Thursday, June 2, 2011

Scenester Pick of the Day: Yeasayer at Granada / Local Artist of the Month: Aaron Storck

Summer is settling upon Larryville. It's humid, the undergrads have cleared out, and the hippies have trekked south to Wakarusa Fest on Mulberry Mountain this weekend. As for us, we're trying to settle into a nice townie rhythm for the summer. We spent yesterday evening on the Free State patio, drinking John Brown Ale and trying to come up with an understandable definition of "steampunk" (Chip: "It's something VERY geeky.").

But what should scenesters do this weekend? Perhaps the biggest event is tonight's Yeasayer and Smith Westerns show at the Granada. Sure, the hippest scenesters will skip it, since Yeasayer has been around awhile and Smith Westerns played the Record Bar recently, but we suspect there's enough blogosphere buzz saturating the air to draw a large crowd.

Did you buy Yeasayer's recent Record Store Day release of two tracks that weren't hip enough to make Odd Blood? The press release from the Record Store Day site is worth quoting in full:

"If All Hour Cymbals was Yeasayer’s attempt at global and ambient cultural mash-up then ODD BLOOD takes place in an off-world colony sometime after the Singularity. Glimmering reverb haze is eschewed and replaced by a cavalcade of disorienting pitch effects and flickering ectoplasmic wisps. Instead of layered vocal harmonies the processed vocals congeal into blots and blobs of otherworldly chatter. Many organic elements are left behind and replaced by sounds and rhythms that inspire the body as much as the mind. At times Yeasayer sound as if they would be at home playing live in scene from Blade Runner or inside one of Oscar Neimeyer’s concrete modernist temples from the 1960s."

Chip: "I WISH they were playing inside a concrete temple somewhere as opposed to two blocks from my house, as I find them quite pompous."

Richard: "I can dig them, in the right mood, but I'd just as soon stay home and watch Blade Runner with the sound off and Odd Blood playing. It works just as well as combining Wizard of Oz and Dark Side of the Moon, I assure you."

We originally asked our Brooklyn insider correspondent Captain Chanute to write today's piece on Yeasayer, but circumstances conspired against him. He did, however, send this brief and typically angry missive:

"Yeasayer are pussies. They're from Baltimore and moved to Brooklyn just to join the BK Label. Sell-outs. Actually, sell-ins."

Pitchfork, too, is not completely sold on Odd Blood, delivering a 6.4 and writing that Yeasayer "demonstrate a rare craftsmanship and consideration that's too often shoved under the rug in modern indie music." Indeed, "craftsmanship" is very unhip.

When you leave the Granada tonight make sure to stop by the Replay to see Up the Academy and The Copperheads (a show so hip it's barely listed anywhere). Our new writer-in-residence Johnny Hamms is likely to be on hand. Please congratulate him on his debut column!


Governor Brownback is doing his best to destroy art in Kansas, but it's not dead just yet. Today we congratulate Larryville artist Aaron Storck, "the first recipient of the Lawrence Arts Center's project-based residency" ( Storck has a mixed-media show opening in Larryville in late June as well as an upcoming show at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, for which he's filming a video where he will travel "to a remote location in central Kansas, don a wizard costume and film himself" (

“I’ll be stomping around out there in my wizard costume, claiming the land as my land, and the cows as my cows,” he says. “It’s kind of my art alter ego. I can be outrageous.” That character serves as a metaphor of the artist’s worth or value in society" (

Take THAT, Brownback! Try as you might to stifle the artist's worth, we'll still don our wizard's robes and claim the cows as our own!

Here's Storck:

No comments: