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October 28th
(tuesday)

Extra Life
Whales and Cops
Altamira


@ the Rotunda
4014 Walnut Street
8pm; FREE

CONSERVATORY OF NOW
Some of the greatest things in music have been happening at the edges of the Rock genres.  The depth of complexity, instrumental coloring, and overall creative ingenuity rivals, if not surpasses, the level of compositional prowess happening in concert halls today.  And with the popularity of bands like the Dirty Projectors or Animal Collective, it’s not surprising that younger generations of composers are turning to the amplified settings of warehouses, parties and rock clubs to work out their musical ideas. 

Among the best examples of this new wave is the New York City based Extra Life.  Extra Life combines elements of medieval vocal music, aggressive math rock, dark romantic pop and modern classical composition. For years Looker was a core member of noise/chamber group Zs, and has also worked with diverse bands and artists such as Dirty Projectors, John Zorn, Glenn Branca, Period, William Parker, Christian Wolff and the S.E.M. Ensemble. Extra Life also includes various combinations of the following musicians: violinist Caley Monahon-Ward (Snowblink), bassist Tony Gedrich (Stats), drummer Nicholas Podgurski (Yukon), and saxophonist/keyboardist Travis Laplante (Little Women).  Extra Life's debut full-length CD "Secular Works" was released in 2008 on Planaria Recordings to wide critical acclaim, topping many Best and/or Strangest of ’08 lists.

Two veterans of West Philadelphia's late, lamented "Softbatch" scene (Squi!, Son Bees, King of Prussia, Oskama Bin Skaden), half-brothers Mr. Nathaniel Cops (keys) and Finger Julius Mountain (drums) were first united by a desire to get the fuck out of Man Man after simultaneously discovering (to their great horror) that they'dbeen playingwith them for years. Whales and Cops began rehearsals at once, cleaving to a vigorous, manly regimen of certain foods and exercises and, significantly, a staunch refusal to hide the light of their Modern music under a bushel of implausible pseudonyms and fake,stupid band names. With the addition of fancy, German-looking multi-instrumentalist Ötzi Bögman and usually one other human, Whales and Cops stand poisedatthe verybrink of the Culture itself, beckoning to you.

Altamira was formed in October 2007, only three months before their first tour of the Midwest. The three members of the band, Nick Millevoi, Ricardo Lagomasino and John DeBlase are all busy in their own right, but when they play together the sum is greater than that of its parts. Combining progressive song structures, brutally intense improvisation, and an amalgam of musical influences, they pull off quite an exciting live show.                                



EXTRA LIFE
Charlie Looker: guitar, male voice
Travis Laplante: keyboards, tenor sax, EWI
Caley Monahon-Ward: violin
Tony Gedrich: bass
Nick Podgurski: drums, percussion

Extra Life is a New York-based band led by guitarist/vocalist/composer Charlie Looker. Formed in 2007, Extra Life combines elements of medieval vocal music, aggressive math rock, dark romantic pop and modern classical composition. For years Looker was a core member of noise/chamber group Zs, and has also worked with diverse bands and artists such as Dirty Projectors, John Zorn, Glenn Branca, Period, William Parker, Christian Wolff and the S.E.M. Ensemble. Extra Life also includes various combinations of the following musicians: violinist Caley Monahon-Ward (Snowblink), bassist Tony Gedrich (Stats), drummer Nicholas Podgurski (Yukon), and saxophonist/keyboardist Travis Laplante (Little Women).

"Every so often there's a record so accomplished that it makes most albums of its type sound ridiculous, and Secular Works is one of those … Remarkable for its scope, depth and technical accomplishment, Secular Works is a devastating record that has the power to change minds, if only people hear it. Don't miss out.” - Dusted Magazine

“In Extra Life, Looker taps into a mesmerizing form of avant-rock raga, repeating words, and shifting into a windswept, entrancing post-punk throat singing … The first song to catch our attenton is opener "Blackmail Blues," which hit us like a darker, heavier take on Dirty Projectors (backed by Torch Of The Mystics Sun City Girls) … these are master works. The album itself is called Secular Works, but this stuff feels somehow religious in its fervor." - Stereogum

“ ... scarily focused and ruthlessly complex in a post-prog sort of way, but it also flirts with a dark, sumptuous art-pop vibe. The end product is relentless, enveloping and frequently gorgeous." - Time Out New York

"Tension and restraint. Adornment and shedding. These are the balances that define Extra Life’s fantastic full-length debut, Secular Works … Looker’s sense of arrangement and composition melds each sound into a gripping work where fear and urgency loom within each track … It creates an aesthetic so grave and completely realized that it’s with the best sense of anxiety that I anticipate where Extra Life goes next.” - Tiny Mixtapes

“Precision bone-crushing … I realize this may sound like hyperbole, but have you seen this band? Go, then decide if I’m exaggerating.” - Impose Magazine

http://www.myspace.com/extralifetheband


WHALES AND COPS
Two veterans of West Philadelphia's late, lamented "Softbatch" scene (Squi!, Son Bees, King of Prussia, Oskama Bin Skaden), half-brothers Mr. Nathaniel Cops (keys) and Finger Julius Mountain (drums) were first united by a desire to get the fuck out of Man Man after simultaneously discovering (to their great horror) that they'dbeen playingwith them for years. Whales and Cops began rehearsals at once, cleaving to a vigorous, manly regimen of certain foods and exercises and, significantly, a staunch refusal to hide the light of their Modern music under a bushel of implausible pseudonyms and fake,stupid band names. With the addition of fancy, German-looking multi-instrumentalist Ötzi Bögman and usually one other human, Whales and Cops stand poisedatthe verybrink of the Culture itself, beckoning to you.

The Great BouncingIcebergsEP was recordedatdawnin an abandoned municipal storage facility through special, special microphones; each musician placed at or near the locus of a veryred triangle. The songs recount the brother's entanglement in a sugary web of digital dismemberment, expert panhandling, beard sex and berserk destruction. Legendary grungeproducer Butch Vig was never contacted or mentioned once.

"Pop doesn't get much more puzzling than on Great Bouncing Icebergs, the long-awaited album by the madcap Philly troupe Whales and Cops. It's packed with intimate shivers and hulking revelations and everything in between, beeping and blurring while virtuosic players with fake names wrangle vivid new life from their instruments. Maybe that sounds like hyperbole, but this band's sonic extremes are enough to shock even listeners weaned on years of Man Man." http://www.myspace.com/wearewhalesandcops


ALTAMIRA
Ricardo Lagomasino - drums
John DeBlase - electric bass
Nick Millevoi - guitar

Altamira was formed in October 2007, only three months before their first tour of the Midwest. The three members of the band, Nick Millevoi, Ricardo Lagomasino and John DeBlase are all busy in their own right, but when they play together the sum is greater than that of its parts. Combining progressive song structures, brutally intense improvisation, and an amalgam of musical influences, they pull off quite an exciting live show.

A live EP recorded at the second show of their first tour exists. It was pressed on the road and limited to only 20 copies. A second EP recorded in March '08 and sold on their second tour is still in circulation. The band is currently in the process of recording their debut LP.

"Too heavy and distorted for the beret-and-cigarette-holder set and too skilled (check guitarist Nick Millevoi’s two-handed guitar hammer-ons) to impress jaded indie kids, [Altamira] are odd ducks on most bills, which is probably how they like it." -NOW Magazine - Toronto http://www.myspace.com/altamiraphilly
THE VENUE
The Rotunda
4014 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
http://www.therotunda.org/

The Rotunda is a West Philadelphia community-gathering place that is fueled by the belief that art is a catalyst for social change and that the arts can lead to the formation of meaningful partnerships between the University of Pennsylvania and surrounding neighborhoods. Over 300 events are offered every year, including live music, film, spoken word, theater, art, dance, education, youth programs, arts incubation, and various experimental genres. As an alcohol-free, smoke-free venue, The Rotunda provides a critical social alternative for all ages. At its core, The Rotunda is a shared space fostering learning, enrichment, and community support while empowering the public to present, produce, and promote their work.



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