Mike McCready and Kate Neckel‘s collaborative project Infinite Color & Sound (IC&S) has been around for about a year. Since then, the Pearl Jam guitarist and the visual artist have evolved and expanded the project as they become more comfortable beyond their typical spheres (guitars and brushes, respectively).
When they came through New York City for one performance on Thursday, 19 September at the dark, often clubby, PublicArts space, IC&S infused the city’s energy into their sonic formations and artistic creations by digging into Velvet Underground and other local groups. In another bold stroke, they added NYC-artist Joseph Arthur (who collaborated with Pearl Jam’s Jeff Ament in RNDM) to their palette.
McCready was the first to take the stage, quietly taking a seat between two mannequins. Arthur appeared next, boldly coming to the stage to write “hi” in quiet letters on a canvas. Neckel arrived shortly after, coming down a spiral staircase to join McCready on the bench and to adorn him with a little color and a purple wig (that Arthur enjoyed later on).
The group performed a few covers, including the Velvet Underground’s “Femme Fatale” and a cover of the Cars’ “You’re All I’ve Got Tonight” in tribute to the late Ric Ocasek. And Arthur previewed a track from his forthcoming record, Come Back World, called “Mayor of the Lower East Side”. Each got to show off one new trick, McCready switching to a keyboard for one song while Neckel demonstrated her newfound vocal prowess on a spoken word piece.
But the Polaroid-taking, painting, and other interactions between McCready and Neckel was what transfixed the audience. They snapped off Polaroids either to affix to the canvas or to share with fans. Beyond those initial brush strokes on McCready’s apparel, paint found its way onto vulnerable skin: McCready’s neck, Neckel’s arms, and Arthur’s tummy (his shirt dropped when he was doing a headstand).
And yes, I chose to use the word “tummy” because Arthur was enjoying the night as a kid might. In front of an appreciative and welcoming audience, the whole group was like children, free and fearless in their expression across different mediums. Inspired by the location, fueled by the guest and exploring a limitless mandate, Infinite Color & Sound flourished.
Completed Canvases Sep 19th
Completed Canvas Sep 21st
Completed Canvas Sep 22nd
Infinite Color & Sound (Mike McCready & Kate Neckel) ft. Joseph Arthur @ Public Arts, NYC Full Show