Posts Tagged ‘Underwater Peoples’

Sightings: Liam the Younger, “Leaving Black River”

Friday, February 10th, 2012

I learned a great many things today. The first one being that it is actually possible to be locked inside your own apartment building. Sometime after that I learned about a dude named Liam Betson who has been releasing music under the moniker Liam the Younger for quite some time now. I know I can’t be the only one who missed out on After the Graveyard or Clear Skies Over Black River — as both albums have recently been re-released Underwater Peoples and Liam’s own label, A Learning Computer.

“Leaving Black River” is a simple folk tune off of Clear Skies... The song flows gracefully from lightly plucked string to lightly plucked string while Betson croons about the joys and pains of leaving your hometown behind. The middle section falls back into warm static-y silence that seems reminiscent of that fleeting moment when you’re not quite if sure leaving is the best decision. Before song’s end Liam and his guitar reassure us that it is, providing that the door will open.

Liam the Younger, “Leaving Black River” (Clear Skies Over Black River)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Words: Marc Picciolo

After the Graveyard and Clear Skies Over Black River are now available on remastered vinyl from A Learning Computer and Underwater Peoples.

Visitation Rites Is Taking a Space Vacay

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Dear readers,

It’s been a long time since we skipped town, and Art Van Delay Industrees’ beginner’s space travel package was just too sweet to pass up. We’ll be back by Monday, August 16. For those of you who will be in Brooklyn while we’re gone, the Underwater Peoples showcase at Shea Stadium next Saturday should be the ultimate celebration of these summer dog days. As you take a breather on the balcony, we’ll be smiling down on you from the dark side of the moon.


The Visitation Rites Family

Underwater Peoples Summer Showcase 2010
Saturday, August 14th — $5 — Doors at 7pm
Shea Stadium — 20 Meadow St, Brooklyn, 11206

No Demons Here
Big Troubles
Family Portrait
Julian Lynch
Andrew Cedermark
Alex Bleeker and the Freaks
Air Waves
Fluffy Lumbers

Food will be made available by Last Action Hero (Mobile Deli Unit)

Pre-order tickets here.

Underwater Visitations Episode #8: The Blogger Ethics Roundtable

Monday, June 21st, 2010

One week ago, some great minds in music writing/blogging converged at Newtown Radio in Brooklyn. The reason was to discuss the ethics of music writing online, and the recent increase in blogger run labels. The conversation was lively, informative and above all, fun. Those taking part say it was constructive, those listening in were tweeting up a storm.

The forum was organized by Visitation Rites and Microphone Memory Emotion. Ari Stern of Underwater Peoples helped us lead the conversation, and Mark from Newtown Radio contributed immensely with his technical assistance.


Ryan Schreiber, Founder of Pitchfork Media; Sam Hockley-Smith, Editor at The FADER magazine and co-owner of Group Tightener, Michael McGregor, founder of Chocolate Bobka and The Curatorial Club, Mark Schoneveld, founder of Yvynyl and co-owner of upcoming label Trig Club and Chris Cantalini, of Gorilla Vs. Bear and Forest Family Records.

Topics covered:

What’s the difference between a journalist/critic and a blogger? Does the difference lie in the medium in which said person writes?

Is objectivity possible in blogging? Is it even desirable?

Should we think of bloggers more as “curators” than as writers?

Can and should blogs write negative reviews? Does criticism have a place in the blogosphere?

Is it ethical for a blogger to sell what they have created a demand for?

Can a blogger ethically write about something that he or she also releasing? Is transparency enough?

How important is the question of scale? Would a blogger-run label represent a conflict of interest if it ceased to operate on a limited-run basis, and became a more commercially-minded operation with wide-scale distribution?

Does the fact that a blogger-run label boasts its own built-in pr-outlet give it a natural advantage over the traditional record label? Do blogger-run labels have the potential to transform the record industry from the inside-out?

Are blogs the new A&R?

The concept of “firsties.”

At the end of the conversation, we took a few calls and tweets with questions, including what we have every reason believe was a request for Tumblr advice from Carles himself. Unfortunately, we ran out of time mid-discussion. But this conversation was the first of many, so stay tuned.

Stream and download the whole conversation below. Newtown Radio is a DIY operation, so keep that in mind while listening. And no. Someone was not trying to call in via fax machine.

“Underwater Visitations Episode #8: The Blogger Ethics Roundtable”

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Download the discussion here Download the full episode, with Underwater Visitations DJ set, here.

Playlist after the jump.

Sightings: Tennis, “South Carolina”

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

I have never played tennis, but I have been told that it’s a sport. A sport played by men and women in white outfits with rackets and fuzzy green balls. Recently, it has come to the blogosphere’s attention that Tennis also happens to be a husband-and-wife duo from Denver, Colorado. According to their charming bio — sent to Visitation Rites along with the A-Side of their upcoming debut 7 inch, South Carolina — this couple spent their life savings on a sailing adventure around the East Coast of the U.S.. So far, the Tennis discography is comprised exclusively of songs that document their trek.

The sport of tennis is the farthest thing from your mind while listening to “South Carolina.” However, the image of a couple in a sailboat cruising around the outskirts of the song’s namesake state is not. It’s easy to lose yourself and start imagining that you are the one on the sailboat belting out “ooohs” with a sweetheart behind a familiar wash of lo-fi feedback and pentatonic guitar riffs.

“South Carolina” is a song that is well-tailored to a summer escapism playlist. It will send you out of a crowded cafe or subway car and right into a captain’s seat. The place it won’t send you is Wimbledon.

Tennis, “South Carolina” (South Carolina 7″, Fire Talk)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Sightings: Julian Lynch, “Droplet on a Hot Stone”

Friday, June 4th, 2010

Julian Lynch is a pretty busy fellow these days. There’s his upcoming summer tour, his second LP Mare — set to be released on Olde English Spelling Bee in the coming months — and now this new 7″, slated for June, 21st. “Droplet on a Hot Stone” and its B-Side, “Nen Vole,” are actually older songs from Lynch’s first LP, Born 2 Run. They are being re-issued on blue vinyl by Underwater Peoples, along with a CD-R of the entire album.

When you listen to “Droplet on a Hot Stone” and Lynch’s newer material from Mare side-by-side, you can clearly hear his growth as a songwriter. “Droplet on a Hot Stone” is covered in all the distant tape hiss and clicking that you would expect from a song recorded in an artist’s basement. Its overall sound is a good fit for a hazy and hot afternoon where — pardon me for a second — you really just want to “chill.” Julian’s singing is filled with a longing for something more, but also a hope for the future. Julian took the chorus’ melody from a 1939 recording of schoolchildren singing a song called “All Around the Green Apple Tree,” filled with the distant optimism of the tail-end of the Great Depression. Maybe we can all take a page from Lynch’s book and borrow some of that optimism for ourselves.

Julian Lynch, “Droplet on a Hot Stone” (Droplet on a Hot Stone 7″, Underwater Peoples)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.



Monday, April 26th, 2010

Departing from the premise that the Internet’s greatest strength lies in its power to foster dialogue, and that two distinct entities can join hands in solidarity while still remaining fundamentally themselves, Visitation Rites has teamed with Underwater Peoples Records for a weekly web radio series on Newtown Radio in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Like Underwater Peoples, Visitation Rites, and the third and larger entity we create when we band together, the umbrella concept of “Underwater Visitations” breaks down into three detachable units: an hour of DJing by the UPs, and hour of DJing by VR, and an intermediary hour of cross-fertilization reserved for in-studio performances, interviews, news updates, conversation, and more.

Have no fear: we are not looking to start a micro-corporation, or eradicate the distinction between a record label and a blog. If it seems like we are crossing some invisible ethical line, channeling some stinky disorderly conduct on the superhighway of information, then that is kind of what we are trying to get at. The music industry of the information age is positively overflowing with crossed lines, economic question marks, and uncertain journalistic values, and that is precisely why we need to get together and powwow. The subtitle of Underwater Visitations, therefore, is “The Music of the 21st century, and the 21st century in Music”; keep in mind, however, that it could just as easily be “technology in music,” “the recession in music,” “music writing in the blogger era,” or “the changing face of DIY.” Expect panel discussions, chat-ins, Chat Roulette escapades, and flat-out arguments.

For our inaugural episode, we were joined by pastiche voyager and seasoned train-hopper Run DMT, who rolled up at the station with nothing but an acoustic guitar and a dream. DMT, who informed me that he “used to be a bard,” kicked off his set with a phone call to his mother, then launched into a cover of “Angie” by the Rolling Stones, a musical interpretation of a live journal, and a song he used to play while begging for money outside of a Whole Foods. Stream the entire episode below, or download it here.

Stay tuned for our second episode next Thursday 4-7 EST, with a live in-studio by Ducktails and an extra-special all-tropical DJ set by Brooklyn’s own Bryce Hackford.

“Underwater Visitations Episode #1: Run DMT Plays Acoustic Set, Calls Mom”

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Playlist after the jump.

Unofficial Backyard Memories, Installment #4: Family Portrait, “Waitberry”

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Family Portrait- “Waitberry”- Live- Micro Pixel Rites BBQ- SXSW- Austin, TX- March 18, 2010 from Samantha Cornwell on Vimeo.

Good lord. Things have been so hectic over at the Visitation Rites North American HQ that I didn’t realize until glancing up at my calendar today that it has been almost a month since Family Portrait played the above rendition of “Waitberry” at the Micro-Pixel-Rites showcase in East Austin. The afterglow of that sun-bleached afternoon wore off long ago, but this video by Samantha Cornwell certainly brings back some of the most beautiful seconds of the day, around 4:30. Hint: you can see it in the astral light beams that caught the lens of her camera. And you can hear it in Evan Brody’s voice, in the lilting guitar line that forms the backbone of this song about waiting: for a brief moment, chilling there together in the sun, it felt like we would be young forever.

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.

Sightings: “Portraits of the Inspired – Pill Wonder Lights the World”

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

A two-foot blanket of bright white snow is probably one of the best things that can happen to this here Big Apple, especially when it takes us New Yorkers by surprise. Whether we are gainfully employed or freelancing on food stamps, we all get a good excuse to step away from the computer for a minute, frolic in the snow, and relive the wide-eyed rapture of our first remembered “snow day.” (Editors note: If you weren’t here to experience the big whopper that hit the Tri-State this week, listening to Real Estate‘s “Snow Days” will probably do the trick). Something I’ve noticed about Brooklynites in particular is that rather than retreat into their private bunkers during inclement weather, they tend to descend upon the cafés, eager to wile away the entire afternoon gripping aromatic brews and catching up with the folks in the neighborhood. Maybe it’s just the herd instinct kicking in, but I really think that unusual natural phenomena have a way of making us crave real-time interaction with real human beings. Avatars just aren’t enough.