No Joy (DJ Set)
Weekend, Grand Resort
289 Kent Avenue
Brooklyn, NY, 11249
Doors 8:30 PM
This event is 21 and over
No Joy (DJ Set)
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
Weekend officially formed in 2009 around the nucleus of long-time friends Shaun Durkan (vocalist/bassist/guitarist) and Kevin Johnson (guitarist), along with drummer Taylor Valentino. The trio recorded the album Sports throughout 2009 with long-time friend and producer/engineer Monte Vallier. The textured and challenging post-punk squall of Sports made the band an instant sensation, with great reviews coming from Pitchfork, NME, Vice and more.
Throughout the next two years, the band found itself touring internationally with the Kills (Europe) and Wire (UK and US) and in Japan in support of the 2011's Red EP, which marked a sonic departure from the band’s initial signature addiction to noise over clarity. Red (which was also produced by Monte Vallier and featured then-new and current drummer Abe Pedroza) saw the band embrace sweeter melodies that encouraged Shaun to display his vocal abilities free from any distortion overlap.
The band spent most of 2012 writing, recording, and painstakingly mixing the 10 songs that comprise Jinx, once again with Monte Vallier at Ruminator. During this time, Weekend relocated cross-country to the already heavily saturated Brooklyn music scene. The trio had collectively grown weary of the trappings of home. Durkan states, “Feeling at home is evidence of stagnation and so I’m happy to say New York still feels alien to me.” Despite the drastic change of scenery, he maintains “Geographically-based music scenes are for the most part defunct due to the internet but I don’t think we’ll ever be part of any scene. We stand on our own.”
When asked to describe the album in three adjectives, Durkan stated: “Volatile. Cathartic. Bittersweet. The record is a collage of inspiration and ideas from each member of the band. Shards of experiences, images, smells, sounds molded into something we can collectively call ours.” The album visually represents the music as well, through personal possessions of each band member that “had singular and emotional connections to and democratize it through a physical process. Painting the objects black adds a new, collective ownership over the previous personal meaning. [There is] the coalescence of our individual art to make something new, stark, and powerful.”
That stark black visual sheen complements the songs that embody Jinx. Memories and experiences have been reinterpreted and recalled into existence from haunting, beautiful places. Each song on the album charges through a polarizing emotion through an ebb and flow of sounds both ominous and soothing. Lastly, the LP’s presumably superstitious title compliments this body of work thematically. Shaun recalls his father’s stage name, "Jinks," which played a ghostly role in the creation of this album. That name, like all the inspirations, emotions and experiences has returned to haunt the band – this time delivered with a lustrous and magnificent black sheen.
What happens when a teenager escapes the confines of his home country, trading breezy, eternal summers for painstaking winters? Three years ago, Andrés Pichardo was wondering the same thing, when he decided to leave his hometown in the Dominican Republic to study in Massachusetts, but mostly to play music.
It may seem unlikely to pin a teenager growing up in the Dominican Republic as a fanatic of Britain's jangle pop, C86 and shoegaze. But during Pichardo's musical coming-of-age, these sounds somehow found their path all the way to the Caribbean and right into his ear canal.
Three years later, the 20-year-old is bursting with similarly inspired guitar melodies and synth layers under the moniker Grand Resort.
Last autumn, Pichardo locked himself up in his apartment in Massachusetts to record the magical Vanguard Dreams, before being mastered by Josh Bonati (The Men, Widowspeak, Zola Jesus) in Brooklyn. The result is an eight song LP recollecting every feeling and emotion he had been hiding for years. This isn't just another kid in his bedroom with his laptop and a guitar. Instead, Pichardo crafts massive recordings within the confines of his bedroom.
"I wanted to develop my ideas as clear as possible, as they did not sound small or vague at all in my head," Pichardo says. "Most people don't believe me when I tell them this is just me in my room with my twelve-string electric guitar."
Earlier this year, Pichardo released Microscopic, a glistening guitar-driven tune with gliding synths and whispery melodies all over the place. Grand Resort officially made the leap to Brooklyn in February, with Pichardo spending his free time interning at a local record label and perfecting his sound. Grand Resort now performs as a four-piece, with Paul Laughrige on guitar, Rich San Luis (Telenovelas, Ghostless) on bass and Rony Bonilla on drums, perfectly envisioning the sound Andrés Pichardo has been crafting within himself for years.
Grand Resort has recently followed up with the solid, soothing avant pop composition "Night Is Dark". Vanguard Dreams will see the light of day this summer.