Sunday, September 7, 2008 - at BAR:
LATITUDE/LONGITUDE w/Pillars and Tongues
254 Crown St
New Haven CT
FREE - 9:00PM - 21+
DIRECTIONS: Click here
Latitude/Longitude are new to me and I'm absolutely loving everything I'm hearing of theirs online. They make me think of old Supreme Dicks as played in the distant future. They're a Bruce Conner film in musical form. They meld incidentals like no other improv band I've heard. It's music I imagine bees hearing in their little heads while drunk on the sun soaked juices of rotten apples.
New Haven's Advocate had a pretty good write up on this upcoming Shaki show. Here it is:
"Lucky for true lovers of the avant-garde and not just catchy rhythms in the guise of weird, one has to look no further than BAR on Sunday night to a performance by Latitude/Longitude, a truly uncategorizable instrumental trio that would leave Sincabeza scrambling for a better descriptor.
Latitude/Longitude's sound defies labels. The sparse instrumentation shifts. The tempos are sometimes non-existent. It's sort of jazz, if only because that's what critics may call it for lack of a better word, but jazzheads would scratch their
In fact, it's hard to even call Latitude/Longitude a band, because the word "band" implies that there are songs, says drummer and New Haven resident Jason Labbe, and songs are something they don't do.
'We play with varying instrumentation and our performances are totally improvised,' he says.
A quick perusal of the videos on their website or a listen at their MySpace page and one knows Labbe ain't lyin'. These are some texture heavy, plinkity-plink, whackity-whack, thumpity-thump, go-with-the-flow sounds. The music ranges from gleeful to somber to droning to pulsing, sometimes within the same performance.
It breaks down like this: Labbe plays drums. Michael Garofalo plays keyboards (including a Farfisa — hello, 1967!) and various electronics. Rounding out the trio is Patrick McCarthy on guitar and mandolin.
'We stick with a single idea and play it until it's not interesting anymore,' says Labbe. 'You just have to find a good idea and develop it and go with any inspiration or good feeling you may have.'
The outcome is different each time. For musicians who can pull it off, the result can be exhilarating for the band and for the audience — if they're willing to submit to something new. Thankfully, Labbe and his cohorts are acutely aware of the challenge that improvised music can present to listeners and they make a conscious effort to keep it accessible.
'Sometimes it's quiet and subtle and sometimes it will be louder. We try to have range,' he says. The crowd's vibe and other bands on the bill are something Labbe, Garofalo and McCarthy consider. (For those fearing a noise-fest along the lines of the Thurston Moore/Ryan Sawyer gig at the People's Center in May, delicious though it may have been, fear not.)
This Sunday's musical feast also features Pillars and Tongues, a Chicago band with more structure but no less adventure than Latitude/Longitude. How they'll recreate their classically-fueled sound should be a compelling listen.
The members of Latitude/Longitude soon plan to release a cassette — yes — on a label run by Titles drummer John Miller. Too bad cassettes aren't sold on iTunes. The 'Uncategorizable' category would be much more interesting."