Lee's Palace Presents
529 Bloor St. West
Toronto, ON, M5S 1Y5
Doors 8:00 PM
This event is 19 and over
Right from their inception in 1976, back in the first stirrings of punk, Wire went about making music in a subversive, conceptual way, setting themselves apart from both their peers and their influences.
"I had this idea that I wanted to avoid things that had a particular kind of tradition," explains singer and guitarist Colin Newman. "I thought the three-chord trick was too simplistic and that the one-chord trick would be better. Or the two chord trick where the second chord is definitely not the right chord."
Bass guitarist and vocalist Graham Lewis identifies another trait that has run throughout the group's lifetime. "People said we were mysterious, arch and dark. But the only way of doing that successfully, is by also having a sense of humour. You have to have that balance. With Wire there's a peculiarity, a contrariness and that can be funny."
This questing approach has permeated Wire's songwriting, their onstage presentation, even the decision, back in the 80s, for Robert Grey to strip his drumkit down to just bass drum, snare and hi-hat. And it has served them well in guarding against repetition and cliché.
Silver/Lead is the 15th studio album from Wire. It arrives on the 40th anniversary of their debut performance. Yet it's about as far from nostalgia as you could get. This is the sound of a uniquely addictive 21st century psychedelic post punk.
Colin Newman and Matt Simms' guitar work is alternately jagged and luminous, whilst bassist Graham Lewis' ear-catching lyrics are vivid yet oblique. Meanwhile, drummer Robert Grey provides a virtual masterclass in percussive minimalism. But it's how the various instruments mesh together which really counts. And Newman's production creates a sonic space in which even the smallest gesture is accorded some recognition.
Highlights include the optimistic dazzle of "Diamonds In Cups," which has an almost T-rex style buzz and chug and the moody swing of "This Time." Elsewhere on the musical spectrum, there's the menacing widescreen grandeur of "Playing Harp for the Fishes" and the breakneck paced guitar pop of "Short Elevated Period."
Wire are one of the world's most ground breaking bands, their influence acknowledged by bands as diverse as Blur, Sonic Youth, R.E.M. and Savages. But they have never been interested in exploiting past glories. For Wire, there is only ever one possible direction; forward. So it's perhaps not surprising that over recent years, they've played strings of sold out shows, achieved career best record sales and been cited as a strong influence by yet another generation of bands.
Wire's last three albums have garnered nothing but rave reviews. From 2013's strangely beautiful Change Becomes Us ("It's fantastic." - Pitchfork) to the crackling motorik of 2015's Wire("It's all really well turned, potent and crisp." - The Guardian) and last year's punchy mini album Nocturnal Koreans ("It's a cracker and sounds defiantly modern." - The Quietus).
Consequently, although it may be being released on the band's 40th anniversary, Silver/Lead is an album which has nothing to do with the past and everything to do with the future.
Noveller is the solo project of Brooklyn-based guitarist and filmmaker Sarah Lipstate. She has performed in Rhys Chatham’s Guitar Army, and as a member of Glenn Branca’s 100 guitar ensemble. In March 2008, Lipstate joined Brooklyn art-rock outfit Parts & Labor as their guitarist. She contributed to the band’s critically-acclaimed release Receivers and completed several U.S. and European tours before leaving the band in July 2009. Noveller has toured supporting Xiu Xiu, the Jesus Lizard, Man Forever, and Emeralds. Lipstate is currently working with Carla Bozulich (Evangelista) on an improvised duo release for No Fun Productions.
In 2008, Lipstate performed as part of the Underground at the Abrons performance series at the Abrons Arts Center on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. That December, she played at the Un Son Par Là, Music of Today festival in Nîmes, France. In March 2009, she performed in the revival of Rhys Chatham and Karole Armitage’s “Drastic-Classicism” as part of the Think Punk! program at The Kitchen in NYC. Following that performance, she joined Rhys Chatham and his cast of guitar-allstars at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for a performance of his minimalist punk classic “Guitar Trio”. Along with 199 other guitar players, Lipstate performed in Chatham’s “A Crimson Grail” for 200 guitars which debuted at Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park in August 2009. That October, the Manhattan New Music Project and the X Initiative co-presented a performance on the rooftop of the X Initiative where Lipstate debuted a new hand-painted 16mm film loop during a live set. In November, Lipstate performed with musician/choreographer Nancy Garcia in the premiere of Garcia’s program “Be The Climb” at The Kitchen, and opened several dates for the Jesus Lizard on their European and U.S. reunion tour. Lipstate debuted her improvised guitar duo with Carla Bozulich at NYC’s The Stone in February of this year. In March 2010, Noveller toured the U.S. supporting Xiu Xiu.
No Fun Productions released her debut LP Paint on the Shadows in April 2009. Following the release, Lipstate performed at No Fun Fest at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn. The following September, the label released her full-length CD, Red Rainbows, and Lipstate performed at No Fun Fest Sweden in Stockholm. Also in 2009, she released a split LP with Aidan Baker (of Nadja) on the Canadian label Divorce Records. Her latest release, Desert Fires, is available on CD via Lipstate’s own imprint, Saffron Recordings.
Her short films screened at the SXSW film festival in both 2006 and 2007, and earned Lipstate the “Diamond in the Rough Cut” award for exceptional emerging filmmaker at Cinematexas 2006. Her short, Memory Scars, screened at the Reel Venus Film Festival at Anthology Film Archives in NYC in October 2008. She debuted a new short film, Interior Variations, at the New Museum in NYC as part of No Fun: Infinite Sound and Image in May.The film also screened at the 12th Kyoto International Student Film & Video Festival in Japan in November. Lipstate’s short film works were showcased in the Women of NY Cinema screening as part of the 2009 NY Eye + Ear Festival at the 92Y Tribeca. Interior Variations was presented as part of the ‘New York Avant Cinema Series’ at the 23rd Singapore International Film Festival in Singapore in April 2010.
She has previously performed as a member of Cold Cave, Parts & Labor, One Umbrella and Sands.
Lipstate received a BS in Radio-Television-Film at the University of Texas at Austin in December 2006, and currently resides in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY.