Recent little bits / Alden Penner
Calexico interview on Pitchfork. I wish I could still use the prefix ‘hometown heroes’ because I love that. Tucson represent.
I was sick and missed all of No Fun Fest, which was very disappointing. The weekend before I saw Islands, then, the next night and the night after that I saw Alden and Adam. It’s funny because Alden is the third of the Unicorns who did not move on to Islands.
The difference in the way Nick and J’aime, and Alden approach being in a band, or making music was so huge. Alden played in Bushwick with Adam, a violinst who used to play in Arcade Fire. Neither used their last names, nor advertised their former bands. Alden and Adam didn’t bring CDs, merch, any of that stuff except for a few CD-Rs of a show someone had recorded for them, which they gave away for free.
Both shows I saw (the one at Bushwick’s Goodbye Blue Monday, a great wonderful venue/curiosity shop/cafe and 123 No Rio, an activist workspace on the Lower East Side) were for donation only, and each show had about 20 people in the audience, at most. There were no vocals, just Alden on guitar and Adam’s violin, which he layered with the use of an effects pedal.
I talked to Alden for a bit, and though he was nice, he has changed a lot since I met him back in Tucson. It’s probably a combination of his exit from the Unicorns, plus my entry into the music writing world, which I know he loathes. It was still good to see him, and good to see him play especially.
Stuff on my desk that I’m excited about: The Knife, The Fuck-Off Machete (not related), Planning To Rock, Ghengis Tron, Beirut, Human Television, The Gossip.