Saturday, September 18, 2010

live action!! with The Magik Markers and Spectre Folk

Spectre Folk and Magik Markers have a bunch of live gigs coming up.
check em out!:

Spectre Folk

September 22nd Glasslands Gallery Williamsburg Brooklyn

Spectre Folk
with Toby, Grasshopper, Elevator Action

October 2nd Cropped Out fest, Louisville, KY
with.. a ton of rad bands like Sic Alps, Moon Duo, Sapat and


Magik Markers are back in full effect with OG Hartford style jams and structure guns on our backs now. What kind of conservative? Running downtown with a crazy mind?

Friday - 10/01/2010 - Cleveland, OH at Beachland Tavern


All Ages.
$6 (Free for ticket holders of !!! show in the Beachland Ballroom)
10 pm

Chicago Oct. 2nd at Ronny's with Sic Alps

Louisville Oct. 3rd Cropped Out Festival with Sic Alps, Moon Duo, Sapat, Cave, Pissed Jeans, etc.

Monday Octo 4, 2010. The Mockbee (a.k.a. Bunk Warehouse) (, the address is 2260 Central Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45214; with La Otracino (Brooklyn psych/prog metal, Wasteland Jazz Ensemble (local freejazz noise, and Holy Wars (local feedback punk). The doors open around 9pm and the show should start by 10pm, we will most likely have you guys play third, around 11:30pm

Tuesday Octo 5 Philadelphia PA The m room at 15 west girard ave

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Spectre Folk Interview At Village Voice

Check out the Spectre Folk intervew with the Village Voice

Yes In My Backyard
Download: Spectre Folk, "Burning Bridge"
By Christopher Weingarten, Tue., Sep. 7 2010 @ 11:00AM
Categories: Christopher R. Weingarten, Featured, MP3, Spectre Folk, Yes In My Backyard


Yes In My Backyard is a semiweekly column showcasing MP3s from new and emerging local talent.

​Spectre Folk is the long-percolating solo guise of Magik Markers drummer Pete Nolan, a black sea of noise guitar, psych-jams, no-fi experiments, and other interplanetary gunk released on a never-ending waterfall of tapes, CD-Rs, vinyl, and the occasional CD. Nolan's latest, Compass, Blanket, Lantern, Mojo (released via his label, Arbitrary Signs), is the most mellow, soothing, and ethereal of his sounds that these ears have heard, channeling the dusty desert vibe of Ennio Morricone, exploring a little Six Organs churn, and finding lusher new secrets in his home-recorded murk. He recently turned the band into an all-star line-up that includes Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley and New York Times food writer Peter Meehan, but for now, grab the solo turn and album highlight "Burned Bridges," which Nolan describes as "kind of Les Rallizes Denudes by way of Laurel Canyon--there's probably some of Tim Buckley's spirit in there too." In short, it's dreamy, dreary, and a warm place to curl up. Nolan says he wrote the track to deal with his feelings of isolation, desperation, and sleep deprivation after becoming a new parent. He explains, "In this altered state of consciousness I interpreted my daughter's cries--being as she was, a total newcomer to the planet earth, incapable of putting personal attachment to her thoughts and feelings--as the pure sound of the universal consciousness heralding both her entry into the world and my passage into the next level of the game. That's the idea anyway. Can you dig it?"

Download: Spectre Folk, "Burning Bridge"

Q&A: Spectre Folk's Pete Nolan
What is "Burning Bridge" about?
This tune is about me dealing with the maelstrom of feelings I had welling up at the three-month stage of being a dad to my newborn daughter, Violet Ray. After going through life taking things as they came, I suddenly had the awesome responsibility of parenthood thrust upon me. My wife and I had gone through a tremendously violent birth experience and we came out the other end with this perfectly formed, incredibly beautiful alien creature that neither of us had the slightest idea how to care for. I was terrified that if I didn't watch her literally every waking second she'd stop breathing, or her tiny shrimp-like fingers would break off, or she'd choke on some kind of bubbly vomit like the baby in Eraserhead. And I had no idea how to get her to go to sleep. Lots and lots of bouncing on a yoga ball. At least three hours a day, till my spinal chord was throbbing with pain. I'd gone from being, to quote Bret Michaels, a "rock dude," to being the primary caretaker of a newborn human. Suddenly every minute of my life was devoted to keeping this kid alive and making sure she was growing and burping and pooping and comfortable and happy and I wasn't getting much sleep. It's incredibly alienating, because there's no way any of my friends could understand what was happening to me, unless they'd had kids--none of them had. I was adrift on an island all alone with my new family, trying to make ends meet and keep everyone alive and happy and floating along.

But the other side of the alienation was this feeling of having been through an incredible rite of passage. Like I'd just made myself a link in the chain of the history of the human race. I dove with a resigned fatalism into a game of chance with the collective memory of DNA and, to quote a line from Master Shake's "Spirit Journey Formation Anniversary" song, "the creature thus be born." We couldn't have been more blessed. Our kid is so much cooler and better-looking than either me or my wife. Watching her grow and learn at the stage of the game I was at when I wrote this song was like watching one of those time-lapse movies of a plant sprouting out of the ground.

What inspired it musically?

Somewhere along the way I figured out that songs in 3/4 are more likely to induce that "floaty" feeling that some people cherish so dearly. Earlier that year the Magik Markers had toured with Ghost. I really wanted a song that could showcase the kind of soaring epic guitar soloing that I saw Michio Kurihara pull off so effortlessly night after night on that tour, so there's that element too.

How did this latest lineup of the band come to be?

About a year before Compass came out I got to be pretty good friends with Peter Meehan. My lady was learning how to make jewelry working in his lady's shop, and we got to be buddies. He's a head, and he knows his way around psych records, so he got tuned into my jams. He encouraged me to stop wasting my time pouring my psych-spew music into CD-Rs as they're ultimately ignored dead-end landfill media. After one sweltering solo gig I did at the Market Hotel in Bushwick he offered to lend me some bread so I could start self releasing my stuff on vinyl via my Arbitrary Signs label. Compass is the product of that. When I started playing gigs to promote the record he offered his services on his Japanese Fakenbacher guitar and I was more than pleased to have him, seeding the ground for a heavy new band.

Tell me how you met Steve Shelley and when/how you decided to start playing music together?

I met Steve Shelley when I was sixteen years old in Alma, Michigan. It was my birthday and my Mom had driven me from my hometown of Mt. Pleasant to buy my first four-track tape recorder at Cook's Christian Supply. The store was empty, but in the custom drum shop in the back I noticed a couple of dudes, one of whom looked suspiciously like the drummer of Sonic Youth. I worked up some nerve and finally went back and introduced myself. Sure enough, it was Steve Shelley. I was blown away! I asked him what he was doing here amid this endless sea of cornfields that, from my experience up until now, had proven to be a barren wasteland of culture, devoid of anything even remotely "cool." He said that he was originally from Midland and that the drum shop here in Alma was one of his favorites. I had my mom take my picture with Steve, as he was the second celebrity I'd ever met--the first being Michael Winslow of Police Academy fame--and took it as an incredibly good omen for all future recordings on my newly acquired four track. Fast forward to six months ago. I'm eating the most insanely delicious cheeseburger I've ever had in my life. It was slathered in butter and prepared by Mark Ibold from Pavement. He off-handedly mentions that since Sonic Youth is taking kind of a hiatus for a year, me and Peter should see if Steve Shelley wants to jam with us. After some intense prodding on my wife's part, I tracked Steve down on Facebook.

Being in a band with a food-nerd like Meehan must mean some pretty amazing culinary adventures...

Oh my god, there are too many to recount. They all kind of blur together into one big mass of memories that exist in some part of my brain that is too primordial to verbalize. When you get to that place where you're eating something that is the best thing you've ever tasted, your eyes kind of glaze over and you're in the zone of pure sensory experience. I guess I could talk about the duck buns at the Oriental Garden on Elizabeth Street; or seven courses of beef at Ma Peche with $700 bottles of wine enjoyed with Kim and Thurston of Sonic Youth; or learning how to order my In-N-Out Burger "Animal Style." But the best meals I've had with Meehan are the ones that he prepared himself in his own kitchen. Dude is all about finding the best meals in the best restaurants out there and learning how to make them yourself at home. This kind of homemade professional grade aesthetic is something that really lines up with my aesthetic musically too. Homegrown's the way it should be. So yeah, dude's been a total inspiration.

What's the most memorable show you've played in New York?

My most far out memory of a show in New York would have to be of one wintry night at the now defunct Tonic about six years ago. The snow was piled up about five feet high outside. Most of New York was shut down. The Magik Markers had driven down from Connecticut and we didn't know if the show was still happening or if anyone would show up. If you ever have the chance to see a Paul Flaherty/Chris Corsano performance after having the type of tea you might read about in an Allen Ginsberg/William Burroughs correspondence, you too will know that these two are giants among men, literally. They grew before my eyes to a height of well over eight feet. And if you are ever so lucky as to get to take the stage behind a drum kit after them, as I did on this night, you will be driving the Big Rig through space and time. The snow was piled up high enough to block off all travel down Norfolk Street, leaving a silent stillness and eerie calm over the Lower East Side, but inside the concrete bunker of the Tonic the Magik Markers had opened up an ungodly rift in the cosmos. In my curious state of synesthesia, I perceived the sound we created from the stage that night to have long purple suction-cupped arms that could reach all around the room and back again. I may not be remembering the right night, but something like this definitely happened. I was convinced for a long time after that Paul Flaherty was actually Santa Claus.

Are you working on anything else?

Should I plug the kid's book and record I'm working on? The story is a riff on the kind of magical realism Alan Lomax might have dug up in his quest through the deep South while looking for early American mythology in the form of lullabyes and kid's songs. My curious toddling daughter is the protagonist and she meets a host of woodland creatures along the way. My sister Meegan is working on some killer illustrations for it and the accompanying soundtrack is a mixture of meditative instrumentals and traditional tunes done in the Spectre Folk style.

What's your favorite place to eat in Brooklyn?

The Commodore on Metropolitan in Williamsburg has the greatest fried chicken on the planet. The rainbow chard is killer too. I love it. If I'm going to spend money eating out, which I almost never do, you'll find me there.

Are you an emerging local band who has an upcoming 7", MP3, or album? Are you not totally fucking terrible like 90% of the bands in this city? Then please send us an email at Links and YSIs only. No attachments please!

Friday, September 3, 2010

AS MEDIA FRENZY! Liberty Rose review from Agitated Atmosphere

Justin Spicer of KEXP in Seattle just made a fine review of the Arbitrary Signs release: MV EE "Liberty Rose" here: AGITATED ATMOSPHERE Check out the full text below:

Matt Valentine & Erika Elder ‒ Liberty Rose
By Justin Spicer | Published: September 3, 2010

As major labels continue to exist behind the times, artists and labels with little capital and lesser reputations are producing some of the most innovative, interesting, and inspiring music. Whether it’s creating a new niche in digital technology or looking to once obsolete formats, Agitated Atmosphere hopes to pull back the curtain on a wealth of sights and sound from luminaries such as Matt Valentine & Erika Elder.

Agitated Atmosphere strives to not repeat itself but often sounds come along that forces this column to stoop to parrot talk. Such is the case with Vermont duo Matt Valentine and Erika Elder. Last year, AA had the pleasure of talking up the virtues of Barn Nova, the so-called ‘mainstream’ effort from the psych folkies. A group of diehards proclaimed it MV & EE’s best effort as some shuddered at its pedestrian shift (AA’s stance is rather clear).

But what of those who have devoured the band’s ultra-limited self-released efforts via their Child of Microtones label? How about those who scrapped together the dough to nab the band’s extensive cassette box sets? You’re loyalty to the cause has been rewarded with Liberty Rose, Valentine & Elder’s latest from Magik Marker/Spectre Folk guru Pete Nolan’s label, Arbitrary Signs.

The blend of classic folk phrasing and tripped out production that has littered many MV & EE releases returns in full effect throughout the width of Liberty Rose. Yet it’s not near as removed from Barn Nova as some would believe. Valentine’s patented Spectrasound returns, trimmed down to utilize its omnipotent power to the fullest: “Crow Jane Environs” finds Valentine’s subtle vocals echoing above the clean guitar and Elder’s daydreaming slide. “Flow My Ray” returns to the Neil Young playbook with its bare bone melody and whispered harmonica. Valentine’s vocals continue to gain distance, never seeming as concrete as the music.

Listen to “Death Is My Friend”:

Longtime fans will find their rebuttals to the plain jane Barn Nova stuffed within the gentle blues of “Death is My Friend.” The easy bar blues riff and Elder’s sweet nothings provide the needed bridge between the duo’s so-called ‘mainstream’ aesthetic and its lived in sound long familiar to their cult following. If Barn Nova signaled a significant shift in style, Liberty Rose dares not to let on. It picks up where Valentine & Elder always leave off and fails to hit a sour note. As summer pulls the curtains back, Liberty Rose gives them on last tie back to allow the warm glow of the sun one final bow; the last sip of freshly squeezed lemonade before the batch and the weather turn sour.

Justin Spicer is a freelance journalist who also runs the webzine, Electronic Voice Phenomenon. He writes the Monday News Mash-Up for the KEXP Blog. You may follow him on Twitter.
This entry was posted in Agitated Atmosphere, KEXP and tagged MV + EE. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.
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Thursday, September 2, 2010

New Spectre Folk video by Pax Paloscia

see a hi res version at

here's the scoop:

Q&A With Pax Paloscia, Director of New Spectre Folk Video

story Hanly Banks
Underwater photography is so ubiquitous at this point, we didn’t think it was possible to film submerged and still be unique. But “Burning Bridge,” the new video from New York supergroup Spectre Folk, is shot beneath the water and completely changed our minds. Where does anything this beautiful come from? Italy, of course. Italian-born, New York-based photographer Pax Paloscia is the woman responsible for this lovely footage. (She’s also married to fellow talent Gabriele Stabile, photographer of so many wonderful images in the FADER, including our current Glasser cover.) Paloscia answered a few questions about making the video, her transition from still to moving images, and the identity of that skinny kid in the water. Also, how do we go to there?

How’d you get hooked up with these guys?
[Spectre Folk member/New York Times food writer]Peter (Meehan) is a good friend of ours. He sent us the song and I loved it. I’m very lucky, because in my family I have many nephews whom I’ve been following all my life—so I’ve been recording a lot of material. On the day we shot the video, I was with my youngest nephew, Tommy, and we were in the swimming pool (I am a little bit obsessed with water). The song was very inspiring for the kind of slowed-down mood, and he actually just jumped in the water and started swimming around. It was like this moment—it looked like he was really listening to the song. Then we played around a little bit with the landscape and I mixed the two moments together, and it came out with a natural mood, like the kid was lost in his own world.

Did you shoot with the intention of making a music video?
I had it in mind when we were listening to the piece. The video was almost done by the time we shot it, in my mind. I knew that I would be in Italy, I knew the landscape, I knew the people, and I knew that it would be perfect for this kind of song. As soon as we were back in New York I couldn’t wait to mix them together.

You’re a photographer by trade. How was the crossover to video?
I’ve been shooting all my life, but I have to say that I use my photography for both painting and video-making. Every time I work in my studio I’m doing a collage of things, a mix of media.

How did your nephews feel about the whole thing?
They love to play and it’s great because they totally forget about the camera. So they kind of just play with me and we used to run like crazy in this giant forest and they just make it fun, so it’s totally natural to work with them.

Nerd question—what kind of camera did you use?
A canon 5D with an underwater thing [laughs]. I was very, very afraid to put the camera inside of it. We tried to close it with tape and glue, and everybody was telling me “You’re crazy for going under the water with the camera!”

Well, it’s a beautiful video.
It’s exciting when someone tells you that about something so personal—like my life and the people i love and the things I really love—and when people get it, it’s magic.


Buy at Insound

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