ATP NY was our favorite festival of 2008, and the only one all three Stereogum staffers attended. The draw? Partially the lineup, of course, but also the fact that it takes place in the hotel that inspired Dirty Dancing‘s summer of ’63 Catskill romance and clearly hasn’t been remodeled since said inspiring. (If that doesn’t do it for you, the M.C. of the talent show in Whet Hot American Summer worked at Kutsher’s. Thanks, Wikipedia.) It’s inexplicably great to be able to watch Low perform in a place that looks like the location for a horror movie prom (last year Eugene Mirman suggested the second stage is “where homeless people have Bar Mitzvahs”). That, and the main stage where My Bloody Valentine played last year, looks like a planetarium (at one point during the set, parts of the ceiling fell like cancer-causing snow around our feet). Also, if you opt to stay in the hotel itself, you can run to your weirdly pink and patchwork room between sets. Or take a walk around the less-than-majestic lake. Or a dip in the oddball indoor concrete pool conveniently located next to the Deep End bar. So, yeah, we love Kutsher’s. Like last year, the ’09 lineup’s also not so shabby. We won’t even mind missing Mad Men for it. To celebrate our mountain retreat, we’ve put together a brief (and partial) itinerary along with a bunch of ATP-related MP3s for you to listen to when you’re not playing tennis.
Like last year, the stateside All Tomorrow’s Parties fest begins by revisiting the past via Don’t Look Back. Before we look too far back, though, we’ll watch the Drones: Wait Long By The River And The Bodies Of Your Enemies Will Float By isn’t all that old, but the Australian band’s 2005 sophomore album finds them at their brainy, raw, eardrum-battering and-heart tugging best, so it’s a welcome addition to the night. At the bottom of this post, grab a live version of “Six Ways to Sunday,” originally from the group’s 2001 self-titled EP, from a forthcoming live LP. (They’re also touring.)
After that, we take the time machine to 1980 for classic, insanely percussive college rock crew the Feelies‘ debut album Crazy Rhythms, which along with their second album The Good Earth, was just reissued by Bar/None. If you want to see who inspired some of Vampire Weekend’s sartorial choices, check ‘em out. NJ, represent. (If you want to hear how awesome they were, take a listen to “Crazy Rhythms” below.)
Alan Vega and Martin Rev, aka dark lo-fi electro-duo Suicide, were amazing in their heyday, especially when you consider they formed in 1971, pre-dating and influencing a shit-load of post-punk, noise, no wave, synth-pop, and industrial acts that followed. They’ll be digging into their self-titled 1977 debut, reportedly using all their old analog gear.
Noah Lennox aka Panda Bear won’t be recreating a classic album in its entirety (let’s give Person Pitch just a few more years, shall we), but still the prospect of a solo set from Animal Collective’s Portugal-domiciled member is enough of a rarity to put this high on our anticipated list. (He joins Geologist and Avey for a proper Animal Collective set on Saturday, and might just join Atlas Sound for a “Walkabout” while he’s at it.)
Immediately following jokes by David Cross on Stage 2, the mostly nostalgic night closes out properly with the Jesus Lizard. They’re not doing one specific record. That would be too orderly. As we’ve mentioned, for much of the ’90s the muscular Chicago noise-rock group were one of the best, most intense, and transformative live bands in the world. See? We’re hoping David Yow & Co. bring it full force. Just don’t eat the hairy tangerine.
As we just reported, for his early Saturday set Sufjan Stevens will be singing Seven Swans. Those spare compositions should be a nice break from The BQE‘s multi-media extravagance, and will clearly be easier to stage as a start-to-finish thing than Michigan or Illinois, etc.
Rising Australian melodramatists (and ATP Australia vets) Bridezilla get an early start on Saturday’s festivities. Reports from recent NYC shows have been glowing, and while music-discovery isn’t exactly ATP’s stock and trade, we’re eager to see the young quintet in the flesh. Dig in at MySpace. Following them is a set from the recently reconstituted E6 affiliates Circulatory System. Will Cullen Hart’s stymied his case of multiple sclerosis enough to get back into writing, recording, and performing, and ATP should provide some idyllic conditions to celebrate his return.
The onetime Outsider Grouper‘s downcast Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill dream world will sound great beneath that faux planetarium sky. Bradford Cox does double duty on Saturday, performing with Deerhunter, and earlier as Atlas Sound. Logos is his most accomplished solo work yet, and certainly good enough to justify spending two hours of our day with his songs.
Perennial ATP favorites Shellac are back (as is Steve Albini and his weekend-long poker face). Saturday night is the heaviest night of the week via Melvins‘ super sludge (Boss Hog plays before them. Sort of strange they’re still at it, but the still-hot couple of Jon Spencer and Cristina Martinez really should win an award for aging the most gracefully).
Sunday’s curated by headliners Flaming Lips. Which is why Arcade Fire aren’t playing. Boredoms start things by reprising their numerological percussion concept piece Boadrum. We saw 77 on 7/7/07, there was 88 on 8/8/08, and on Sunday it will be 9 drummers recreating the new piece composed for their 9/9/09 appearance at NYC’s Terminal 5 under Yamantaka Eye’s watchful, eye. 99 drumsets would’ve been nice, but Kutsher’s is only so big.
It’s a bummer we didn’t get Sleep doing Holy Mountain (or, hey, Dopesmoker) , but as far as epic songs go, Boris are performing their one-song album Feedbacker. Drone on. We’re unsure exactly which album they’re doing, but No Age and Bob Mould are joining forces to do an entire Hüsker Dü album. (Any votes?) Judging from when we’ve seen the three play together in the past, this should be pretty awesome.
Oneida have organized a full day of “improvisation, collaboration, and recording which the festival attendees can witness first hand” as homage to their Brooklyn studio/performance space, the Ocropolis. The Mighty Robot Visuals light crew will be providing the psychedelics.
Closing it all out, of course, are the Flaming Lips. Probably with Coyne in a bubble, probably with a forest’s worth of confetti, probably still enough to elicit smiles even after having seen it for the millionth time. Secretly (not secretly) we’ll be hoping for new stuff, but either way, it should close out the weekend with a bang. Several.
- The Drones – “Six Ways To Sunday” (Live)Download
- No Age – “You’re A Target”Download
- Boris – “Statement”Download
- The Feelies – “Crazy Rhythms”Download
- Circulatory System – “Overjoyed”Download
- Animal Collective – “Summertime Clothes (Dam-Funk Remix)”Download
- Menomena – “Wet And Rusting”Download
- Super Furry Animals – “Inaugural Trams”Download
- Deerhoof – “Offend Maggie”Download
- Grouper – “Disengaged”Download
- Atlas Sound (Feat. Noah Lennox) – “Walkabout”Download
- Akron Family – “River”Download
- Iron And Wine – “Boy With A Coin”Download
- Sufjan Stevens – “Size Too Small”Download
- The Flaming Lips – “Silver Trembling Hands”Download
- David Cross – “Fitter Happier”Download
Follow @Stereogum for the live review.