POPSCENE CLUB NIGHT WITH
NO JOY, BEAT CONNECTION (dj set), plus DJs Aaron Axelsen and DJ Dials
155 Fell St
San Francisco, CA, 94102
This event is 18 and over
Produced by the band themselves in their hometown of Liverpool and mixed with the assistance of Daniel Lopatin (Oneohtrix Point Never), Free Reign is an extremely apt title for a particularly bold and assured new transmission from planet Clinic. In the fifteen years since the release of the irrepressible band’s debut EP, Ade Blackburn and co. have essentially delivered an exquisite master-class in fearless singularity – consistently and steadfastly pushing the frontiers of their perfectly-defined, next-dimension pop trips on their own trajectory over the course of six, and now seven, confoundingly magnificent albums. A Grammy nomination, performance on The David Letterman Show, high profile tours with fans such as The Flaming Lips, Radiohead and Arcade Fire and a lot of reverence from notable artists – both established and emergent – over the years have seen Clinic flirt with the mainstream and be cemented into cult firmament alike, without ever really courting either acceptance directly. Their craft, one that has always bloomed in isolation and seemed impervious to the fickle tide of trend or fad, remains both resolutely eclectic and acutely focused. The junkshop-trawling analogue fetishism of the warm, smokey instrumentation that gives their songs such a vividly placeable sense of mood and atmosphere; the surrealist bent of Blackburn’s lyrics – so steeped in their own personal mythology – and the band’s over-riding commitment to never straying into the realm of the obvious or complacent are all long-standing elements of Clinic’s work that are furthered, perfected even, on Free Reign.
"We could say a lot of things about the debut album from Montreal/LA ladies No Joy: that it fully delivers on the promise of their Mexican Summer 7”, that it builds upon the revitalization of shoegaze pop in recent times with a melodic fervor and angst that many of their contemporaries fail to capitalize on, that their records look and sound gorgeous, that there are moments on Ghost Blonde that match the challenges laid down by My Bloody Valentine and Lush years ago. We could say those things, but then what would the bloggers think? Probably the same. Oh well. We said it. Killer record from a band to be reckoned with. Ten new songs that’ll singe your eyelashes off." --Mexican Summer
"Filing Ghost Blonde as shoegaze would be reductive, as the reference base is deeper than most of today's bands who work in that template. Lush, My Bloody Valentine, the Breeders, Sonic Youth, and even traces of Hole can be picked up from No Joy's sometimes-melancholy, sometimes-violent sounds. And while the list of references draws heavily from the 90s, the band displays a very uncommon sense of originality. "You Girls Smoke Cigarettes?" is a bass-driven tune with an addictive slurry chant during the verses and a chorus that explodes with harmony, followed by a destructive climax, breakdown, and bridge, all in just a little over two minutes." --Pitchfork
BEAT CONNECTION (dj set)
In the first flush of freedom, new eras, and new lives, Jordan Koplowitz and Reed Juenger met in 2008 as freshmen at the University of Washington. Their fate was sealed one night not long after they met, over a game of beer pong that turned into a discussion of mutual musical appreciation. In his younger years, Koplowitz had picked up the guitar so that he could play along with his favorite Metallica songs. Juenger had gone down a similar route with Nirvana, but found his friends cover bands to be boring and focused on bygone eras so he started learning how to create electronic music. In their new hometown of Seattle, Juenger and Koplowitz began crafting dorm-room beats on Garageband and venturing into DJing gigs, eventually working their way towards the sounds that would be become their first record, Surf Noir EP.
The songs on Surf Noir are at once dreamy and danceable, sophisticated and free, meant to evoke both golden sunsets and glittering city lights. Of the EP, Juenger has said, “This is an absolute indulgence, because the world is an incoherent jumble of perception. So in that spirit of cutting loose, let’s have a good time and not worry too much: Saturday night always becomes Sunday morning.” Two of the songs, the romantic pop tracks “In The Water” and “Silver Screen,” featured the duo’s roommate Tom Eddy on vocals; Eddy, a folk-rock singer-songwriter, nailed “Silver Screen” in one take. The rest of these songs are instrumental; cool, sweeping waves of synths, electric guitar, drum machines, and samplers. Beat Connection self-released Surf Noir in the summer of 2010; London’s Tender Age records, an imprint of the venerable Moshi Moshi would pick it up for an updated release in April of the next year.
In May of 2011, Beat Connection had toured the UK and Paris with such electronic luminaries as Holy Ghost!, Toro Y Moi, and Niki and the Dove. By June, in anticipation of their appearance at Seattle’s Capitol Hill Block Party, they had added a live drummer, Jarred Katz, another musical roommate and a modern jazz aficionado. In September they embarked on their first US tour, opening for Starfucker. They made fans of the Seattle Times, Pitchfork, KEXP, and the Seattle Weekly, who named them the Best New Band of 2011. They closed out the year in Spain, opening for Real Estate.
2012 is poised to become an even bigger year for Beat Connection, who’ve again expanded, this time adding as their fulltime vocalist and guitarist Tom Eddy, the only man they considered for the job. This summer, the new four-piece will release their first full-length, The Palace Garden, a record that fines the band meditating on the idea of unattainable beauty, an idea that encases magical evenings, flooding happiness, heavy regrets, and sky-clearing epiphanies. They’ve left all genre constraints behind and now, as four, their music can only broaden, rise, and take them on to new adventures and new audiences.