The War on Drugs

Late Show

The War on Drugs

Porcelain Raft, Arc In Round

Sat, August 20, 2011

Doors: 10:00 pm

Mercury Lounge

New York, NY

This event is 21 and over

The War on Drugs - (Set time: 11:30 PM)
The War on Drugs
Philedelphia's the War on Drugs reside at the blurred edges of American music: overexposing studio limitations, piling tape upon tape to maximum density, and then -- with each song -- they pull off the scaffolding to reveal what sticks, keeping only what's absolutely necessary and dig into what sounds like the best kind of fucked up. As on their 2008 debut, Wagonwheel Blues, central member Adam Granduciel takes small moments occurring over multiple tapes and multiple song versions, and puts every last drop of trust in his own keen instinct of momentum.

That's not to overshadow the sharp, personal songwriting at play here. There are certainly cues taken from our very best American bards (Dylan, Petty, Springsteen). Yet, The War on Drugs are wise enough to also implode those cues or send themselves into outer space when the moment calls for it. The driving organ riff that pushes "Baby Missiles," from the band's 2010 epic EP Future Weather, may well be inspired by a fever dream of Springsteen rather than any particular song in his catalogue. And the endless layers of guitar melody and atmospherics of "Comin' Through," also from Future Weather, rather than add weither to the vessell, only work to fill its sails with warmer and warmer winds.
Porcelain Raft - (Set time: 10:30 PM)
Porcelain Raft
Permanent Signal: according to Wikipedia, “a condition in which a phone line is off-hook without connection for an extended period of time.”
It’s a term that Mauro Remiddi returned to repeatedly when reflecting on the time between last year’s release of Strange Weekend, the multi-instrumentalist’s debut full-length as Porcelain Raft, and this, its proper follow-up. “In a way, growing up in Italy, then living for 12 years in London, and now two and a half years in New York, made me realize that I have some dear friends I rarely see,” explains Remiddi. “I was touring almost non-stop for eight months and I started having these imaginary conversations in my head with people I wanted to communicate with, but for one reason or another it couldn’t happen. This is where the album title came from: the idea of a signal that says the line is off."
Remiddi began working on Permanent Signal at the end of 2012, two months after returning from tour. It became a period of readjustment in which he was beginning to enjoy everyday comforts and reconnecting with friends, yet the thoughts of those unrealized conversations during his recent travels were still fresh in his mind. Inspired by this surreal moment of transition, where the reality of finally being home was still overshadowed by lingering feelings of detachment, he sold almost all of the instruments used for Strange Weekend in order to “start with a new color palette.”
This is immediately apparent in Permanent Signal’s opener, "Think Of The Ocean". The dense, basement-recorded haze of his last full-length has been traded for a spacious melancholy, where cello, piano and drums gently spiral atop the faint pulsing tone, mirroring the album’s title. While layers of synths and electronics still play a role, the new record is far more organic than Porcelain Raft’s previous releases. According to Remiddi, this was an intentional move: “I wanted to record in the studio just to capture the guitars and drums properly, and to have some real input from musicians I respected and loved to hang with." Remiddi enlisted support from Yuck’s Jonny Rogoff on drums, Antlers' bassist Darby Cicci (who also contributed double vocals and trumpet, and engineered the sessions in his Brooklyn studio), and cellist Gaspar Claus (frequent collaborator with Sufjan Stevens and Bryce Dessner of The National).
Porcelain Raft’s once gauzy pop has now turned as vivid as a waking dream. During “Minor Pleasure,”Remiddi finds catharsis amidst the processed drone of organ and piano, echoing the gospel-dosed psychedelia of Spiritualized, and concedes in his otherworldly tenor that “there’s nothing hidden in what we see, sometimes you just have to let it in”. Meanwhile, the radiant lull of “Night Birds” reaches cosmic bliss, with a poignant sense of nostalgia brought about by the song’s crystalline guitars and synthesizers. There are tracks like “Cluster” and the haunting, Lennon-esque “I Lost Connection”, which deal directly with lives either on hold or in transition -- all universal themes of the human condition that allow the listener to fill in their own personal experiences with a permanent signal.
Arc In Round - (Set time: 10:00 PM)
Arc In Round
Arc In Round is the band of producer/engineer Jeff Zeigler (Kurt Vile, War on Drugs, Lymbyc Systym), co-songwriter Mikele Edwards, bassist Ian Fraser and drummer Matt Ricchini. Formed in 2009, the band pull from the layered-dissonance and experimentation of Disco Inferno and This Heat, Motorik rhythms of Krautrock pioneers Neu and Can, and the more obvious sonic reference points of My Bloody Valentine, Broadcast and the Swirlies. Live, the band takes pains to bring their layered sound out of the studio and onto the stage for an immersive, crisply executed show. Their recently completed EP, Diagonal Fields features Kurt Vile (Kurt Vile and the Violators, War on Drugs) and Chris Ward of Pattern is Movement. They have also recently completed their eponymous debut LP, with remixes by Benoit Pilouard, A Sunny Day in Glasgow, Nightlands, Pink Skull, Lymbyc Systym and more.
Venue Information:
Mercury Lounge
217 E Houston St.
New York, NY, 10002
http://mercuryloungenyc.com