SPY MUSIC FESTIVAL : Chicago Underground Duo / Haunted House / Magik Markers

Sunday, July 15, 2012 @ 7:00 pm

The Brooklyn label Northern Spy has announced the lineup for its second annual SPY MUSIC FESTIVAL, a sprawling music marathon running from June 29th through July 15th featuring 46 sets of music at 7 venues in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Featured artists include stalwarts and emerging artists from a diverse cross section of the improv, jazz, noise, psych and indie scenes including Rhys Chatham, Matthew Shipp, Arthur Doyle, Eugene Chadbourne, PG Six, Guardian Alien, Magik Markers and many more. See full schedule below.

SPY MUSIC FESTIVAL, now in its second year, is supported financially by the not-for-profit Jump Arts and the media sponsors Tiny Mix Tapes and The Village Voice. In addition, Six Points Brewery has thrown their support behind the event by brewing a signature Northern Spy brew for the occasion that will be available at select festival venues.

The Magik Markers are a rock band from Hartford, Connecticut. The members, Elisa Ambrogio, Pete Nolan and Leah Quimby started the band in their basement in 2001. After opening for Sonic Youth on their American tour in 2004, the band gained notoriety. Their debut album, I Trust My Guitar, Etc. (released in vinyl only), was released in 2005 on Thurston Moore’s Ecstatic Peace label. In 2006, they released A Panegyric To The Things I Do Not Understand under Gulcher Records, the Markers’ first proper CD. Also in 2006, the band recorded a session for Southern Records’ Latitudes series, which was released as The Voldoror Dance.

Chad Taylor and Rob Mazurek are musicians of considerable talent and acclaim who have created a musical experience that is as challenging as it is rewarding. The two comprise the Chicago Underground Duo, and have performed together in several iterations: Chicago Underground Duo, Chicago Underground Trio, Chicago Underground Quartet, and Chicago Underground Orchestra. The group was once asked to describe their music. This is what they said: ” [The Duo is] an organic mixture of African, Electronic, Coloristic, Jazz influenced life supporting systematic, non-systematic feeling from two humans trying ever to expand outward and inward for the people and ourselves.” Chicago Underground Duo arose as part of the new era of improvisational musicians in early 1990s Chicago. They have drawn much fanfare for their mesmerizing live performances and tour extensively in support of each release. 2012 will be a milestone for the Chicago Underground Duo, marking their 15th year together as a band. In celebration of this momentous occasion they have released a new record, Age of Energy, on a brand new label, Northern Spy. Age of Energy is Chad and Rob’s sixth release as Chicago Underground Duo and the eleventh release in the Chicago Underground catalog.

The blues has grown up a lot in the last ten years, since guitarist Andrew Burnes left New York for Georgia, bringing a de facto end to the powerful abstract blues of Haunted House. In the time since, a new generation — sometimes referred to as Freak Folk or New Weird America and spearheaded by Tom Carter, Jack Rose and Ben Chasny— has followed in the footsteps of Loren Connors, John Fahey and a handful of others who have long maintained that the blues is something more than 12 bars and a backbeat. After the demise of Haunted House, Connors continued preaching the gospel, often with his wife — the enigmatic singer Suzanne Langille — to anyone who would listen, playing a slow, distorted, reverb-drenched blues as slowly the world began to come around. Then, in the summer of 2010, the stars aligned just so: Burnes was in town for a few days, percussionist Neel Murgai was available, and the Brooklyn’s Issue Project Room was booking matinee concerts in their courtyard. The band had only existed for a brief two years and had been absent for a decade, but they picked up right where they left off with only a brief soundcheck as rehearsal. Another matter of months, and they were in the studio, recording at long last the follow-up to their 1999 Erstwhile release Up in Flames.