Events

The Octopus Project: 6 April 2011 - New York City

One of Austin's best takes headlining tour to New York.

The Octopus Project
City: New York
Venue: Music Hall of Williamsburg
Date: 2011-04-06

The Octopus Project swung through Brooklyn for a night at The Music Hall of Williamsburg on April 6th as part of their national tour. This Austin group had to miss SXSW this year since they were on tour with Devo, having landed a supporting slot after playing together at last fall’s Moogfest. But their hometown showcased the band anyway with a win for #1 Best Experimental Band and last year’s release Hexadecagon was voted #8 in Album of the Year category in The 2010 – 2011 Austin Music Awards. The Octopus Project’s live performance of Hexadecagon (which refers to a 16-sided object) with an 8-channel sound and an 8-channel video system was a highpoint of last year’s festival.

The band opened with “Malaria Codes” off their 2005 release One Ten Hundred Thousand Million. This minimalist composition was a nice warm up to their experimental indietronica, which never strays from an honest, sometimes humorous, human connection. The Octopus Project composes songs that have a beginning, middle and end: they don’t just push ‘play’ on a variety of electronic gizmos. The extraordinary musicianship is amplified by an exchange of roles on stage -- from switching spots at the drum kit to play guitar or pull out different instruments, even within the same song. The stage is a very busy place for the group, Tito Miranda, Ryan Figg plus a married couple, Josh and Yvonne Lambert. However, beyond a few “thank yous” between songs, the band members kept to the business of adventurous music.

There were a few new songs that fit right in to their expansive catalog spanning the past decade, along highlights from Hexadecagon. The heavy drums and wailing guitar of “Porno Disaster” led nicely into the sweet melody and slower build of “A Phantasy". Later, a lovely Theremin solo by Yvonne Lambert drifted over the lullaby layers of “I Saw the Bright Shinies” before the driving beat of “Music Is Happiness". The cascades of melody and speedy grooves of the popular song “Truck” provided the climax for the set. “Catalog” ended the night, with its high note arpeggios creating a euphoric scene for the building chords of melody and the enthusiastic crowd at the venue.


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Music

Tiphanie Doucet's "You and I" Is an Exercise in Pastoral Poignancy (premiere)

French singer-songwriter Tiphanie Doucet gives a glimpse of her upcoming EP, Painted Blue, via the sublimely sentimental ode, "You and I".

Music

PM Picks Playlist 3: WEIRDO, Psychobuildings, Lili Pistorius

PopMatters Picks Playlist features the electropop of WEIRDO, Brooklyn chillwavers Psychobuildings, the clever alt-pop of Lili Pistorius, visceral post-punk from Sapphire Blues, Team Solo's ska-pop confection, and dubby beats from Ink Project.

By the Book

The Story of Life in 10 1/2 Species (excerpt)

If an alien visitor were to collect ten souvenir life forms to represent life on earth, which would they be? This excerpt of Marianne Taylor's The Story of Life in 10 and a Half Species explores in text and photos the tiny but powerful earthling, the virus.

Marianne Taylor
Film

Exploitation Shenanigans 'Test Tube Babies' and 'Guilty Parents' Contend with the Aftermath

As with so many of these movies about daughters who go astray, Test Tube Babies blames the uptight mothers who never told them about S-E-X. Meanwhile, Guilty Parents exploits poor impulse control and chorus girls showing their underwear.

Music

Deftones Pull a Late-Career Rabbit Out of a Hat with 'Ohms'

Twenty years removed from Deftones' debut album, the iconic alt-metal outfit gel more than ever and discover their poise on Ohms.

Music

Arcade Fire's Will Butler Personalizes History on 'Generations'

Arcade Fire's Will Butler creates bouncy, infectious rhythms and covers them with socially responsible, cerebral lyrics about American life past and present on Generations.

Music

Thelonious Monk's Recently Unearthed 'Palo Alto' Is a Stellar Posthumous Live Set

With a backstory as exhilarating as the music itself, a Thelonious Monk concert recorded at a California high school in 1968 is a rare treat for jazz fans.

Music

Jonnine's 'Blue Hills' Is an Intimate Collection of Half-Awake Pop Songs

What sets experimental pop's Jonnine apart on Blue Hills is her attention to detail, her poetic lyricism, and the indelibly personal touch her sound bears.

Music

Renegade Connection's Gary Asquith Indulges in Creative Tension

From Renegade Soundwave to Renegade Connection, electronic legend Gary Asquith talks about how he continues to produce infectiously innovative music.

Music

A Certain Ratio Return with a Message of Hope on 'ACR Loco'

Inspired by 2019's career-spanning box set, legendary Manchester post-punkers A Certain Ratio return with their first new album in 12 years, ACR Loco.

Film

What 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' Gets Right (and Wrong) About America

Telling the tale of the cyclops through the lens of high and low culture, in O'Brother, Where Art Thou? the Coens hammer home a fatalistic criticism about the ways that commerce, violence, and cosmetic Christianity prevail in American society .

Books

Oscar Hijuelos' 'Mambo Kings Play the Songs of Love' Dances On

Oscar Hijuelos' dizzyingly ambitious foot-tapping family epic, Mambo Kings Play the Songs of Love, opened the door for Latinx writers to tell their stories in all their richness.

Music

PM Picks Playlist 2: Bamboo Smoke, LIA ICES, SOUNDQ

PopMatters Picks Playlist features the electropop of Bamboo Smoke, LIA ICES' stunning dream folk, Polish producer SOUNDQ, the indie pop of Pylon Heights, a timely message from Exit Kid, and Natalie McCool's latest alt-pop banger.

Film

'Lost Girls and Love Hotels' and Finding Comfort in Sadness

William Olsson's Lost Girls and Love Hotels finds optimism in its message that life tears us apart and puts us back together again differently.

Music

Bright Eyes' 'Down in the Weeds' Is a Return to Form and a Statement of Hope

Bright Eyes may not technically be emo, but they are transcendently expressive, beatifically melancholic. Down in the Weeds is just the statement of grounding that we need as a respite from the churning chaos around us.

Film

Audrey Hepburn + Rome = Grace, Class, and Beauty

William Wyler's Roman Holiday crosses the postcard genre with a hardy trope: Old World royalty seeks escape from stuffy, ritual-bound, lives for a fling with the modern world, especially with Americans.

Music

Colombia's Simón Mejía Plugs Into the Natural World on 'Mirla'

Bomba Estéreo founder Simón Mejía electrifies nature for a different kind of jungle music on his debut solo album, Mirla.

Music

The Flaming Lips Reimagine Tom Petty's Life in Oklahoma on 'American Head'

The Flaming Lips' American Head is a trip, a journey to the past that one doesn't want to return to but never wants to forget.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.