All Tomorrow’s Parties NY Day 3 (Sunday & Wrap-Up): I Think I’m Gonna Need A Bigger Set Of Earplugs

All Photos by Abbey Braden courtesy of ATP.

Saturday night we got back very late to our hotel so I proceeded to order vodka and cranberries by the handful and shoot as many as possible before the looming last call at the bar. I clearly overshot my target and ended up waking up Sunday with a ludicrously painful hangover to start off the day. Most of the afternoon consisted of me trying recover. It finally subsided and I was able to make it to the very end of the Mercury Rev show. As soon a I walked in the backdoor of the venue, there was like a sonic boom blast of sound from a particularly epic part of their set, and you could tell they had this soundsystem at full blast in anticipation of My Bloody Valentine. I wish I could have seen more of Mercury Rev, because the last few minutes I caught were amazing. I’m about to dig deep into their new CD and their old stuff because i wasn’t familiar with them until now.

We stuck around up front to wait for Yo La Tengo, a favourite for all of our ATP crew. The guards or somebody decided starting on Sunday that they would make everyone leave the venue between each performance and have everyone wait outside, which really seemed rather purposeless. At one point a security guard unsuccessfully tried to get the massive crowd filling an entire room to form two lines to go in and it was hilarious. The guards never cleared out the venue area again after that.

We still managed to get front row, and enjoy their top notch set. I was hoping for a full on noise jam set from Ira Kaplan, and while it ended up being a rather balanced sort of set, full of soft, pretty parts and loud, psychedelic stuff, Ira still shredded plenty enough for me. Yo La Tengo is just one of the best bands of alltime in my opinion, to still be writing relevant, amazing music and playing such impressive live shows after 24 years. Here’s video from their set:

After that, we literally ran across Kutcher’s to the second stage to catch …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead. We missed only a little bit of their great set, and I’m glad I finally caught these guys. In comparison to the rest of the mindblowing shows of Sunday, Trail Of Dead might have seemed a bit less enjoyable, but still could have been the highlight of lesser festival.

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Photos: ATP New York – Day 2 (9-20-08) in Monticello, NY


Fuck Buttons

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Photos: ATP New York – Day 1 (9-19-08) in Monticello, NY

Tortoise performing Millions Now Living Will Never Die

Thurston Moore performing Psychic Hearts

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All Tomorrow’s Parties NY Day 2 (Saturday): This Festival Is Cool And All, But I Sure Wish Jack Johnson Was Here

Just Kidding. I noticed in the programs/schedules we got that they joked about a big thing that set ATP apart from other festivals being “that no one selected or even wanted Jack Johnson“, and if you read this blog regularly, you know I can appreciate that sentiment.

We stuck around until last call at the bar at The Raleigh Friday night, so the first band I was able to catch on Saturday was the end of Growing‘s set. The 10 minutes or so I saw, I thought sounded great. I’ll be looking hard into this noise jamming duo now. After that I gave a short listen to The Drones and Wooden Shjips, but neither was really up my alley. I watched Fuck Buttons next, and damn their set was serious. I listened to their album and thought it was decent but it didn’t really hit me as something special, but catching them in a live setting totally sold me on these guys. The two dudes used all sorts of cool devices stacked on a table including a toy mic audio recorder sent through some interesting effects resulting in sweet distorted vocals. Their sound came off to me somewhere between Holy Fuck and Indian Jewelry, which is a great place to be.

After that I decided to start partying and enjoying the facilities. The resort ATP was being held on was kitschy and weird, and at first seemed like sort of a dump. But around the second day we were starting to appreciate how cool a venue this actually was. It was really nice to have an entire resort completely to ourselves, and often times you would see the artists walking around, catching shows, and hanging. We hung out in their children’s playground for a bit and tried out some strange playground equipment I had never seen before. We hung out by the pond with all of the drinkers and smokers and chilled. The place had a lot of amenities, but was crappy enough that a festival crowd couldn’t do too much damage to it. Well, they probably could.

Anyways, I checked out about half of Edan‘s set, and that was really good. I’ve found myself getting really bored of hip-hop these days, a genre I used to love. I mean, the new Lil’ Wayne is incredible and all, but it is still pretty much the same old thing rappers have been doing for 20 years. But Edan and his partner for this show Dagha brought some originality to the game. I particularly liked how they utilized a delay pedal to accent certain syllables instead of having a “hype man” yell the last word of every line. Another trick I enjoyed was when Edan did a rap referencing all types of classic records while Dagha would shuffle through them and display each record he was referencing. I love a show that can be fun to watch and exhibit feats of musicianship and skill at the same time.

I did some more partying, caught a little bit of OM, thought it was cool but I wasn’t really in the mood for it, then did some more partying. Next up for me was Low. They really impressed me because I only liked a few of the songs from their last record, but they were making me love absolutely every minute of their “slowcore” set (which is a funny yet accurate for this band genre title). The amount of intensity they can can pack inside of such downbeat, soft, and pretty sounding stuff just dazzled me.

By the time Thee Silver Mount Zion Orchestra began their set, I realized I had been partying too hard and could not properly appreciate it. I went and grabbed some food and drink some water, and got myself back to a manageable level of intoxication. I then returned back to the second stage, laid down in the back, and just let the rest Mount Zion‘s epic two hour set wash across me. This may have been the show I enjoyed most all weekend. I am about to obtain every bit of material from this project I possibly can and get obsessed for a while, so expect more of that around here. In addition to their top notch music, I loved how the dude would respond to every single bit of crowd heckling and yelling and call people out and talk smack . All around, this show was just: Wow!

I caught the last part of Shellac‘s set and felt the same way about it that I did when trying out their records: it wasn’t bad, but nothing amazing. Among many other basic indie rock facts I learned over the weekend, I hadn’t realized this was Steve Albini’s band, and they did a little question and answer part at one point that was interesting. After that Lighting Bolt set up on the ground to the right of the stage with a big circular mirror hanging above them so everyone could see the chaos going on at the center of that sonic tornado. What a day!

I’ll have my Day 3/Wrap-Up post as soon as Biggie C gets all of his photos posted, probably around the end of the week.

Here’s a video of Shellac from ATP NY:

All Tomorrow’s Parties NY: Late Night Lightning Bolt

I’m suffering from a seriously vicious hangover right now, so my full Day 2 exploits will have to wait until I get back, but I will leave you with a little taste of the killer Lightning Bolt set finishing off another fabulous day of music:

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All Tomorrow’s Parties NY Day 1 (Friday): Don’t Look Back, There are 3000 Hipsters Standing Behind You

After a great week in NYC (of which I will have more reports on when I get back), we headed to the Catskills for ATP. The event is taking place at a resort called Kutshers, but we were staying at the other official resort called The Raleigh. I overheard someone describe The Raleigh as “straight out of The Shining”, and that pretty much nailed it. This has got to be the weirdest place I have ever stayed.

We then headed up to the festival after checking in and had to wait in a very long line to exchange our tickets for wristbands. Festivals being marred in logistics issues always seems to be the case, and ATP was no exception, but nothing I haven’t come to expect. After getting my press pass secured and grabbing some grub from their “food court” consisting of two food booths, we headed right down in front of the main stage, and Atlanta’s greatest music fan, Kenny Crucial, was holding down the rail right next to us most of the night. I made it down there a few songs into the Meat Puppets doing their II album just in time to hear one of my favs, “Plateau”. The Meat Puppets were really good, and since this was pretty much their only album that I knew well, it was a greatest hits show for me. The guitarist was shredding hard and their bassist had such a goofy on stage persona.

Next up was Tortoise doing Millions Now Living Will Never Die. I made a point to not really listen to any of these albums before heading up here so they would feel fresh, and for some reason I hadn’t really listened to any Tortoise in forever despite them being one of my “entry bands” into good music so long ago. As they did their set beautifully, I realized that I still knew this album frontwards and back, and it was so enjoyable to listen to. I know I haven’t really mentioned this band much around Ohmpark since I started it, but there is no doubt in mind that these guys are some of the best of the best.

After that it was time for Thurston Moore doing his Psychic Hearts album. As much as I am obsessed with Sonic Youth, I really never got into this album the few times I had listened to it before. Now, I will take listening to Thurston any time, any day, and the set was great, with Steve Shelley on drums again, but I have to say that Psychic Hearts is not exactly in my upper stratosphere of SY related music. But regardless of my hang ups, it was certainly a crowd pleaser with the older hipster crowd that populated this thing. While there were a few “pubesters” rolling around, the audience for this festival has been pretty damn cool so far.

Finally, it was time for the event I was most excited about, Built To Spill performing Perfect From Now On. There is probably no album that has more personal meaning to me than this one, and my highest of expectations were not disappointed. I had seen them play abridged versions of songs from PFNO many times, but for this one, they played the most loyal versions of the songs I have ever heard, only adding a few extended jams here and there. After they finished out the album, they did a stunning rendition of “Goin’ Against Your Mind” to close out the set. They did an encore consisting of one my favs, “Stab” and closed with “Car” complete with a 15 minute jammout at the end. There is just no way i can describe accurately how great this set was for me.

Anyways, I have to run and catch some more music. More updates coming, and Biggie C is taking some gorgeous photos we will have for you next week.