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OUR 17TH YEAR OF WEEKLY INDEPENDENT NEWS, ARTS, & EVENTS FOR WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA VOL. 17 NO. 14 OCTOBER 27 - NOVEMBER 2, 2010

p. 55 VOTER ELECTION GUIDE p. 08

WELLNESS DURING FLU SEASON p. 36

LOCAL FOOD IN WINTER p. 48


moogfest2010

Thangs to know

Moogfest organizers answer your questions Is Moogfest 2010 an all-ages festival? Yes, patrons of all ages are welcome. Stella Blue is our only venue that is 18+ but all of our other venues are all ages. Tickets will be required for patrons of age 2 or older. If you do bring the little ones, we suggest earplugs and an afternoon nap. Where do I redeem my day ticket or festival pass? Each ticket holder will be required to exchange his or her ticket for a credential upon arriving at the festival. Credentialing for Weekend Pass and Day Ticket holders will take place in the Exhibition Hall (entrance located on Hiawassee Street) of the Asheville Civic Center. Additionally, this will be the only entrance into the Asheville Civic Center and Thomas Wolfe Auditorium throughout the festival. ... Trust us, it will be a smooth and easy process.

When Bob Moog presented his paper Voltage-Controlled Electronic Music Modules at the Audio Engineering Society conference in October 1964, it was the Big Bang of modern music. His ideas literally electrified synthesized analog sounds, exploding the sonic limitations of earlier formats like magnetic tape. The nascent planet of electronic music formed from Moog’s discoveries has many inhabitants. Once again, it began with Bach, when musician and composer Wendy Carlos produced Switched on Bach and the WellTempered Synthesizer in the late ‘60s. Planet Moog proliferated from there. Creatures as diverse as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Stevie Wonder and Kraftwerk followed Moog’s continual innovations through

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the 1970s. By the time Devo was whipping it in the hay in 1980, Moog and his equipment were bright stars in the instrumental galaxy. On October 29-31, more than 55 of Moog’s terrestrials descend on Asheville for Moogfest 2010. With a line-up that includes the venerable — like Devo (interview on pg. 61) and Massive Attack — and more recent phenoms like Caribou and Pretty Lights (story on pg. 65) — our mountain town is due for some crazy crop circles. Let Xpress be your guide to Moogfest and its strange forms of life. Find out who’s playing where and when, tips on how to navigate the occupied territory of downtown, what Halloween means to Big Boi, Dan Deacon and more.

Beyond the Veil SPIRIT READINGS You Are Deeply Loved And Appreciated What are your Spirit Guides, Higher Self, or Deceased Loved Ones wanting to convey to you at this time?

Will I be able to see every show? This is a festival and some shows will be going simultaneously, so there might be some difficult choices. Priority access will be given to VIP pass holders and admittance will be given on a first come, first serve basis. Once a venue reaches capacity, we will move to a one-in, one-out policy. There will be several concert options at any given moment during the festival weekend. Will alcohol be available at each event? Venues that traditionally sell alcohol will be making it available for purchase during the festival; this includes the Asheville Civic Center, Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, The Orange Peel and the Moogaplex. Photo identification and wrist-banding are required to purchase alcohol. Please be aware that the city of Asheville does not allow open containers outside. It’s Ashevegas, but it ain’t Vegas. Please be sure to finish your beverages before exiting of any of our venues. Can I bring a camera? Disposable and small digital photography will be allowed, but anything with a removable lens is not permitted. Audio and video recording devices are prohibited. Additionally please be respectful of other patrons and the artists when using your camera and try not to use your flash. What can I bring and what is prohibited? What’s acceptable: Small backpack or purse, small umbrella, camera with non-removable lens. Please remember everyone and his or her backpack/purse is subject to search. What’s prohibited: Drugs, controlled substances, alcohol, outside food or drink (including sealed water bottles), weapons, firearms, glowsticks, laser pointers, large frame backpacks, video recording equipment, tri-pods, audio recording equipment, chairs, coolers, contraband, unauthorized merchandise and fireworks. Any person attempting to enter the venues with any of the item(s) above will be refused access, or at the venue’s discretion, allowed to give up the prohibited item(s) before entry. Confiscated items will be destroyed or given away at the venue’s discretion. Will there be in and out privileges at each show? Yes, all credentialed patrons will be allowed to free flow from show to show. Due to capacity restrictions, if you leave a show that is at capacity, you may have to wait in line to get back in.

In person and phone sessions available.

Kaylina Michaela

828-252-4828

Will I be searched coming in to each show? All patrons are subject to search upon entry or re-entry into every show. — Info from moogfest.com

mountainx.com • OCTOBER 27 - NOVEMBER 2, 2010 55


moogfest inside info • If you’re seeing a show at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, there’s not a bad seat in the house. However, seats on either side of the balcony can lead to a stiff neck from prolonged turning in one direction. Use intermission and any between-song banter to practice some neck stretches. • If you’re at the Orange Peel, you might notice a dearth of liquor drinks. Get them at Pulp, the club located on the building’s lower level. You won’t miss a moment of the show: there’s piped-in sound and video. • If you’re at the Civic Center, take a moment to view the mountains from the glassed-in perimeter hallway. Oh, and there’s a concession stand if you’re craving nachos. • If you’re tweeting from Moogfest, use the hashtag #moogfest. No, really. Also, check mountainx.com for live updates all weekend. • Looking for late-night munchies? Head to Rosetta’s Kitchen (116 N. Lexington Ave., 232-0738) — open til 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday; The LAB (39 N. Lexington Ave., 252-0212) — serving a late menu until 2 a.m.; The Southern (41 N. Lexington Ave., 251-1777) — open daily to 2 a.m.; MoDaddy’s (77 Biltmore Ave.,

258-1550) — kitchen open till 2 a.m.; 51 Grill (51 Merrimon, 258-1670) — just past the I-240 on ramp and open till 4 a.m. Friday and Saturday. • Looking to escape the masses? A few close-by but tucked-away spots include: Satchels Martini Bar, upstairs in S&W Steak and Wine (56 Patton Ave., 505-3362) — overlooks Pritchard Park, opens at 4:30 p.m.; Firestorm Café and Books (48 Commerce St., 255-8115) — this workerowned vegan cafe stays open til 11 p.m., access it from behind the Thirsty Monk on Patton Ave.; Temptation’s Red Room (5 Biltmore Ave., 252-0775) — located on the lower level, this cocktail bar offers regular entertainment; Old Europe (13 Broadway St., 255-5999) — this newly reopened coffee shop serves all things caffeinated and dessert-y, and there are lots of tiny nooks for holing away. • Need to find a last-minute costume? Try: The Costume Shoppe (32 North Lexington Ave., 252-8404), Madame Butterfly (102 N. Lexington Ave. 250-9124), HoneyPot (86 N. Lexington Ave., 2250304), Royal Peasantry (80 N. Lexington Ave., 559-1835), Hip Replacements (72 N. Lexington Ave., 255-7573), Vintage Moon (82 N. Lexington Ave., 225-2768), Ragtime Vintage Clothing (20 E. Walnut St., 2258889).

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WE ASKED THEM: Asheville Civic Center 87 Haywood St. Thomas Wolfe Auditorium 87 Haywood St. The Orange Peel 101 Biltmore Ave. Moogaplex 46 Haywood St. within the Haywood Park complex

Two Fresh (Sherwyn Nicholls) If you could ask Bob Moog one question, what would it be? What’s his favorite Moog instrument? What is your favorite album that features a Moog instrument? Eliott Lipp: Tacoma Mockingbird Who would win in a fight: analog or digital? Analog, it’s like asking who’d win in a fight between Human and Robot. The human, solely because there are just some moves robots can’t do.

WE ASKED THEM::

Stella Blue 31 Patton Ave.

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Describe your best Halloween costume. When I was a kid my mom made me this bird costume out of foam. It was awesome. I have a great picture of it. Who’s your favorite monster (and why)? Awww, that’s too hard. Freddy was the shit. So was Jason. If I had to pick, the “monster within,” a la The Shining. It’s probably my favorite “horror” movie of all time.

WE ASKED THEM:

Headtronics (FreekBass) What’s your favorite candy (and why)? Addicted to the new pretzel M&M’s. Chocolate and salt ... very good combo. What’s your favorite Halloween-related song? Does “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” count? Who would win in a fight: analog or digital? Analog will always last all 15 rounds ... digital would be either a knockout or only last a couple, so always analog.

WE ASKED THEM:

MuteMath (Paul Meany) Describe your best Halloween costume. This year I’m thinking of getting the darkest spray tan I can get, gel my hair back, wear cut off Jnco shorts and go as “The Situation on heroin.” What’s your favorite candy (and why)? Hot tamales, because they go brilliantly with coffee. Who’s your favorite monster (and why)? Elvira. Nothing a boy could want more from his mistress monster.

mountainx.com • OCTOBER 27 - NOVEMBER 2, 2010 57


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58 OCTOBER 27 - NOVEMBER 2, 2010 • mountainx.com


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moogfest

Beyond an art-school joke Devo: from Kent State to feudal state by Uphar Neiburger Lots of people remember Devo for the hit song “Whip It.” The song’s video was one of the first played on MTV, and helped catapult the band to stardom. What many people don’t know is the band was founded on some radical principles. The name “Devo” comes from the band’s concept of “de-evolution — the idea that, instead of continuing to evolve, mankind has actually begun to regress, as evidenced by the dysfunction and herd mentality of American society.” Founding members Gerald Casale and Mark Mothersbaugh were students at Kent State University while the college was a major hub for hippie-radicals in the 1960s and ‘70s. Casale was present on May 4, 1970, when the National Guard opened fire on a peaceful protest, killing four students. That experience led to the band’s formation, and helped inform its art and politics for the duration of its career. The band released Something for Everybody this year, its first studio album in 20 years. Xpress caught up with Casale prior to Friday’s show.

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Xpress: Can you elaborate on the theory of “deevolution” that the band was named after? Casale: It was partially an art-school joke… We Radical principles, radical sound: Just because we live in a corporate feudal society, doesn’t sort of adopted it as an explanation of what we mean Devo can’t rock out. saw in the culture, which was not progress, not the brilliant and bright future that the ‘50s had promised, with dome cities and flying cars and make the students look like the culprits instead of the victims that they technology helping humans with disease and labor. were ... and Devo was a creative response to a situation that would maybe Quite the opposite — we saw infrastructure falling apart, decimation make someone else join The Weather Underground and start blowing up of the education system a la the Republicans and Nixon. We saw more buildings. and more factions developing, more and more violence worldwide, people getting actually dumber, not able to engage in rational and ana- It seems to me that these days there’s not quite that spirit on college lytical thought or discussion, just repeating mindless sound bytes and campuses that there was in the ‘60s. propaganda slogan from TV and we called that De-Evolution. Of course not. We live in a corporate feudal society ... All people want is bling-bling and immediate money for the least amount of effort. When The video for “Whip It” was one of the first videos played on MTV. they do get a job they just want to keep it, they don’t want to cause Was there cognitive dissonance for you coming from such a revolution- trouble and they live in abject fear. A generation today grew up where ary background, and then becoming commercially successful? corporate culture had already become the model, and then you add to It was a wonderful moment where the genie got out of the bottle before that the pseudo-militaristic assault on privacy, like what happens to a they figured it out and clamped down on Devo … We were very happy person at an airport today, that would have been intolerable to anyone that MTV was in this position at this time playing the Devo video that in my day. People are used to standing in line, shutting up, doing what later on they would have never played, it would have never met their they’re told, being afraid that with the wrong comment they’ll be in a censorship standards, but it slipped through the cracks in the beginning secondary search and then in jail. It’s all been a training program to get because they had no programming. MTV came into existence and needed people used to absolute authority, across-the-board authority, no matter music videos and because it was not nationally syndicated yet, it was how illegitimate… open to anything. It was trying to bring music to people not as a down- And that’s not by accident. Certainly for the right-wing forces that are the-line-from-radio hit, but rather starting with music videos. And that represented by people like Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter, after was a short-lived goal. It didn’t take MTV long to become a commercial all the false drum-beating for patriotism and democracy, underneath it monster … They quickly tied their playlist into Top 40 songs. all is basically a hatred of anything but conformity. They certainly don’t want the masses to be educated. You can see the way that education has I have read that the shootings at Kent State were an impetus to start been decimated. Teachers are disrespected and not paid anything. If you the band. have an informed population, you have people questioning authority and Yes, none of what I just told you would have even come about if it had government policy. If they don’t know any better and are kept on a level not been for the trauma of May 4th … I don’t think I had the same philo- of hand-to-mouth survival, they won’t make any trouble. And program sophical sensibility before the killings as I did after, it was like the hippie is work. We don’t have a democracy, that’s my position. Democracy is a part of me was killed, it was no more Mr. Nice Guy. brand and we don’t live in a democracy. We live in a feudal state, that’s I no longer believed in the essential goodness of humanity, with a few what it is. X bad apples. I no longer thought that good ideas and merit would ever win the day. That stupidity and vast evil was a far more prevalent force in the Uphar Neibuger is a freelance writer and music promoter. Universe and that brute power wins no matter how unjust it is … And history right after the fact proved me right, because they spun the story to

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Ears to the street and eyes to the sky Big Boi gets back in the game by Jake Frankel As half of hip-hop super-duo Outkast, Big Boi established himself as one the dopest emcees in history. Teaming up with childhood homey Andre 3000, the pair pioneered an eccentric Dirty Southmeets-G-Funk style that earned them massive critical and commercial success throughout the ‘90s and early 2000s. But with the sometimes-overshadowing Andre taking a musical sabbatical the last few years to focus on acting and other projects, Big Boi set out on his own this summer, releasing a phenomenal solo debut that should lay to rest any concerns that Andre was the creative spark in their collaborations. Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty is a masterpiece of infinitely innovative rhymes anchored by catchy choruses and booty-shaking ‘80s-synth-funk beats that somehow manages to sound both comfortingly familiar and disarmingly futuristic. Big Boi tells Xpress the success of the album feels especially sweet after his former label, Jive Records, delayed its release for years over commercial concerns that proved to be unfounded (it debuted at number three on the US Billboard chart). “It feels great; this album has been finished

for some time now and I really just wanted to get it out there and have people listen to it. So I am thrilled of the great responses it has been getting,” he says, adding that he’s already completed a followup. “I feel like I am always growing as an artist, putting out a solo disc and going on my first solo tour has been a learning experience. I see myself musically just keep making music and keep making records. I already have my next solo album done.” The Atlanta rapper has embarked on a massive U.S. and European tour in support of the disc and says he’s having fun getting back out on the road after laying low for a few years. In addition to performing crunk new party anthems like “Daddy Fat Sax” “Shutterbugg” and “Tangerine,” he reveals that fans can also expect to hear renditions of old-school Outkast bangers like “Rosa Parks,” “Miss Jackson” and “Bombs over Baghdad.” “The live shows are great — I love getting out there and performing for my fans — it’s been awhile since I have gotten out there to perform,” he says, noting that he’ll be coming to Asheville armed with a DJ over a live band. “I usually perform with a DJ — not a band — and I do a lot of old stuff along with the new. I like both: I like the band because it gives it a different feel and it’s all live creating the music right there, but I also like the DJ because it gives off the similar sound that I

Big time: The legendary Atlanta emcee hits Moogfest on the heels of dropping his hot new album, Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty. achieved on the record.” He also reveals a special place in his heart for Halloween. After his Friday night slot at Moogfest, Big Boi will head back down to his beloved ATL for an annual Halloween benefit party for his Big Kidz Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to developing socially conscious youth. “I like Halloween, I have kids too and they are into it. Halloween is always a fun holiday to participate in as a kid — I mean, you get to dress up and be whatever you want that day and not look crazy — how fun is that,” he says. X Jake Frankel can be reached at 251-1333, ext. 115, or at jfrankel@mountainx.com.

62 OCTOBER 27 - NOVEMBER 2, 2010 • mountainx.com

WE ASKED THEM:

Big Boi Who would win in a fight: Freddy Krueger, Mike Myers, a gremlin, the Blair Witch, Freddie Mercury or you? Freddy Kruger – I am not trying to mess with that. Who’s your favorite monster (and why)? Cookie Monster – because he eats mad cookies all day.


moogfest

Stealing our ears Thievery Corporation tours in support of new greatest hits album It Takes a Thief

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Executive lounge: Thievery brings first-class beats to Moogfest.

by Jake Frankel Thievery Corporation harvests diverse strains of music from around the world and rolls them into genre-defying down-tempo tunes that are sure to get Moogfest goers’ heads nodding and hips swiveling. Made up of potent production duo Rob Garza and Eric Hilton, the self-described pioneers of “revolutionary outernational sounds” are coming to Asheville on the heels of releasing their first greatest hits collection, It Takes a Thief. The retrospective album features cuts from throughout their 15 year career such as “Warning Shots,” “Sweet Tides” and “Lebanese Blonde,” which was seared into American pop-culture imagination by being included in the Garden State soundtrack back in 2004. Garza tells Xpress that it was tough for the legendary electro-lounge perfectionists to decide on what tracks to include. “There were certain ones that were like, ‘these are some of our favorites.’ There were other ones that just kind of evoked a moment in time,” he explains over the phone from their studio in D.C.

“There were so many to go through, really, and we both just sort of sat down and went through our catalogue and picked songs we both agreed on and felt like they just said something about where we were at when we were recording them.” The duo has been bringing the songs to life this fall with the help of 12 singers and musicians, who play everything from sitar and bongos to guitar, bass and keys. “It always makes for kind of a big circus,” Garza says of their tendency to take large revolving casts of musicians on the road with them. “But it always keeps it fresh and entertaining.” Garza also notes that the collective will be using plenty of Moog gear and that they’re all excited to be part of an event honoring Bob Moog’s legacy. “We’re excited to come down to Asheville and play Moogfest. I mean, when anybody thinks of the synthesizer, they think of Moog,” he says. “So it’s great to be involved in this festival.” X Jake Frankel can be reached at 251-1333, ext. 115, or at jfrankel@mountainx.com.

WE ASKED THEM: Rob Garza Who do you think would win in a fight: a zombie or a robot, and why? I think a robot would probably win, because they would chop off the zombie’s limbs and then the zombie would be immobile. So unfortunately, the robot. Although I’d probably prefer the zombie to win. Do you have a favorite candy? If so, why? I don’t really eat candy so much anymore. It’s funny to look back and think about how much candy you ate as a kid, but it’s something that I really don’t eat that much anymore, to be

honest with you. Who do you think would win in a fight: Freddy Krueger, Mike Myers, a gremlin, the Blair Witch, Freddy Mercury or you? Or me? That’s good (laughing). Mike Myers is the guy from Halloween, that’s not the guy from Austin Powers, right? Right. Although if you think the comedian would win ... Yeah, maybe the comedian would win. Who knows? Maybe Austin Powers would kick everyone’s ass.

mountainx.com • OCTOBER 27 - NOVEMBER 2, 2010 63


moogfest

Trick or Treats

Sleigh Bells push it to the point of clipping by Jaye Bartell S leigh Bells may have the highest power-to-personnel ratio out there. The Brooklyn-based duo of musician/songwriter Derek Miller and vocalist Alexis Krauss has been pummeling the sonic plane since 2008. Miller’s beats are massive circular saws; repeating guitar lines fly off like sparks. With equal ferocity and finesse, Krauss’ vocal melodies trickle over the teeth of those blades, reducing the shrapnel but not the incisive drive of the music. Many would-be fans heard about Sleigh Bells — in New York’s local small magazine, The New Yorker, as well as Pitchfork and other music blogs — before they heard Sleigh Bells. A few early shows in New York became mythical and the play count on the band’s MySpace page showed the up-ticking list of people waiting for a record. When Treats was released in May (first on iTunes, then, a month later, on CD and vinyl), so-called hype became a solid reputation. Xpress discussed beats, the accidental innovations of cheap equipment and the possibilities of Sleigh Bells unplugged with Miller. Xpress: Sleigh Bells offers a rather unique take on pop music: confrontation. It’s an innovative approach to a type of music that is hard to innovate. What do you think of this term, confrontational pop? Derek Miller: I’m not crazy about labeling our music, or any music for that matter, but I suppose it’s accurate. I’m pretty sure “confrontational” is one of the words I used when I was first describing the sound to Alexis. Thankfully she forgave me for it. Considering that you use electronics onstage for beats and supporting vocals, would you consider your iPod the third Sleigh Bell? Is it easier to deal with than the typical drummer? Running a track as opposed to having a live drummer is a way to avoid compromising the sound, simple as that. Added benefits include eliminating a person in the van, a mouth to feed, etc. We have rehearsed with drummers before ... it totally changes the character of the music — sounds very “nu metal” actually [laughs]. We haven’t ruled it out completely, but I don’t see us adding anyone in the near future. I think the “Sleigh Bells beat” could be patented; it is absolutely blown-out, and at the same time, precise and contained. How did you come up with this engineering method? It was done out of necessity. The gear/sounds I was using at

Accidental innovations: Sleigh Bells’ sound was born from ferocity, finesse and cheap equipment.

the time sound awful when they are cleaned up. The only way I could stand hearing them was when I pushed the master to the point of clipping. The newest songs like “Tell Em” and “Riot Rhythm” are cleaner because the sounds needed less treatment and work better as is. Does Sleigh Bells use any Moog equipment? Never owned a piece of Moog equipment in my life, unfortunately! I didn’t have a spare dime until January or so. We have been recording and touring pretty much nonstop since then, but I’m sure I’ll pick some stuff up when I have time off to experiment with new gear. Has anyone ever asked you guys to do an “unplugged” set? Yes, not sure it would translate. “Rachel” might work; we have a guitar/vocal version of that we might do for the BBC. Haven’t tried it yet...

64 OCTOBER 27 - NOVEMBER 2, 2010 • mountainx.com

How did the name “Sleigh Bells” come about? It’s just a name, really. I jokingly titled a song “Slay Bells” in 2005 and it stuck as a band name though we switched the spelling. I maintain a bands name is as good as its music ... so maybe it’s decent-to-good with a lot of promise??! Can we expect to see some Halloween costumes this year? Maybe the zombie-faced cheerleaders from the Treats record cover? Don’t want to give it away! But yes, costumes for sure. How will Sleigh Bells spend the winter this year? Touring, then we will head back into the studio for our second record. Beyond excited. X Jaye Bartell can be reached at jbartell@mountainx.com.


moogfest

Back to the future Pretty Lights on old-school sounds and new music by Alli Marshall Derek Vincent Smith of Colorado-based Pretty Lights (the electro-dance group of Smith and, currently, drummer Adam Dietch) says some people assume he uses samples because he can’t write music. In fact, “The reason I sample the way I do is because I’m trying to make music that is combination of the cutting-edge and new-electronic styles, but also has the warmth and timbre of music from past decades,” says Smith. “I listen to massive amounts of old records to find the one little guitar note or the one vocal hum to really put them together. Every track is a combination of more than 10-20 different sources of old school sounds to really create something new and different.” That painstaking approach makes Smith’s latest undertaking — releasing three EPs this year — even more impressive. “I came up with the concept of doing three EPs in the year, as opposed to one album,” he tells Xpress. “In my mind that seemed like a good solution as far as releasing music in how it worked with with the timing of my touring. I’d be able to release more music, more often, and keep my show fresh with new material but also maintain that sort of surprise element to when I’m releasing records.” Smith adds, “It was definitely a massive goal to try to pull off ... but I think this is going to be the best one yet.” The musician has, in fact, been honing his style since he was in high school. He got his start producing hip-hop beats and later got involved with the race scene. But it was only last year that Smith, with drummer Cory Eberhard (since replaced by Adam Dietch), gained recognition while playing a slew of festivals (Bonnaroo,

Rothbury and Camp Bisco, among others). Surprisingly, Smith had only attended one festival — High Sierra — before landing gigs as a festival performer. “On my spring tour, I played Coachella and I requested not to have any shows on Friday and Sunday. I played Saturday and was able to come in a day early and hang out for the whole festival and see all the bands I wanted to see,” he says. “If it’s a festival I want to kick it at, I try to make time to be there. It’s cool — I love going to festivals and see what other artists are doing. It’s fun, but it’s also inspirational.” When it comes to inspiration for his next project, Smith is turning to the vintage sounds he loves. The plan is, he says, “To make a record with the sound and style I’ve developed without having to go to old vinyl. Right now I’m building a studio that’s completely analog — old tape machines, instruments from the ‘60s and before and microphones from those eras.” He’s also networking with musicians who use a similar approach. “I’m trying to create a studio where I can record sounds that are similar to the ones I’m sampling.” This doesn’t mean Smith will be releasing a retro-rock or soul album next year — the new project will be trademark Pretty Lights, only Smith will record all the sounds himself, press records on a vintage vinyl press, and then sample. The hoped-for result? Probably not a vision typical among electronic musicians: “What I’m really trying to is build a studio that has none of the current technology and only the old stuff,” says Smith. “The aim is, at least in the recording and sound-creation phase of it, to not Musicology 101: Smith plans to record his own albums use any of the technology that didn’t exist before 1972.” X on vintage equipment, then sample them.

mountainx.com • OCTOBER 27 - NOVEMBER 2, 2010 65


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Heart on protective sleeve Hot Chip’s high-tech simplicity by Alli Marshall “I don’t know how interesting I find remixes,” admits Felix Martin, who plays Jazzmutant Lemur, Elektron Machinedrum SPS MKII, Akai MPC2500 and Dave Smith PolyEvolver with British electro-pop band Hot Chip. Which is a funny thing to say, considering Hot Chip just released the EP We Have Remixes as well as an MPX4 app that allows fans to create their own remixes of Hot Chip’s “I Feel Better.��� And, from the band’s blog, this: “URB.com and Remix Wizard have teamed up with Moogfest for the official Remix Contest. The contest features ‘We Have Love’ by Hot Chip and tracks by Tijuana DJ/producers (and North American Hot Chip support act) Nortec Collective to remix, as well as an easy-to-use webbased remixing tools for beginners. One grand-prize winner will be awarded a late night DJ set on at this year’s Moogfest.” Says Martin, “The culture that we exist in, we’ve got a lot of fans who are producers ... people end up asking if they can remix our music.” But he does regard the album highly: “All these people on the new EP are friends and everyone in [Hot Chip] is a fan of their music. That’s how it comes about. It’s got nothing to do with record labels.” What Martin does find interesting is the song writing of his band members — and Hot Chip founders — Alexis Taylor and Joe Goddard. “Alexis is not a straightforward kind of songwriter, but he writes songs that are quite emotional and quiet direct. Joe is much more of a studio-geek kind of guy. What you’re hearing is the combination of two different people’s artistry and that’s why it’s got that unique sound.” That means that, though they’re created in a science lab or technology, songs like “Thieves in the Night” and “Hand Me Down Your Love,” instantly recognizable tracks from the band’s most-recent studio release, One Life Stand, manage to simultaneously get bodies to the dance floor and tug at the heart strings. And it’s that formula that accounts for Hot Chip’s longevity. “I see it as a progression of Joe and Alexis in their own lives,” Martin says of the band’s discography. “The albums reflect of the way they’ve grown up. They’re both married, they’ve both got kids, they’ve both got houses that they own, and that’s a long way from where we started off. We’d just finished college and were just messing about.” The band, started by Taylor and Goddard as school friends (the name comes from their like of french fries — not a name dreamed up with any foresight of a decade-long career), has always artfully blended tender emotion with dance beats. Lyrics like “You’re my number-one guy” from “And I Was A Boy From

Beauty and the geek: Under all the high-tech gadgetry, Hot Chip just wants to write a good love song.

School” had Martin apologizing to blogsite The New Gay for not being gay. “What it comes down to is Alexis’ ability to come up with original lyrics and Joe’s ability to create fresh-sounding production,” says Martin. “It is quite simple, really.” Actually, it is simple. At least in the beginning. According to Martin, a Hot Chip songs starts with “Alexis, with a piano or a guitar or a much more straight forward, back-to-basics way of coming up with lyrics. Joe tends to be more inspired by creating sounds and combining different electronic sounds. Slightly more modern in creating music through trial and error.” Then, after

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66 OCTOBER 27 - NOVEMBER 2, 2010 • mountainx.com

that, it’s all about the Nord Wave, the Moog Little Phatty, the Roland SH-101 and the Moog Voyager. “All the music and production we make has got the Moog sound all over it,” says Martin. “We haven’t visited the factory — we were only in Asheville for one day last time we were there. We went to a vegetarian café. This time we’re definitely hoping to make time to see the factory.” X Alli Marshall can be reached at amarshall@mountainx.com.


WE ASKED THEM Devo (Gerald Casale) Describe your best Halloween costume. Osama Bin Laden — a full head rubber Bin Laden mask from Paris, a bathrobe and bath slippers from the Soho Grande Hotel and a cane that I borrowed. Who’s your favorite monster (and why)? Scarface. He’s the monster in all of us. Who would win in a fight: analog or digital? Digital is just an illusion. It’s like trying to stab Jello.

Mountain Man (Amelia Meath) What would you rather be: a zombie or a robot? Zombie. At least you got to be human at some point. Unless I was a robot with an emotions chip, like Data had. Who would win in a fight: Freddy Krueger, Mike Myers, a gremlin, the Blair Witch, Freddie Mercury or you? Freddie Mercury always wins. What’s your favorite Halloween-related song? I have always equated “She Blinded Me With Science” by Thomas Dolby with Halloween, though I don’t think that was his intention. Either way, the song is amazing.

Dan Deacon What’s your favorite Halloween-related song? “Who Let the Dogs Out?” What is your favorite piece of Moog gear? I really like my Rouge. I used it a lot on Spiderman of the Rings and I’ll be using it a lot on my next record. I just got a ton of gear in the mail from Moog, all Moogerfooger stuff, and I am super excited to start messing with it. It arrived about 15 minutes ago. I can’t wait to start learning them! Who would win in a fight: analog or digital? They don’t fight. That would be like asking if space or time would win in a fight. They are both awesome means of creating and transporting sound to a listener. Each has their strengths and their weakness. It depends on the music you want to make, and how you want to make it.

Shout Out Out Out Out (Nik Kozub)

Saturn Never Sleeps

Describe your best Halloween costume. Again, when I was a kid, I had some pretty awesome costumes, thanks to my wonderful parents. My Mom would get pretty elaborate with things like building me a fly costume with paper maché and huge metal mesh eyes and stuff. One year I went as a giant Diet Coke can with mirrored shades (I think it was maybe a character from an ad campaign or something). I thought I was pretty damn cool, believe me.

What was your craziest/most memorable Halloween night? 2007 NYC. I had a gig at Cielo for Deep Space w/ Francois K. My hotel was three blocks away and it took me almost one hour to get to the club! Actually very scary!

Have you ever seen a ghost or had any other paranormal experience? I recently stayed at a bed and breakfast thing somewhere in Virginia, and while I didn’t actually see a ghost or anything, it sure as hell felt haunted. It was a giant mansion, dark and creepy, and four of us had the whole place to ourselves. It was in the middle of nowhere, on top of a big hill with nothing else around it, and we arrived there pretty late at night, so that

didn’t help. There were tons of oil paintings of little kids on the walls, and their eyes would follow you around the room when you walked by. We sat out on the patio and had some beers, and anytime one of us had to go in to use the restroom it would give us a minor panic attack. One of my friends went up to his room, and out of nowhere the taps in his sink were running at full blast! Whoaaaa! If you could ask Bob Moog one question, what would it be? I’d probably ask him for gardening tips! He seemed to be a remarkably humble man, but I would also be curious to know if he truly felt the importance and scope of his influence on the music world. Bob Moog and his innovations really did change the course of music, and the range of possibilities for music creation, in a massive way. It’s quite feasible to say that our band wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for Dr. Moog.

(King Britt)

Who would win in a fight: Freddy Krueger, Mike Myers, a gremlin, the Blair Witch, Freddie Mercury or you? Freddy Mercury because if I was him back from the dead, I would lose it. If you could ask Bob Moog one question, what would it be? How and when did you meet Sun Ra?

The Octopus Project (Josh Lambert)

Girl Talk

Javelin (Tom Van Buskirk)

Describe (in detail) your best Halloween costume. I was a head on a platter in 3rd grade. I had a lightweight table that rested on my shoulders, and there was a hole in the middle that my head fit through. There was tablecloth to hide my body. Surrounding my head was a fake platter with fake food glued to the surface. I had some minimal dead person make-up on my face.

What would you rather be: a zombie or a robot? Well, if you are a zombie, you are essentially a pile of organic mush being controlled by an alien virus or some such, and if you are a robot then you are a pile of circuits controlled by humans, or by other robots. Or maybe you are one of the master robots controlling the other robots? Answer: robot.

Have you ever seen a ghost or had any other paranormal experience? I got really dehydrated when I was a kid, and I had crazy hallucinations for a few days straight. At one point, I thought Alf was speaking to me through the TV. That’s about as close as I’ve gotten to paranormal activity.

Have you ever seen a ghost, or had any other paranormal experience? One time I saw a concentrated bright green light hover in the sky over southern Vermont, sit still for enough time for an entire carload of people to see it, then in a split second it shot across the sky and out of sight. Did you see the clip by the former Canadian Defence Minister (I know, one actually exists) explaining UFOs? YouTube it.

Who would win in a fight: analog or digital? Hopefully in the midst of their fight, they would realize that they’re both wonderful in different ways and combine their powers.

Who’s your favorite monster (and why)? Nosferatu. Can’t be mass-lampooned by Disney consciousness.

(Clare Muldaur Manchon)

Who’s your favorite monster (and why)? Stripe from Gremlins has more attitude than any other monster I’ve ever seen. I like monsters to be able to kill but also annoy. He may have invented the monster mohawk too.

Disco Biscuits (Aron Magner) What was your craziest/most memorable Halloween night? 10/31/2000 Covering “Cherub Rock” with a bikini-clad girl clobbering a pumpkin with a tire iron while we aptly screamed out to the crowd in the mics “We are ... smashing pumpkins.” What is your favorite album that features a Moog instrument? I mean, is there any other album as influential, meaningful, forward thinking, and mind blowing that it is even possible than Switched on Bach?

Who would win in a fight: analog or digital? I’m not even gonna touch that argument. Analog junkies are so defensive about their art form and I admit I have found myself salivating to analogue-synth porn .... thank you synthtopia.com. I frequently find that digital has so much more flexibility in the studio, yet its sonic precision is sometimes its downfall. I enjoy living in the digalogue world.

Describe (in detail) your best Halloween costume. This isn’t mine, but this year, Yvonne is going as the Rolling Stone cover of a nude John Lennon hugging Yoko Ono. She’s dressing up as Yoko and made a life-sized, stuffed, nude John Lennon, which she will be attaching to her waist. It is pretty nuts! What’s your favorite Halloween-related song? “Islands In the Stream” by Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton.

Clare & the Reasons

Describe your best Halloween costume. When I was 5, I was a toothbrush and my sister was toothpaste. We won the prize, my mom made it for us, there was a lot of cardboard and paint involved. What would you rather be: a zombie or a robot? Robot, for sure. My arms would get very tired if I had to hold them up and out for as long as a zombie is required to do, no fun. If you could ask Bob Moog one question, what would it be? blip bleep eekk doink?

For lots more answers, go to mountainx.com mountainx.com • OCTOBER 27 - NOVEMBER 2, 2010 67


moogfest

Celebrating Bob’s Spirit on a Hallowed Weekend by Michelle Moog-Koussa

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Bob Moog lived at the edge of sonic reality, constantly pushing sound barriers. He sought to provide musicians with a new musical vocabulary to communicate with their audiences. Although it seems to be paradoxical, this pioneering inventor settled deep in the hills outside of Asheville on a secluded piece of land. In 1978, after 14 years of blazing trails in electronic music, Bob Moog left Moog Music, Inc. in Buffalo, New York and moved to Asheville with his wife and four children. Bob sought the balance from years in a corporate environment and immersed himself in the natural beauty of this small mountain town for almost 25 years. His work life was complimented with chopping wood to heat his house, taking hikes to check the spring that provided water to his family and plowing his large vegetable garden on his tractor. During this period Bob also continued to create innovative instruments: the Crumar Spirit, the little-known Multi-Touch Sensitive Keyboard, an entire line of theremins including the MIDI-capable Ethervox, several moogerfoogers effect pedals and the Minimoog Voyager. He wrote a monthly column for Keyboard Magazine and traveled extensively around the world lecturing about synthesis and more. Each time, Bob loved returning to his mountain home where he spent countless nights on his deck gazing at the stars — listening to the stream flowing amongst the silence. Bob’s creativity was nurtured in these hills, and by the artistic community that grew here over the past 30 years. That creativity spawned Big Briar, Inc. and later the re-born Moog Music, Inc., which is thriving among the same environment that Bob once did. The Bob Moog Foundation, a small, independent nonprofit, was born from this creativity as well. The Foundation seeks to carry forth Bob’s legacy and spirit through education and historic preservation.

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68 OCTOBER 27 - NOVEMBER 2, 2010 • mountainx.com

The musician’s toolmaker: The late Bob Moog expanded the musician’s sonic palette, inventing instruments never before heard and pioneering technology central to the music of many modern bands. photo courtesy bob moog foundation

Come visit us at the Moogaplex, where we are assisting in the workshops, panel and discussions throughout Saturday and Sunday, to find out how we carry Bob’s legacy forward. Moogfest has now come to these hills as well, celebrating Bob Moog’s spirit and his technical accomplishments. On the weekend that honors all hallowed souls, Bob’s soul will have a special place in many peoples’ hearts (and ears) as electronic musicians from all over the world converge to explore the breadth of new technology used to make electronic music. Someone recently asked me what Bob Moog would think of Moogfest. It is hard for me to imagine what Bob Moog would think, but I can conjecture two things. First, he

would be a tad bit uncomfortable with all of the attention, as he was a truly humble man who did not endorse the notion of celebrity. Second, Bob Moog worked at the bequest of musicians. He considered himself their toolmaker. His beacon was expanding the musician’s sonic palette so that they could create and communicate music that moved their audiences. Just as Bob dedicated his work to music and musicians, Moogfest celebrates both. Bob Moog would have loved to see it all happen, here in this beloved town that he called home. X Michelle Moog-Koussa is executive director of the Bob Moog Foundation.


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