Interview: Dinowalrus

Dinowalrus

Williamsburg’s own Dinowalrus recently released their critically-acclaimed sophomore LP, Best Behavior; a decidedly more dance-driven and synth-based approach than their debut, the noise rock-inspired %My Social List caught up with Pete Feigenbaum, their self-proclaimed “curator of riffs” at El Beit to discuss his band’s progression, the erosion of local music scenes, the continued gentrification of Williamsburg and what he described as a Warholian appropriation of culture as a driving influence in his band’s sound.

Peter Rittweger – You’ve said that Andy Warhol’s or Mike Kelley’s “appropriation” was a source of inspiration on Best Behavior. I almost immediately think of your album cover, which is an image of the Domino Sugar factory, this “iconic” Williamsburg landmark.  % was more “no-wave” or “noise rock” inspired, while Best Behavior seems to be more influenced by the best music AROUND you.  Would you say the image symbolizes that sort of appropriation?

Pete Feigenbaum – Yes and no.  I mean, the album cover is just an allusion to Animals, that Pink Floyd album… which isn’t a very good album, but that album cover really resonates with me.  I mean both albums (% and Best Behavior) are sort of appropriations in a different way.  I have this theory that nostalgia comes in twenty year waves.  I guess there’s only really been two years between the two albums, but in my mind it feels like more, so we’ve jumped from 1982 to 1992 in our minds, haha.

I was vaguely interested in this Madchester acid-house sound for a while, so it just made sense to dig even deeper into that and really let that influence the songwriting on Best Behavior, and the production too.  So I feel that that’s the biggest re-appropriation on Best Behavior…like taking ideas from the Happy Mondays, Stone Roses, Charlatans, Primal Scream, Candy Flip, Flowered Up… all those bands.  I feel like our interest in them is a very unique thing. It seems like no one else around here is into that.  Revivalism can be kind of hokey, or even a cheap thrill but I like to think the way that we’ve done it, we’ve kind of made it our own and made people see this style that they may have overlooked previously.

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The Most Blogged About Shows This Week

Foo Fighters

The MOST BLOGGED shows this week are somewhat enigmatic… and that has EVERYTHING to do with the Bamboozle music festival, which apparently our algorithm likes a whole lot.  And hey, there’s some stuff to like (and a lot to make you cringe.)

I’m a New Jersey native, who has no problem admitting that I spent a great deal of my youth at Jersey shore emo and hardcore shows.  That’s what this Asbury Park festival was originally known for, going back to its roots as the Skate and Surf Festival at the dilapidated Convention Hall.  Some of that remains on the bill (Brand New, Jimmy Eat World, Motion City Soundtrack, Hot Water Music, Promise Ring, to name a few of the friendly faces), but the rest of the lineup is something of a gigantic clusterfuck consisting of everything from wub-wub dubstep to bad comedy.

Andrew Dice Clay is probably the biggest “WTF” of the event, and he has a set scheduled on Sunday which is headlined by an equally “WTF” act (but for totally different reasons), Bon Jovi.  This isn’t AS MUCH of a surprise for me, as I’m somewhat familiar with the festival.  They usually have some incredibly off-the-wall act every year that really doesn’t fit (acts as diverse as MC Hammer and Skid Row has graced the festival’s stage in previous years), but Dice Clay might take the cake (though I’m not sure where.)

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The Most Blogged About Shows This Week

Beach House

The floodgates opened this week.  Northside.  Celebrate Brooklyn.  South Street Seaport.  CBGBs.  All of these festivals announced varying portions of their lineups this week; and they’re pretty awesome thus far.  There’s sets from everyone from indie vets like Guided By Voices and OLIVIA TREMOR CONTROL (!!!) to hip hop legends like Ghostface Killah, GZA and Kool Keith (Dr. Octagon tracks please), to some of the hottest “buzzbands” like Cloud Nothings, Frankie Rose and The Pains of Being Pure At Heart.  I’m sure DIIV will play at least 74 times, as well.

“Festival season” is still about a month or so away, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait ‘til June to catch some “buzzworthy” shows.  We’ve got you covered, and our MOST BLOGGED ABOUT SHOW this week should get you plenty excited.  Beach House is back in town to support their rapidly forthcoming (and currently streaming) 4th record, Bloom.  They play the sold out Bowery Ballroom on Tuesday with Zomes.

If you missed out on your chance to see Vicki Legrande’s hair up close and personal, and still want to catch a “big one,” you could do worse than snatching up a ticket to Neon Indian’s second post-Era Extrana go-around at Terminal 5 on Saturday.  There are still some tickets left, despite what represents an absurdly stocked undercard, featuring Ducktails and Lemonade.  Huh.  Kinda surprised Neon Indian can’t sell out a Saturday night at T5, while M83 effortlessly sold out his T5 show tonight, a weeknight.  IS CHILLWAVE DEAD?

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The Most Blogged About Shows This Week

The Walkmen

Today marks the beginning of a new era for My Social List.  From this day onward, we will be known as MI SCILL LIIST.  We really don’t give a fuck about the name.  We originated this project in a bedroom with no internet and didn’t know it would ever leave.

We’re taking a cue from DIIV, formerly known as Dive; aka Zachary Cole Smith of Beach Fossils’ side project.  Apparently, he’s changing the name out of “respect” for some early 90s industrial act from Belgium.

Come on dude, how have you never heard of Dive?  Their experimental sound, consisting of abused drum machines pulsating through crackling distortion influenced everyone from Frontline Assembly to Klinik.

If that all sounds ridiculous… it’s because it is.  My guess?  The guy never heard the “original” Dive in his life, and Wikipedia’d his band name before his LP came out.  Dude.  It’s totally ok.  I have idea who the hell Dive is either.  The last sentence of the previous paragraph is a combination of Wikipedia’s “Dive (Belguim Band)” page and industrial acts from Allmusic.com.

Maybe this perceived insecurity over not knowing obscure foreign bands from dead genres is some sort of sad commentary on the resentful post-internet era we live in.  Who knows?  Maybe he just wanted a more stylized name?  If that’s the case… they should have totally went with ▲DDIIVVEE▲ instead.  Or maybe he realized “Dive” was un-google-able?

Somewhat ironically, I’d like to use this opportunity to announce the launch of the MII SCIIL LIIST iPhone app (get it here)  It launches TODAY, and it’s 100% free.  Now you’ll be able to access our buzz list right on your phone, buy tickets to shows, find shows near you (via current location), and text them to your friends.  Really, there’s no better app for tracking buzzworthy shows in the city despite my INTENSE bias.

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The Most Blogged About Shows This Week

The Shins

Man, I feel like all you hear about these days are band reunions.  Not that it’s always a bad thing.  I’m just getting the sense that a good chunk of them are cash grabs for bands that were MAYBE semi-relevant a decade ago.  Release some new material, at least…

Before I dive into this week’s usual spiel… I have a VENUE ALERT for you.

Just when you thought you’ve seen everything, and have been to a show EVERYWHERE, another new DIY spot pops up.  It’s hard to keep track of ’em, but I thought I’d give a heads up to a newer space down in Bed-Stuy called Big Mouth.

The venue, located in the basement of 834 Myrtle Ave, was founded by the owners of Rooftop Shout Records. They originally planned on hosting house parties in the high-ceilinged, over-sized basement, but the space begged for more.  A couple months later, someone let them have a PA on the cheap, a street-art crazed friend went nuts all over the walls and now they’re selling out ragers twice a month in the 200 capacity space.  Co-founder Rowan Antony Bado envisions utilizing the space for more innovative, conceptual shows.

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The Most Blogged About Shows This Week

Refused

I’m dreading the day where I’ll have to announce a holographic show.  By now you’re well aware of the meme that is holographic 2Pac.  If you’re not, check the blog post below.  And while I hate to contribute to the memeification of the internet… this one is pretty relevant here.

Because… it’s probably coming.

Detox?  Fuck, Dr. Dre wasn’t hauled up for the past decade working on rap’s version of Chinese Democracy.  He was potentially ushering in the next era in the live music.  Or… I hope not.  It’s a multi-pronged problem.  Is the era of holographic concerts upon us?  Will artists need to tour anymore?  Will we see a series of bastardized “revivals” or “resurrections” as musicians and record labels attempt to cash in on this hyper-futuristic, post-modern craze?

Cost is a big factor; the holographic 2Pac reportedly cost Dre and Snoop a cool four-hundred grand, so us indie-minded individuals are probably safe.  I don’t think Matador has the cash (or desire/questionable ethics) to book a Jay Reatard hologram tour, but how far away are we from Kurt Cobain fronting a Nirvana show with Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic?  Will Peter Hook try to go on tour with a holographic Ian Curtis in a big “fuck you” to the rest of New Order?  I’m unquestionably bordering on paranoia here – especially with Cobain (Hook is more likely, see the Unknown Pleasures and Closer tours), but hey, anything can happen.  I just hope Courtney Love doesn’t get any wild ideas.

I think I’ll jump off this slippery slope for now and dive into the MOST BLOGGED shows this week.  Refused’s own RESURECTION at Terminal 5 is our most blogged show, and not surprisingly, is sold out.  Ceremony open for the Swedish hardcore-punk legends on Monday, and if you’re sans-ticket, you can stay downtown and catch Ceremony over at Mercury Lounge later in the night.

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The Most Blogged About Shows This Week

Mastodon

It’s really hard for me to write this today.  I haven’t been in the best of moods since Rick Santorum decided to drop out of the race.  It’s just so fresh.  The initial shock has worn off, yes, but it’s a pretty deep cut, and I’m just starting to feel it.  So yeah, I apologize in advance if I’m not my usual chipper self.  I’m sure most of you can relate.  Oh well.  Time to get a head start on #Santorum2016.  Maybe some shows will make me feel better until then…

This week’s MOST BUZZED SHOW is definitely Santorum-approved: Mastadon, Opeth and Ghost: TONIGHT at the Roseland Ballroom.  Apologies to all you Brooklyn metal-heads; this one is sold out.

The (recently) late great John Chamberlain’s abstract expressionist sculpture exhibit Choices has been on display since February at the Guggenheim.  I haven’t had the chance to check it out yet, but I’m kind of glad I haven’t because Friday night is going to be the best time to see it.  This week’s EDITOR’S PICK is the first night of a three-part live music and art series at the Guggenheim, Divine Ricochet, which is inspired by Chamberlain’s 1991 sculpture.  Nothing against Zola Jesus or Cold Cave, who play the other two nights of the series: this is the night to see this exhibit.  Grouper AND Juliana Barwick are on hand for what promises to be a pair of captivating sets that are well-suited for this kind of event.

“Divine Ricochet takes its thematic cue from the poetic fusion, chaotic riffing, explosive color and sublime assemblage that characterized Chamberlain’s work.”

I can think of few musicians whose work better accompanies the work of John Chamberlain than Grouper.  She’s no stranger to experimental performances; just last year she composed a live score for Weston Currie’s visually stunning feature film, The Perception of Moving Targets.   And hey, Barwick’s ambient folk is nothing to scoff at either.

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The Most Blogged About Shows This Week

Perfume Genius

I got out of the city for a bit this past weekend.  Every now and then, it can be refreshing.  New York really is like no other place in the world and it can take its toll on even the most wild of us all.

Well, not according to everyone.  Some places are JUST like New York.  I drove up to Binghamton on Friday to spend a couple nights with my girlfriend’s Mennonite cousins.  Absurdly nice, chill people.  Of course, the topic of the “bright lights” and “hustle and bustle” of New York came up.  They said they could relate.

“Lancaster is crazy too, just like New York.”

I smiled politely and nodded.  “Yup, just like New York.”

Anyway, it was a nice break.  Post-prayer homemade meals, alcohol-free nights over board games and casual strolls through foggy, mountainous farmland can be a nice change of pace, but by Sunday morning, I found myself thirsty for some booze and bloggable shows.  Thankfully, we come from the land of booze and bloggable shows, and there’s plenty of them to satisfy my thirst this week.

The MOST BLOGGED ABOUT SHOW (and EDITORS PICK) this week is Perfume Genius at Glasslands Gallery.  Sure to show up on pretty much everyone’s “album of the year” list, Perfume Genius’s second full-length, Put Your Back In 2 It finds the Seattle singer-songwriter again exploring familiar heart-wrenching territory, recalling the best moments of early Sufjan Stevens or Devendra Banhart.  I hope you got tickets early because this bad boy is sold out.  If you missed out, I’m going to make you feel even worse because Parenthetical Girls are also on the bill.  Score another one for Popgun.

Don’t worry… there’s still tickets for some top flight shows this week.  Black Dice are kicking off a tour in support of their upcoming EP Saturday at Living Bread Deli.  The “how the hell do you pronounce this band” electro of Oneothrix Point Never and Turn To Crime round out this “cutting edge” lineup out in “cutting edge” Bushwick.

Next up is one that hits close to home for me; Screaming Females are down in Gowanus for a show at the Bell House on Friday night.  As a New Jersey native… I gotta show some love for the first awesome punk band to come out of New Brunswick in a realllllllly long time.  Not forgetting their roots; they play Maxwell’s over in Hoboken on Thursday night, properly kicking off a tour in support of their latest release, Ugly.

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