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[Cropped Out 2010] Sunday Preview

Cropped Out brings out the big guns on the final day Sunday, October 3 at the American Turners Club (3125 Upper River Road – map that shizz) at Thurman Hutchins Park, easily accessible via I-71 and just minutes from downtown Louisville.

Advanced tickets are available online at Ticketfly, or you can grip collectible screen printed tickets by Kin Ship Press at three convenient Louisville locations – ear X-tacy, Underground Sounds, and Wild & Wooly. Also just announced, if you buy an album or related merchandise from any Drag City artist playing Cropped Out at the label’s online store, you receive a free ticket for the day they’re playing! Now that’s value. More information at Drag City.

Cropped Out will have both an outside and inside stage at American Turners. Meteorologically speaking, we’re in for a gorgeous autumn weekend, and most of the early afternoon activities happen outside – so bring a blanket. No need to bring your own booze, though, because the one and only reimagined Falls City Beer will be slinging cheap and tasty libations. If you haven’t tried the new Falls City, know that it’s locally brewed, hoppy as all hell, and the new recipe is quite refreshing.

Below is your guide to all of Sunday’s entertainment. MP3s all the way at the bottom, chief

SOFTCHEQUE – 12:25 p.m. – Outside Stage

Though Softcheque is often referenced as a project from Louisville’s Sapat collective, Sapat in no way overshadows what Softcheque brings to the table. They exist hard in positive chillspace, cultivating a sort of living, art-damaged trip-hop teeming with good vibes. Think of them as Blues Control with pretty vocals, or a more sparse Broadcast/older Stereolab.

::: Softcheque on the MySpaces

GANGLY YOUTH – 1:50 p.m. – Outside Stage

Dirty nasty psychotropic roots rock to make the NPR sect feel retarded. The new Louisville collective have come to cleanse your nodes. Hear a sample up on their social network below.

::: Gangly Youth on FaCeBoO!K

SPECTRE FOLK – 2:35 p.m. – Outside Stage

“Despite its namesake, Spectre Folk is not flavor-of-the-month, indie-psychedelic campfire music played through an acid-coated filter, but rather the haunting and ruminative compositions of the dark forests and moonlit lakes beyond.” – Tiny Mix Tapes

“…channeling the dusty desert vibe of Ennio Morricone, exploring a little Six Organs churn, and finding lusher new secrets in his home-recorded murk. He recently turned the band into an all-star line-up that includes Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley…” – The Village Voice

BRETT SOVA – 3:05 p.m. – Inside Stage

Acid Marshmallow-approved, Drag City-allegeant woozy psilocybin-soaked guitar ruminations. Formerly known as Axis:sovA

::: Brett Sova on the MySpaces

TINSEL TEETH – 3:25 p.m. – Outside Stage

See that photo above? That’s the insanity you can expect when you get out of youth group Sunday afternoon to see recent Thrill Jockey blue chip acquisition Tinsel Teeth. Blood, guts, the occult, sacred geometry, dildos (seriously) and new dimensions. Spawned from the same Providence scene that gave you every noise spazz prophet worth a shit. Get ready for something horrifying and liberating.

::: Tinsel Teeth on FaCeBoO!K

SEAN WALSH & THE NATIONAL RESERVE – 3:50 p.m. – Inside Stage

“Move on over, Bon Iver and Band of Horses. We have to make room for more heartbroken, tenderhearted boys with guitars and pains they need to work out. At least let Sean Walsh & the National Reserve on the bandwagon. They’ll tear you up and break you down, but leave you swaying to the music, smile on your face, oblivious to what’s around you that could possibly ruin that moment. This may be a trend, but hopefully it’ll be like leggings and just never go away.” – Creative Loafing

::: Sean Walsh & The National Reserve’s website

PUJOL – 4:15 p.m. – Outside Stage

When not touring with the likes of Lightning Bolt, Ty Seagull, and Turbo Fruits, Nashville’s Pujol can be found dropping off his sugary-and-sour garage power pop nastiness to Jack White for proper production and typing to the peanut gallery in all caps.

::: PUJOL on the MySpaces

HEAVY CREAM – 4:40 p.m. – Inside Stage

“If Those Darlins are the kinda Tennessee gals that tipped cows, went road-trippin’, drank moonshine, and listened to Waylon Jennings and Jason and the Scorchers, then Heavy Cream are their garage-rock sisters that smoked cigarettes in the bathroom, made out under the bleachers, and listened to The Stooges and Jay Reatard.” – My Old Kentucky Blog

“Artist to watch in 2010” – Rollo & Grady

::: Heavy Cream on the MySpaces

GIVING UP – 5:05 p.m. – Outside Stage

Loosey goosey rough around the edges garage twee. If you miss the old days of K and Kill Rock Stars, welcome back home. This time it comes packaged to you from the upper midwest, wherein absolute zero is truly understood and music is more than a pasttime. Therapy!

::: Giving Ups totally awesome and bizarre website

ANIMAL CITY – 5:30 p.m. – Inside Stage

Splittin’ time between the Windy City and the River City, Animal City is the twang-tinged scuzz on the highway between. Offering a collection of self-aware wonky freak folk songs dropped off at the studio on the way to the store, Animal City is gimmickless and sans theatrics. Nothin’ but pure, simple, slightly skewed pop music. Bring your best ‘shine and pull up a chair for the wrecked sing-a-long.

::: Animal City on the MySpaces

STATE CHAMPION – 5:55 p.m. – Outside Stage

Ryan Davis of State Champion is the dude who put this whole thing together, so show some damn respect and roll up front and center. From his enclave in Southern Indiana, Davis constructs and deconstructs what we understand as roots rock. Too restrained for cowpunk, too chaotic for the folk set, Davis’ epic, hodgepodge Americana is a dirty kind. Saying you might need to shower afterward is the best compliment. Neil Michael Haggerty needs to buddy up if he knows what’s good for him.

::: State Champion’s website

IDIOT GLEE – 6:20 p.m. – Inside Stage

My college bro and musical confidant James Friley is a hardworking dude who has so much press that it was hard to pick which quotes to use. Don’t act like you don’t know Idiot Glee already, y’all…

“The songwriter who writes under the name of Idiot Glee seems to specialize in the kinds of days that are both great for spontaneous-happy-go-lucky whistling and all-day-soakers-of-rains. There are warm and yellow lights at the end of all the tunnels that Friley writes about – finding the loves that cause headaches, but really are dreamy, and all of the other fractions of this scenario that make the act of finding these loves such a demented and fraught process, defined by more failures and frustrations than happiness, if anyone’s keeping track at home. He brings storms and crackling skies indoors, letting them pour onto his carpeting and somehow, the sunshine gets in as well, wiping away the remains before anything’s unsalvageable.” – Daytrotter

“It’s not chillwave, because chillwave is more lush and layered than this. No, it’s spookily resonant piano-pop-wave.” – The Guardian

::: Idiot Glee on FaCeBoO!K

CATHERINE IRWIN – 6:45 p.m. – Outside Stage

Famed Freakwater member and maestro of the dusty death ballad.

“Her songs are just packed with sapience, despondency, and wry wit, though you don’t have to look past “Louisville Lip” or “Dirty Little Snowman” to see she’s one of America’s greatest living songwriters. Even so, she remains humble, even self-depreciating: “If I had a master plan, it’d be trying to get people used to the idea of frumpy middle-aged losers singing music” (Boston Phoenix).” – The Other Side of Life

“Co-leader of badasses Freakwater, Irwin writes and sings in a style not often heard in the past 25 years. Sparse and lonesome, hers are songs of lost love, financial insecurity and long hours spent at the dark end of a bar.” – Dusted

::: Catherine Irwin at Thrill Jockey

WARMER MILKS – 7:10 p.m. – Inside Stage

Michael Andrew Turner often gets miffed when I try to describe their music in publications I’ve written for, and with good reason – Warmer Milks is a living, breathing, changing entity. In the six years as a collective involving Mike and whoever wants to jam with him, Warmer Milks has been realized as a folk artist, freak folk collective, kraturock revivalist, post-hardcore steamroller, destructive noise entity, stoner metal summoner, and everything in between. Pleasantly volitile, unpredictable, unforgettable – Warmer Milks is a sight to behold at every performance, regardless of how many of their shows you think you’ve seen.

::: Warmer Milks on FaCeBoO!K

SPIDER BAGS – 7:40 p.m. – Outside Stage

“Sure, you’ve heard bands like Spider Bags before; on first contact, you’d swear they were some half-remembered mid-1990s band that got lost in the college-radio shuffle among the Silver Jews, the Grifters, and Ass Ponys. But it’s been an awful long time since you’ve heard a band pull off this sort of southern-fried slop-pop with such charm, craftiness, and self-deprecating wit.” – Pitchfork

““Every once in a while a band like Chapel Hill’s Spider Bags will debut with a record so good it makes me realize I’ve been way too generous with everyone else. A Celebration of Hunger (Birdman) is just the sort of thing I should be holing my hosannas for: a filler-free collection of openhearted, empty-bottled country rock fueled by bitterness and scalding wit.” – Chicago Reader

::: Spider Bags on the MySpaces

KING KONG – 8:40 p.m. – Outside Stage

King Kong is the bizarre, ridiculous, John Watersesque down-the-rabbit-hole project of Ethan Buckler of Slint fame. For over 20 years, King Kong has been a staple of Drag City and the anything-goes college radio aesthetic. He often brings his friends and old cohort from the band to play along (Dave Pajo often makes an appearance hittin’ the skins). Ethan doesn’t poke his head up around town much, so sleeping on this performance would be a major fuck up on your part. The Kong beckons you.

“What do you do after taking part in one of the most influential bands of the past 15 years, after helping to create a whole new subspecies of rock? Obviously: you start a funk and dance band inspired by the early work of the B-52’s. Hey, why not? That’s what Ethan Buckler did. After Tweez sent kids to dust off their metronomes in ’89, Buckler split with math-rock progenitors Slint to search for a simpler groove. And when he found it, he stayed with it.” – Pitchfork

::: King Kong at Drag City

FLIGHT – 8:50 p.m. – Inside Stage

Next big band for 2011? Seems like it. But not that that’s relevant… most important fact is, dude’s Twitter is a riot.

“Guitars aren’t supposed to sound this dirty. Vocals aren’t supposed to sound this grimy. And songs just aren’t supposed to sound this ominous. And yet, here we are. Mississippi’s swamp-punks FLIGHT are about to drop a new 12? EP called Lead Riders this coming Tuesday. The whole thing is pretty fuzzed-out, cranked-up, bash-your-head-against-a-wall awesome (at least, that description sounds like a good time to me), and absolutely worth a few minutes of your life. One song even ends with a chant of “Let’s destroy the world” that sounds like it’s sung by a pack of goblins. Spooky!” – My Old Kentucky Blog

::: FLIGHT on the MySpaces

SIC ALPS – 9:40 p.m. – Outside Stage

If these dudes are good enough to be handpicked by Sonic Youth, Yo La Tengo, and Pavement to open for them, and good enough to play in the likes of Hospitals, Comets on Fire, and Cat Power, then you best have your Sunday evening all planned out and shit. This round, I’m including my own review from 2008’s U.S. Ez because I like it…

This isn’t your father’s unwashable, filthy, no-fi psychedelic rock scuz – Sic Alps twist, creak, and thump, taking you on a cosmically damaged romp through west coast good vibes and future shock trepidation.  The latest, U.S. Ez, has a comfy place on the Siltbreeze roster with the likes of Charlambides, The Dead C, and U.S. Girls. Sic Alps certainly drink from the same goblets as the highest in psych rock royalty, but they also bring the goods to back up their seat at the table… I was casually listening to my iTunes on shuffle whilst engaging in some fast-track multitasking when “Clubbing For $$” came on and I thought “hmm, I don’t recognize this Alexander Skip Spence song.” Both Skip Spence and Alps vocalist Mike Donovan retain a subtle, gorgeous quality through raspy timbre and decimated, hissing melodies, suggesting that both gentlemen have seen the true face of God and didn’t like what they saw. “Gelly Roll Gum Drops” also provokes this same, insane electric folk feel, with a bit of 13th Floor Elevators style celestial boogie and some general Holy Modal Rounders headfuckery tossed in to give this exercise in tape reverb fortitude some serious lift.  I’m also reminded of my favorite work of Neil Michael Haggerty in U.S. Ez, so imagine my elation when I found out they play as his backup band every now and again. The blitzkrieg of fuzz on “Massive Place” might make Mudhoney feel retarded. But enough of comparisons. Comparisons are lame. I’m listening to this record right now as we speak, and all that needs to be said is that it’s so fucking good… I hope Sic Alps sell a billion records.

::: Sic Alps’ website

GOLDEN BOYS – 9:45 p.m. – Inside Stage

“Don’t tell SXSW, but there’s a party going on downtown. If you squint your eyes, you can see the bottle of cheap whiskey being passed around from stranger to stranger. Arms are thrown around the necks of brothers, and the girls are just one of the guys. The Golden Boys are real Texas punk rock. There’s no pretention, no etiquette, and there, on the faces of all six nonboys, are huge, stretched-out smiles. Remember when rock & roll used to be fun?” – The Austin Chronicle

“The Golden Boys are sure to bring music that’s intense, sometimes bluesy, psych-rock with a little saxophone, giving them a few extra points for style.” – Austinist

::: Golden Boys on the MySpaces

JEFF THE BROTHERHOOD – 10:40 p.m. – Inside Stage

Fuck Brooklyn, let’s get Nashville back on the map. JEFF the Brotherhood is helping to make that happen again.

“No frills and no gimmicks, JEFF sound like Japandroids had they started playing together during the early 1990s grunge era and really didn’t care what they sounded like. This is rock at its purest, no labels, no marketing or branding, just two dudes, guitar and drums; the ambitious sound of cheap beer and apathy. Sorry Polyphonic Spree, but the Brotherhood know that less is more.” – KEXP Seattle

“Nashville’s Jake and Jamin Orrall, aka JEFF The Brotherhood, formerly of Be Your Own Pet, play a satisfyingly straightforward, minimal style of psychedelic rock ‘n’ roll that now and again reminds me of a cleaner-cut power-popping Misfits (it’s in the vocals cadences).” – Stereogum

::: JEFF the Brotherhood on Blahgspot

MAGIK MARKERS – 11:40 p.m. – Inside Stage

The Thrill Jockey/Drag City Royal Trux meets Glenn Branca duo are known for legendary fire and brimstone live shows, shutting down Cropped Out in pure unadulterated style.

“Once you tune into their slippery spontaneity, records like The Volodor Dance and Panegryic seem to tap into vast, fundamental forces — something at once terrifying, blissful, repulsive, beautiful and profoundly sensual. Elisa Ambrogio became my new favourite guitarist (sharing equal billing with her exact opposite, Robert Fripp, in case you were wondering), her lack of formal technique not charmingly naïve in an easy-to-patronise indie kind of way, but direct, soulful, ferocious… The band’s concept of themselves has always been several steps ahead of my understanding of them. Wouldn’t have it any other way.” – The Quietus

“With a title that name-checks their hometown Hartford, Connecticut’s traprock mines [2009’s Balf Quarry] and a cover that features carved stones from outsider art totem Palais Idéal, Magik Markers’ attempt to deconstruct ‘rock’ is evident.” – SPIN

“Elisa Ambrogio and drummer Pete Nolan deal in skillfully dissonant, distorted guitars and nearly spoken-word female vocals that vacillate wildly between smoldering apathy and simmering fury. That’s an oversimplification, though, because their latest, Balf Quarry, shows some real versatility, like in the toy-keyboard drones of “Psychosomatic” or the piano-heavy storm of “State Numbers.” – The Phoenix

::: Magik Markers’ website

MP3 :::
Gangly Youth – Coming Over
Spectre Folk – Burning Bridge
Tinsel Teeth – Stock Footage of Stuntmen
PUJOL – Too Safe
Heavy Cream – Watusi
Giving Up – Psychomania
Animal City – Yr. Shoelaces
State Champion – The Years
Idiot Glee – I Know My Mind
Spider Bags – Take It Easy Tonite
King Kong – The Camel’s Walk Song
FLIGHT – Turns to Blood
Sic Alps – Bathman
JEFF the Brotherhood – Mind Ride
Magik Markers – There is No Path Which Is Not Straight