Visitation Rites present you with an exclusive pre-SXSW house show this weekend. Alex Bleeker and the Freaks will be there, freakin’ out, playing first. Family Portrait will follow, kicking off their tour and playing with their recently restored, stellar lineup. Finally, there will be a suuuper special secret surprise guest performance*. (We’re so excited about this we could pee!) Come party with your fave bloguettes, bros and bands, and help fuel their trips down to Austin, TX for SXSW 2010 so thousands can benefit from their beautiful jams. (more…)
Elise Oh, Georgia Kral, and I had been contemplating throwing a joint SXSW showcase for some time when we stumbled upon this insano musical collab between Annie Lennox and Aretha Franklin over at the Pixelhorse headquarters the other day. Needless to say, we realized that we, too, were capable of making our dreams come true. Visitation Rites, in collaboration with fellow lady-run blogs Pixelhorse and Microphone Memory Emotion, is proud to announce a sunny Austin afternoon of beer, barbecue, and babes — not to mention 10 of our favorite acts in independent music right now. The party will drop on the 18th of March into the same grassy backyard where After the Jump Fest hosted its own unofficial party in 2008 and 2009, and will feature the following friends, in no particular order: (more…)