In studio: Gardener + Ant’lrd

In the beginning of February two fantastic Chicago bands, Ant’lrd and Gardener, dropped by WRCT. They unpacked equipment, settled on the floor, and made time stand still for the next 50 minutes. Ant’lrd’s Colin Blanton used samplers and a keyboard and Gardener’s Dash Lewis used a modular synthesizer and effects pedals to create those ambient, electronic beats.

Because hearing their sets once wasn’t enough, that night, Blanton, Lewis, and I collected blankets, lamps, projectors, and people to create an impromptu music venue in that nook near the Purnell mailroom. They played for a tiny crowd, but were no less invested in creating the relaxing, introspective environment their music arouses. Overall, Colin and Dash were wonderfully easygoing and clearly love sharing their art.

Ant’lrd has a show coming up in Chicago at The Burlington. If you’re in Chicago on March 19, hit that up for a live taste of Blanton’s musical vibrations. I recommend it. Blanton has also released a new tape, “Biblioteca Nod Out,” for which you should be clicking this link: http://barorecords.bandcamp.com/album/biblioteca-nod-out

Dash Lewis of Gardener will be playing with White Laces during March and April. He’s opening for The War on Drugs on March 22 in our radio hometown, Pittsburgh. His new tape “This is Noise” comes out this month on Life Like. Dash’s solo project, Curtains, will be playing some shows around Virginia and North Carolina and has a new tape coming out on April 2 on Potluck Records. His band Critics (Dash+Meg Mulhearn) has a record coming out this spring.

Check out the in studio session with Gardener and Ant’lrd below:

Post by Anna Azizzy Rosati.


Arrastão da Alegria — a Brazilian Carnaval Party

Arrastão da Alegria — a Brazilian Carnaval Party

Live Music by New York’s Nation Beat and its thunderous Brazilian maracatu drumming
DJ Carla Canarinho from Brazilian Radio Hour from Pittsburgh’s WRCT 88.3 FM
Timbeleza Percussion Group from Pittsburgh

Friday, Feb 28th | 9 pm | $15 in advance $20 at door
At Roland’s Seafood Grill – 2nd floor

Brought to you by Global Beats, The Consortium and Timbeleza
Tickets on sale starting on 1/27 online at www.showclix.com/event/BrazilianCarnaval
Only 200 tickets available so be sure to get yours!

About Nation Beat:

Nation Beat – A 21st century mash-up of the thunderous grooves of northeastern Brazil with the strolling swagger of New Orleans funk.

The heartbeat of Nation Beat’s sound lies in a deliciously original 21st century fusion between thunderous Brazilian maracatu drumming and New Orleans second line rhythms. It is also the vibrant force of their explosive live show, which is frequently known to burst into crowd-wide Carnival-style drumming and singing. Nation Beat’s audacious energy seamlessly bridges folkloric Brazilian maracatu with classic NOLA roots music attracting an ever-growing legion of fans from across a wide demographic. Nation Beat plays the best kind of fusion in the world, the kind that doesn’t try to fuse anything. An American/Brazilian collective, Nation Beat belongs to both sides of the equator.

Nation Beat artistic director/founder Scott Kettner, a graduate of The New School University (NYC) and a former Latin Jazz Ambassador, is at once following the path of such Brazilian luminaries as Lenine and Chico Science, and forging new trails with a distinct, contemporary interpretation of the traditional 19th century Pernambuco-born rhythm. Kettner’s partners in the endeavor include front woman Fabiana Masili, a soaring powerhouse vocalist and rising Brazilian star with a commanding stage presence and raucous guitarist Mark Marshall whose singular style effortlessly encompasses a wide range of musics – funk, blues, soul and a bit of twang. The band is further propelled by fluid animated Brazilian bassist Zê Grey and two driving maracatu percussionists, Aaron Shafer-Haiss and Fernando Saci.

Multiculturalism isn’t another bland buzz word in the hands of Nation Beat. Borrowing, mixing and adapting musical traditions is at the very heart of Music, and it is the creative and animated pulse of Nation Beat.

Which nation, and which beat? What makes this group special is that it offers no simple answers. They are rhythm gatherers, harvesting the fruit of 500 years of cultural crossbreeding, which is why the sounds of the northeast of Brazil and the southern United States blend together so seamlessly; NPR’s All Things Considered music writer Banning Eyre calls them “the most original and alluring fusion group I have heard in years.”


MMW: Joy Division

In case you didn’t know – The band was founded in early 1977, soon after the Sex Pistols had made their first appearance in Manchester. Guitarist Bernard Albrecht and bassist Peter Hook had met while at the show and later formed a band called the Stiff Kittens; after placing an ad through a Manchester record store, they added vocalist Ian Curtis and drummer Steve Brotherdale. Renamed Warsaw (from David Bowie’s “Warszawa”), the band made its live debut the following May, supporting the Buzzcocks and Penetration at Manchester’s Electric Circus. After the recording of several demos, Brotherdale quit the group in August 1977, prompting the hire of Stephen Morris. A name change to Joy Division in late 1977 — necessitated by the punk band Warsaw Pakt — was inspired by Karol Cetinsky’s World War II novel The House of Dolls. (In the book, the term “joy division” was used as slang for concentration camp units wherein female inmates were forced to prostitute themselves for the enjoyment of Nazi soldiers.)

Haunting melodies, emphasized by the isolated, tortured lyrics of its lead vocalist, Ian Curtis, became a trademark of the group. Ian Curtis, an epilepsy sufferer, was prone to breakdowns and seizures while on stage — it became difficult to distinguish the fits from his usual on-stage jerkiness and manic behavior.Two days before Joy Division was to embark on their first US tour (May 1980), singer Ian Curtis committed suicide by hanging.

Hear it: Blue Velvet & Black Coffee with Patrick, Tuesdays 2-4 p.m.


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