Posts Tagged ‘Underwater Visitations’

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.
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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.
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UNDERWATER VISITATIONS EPISODE #1: RUN DMT PLAYS ACOUSTIC SET, CALLS MOM

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”

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Playlist after the jump.
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