Fun Fun Fun 2013: The Nites Are Free
Star Slinger, Bob Mould (DJ set)
Larry Gus, BRONZE WHALE
305 W 6th St.
Austin, TX, 78701
Doors 8:30 PM
This event is all ages
Watch & Listen
Star Slinger is an Electronic project created by Nottinghamshire born Darren Williams. It all started in April 2010 when he re-ignited his love for record-shopping in Manchester's Northern Quarter. The name Star Slinger was born when Darren sampled BT Express' instrumental B Side "Cowboy Dancer". He often names his creations with word association towards the sample he uses.
By June 2010 Darren had pieced together his first LP "Volume 1". Some tracks were reportedly made in the comfort of his own bed in the early hours. Others made not long after waking. Darren believes that routine and weekend culture aren't his forte, and creating music at any given moment is how he approaches this project.
Meanwhile that summer, Darren began collaborating with ambient producer Teams (Knoxville, TN). Together they worked on an EP, sending stems via soundcloud and were approached shortly after by the popular Brooklyn-based label Mexican Summer to release a 12" as Teams vs. Star Slinger. The self-titled EP was released early 2011 to much acclaim and kick-started the long queue of artists looking to make use of his remixing and production talents.
Before that, Small Black had championed his remix of their song "Photojournalist", while the blogosphere championed his unofficial remix of Deerhunter's "Helicopter" and has since been approached for official remix work from some of his longtime favourite bands, including Air France, Toro Y Moi, Gold Panda, Broken Social Scene, The Morning Benders, The Go! Team, Ed Sheeran, Rizzle Kicks, Foster The People, Alex Winston and Childish Gambino.
These remixes and other production work has kept him busy in the studio through 2011. Outside of it, he has been playing out his huge hip hop and dance orientated sets to festivals across Europe this summer at the likes of The Big Chill, Benicassim and Glastonbury. Alongside that, there has been touring and shows with Washed Out, Memory Tapes and the Go! Team, plus shows with Caribou and Battles amongst many others.
Most recently Slinger produced the new Air France single, which went big on the likes of Hype Machine. Pitchfork, Stereogum and Fact, adding a brilliant production string to his bow.
The second half of 2011 sees Star Slinger gearing up for a full assault on the live and recorded arenas. A fall North American tour, which takes place in over 30 cities is set, and there has been the recent announcement of the release of his debut single. The eagerly anticipated track 'Dumbin (feat. Reggie B) - the first fully released original production from Star Slinger since the Teams vs Star Slinger EP is set to move him further along the stratosphere.
Bob Mould (DJ set)
Those familiar with the decades-spanning oeuvre of Bob Mould—from his pioneering early '80s work with Hüsker Dü to his solo work in singer-songwriter, electronic, and rock modes, to the deafening pop sparkle of Sugar—might expect a new album bearing the title Silver Age to be a somber and reflective set in the mode of his last album, 2009's Life and Times…and they'd be way off the mark.
Silver Age is an intense and concise ten song blast far more reminiscent of Bob's latter-day Hüsker Dü output—first marked by the monumental sprawl of 1984's Zen Arcade which then gave way to the short, sharp pop focus of 1985's New Day Rising—and his early '90s tenure with Sugar, whose classic debut Copper Blue marks its 20th anniversary this year. That said, Silver Age is no nostalgia trip. Aside from lyrical content that shows Bob as in-the-now as ever, Silver Age came together quickly and organically in the wake of a series of electric solo dates in 2011 supporting Foo Fighters (where he guested each night on "Dear Rosemary," the track from the Foos' Wasting Light on which Bob shares writing and vocal duties) as well as a solo acoustic/book tour around last summer's publication of See a Little Light: The Trail of Rage and Melody, the autobiography Bob co-authored with Michael Azerrad (Come as You Are, Our Band Could Be Your Life). These events culminated in a tribute last November at Los Angeles' Disney Hall that featured the likes of Dave Grohl, Ryan Adams, Spoon's Britt Daniel, and Craig Finn and Tad Kubler of The Hold Steady celebrating the width and breadth of Bob's body of work.
"I'd been batting around the idea of another aggressive pop record for some time," Bob says, "especially as the 20th anniversary of Copper Blue kept getting closer. But it was really the shows with Foo Fighters that got me thinking when I started writing for this record: Did I just write a Sugar song? Or a Foo Fighters song? Or one of my own songs? And does it really matter? Once I got that out of the way, it freed me up to have some fun and set about making a simple rock record."
It's no surprise, then, that Silver Age careens out of the speakers with a sense of exhilaration that reflects the excitement with which Bob and his live band of bassist Jason Narducy (Split Single, Verbow) and drummer Jon Wurster (Superchunk, the Mountain Goats) cranked out the record in a tight whirlwind of a window from in early 2012. But that's not to say that Silver Age is a lighthearted romp—as ever, there's plenty of dark matter at the center of these sweet melodic nuggets. First single "The Descent," for example, is one of those perfect moments that lands firmly in the Mould wheelhouse, with walls of luminescent guitars, phantom choruses, and infectious hooks all leading toward the concluding refrain of "My world, it is descending." The opening one-two of "Star Machine" and "Silver Age," on the other hand, pairs abrasive riffs with equally harsh meditations on fame, immaturity, and the lessons and consequences thereof. Other Silver Age highlights include the bittersweet romantic epic "Round the City Square" ("It feels like people always look to my songs to help define their own failed relationships," Bob laughs); the upbeat and earnest celebration of "First Time Joy"; and the unabashedly literal "Keep Believing," a rousing love letter to the records that shaped Bob's personal and professional life. Listen closely and see how many of the references you can pinpoint:
Bring me thoughts and words, pass me the revolver
I can see for miles, and everything's in color
Rock and roll all night until I feel the thunder
I got a handle on some complicated fun
We're all sniffing glue, pleasures so unknown
A circle drawn in blue, the murmur baritone
Picnic on a Pedro lawn, heaven took that monkey song
Never mind the battle won, could you be the loveless one?
"I don't know if there's an arc to this record," Bob says. "But if I had to boil it down to one core idea, it would be: I love music. I love my life. I love what I do for a living. It's right there on the lyric sheet; it references itself, really. More than any other record I've made, this one gives a real glimpse into how much making music means to me as a means of expression, as well as what music means to me as a fan."
And so has it always been the case for Bob Mould, the music he's created defining every phase of his life, both cataloging memories and propelling him ever forward: Hüsker Dü's formation in 1979 and the hardcore anthems, tight, melodic, hard-pop chestnuts, and sprawling double-vinyl conceptual opuses it churned out in equal measure up to its dramatic 1987 flameout; Bob's solo works ranging from his landmark 1989 debut Workbook to Black Sheets of Rain (1990), Body of Song (2005), District Line (2008), and Life and Times (2009); his forays into electronic music, including 2002's Modulate and his Blowoff collaboration with Richard Morel; and of course, the soon-to-be-reissued body of work that Sugar packed into its brief existence, featuring the 1992 debut Copper Blue which Bob and his band have been playing front to back at recent live shows. It seems to be Bob's summations and reflections on these major creative periods of his life and career that open up new wellsprings while coming to terms with the old works—a natural process that has produced winning results yet again in the form of Silver Age.
"It's no coincidence that this record came at this point," Bob says. "In 1991, closing the door on a run of all-acoustic shows led right into the beginning of Sugar and Copper Blue. So you could state a case that the solo shows accompanying the book readings through 2011—plus the Disney Hall show and knowing the 20th anniversary of Copper Blue was right around the corner—wrapping that all up led me right into Silver Age. I'm well aware that there's no way to get into a time machine and go back to being the person I was 20 years ago, but it is nice to get three musicians in the studio together and get back inside that three-minute pop song structure again."
Inspired by the rural environment of his hometown, multi-instumentalist, singer and producer Panagiotis Melidis (born in Veria, Imathia, Greece) started to write music as Larry Gus* in 2006, soon after the early demise of his previous band Ginger (a bass and drums duo with a sound adjacent to the early 00s Providence scene, paired with HipHop overtones).
Initially he spent some time composing production music, and later on he got his name due to some intense and chaotic live performances. What he kept from his first band were the primitive aesthetics of groove based music, along with an obsession for late 60's / early 70's free-jazz. But he went on and combined them with sample-based ethics and crystal clear psychedelic pop melodies, all merged into an infinitely dense amount of layers and polyrhythms.
His first album proper, Stitches was released in 2009 for Greek HipHop label Cast-A-Blast and soon after that he resided for a year at the Music Technology Group in Barcelona (Reactable, Freesound) as an intern and postgraduate student. Then he relocated back to Veria to work on his next project, Years Not Living, an album directly inspired by Georges Perec's 1978 book Life: A Users Manual and Lucio Battisti's 1974 album Anima Latina. The YNL sessions had 85 songs as a result, and the whole process, set amidst financial crisis' Greece was documented and will be part of the feature film My Friend Larry Gus (directed by Vasilis Katsoupis), to be released in 2013.
Meanwhile, among many remixes, he also put out the mini-album 24 Beats (July '11) on the Lefse Records imprint, Waaga. Most recently, he released Silent Congas via DFA Records, a 9 song taster of the YNL material, with the actual Years Not Living LP coming up early 2013 on DFA.
So far he has performed at various venues around the world, and has also participated at the 2nd Athens Biennial and 2nd Nuit Blanche à Metz. Panagiotis currently lives and works in Milano, Italy, still carrying certain obsessions with Jorge Luis Borges, Georges Perec, Lucio Battisti, Woody Allen and Otis Jackson Jr.
*larry gus = ????: greek for larynx