MERCHANDISE

Select & Psyko Steve Present

MERCHANDISE

LOWER, RAT COLUMNS, BODY OF LIGHT

Fri, September 26, 2014

Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

51West

Tempe, AZ

$10.00 - $12.00

Tickets at the Door

This event is all ages

MERCHANDISE
MERCHANDISE
Merchandise have announced details of their new album, A Corpse Wired For Sound, due for release on September 23rd, alongside the video for a second new track, ‘End Of The Week’. Formed nearly a decade ago, galvanized by Tampa hardcore and inspired by its miscreant noise, A Corpse Wired For Sound signals a new chapter for Merchandise.
Following 2014’s After The End — a full-band effort recorded in a closet — the band stripped back to its core of Carson Cox (vocals, electronics), Dave Vassalotti (guitar, electronics) and Pat Brady (bass). The trio travelled to Rosà, Italy for their first ever sessions in a recording studio, La Distilleria, with a local, Maurizio Baggio. The nine-song nocturnal A Corpse Wired For Sound was recorded half in the studio and half at home, in Tampa as well as Cox’s newly adopted bases of New York and Berlin – the culmination of a long-distance collaboration between Cox and Vassalotti.
The album’s metallic title is inspired by a science fiction short story by JG Ballard, but equally sums up the band’s current state of mind. “We were ‘reborn’ as a rock band for After The End,” says Vassalotti, “and then we straight-up died again. It couldn’t last. The result is this distended corpse responding to you from
both sides of the Atlantic, forever singing in spite of everything.” Cox continues further “It’s about the truth of growing up. You can’t take your friends or lovers with you. It’s about finding peace with that loneliness.”
The second song to be aired from A Corpse Wired For Sound, ‘End Of The Week’ is “really about personal reflection and horror,” says Cox, who is responsible for the song’s visuals (he also created the video for lead single ‘Flower Of Sex’). The video is a subliminal homage to Italian film director Michelangelo Antonioni and his motion pictures Blow Up and Zabriskie Point. “The smashed mirror isn’t just a symbol of death,” Cox continues. “It’s the broken image of humanity reflecting back at everyone when they read the news. Reality is an unbearable pill to swallow this year. Somehow the evil people that make up society can still wake up everyday and look at themselves in the mirror.”
LOWER
Lower make intense music. Seek Warmer Climes, the Copenhagen quartet's debut album, sparkles with the harmonic dissonance and high-strung urgency of their underground music forebears. But Lower ­– Adrian Toubro (vocals), Simon Formann (guitar), Kristian Emdal (bass) and Anton Rothstein (drums) – also channel the romance and drama of great singer-songwriters, from late-period Scott Walker to Bryan Ferry. The result is a hugely ambitious and affecting rock album that enters deeply personal and unusual sonic and topical spaces.

Certainly, you don't have to dig deep to hear how far Lower's music sits from the traditional concerns of modern rock music. Toubro's lyrics are finely wrought emotional dramas that, in their poetic construction and raw honesty of delivery, gesture to the music of Walker or Leonard Cohen. As inspirations he cites Cornelis Vreeswijk, the half Dutch, half Swedish troubadour whose coarse language and fascination with low society shocked the conservative listeners of the day, and filmmaker John Cassavetes, who made his movies about "real people with real issues". Similarly, "Lost Weight,
Perfect Skin" and "Unkempt And Uncaring" gaze unflinchingly
at a troubled inner life: the problems of vanity and vulnerability,
of suffocating lethargy and men who wear their bravado like a
mask. "Every song on the record deals in some way with personal development, be it emotional or cosmetic," says Toubro. "How to act in different social contexts, and to acclimatize oneself into a given situation without losing face."

The extraordinary seven minute-long centerpiece of the album, "Expanding Horizons (Dar Es Salaam)," tells of Toubro's voyage to Tanzania to work at an orphanage in 2009. Setting out with romantic fantasies of changing the world, he found himself alienated by the religious zeal of the dominant missionaries, and went travelling in Africa, where he narrowly escaped a kidnapping in the city of Dar Es Salaam. A document of inner turmoil, here is what happens when youthful idealism meets an uncertain, hostile world: "We travel far/Expand our horizons/But in the process I see/That no horizon will ever benefit me…" Bathed in the cello work of Julie Kühn Riegels and Cæcilie Trier.

The striking cover art of Seek Warmer Climes is a photograph shot by Emdal, who has directed visual material for a lot of Copenhagen groups (he also directed the Vår video 'In Your Arms (Final Fantasy)' and took the photo of a hunting falcon that adorns Iceage's 'You're Nothing.' It's one of several connections between the band and the Copenhagen underground. They are members of other bands including Age Coin, Olymphia, Vår, Marching Church, Sexdrome and more.

All of these projects are an expression of something personal, but in Lower, the four approach something fundamental. "Lower is who we are and what we do. Though making a living and getting by require us to engage elsewhere, this is what we identify ourselves as – an outlet
for whatever you might experience through logistic and practical engagements: joy, aggression, defeat and success. The ambition is to express the internal and external influences that make a human, to the truest degree possible. This being our truth, one ambition as well is to function as a group – being able to help, listen, live and work together, to take something away from being Lower. Something that is real and relates to the hard-knit relations that make up life. It is also very important to constantly expand and evolve. Stagnancy is for the lazy."
RAT COLUMNS
Rat Columns is the project of David West whose voice you may recognise from the chic electronic group LACE CURTAIN. Rat Columns' 2nd LP, 'Leaf', sees the ensemble both zoom in on the pop mainline and zoom out into some unforeseen strangeness. Jangle and chime crosses beams with grey feedback, glammy rock'n'roll, luxurious ambience and hypnosis beat panorama.

'Leaf' was recorded in the fabulous musical artist Kelley Stoltz's home studio and features contributions from RC mainstays David West, Jonathan Young and Matt Bleyle, return appearances from fab drummer James Vinciguerra, and sparkling cameos from crisp young things Mikey Young and Rusty Miller.

Rat Columns play earnest, unashamed guitar pop, inspired by frosted jangle, sad pop, post-punk and soft fuzz, all the while keeping a toe in the murky waters of guitar noise and dour ambience.
BODY OF LIGHT
BODY OF LIGHT IS: ALEXANDER / ANDREW JARSON.
Ascetic House, Chondritic Sound.
Venue Information:
51West
51 West Southern Ave
Tempe, AZ