The Bowery Presents
The Faint performing Danse Macabre in its entirety

The Faint performing Danse Macabre in its entirety

Trust, Icky Blossoms

Fri, December 7, 2012

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

Terminal 5

New York, NY

This event is all ages

The Faint plays Danse Macabre
The Faint plays Danse Macabre
Do you remember a time before the words “dance” and “rock” were linked by a hyphen and the synthesized sounds of the ’80s were a regular part of the modern musical landscape? The members of The Faint do, because they were there when it started to happen. In fact, you could even say they’re one of the main reasons it happened at all.
On October 30, Saddle Creek will reissue one of the crown jewels of the movement, an album that over time has proven to be as influential as it is exhilarating: The Faint’s third disc, 2001’s Danse Macabre. The remastered release, which features six bonus tracks from the era as well as an extensive booklet, will be available on CD in a triple-disc format with a DVD, and on double vinyl that also includes the CDs and DVD. It’s being supported by a tour starting the first week of November that will find the group performing Danse Macabre in its entirety for the first time ever. And aside from some warm-up gigs in August and September (including The Faint’s inaugural shows at Slowdown, the Omaha club run by Saddle Creek), it will be the first time fans have been exposed to the new slim-and-trim quartet of vocalist Todd Fink, keyboardist Jacob Thiele, guitarist Dapose, and drummer Clark Baechle.
It all seems like a natural progression now, but the release of Danse Macabre’s predecessor, 1999’s Blank-Wave Arcade, was a sea change for the Omaha group, showcasing a fondness for dance beats and dark keyboards (due in part to the recent addition of Thiele) while completely moving away from the indie-rock songs found on its debut, 1998’s Media. Seeking a unique sound was becoming a regular occurrence in Omaha at the time, which led to a slew of phenomenal local releases, including Bright Eyes’ I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning and Cursive’s The Ugly Organ, which, along with Danse Macabre, make up Saddle Creek’s holy trinity. To this day, the scene—composed of family and friends, many going back to childhood—continues to produce some of underground music’s finest moments.
“There’s still pop songwriting, and I feel like that’s the one element that really ties all those guys together,” says Saddle Creek owner Robb Nansel, who was once a member of Commander Venus with several of the scene’s major players, including Fink. “They’re all coming from the same appreciation for songwriting, a real fundamental level, so whether you paint that with keyboards or electric guitars or acoustic guitars or whatever, there’s a unity amongst all those guys.”
“We didn’t want to be an indie band,” says Fink, who changed his last name from Baechle after getting married to Azure Ray’s Orenda Fink. “We just thought, ‘We’ve heard that there are no limitations on what you can do with a keyboard, so let’s base things on that. Let’s ditch the guitar.’ We didn’t end up ditching them completely for Blank-Wave Arcade, but that was the theory behind it.”
While the band was more interested in replicating the raw feel of its basement shows on Blank-Wave, for Danse Macabre they set their sights a bit further afield, attempting to conjure the energy of bumping Berlin dance floors nearly 5,000 miles away in eastern Nebraska. The nine-song album sizzled with perfectly aggressive synth lines, Fink’s menacingly effected vocals, infectious beats, bits of industrial and goth, and, at the heart of it all, strong songwriting featuring the kind of minor-key melodies that make singing along inevitable. Lyrically, Fink moved on from the sexually-charged nature of Blank-Wave to explore themes related to the importance of living for yourself and doing what you love, most notably showcased in the ominous “Agenda Suicide.” Death-metal guitarist Dapose, who had been brought in to be the band’s art director and assist with the videos projected during live shows, eventually started adding to the music, and upstart engineer and producer Mike Mogis (whose name can be found all over Saddle Creek’s illustrious catalog) perfectly captured The Faint’s sound and attitude despite never previously working on an electronic record.
“We thought about what it would be to capture the essence of a dance club,” says Thiele. “I’m glad that the BPMs are all over the place and that we didn’t actually do a bunch of house tempos, which is more the direction we were trying to emulate. But we kind of kept it rock ’n’ roll.”
Not surprisingly, Danse Macabre gained a lot of attention, including that of major labels, though the band eventually decided to remain on its independent path. Nansel fondly recalls watching the group blow up before his eyes, a phenomenon that became more and more apparent when The Faint took its storied live show—full of sweat, smoke, eyeliner, and those invigorating strobe lights—on the road.
“I remember some of the shows at the Metro in Chicago—just seeing the crowds react was always the most rewarding moment,” says Nansel. “Seeing like 800 people, or whatever was in the room at the time, all freaking out and dancing around. We’d seen that in Omaha happen over the years, but it’s so different when you see it out of town.”
And they’re still freaking out over the band’s live performances, which take rocking and dancing to epic heights. In addition to the songs from Danse Macabre, this fall’s tour will include entries from across The Faint’s discography, which also includes 2004’s Wet From Birth and 2008’s Fasciinatiion, as well as some brand-new material. What better way to celebrate the band’s past, present, and future than with the dance party of the year?
Trust
Trust
Born out of desperation in the brutal Canadian winter of 2009, Robert Alfons and Maya Postepski began writing songs about nostalgia, lust, and erotomania. TRUST combine dark synth arpeggios, live and programmed drum beats with haunting, effected vocals. What begins in the genre of minimal synth progresses into a sort of slow-techno that is equal parts introspective cold-wave and extroverted 808 dance beats. Their debut video directed by Eva Michon, shows a playful side to the duo as they ride around nature on a motorbike together, later though, it hints at the pair's darker undercurrent when an Equus inspired incident unfolds. "Candy Walls" is a gorgeous and unapologetically sexual debut, which will be heavily blogged about. It's an undeniable beat matched with a stunning and unique aesthetic.
Icky Blossoms
Icky Blossoms
Hailing from America's center, Omaha-based Icky Blossoms formed in the blizzard of 2011 through friendship, trials and a mutual desire to make art and new music. A brainchild born from the boredom of sitting still. Guitarist and vocalist Derek Pressnall met Icky Blossoms vocalist Sarah Bohling and lead guitarist Nik Fackler in the vibrant Omaha art scene and invited them to play in his band Flowers Forever. Enchanted by endless nights in clubs and inspired with a desire to program dance music with instantaneous grooves and depth, Pressnall, an acclaimed visual artist, and Fackler, a spirit-award nominated filmmaker, combined with Bohling's mesmerizing voice and formed Icky Blossoms.

Icky Blossoms combine bass-heavy electronic grooves, pop structure, and a rock & roll swagger to pioneer a sound on the audio vanguard: music that is simultaneously avant garde, catchy and danceable. Their music spans from the anthemic to the introverted, chronicling the twists and turns of the human condition. Nodding to great sub-genres of the past, while creating songs firmly propelled into the future. Each band member arrives at the group from distinct musical backgrounds and collectively cite varied influences including contemporary pop, electronic, hip hop, experimental, no wave and world music. When Derek, Sarah, and Nik each input their particular inspirations they create a final product that is not only wholly unexpected, but greater than the sum of its parts.

Icky Blossoms' sound and explosive live shows caught the attention of Omaha's distinguished Saddle Creek, which has since signed the trio to release their debut LP. The self-titled album, produced by Dave Sitek from TV On The Radio, is slated for a July 17, 2012 release and features tracks that range from "Perfect Vision," an experiment based around trunk thumping low end and chainsaw guitars, to "Babes," which was lauded by Rolling Stone as a "girl-power dance anthem." Other standout tracks include "Heat Lightning," with its hypnotic arpeggiated synths, electro pulse and sirenesque vocals; the more raucous "Sex to the Devil," featuring futuristic synth lines and esoteric lyrics; or "Temporary Freakout," a classic pop song within an unconventional structure.

With a strong emphasis on DIY, the trio plans to integrate all their artistic abilities into the band, able then to better connect with those who choose to follow their creations or attend their live shows. Imbued with a celebratory atmosphere, their concerts have grown to be conduits for personal expression and individual creativity for everyone in the room. Loud, sweaty and out of control, the edge of their music and personalities combine with the hooks of their pop songs, creating a show which is one side dance party, one side mosh pit.

By brazenly denying to be subservient to a single genre or medium, Icky Blossoms is set to garner the attention of a truly diverse audience and make a lasting impact on music to come.
Venue Information:
Terminal 5
610 W 56th St
New York, NY, 10019
http://www.terminal5nyc.com/