The Bowery Presents
Converse City Carnage featuring The Kills

Converse City Carnage featuring The Kills

Black Bananas, Viva Viva

Sat, August 18, 2012

Doors: 5:00 pm / Show: 6:00 pm

Hudson River Park's Pier 63

New York, NY


Sold Out

This event is all ages

Although this is a free show, you must have a physical ticket in order to enter the venue. Physical tickets can be ordered for free via Ticketmaster. 2 ticket limit per person.

Standing Room Only

Rain or Shine

There will also be a limited amount of physical tickets available at the following Converse retail stores as of July 13th at 12:000 PM EST. All tickets are subject to availability.

Converse SOHO 560 Broadway New York, NY 10012

Converse GARDEN STATE Westfield Garden State Plaza Mall 1 Garden State Plaza Paramus, NJ 07652

The Kills
The Kills
Dreamy and feverish, hooky and repetitive, obsessive and claustrophobic – that’s The Kills’ fourth album, “Blood Pressures”. ‘Obsessive and claustrophobic?’ repeats Jamie Hince: ‘yes, I like that. After we’d made the record, Alison and I talked about the theme: there’s a lot about gender, about relationships; it’s about sex – so, blood pressures’.

‘Right now, I would say it's quite a dark record,’ says Alison Mosshart; ‘the lyrics are a little twisted. I think I always say that about every record I do. I think we're just both obsessive people. Obsessive about what we love and maybe even more obsessive about what we hate. I need to perform this record live to see what it really is, and what it's really communicating’.

In contrast to 2008’s “Midnight Boom”, the new album is a return to the band’s trademark dark guitar rock but with a twist. ‘The music’s changed because Alison was on tour with The Dead Weather for much of last year,’ Jamie continues. ‘It was really freeing to take ideas of hers and to change them musically. “The Last Goodbye” for instance changes from 4/4 to waltz time’.

‘The Dead Weather is a very different kind of band,’ Alison agrees. ‘For one, it's a 4 piece band with a lot going on, and it's pretty spontaneous. I wasn't used to not knowing what was going to happen next on stage, having been so familiar performing with a drum machine. So I think I got better at using my voice as an instrument to make sounds and noise that could compete with guitars and feedback, rather than just delivering lyrics’.

“Blood Pressures” was recorded at Key Club Studios in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Jamie: ‘it was an absolute second home, with no distractions. I delved into sampling and programming. I spent a lot of time with drum kits. When we were recording the album, I visited a school band room: have you ever been to a band room in the US? They are absolutely huge, with walls of various kinds of drums. I sampled them all’.

‘Programming the drums was really tedious to start with. If I wasn’t a control freak, I wouldn’t do it. But if I get started on something, I will obsess about it. I really like the techno feel. I really like all my emotions to come out in the guitar playing and it’s even better against a really rigid backbeat where there’s no speeding up or slowing down. I like that tension and I like the possibilities of where the drums can go’.

The sound of “Blood Pressures” is both technological and elemental: hypnotic, repetitive structures are augmented by C21 studio techniques, psychedelic touches and passionate vocals from Alison and Jamie. One song– “Nail In My Coffin” – features an early 70’s mellotron-style keyboard called an Optigan, from which the bass drum sound is sampled on much of the album: ‘it’s designed to sound like strings,’ says Jamie; ‘I just put these wind noises through a very vintage tape echo from 1965’.

The Kills’ working relationship is that of a real collaboration, with Alison and Jamie trading lyric lines, vocal parts – as on opener “Future Starts Slow” – as well as beats and melodies. ‘I’ve been in loads of bands and done my share of thinking too much about it,’ says Jamie. ‘But it’s better to free yourself up. Alison really helps me with that. I would definitely gravitate towards things taking too long, but she forces me to be more spontaneous’.

‘Some days I think we're twins’ says Alison. ‘Some days I think we aren't similar at all. We came together because we 'liked' the same things. We had so much in common on an art and music level. We are both quite impatient. We are both quite excitable, but Jamie is a perfectionist. He won't stop something until it's just the way he imagined it. I'm not like that. I love the moment, the snap shot, the accident. Oh, and I'm American, and he's English... so there's that’.

This working relationship is exemplified by the two songs in the heart of the album, the exquisite ballad “Wild Charms” – sung by Jamie – and the brooding “DNA”, sung by Alison – both of which have the image of fire burning each other out. ‘Sometimes you sit down to write something and something else comes out. The two songs complement each other: “Wild Charms” is written from one point of view and “DNA” from another,’ says Alison.

‘We've always written songs apart with the occasional song from start to finish together’ Alison says. ‘I suppose what I do is write melody and lyrics on an acoustic guitar, and then the songs like this that Jamie likes, he takes and transforms, gives them real music and form. With his own songs, he works them out from start to finish. He's quite tormented by his songs I think. I usually don't hear them for awhile. He's very secretive. I try and help him with lyrics but often it's only a couple of missing lines I do’.

‘The lyrics for “DNA” are Jamie's. The second he finished the last line, I was singing it in the studio. I think it was the last night of recording the album actually. I love that song so much. “The Last Goodbye” is my lyrics: that song came out really quick. It was one of those really natural songs to write that seemed to come out of nowhere. Jamie heard it and decided it would be best on an Optigan. He made it really special’.

Alison’s lyrics are a revelation throughout, echoing old blues tropes and then taking them somewhere else. ‘How can I rely on my heart,’ she sings on “The Last Goodbye”, ‘if I break it with my own two hands’. Here defiant assertion quickly shades into brutal self-examination and candid admissions: ‘I am no better at this than you are’ (“Nail In My Coffin”).

‘The blues are definitely an inspiration,’ she agrees: ‘I feel like every piece of music that I really love, and that really speaks to me is blues or has been in-spired by the blues somehow. I never get tired of the blues. I never feel dis-connected from the blues.

‘Alison’s really prolific with lyrics, she’s got reels and reels of them,’ says Ja-mie. And she’s rooted in that type of music. ‘That’s the sound she likes. I came to it late. She’s still finding something new in the blues, and working with Jack White made it even more exciting for her. After “Midnight Boom” I was slightly frustrated and it’s a perfect antidote to racing round, thinking about trying to reproduce Compass Point and Grace Jones’.

This sense of continuity is fused with a thoroughly contemporary approach. Along with the techno flourishes – at the start of first single “Satellite” for instance – Jamie’s guitar sound has been heavily treated: ‘the guitar parts do sound quite processed. I used seven amps in different rooms, all with different frequencies, trying to get that brutal sound. I used octave pedals and very old gear – and it sounds a bit more futuristic’.

Among the artists that Jamie currently cites as an inspiration are Link Wray, Little Milton (‘the start of R&B’), Dave Bartholomew (Fats Domino’s arranger/ producer) and Captain Beefheart (‘he blew my mind when I was a teenager: I was gutted to hear the news when he died’). ‘And I’ve been listening to reggae: I got into it from Grace Jones, Sly and Robbie, and Peter Tosh. It was the last bastion of music that I hadn’t really delved into’. Jamie’s love of reggae is clearly heard in the mutated rhythms of the album’s first single “Satellite”.

Although very well-connected, The Kills are determined to pursue their own vision: as Jamie says about recording at Key Club in Michigan, with its lack of distractions, ‘That isolation was just great. You get absolutely high off playing music all days long. Being unaware of what’s going on in the rest of the world – I just love that’.

And it is this uncompromising quality that has brought them testimonials from young groups. Jamie’s reaction: ‘The XX citing us an influence. They want to meet US? That to me is quite phenomenal. We’ve given up quite a lot to do it our way. Some of our things work, others don’t. But there’s not too many bands that have that feeling, unfolding their music over six or seven albums. And there’s not that many labels who would support that.’

Jon Savage 2011
Black Bananas
Black Bananas
RTX are splitting into Black Bananas!!! The fruit is ripe and the bread will be FRESH.
After three albums under the name RTX, Jennifer Herrema and her bunch decided to flip the script, to kick open the doors of perception a little bit . See,RTX was not Royal Trux, not a metal band,not a 70's bar band and not a toxic substance; RTX was something, all of those things and none of them and way more, including Black Bananas bubbling in a witchy cauldron of their own herbaceousbrew. The tit le of a song on their RaTX album detailed a bit of the recipe, taking elements often tossed aside or thrown all the way out and combining them into something new and worthwhile...a new strain of the almighty green - to feed and elevate the hungry ones.
"I'm your garbage collector
I'll turn your trash to gold
What you cast off is what I hold,
End loafs of bread, black bananas and broken crackers
Scratched records, too dark pictures and torn jeans
All the shit that rips at the seams"
Black Bananas is set for the next all-inclusive rock and roll crusade, the one that includes even and especially all the shit you don't like, woven into all the shit you can't live without. This has been the name of Jennifer's game from day one; she owns the blueprints and if you don't know by now, don't even bother to Google it, cuz understanding is an investment not an action. Jennifer Herrema is not schizophrenic nor does she don many hats. She is simply a singer and simultaneously, a pioneer of comprehensive non-exclusive opposition rock, and Black Bananas is the latest addition to the oeuvre.
Brian Mckinley, Kurt Midness, Jaimo Welch , and Nadav Eisenman have been ripping and running with Jennifer since 2002, when one by one, they gathered serendipitously, borne by curiosity and the courage to be part of something new. Each passing RTX record saw them wrapped ever tighter in the burgeoning tongue of their own creation. Now, uttering their twisted slang fluently as a unified dialect, they emerge as Black Bananas.
If you wanna hedge (-fund) your bets its best to get out in front of this new natio nal currency they are creating with Black Bananas. These are the notes of the future; with Jennifer at the helm their worth will grow exponentially. Invest!
Black Bananas first album Rad Times Xpress IV runs the gamut from gnarly odes to reality TV in songs like "My House" to future electric metallic GoGo sounds all conceived with scraps of influence from Jennifer's childhood passions zig-zagged with other currents out there, creating a sound that will take you to a specific place that only Black Bananas know how to find.
Most of all, Black Bananas is the new band in town - and they're fucking righteous.
Viva Viva
Viva Viva
With influences from the heyday of the 60's and 70's, their sound is equal parts infectious-pop and dark-stomping-blues, combined with their own blend of hope, disappointment, grit, and wit.

In 2005, when Dave Vicini (lead singer, formerly of The Lot Six) moved into an apartment in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston, MA, with Chris Warren (singer/guitarist, formerly of Officer May), the friends already had an idea that they should be in a band together. Their previous bands had shared bills and even covered each other's songs. Before long, six Chuck Taylor boxes full of 4-tracks were recorded in their apartment. Then they decided they should find a band and make a record.

Viva Viva's reputation has grown steadily over the years, from those apartment recording sessions to the music hall-shaking, band they are today. Dan Burke (bass, formerly of The Lot Six), Fumika Kato (keyboard) and Dominic Mariano (drums), complete the sound that is causing a stir in the Boston music scene.

The Boston Phoenix Music Editor, Michael Marotta wrote, "the legend of Viva Viva has grown exponentially on the shoulders of explosive live performances" in his Fall Arts Preview article. Their unbridled energy can be heard on their debut self-titled album, out on Fort Port Recordings. "Basically we're the second greatest band in the world," says Vicini. "Yeah, second to the Rolling Stones circa '72," adds Warren. "We're not trying to re-invent the wheel, just keep it rolling," says Warren.
Venue Information:
Hudson River Park's Pier 63
W. 23rd St & 11th Ave
New York, NY, 10011