Here is Part 2/ Sunday of my epic mini-series, I Want My ATP (check out I Want My ATP (Part 1:) Saturday at All Tomorrow’s Parties):
Music festivals are wonderful, unpredictable, and tiresome. After seeing Atlas Sound, I went with the family to a local Catskills institution, an Italian restaurant called Frankie and Johnny’s. If the portions weren’t enough of a thrill, on the way out of the restaurant I saw Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips. I yelled out “Hey Wayne!” and in response he flashed me a smile and a peace sign. Wayne is an omnipresent figure at ATP this weekend. Earlier I saw him checking out the beginning of Atlas Sound’s set. Now, I’m waving to him at Frankie and Johnny’s. Wonderful and unpredictable.
But now I am lying in bed with my ears ringing, beyond exhaustion. Following dinner, we decided to get in a quick game of bowling before the night’s headliners, Deerhunter and Animal Collective. I bowled terribly which I will chalk up to ungreased, unfamiliar lanes. We also got to watch the tail end of the women’s U.S. Open semifinals match between Serena Williams and Kim Clijsters before the shows (soooo worth it). When we finally got our act together, we sifted through a huge crowd at the Starlight Ballroom to get a good spot for Deerhunter.
Deerunter’s set was excellent. While I had reservations after seeing Brangford Cox’s frustrating Atlas Sound set, the band translated their recent studio album Microcastle into a fine rock show. Cox soaked up the spotlight, performing a perfect rendition of “Microcastle.” At the end of the set the band closed with the tandem of “Cover Me (Slowly)” and “Agoraphobia.” Fans of Deerhunter will be disappointed to hear that the band plans to take an indefinite hiatus. It seems that Cox’s upcoming Atlas Sound tour will occupy his time for the rest of 2009.
Animal Collective took the stage shortly after Deerhunter. The band’s stage set up was similar to the last time I saw them perform at the Prospect Park Bandshell in Brooklyn. Light up tables support the bands mixers and samples. Jellyfish shaped lights flicker repeatedly during their set. A whimsicaly, psychadelic mural and luminsecent orbs function as the band’s backdrop. However, while they achieve an impressive and inspiring aesthetic, musically, I feel that their live show is becoming montonous. The setlist was primarily limited to songs from Merriweather Post Pavilion and the band did little live instrumentation during the show. I enjoy their new song “What would I want Sky” but nothing would make me happier than to hear them reach back into their catalgoue and play some songs off of Feels. I ambled back to my room after the set, drained but pleased by Saturday/ Sunday at ATP.
I know this is a big jump in time but after I woke up around 10 AM on Sunday, the rest of the day was an amorphous blob of music listening. Up until now, as I eat an organe on the Shortline back to NYC, all I had to eat today was a a breakfast burrito and a few beers. I wanted to get in as many acts as I could today, so from 12 AM to 7:15 PM I bounced around from stage to stage. First, I visited Oneida presents the Ocropolis. The Ocropolis is Oneida’s multidisciplinary studio/performance space in the basement of Monster Island located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. As part of a special, all-day event, Oneida conceptually transported the Ocropolis to ATP. Throughout the day, the band and some guests (one of which was The Flaming Lips) perpetually jammed and recorded their work. When I entered the Ocropolis, people were strewed on the floor as a member of Oneida played a sparse guitar riff. I wonder if anyone stayed for the entirety of the day.
Next I went to see Boredoms perform 9 drummer BOADRUM. The eccentric act consisted of 9 drummers (one which came to the stage by way of a pedestal which traveled through the crowd), a vocalist, and a multi-instrumentalist. The sound of many drummers hitting a cymbal at the same time is unique but it quickly got boring. There were sections of the show where the drum patterns were complex and varied. In these moments the band rose above simply reproducing STOMP.
My favorite act of ATP, Caribou Vibration Ensemble, followed Boredoms. Caribou is the stage name of Dan Snaith, a multi-instrumentalist and electronic musician. Caribou (formerly Manitoba) has a psychedelic, dream-like quality. Exclusively for ATP, Caribou performed as Caribou Vibration Ensemble, with a 4-piece horn section, 4 drummers, a choir and guests that included Marshall Allen (Sun Ra Arkestra leader and Arkestra member for over 50 years). Of all the acts I saw at ATP, Caribou Vibration Ensemble’s sound was the best mixed. No single instrument overpowered the band and Snaith’s vocals were soft but clear. Spirited drumming, choral arrangements, and Marshall Allen shredding on the EW (an electronic valve instrument made by the Akai company) were some of the highlights of the show.
Before I had to catch a ride to the Monticello bus terminal at 7:15 PM, I was able to make it in time to see a couple songs from Deerhoof’s set. What a tease! For their second song the band played a fantastic rendition of “+81.” Satomi Matsuzaki (the lead singer and bassist of Deerhoof) sounded great and an interesting visual display created by Martha Colburn played behind the band. I may not have been able to see every band I wanted to, but overall I had an amazingly fun and memorable weekend. Kutsher’s and ATP are a perfect marriage.