Moogfest 2011 Preview

<div> <a href="features/features/moogfest_2011_preview/"><img src="" alt="Moogfest 2011 Preview" /></a> </div> <p> As music expands in every direction these days, the pioneering work by Robert Moog has become only more important.<span> ...
Moogfest 2011 Preview






Asheville Civic Center Arena

TV On the Radio, 12:30 AM – 2:00 AM 

One of the bands that put Brooklyn not only on the indie-map, but at the top of it, is the borough’s TV On the Radio (QRO live review outdoors in Brooklyn).  2004’s debut Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes introduced their complex-yet-accessible indie-tech-punk-rock, 2006’s Return to Cookie Mountain proved it was no fluke, and 2008’s Dear Science (QRO review) saw the band launched into the top tier of alternative music (QRO live review).  The group took something of a break after that, as members such as Tunde Adebimpe, David Andrew Sitek, and Kyp Malone did various side/solo projects, but returned this year with Nine Types of Light (QRO review).  Nine Types was a return in quality as well as success for the band (QRO photos at a festival), though they unfortunately recently lost bassist Gerard Smith to cancer, but have kept on magnificently (QRO photos from Brooklyn this year).




Moby, 10:30 PM – 12:00 AM 

Is there a more fitting artist to be playing Moogfest than Moby (QRO live review)?  The iconic musician helped bring electronic music to the masses (QRO photos in Europe), both in his recorded material like this year’s Destroyed (QRO album review), and in a plenary of licensing deals.  He’s also one of the few artists you’d actually watch DJ (QRO photos DJing at a festival), thanks to his incredible music knowledge (including predicting the rise of something like iTunes in an Economist article years before Apple put out the iPod), but comes to Asheville with full ensemble in tow (QRO live review with band).

TV On the Radio


Holy Fuck, 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM

There might not be a more ‘live’ electronic band out there today than Holy Fuck (QRO live review – whose name did bring a Canadian MP to question the nation’s support of such music acts as F*ck…), whose stated mission is make electronic music without all the studio trickery so prevalent in the genre – and which so often hampers it live (especially outside of the dance club).  Instead, the band managed to record 2007’s LP (QRO review) on the fly (with opener "Super Inuit" in front of an audience), following it up last year with Latin (QRO review), and have since worked the festival circuit (QRO photos at a festival), where there sound hasn’t wilted outdoors (QRO photos outdoors at a festival).



The Antlers, 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM 

The newest of the next wave of Brooklyn acts is The Antlers (QRO photos), who first blew people away (QRO live review) with epic concept album Hospice, then opened for the likes of Ra Ra Riot (QRO live review, opening for Ra Ra Riot), Editors (QRO album reviewQRO photos, opening for Editors) and The National (QRO spotlight onQRO photos, opening for The National).  But now they’ve graduated to headlining their own big gigs (QRO live review, outdoors & headlining), and are out with their new Burst Apart (QRO review), the follow-up to their critically acclaimed breakthrough debut, Hospice (QRO photos at a festival).



Animoog Playground

Chromeo, 9:30 PM – 11:00 PM 

There are combos and then there are combos: Montreal’s Chromeo (QRO live review) are the electro-funk duo of Dave 1 (David Macklovitch) and P-Thugg (Patrick Gemayel) has been best friends since childhood (QRO live review), billing themselves as, "The only successful Arab/Jewish collaboration since the beginning of time" (but what is their stance on Québécois independence?…).  And their electronica works outdoors (QRO photos outdoors), day or night (QRO live review), even at a festival (QRO photos at a festival).



Little Dragon, 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM 

From chilly-but-beautiful Gothenburg, Sweden comes the chilly-but-beautiful electronic outfit Little Dragon (QRO photos), who’ve collaborated with everyone from Gorillaz (QRO album review) to José González, but recently put out their own Ritual Union (QRO review).

Holy Fuck


Mayer Hawthorne & The County, 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM 

Actual name Andrew Cohen (QRO photos), he adopted his middle name & name of the street he grew up on (isn’t that how you get your porn name?…) for 2009’s A Strange Arrangement, and comes to Moogfest behind follow-up How Do You Do with ‘The County’ – a.k.a. whoever’s in his backing band at the moment (QRO photos at a festival).


Matthew Dear, 5:15 PM – 6:15 PM 

Matthew Dear has already made his name as a DJ, but has recently taken the step up to full-fledged band with his Big Hands (QRO photos at a festival), out last year with Black City.

The Antlers


Thomas Wolfe Auditorium

Flying Lotus, 12:00 AM – 1:15 AM 

While Flying Lotus (QRO photos outdoors) might be best known for making the music in Adult Swim’s bumpers (that text right before a show on the cable channel), he’s also an accomplished producer, as well as making & playing music in his own right (QRO live review),


The Field, 10:30 PM – 11:45 PM

Sweden’s Axel Wilner expands electronica to the Arctic Circle as The Field.



Tangerine Dream, 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Way back in 1967, when the Berlin Wall was still new, the West side of the city gave birth to Tangerine Dream – and the Dream is going on today.  Their early ‘Pink Years’ material helped give birth to krautrock, while a whole new generation of listeners were opened up to them via their soundtrack work for such films as Risky Business (and Tom Cruise’s less-heralded Legend), Firestarter, and the excellent Miracle Mile.


BEAK>, 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM

Portishead’s (QRO photos at a festival) Geoff Barrow formed side project BEAK> in 2009 (QRO photos at same festival), which also has featured female vocals from Anika (see below).

Little Dragon


Orange Peel

Anika, 12:45 AM – 2:00 AM

A rare journalist-turned-musician, British-German Anika Invada (QRO photos at a festival) started in her new business singing in BEAK> (see above), the new side-project by Geoff Barrow of Portishead (QRO photos at the same festival).


Zomby, 11:00 PM – 12:00 AM

One of the mainstays of today’s new dubstep scene is U.K.’s Zomby, who comes to Moogfest behind his new Dedication (QRO review).

Mayer Hawthorne & The County


Tobacco, 9:00 PM – 10:00 PM 

Black Moth Super Rainbow (QRO live review) main man Tobacco plays solo at the Moogfest.


Atlas Sound, 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM 

Bradford Cox of Deerhunter (QRO live review) was one of the busiest people in indie-rock in 2008, putting out not only two Deerhunter records, Microcastle (QRO review) & Weird Era Cont. (QRO review), but also his first solo record as Atlas Sound (QRO live review), Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel (QRO review), with tracks like "River Card" (QRO video) & "Winter Vacation" (QRO video). While Deerhunter eased up a bit the following year, Atlas Sound kept going with Logos (QRO review) and now Parallax, as well as touring (QRO photos from 2009), including festivals (QRO photos at a festival), where the expansive ambient rock of "Logos" (QRO video) can "take it to the fields" (QRO live review).

Matthew Dear


Austra, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

2011 has been a breakout year for Katie Stelmanis (QRO photos at a festival), the force behind Austra (QRO live review).  The Canadian act put out debut Feel It Break (QRO review), which was short-listed for the prestigious Polaris music prize, and their airier electronica (QRO photos outdoors) has won fans with songs like "The Villain" (QRO video), "Beat and the Pulse" (QRO video), and "The Choke" (QRO video).



Flying LotusAlso:

Diana Wortham Theatre

Lunzproject, 11:30 PM – 12:30 AM

Causing a Tiger, 10:00 PM – 11:00 PM

Mimi Goese & Ben Neill, 8:30 PM – 9:30 PM

Shazad Ismaily, 7:00 PM – 7:30 PM


Asheville Music Hall

Araabmusik, 1:30 AM – 2:30 AM

Warm Ghost, 12:00 AM – 1:00 AM – QRO photos

Grimes, 10:30 PM – 11:30 PM – QRO mp3 review

Fine Peduncle, 9:00 PM – 10:00 PM





Asheville Civic Center Arena

STS9, 12:00 AM – 2:00 AM

The acclaimed instrumental act combines numerous influences, including funk, jazz, psychedelic, and hip-hop.  But they’re best known for their live concerts (QRO photos), which stretch to over two hours, and feature improvisational collaborative work not known in the jam-band community.  Their festival performances, however, go even bigger.

The Field


Amon Tobin: ISAM, 10:15 PM – 11:30 PM

Brazil’s Amon Tobin isn’t just another world-electronic musician.  The virtuoso sound engineer has done such things as release a record based entirely on the manipulation of field recordings (2007’s Foley Room) to soundtracking such movies as The Italian Job and 21.  He comes to Moogfest to perform his latest, this year’s ISAM, which has female vocals made from his own voice, synthesized, gender-bending like a twenty-first century Bowie.


Tim Hecker, 9:00 PM – 10:00 PM 

International ambient artist Tim Hecker comes to Moogfest after headlining Brooklyn’s Neon Marshmallow NYC.

Tangerine Dream


SBTRKT, 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM

London DJ/producer Aaron Jerome, a.k.a. SBTRKT, has been impressing with his post-dubstep work.


YACHT, 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM 

Originally one-half of The Blow, Portland’s Jona Bechtolt has since made even more of a name on his own as YACHT (QRO spotlight on), with 2007’s I Believe In You. Your Magic Is Real (QRO review), 2009’s See Mystery Lights (QRO review), and this year’s Shangri-La (QRO review), bringing in partner Claire Evans (QRO interview with both).  But it’s their exciting live shows that are really breaking them through (QRO live review), whether in the club (QRO photos) or outdoors (QRO photos outdoors at a festival), featuring such items as whole songs done from amongst the crowd, question-and-answer sessions – and their own signature dance style… (QRO photos)

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Animoog Playground

Flaming Lips, 8:30 PM – 10:30 PM 

There’s a good reason The Flaming Lips (QRO photos at a festival) have been so popular for so long on the festival circuit (QRO photos at a festival), as there is no live show out there like a Flaming Lips live show (QRO live review).  Confetti cannons, costumes, video screens, balloons from the sky, puppets, singer/guitarist Wayne Coyne surfing the crowd in a giant plastic bubble – The Lips have it all (QRO photos), and expect them to take it even higher (QRO photos at a festival).  Oh, and they’ve got some great music, too, from early nineties hit "She Don’t Use Jelly" to seminal The Soft Bulletin (QRO photos from top-to-bottom performance, at a festival), as well as 2006’s Grammy Award-winning At War With the Mystics (even put out a movie, Christmas On MarsQRO review), and 2009’s Embryonic (QRO review).




Crystal Castles, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM 

Most electronic acts are restrained on stage, even when their crowd is going nuts, but the duo of Ethan Kath & Alice Glass (QRO live review) match their audience’s fervor – which has gotten them booted from more than one stage, especially at festivals (though played Osheaga only two years ago).  So even if you fall on the ‘hate’ side of this love-them-or-hate-them act (from Canada, surprisingly…), show up for the spectacle… (QRO live review)



Dan Deacon, 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM 

One of the many acts bringing the wild, DIY element to Moogfest is Dan Deacon (QRO photos).  The Baltimore native is a man of many talents, including throwing his own DIY festivals & tours, like 2009’s ‘Round Robin’ tour (QRO live review) with No Age (QRO live review) & Deerhunter (QRO live review).   But he’s still best known as an electronic musician, most recently with Bromst (QRO review), which gets wild live, whether with his fifteen-piece backing band (QRO live review) or Deacon standing & playing from in the crowd (QRO photos, outdoors at a festival).


The Naked and Famous, 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM 

From the other side of the globe comes The Naked and Famous (QRO photos).  The New Zealand act (QRO photos) turned heads last fall with debut Passive Me, Aggressive You, and haven’t looked back (QRO photos).



Thomas Wolfe Auditorium

Battles, 12:45 AM – 2:00 AM 

Most instrumental-only acts are, frankly, boring to watch live.  But there are a few exceptions to the rule, such as Explosions In the Sky (QRO album review) and New York’s own Battles (QRO live review).  Though they lost Tyondai Braxton (QRO photos with him), the band is still ultra-exciting to see on stage (QRO photos outdoors), even at a festival (QRO photos at a festival).


St. Vincent, 10:45 PM – 12:15 AM 

After the one-and-only Annie Clark (QRO interview) made 2007 her break-out year, both as part of The Polyphonic Spree on The Fragile Army (QRO review) and with her own debut as St. Vincent (QRO photos), Marry Me (QRO review), she followed that up with even-better years, gracing festivals (QRO photos at a festival), charming and surprising crowds with winning humor live (QRO live review), and bringing a stable of new songs (QRO live review).  Those new songs, like "Laughing With a Mouth of Blood" (QRO video) and "Actor Our of Work" (QRO video) formed into 2009’s Actor (QRO review), which vaunted her into the even bigger time (QRO photos at a festival), including playing Lincoln Center (QRO live review) and other storied concert halls (QRO photos at a festival).  Even if just-out Strange Mercy (QRO review) isn’t quite as good, St. Vincent is still holy live.



Terry & Gyan Riley, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM 

Terry Riley’s In C began the marriage of psychedelica and classical that preceded today’s indie-classical by half a century, inspiring everyone from Phillip Glass to The Who.  And he comes to Moogfest with his son, Gyan.


Brian Eno’s ‘Illustrated Talk’, 2:00 PM – 4:30 PM

One of the most inspired and inspiring musicians ever, Brian Eno created ambient music, worked with David Bowie on his seminal ‘Berlin Trilogy’, produced three Talking Heads albums, seven U2 ones (including Joshua TreeQRO deluxe edition review), and worked on records from Coldplay (QRO album review) to Paul Simon to James (QRO spotlight on).

Early in the day at Moogfest, Eno will lay his thoughts out in his ‘Illustrated Talk’.

Atlas Sound


Orange Peel

Kode9, 1:00 AM – 2:00 AM

Steve Goodman, a.k.a. Kode9, is one of the founders of today’s brand-new dubstep movement.


Suicide, 11:30 PM – 12:30 AM

If you’ve never heard of Suicide (QRO photos), don’t admit to it around a music critic, as the group has proven highly influential – if never commercially successful – since their start in the early seventies.  Members Alan Vega & Martin Rev are the forerunners of virtually every sound with ‘electro-’ or the likes in their title, combining punk & dance before either were a scene (QRO photos at a festival).

The pair come to Moogfest to performing their 1977 self-titled debut, now regarded as a classic.  Though if you don’t know Suicide the band/the album, don’t expect to be captivated.



Toro y Moi, 9:30 PM – 10:45 PM 

One of the ‘big names’ in ‘chillwave’, Chazwick Bundick – a.k.a. Toro y Moi (QRO photos) – had one of the new genre’s touchstone records last year in Causers of This (QRO review), but has since moved to a more rock-oriented sound, especially live (QRO photos).


Twin Shadow, 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM 

With one of the best debut album of 2010, Forget, produced by Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear (QRO live review), George Lewis Jr. (a.k.a. Twin Shadow – QRO photos) shot up on the hype meter.  Turns out, the ‘80s new wave-influenced pop of the Dominican Republic born musician (QRO photos at a festival) actually lived up to its reputation. Sophisticated melodies and catchy hooks abound, the tracks of Forget easily transitioned from haunting poetics to infectious dance numbers (QRO photos at a festival).

Warm Ghost



CANT, 6:30 PM – 7:30 PMQRO photos



Diana Wortham Theatre

Wham City Comedy Tour, 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM

Adrian Belew Power Trio, 8:00 PM – 9:30 PM 

GrimesStickmen, 7:00 PM – 7:45 PM

Hans-Joachim Roedelius, 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM


Asheville Music Hall

Brandt Brauer Frick, 1:30 AM – 2:30 AM

Moon Duo, 12:00 AM – 1:00 AM

Cloudland Canyon, 10:30 PM – 11:30 PM

Marley Carroll, 9:15 PM – 10:15 PM 




Asheville Civic Center

Ghostland Observatory, 10:30 PM – 11:45 PM 

Austin’s Ghostland Observatory combine electronics, rock, and funk the way only a native of the ‘Live Music Capitol of the World’ would, while ‘keeping it weird’ (QRO review).  They also bring an unmistakable light show.


Special Disco Version, 8:30 PM – 9:45 PM

The world may no longer have LCD Soundsystem (QRO live review), but main man James Murphy is still running the important dance label DFA, and along with LCD drummer Pat Mahoney, form the DJ tandem Special Disco Version.



M83, 6:30 PM – 7:45 PM 

How is it that France does such great atmospherics?  M83 (QRO live review) actually exceeded countrymen Air (QRO album review) with 2008’s Saturdays = Youth (QRO review), their most accessible electronica album to-date, and come to Moogfest behind Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming (QRO review), out just a few weeks before the festival (QRO photos at a festival).



Active Child, 5:30 PM – 6:15 PM – QRO album review

Amon Tobin


Animoog Playground

Passion Pit, 9:00 PM – 10:30 PM 

Blowing up very fast was Cambridge, Mass’ Passion Pit (QRO photos).  Single "Sleepyhead" (QRO video) found its way to MTV nominations, while debut Manners (QRO review) found its way onto the charts.   Catch the big-name indietronica stars (QRO photos outdoors) at Moogfest (QRO photos at a festival), ‘cause they’ve moved up to the big-time (QRO photos), and aren’t playing small places – or even medium-sized (QRO photos) anymore…


Childish Gambino, 7:15 PM – 8:30 PM

The world is littered with rappers trying their hand at acting, and actors trying their hand at rapping (to say nothing of sports stars trying both) – with usually poor results.  Standing out from that crowd is Childish Gambino (QRO photos), a.k.a. Donald Glover of NBC’s great Community.  Joel McHale ain’t the only one with a second job – but will Danny Pudi (QRO photo) be there?

Tim Hecker


Beats Antique, 5:45 PM – 6:45 PM 

World fusion electronica act Beats Antique not only fuses styles of music, but also styles of dance, including that of the belly.



Sonmi, 4:15 PM – 5:15 PM


Thomas Wolfe Auditorium

Umphrey’s McGee, 1000 PM – 12:00 AM 

The ‘progressive improvisation’ of Umphrey’s McGee combines the live ways of such hippie legends as Phish and The Dead (QRO photos at a festival), with often-changing set lists, heavy live jam sessions, fanatic fans recording.  Their more progressive-inspired music makes them a festival mainstay.



Neon Indian, 8:00 PM – 9:15 PM 

Alan Palomo works solo as VEGA (QRO photos at a festival) and recruits a live band as Neon Indian (QRO photos at the same festival), where he’s far stronger (QRO photos with his band), especially outdoors (QRO photos outdoors with band) & at a festival (QRO photos at a festival with band).  He comes to Moogfest (QRO photos) behind his latest, Era Extraña.


The Drums, 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM 

The indie-pop of Brooklyn’s The Drums (QRO photos) mixes new wave, girl-group, Sweden, electro, and, above all, reverb, for something unique (QRO photos at a festival).



Glasser, 5:15 PM – 6:00 PM 

Cameron Mesirow’s Glasser (QRO photos outdoors) is the daughter of a member of the Blue Man Group and a member of minor New Wave hit Human Sexual Response, with a musical style somewhere between prog-rock and krautrock (QRO photos at a festival), if you can picture that (QRO photos at a festival).


Orange Peel

Gold Panda, 11:30 PM – 12:30 AM 

England’s Gold Panda (real name: Derwin Panda) (QRO live review) is one of the many DJ/producers (QRO album review) who also try out performing live, and while that lowers the bar severely, Gold Panda (QRO photos at a festival) is one of the best of that bunch.

Flaming Lips



Emancipator, 10:00 PM – 11:00 PM

EOTO, 8:15 PM – 9:30 PM 

Fareer Haque + MathGames, 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM

Oneohtrix Point Never, 5:00 PM – 6:00 PMQRO photos at a festival


Crystal CastlesAlso:

Asheville Music Hall

Savoy, 11:30 PM – 12:30 AM

Ford & Lopatin, 10:00 PM – 11:00 PM

Baths, 8:30 PM – 9:30 PMQRO photos at a festival 

John Maus, 7:15 PM – 8:15 PM



For festival website, go here:


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