The Bowery Ballroom
A Place to Bury Strangers

A Place to Bury Strangers

Bleeding Rainbow, Fuck Ton

Sun, November 18, 2012

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

The Bowery Ballroom

New York, NY

This event is 18 and over

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.”
Bleeding Rainbow
Bleeding Rainbow
Nevermind the constant threat of a cease and desist letter, when Carrie Brownstein tells you that your band name is weak, you change it. But it isn't as simple as a name change for Philadelphia's minimal noise pop duo Reading Rainbow, significant line up additions facilitated the adoption of a new moniker. So...drum roll please...as we reintroduce Philadelphia's Bleeding Rainbow, now a full-blown, Brownstein-approved, rock quartet. The name better represents the band's evolving sound and is all around more badass and trippy as sh*t. The founding members, Sarah Everton, who moved from drums to bass to give her vocals a better chance to shine, and vocalist/guitarist Rob Garcia are now joined by Al Creedon on lead guitar and drummer Greg Frantz.
While 2010's album release Prism Eyes gained significant attention and raised the band's profile among the indie elite, even that set might not be aware of the previous self-released album Mystical Participation. If Prism Eyes is, by their own description, their attempt at writing pop songs, and Mystical Participation emphasizes an aesthetic of loud and drone-y guitars instead of focused song structure, Yeah Right, the band's third album release set for October 9th, 2012 on Kanine Records, is the merging and maturation of all these ideas and sounds.
For Yeah Right, the band has opted for a bi-polar approach to production, pushing the extremes of murky, ominous and sometimes harsh and fuzzed-out guitar onslaughts ("Pink Ruff") as well as a strong repertoire of hushed, ethereal moments ("Cover the Sky") aiming to evoke a nostalgia for 90s slacker culture without sounding bored or contrived. While previous releases reside in the reverb-soaked psychedelic pop realm, Bleeding Rainbow says, "the sound this time around was more directly influenced by bands from our teenage-hood such as Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, and Yo La Tengo to name a few." Mixing hints of Greg Sage's anthemic, anxiety-ridden punk riffs, with equal parts drone and noise swells reminiscent of Kevin Shields at his most inventive, with an overlaying of boy-girl harmonies, Bleeding Rainbow channels the Mamas and the Papas as if backed by early Smashing Pumpkins.
With the inclusion of two long time friends and supporters of the band, Bleeding Rainbow has not only freed itself from the limitations of a two-piece, but given themselves a chance to delve deeper into the mood of songs and allow for extended instrumental sections ("Drift Away"). A more collaborative songwriting approach has resulted in more complex songs, but that does not mean they are without pretty sounds or pop moments. So while Yeah Right opens up easy and welcoming ("Go Ahead"), the end will leave you feeling as if a wall of noise has permeated through your body ("Get Lost"). Bleeding Rainbow set out to create something beautiful from harsh noise, and Yeah Right succeeds wildly at doing just that.
Venue Information:
The Bowery Ballroom
6 Delancey St
New York, NY, 10002
http://www.boweryballroom.com/