Julianna Barwick & Ikue Mori
White Columns Gallery
Thursday, July 14
Better than: Spending twelve hours in a tiny car driving to Chicago to watch Julianna Barwick play this weekend at Pitchfork Festival. (Oh wait...)
The not-for-profit White Columns Gallery describes itself as "New York's oldest alternative art space"; founded in 1970 as "an experimental platform for artists," it hosted Thurston Moore's influential Noise Fest when it was located on Spring Street. Now it's tucked away in a corner of Manhattan that's hard for some to navigate, thanks to West Fourth sprawling in multiple directions and the street names switching from numbers to appellations like "Jane" and "Horatio." But it's an area rich with exquisite, hidden gems.
Last night's bill at White Columns, a performance by contemporary experimental songstress Julianna Barwick and out-music innovator Ikue Mori, the ex-drummer for legendary '70s No Wave group DNA, certainly qualified. Only a very specific type of minimalism aficionado would overlook last night's array of free showswhich included gigs by Patti Smith, tUnE-yArDs, Superchunk, and Joan Jettfor this gig, but approximately 20 people, mostly flannel-clad 20somethings and arty types donning Birkenstocks, did. (That includes the dude selling $2 PBRs and distributing free cups of sparkling water, the girl selling records, label folks, and the musicians themselves.) As Barwick and Mori recreated the spirit of their recent collaborative (and challenging) LP Frkwys Vol. 6 (RVNG Intl.), which they recorded in a tiny back room at the gallery last fall, the space's high ceilings, bright white walls, and overall minimalism contributed to the sublime feeling of openness that guided the 25-minute, improvised set.More »