The roving international event All Tomorrow’s Parties took place Sept 11-13 in the Catskill Mountains, and it was essentially a perfect weekend. Curated by The Flaming Lips and nestled within The Shining-esque Kutshers Country Club in Monticello, the event, featuring the likes of Animal Collective, Sufjan Stevens, Nick Cave and of course the Lips themselves, provided one mesmerizing set after another. Below, a few highlights:
Nick Cave made a surprise appearance Friday night by joining the Dirty Three (whose Warren Ellis is a member of his Bad Seeds) and apparently he also gave a hotel-room performance to six incredibly lucky fans the next day.
Saturday officially began with indie-pop maestro Sufjan Stevens, who went easy on audiences by playing his gentle Seven Swans album from start-to-finish, because he said it worked well as “an early-afternoon hangover special.”
Black Dice, who followed a few hours later, were markedly less considerate toward anyone with a headache. Its three members embarked upon a 45-minute electronic noise freakout, playing so loud you could actually feel the bass vibrating the tips of your eyelashes. When a sampled guitar riff made an appearance during their set, it was almost sad to be torn from their absorbing underworld and reminded that structured music exists.
Saturday found Bradford Cox pulling double duties, performing first solo as Atlas Sound and then later with his group Deerhunter. The Atlas Sound set was a disappointment—he spent as much time fussing over tech issues (he joked he was worried his guitar sounded too close to Dave Matthews) as he did playing songs.
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