The Messthetics (feat. Brendan Canty and Joe Lally of Fugazi)

Premier Concerts and Manic Presents:

The Messthetics (feat. Brendan Canty and Joe Lally of Fugazi)

SAVAK, Sunwatchers

Thu · April 19, 2018

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

$12.00 - $15.00

This event is all ages

The Messthetics
The Messthetics
The last time drummer Brendan Canty and bassist Joe Lally were in a band together, they were the rhythmic architects for Fugazi, an organization whose decade and a half of disciplined progressivism provided a necessary bridge between the zenith of late-punk expression and everything alternative in rock that followed. In 2016, the two were enlisted by guitarist Anthony Pirog in a conspiracy to subvert and reimagine the power trio, bringing fully into the 21st Century a form that may have reached near perfection with Hendrix’s Band of Gypsys on the very first day of the 1970s.

With a self-titled recording scheduled for release in the Spring of 2018 on Dischord, the Messthetics will widen the reach of a decisive instrumental music that so far, they have only shared with a privileged handful of east coast and southern audiences. Across its eight original compositions and one cover, Anthony guides the sound through complex changes and harmonic densities that might compound, but never confound or muddy its connection with the listener’s body. Recorded by Brendan in their practice space, the group’s debut gives Anthony ample opportunities to swap guitar textures and styles as freely as an octopus changes patterns.

Brendan’s kit has a big heavy bell that he brought back from the Fugazi days. He maneuvers through this rhythmically shifty music with a fluid briskness that is periodically disrupted by the clang of his bell. Joe spent 8 years in Italy, among other things, woodshedding on eastern rhythms counted in 7 and 13, perfect preparation for the oddly-metered work of the Messthetics. He brings a rock-solid foundation to the groove at the same time playing a harmonic complement as ambitious and interesting as Anthony’s lines.

Bands can be dangerous when their members have accrued enough mileage to see their chops season into something like musical wisdom. When that understanding has the rare opportunity to percolate through a collaborative environment founded in love and anchored in gratitude, well, then shit can get rather intense. Anthony Pirog writes difficult music because original music usually is. Yet the ideas that he feeds through the Messthetics, are embraced by the Canty-Lally time machine, not just with precision and nuance, but with soul, joy, and groove. These last three are, indeed, the big guns in this spiritual war that music must become in the post-Trump era.

The initial concept was to mix noise/improv guitar with dance grooves – a kind of apocalyptic dance party where the beat keeps you moving, but the guitarist relentlessly terrorizes you. The first track, “Mythomania” retains elements of that posture, but as reality has itself become more daunting, Anthony – a fearless guitarist – has moved closer to his listeners, and is now willing to astonish without being so confrontational about it. That doesn’t mean the Messthetics in any way retreat from the responsibilities of a “hard” sound, just that its volume and edge never eat the bold structural ideas that define this new music. Anthony will even lubricate his tricky time signatures with energetic two-note riffs to keep the listener head-bobbing through the twisting structures. And when their collective voice is thick and heavy (like on “Crowds and Power”), it is neither ponderous nor plodding. Their performances and this debut recording have a lift and buoyancy that reflect back into the audience the love and gratitude at the foundation of this trio’s journey
SAVAK
SAVAK
SAVAK was formed in 2015 by members of The Obits, Holy Fuck, Nation of Ulysses, and The Cops. Their influences range from '60s Texas psychedelia to British pub rock to early-'80s American hardcore.

Cut-Ups, the new SAVAK record on Ernest Jenning Record Co., consists of 10 immaculate nuggets of primo, left-field rock'n'roll.

It’s a heavy smorgasbord with results as laudable as one would expect given the pedigree. Cut-Ups is as kaleidoscopic, ambitious and as curious a record as you could hope for.

Like their debut LP on Comedy Minus One, Best of Luck in Future Endeavors, there’s that instant thing – instant hooks all over, instant choruses – but not cheap instant like the noodles. The flavors on this record have a long finish, with a satisfyingly wide palate.

There are pristine multi-part harmonies and skronky jazz bits, as well as odd, subtle experiments with Joe Meek-y sound design. There’s that undeniable propulsive groove that many of these guys have become synonymous with. There are also healthy smatterings of garage rock, ‘60s jangle, jazz and psych.

The devil is in the details on SAVAK records and there are many, many details on Cut-Ups.

“A potent and pointed agitpop racket which manages to balance the dark and moody with the catchy as fuck.” –Noisey

“Superior twin-guitar slash action from members of Obits, Make-Up, Holy Fuck et al. Adding Saints-worthy brass on standout Early Western Traders boosts the prevailing Wipers-do-Joe Jackson aura. Four stars!” – Mojo

“Dread-fueled, post-punk angst tempered with catchy hooks.” –Magnet

“SAVAK is the band that plays the party after the after party.” –Jersey Beat
Sunwatchers
Albert Ayler — precious spiritual and sonic touchstone of ours to the degree that we named our band after one of his weirder totems — proclaimed it famously, affirmatively and with well-earned intelligence: MUSIC IS THE HEALING FORCE OF THE UNIVERSE. We believe this and preach this and do what we can to live this, but we understand that, now, amid our wrongheaded fascist tailspin, direct action is needed.


We are musicians, and we will leave political specifics to those more qualified than we are. All the time and energy and passion we can muster we dedicate to writing, performing, recording and releasing music: instrumental music, released from the tyranny of semantics into the freedom and hopefulness of universality-of-connection. We thusly realize the need to become overt about our own intentions and our own mores; without the ease and accessibility of direct language, the onus is on us to express our principles in other ways. This is the reason we have chosen for our album cover the beautiful embroidery of our long-held Sunwatchers Mission Statement, included in lesser visual terms in every SW release thus far. This stunning version was made by our dear friend Catherine Wheeler, a surprise end-of-tour gift created as she traveled across Africa by bus. I couldn’t be more proud of it as a totem, an art object, and an album cover; it is significant in a multitude of ways.

We have the unbelievable luck of playing with many amazing collaborators in NYC and beyond, but the core of our group — Peter Kerlin, Jim McHugh, Jason Robira and Jeff Tobias — are white males, American-born. It is an unassailable and deeply maddening fact that white males in this world are afforded a million times more bandwidth and infinitely more resources for communication and mobility than any other ethnic or gender group. Our comrades at Trouble In Mind did not choose to release our record because of this; but, as individuals, we have been emboldened since birth to speak out for what we desire, what we believe in, to express directly our goals. That others are discouraged, overtly and covertly, and are very often jailed, assaulted and murdered is a tragedy beyond measure. However, this is truth, and we view it as our responsibility to use our ill-gotten bully pulpit to espouse equality for the dispossessed and an end to our current exploitative ways of being. Unavoidably, this graphic iteration will be seen as seditious by the mainstream(if it is noticed at all; more punk-battered free-improv on FOX NEWS could start some sort of healing process, tho), and, perhaps, it will be judged as hypocritical by some of our peers in the underground music community — as a mere marketing-scheme, or empty sloganeering in the name of radical-chic. We promise you, it is as genuine as it can be. At our deepest core we desire that our efforts aid in the annihilation of state-supported inequality and the concept and importance of Whiteness altogether.

We are leftists; across the spectrum, yes — abolitionist syndicalist; democratic socialist; antiviolent-resistance advocate; horrified father with a sad eye for his child to the imperiled future — but leftists, all, and we feel that human existence is endangered by capitalism and its inexorably violent, exploitative and objectively harrowing means, methods and endgames. We have sensed this danger since well before the idiot fascistTrump and his confederacy of gangster anarcho-capitalists and racist-activists assumed control and unfurled their sloppy and lethal intent across the governance of the First World. We felt this before racist groups — paramilitary foot-soldiers of Capitalism, knowingly or unawares — were emboldened by our clown-mouthed president to make their violently bigoted intentionality overt and head-breaking as opposed to sublimated, coiled and altogether dominant, nonetheless. We understood this through years past, as our regime— under whatever equivocating leader our electorate supported — upheld foreign dictators and brigands that aided in our own government-for-profit-by-murder; as munitions corporations propagated endless and horrible war by keeping subservient lawmakers in power via their deep-pocketed lobbies; as police militarized their ranks with surplus weaponry and combat armor — justified ironically and nefariously as a “taxpayer money-saving plan” — and initiated assassinations of people of color and terrorized grassroots resistance movements. Capitalism is endangering humanity, and we must end it if we are to survive; this knowledge has devastated us and guided us for years.

Now, things are critical: sabres are rattling, millions of people are dying needlessly in the name of capital, and the injuries and injustices accrue too quickly to inventory. We are on the precipice of our precarious worldwide disaster merging into full-blown “you will not be counting the dead, you will be counting the living”* catastrophe.

As with our first album on Castle Face, we will be donating sales proceeds of this LP to prison abolitionist organizations. Money from the debut went to the Human Rights Coalition, a direct-advocacy group for inmates based in Philadelphia. This summer past, via our activist-umbrella organization Music Against Mass Incarceration, we organized a day-long festival benefitting JustLeadershipUSA and the Close Rikers Campaign; their input and participation was cogent and inspired, their expertise immensely valuable, and the day was edifying and strengthening for our community of progressives here in Brooklyn. Donations from this LP will go to JLUSA, as well. Again: it is on us to increase our Money/Mouth Ratio in these dire times.

Enough of this. We hope you dig the sounds; we worked really hard on them. It also needs to be said that we nearly named this record “LET’S HAVE SOME FUN!!!” because, yeh, we like that too. But, as our radical scuzz-punk forbears No Trend once declared in seething voices indignant, drug-strangled and wholly pubescent: IF YOU STAND FOR NOTHING YOU’LL FALL FOR ANYTHING!

LOVE AND RESPECT — JMM, JDT, JLR, PNK

*A chilling, characteristic quote to embattled Sarajevens by Serbian leader Radovan Karadzic, proclaimed at the upswing of the Milosevic-led ethnic cleansing of the former Yugoslavia. There are many more details about these atrocities that ring true today, which is absolutely horrifying, to say the least.
Venue Information:
Space Ballroom.
295 Treadwell Street
Hamden, CT, 06514