Ony’s Bands – Autocorrect & the Jasper Release Concert Thursday Night at Art Bar

 

Autocorrect describes themselves as a “post-human experimental rap choir,” blending performance art, hip hop, and internet content. From their name alone, one gets the impression that they are calling attention to the ways in which technology affects how we communicate. Their songs address this issue in varying ways. The group consists of Cecil Decker (rapping, drums, sampling, programming), Chris Johnson (vocals, synths, guitars), and Moses Andrews III (bass, vocals, synths).

 

Decker explains that their main goal is to “explore the way modern communication and technology fractures identity.” He says, “There’s an interesting duality with social media, where it can unite and divide people.” Autocorrect explores this divide and how it affects the individual. They’ll be performing at Jasper’s Fall 2016 release on September 29 at Art Bar, with other performances by The Moon Moths, King Vulture, and a DJ set by Tyler Digital.

autocorrect

 

Can you tell me a little bit about your band and how/when you formed?

Autocorrect, neé Salvo, spawned in 2014 from colliding noise/rap/ambient projects between Cecil, Chris, and Sean. They trapped Cecil’s then-roommate Moses—the funkiest person alive—in a dank meme ritual. Initially a recording project, Cecil’s propensity for performance art combined with the rest of the group’s classical music training turned the one-off idea into an exhilarating live band.


Can you describe what your music is like? 

We are a post-human experimental rap choir. Student loans, minimum wage, tweetbots, and crippling depression. There has never been a better time.

 

What are some of your previous releases? Are they available online?

Our newest album, as it is, will make you cry into your drink while you bust a move on the dance floor. All of our records/EPs/etc are available at http://autocorrectsound.bandcamp.com.

 

What is your songwriting process like?

We assemble in the smallest room possible, gathering our chaos magick underneath an extensive and relentless pile of electronics. We stare at each other in silence until someone has an idea. Then, we spend the next 6 hours making a song.

 

Who/what are some of your musical influences?

El-P, John Cage, Pino Palladino, Koji Kondo.

 

What are your goals for the band/its future?

Our imperative is to always make art that challenges us and the audience. Right now, we want to start absorbing every other kind of music into our collective body. So we’ve scheduled sessions with local superstars, like the Post-Timey String Band, in order to suck the music juice out of their brains.

 

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Hop Along, Or One Man’s Stray Thoughts and Observations About Hopscotch (Part I)

hopscotch-music-festival-raleigh-city-plaza

Jasper asked Free Times music editor emeritus, Those Lavender Whales guitarist, and Hopscotch veteran Patrick Wall to go the festival and gives us his thoughts. This, in three parts, is what he wrote.

I was in the middle of City Plaza when it hit me.

I’d honestly been sort of dreading going to Hopscotch this year. Each year, for the past six years, I’ve trekked up to Raleigh for the three-day, indoor-outdoor music festival. And though each year has been ultimately rewarding or affirming — and sometimes both — each year the slog’s gotten longer, tougher, more exhausting.

I still remember my first Hopscotch. In part, anyway: It was 2010; I was in my mid-twenties, going to shows seemingly every night of the week, and running a music desk at an alt-weekly newspaper but more or less drinking professionally. My first few Hopscotches went the same way: Get to Raleigh, start drinking, see as many bands as possible, don’t stop doing either until the wee hours of Sunday morning. It was a herculean effort, one fueled by surges of adrenaline as much as it is by boatloads of caffeine. Rest and food were scarce; calories were consumed in quick chugs and at late-night diners. Success was only achievable through assembling a crew to spur you into hopping to another venue, pick you up when you fell, hand you another five-hour energy drink when you tired.

Things changed in the intervening six years. Hopscotch got bigger, more popular and more populist — and more overrun, it seems, by sponsorship representatives handing out Kind bars and herbal energy drinks. As for me, I quit the alt-weekly desk, freelanced for a few years, then burned out and got a real job. I’ve moved twice. I’ve gotten married. I gained 25 pounds, then lost 40. I’ve quit writing professionally almost entirely. I’ve forgone, even, going to a lot of shows, part and parcel because a lot of what comes through where I live now doesn’t fully grab my interest, but mostly in favor of gathering moss. Instead of slumming in dive bars and seeing yet another in a line of bands who wouldn’t make the minutest impression on me, I dove into other interests: playing hockey and trying to get under a 10-minute mile and going fun and interesting places with my wife and doing any number of things I’m interested in doing that don’t involve popping in earplugs and popping open a PBR. I chalked it up as a consequence of getting older, crankier, less indefatigable.

My friends who’d formed my Hopscotch crew, too, were passing on attending en masse, having chosen on hiking excursions or having moved to bigger cities or having settled into married life or having simply grown weary of the rigors of the Hopscotch wringer. I’d even considered not going to Hopscotch at all. After all, I was in my mid-thirties, and years removed from the ride-or-die rock ‘n’ roll lifer I always thought I’d always be. Was this shit even for me anymore?

I confessed to a friend of mine over a drink at a Raleigh bar some two months before Hopscotch that I was considering not going. She laughed, rolled her eyes, stirred her drink and said, “Of course you’re fucking going.”

She was right, and there I was, the intoxicating pull of Hopscotch — not to mention the opportunity to see some longtime favorites for free — having proved once again to great to pass up. (I suppose I remembered my Nietzsche: Without music, life would be a mistake.) I’d gotten to City Plaza late after sitting in rush hour traffic outside of Raleigh — not too late, thankfully, to not see Wye Oak reaffirm themselves as an incredible live act — and was starving. Six years ago, I’d have thrown caution to the wind, sniffed out the free booze and played catch-up with the cadre of Hopscotch partiers who’d been drinking all day.

Instead, I slid into the small health-food joint at the top end of City Plaza, ordered something called the Protein Bowl, halved the order of chicken — because, you know, cholesterol — and hoofed it back outside, where I started shoveling it into my mouth in hefty forkfuls. Standing in line for the photo pit, I looked up from my meal and laughed. I, who somehow survived a diet of cheeseburgers and whiskey and innumerable shows in my twenties, was eating a salad standing up. At Hopscotch.

And that’s when it hit me. I wondered aloud — Which has changed more: Hopscotch, or me?

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HOPSCOTCH 2016 — THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 8

Around midnight on Thursday, I sank into a plush padded chair at the comfy Fletcher Opera House just as Kurt Wagner’s long-running, essential and forever exquisite indie rock band Lambchop was easing into an imaginative trio rendition of “The Hustle,” the first single from its upcoming album.

“Do the hustle,” Wagner intoned, mantra-like, in his AutoTuned baritone near the end of the song’s extended runtime. ”Do the hustle.”

Stylistic pinball has always been the prevailing spirit of Hopscotch. The festival’s breadth has always been remarkable: Its first year featured headlining sets from Public Enemy and Panda Bear and its downticket club lineups featured everything from the rawest garage rock to the raunchiest rap to the most refined experimental music, and it’s followed that model since. Hopscotch works on the pub crawl model: See a bit here, a bit there, a bit somewhere else. But such an approach requires hustle; to see a dozen bands and at least half as many genres in a single night requires hurried rambles around downtown Raleigh at maximum efficiency. (The smartest thing I’ve ever done: brought my bike to Hopscotch. One of the dumbest: neglecting to bring a spare tire, or at least a patch kit.) Hopscotch doesn’t require you to pachinko your way through the night, but the way its schedule is staggered encourages quick and unlikely moves.

I spent my first few Hopscotches accumulating sets like baseball cards, ticking off boxes and circling names on pocket-sized schedules. The intent was willful, deliberate sensory overload — to see as many bands in three days as possible. Those first few years, I averaged more than 50 over the course of three days; at my most active, I saw 61. (And, because I’m an insane person, documented each sighting on Twitter and Instagram.) I wondered, after that exhausting year, if seeing 100 bands was possible, even plausible. I drew charts and started mapping efficient routes. Such an idea is utterly fucking ludicrous to me now.

The flaw in my methodology was my limited random access memory. I wrote, for the now-defunct Shuffle magazine in 2011, when — subsisting solely on adrenaline and consuming nothing but coffee and alcohol — I saw 61 bands, that I’d remember not certain sets but certain moments. But the truth is I don’t really remember either, at least not without considerable prompting. Last year, by comparison, I hit 52 bands without breaking a sweat. This year, I saw even fewer 49. (And I only tweeted 14 times.)

All this is to say I didn’t so much follow Wagner’s advice this year. I saw the fewest number of bands at the Hopscotch since the first one. I hustled less, stayed put longer — even caught entire sets from non-City Plaza headliners. (It’s easy to catch a full set from a City Plaza act, as they’re typically slotted in the dead time between the end of the day parties and beginning of the club shows.) I decided to stick around longer for things I was enjoying. I worried less about festival FOMO. (I will now set myself on fire for using FOMO.)

But if Hopscotch is a lot more sane, is it by turns a lot less fun?

There was still plenty of pivoting to be done. In Nash Hall, I surrendered to the exquisite and emotionally provocative avant-garde saxophone quartet Battle Trance, which sounded at times like a blistering death metal band through hyperprecise scalar runs and moments later whistling — literally — in harmony. During their 45-minute set, they employed probably every extended saxophone technique invented, moves that were at once whimsical and magnetic. Nash Hall, a low-ceilinged, intimate space in a downtown church, was a new and much welcomed Hopscotch venue this year, giving the festival a place where reverence is assumed and attention is high; I’d return near the end of my night for Tom Carter’s glacial guitar drones.

Down on Fayetteville Street, Memorial Auditorium returned to use after a two-year absence due to venue remodeling and festival reformatting — it served as a venue for what could be thought of as overarching club headliners. If its first night back was a test run, it stumbled: Sneakers, a small but quietly influential ’70s North Carolina power-pop band whose ranks included Mitch Easter and Chris Stamey, sounded stiff in the outsized auditorium; vaunted indie-rock forefathers Television deployed their trademark guitar heroics, but never caught fire.

But when a set is disappointing at Hopscotch, chances are very good there’s one right next door that’s hitting on all cylinders. Lambchop smoldered perfectly at Fletcher Opera House. Kitty corner at Lincoln Theatre, Mutoid Man and Converge perfectly mixed power and majesty.

The first night of Hopscotch, then, was a classic example of the festival’s longtime format — a big opening show outdoors followed by a mad, prolonged dash between ten clubs of various sizes for several hours — and why that formula remains potent. No other festival promises attendees so many permutations to choose from. But with such diversity comes the paralyzing problem of choice. Moreover, this very approach, which has made Hopscotch so appealing over the years, now threatens to bring it more in line with generalist festivals across the country.

+++

To be continued…

Patrick Wall is music editor emeritus of Free Times. He now lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where sometimes people pay him to write things. He is carbon-based.

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Concert to Celebrate Jasper Magazine Release at Art Bar

JasperProjectLogo

Thursday night is concert night at the Art Bar as we celebrate the release of the 31st issue of Jasper Magazine. In the next few days we’ll be profiling the bands that will be celebrating with us via our regular series by Ony Ratsimbaharison, Ony’s Bands, starting with Moon Moths.

art-bar

The Jasper release party will also give us a time to recognize some important people in the arts community who are getting stuff done these days – our JAY finalists and our 2016 2nd Act film Festival filmmakers.

2nd act 2016

We’re also pretty excited about the stories in this issue including a cover story on Nicole Kallenberg Heere  whose work we love for both its exquisite technique and its irreverent subject matter. (Wait til you see the cover of the mag!)

Mommy's Favorite Hobby by Nicole Kallenberg Heere
Mommy’s Favorite Hobby by Nicole Kallenberg Heere

Our centerfold is pretty impressive, too, as we profile one of America’s top artist, Joe Byrne, who lives right here in Columbia, SC.

Summer House, Block Island by Joe Byrne
Summer House, Block Island by Joe Byrne

And in our new expanded format of 96 pages we are able to bring you more music reviews, book reviews, and stories about local artists (did you know that Keith Mearns, who is the horticulturist at Historic Columbia used to be a professional ballet dancer?)

We’ve even got short fiction as Michael Spawn shares his short story, “Stoned Puppies Forever.”

Michael Spawn - Jasper Music Editor
Michael Spawn – Jasper Music Editor

We’ll be offering you more teasers over the next few days as Ony profiles our guest bands and we get you ready for another fun night at Art Bar – Columbia’s longtime home for the wondering artist.

moon-moths

Now, the Moon Moths, by Ony.

Self-proclaimed as “psychedelic orchestral hip-hop,” The Moon Moths is a new-ish band that is heavily involved in Columbia’s newly revitalized scene of young artists. You can find them and their friends playing unconventional shows set up by the Scenario Collective, a local artist collective that aims to enrich our arts and music scene. Overall, they wish to spread a message of love, peace, and self-fulfillment, according to Rupert Hudson, the band’s vocalist.

The Moon Moths features a rotating cast of members but was started by Hudson, AKA Prince Rupert, after he got asked to play at a Battle of the Bands but had no band to play his music with. After missing this opportunity to play, Hudson got together with some other members of Scenario, which he is involved with, and started playing. Hudson lists over ten active members of the band in the following interview, but each performance’s lineup is dependent on who’s available to play.

You can catch their extensive lineup at Jasper’s Fall 2016 release party on September 29, with other performances by Autocorrect, King Vulture, and Tyler Digital (playing a DJ set).
Who are all the members of the band?

Prince Rupert – Vocalist

Sixx – Vocalist

Moon Child – Guitar/Vocals

Love Potion #9 – Violin

Poof The Blue Bat – Tap Dancing/Vocals

Fresh Heaven – Guitar/Vocals

King Goof – Bass

The Seduction – Keys

Mister B – Drums

The Visible Choir Boy – Trumpet

Daddy Ice – Ukelele

So is there a set group of people in the band or does it vary sometimes?
The band varies sometimes depending on our shows, as since we have so many members it’s difficult to have everyone at each show! But we try to have all the members each time.

What is your songwriting process like?
Originally, I would write the entire song on the piano and the band would flesh it out, but recently we have been getting together and writing songs as a full band, which creates a more rewarding environment for the whole band.

Who/what are some of your musical influences?
All of us have differing tastes that align in certain places but my own influences are specifically Chance The Rapper, Arcade Fire, and Kanye West.

Do you have any other shows or releases coming up?
We do! We are playing Scenario’s Embryoasis show on October 1st at Tapps and the Subversive Art Festival (SAFE) at Tapps on October 8th. We will be releasing music late this year or early next year.

What are some of your previous releases? Are they available online?
We have just released on track, Meep Meep, on our soundcloud. https://soundcloud.com/themoonmoths/meep-meep

What are your goals for the band/its future?
We are going to be recording this year and I would love to get that out so that we can book a tour. Playing SXSW next year would be brilliant and a definite goal.  –OR

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