Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Terra watch list

There are 39 acts coming to Terrastock. We gave Peter Berkowitz the enviable task of handicapping the field. Here's his report.


The Photographic

7 p.m.

The Louisville instrumental duo opens the festival, using only drums and guitars, with loops employed to broaden the minimalist sound options. Silent films are screened above the band to keep people (hot chicks, ideally) even more entertained -- and bless them for thinking of our every sensory need. I


8 p.m.

Festival schedulers have clearly thought this through: Here's another group of locals, who probably have similar influences to the preceding act, but are older, wiser and, as an ever-evolving ensemble, can always be counted on to explore new textures based in Krautrock, minimalism, free jazz and modern classical sounds. I

Elephant Micah

9 p.m.

A late replacement for Marissa Nadler, this Hoosier music collective is fronted by lo-fi virtuoso Joe O'Connell. Local fans of the whole basement wave likely remember a scattering of gigs here in recent years. I

Dead Maids

10 p.m.

Formerly known as Monster Bastard Project, this English band owes a small debt to Slint. They would've been good slotted between the Photographic and Parlour, if one wanted to hear long, intense instrumentals for hours without a break. I

Hush Arbors

11 p.m.

Keith Woods, the man behind the band, plays '60s-style psychedelic and Southern-flavored folk that is very pretty and soulful. Either solo or with accompaniment, he is a modern troubadour who should not be missed. I


United Bible Studies


From the improbably named Atlantis, Ireland, these Celtic folks met some Eastern Bloc ragas and jazz improv they liked and decided to meld the forms into a stew of something so far beyond "jam band" that the Black Crowes gave up and shaved again. O

Sharon Krauss

12:50 p.m.

"Dark folk music for the new millennium," sayeth her website. Sure, the millenium happened a while ago, but when you're slaying dragons with your music, who has time to update the website? Am I right, people? (EDITOR'S NOTE: Peter will be the only person at the festival with a sense of humor.) Kidding aside, this is a lady who can really sing, so be there. O


1:40 p.m.

This Belgian group has a song called "Look at Your Hand." Wanna bet what they were smoking when they came up with the lyrics? Imagine Nico in a Guy Maddin movie. Now imagine that it's not very enjoyable. Y'all can pass the pipe; I'm going to pass on this group. I


2:30 p.m.

The mighty Antietam! Like you don't know! Louisville natives Tara Key and Tim Harris moved to NYC some 20 years ago, met a local, started a band and have been criminally under-appreciated ever since. O

Black Forest/Black Sea

3:20 p.m.

Now living in Pittsburgh after five years in Providence, this duo plucks at strings and percusses when necessary, with mixed results. If you get seasick, take medication before experiencing them -- they might make you woozy. I

Sleeping Pill

4:10 p.m.

Although this "special guest" has been officially declared not to be Yo La Tengo, Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley are part of Sleeping Pill. If it involves members of Yo La Tengo playing non-YLT songs, that would be entertaining, hmmm? O


6 p.m.

Here's a treat from Italy, one of the hundreds of countries one doesn't expect to hear subtle, lovely pop music of the British Isles sort. I still expect them to pack Speedos for our glorious American beaches, though. I

Plastic Crimewave Sound

6:55 p.m.

From our true sister city, Chicago, the second Real Rock Band of the fest combines the best aspects of the late '60's Detroit bands, early '70s downtown New York bands and mid-'80s Seattle bands. Expect a heavily male turnout for this set. O

The Linus Pauling Quartet

7:50 p.m.

From Texas, home of Butthole Surfers, 13th Floor Elevators, George W. Bush, etc., is a band with songs like "Alien Abduction" and "La Tapatia." Oddly, they only use three guitars (because "anything worth doing is worth overdoing!" -- their words, not mine) when they could be using four. I

Major Stars

8:45 p.m.

Here are some vets who know all about the rock and how to twist it. Wayne Rogers and Kate Biggar have led other bands (Crystalized Movements, Magic Hour) and a label/store (Twisted Village -- look 'em up online) but they live very much in the now, baby! If you're a rock guitar nerd, this is one to catch. O

Damon & Naomi

9:40 p.m.

After Galaxie 500 ended, rhythm section D&N joined Wayne and Kate in Magic Hour, who melted heads for not long enuff. These days, they continue to make beautiful music together, oft paired with the Japanese psychedelic group Ghost. Can we hope for some Major Magic to happen tonight? I

Helena Espvall

& Masaki Batoh

10:35 p.m.

Touring this month with Damon & Naomi, H&M are, respectively, the Swedish cellist in influential Philadelphia indie folk group Espers and the guitarist of the aforementioned Ghost. (It's a very incestuous scene, as all scenes are.) Sexier than a Benetton ad and more genuine than an Obama/Clinton ticket, this should be truly special. I




Weirdo rock from Brooklyn. It's like the Pitchfork website in 2002 finally coming to Louisville … in 2008! I

Wooden Shjips

12:55 p.m.

If there was one band that I would expect to be here this weekend, this is it. (F.Y.I.: the "j" is silent.) They'll hit a groove and run it into the ground, leaving you staring at your shoes. You'll suddenly realize, "Wait, this band rocks, but they've been rockin' the same notes for 12 minutes now. And it's all right." O

Tara Jane O'Neil

1:50 p.m.

Another Louisville ex-pat named Tara, this one flies solo with moody folk moods and ambient textures. You might remember her from Rodan, but she's almost middle-aged now. How old does that make you? I


2:25 p.m.

These Seattle alt-rockers have toured with Mission of Burma, Silkworm and, uh, Tool. Movie nerds won't be surprised to hear that they've also performed as "Herzog." One of the more conventional bands of the weekend. O

MV + EE with the Golden Road

3:40 p.m.

Farmers in New England's fertile experimental music field, Matt Valentine, Erika Elder and friends suggest a cross between Royal Trux and Mazzy Star, minus the heroin and insanity. They might rock, they might lull, but either way, they will space out, man. I

Bardo Pond

5:30 p.m.

Have I mentioned space rock yet? It's hard to come up with two dozen new ways to call bands new variations on that, but these guys are a rock band and they get, really, uhh, ahh, far out, ya. They're from Philadelphia and Sun Ra lived there for many years -- that's something not coincidental, ra ra right? O


6:25 p.m.

It's the first Terrastock band to describe itself on its MySpace profile as simply a "jam band." Should you skip it? Yes. Just kidding. Kirk Hammett of Metallica is one of their top friends, and they're down with Om and Neurosis, so just hate them for not being proud of how awesomely metal they are. (Pajo, please don't jam with them.) O


7:30 p.m.

One of the most highly anticipated bands of the fest, they are 20-year veterans from Norway who took their name from a Russ Meyer movie. It's a rock band, in the sense that all that you can say about AC/DC or the Rolling Stones is that they are a rock band. O


8:30 p.m.

An always intriguing bunch of locals; one never quite knows what one's going to get with the Sapat brand. Will it be a dozen people improvising on a variety of instruments? Will there be rock songs? How many beards will be in the band on this night? I


9:25 p.m.

This increasingly legendary Japanese group takes riffs from Heaven -- if there is one -- and makes them heavy in a delightfully light and orgasmic revolution. If the Boston Pops were Jimi Hendrix's underwear, they would sound like this. O


10:35 p.m.

In Washington, D.C., not all music is Ian MacKaye-approved: "Improvised psych with noise tendencies and abstraction." Well said. Does that sound like a fun date to you? I


Team Brick


From the ominous-sounding Dunshelm Castle in the U.K. comes this eerie, ambient wave of music that can explode into hardcoreish rock. Mike Patton, please call the white courtesy phone. O

Rob Sharples

12:55 p.m.

From London, a very lovely acoustic singer/songwriter a la Elliott Smith who will appeal more to normals, than to the fest obsessives who will prefer to sit in a corner blogging about how much they hate my descriptions of these 800 bands and how much they hate me for not being perfect. I

Thee American Revolution

1:45 p.m.

Robert Schneider of pop favorites Apples in Stereo leads this ensemble, which also includes "an anonymous psychedelic rock legend from the '60s." A lot of that goin' round this weekend. O

Insect Factory

2:40 p.m.

From Silver Spring, Md., it's "lo-fi homespun fuzz sculpting" music to put your organically-raised kids to bed to. So ambient that you'll wake up and realize that the band is asleep, too. (Wha?) I

Simply Saucer

3:35 p.m.

Better than Rush? OMG yes. Unknown legends of the '70s (sounds like a Sid & Marty Krofft show, eh?) making a most welcome appearance in Louisville. They're coming a long way (Hamilton, Ontario) and across many decades, so, maybe you can go to Kroger on Monday evening instead? O


4:30 p.m.

Long-ass guitar raga dreamy drones, finger pickin' and psychedelia. Prepare thyself for a skulldrill love affair and light the candelabras for Papaw. I

Jack Rose and the Black Twig Pickers

6:30 p.m.

I'm pretty sure you just saw Jack Rose play during Pelt's set. Well, lucky us. I guess they call this the blues? Only instead of Ralph Macchio, Jack Rose met the devil (or John Fahey) down at the "crossroads" and what happened came out sounding like ----. I

The Entrance Band

7:10 p.m.

From L.A., Guy Blakeslee and his friends are … well, I hear that they're very good live. Local connection: Their bassist, Paz Lenchantin, used to play with David Pajo in Papa M and Zwan. I

Windy & Carl

8:05 p.m.

From Dearborn, Mich., a 30-something couple who are veterans of every single Terrastock and float away on subtle clouds of sweet, airy tunes that are just barely there but manage to hang in the air long after they end. I


9 p.m.

From Detroit, two dudes who throw down shoegaze grooves without those fey British vocals. Paik is "an old English word meaning a powerful blow to the body, or to pummel," as they share in their bio. O

Makoto Kawabata

10 p.m.

Kawataba plays guitar for Acid Mothers Temple, one of the most intense, exciting, spiritually fulfilling musical groups I've ever encountered. The whole group can't make it here from Japan, but Kawabata is a force unto himself. Odds are good that you will be bowing down to him as he peels back your ears and pours tea into them with his guitar. (How does he do that?) I

O = Outside on the lawn stage

I = Inside the Mellwood Center

c. 2008 Velocity Weekly

1 comment:

yournamehere said...

Wait, you're not perfect?