OUR 19TH YEAR OF WEEKLY INDEPENDENT NEWS, ARTS & EVENTS FOR WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA VOL. 19 NO. 14 OCTOBER 24 - OCTOBER 30, 2012
McHenry face off in 10th District
Get beamed up:
OFFICIAL MOOGFEST GUIDE
40 Witchin’ in
In plaIn sIght
m o o g f e s t Your weekend-long dance partY starts here This year's Moogfest (the third for the locally held immersion course in electronic music) brings some changes — a smaller roster, for one. And no over-the-top headliner. No Flaming Lips. No Massive Attack. Think of it as the perfect opportunity to get to know the 2012 performers better. It's also a prime chance to check out some really experimental sounds, from Asheville's own noise-rock duo Ahleuchatistas and electronic forefather Morton Subotnick to events at the Moog Music factory all weekend long. Within this guide, Xpress offers up a select few interviews with performers (from dreamy noir duo Exitmusic to hip-hop genius GZA) as well as our take on all the bands and a roundup of Moogfest-related events. The Bob Moog Foundation, which furthers the ideas and sonic events of the man we're all here to celebrate, makes a showing at the Diana Wortham Theatre. Emerald Lounge hosts a weekend-long showcase of local electronic artists. And performance-art outfit Invisible makes music with a typewriter. Writers: Justin Farrar, Jordan Lawrence, Alli Marshall, Dane Smith. Editors: Alli Marshall, Rebecca Sulock. Designer: Nathanael Roney Copyright 2012
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eVents at Moog FactorY
Moog Music makes Moog instruments, including the Little Phatty and Voyager. The factory is in downtown Asheville at 160 Broadway St., where the analog parts are manufactured by hand. Check out these events happening there: Even without a Moogfest ticket, you can go to MinimoogFest. It’s free and open to the public. Check out DJ sets by locals Marley Carroll and In Plain Sight (winners of the Remix Orbital for Moogfest contest), along with MSSL CMMND (featuring Chad Hugo from N.E.R.D. and Daniel Biltmore). Sponsored by QSC, Pisgah Brewing and Buchi. Thursday, Oct. 25, 3-6 p.m. “This year’s entries are truly mind-blowing,” says Moog Music of the third Circuit Bending Competion. Finalist judging will be handled by special guests from Google, and the company will film the event for a mini documentary. The instruments will be on display in the Moog Factory all festival weekend. Judging takes place on Friday, Oct. 26, 11 a.m. A Modular Synth Mash with special guests Herb Deutsch (synth pioneer, collaborator of Bob Moog’s and NYU electronic music professor) Alessandro Cortini (modular synth guru and Nine Inch Nails keyboardist) and Richard Devine (Warp Records artist and Native Instruments sound designer) will be a chance “to witness the synth gods generations collide.” Saturday, Oct. 27, 11 a.m.
French electro-pop duo Justice is the unofficial start to Moogfest: the band’s American tour brings them to the U.S. Cellular Center on Thursday, Oct. 25. And while the show isn’t part of the Moogfest lineup, festival attendees did have first dibs on pre-sale tickets. Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay gained recognition back in ‘03 when they entered their remix of “Never Be Alone” by Simian in a college radio contest. Even before Justice’s ‘07 debut, †, was released, they’d won a best video accolade at the ‘06 MTV Europe Music Awards. Though remixing is largely the band forté (live album, Across the Universe, contains samples of songs or remixes on each track), Justice approaches shows with a rock ‘n’ roll aesthetic and, with the addition of rock instruments, has been moving away from the electronic sound. Last year’s release, Audio, Video, Disco was summed up by critics as the French duo’s attempt at ‘70s arena rock. Those screaming metal guitars and pummeling drums find their way onto the recently released video for “New Lands” (with its futuristic football/baseball/lacrosse/ roller derby/played-with-an-atomic-fireball mashup), off Justice’s EP of the same name. In true Justice style, the EP is five versions (three are remixes) of the same song. Show time is 8 p.m., tickets are $47.65 including fees. ticketmaster.com. — A.M.
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s c h e d u l e eXploreasheVIlle.coM arena
i d a y
7:00 7:15 7:30 7:45 8:00 8:15 8:30 8:45 9:00 9:15 9:30 9:45 10:00 10:15 10:30 10:45 11:00 11:15 11:30 11:45 12:00 12:15 12:30 12:45 1:00 1:15 1:30 1:45
thoMas wolFe audItorIuM
the orange peel
asheVIlle MusIc hall
dIana worthaM theatre Buke and gase 7:00 - 7:45
pantha du prince 7:00 - 8:00 Bear in heaven 7:30 - 8:15
killer Mike 7:30 - 8:30 Morton subotnick presents “From silver apples to a sky of cloudless sulfur” 8:15 - 9:15
nas 8:30 - 9:30 Miike snow 8:45 - 10:00
Public Meeting: ARt to consideR Addition seRvice
el-p 9:30 - 10:30
wick-it the Instigator 9:45 - 10:45
primus 3d 10:00 - 11:30
exitmusic 10:00 - 11:00
squarepusher 10:30 - 11:45 Black Moth super rainbow 11:30 - 12:30
richie hawtin 12:15 - 2:00
explosions in the sky 12:30 - 1:45 gZa presents liquid swords 1:00 - 2:00
Blondes 11:15 - 12:15
ahleuchatistas 11:30 - 12:30
The City of Asheville’s Transit Division will hold a public input meeting November 1 to gather feedback about route enhancements to the ART (Asheville Redefines Transit) system. As part of the City of Asheville’s commitment to continuous improvement, ART plans to:
• Add holiday service on New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day • Improve the schedules for Route C and Route N • Review Route 170 trip departure times • Make permanent the additional frequency of service on route E1 The public meeting will be held on Thursday November 1st, 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Pack Memorial Library’s Lord Auditorium, 67 Haywood Street. The meeting will be in a drop-in format and the public is encouraged to give us feedback on this proposed additional service. If you are unable to attend the public hearing, please submit your comments, no later than November 1, 2012, by email at iride@ ashevillenc.gov, mail to: Mariate Echeverry, Transportation Planning Manager, City of Asheville, P.O. Box 7148, Asheville, NC 28802 or
ana sia 12:45 - 2:00
l o c a l s h o w c a s e emerald lounge hosts the satellite party
eXploreasheVIlle.coM arena 7 to 8 p.m. — The bio of Hendrik Weber (aka Pantha du Prince) opens by expounding on the theories of the origins of music. Heady stuff, but the German producer and DJ was among early Moogfest lineup speculations, one of the most mentioned. And his style, evolved from house music, incorporated not just electronic explorations but acoustic instrumentation and field recordings. panthaduprince.com — A.M. 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. — The son of jazz cornetist/guitarist/singer Olu Dara, Nasir Jones (aka Nas) took the family business (music) in a different direction (rap). His career kicked off in ‘91 when he was featured on Main Source’s debut, but successful albums have been balanced with high-profile angst (a feud with Jay-Z, a split with R&B singer Kelis). As seven platinum albums to date attest, Nas is a master of the lithe, smart, rhythmically complex lyric that’s as poetic as it is powerful. nasirjones.com — A.M. 10 to 11:30 p.m. — Primus, as much as any band in modern rock, exists on its own plane completely. Two decades of “What-the-hell-was-that” kind of weird, irreverent prog rock (defined by Les Claypool’s mind-
bending bass lines) and the band is still at it. Following 2010’s Oddity Faire sideshow and the band’s first new record in a decade, Primus returns with an equally ambitious “3D enhanced live musical experience.” What, exactly, that is, who knows. But judging from the past 20 years with Primus, we’re pretty sure it’s going to rule. primusville.com — D.S. 12:15 to 2 a.m. — If gold watches were still handed out for career longevity, Richie Hawtin (two decades DJing!) would get one. Born in England, he influenced mid-’90s Detroit techno; he grew up just across the river in Canada. Hawtin, known for a minimalist approach to music, has also undertaken some maximalist ventures, producing raves, running clubs and performing under dozens of stage names. richiehawtin.com — A.M.
thoMas wolFe audItorIuM 7:30 to 8:15 p.m. — Dense and elaborately blanketed in psychedelic nuance, krautrock moodiness and fuzzy synth meanderings, Bear In Heaven (led by Brooklyn’s Jon Philpot) deftly balances unwieldy prog-rock axioms with pop discernment. Songs are
both big and personal. The band previewed this year’s release, I Love You, It’s Cool by slowing it to a staggering 2,700 hours of drone. bearinheaven.com — A.M. 8:45 to 10 p.m. — If “Swedish indie pop” sounds about as approachable as bog snorkeling or blowfish eating, just listen to trio Miike Snow’s hit, “Animal.” Which you probably already know, and if you don’t, it’ll still probably feel instantly familiar. The band’s name (in homage to friend Mike Snow and Japanese film director Takashi Miike) is also as clear as its Englishlanguage vocals á la American singer Andrew Wyatt. miikesnow.com — A.M. 10:30 to 11:45 p.m. — Electronic musician Tom Jenkinson (aka Squarepusher) plays Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and London before landing in Asheville. His brand of drum and bass is significantly influenced by jazz; in addition to samplers and sequencers, he also plays drums, a xylophone, bass and guitar (including a classical). And a toy Yamaha keyboard, according to one interview from ‘98. His latest album is Ufabulum. squarepusher.net — A.M. 12:30 to 1:45 a.m. — Explosions in the Sky‘s ubermelodic instrumental rock is textured and atmospheric in the “I’m about to zone out and think about my entire life” sort of way. Layers of spacey riffs
If you've ever been to a festival like South By Southwest, you’re familiar with the assorted satellite events (both official and unofficial). In line with that concept, Emerald Lounge is hosting a local showcase during Moogfest, with a full roster of bands Friday and Saturday nights. The showcase is free to Moogfest pass holders and $10 per day for the general public. Moogfest day-pass holders get in free on the day of their ticket. Buy Friday advance tickets at avl.mx/m7 and Saturday advance tickets at avl.mx/m8. Friday: Panther God (Beat music) 9:30-10:45 p.m.; Aligning Minds (breakbeat, dubstep, IDM, down-tempo) 11 p.m.-12:15 a.m.; Futexture (IDM, tech-step, house, down-tempo) 12:30-2 a.m. Saturday: Novakord (pictured, synthesized vocals and beats) 9:30-10:15 p.m.; Sonmi (electronic instrumental) 10:30-11:15 p.m.; RBTS WIN (electro-soul) 11:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m.; Paper Tiger (triphop, down-tempo) 12:45-1:45 a.m. Doors at 8:30 p.m. nightly. Info at emeraldlounge.com. — A.M.
erIc grahaM photographY / FroM Moog MusIc aha aVl show
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7:30 to 8:30 p.m. — Rapper Michael Render (aka Killer Mike) debuted on the OutKast song “Snappin’ and Trappin’” a dozen years ago; his own debut album, Monster, dropped in ‘03. His biggest charting hit to date is his song “A.D.I.D.A.S.” — an acronym for “All Day I Dream About Sex.” Aside from his hip-hop career, Mike and his wife own Graffiti’s SWAG Barbershop in Atlanta. facebook.com/mikebigga — A.M. 9:30 to 10:30 p.m. — Not to be confused with Emerson Lake and Palmer, El-P (formerly El Producto) is the project of Brooklyn-based producer and rap artist Jaime Meline. Like Nas, El-P parlayed jazz roots (his dad is pianist Harry Keys) into a career in hip-hop. His 2012 release, Cancer For Cure, is a heavy-hitting, gut-punching work of lyrical acrobatics and disturbing imagery (and, if you check out the video “The Full Retard,” furry woodland-creature puppets gone horribly awry). facebook.com/therealelp — A.M. 11:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. — Who doesn’t love an enigmatic electro pop band with megaprocessed, almost robotic vocals and members who go by aliases like Tobacco, Bullsmear and Seven Fields of Aphelion? Not surprisingly, Black Moth Super Rainbow embraces conceptual projects and takes psychedelia to a sometimes creepy level. Even so, the warm analog electronics, retro organs and catchy hooks keep things accessible enough (imagine The Flaming Lips if they actually took drugs). One can only hope the live show is half as otherworldly as the band’s gloriously bizarre videos. blackmothsuperrainbow.com — D.S.
1 to 2 a.m. — Rapper GZA (aka Genius) of Wu-Tang Clan released his second solo album, Liquid Swords, in ‘95. It took more than a year to create, but it peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard chart and, more than a decade after its release, was hailed by Chicago Tribune as “one of the most substantial lyrical journeys in hip-hop history.” The album was reissued this summer. facebook.com/theGZA — A.M.
asheVIlle MusIc hall 9:45 to 10:45 p.m. — Even if remixes aren’t your thing, it’s hard not to be charmed by Nashville-based DJ Andrew Owsley (aka Wick-It the Instigator). He’s mashed up The Black Keys with Big Boi (rumor has it Big Boi likes it). And he’s not just remixing the newest bands — what he did to Van Halen’s “Jump” almost makes you forgive that band for, well, the entire decade of the ‘80s. The point: Wick-It is grounded in hip-hop, but he’s not afraid to tap indie-rock, ‘60s rock and whatever else he can get his capable hands on. wickittheinstigator.tumblr.com — A.M. 11:15 p.m. to 12:15 a.m. — Neither Sam Haar nor Zach Steinman are blonde, though together the electronic musicians (who just released their debut, self-titled LP in February) are Blondes. More than a year before that album was out, The Guardian named the dance-pop duo a new band of the day. Blondes’ Facebook page is nearly blank, but they make up for that lack of disclosure with dozens of tracks to stream in Soundcloud (soundcloud.com/blondes). blondeblondeblondes.com — A.M. 12:45 to 2 a.m. — DJ Ana Sia, from the San Francisco Bay area, is known for breaking new sounds, championing music festivals and building a community through touring
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s o n g c a t c h e r
In a very unscientific study, the one name to pop up the most on various pre-Moogfest 2012 lineup announcement prediction blogs and threads was Pantha du Prince. The German-born producer and DJ (aka Hendrik Weber) is playing the accolade all cool-like. “That’s a compliment for the music,” he tells Xpress by email. “I hear the Moog festival is a very good festival, so as an artist you always hope to play music at festivals that make sense. I’m really looking forward to this one!” Besides having an enthusiastic fan base, Weber is a fan himself — of Moog equipment, that is. The Minimoog tops his list and “the new Minitaur is a brilliant tool, because it’s small and you can take it with you,” he says. “Also the Moogerfoggers are quite interesting for processing.” The equipment can be heard on albums like Ursprung, Pantha du Prince’s recent collaboration with longtime friend Stephan Abry. The two collected songs for a while, playing all the instruments (guitars and synthesizers) and processing their recordings on a computer. And, while the collection is electronic, there’s a lot of the natural world in its genesis. “We recorded in all kinds of places, for example at the German North Sea in an atelier right next to the ocean, so wind and long walks are part of the music,” says Weber.
Pantha du Prince crafts atmospheric sounds that, he says, are inspired by various places: “Houses as well as landscapes can provide a starting point.” Perhaps surprisingly (because Krautrock often comes up in reviews of Pantha du Prince’s music), nationality is not important to Weber. What is, instead, is “a certain regional influence, that has nothing to do with countries.” He’s talking about how “your direct surrounding, socially and environmentally, have an impact on what you do and how you do it.” Weber’s own approach to gathering sounds and ideas has changed. Half a decade ago, he says, he’d make music any place where he could bring his laptop. That became distracting; he now prefers the studio. “But once I’m somewhere in a place, I collect a lot of sounds from outside and instruments I find are recorded with little sketches everywhere I go,” he says. “My field recorder always waits in my pocket.” Will the U.S. stretch of Pantha du Prince’s current tour wind up on a field recording? Perhaps, though Weber seems more visually and gastronomically inclined on this trip: “To see the autumn colors changing every day is what I’m looking forward to,” he writes. “Also, having some good meals with friends I have not seen for a long time.” — A.M.
gZa wIll perForM acclaIMed alBuM FroM ‘95 In Its entIretY
and playing venues that range from clubs to college towns. She’s also very interested in the relationship between performer and audience. She writes, on her website, “More and more, as the barriers between the stage and dancefloor begin to dissolve, and the unification of us just as we are (extraordinary animals who love to experience life) begin to crystallize, it makes me happier every time we see each other.” anasiamusic.com — A.M.
producer pantha du prInce talks InspIratIon and eQuIpMent
s w o
asheVIlle MusIc hall 7 to 7:45 p.m. — The Brooklyn-based indie rock duo Buke and Gase is named for the homemade instruments that define its sound: the buke, a modified six-string ukulele; and the gase, a crunchy guitar-bass hybrid. Through a series of percussive innovations and foot-triggered drums, along with an arsenal of pedals and processors, the duo achieves remarkably lush sonic landscapes (it makes a point to note that all sounds are achieved live and no samplers are used), and Arone Dyer’s smooth alto and easy falsetto ground the churning rhythms with warm, poppy melodies. bukeandgase.com — D.S. 8:15 to 9:15 p.m. — Nearing 80 years old, electronic composer Morton Subotnick is a Moogfest progenitor not just for his seniority but because his 1967 album, Silver Apples of the Moon (which he’ll perform at the festival) was, according to his bio, “the first electronic work to be commissioned specifically for the record medium.” It was released on Nonesuch Records. Other groundbreaking works included Two Life Histories (‘77), “the first piece involving an electronic ghost score” and All My Hummingbirds Have Alibis (‘94), an interactive concert work. mortonsubotnick.com — A.M. 10 to 11 p.m. — At times dreamy and atmospheric, at others anthemic and expansive, Exitmusic is a shimmering example of what we all want dream pop to be. Aleksa Palladino and Devon Church’s backstory is almost as compelling as their music (the pair met on a train in Canada, remained in touch for years after and eventually were married; Palladino also happens to be a successful actress with major Hollywood films on her resume) but even that storybook tale can’t overshadow the ascending drama and soaring dynamics of Palladino’s smoky alto and the pulsing glow of Exitmusic’s mountainous soundscapes. weareexitmusic.com — D.S. 11:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. — Ahleuchatistas is a powder keg of avant grade experimentalism, technical precision and explosive dissonance that can only be described as mind boggling. Guitarist Shane Perlowin spews dizzying lines of unorthodox melodies with chaotic bursts of unadulterated noise, punctuated with turn-on-a-dime time changes delivered at breakneck pace. Drummer Ryan Oslance is equally extraordinary, covering his entire body with percussive chains and bells, utilizing both sides of his drum sticks (along with his elbows and hands) and flailing behind the kit like a feral animal just released from a lifetime of imprisonment. The kicker? The seeming chaos of Ahleuchatistas is accompanied by an incomprehensible precision unrivaled in math-y prog rock. ahleuchatistas.com — D.S.
Chief among the criticisms lobbed at last year’s Moogfest was its lack of a sufficient hip-hop presence. Among the more adventurous and successful styles of electronically rendered music, hip-hop is intrinsically tied to the legacy the festival is meant to honor. This year, organizers correct the omission with sets from acclaimed Atlanta MC Killer Mike and confrontational rap outfit Death Grips, among others. But no 2012 artist boosts Moogfest’s hip-hop credibility more than GZA, the Wu Tang Clan member unironically referred to as “The Genius.” “Festivals are youth driven,” GZA told the Xpress via email. “Hip-hop has a grip on the youth like no other genre of music. How can they not include us?” In an acknowledgment of hip-hop’s importance that far outstrips anything from the festival’s first two years in Asheville, GZA will perform his acclaimed 1995 release Liquid Swords in its entirety. Full-album performances have become an intriguing Moogfest staple. Last year, Suicide caused a stir when they played their manic synth-punk debut from front to back. In its own way, Liquid Swords is an equally important record, a marvel of lyrical dexterity and mood management that has stood as a measuring stick for every MC who has emerged in the years since its release. “It means so much to me,” GZA says of the opportunity to perform the album at Moogfest. “Liquid Swords is one month from being 17 years old, so it is an honor and blessing, and I am very grateful.” Over the course of 13 songs, Liquid Swords manages to distill the darkest elements of the group’s ghetto-life explorations while enlivening them with jaw-dropping wordplay. GZA and his cohorts indulge in gruesome detail, but it’s still a blast to hear their words twist without mercy. The album was — and is — a stunning accomplishment that set GZA apart as one of the most gifted rappers around, once and for all removing any doubt that he deserved his selfappointed nickname. “Anything I do that is perceived as being great will always increase the pressure for what is next to follow,” he says, speaking to the burden of living up to the early career classic. “It makes me feel great because whenever I compare and contrast the past and the present I see so much growth and development.” GZA has accomplished much in the years since the album’s release. He’s unleashed a string of critically respected solo LPs, regrouped with Wu Tang and made memorable contributions to other members’ individual efforts. But none of it matches Liquid Swords. Approaching that legacy in a live setting, GZA drafted some unusual help. Nathan Williams, leader of the brightly skuzzy pop-rock outfit Wavves, is tasked with recreating the chilling grit of RZA’s iconic beats, an unenviable task that GZA’s fans will judge quickly and harshly. “What makes it work is that he has an interesting, unique sound,” GZA says. “[It’s] a little distorted and adds a different element to the songs.” — J.L.
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Bear In heaVen Isn’t aFraId to dance Bear in Heaven has always occupied an ambiguous space, somewhere between experimental indie rock and noisy, towering electronics. The band's latest album, I Love You, It's Cool, blurs the line even more, unapologetic in its polished, synth-driven dance aesthetic. One could argue that’s where the band has always been headed, but this time the evolution is surprisingly pronounced. As singer/ multi-instrumentalist Jon Philpot told Spin in December, “There's more groove, less doom.” More like all groove, no doom. Gone are the crushing waves of dissonance and ominous chord progressions. In their place: a shimmering, ethereal sound with persistent four-on-the-floor rhythms and retro tones reminiscent of ‘80s chart toppers like Depeche Mode. Embracing its “groove” side was a risky move for the band — whose fan base is largely rooted in the rock scene — as guitarist/bassist Adam Wills readily acknowledges. "We were semi-afraid to write a record that was too dance-y, that it was going to scare off all the rock fans of ours," he admits. "But it seems like we bridged some sort of gap between those two worlds." Still, Wills has moments of doubt. “There will be people who come to the shows, like front row, and it's some dude with a chain wallet and pink long hair. And I'm like, ‘Oh my god, has he heard the new album? It's going to bum him out.’ Because it's not these big, giant walls of sound as much
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anymore, or whatever element I'm projecting onto him that I think he likes.” Fans, though, seem content to follow Bear in Heaven to the other side. “That is actually a specific instance," he continues. "And the kid was dancing his ass off all night. ... We've seen a marked difference, because we've been moving more onstage, which in turn makes everybody else move more.” Considering Bear in Heaven's constantly evolving sound, one might expect the band to be the kind of gear-nerds who obsess over new equipment and tones, constantly searching for the next definitive Bear in Heaven sound. But Wills says that's just not practical for a band living in Brooklyn. “Actually, Jon [Philpot] just sold a ton of stuff that we made the last two records with,” says Wills. “He was just like, ‘There's no more sounds in these keyboards that we haven't used.’ It's hard to be gearheads in New York, because there’s nowhere to put all the stuff.” Nonetheless, Wills admits that new equipment and “rediscovered old technology” is “a big part of the conversation.” They just don't buy every cool piece of equipment. “We could probably borrow it from a friend or rent it or something,” he says with a laugh. — D.S.
eXItMusIc tells storIes that are eMotIonal, not lInear Though Exitmusic is just one of a handful of female-led projects at Moogfest, singer-keyboardist Aleksa Palladino says that, while she identifies with being a woman more and more as she gets older, “I don’t write anything out of that.” “We’re finally at a place where women don’t have to write as women,” says the musician. “We don’t have to write about boys, or relationships and love. We’re at a point where we can move past that and write about things that are going on in our heads.” What Palladino and her husband/ bandmate Devon Church write, she says, are emotional stories. Not linear stories or prose, but evocative soundscapes and dreamscapes culled from internal worlds and the fertile creative space that the couple shares. According to Palladino, she and Church met on a train while they were both traveling across Canada. Their band developed along with their romance, and they write all of their songs together. “It’s been sort of the central part of the relationship from early on,” Palladino says of the band. “I can’t imagine doing it any other way.” Another art-reflecting-life aspect of Exitmusic: The band’s videos. Palladino and Church recently released a darkly dreamy
visual for “The Modern Age” off their album Passage. Palladino is an actor as well as a musician (she most recently appeared in the TV series Boardwalk Empire) and says videos “come more naturally to me, because I’m more used to the camera.” But she’s cautious about attaching images to songs that could change a listener’s initial impression of the music. Then again, says Palladino, everybody watches videos. “So a lot of people get introduced to your song with the visuals there. It’s a tricky thing — what are those visuals that can still allow the song to be heard?” She adds, “I never like revealing too much of what our songs are about.” Considering the obscurity of lyrics and imagery, it’s probably not surprising that fans of the experimental/atmospheric duo aren’t likely to cut a rug at a show. Really, this is music that makes you close your eyes and maybe sway a little bit. Palladino and Church aren’t necessarily looking out into the crowd, either — it’s an introspective experience all the way around. But that doesn’t mean there’s not a connection between band and audience. Palladino says, “You definitely feel who you’re playing to. There’s something that separates each show: It’s the audience and how they respond to us.” — A.M.
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mountainx.com • OCTOBER 24 - OCTOBER 30, 2012 59
s c h e d u l e eXploreasheVIlle.coM arena
s a t u r d a y eXploreasheVIlle.coM arena 7:15 to 8:15 p.m. — In less than a year, Divine Fits has gone from an unknown entity (at one early and badly kept secret show, they were billed as "The Hot Skull") to playing a Lollapalooza aftershow and two New Year's Eve shows with The Black Keys in Vegas. Then again, Divine Fits members (Britt Daniel of Spoon, Dan Boeckner of Wolfe Parade, Sam Brown of New Bomb Turks) are the kind of musicians who fans follow closely. And, with the early success of just-released A Thing Called Divine Fits, they promise to be much more than a one-hit wonder. divinefits. com — A.M. 8:45 to 10 p.m. — One of just a handful of female performers at Moogfest, Santi White (aka Santigold) already wowed at Bonnaroo this year (one report noted "choreographed dance moves with her backup singers/dancers involving pom poms and briefcases"). And, having toured with the Beastie Boys and Kanye West and recorded with Karen O and Q-Tip, it’s a safe bet that Santigold will bring to the stage plenty of energy — along with the self-described "sonically eclectic but with some epic curveballs” spirit of her new album, Master of My Make-Believe. santigold.com — A.M.
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10:30 p.m. to midnight — Not only does British dance duo Orbital have its roots in the late '80s rave scene, their '89 track "Chime" became something of an anthem for raves. Brothers Phil and Paul Hartnoll disbanded in 2004 but regrouped in '09 (20 years after "Chime") and have been playing big festivals ever since, such as Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts (with a guest appearance by “Doctor Who” actor Matt Smith). orbitalofficial.com — A.M. 12:30 to 2 a.m. — Ambient musicians Simon Posford (aka Hallucinogen) and Raja Ram build the sonic journey that is Shpongle using acoustic guitars, flute (played live by Ram), Moroccan drumming, samples of Turkish singing, cello and double bass. Though from the U.K., Shpongle has a huge following in Japan. The duo can site authentic psychedelic roots: 70-year-old Ram was a founding member of '60s-era psychedelic rock band Quintessence. shpongle.com — A.M.
7:00 7:15 7:30 7:45 8:00 8:15 8:30 8:45 9:00 9:15 9:30 9:45 10:00 10:15 10:30 10:45 11:00 11:15 11:30 11:45 12:00 12:15 12:30 12:45 1:00 1:15 1:30 1:45
thoMas wolFe audItorIuM
divine Fits 7:15 - 8:15
the orange peel
9:30 to 10:45 p.m. — Thomas Dolby will forever be remembered for the ‘82 hit "She Blinded Me with Science" and his dancefriendly synth-pop of the same decade, but the producer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist is a musical Renaissance man of sorts, combining his love of computer generated tones with funk, jazz and world styles, even collaborating with Bob Weir, Jerry Garcia and Eddie Van Halen on ‘92's Astronauts and Heretics. In the ‘90s, he founded Beatnik Inc., which pioneered the polyphonic ringtones that dominated early mobile phones. These days, Dolby serves as musical director for the TED Conference series and tours the country with his Time Capsule, a "chrome- and brass-plated trailer" where fans can produce their own 30-second video message to the future. thomasdolby.com — D.S.
dIana worthaM theatre
actress 7:00 - 8:00
Julia holter 7:00 - 8:00
cold cave 8:30 - 9:30
andy stott 8:30 - 9:30
the Magnetic Fields 7:30 - 8:45
santigold 8:45 - 10:00 trust 9:30 - 10:30
thomas dolby 9:30 - 10:45 death grips 10:00 - 11:00 orbital 10:30 - 12:00
tim hecker and daniel lopatin 10:15 - 11:15
18 Church Street | Asheville, NC
disclosure 11:00 - 12:00
shpongle presents the Masquerade 12:30 - 2:00
OCTOBER 26 harold Budd with keith lowe 11:45 - 12:45
Four tet 11:30 - 1:00 carl craig 12:00 - 2:00
WILLY PORTER $16 advance, $20 door | 8PM
As much a showman as he is an six-string wonder, Porter offers a rich blend of sugar and salt, with songs that move easily from rough-hewn electric edges into soulful irony.
prefuse 73 with teebs 12:30 - 1:30
p a n e l s
thoMas wolFe audItorIuM 7:30 to 8:45 p.m. — The Magnetic Fields' jangly ballads and poppy hooks are the creative vehicle of Stephin Merritt, the band's principle songwriter and driving force. Merritt is as comfortable with synth-heavy electro pop as he is with minimalist folk and fuzzy garage rock, and the multi-instrumentalist's deep crooning vocals and pointed, witty narratives — as biting and sarcastic as they are humorous and universal — are always there to make listeners feel at home. houseoftomorrow.com/tmf.php — D.S.
asheVIlle MusIc hall
• Shaping Hits with Moog Synths — Phil and Paul Hartnoll of Orbital and Chad Hugo of N.E.R.D. and The Neptunes talk about “integrating analog gear into explosive live sets and hit studio productions.” Amos Gaynes moderates. 1:30-2:45 p.m. • The Bob Moog Google Doodle: How a Pioneering Legacy Inspired Modern Innovation — A special presentation from Google head doodler Ryan Germick, Google head engineer Joey Hurst and Moog product development specialist Amos Gaynes. Marc Doty moderates. 3-4:15 p.m.
Melliﬂuous roll-down-thewindows-and-soak-up-some-sun folk/pop.
NUALA KENNEDY A consummate performer and buoyant personality, Kennedy’s singing and ﬂute playing springs from the traditional music of Ireland and Scotland, and from the fathomless realms of her own imagination.
Pace your music intake — Moogfest offers more than just bands. Festival attendees can also check out three different panel discussions. All panels are held at Diana Wortham Theatre. They’re free and are open to both festival pass holders and the general public. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. • Creative Expression Through Interface — Morton Subotnick (synthesizer pioneer), Herb Deutsch (collaborator with Bob Moog) and Alessandro Cortini (keyboardist for Nine Inch Nails) discuss how musical instrument interfaces affect artists’ approaches to creative expression. Marc Doty moderates. Noon-1:15 p.m.
AND THE OPTIONS
$8 | 8PM
STAND UP COMIC
$18 7:30 PM; 9:30 PM
With appearances on NBC’s The Tonight Show, CBS’s The Late, Late Show, and NBC’s Young Comedian’s Special, Cho has a long resume of noteworthy comedy collaborations and accolades where he has showcased his talents and versatile style.
Roxie Watson • A.J. Croce Malcolm Holcombe
thealtamont.com mountainx.com • OCTOBER 24 - OCTOBER 30, 2012 61
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Instead, songs built on industrial grind and electronic chaos provide an antiseptic and non-melodic platform for the band's spit-fast outbursts. thirdworlds.net/main/death. php — A.M.
11:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. — Kieran Hebden was first a member of Fridge before breaking out on his own as Four Tet. Asheville's Marley Carroll has noted Hebden as a major influence; the British-born musician — despite being a solo act — often collaborates with artists of all ilks, from producer/DJ Bonobo (who regularly plays Asheville) to indiefolkie Andrew Bird to metal band Black Sabbath. His newest album, Pink, streams on his website. fourtet.net — A.M.
the orange peel 7 to 8 p.m. — Darren Cunningham (aka Actress) is the British A&R scout who discovered 2011 Moogfest alum Zomby. And, though he’s very private when it comes to his own musical endeavors, The Guardian calls him "more cerebral than your average techno artist." His newest album, R.I.P., takes inspiration from the less-than-party-inspiring themes of death, God, the devil and John Milton’s Paradise Lost. Never fear: We’re promised his Moogfest set will be "a more raucous affair." honestjons.com — A.M. 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. — Formed in Philadelphia in '05, dark-wave group Cold Cave is mainly the project of singer-songwriter Wesley Eisold, who regularly collaborates with other musicians (like Dominick Fernow of Prurient and Caralee McElroy of Xiu Xiu). The band's label, Matador, says they "strive for balance, between the ugly and the beautiful, between rupture and rapture." coldcave.tumblr.com — A.M. 10 to 11 p.m. — As Pitchfork put it, "Death Grips are angry. It's unclear why." The trio (Stefan Burnett, Andy Morin and Zach Hill) bursts out of the speakers with a Rage Against the Machine kick and punch, only it’s hard to say what they're raging against.
62 OCTOBER 24 - OCTOBER 30, 2012 • mountainx.com
Midnight to 2 a.m. — Artistic freedom seems to be a driving force for DJ, producer and composer Carl Craig. From his Planet E label to his tours as 69 (six nine), Craig ventures into jazz elements and futuristic thinking. A native of Detroit, he is credited with inspiring the evolution of drum ‘n’ bass. He also works on collaborations of techno and classical, film scores and remixes. carlcraig.net — A.M.
asheVIlle MusIc hall 9:30 to 10:30 p.m. — Toronto singer and keyboardist Robert Alfons (aka Trust) recently released his almost-self-titled debut EP, TRST, with drummer Maya Postepski (of 2011 Moogfest alums, Austra). This is darkly-melodic dance music that hints at Bauhaus, only more shimmery and less unrelentingly heavy. Alfons' spooky baritone is at its resonant perfection on the velvety, industrial-lite "Candy Walls." ttrustt.com — A.M. 11 p.m. to midnight — South London sibs Guy and Howard Lawrence are synth-pop duo Disclosure. They're really young (like, the younger brother isn't even legal drinking age in the U.K.) but their music is dancey and not afraid of a club beat. There's also polished sophistication to Disclosure's tracks, which feature either sampled vocals or borrowed vocalists (most recently, Sam Smith and Ria Ritchie). disclosureofficial.com — A.M.
viSit tiCKetmaSter.Com or CaLL 1- 8 0 0 -74 5 - 3 0 0 0 t o P Ur C h a S e t iC K e t S . Show(s) subject to change or cancellation. Must be 21 years of age or older and possess a valid photo ID to enter casino and to gamble. Know When To Stop Before You Start.® Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-522-4700. An Enterprise of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation. ©2012, Caesars License Company, LLC.
12:30 to 1:30 a.m. — Producer Guillermo Scott Herren (aka Prefuse 73) has lived everywhere from Miami to Barcelona and worked in nearly every genre, from ambient to hip-hop. No stranger to collaboration, he announced this year via Twitter a project with Brainfeeder visual artist/musician Mtendere Mandowa (aka Teebs). The resulting electronic wanderings are called Sons of the Morning. prefuse73.com; teebs.bigcartel.com — A.M.
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a m i
d t h e w a v e s
thoMas dolBY’s sonIc IngenuItY In America, British synth-pop pioneer Thomas Dolby will always be most recognizable for “She Blinded Me with Science.” Marked by jittering rhythms and oddball sonic glitches, the energetic farce was a novelty hit in 1982, cornering Dolby in a stylistic niche that would never suit him. A gear fiend who began building his own synthesizers at 18, Dolby became a sought-after studio musician and producer, working with such heavyweights as Stevie Wonder, Joni Mitchell, Foreigner and Def Leppard. At the same time, he was making his own music, wrangling funk, pop and electronic elements into a mad and mercurial style all his own. In the late ’80s, he began scoring films, and in the ’90s, he left recording all together, pouring his energies into Beatnik, a company that created software synthesizers for mobile phones. In the 2000s, Dolby returned slowly to touring and recording, rolling out his 2011 comeback album, A Map of the Floating City, in an elaborate process that saw the LP released in three digital chunks to Dolby’s online community, complete with an interactive online video game. Dolby isn’t satisfied with music unless he has the freedom to innovate, and today’s environment affords him that liberty. “The sort of album-single-tour structure is broken down now, and there’s a lot more variation in the way you can put stuff out,” he says. “It’s not always convenient and inspiring to write songs in batches of 12 and then go out and sort of live by them for 16 months at a time. Sometimes I’m very productive, and I might get an EP’s worth of material together in just a couple of months and want to get it out right away. Then months will go by, and I don’t have anything new. I like the fact that there’s the flexibility now. It’s a much better fit for when the inspiration is or isn’t there.” Floating City is a testament to Dolby’s diversity. “Nothing New Under the Sun” masters sleek, riff-propelled power-pop, while “Spice Train” is a dense, synth-driven affair with a Middle Eastern flair that in every way earns the Dune reference suggested by the lyrics. Dolby’s uncommon stylistic breadth is matched with an equally unconvention-
dIana worthaM theatre 7 to 8 p.m. — Singer-songwriter/ multi-instrumentalist Julia Holter collaborates with a number of artists and has recorded two solo albums alone in her bedroom (most recently, Ekstasis). While her singing voice is pretty and dramatic (think Laurie Anderson), her work pushes the boundaries of experimentation, eschewing aesthetic beauty for strangeness and texture. Her song "Bars in Afternoons," at more than 15 minutes, consists mainly of sounds field-recorded in watering holes. juliashammasholter.com — A.M. 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. — Manchesterbased producer Andy Stott crafts albums for the Modern Love label that fall under techno but edge up against ambient. Stott also records under the alias Andrea; SonicRouter describes Stott's sound as "breathing a weirdly organic, sample-ridden life into steppers’ riddims and old hardcore tracks." His most recent recording is the visceral, atmospheric We Stay Together. modern-love. co.uk/artists/andy-stott — A.M. 10:15 to 11:15 p.m. — Canadian sound artist Tim Hecker composes the sort of music that earns descriptions like “tectonic color plates” and “cathedral electronic music." Daniel Lopatin (aka Oneohtrix Point Never, from Brooklyn) crafts droney, ambient sonic experiments on vintage synthesizers. The two teamed up this year on free jazz-inspired collaboration, Instrumental Tourist, on which, the musicians say, they "designed a sound palette from the acoustic resonance of digitally sourced 'instruments of the world.'" sunblind.net; pointnever.com — A.M.
photo BY York tIllYer
al recording setup. His current home in England lies on the coast of the North Sea, so he retrofitted an old lifeboat with solar-powered equipment that allows him to record amid the waves. “I sort of just need tranquility and a blank canvas really,” Dolby says. “I hear the sounds and the parts and the words in my head, so it’s a great environment to work in. It’s a short commute, and you feel good about the planet, the carbon footprint.”
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Dolby embodies the sonic ingenuity that Moogfest was created to celebrate, a point proven by his receipt of the 2012 Moog Innovation Award. Dolby has the kind of creative mind that rejects any and all limitations, and that makes him as relevant today as he was in ’82. “I love learning new tools and messing around in an area that I’m not really very competent at,” he laughs. “I like making mistakes and experimenting and learning and getting better at things.” — J.L.
11:45 p.m. to 12:45 a.m. — Musician/ poet/composer Harold Budd is another elder statesman of the festival; his career in music dates back to the early '60s with work in minimalist, drone and ambient sounds. His collaborations with bassist Keith Lowe include an '09 performance (with Budd on piano) in celebration of Budd's book of poems, Colorful Fortune. At Moogfest, Budd and Lowe will perform “These Old Love Songs,” selected works from Budd’s discography. haroldbudd.com; avl. mx/m6 — A.M.
i n t e r a c t w i t h b o b ! Moog FoundatIon represents the legacY Want more Moog? The Bob Moog Foundation (set up to honor Moog’s legacy, with a mission of "igniting creativity at the intersection of music, history, science and innovation") hosts three events at the Diana Wortham lobby. They’ll even be there through the day after Moogfest.
dr. BoB’s The foundation’s hands-on instrument showcase is not to miss. Dr. Bob's Interactive Sonic Experience offers a chance to connect with synthesizers, theremins, effects pedals, oscilloscopes and other instruments. Even if you've never twisted a knob, the simplified Moog instruments are set up to break down the basics: oscillator, modulation, filter and envelope. Want to check out something new? Composer/ producer Logos (aka Jim Genaro) will demonstrate his invention, the Psyborg. This "electronic pipe organ incorporates Moog analog instruments, digital controllers, theremin and sound-reactive light displays." Foundation staffers will be around to answer questions. Friday and Saturday, noon to 9 p.m. Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. artwork BY JennY greer
sYnth poster show Moog Is now: eXhIBIt, sale and sIlent auctIon This group art show — a showcase of handmade, limited-edition screen prints inspired by Moog’s legacy — returns for the third year, with works from some of the nation's top concert-poster artists and graphic designers. Each artist contributes a print of his or her own to be sold at the show in very limited quantities. Friday and Saturday, noon to 9 p.m. Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m.
David Van Koevering, a lifelong colleague and friend of Bob Moog, is known as "the man who brought the Minimoog to the world." Van Koevering has joined forces with BMF to create Moog is Now, a show and sale that celebrates "the early use of Moog synthesizers in popular music, with recordings from as early as
1967 to the late 1970s." Over 250 albums from Van Koevering’s private collection (some signed by Moog) will be available, some for sale and some as part of an exclusive silent auction. An additional 70-plus albums will be on display. Friday and Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m.— A.M.
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andY stott’s new dark VIsIon To understand just how fertile and exciting electronic dance music’s avant-garde has been in recent years, look no further than Andy Stott’s Passed Me By and We Stay Together. Released last year on Modern Love (currently one of the movement’s most exploratory imprints), the sister albums have redefined heavy within the context of dark techno. Swathed in gray-matter decay, their gargantuan grooves lumber, churn and throb in ways that are utterly novel. Yet archetypal, too. It’s as if the Manchester-based producer and DJ somehow synthesized the boiling, primordial stew from which the long-extinct ancestors of industrial music, psychedelic funk and sludge metal all had sprung. This universal quality, peculiar but alluring, helped the records transcend the techno scene. Just about anybody into loud and intense music soon scrambled to grip copies. Even the subdued Pitchfork types were reading about the guy’s striking sounds. “It was a big surprise for me how well those releases were received,” admits Stott, who is playing a smattering of North American gigs this autumn. “I had no idea they would pave a path for me to go ahead and really take things further. It’s still surprising to meet people from completely different scenes who are into those records.” Now it’s time for the highly anticipated follow up: Luxury Problems, which Modern Love is set to drop Oct. 29 (just two days after the musician’s appearance at this year’s
Moogfest). If preview track “Numb” is any indication, the album finds Stott augmenting his patently dubby sound with arrangements that are more chiseled and carved. There’s a palpable tension between his crushing beats and a newfound ethereality and meditative splendor. “It’s as pile-driving as both We Stay Together and Passed Me By, but only in places,” explains Stott. “There is a slightly smoother feel — only slightly, though. There’s also more beauty. That’s due to Alison Skidmore’s voice. She was my piano teacher from when I was about 15 to 16 years old. Alison put down the vocals on the majority of the album’s tracks.” Radical mutation always accompanies authentic artistic evolution. But what hasn’t changed on Luxury Problems is Stott’s hermetic flavor, reflecting his insular music-making process. This is an attribute he shares with labelmate Demdike Stare. Together, they’ve crafted a vision for dark techno whose shadowy and foreboding qualities clearly come from a very personal space. At the same time, both artists feel strangely haunted by Manchester’s deep wells of dystopian gloom; after all, they hail from the very city that birthed Factory Records. “We’re all just doing our thing, and it just so happens that there is this thread running through the material,” he says. “It’s like none of us are not happy until a track or sound makes you reel back and scrunch up your face, as if to say, “What the f--k is that?” — J.F.
In The New Obsolete, the 2012 work of Greensboro-based musical performance act Invisible, an IBM typewriter mechanically controls a piano so that, as the typist (in this case, professional typist Jodi Staley) types, the typewriter becomes an instrument. The performance also involves “the Selectric Piano, multichannel video, a new drip-driven drum machine and four human elements,” according to the group’s website. Mark Dixon (instrument maker), Bart Trotman (musician and video producer), Jonathan Henderson (multi-instrumentalist) and Fred Snider (electronics) make up the rest of the group. Invisible formed in ‘06 as an improv noisepunk act before evolving into what they
describe as “a mechanical music museum” and “a reverse-engineered, folk-science daydream.” These days, instead of bars and clubs, they play galleries and museums, touring with their inventive “artstruments” and other found objects. Invisible: The New Obsolete is held at the Asheville Art Museum. Performances are from 1-2 p.m. and 3-4 p.m. on both Saturday, Oct. 27 and Sunday, Oct. 28. $10 general admission, $6 Moogfest pass holders. Reserve tickets by calling 253-3227 or purchasing at the Museum’s front desk beginning Friday, Oct. 26. Learn more about Invisible at soundsinvisible.com. — A.M.
SATURDAY, NOV. 3 7:30 pm Central United Methodist Church 27 Church Street $20 Adults • $15 Children
“Music of Eternal Light” Purchase tickets from a Chorus Member, at the door or at w w w. a s h e v i l l e s y m p h o n y c h o r u s . c o m
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Your Official Guide to Moogfest 2012 Presented by Mountain Xpress