Noise rockers Swans are heading to Toad’s Place in New Haven for a show on Sunday, July 6 at 8 p.m., according to a Manic Productions press release.
Deer Tick and the Hold Steady will tour together this April, stopping in Connecticut for a show at Toad’s Place in New Haven on Friday, April 18, according to a press release and both band websites.
What a year.
Some incredible, superstar acts came through Connecticut in 2013 — Justin Timberlake, Phish, Drake, Pearl Jam, Elton John, Rosanne Cash, Chris Cornell, Black Sabbath, tons and tons of awesome indie-rock bands, avant-garde jazzers and hip-hop artists (and later this week, we get to see Prince, Janelle Monae, Esperanza, Robert Randolph and a few others). It was so much fun covering them for the Advocates and CTNow.
But I also got to write about a few local acts — not as many as I would have hoped for, but a decent cross-section — who did some amazing things. When I talked to them, they were hilariously funny, nervous, smart and insightful. Best of all: they made killer music, all of them.
So, here’s a quick rundown of my year covering the Connecticut music scene. And here’s to an even better 2014. Cheers, and thanks for reading.
On her first solo record, Ringing in Our Wrists, Bloody Panda lead singer Yoshiko Ohara cut and pasted together waveforms — bits of found sounds, synthesizer-generated noises pads and other noises — according to how they looked on screen.
Ohara, a talented visual artist, said she wanted to try a new approach. “I saw the screen of the tracks as a canvas and put the wave-forms of noises, phrase, sounds I made on each track in a similar way as I paint on a canvas with acrylics,” Ohara wrote in an e-mail. “I was aiming for a cool image. There was no special rule. I did it casually.”
“Symmetrical Lantern” (pictured below) collapses more than a dozen layers into a single aural soundscape. (You can follow along with the visual image started at about a minute into the track.) During the recording process, Ohara captured ideas and snippets into waveforms, then went about rearranging them visually, without regard for how they sounded together.
“As a solo artist, I do everything by myself, which means I can really get into the world where I am the only one who exist there,” she wrote in an e-mail. “By being immersed in my own sense, I can see new things, which is also good for creativity.” (You can purchase the full album here.)
The Japanese-born singer, who’s now based out of New York, formed Bloody Panda in 2002. They’re currently at work on their third album. She’ll perform her solo music at Lipgloss Crisis in New Haven on Oct. 24 at 6 p.m. Local experimentalists Ham Radio Operator and Colorguard are also on the bill.
Yoshiko Ohara w/ Ham Radio Operator, Colorguard, Oct. 24, 6 p.m., $4, Lipgloss Crisis, 756 Chapel St., New Haven.
Phil Cutler loves his customers, is on great terms with his landlord and has a healthy business — and he’s shutting it all down.
Cutler’s Record Shop, the New Haven store his family has owned and operated since 1948, closes for good June 30, or earlier, if the store sells out of inventory.
“This is the time,” Cutler said Thursday afternoon. “It’s just the time.”
The shop has been a Broadway institution for decades. Tony Bennett, Tom Jones, the Everly Brothers and generations of local music fans have all browsed in Cutler’s, which has occupied three different storefronts over the years, including its current home, a 2,000-square-foot space at 25-27 Broadway. Cutler started working at the family’s business in 1971 when he was 13, and later dropped out of the University of Hartford to help his father, Jayson, run the place.
“It’s my whole life,” he said. “This store financially, emotionally and whatever else has done wonders for my family.”
Having their own studio has proven to be a mixed blessing for members of the Spinto Band: Sure, they can take their time making records now, but that can spiral into taking too much time.
“That’s the danger of working in this capacity,” bassist and singer Thomas Hughes says by phone from the band’s studio in Delaware, before starting a tour Wednesday, May 2, in New Haven. “We’ve known groups that have spent three months working on one song. I’m not going to name any names, but to me, that just sounded awful. So we kept that as a reminder of what not to be doing.”
Even with such reminders, the Spinto Band isn’t known for a quick turnaround on its albums full of buoyant, catchy indie-pop songs. The band’s latest, “Shy Pursuit” (out Tuesday, May 1, on the band’s own Spintonic Records) is its first new release since “Moonwink” in 2008.
New Haven band Ghost of Chance is keeping the buzz going with another single from the band’s forthcoming album.
The new tune, “Krunk Juice,” has a title Lil Jon would love, but the song bears scant resemblance to Dirty South rap. A relentless beat frames an ominous bassline and jangling guitar that sounds somehow distant, like it’s bleeding through the wall of a room down the hall.
“Krunk Juice” comes from Ghost of Chance’s third LP, “Be Me Void,” which is due this summer. The band previously streamed “I Feel Fine,” which you can listen to here.