Chad VanGaalen Makes Snow Piss Drawings and So Much More

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Photo by Bryan Webb

Psych-folk artist Chad VanGaalen is quite content to spend days in his Calgary home fiddling with Frankenstein instruments he crafted himself. After a crushingly long winter, he finally emerges to tour in support of his fifth full-length, the wildly warped Shrink Dust.

He's a man who knows how to inject serious productivity into those miserable brumal months that take most of the Canadian year. You know, obvious stuff like recording morphological pop music, employing his young daughters as voice actors in a three-part sci-fi film he is writing and illustrating. Making art in the snow with his own urine and hiding treasures beneath a backyard canoe.

He's at Bell House tonight, May 15th, so we caught up with him about what else he's been up to.

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Weezer's Top Five Most Iconic Videos

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YouTube screengrab
Weezer hosts a party at the Playboy Mansion in the clip for "Beverly Hills"
We know Sunday is a day for lounging around in your borough of choice and taking things easy, but this week, you should probably consider exiting city limits and heading over to Huntington to catch Weezer at the Paramount. After the band's 21-year career, it's easy to take the L.A. quartet for granted; to put them in the old faithful pile and merely think of them... fondly. It's easy to forget just how influential and important Weezer have been.

So then, to get you all revved up just in time for the weekend, and as a sharp reminder of just how rad this band is, here's a look back on Weezer's five most iconic videos.

See also: Live: Weezer And The Flaming Lips Share And Share Alike At The PNC Arts Center

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The Ten Best Concerts in New York This Week, 1/21/13

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Here are the 10 best shows around the city this week, in no particular order.

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Blues Control Explain Why They Had To Move Out of NYC To Create Their Latest Album Valley Tangents

Categories: Upcoming Shows

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Five years ago, a weekend in the NYC area wasn't complete without taking in a set by Blues Control. It seemed the Brooklyn duo of Russ Waterhouse and Lea Cho could always be found blaring out their deconstructed riff rock in some trust funders' basement in Ridgewood or a record store in Williamsburg.

Nowadays, Waterhouse and Cho live out in the wooded wilds of the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania where they choose to stay in, cook meals and listen to records like sensible older people should. While chillaxing out there they also wrote their fourth full length Valley Tangents, which was released by Drag City earlier this year. Much like their bearded predecessors, Blues Control staggered upon a spacious and comforting sound in their secluded confines. Gone were the chunky riffs and bombastic rhythms; in came the liquid leads and tranquil electronic beats and bleats. Squint your ears just the right way and you could line up Valley Tangents with any one of your favorite 'We're getting it together in the country' rock records from the early 70's.

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This Week's Five Best Concerts: Pistol Annies, Thrill Jockey, Austra, And More

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If you're thumbing through the print edition (God bless your soul), it's hard to miss the three pages of recommended events that open the issue. Because the internet makes those a little less obvious, here are our five picks for concerts this week.

Tomorrow, the Pistol Annies come to Midtown's Terminal 5, a long way from Brooklyn but closer than Long Island or New Jersey. Nick Murray writes:

As a solo artist, it took Texas native Miranda Lambert less than a decade to go from second runner-up on a country-themed Idol to the genre's queen bee, winning CMA album of the year for her 2009 return-to-form Revolution. Lately, however, her best music has been coming from retro-oriented supergroup Pistol Annies, which includes both Nashville journeywoman Ashley Monroe and songwriter Angaleena Presley, the pen behind recent hits including Ashton Shepherd's "Look It Up" and Lambert's own "Fastest Girl in Town." Tonight, the trio brings tunes like the self-explanatory "Hell on Heels" and "Bad Example" to Terminal 5, setting a bad example that all New Yorkers would do best to follow.


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SOTC Premiere: It Is Happening Again: A Texas Is The Reason Microfilm (Plus A Q&A With Norman Brannon)

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Texas is the Reason were and, recently, are a band. They formed in 1994 and released one self-titled EP and one full-length, Do You Know Who You Are?, on which they exemplified a kind of emo that was both anxious and circling—small, contained universes of songs that somehow managed to seem open and unresolved. Some of this quality can be traced to the playing of guitarist Norman Brannon, drifting and changeable chords that also acquire pattern. It's a resonant effect, as hard to pin down properly as the band's accumulated popularity from its only two releases. Texas is the Reason disbanded in 1997, reunited briefly for two shows at Irving Plaza in 2006, and have this year reunited for Revelation Records' 20th-anniversary shows. They play Irving Plaza on October 11, and in It Is Happening Again: A Texas Is The Reason Microfilm, which premieres below, announce a show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on October 10. SOTC interviewed Brannon about the reunion, the nature of genre-based scenes, and the band's still-growing audience.

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Down On The Farm: Todd P Sets Up Shop At The Vander Ende-Onderdonk House

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via Greater Ridgewood Historical Society
Bushwick delis, Chinese buffets, Mexican restaurants, Masonic temples, beaches, churches, and now an 18th-century Dutch colonial farm; New York DIY mastermind Todd Patrick has proven, yet again, that when booking an all-ages show, selecting a venue is part of the artistry. This evening at the Vander Ende-Onderdonk House on the Queens/Brooklyn border, legendary independent musicians Daniel Higgs of Lungfish and Tim Harrington of Les Savy Fav will perform at an outdoor show that has the makings of history lesson.

"The first gifts I received in New York were two books. One was Gotham, which traces New York from pre-history to the 1900s, and the other was a survey of all the historical sites in the city," Patrick says. "I came to find that there were all these old historical farmhouses hidden throughout the city."

The Vander Ende-Onderdonk House, the oldest Dutch colonial stone home in New York City, is located near the industrial zoo surrounding the Jefferson Street stop on the L train. It was originally built in the mid-1600s; another home was built on its foundation in 1709, and that structure still exists today. Over the past three centuries, the land has been used in many different ways, including as a base for a scrap glass business and as the border between the two boroughs now known as Brooklyn and Queens.

But why throw a show here?

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Neil Young, Foo Fighters, Black Keys To Play A Big Charity Show In Central Park

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Neil Young.
The Global Festival 2012, a concert on Central Park's Great Lawn sponsored by an outfit called the Global Poverty Project, will take place on September 29; Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Foo Fighters, and the Black Keys will headline, with Band of Horses and K'Naan serving as support acts. As is customary with shows on the Great Lawn, he show is free as far as monetary cost, but you'll have to give up some of your time if you want to get in—to enter the lottery for tickets, you'll need to point your web browser to GlobalFestival.com, which is chock-full of " a wide cross-section of content and actions about international health and development issues, ranging from videos to in-depth white papers," and peruse some of the content within to accrue points. Three points enters you into the lottery for tickets. But if you don't want to click around with the hoi polloi, there are, of course, VIP options available. Private bathroom access: Worth your $189.50? It's your call!

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The Burning Fleshtival: A Noise Fest With A "Longstanding Tradition Of Germ Transmission"

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via Shams
This weekend, Far Rockaway collective Red Light District will host the experimental/noise fest Burning Fleshtival in their home. The fest, now in its fourth year, will have more than 20 live performances, sets from eight DJs, and a few "special surprises."

Among these acts, on Friday, Shams (Jonathan Coward, also of Adult Moan) takes the stage, followed by Oakland's Buddy Bag and Baltimore abstractionist Twig Harper. Sci-fi noise act Hollow Bush will conclude day one. On Saturday, Richmond, Virginia Gameboy freak-noise act Narwhalz will perform followed by Tampa's Craow. Baltimore's Max Eisenberg, better known as DJ Dog Dick, will close out the fest.

Unless you're really good at the Internet, information on Burning Fleshtival is nearly impossible to come by. To help, I asked one of the event's coordinators, Frank Ludovico—a resident of Red Light District and member of the band Yellow Tears—to unravel some of the mystery.

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A SOTC Flowchart: Should You Get Married In Catalpa's Church Of Sham Marriages This Weekend?

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via Catalpa NYC
We'll leave it up to you to decide whether you want to get married in a sorta-bouncy castle.
"We have the Frisky's Church of Sham Marriages going in, which is a 60 foot inflatable church, and we have a pimp pastor marrying people. We actually have two couples getting legitimately married at the festival - the wedding dress, the whole family coming in. I'm trying to get Snoop Dogg to actually do the marriage. That'd be ridiculous, right? It's elements like that. Of course you had a great time seeing the Black Keys, but you're going to talk for a lot longer about the day you saw the Black Keys and got married to some random person."
Catalpa founder Dave Moran on one of the attractions at this weekend's inaugural Catalpa NYC festival. Should you take the plunge and make The Most Important Day Of Your Life an outing at Randalls Island where you could conceivably get hitched by a fake pimp/Snoop Dogg/Snoop Lion/a member of Umphrey's McGee? With candy rings and everything? A flowchart to walk you through the decision-making process below.


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