SATURDAY
November 24, 2018 | doors at 8:00pm
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The Bowery and Zero Mile present:
THE BLACK LIPS
ICEAGE
Surfbort
  • $22
  • $25
  • ADVANCE
  • DAY OF SHOW
The Black Lips
What do you do when you're sixteen and in deep shit? You're looking out at the world from the strip-mall and the detention hall, from the basement and the cul-de-sac and it just looks like there is a wall around you. Everybody tells you and your friends that you're going nowhere, that your lives are already ruined. What the fuck do you do?

You hang around and smash stuff and get high and try to be a bad-ass, that's what you do. You steal and drink and smash up the car your mom gave you and pull your pee-pee out in public. You work at sandwich shops and fast-food joints and try to screw private school girls because they think your tough and the girls at your school think your gay because you pretended to give your friend a blowjob at the junior prom. You fuck it all up as ugly and as dirty as you can because, why the fuck not?

Your parents and teachers and sandwich-shop supervisors look at you and think, "What happened to the kid? He has all the advantages in the world and he has chucked it all in the shitter. Doesn't he believe in the inherent goodness of our enlightened society? Doesn't he believe in any thing at all?"

It is this question, the question of belief, nay, the question of faith, that is the crux of the matter. It is this question that was asked of the Black Lips. And the Black Lips have answered it. They have answered it in their songs and in their actions. They have answered it for every shit-assed, burned-out brat that staggers out of the suburbs. They have answered it resoundingly and continue to answer it.

"Where is their answer?" you may ask. Do those psychedelic swamp guitar drones bear witness to a faith of some kind? Does the quasi-violent sexual comedy of their stage show underscore a deeply held belief system? Does their commingling of Deep South, big-tent revival rhetoric with hoary-throated, drug-haze mumble truly mean anything, to them or to anyone else?

You bet your ass it means something to them. How would they have persevered through all the drudgery and threats of doom if it didn't mean a goddamn thing to them? Their adversaries have been formidable and numerous, and they have bested them all. Why, even in their earliest days, death itself reared its ugly head to attempt to halt their progress, and was dismissed directly. How, without faith, could the Black Lips have carried their message forth into the four corners of the earth?

And so, on the eve of the release of their fifth album, the faith abides stronger than ever. A host of influences have passed through their gullet and provided the sustenance to keep their faith alive. The dusts of a southern back road and the big-city gutter puke crackle in the grooves of this record as it did in the previous ones. The shouts and moans and static continue to bear witness.

"But faith in what?" the fathers, mayors and captains of industry might continue to ask. Well, if you've never been one of those shit-assed brats looking out into a world you were already excluded from, a world that sickened you, but for which there was no alternative, then you may not understand. But, through the eyes of one whom, like them, was a go-nowhere from the get-go, the Black Lips represent the faith that it takes to reject that world of sterile, futile, servile, silliness and forge your own world based on bravery and bad-ass-ness. They have carried to fruition the plan that has been hatched, and will continue to be hatched in the minds of dizzy, dumb and desperate youth the world over. Now they carry their message of faith to the world. FEAR NOT! BE BRAVE AND TAKE HEART! THE WORLD IS YOURS IF YOU ACCEPT THE POWER OF FAITH!!!

(As I record these words a purple and orange fog engulfs the bay below me. The gin gimlets glide down my throat and I ponder the freedom that I, myself, have wrenched from the "enlightened society' that once oppressed me. It is good and right that we should live free. I know this, the Black Lips know this, and the gulls in the bay below know this. Take this knowledge and go in faith.)

Baby Gusty Accra, Ghana
December, 2008
Iceage
Iceage is Elias Bender Rønnenfelt, Dan Kjær Nielsen, Johan Suurballe Wieth, and Jakob Tvilling Pless. Beyondless, Iceage’s fourth record (and first that was recorded all-analog), was produced by the band and Nis Bysted, recorded by Mattias Glavå at Kungsten Studios Göteberg, and mixed by Randall Dunn at Avast Studios Seattle. The album was played entirely by the band with additional performances by Nils Gröndhal (violin), horns by Kasper Tranberg (trumpet), Lars Greve (saxophones) and Morten Jessen (trombone), and vocals on “Pain Killer” by Sky Ferreira.

Below please find further words on this moving, majestic new album and its nuanced craftsmanship from Daniel Stewart (Total Control) and Richard Hell.

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The beauty of a moral act depends on the beauty of its expression. To say that it is beautiful is to decide that it will be so. It remains to be proved so. This is the task of images, that is, of the correspondences with the physical world. The act is beautiful if it provokes, and in our throat reveals, song. Sometimes the consciousness with which we have pondered a reputedly vile act, the power of expression which must signify it, impels us to song. This means that treachery is beautiful if it makes us sing.
-Genet, A Thiefs Journal

Beyondless is the 4th LP from Iceage. This record radiates joy.

Pay attention to the journey, from New Brigade, a juvenile delinquent take on post-punk, full of cold, distant condemnation, and onto the ecstasy of You’re Nothing, shedding the more aggressive hardcore influence and dragging in more light, a tendency followed on Plowing Into The Field Of Love. The intoxication is consistent, this has always been drunk music, but it’s less a stumbling confusion and more a sturdy heartfelt confession with each record. They have finally caught up with their ambition. Their entire charm has always rested in their running ahead of themselves with blind confidence, taunting you to follow and you follow because wherever they are going is vital, is alive; on Beyondless they are treading with an assurance that is disarming, but there is no loss of charm, you are arm in arm now, whispering intimacies.

Intimacies that recall other intimacies: something must have happened when Iceage heard Gun Club Miami. Some traumatic event! A wild band has not been tamed, but is in repose, retaining an edge but expressing something less definite, something about hurt or longing or regret.

Attention must be directed toward the brilliance of EBR’s lyricism on Beyondless! In his evocations of beauty in profane imagery, in his plumbing of the depths of betrayal and criminality, there are suggestions of Jean Genet and the disgraceful slurring of Leonard Cohen.

Love’s Forever Changes is an appropriate reference point for the record, orchestral touches to rock music that reached in a very affected / effected manner toward some transcendent experience. You can hear blissful catatonic evocations of the Waterboys, slurring face down on the bar some holy affirmations. Overall, the strongest suggestion is of the Stones in their Exile period, holed up in some decadent mansion attempting to pay tribute to American music from country honk brawls to sleazy soul revues to cocaine blues, it has this confident air of music written in the midst of excessive reveries.

Letting in the light, the joy radiates. They are post post-punk, Beyondless retains the rich character of their brash beginnings, but this is something beyond, oh hell, this is something very, very special, a generous gift for an anemic age.

-Daniel Stewart (Total Control)
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