Chris Cohen with Guerilla Toss and Family Planning
You’ve heard Chris Cohen. Sometimes as a leader, sometimes as a sideman and collaborator; sometimes as an invisible musician. The chest-high bass drum thump, the tightly paired flight of guitars in odd harmony, the disorienting shift in time and texture that resolves itself into song… Chris Cohen has plied the inside and outside folds of pop musical possibility since at least 1978, when he first set drumstick to skin at the tender age of three, initiating decades of sonic experimentation across multiple bands and nearly a dozen recordings. Cohen’s co-led Deerhoof, Cryptacize, The Curtains, and Natural Dreamers. Additionally, he’s toured and recorded with Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Cass McCombs, White Magic, and Danielson.
As If Apart, Cohen’s long awaited follow-up to 2012’s soft-psych-garden of unearthly alter-pop earworms, Overgrown Path, is due out May 6th via Captured Tracks. The record follows its predecessor with a bittersweet ensemble of dreamy, complex songs, yet pushes the idiosyncrasies of Cohen’s melodic and rhythmic approach into even more fractured, shifting spaces. As If Apart unsettles lazy pop conventions, upending jaded heads and hearts with an expansive, moody psychedelia. Where Overgrown Path plunged within, As If Apart voyages out. And up.
New Age Rage. This is the sound of undeground heroes Guerilla Toss. Ecstatic, vital, and brilliantly unhinged, the art-punk quintet promotes positive energy and twisted spirituality through the less-traveled path of brutal, intelligent, live rock&roll dance music. Like a hurricane of healing bliss, a Guerilla Toss concert is more of a ritual than a performance.
The group is lead by vocalist/poet Kassie Carlson her vivid, imagistic lyrics covering a full spectrum of frequencies, subject matter, and emotional depth. Co-founder, ringleader and most importantly, drummer Peter Negroponte, contributes a sense of rhythm and syncopation equal parts academic and raw, providing a solid foundation for the world-class weirdos making up the rest of the group. Guitarist Arian Shaifee combines elements of noise, skronk, metal shred, and R&B, often all in the same song. Newly added bassist Phillip Racz brings his keen sense of punk jazz to the table, taking the groove factor to a whole new level. And then there’s Sam “Coach” Lisabeth – the latest heir to the GT synthesizer chair – laying down lush pads and sub synth bass bombs that penetrate NYC’s core from Brooklyn’s grimiest DIY venues to the midtown Trump towers. This unit, playing together, can create vibrations powerful enough to knock the toupee off of that fascist capitalist’s big head. It is the unique pairing of musical voices and backgrounds that makes Guerilla Toss such a special party band. But they are more than that – GT gets real when you pay close attention. Their music is inspired by both tragedy and beauty, drug addiction/mental illness and the re-birth of the soul through spiritual practice and psychedelic drug healing – helping the listener overcome these mind-fuck hardships.
The bill is rounded out by self-proclaimed ‘dad-rock for the post-punk kids’ quartet, Family Planning.