Q&A: Don Mclean of Fortissimo Records And Action Beat On This Weekend's Yo Eskerrik Asko, NYC! Festival And Meeting Glenn Branca

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Glenn Branca plays Yo Eskerrik Asko, NYC! tonight.
The rite of the music festival usually involves conglomerate domination and sponsorship whoring—but this weekend's genre-encompassing Yo Eskerrik Asko, NYC! is a refreshing break from that norm. Organizer Don Mclean of the DIY-minded Fortissimo Records and improv noise ensemble Action Beat candidly admits to shelling out a shit-ton of his money to put together this weekend's mindblowing lineups.

In addition to composer, symphonist and no wave visionary Glenn Branca and his ensemble (who will perform The Ascension: The Sequel), electronics-destroying noise miscreants White Suns and sound collage artists Oneohtrix Point Never and Tim Hecker, tomorrow night marks the much-welcomed return of guitarist Tom Carter, who fell ill on tour in Germany. Carter will be playing alongside ex-wife Christina Carter in spiritual guitar duo Charalambides.

Sound of the City got to chat via email with Mclean about putting out Branca's 1981 no wave landmark The Ascension (on vinyl), Action Beat and the festival's lineup.

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Download Generation: Yes In My Backyard's Best Local Music Of 2011, An 80-Minute Mix Of NYC's Greatest Hits This Year

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Tami "Making Friendz" Hart.
For New York City, 2011 was the year local musicians proved that RSS feeds didn't kill old-school ideals like "scene" or "community." Every great band seemed to come tied to three or four like-minded bands you could love for the same reasons, often on the same bill. Maybe we read (and wrote) enough trend pieces to believe it ourselves. Maybe bands are just using Facebook connections to write the narrative before writers could. Maybe retromania has led us to think everything is back in a big way?

Don't get too excited. Bloggos still continued to rally deep and hard around the cleverest, firstiest mash-ups of hypester runoff micro-genres (good luck in 2012, A$AP Rocky, Light Asylum, CREEP and Caveman). But while so many jockeyed for positions and pixels, larger stories emerged that felt refreshingly like the street-level phonecall-and-flyer scenes of yore. As, I wrote in SPIN the new hip-hop fraternity of Das Racist, Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire, Action Bronson, Despot and a newly keyed up El-P represent the most energizing force in New York indie-rap since Def Jux's heyday. And as I wrote in the Voice, a beercan-ducking, sweat-gushing, feedback-obsessed swarm of new pigfuck bands have been laying waste to 285 Kent, including The Men, White Suns, Pygmy Shrews and Pop. 1280. Often pushing the boundaries of what modern metalheads can play and wear, there was a downright onslaught of forward-thinking, critically acclaimed extreme metal releases (Liturgy, Tombs, Krallice, Hull, Batillus), which helped turn New York into the most important metal scene in the country for maybe the first time ever. Hell, if record labels still had the money to fly people out here, they'd be swarming!

Below, the 2011 edition of our annual Yes In My Backyard mixtape—this year's encompasses 18 tracks, over nearly 80 minutes—which collects this year's greatest music from New York City.

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Ten New York Bands You Should See At This Weekend's Northside Festival

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Making Friendz (aka Tami Hart) plays Shea Stadium tonight.
Northside Festival starts tonight! Finally, your very own chance to see the best emerging local bands taking over Brooklyn bars for four nights... or as we like to call it, "pretty much every weekend in New York ever." We here at Sound Of The City are ecstatic about this weekend because we know that nothing lures music fans out to an $8 night at Glasslands like the privilege of piggybacking onto $200 "preferred seating" for a Wavves show.

Excuse the snark, but seeing local bands should be your hustle year 'round. But if you need a goofy wristband and a bag full of worthless promotional swag to do it, here are 10 YIMBY-endorsed local bands you should catch at Northside (or, uh, anytime, really), with handy links to interviews and MP3s.

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Download White Suns' Bloody-Knuckled Aggro Anthem "Skin Deep"

Yes In My Backyard is a semiweekly column showcasing MP3s from new and emerging local talent.

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After years of destroying loft spaces and leaking rabies-frothed cassette tapes, Brooklyn noize-fuck headache-pounders (and recent Village Voice feature stars) White Suns have finally harnessed their blackened, bloody-knuckle sewer-dredge into a full-length LP. Somewhere between the self-annihilating dirges of early Swans, the grey-hued aggro pound of Pissed Jeans, and the gurgling power-glop of Wolf Eyes lies this mutant muck: Waking in the Reservoir (out this week via Weasel Walter's especially busy ugEXPLODE label) was captured in Ben Greenberg's Python Patrol studio, and it's as quick and dirty as you'd expect -- "recorded live, just hammering this shit out, all headphoned up in the same room," according to drummer Dana Matthiesen. First taste "Skin Deep" is a bloody mess, with disorienting washes of feedback and backsquawk and ickburn all coasting mightily over propulsive Jesus Lizard-style drumming, Neubaten industrial breakdowns, and pure haunted screams.
 


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