Music Hall of Williamsburg
Iceage, A Place to Bury Strangers

Part of Northside Festival

Iceage

A Place to Bury Strangers

Lower, Bennio Qwerty, Bambara

Thu, June 13, 2013

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

Music Hall of Williamsburg

Brooklyn, NY

This event is 18 and over

Iceage
Iceage
If you’re reading this, you’re probably part of whatever is left of the music press in 2011. There is no reason to explain the state of modern, relevant punk rock to you; you’re paid (in one way or another) to know it all. Fittingly, there is no reason to outline any scene reports or regional histories that brought about the formation of Copenhagen’s Iceage. Its members are teenagers, presently 18 or 19 years of age, and as with most people that age, it doesn’t do any good to cite influences. Rather, Iceage mixes punk, post-punk, Goth and hardcore as if they invented it, and does such an excellent job of blending these tropes with the pent-up energy and frustration of the just-post-pubescent years of young mens’ lives, that they might as well have.
New Brigade is Iceage’s debut album (licensed from Escho Records of Denmark); 26 minutes of anthemic stress, of tension undiluted by worldly wisdom or amassed experience. Following a seven-inch single (recorded by Peter Peter, of the Sods and Sort Sol) and compilation track, New Brigade displays a confidence that substitutes worldly experience for the thrills of discovery, of knowing that it is possible to forge your own path in light of adults, the establishment, and prevailing wisdom telling you to do otherwise. In this tradition, New Brigade’s twelve songs rush past, long enough to hit you in the chest and short enough to make you wonder what happened. YouTube shows Iceage’s live shows to be frenetic, sometimes violent affairs with very little compromise in the way of sound or concept. You may get pushed around. Deal with it. This is a punk record from a punk band that plays punk shows. American audiences will get their first chance to see them play this summer, once they finish their current year of high school.
There likely will not be a record of this type so singular and stunning until Iceage makes another one.
A Place to Bury Strangers
A Place to Bury Strangers
A Place to Bury Strangers
Transfixiation (Dead Oceans, February 17th)

"There are moments where I'm really scared on stage," admits A Place to Bury Strangers bassist Dion Lunadon, "where it's really foggy and I know someone's swinging a guitar around. I don't give a fuck though; if a guitar is about to hit me in the head, oh well. It's going to make for a better show."
He should know. After joining the Brooklyn-based trio in 2010, it only took a few shows before Lunadon smashed his bass against his face. The freshly drawn blood trickled like rain off of a tin roof. But since the band often plays in the dark, he couldn't actually see what happened. He had to keep going, and hope for the best.
"That's the most intense fear and feeling—when you go to a show and you're actually scared," says frontman Oliver Ackermann, a co-founder of the soon-to-be-shuttered Death By Audio DIY space that's hosted its fair share of frantic, life-affirming shows.
"Or you can palpably feel the danger in the music," adds Lunadon, "like it's going to fall apart at any moment and the players doing it are so in the moment they don't give a shit about anything else. They're just going for it. It's a gutter kinda vibe; everything about it is icky and evil and dangerous."
The same could be said for A Place to Bury Strangers' fourth album, Transfixiation. Rather than fixate on precious recording techniques and minute details, the members of the group -- Ackermann, Lunadon, and hard-hitting drummer Robi Gonzalez -- trusted their instincts and tried to keep things as pure as possible. If that meant a mess of cross-contaminated microphones and mud-caked mistakes, so be it. Music is much more exhilarating when it's unpredictable, and from the tortured straight-to-tape transmission of "I Will Die" and molten funk melodies of "Straight" to the violent guitar spasms, cannon-like drums and not-so-idle threats of "Deeper," this is very much an unpredictable record. Gonzalez makes his recording debut with the band here and he’s helped push the band’s recorded sound closer to the intense level of its infamous live shows.
Considering how controlled the chaos feels at every turn—the mark of a band at the peak of their powers—it's hard to imagine that Transfixiation almost didn't happen. Having spent nearly two straight years on the road, the musicians figured they'd parlay that momentum into a new record as soon as they got settled back home. And while the self-produced sessions at Death By Audio led to some fantastic material, Ackermann hit a wall near the end of that initial month. He needed a long break.
"The way it was broken off was so intense," he says. "It got to be too much, where we—or at least I—almost had a meltdown or something. I felt like we had to stop, and I wasn't even sure if the album was going to get finished or if we were going to be friends again."
Two months passed by with little communication between the three members. Lunadon worked on other recordings, and Gonzalez retreated to a mountainous region in the Pacific Northwest. Meanwhile, Ackermann pieced together the set: fresh compositions, songs that had already been recorded in Brooklyn, and the fruit of an earlier recording session with Serena Maneesh frontman Emil Nikolaisen in Norway. Thankfully, everything clicked. A Place to Bury Strangers became whole again, with a bond—onstage and off—that's arguably stronger than it's ever been.
"Things go wrong all the time," explains Lunadon, "so with anything that's thrown at us, we have to make the best of it and turn something into gold instead of falling apart."
"The one thing we have in common is this fire when we're playing," adds Gonzalez. "I don't know; it's real intense."
The well-oiled Lunadon-Gonzalez rhythm section has adapted to Ackermann's unique style of playing -- the pair has embraced the chain-linked effects (Ackermann has produced custom pedals for such major artists as Lou Reed, My Bloody Valentine, The Flaming Lips, and Nine Inch Nails) and minimized the drum fills.
"It's not rocket science," says Lunadon, "but rock 'n' roll shouldn't be. When you start to do bluesy scales or try to be too fancy, it doesn't work for us. You gotta keep it simple and seize the moment.”
Bennio Qwerty
Bennio Qwerty
Bennio Qwerty began on a Brooklyn construction site in the Summer of 2012. Working together on a four month build-out of a bar in South Williamsburg, guitarist/singer Mike Barron and bassist Nathan Delffs quickly bonded over their love of Lungfish, Scott Walker, and Drive Like Jehu. Naturally, they decided to start a project of their own.



Mike, a member of the Brooklyn indie-pop quintet North Highlands, and Nathan, formerly of Brooklyn-by-way-of-Portland's Forest Fire, enlisted Louie Glaser, a long time friend, middle school music teacher, and member of Wise Blood to drum. The band gelled instantly. A month later Bennio Qwerty had a set’s worth of material and began playing shows in and around their Brooklyn neighborhood. They released the aptly titled “EP” in February of 2013 and returned to the studio to track four more songs for a second, slightly more creatively titled, “Picture Of” EP to be released this summer.



Bennio Qwerty’s earlier material is turbulent and flush with the exuberance of a band still thrilled to have discovered one another. Compared to those recordings, their new EP’s title track, “Picture Of” has a smoother, more controlled feel. While it still hints at the influences that brought them together, the song is a natural progression for a band becoming more comfortable with its sound. Like the neighborhoods they help to build, the song is urban in tone—hypnotic and mechanical—but Barron is skeptical. He shrugs, “Thoughts on moving west? Thoughts on leaving all this? We could pack up and do it this spring, we could leave this city behind.”
Bambara
Bambara
"Seeing a Bambara set live is sorta like getting trapped in a long, dark corridor with the vague sensation that you are being followed by the thing that terrifies you most … so long as what you’re scared of is experimental indie bands with a tendency to be mellow very loudly." - Weekly Dig Boston
Venue Information:
Music Hall of Williamsburg
66 North 6th St
Brooklyn, NY, 11211
http://www.musichallofwilliamsburg.com/