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WFMU, New York/New Jersey's prime purveyor of freeform radio sounds, is
sponsoring a station benefit on Saturday, September 21st, at 8:00 PM at
Southpaw, 125 Fifth Avenue between Sterling and St. John's Place in Park
On the bill: ESG, Outhud, Brother JT3, the Styrenes. DJing provided by David Grubbs. Tickets are on sale at Ticketweb.com, and Other Music (15 East 4th Street, New York City), and are $12 with all proceeds to benefit the nonprofit, independent, listener-sponsored station. Tickets will also be on sale at Southpaw the night of the show.
About the acts:
ESG began as four sisters and a friend emerging from the South Bronx with trancy, minimalist grooves, scratchy guitar, and heady funk rhythms that wound up influencing multiple musical camps from indie rock to hip hop to No Wave. They've been sampled umpteenth times by higher profile names than themselves (see their 1992 single "Sample Credits Don't Pay Our Bills") and rarely play out these days, which makes it more of an honor to have them on the WFMU bill. They have a brand new album forthcoming on the UK Soul Jazz label, which also issued a compilation last year of ESG's older material. The band has had quite a cult in the UK as well, even back to their inception, where Factory Records' Tony Wilson was blown away by the band and got them in the studio with Martin Hannett (Joy Division, A Certain Ratio).
OUTHUD are a New York group of transplants from Sacramento (where half of their other project !!! remains), and specialize in danceably rocking grooves laden with processed effects, heavy echo, repetitive rhythms and respectful nods to like minds as Gang of Four, Joy Division, New Order, PiL, King Tubby. They have a forthcoming disc on the Kranky label.
BROTHER JT is a true purveyor of psychedelic soul, hailing from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where he also fronted garage-pop legends the Original Sins for most of the 80's and 90's. Backed by drummer Jamie Knerr and bassist Bill Melcher, Brother JT's live sets swerve from classic Nuggets fuzz rock to pure bubblegum to all-out acid-soaked psychedelic rants and are amazing events to behold. He has two new discs out right now: Maybe We Should Take Some More (Birdman) and Spirituals (Drag City, produced by Neil Hagerty or Royal Trux and solo fame).
THE STYRENES are the one band that can wear the overused publicity tag "artpunk legends" and not be challenged. Hailing from Cleveland, called the "fertile dungheap of 1970's punk rock" by giving birth to such luminaries as the Electric Eels, Rocket From the Tomb, Pere Ubu, and the Dead Boys, the Styrenes crawled from the ashes of those bands with ex-Eels and Mirrors members and now reside in our fair city. Not content to be stylized into a genre, the band melds punk, prog, psychedelia, jazz, and even pure 20th Century classical composition into its sound. There is a new release of their early recordings out now called It's Still Artastic (ROIR) as well as a newly recorded and quite rocking take on Terry Riley's famous In C (Enja Records). Members John Morton and Paul Marotta are also featured in the band Amoeba Raft Boy, whose recent release Bad Fuggum From the Mysterium (Smog Veil Records) features a healthy chunk of tunes recorded live in WFMU's studios in 1996.
DAVID GRUBBS knows a thing or two about good music, having been a member of the Red Krayola, Gastr del Sol, Bitch Magnet, and Bastro as well as producing many fine solo records. He'll be manning the wheels of steel at the WFMU benefit tonight.