Thursday, April 11, 2013

Eternal Summers & Pow Wow! play Irving Plaza with 90's Alt-Weirdos Presidents of the United States of America on April 15th

You already know Spring has Sprung, but next Monday Eternal Summers hit NYC with some heat of their own. Nicole Yun and Daniel Cundiff started off in Roanoke, Virginny as a guitar and drums duo before adding bassist Jonathan Woods to the fold. Now their jangly, penetrating rhythms are complete and Nicole's dazey, nonchalant vocals have a strength reminiscent of Ana da Silva from The Raincoats or a more minimal, dreamier Jenny Lewis.

Eternal Summers
Their sophomore album, Correct Behavior, off Kanine Records garnered rave reviews from all over, especially on Pitchfork. This has lead to them being hand picked by Martin Van Buren, Rutherford B. Hayes and Gerald Ford The Presidents of the United States of America to accompany them on the east coast swing of their latest tour. Stops include Philly, Boston, Asbury NJ and of course, Monday night at NYC's Irving Plaza (tickets still available, somehow!).

Also on the card are local sweetiepies pow wow!. I have been a big fan of theirs since their album "Don't Stop to Look" warmed me up during the dead of winter. I challenge you to listen to their spritely melodies without bursting into a full earbud-to-earbud smile. I have not seen them live yet but I have heard such great things I'm really excited to check them out!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wild Thing: Charles Fréger's Wilder Mann at Chelsea's Yossi Milo Gallery, April 11 - May 18

May I have the attention of Western civilization for just a moment? Kay, thanks.

Much to the chagrin of our communal elitism, and despite the automatic New York Times updates beamed directly to our iShits, we are not actually civilized. Well, not if Charles Fréger has anything to say about it. Wilder Mann, an exhibit of Fréger’s photography is set to open at New York’s Yossi Milo Gallery, April 11 and will run through May 18.

The show, which is comprised of photos of people looking “wild”—wearing anything from ceremonial garb to throwbacks to ancient folktales—essentializes the idea that no matter how many mobile, wi-fi-enabled devices we carry, or how “civilized” we consider ourselves, humankind is still much wilder than any of us would comfortably admit.

“Wilder Mann,” which translates to “Wild Man” from German, is a photographic series that explores the ancient celebrations and mythology of the primeval “wild men” that lived across Europe. The exhibit explores, among other things, totemic figures and the way they can help us understand humanity’s ancient nature—and how it may—or may not—teach us about the present.

According to the people that study this kind of stuff, the exhibit explores “Neolithic Shamanism.” That’s fancy talk to describe the people who celebrate ancient rites and celebrations of equinoxes, fertility, life, and death, symbolizing the complicated relationship between mankind and nature. It’s pre-religion; it’s part of being a human, the genetic fingerprint that, some argue, predisposes us to tend toward spirituality in its many forms.

Is this our history? It’s still happening…
Charles Fréger From the series Wilder Mann
Wilder Mann 77,  2010-2011 Inkjet Print
© Charles Fréger, Courtesy
…And this is our fashion sense.
Charles Fréger From the series Wilder Mann Boes, Ottana,
Sardinia, Italy, 2010-2011 Inkjet Print
© Charles Fréger, Courtesy

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Grace Potter and The Nocturnals - Only Love: The Anti-Love Song

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals’ “Only Love” is not a starry-eyed love song, but with its refrain, “It’s only love, it’s only love,” it sure does sound like one. It’s a ballsy mix: one-half funk-strut hump, one-half I-just-can’t-quit-you-but-I-have-to anti-love song.

“I need to loosen my grip just a little bit/ I feel this love like a stranglehold/ But there's something stopping me from losing it/ There's nothing harder than letting go.”

I’m not going to demean Grace Potter by drawing a line between male and female singer/songwriters—especially the non-weenies that work in rock ‘n’ roll—because your sex organs have nothing to do with your level of bad-assery. Check your misogynist “Chick Rock” labels at the door.