Posts Tagged ‘Real Estate’

Gone Skiing

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

Dear Readers:

We’re off on an exclusive ski vacation in the Swiss alps, so you probably won’t be hearing from us until Monday, January 3rd. Nothing better than curling up before the fire in your own personal chalet, but it’s hard to stay connected when you’ve only got dial-up! Anyway, here’s a little snow-themed number for the road. Please remember to party responsibly, and we’ll see you in the new year!

Real Estate, “Snow Days”

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Underwater Visitations Episode #4: The Big Troubles Episode

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Live, Big Troubles kick up such a sandstorm that it’s hard to remember that the band began as a bedroom recording project — or, rather, two separate bedroom recording projects, two hermetic hearts that began beating as one when high school buds Alex Craig and Ian Drennan got together last summer and decided to start a band. When the duo rolled up to Newtown Radio last Thursday, the station — recently fitted with a deluxe leather couch and a fridge filled with junk food and sodas — felt homey enough to bring us back to the days when the guitar-playing and songwriting half of Big Troubles had yet to round out into a full rock line-up.

Alex and Ian played out of the same guitar amplifier, sung out of the same mic, and babbled away in the kind of half-English vernacular you probably remember sharing only a few times in your life with one or two very close friends. They couldn’t seem more like two peas in a pod — which is why I was slightly disconcerted when, following the set, Alex presented us with a hand-drawn Venn diagram designed to represent their friendship: two giant circles labeled “Alex” and “Ian,” with only a tiny sliver of overlap at the center. I can’t remember what they said the middle part represented, but I think it had something to do with food. Whatever the reality of the situation may be, I like to think of the Venn diagram as a nice metaphor for the way their instruments interact in the episode you hear below: two runaway orbs of screaming guitar noise, colliding here and there into the shape of a song. At times they overlap a little too much, sharpening into points of feedback — but that’s kind of where the magic begins.

For those of you who tuned in for the first hour of last week’s show and were a little freaked out to discover a rambling discussion between a man with a heavy French accent and a panel of small children, please be cautioned: we don’t know why or how, but Underwater Visitations was hacked! Luckily, we were able to rescue the true-blue episode from the Newtown Radio archives — including a first hour of jams by Ari Stern and yours truly, and a Big Troubles-spun spool of semi-mainstream ’80s gold, which we proudly did not decide to censor.

“Underwater Visitations Episode #4: The Big Troubles Episode”

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Download the entire episode here .

Playlist after the jump.

Underwater Visitations Episode #2: The Ducktails Episode, with DJ Bryce Hackford and Some Visitors from Market Hotel

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Every day can’t be Hannukah. For pretty much the entirety of this colossal Underwater Visitations episode — 3 hours long, and with an in-studio by Ducktails to boot — the “Visitations” part of the equation was just a few blocks away, trapped inside a Kafkaesque bureaucratic nightmare that involved being unfairly compensated by taxpayer dollars to sharpen some pencils and fill out my name and address on about fifteen identical forms. Luckily, I managed to convince one of my superiors to let me slip out for a bit, and I rolled up in just in time to hear Matt Mondanile layer multicolored streamers of sound over the most lovely of bongo polyrhythms — not to mention throw in one of his signature 90’s cover jams, this time from the Slanted and Enchanted era. Among parts of the episode that I MISSED, DJ Bryce Hackford of Behavior slow schooled his way through his impressive collection of “tropical” vinyl, Real Estate‘s Etienne Pierre Duguay swung by with some friends to talk about the Market Hotel Project, and DJ Ari — the “Underwater” side of UV — unearthed a common musical lineage in Bruce Springsteen, ESG, and Steve Reich. Maybe not Hannuka, but definitely a full house.

“Underwater Visitations Episode #2: The Ducktails Episode, with DJ Bryce Hackford and Some Visitors from Market Hotel”

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Download the entire episode here.

Playlist after the jump.

Unofficial Backyard Memories, Installment #5: Alex Bleeker and the Freaks

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

Alex Bleeker and the Freaks- “Getting By”- Live- Micro-Pixel-Rites BBQ- SXSW- Austin, TX- March 18, 2010 from Samantha Cornwell on Vimeo.

Seeing Alex Bleeker and the Freaks live is kind of like opening a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re gonna get — but at the same time, you kind of do. For one, you can count on them channeling something as perfectly all-American as Forest Gumps’s metaphor; but the group of people doing all the channeling changes every time. When Bleeker rolled up the Micro-Pixel-Rites showcase with the other three members of Real Estate in tow, we were delighted to experience an unusually rhythm-centric incarnation of his revolving casts of Freaks: Martin Courtney riding a deft and bouncy bass line, Matt Mondanile behind the drum kit, and Etienne Duguay pattering away free-style on a pair of stand-up bongos. Visually, they struck a striking silhouette; musically, however, they sounded as humble and quietly hopeful as driving away from what might have been heartbreak, looking up at night sky, breathing in the ice-cold desert air, and thanking the universe that you are just “getting by.”

Video: Samantha Cornwell
Words: Emilie Friedlander

A Family Affair: Micro-Pixel-Rites Unofficial Backyard Showcase, SXSW 2010

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

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, MicroPixelRites’ 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.


Monday, March 22nd, 2010

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.

New Jersey Apocalypse: Real Estate, Family Portrait, and Alex Bleeker and the Freaks Play Micro-Pixel-Rites Loft Party in Bushwick

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

In case you were still scratching your head after all the ridiculously obvious hints we dropped, or you didn’t notice when Brooklyn Vegan itself let the cat out of the bag, Real Estate was the not-secret-headliner at the SXSW pump-up party Micro-Pixel-Rites hosted at the PIXELHORSE HQ in Bushwick last Saturday night. (Come on guys, the Facebook invite said “featuring members of Ducktails, Alex Bleeker and the Freaks, and Predator Vision”).

Visitation Rites, Microphone Memory Emotion, and PIXELHORSE are TERRIBLY sorry for the all the cigarette butts, PBR cans, and falafel balls that were left behind in the stairwell of said loft building, but also TERRIBLY touched to have hosted some of New Jersey’s finest in a context they have all but outgrown. After watching them become an international success story, I got to see these vocational boys-next door in exactly the way they should be seen: at a house party, surrounded by friends and ear-to-ear grins on all sides, watching Seinfeld Season 3 on the overhead projector, and hearing the cops roll up just in time for the closing chord.

Reviews: Some Twerps from Australia Drop Self-Titled EP on Chapter Music/Night People

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

l_465867627bd75b563e06daf4689037c5Lazy internet journalist types would have you believe that Melbourne’s The Twerps are the Australian Real Estate. This comparison may make sense in the hallowed halls of MP3 hype, but it doesn’t hold much water upon closer aural inspection. If dudes playing guitars and singing earnestly makes them Real Estate soundalikes, then we’re in trouble. Regardless of your entry point to The Twerps’ world, the group recently released their debut recordings on the lovely Night People label (in the perennially beloved cassette format) and Australia’s Chapter Music (in the increasingly popular 7” + Bonus CD format). The Twerps cover a lot of ground here in 25 minutes and 9 tracks, from the tossed-off spoken word of “Dance Alone” to “Drunk On Me,” an acoustic ballad which nails woozy high school relationship drama with uncanny precision.

Body Actualized Control at the Market Hotel: An Interview with the Ubiquitous “Us” Behind North Brooklyn’s first Cosmic Yoga Party

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

08-24-09-yogaWhen I emailed Jan Rew Midelfort and Etienne Pierre Duguay asking for an interview about the weekly Yoga party they started this summer on the roof of the Market Hotel in Bushwick, I realized pretty quickly that I wasn’t going to get away with just sending over a list of questions. Duguay–one of the venue’s resident promoters, as well as the drummer for Real Estate and Predator Vision–responded demanding that I arrive at 7:00 pm sharp the following Wednesday to participate in the Yoga class myself. Midelfort–also a musician, and one of the most talented psychedelic music DJ’s I know–added that I should bring my violin along, because it would be “awesome” if I could perform a continuous drone during the New Age music component of the event, which happens after the sun goes down. I did not have the chance to get in touch with Aurora Halal, the event’s third core organizer, but I’m pretty sure she would have responded with yet another suggestion encouraging me nix the habit of passive spectatorship that journalists tend to fall back on.

Sightings: Frat Dad’s New 7″ Gets Repped by a Fourth Grader

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

letterAt a time when anyone from Ridgewood is almost guaranteed to get forkcasted the second he plugs into a fuzz pedal, it is becoming increasingly difficult to separate the town’s truly luminary output from, well…a bunch of slightly lazier artists who figure that if they imitate a certain sound, and make sure that everyone knows they practice in their parents’ basement, they will probably be able to catch the wave. Fortunately, the reality of the situation is usually somewhere in between. My personal take on the Ridgewood craze is that it must feel pretty damn amazing to be living in a place where you and all the kids you used to sneak cigarettes with behind the 711 after school have a good shot at getting recognized for what you work hard at. So while I have never seen the place for myself, I imagine that just having that kind of excitement in the air should be conducive to making good music. After all, if you’re sticking to bare-bones verse-chorus rock n’ roll songs, the amount of true-blue euphoria you are able to transmit to your listeners is often precisely what will make or break your jam.