ATP 2010 : Matt Groening Preview

<p> <a href="features/features/atp_2010_:_matt_groening_preview/" target="_self"><img src="" alt="ATP 2010 : Matt Groening Preview" /></a> </p> <p> The U.K. music festival season begins Tomorrow, hosted by the creator of Homer, Marge,...
ATP 2010 : Matt Groening Preview

ATP 2010 : Matt Groening Preview

Great Britain is host to any number of massive music festivals (QRO U.K. Festival Guide), but skewing away from the traditional & mainstream has been All Tomorrow’s Parties.  From being free of sponsorship to artists and attendees staying together at Butlin’s Holiday Centre in Minehead, Somerset, not to mention being broken up over two weekends – and each are curated by a singular, essential artist – ATP stands apart, and in its over a decade of existence has become the model for the truly ‘alternative’ music festival (even spawned its own American edition in 2008, ATP NY – QRO North American Festival Guide).  And gave name to a great Los Campesinos! song (QRO video)…

For its first weekend, ATP recruited outside the music sphere, but got the creator of perhaps definitely the greatest television show ever, The Simpsons‘ Matt Groening.  The unusual and worldly mix of artists ranges from the venerable to the brand-new, sweet sounding to experimental, solo to duo to collective and more.  So, before Comedy Central starts in with original episodes of the thank-god-it’s-finally-been-revived Futurama, head to Minehead for the greatest music festival since Hullabalooza:


[note: please forgive the obscure Simpsons references, but when else at QRO are we going to be able to?…]




6:30 PM – 7:45 PM: Built To Spill

Yes, the ‘biggest indie-rock band outta Boise, Idaho’ (QRO photos at a festivalQRO review) is still around, still on Warner Bros., and still putting out new music, most recently last year’s There Is No Enemy.  They’ve gained a second life on the festival circuit (QRO photos at a festival) – and have been moving up the festival food chain (QRO photos headlining a festival).

Built To Spill

8:30 PM – 10:00 PM: Iggy & The Stooges

If there is such a thing as ‘post-punk’, then there’s also ‘proto-punk’, and no act more paved the way for the raw rock explosion than Iggy & The Stooges.  Fronted by the iconic Iggy Pop, they’d burned the candle at both ends before there was any "Anarchy In the U.K.", but reunited in 2003 – and the only non-original Stooge in the twenty-first century line-up is the iconic-in-his-own-right Mike Watt (QRO photos – Minutemen, fIREHOSE).  They even survived last year’s death of legendary guitarist Ron Asheton, by bringing back other original guitarist, James Williamson.  And they’ve got a lot to celebrate in 2010, from finally being inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame to the re-release deluxe edition of the seminal Raw Power the month before ATP (and will be played in its entirety at ATP NY in September).

Iggy & The Stooges
                                                                              Centre Stage

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM: James Blackshaw

Leading off Centre Stage is the acoustic twelve-string guitar work of London’s James Blackshaw

James Blackshaw

5:30 PM – 6:30 PM: Broadcast

Birmingham, England’s Broadcast bring the sixties psychedelica sounds into the spookier twenty-first century, and last year released their fourth full-length, Broadcast and The Focus Group Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age.  Just hope that it’s dark enough for their projection screen (QRO live review), or they’ll need Mr. Burns’ sunblocker…


7:30 PM – 8:30 PM: Cold Cave

Philadelphia synth-pop outfit Cold Cave have the wind at their backs, thanks to last fall’s Matador re-release of their debut Love Comes Close and recent addition of former Mika Miko frontwoman Jennifer Clavin.

Cold Cave

10:00 PM – 11:00 PM: Toumani Diabate

While All Tomorrow’s Parties features artists from all over the planet, Mali has a particularly strong showing, starting with Toumani Diabate, who has introduced his native land’s native kora to the wider world.

Toumani Diabate

11:30 PM – 12:15 AM: Shonen Knife

There’s a lot of garage-rock around these days, but why not get it from someone who’s anything but new to the game (like most garage-rockers)?  Shonen Knife (QRO live review) have been doing it for almost thirty years now, such as last year’s Super Group (QRO review) – and they’re three Japanese girls (QRO interview), for all you fetishists out there…

Shonen Knife

1:00 AM – 2:00 AM: Liars

Though 2001’s They Threw Us All In a Trench and Stuck a Monument On Top got Liars (QRO photos outdoors) labeled ‘dance-punk’, they’ve since shifted radically, losing old fans, but gaining new ones, most recently with their dominating performance at Monterrey, Mexico’s anti-South-by-Southwest MtyMx and Sisterworld (QRO review) – Lisa & Maggie unite!


10:30 PM – 11:30 PM: Jill Sobule

Singer/songwriter Jill Sobule has stayed independent – last year’s California Years was entirely funded by fan donations – while still tackling everything from sixties icon Joey Heatherton to homosexual discovery (and 1995’s hit "I Kissed a Girl", while featured in the movie Clueless and having Fabio in the video, was well before Katy Perry & today’s Real World drunken party lesbianism).

Jill Sobule

12:15 AM – 1:00 AM: The Fresh & Onlys

The garage-pop of San Francisco’s The Fresh & Onlys looks set to join the rising garage wave, whether you like it or not.

The Fresh & Onlys





3:00 PM – 3:45 PM: Danielson

Rutgers’ Daniel Smith has somehow squared the circle of being ‘indie Christian’ (would Ned Flanders approve?…).  He & his ‘Danielson Familie’ (which includes many actual siblings) make a sort of indie-pop/gospel, highlighted by Smith’s squeaky falsetto and, on stage, matching nurse uniforms (QRO photos at a festival).


4:45 PM – 5:45 PM: Deerhunter

No one was more prolific in 2008 than Deerhunter’s singer/guitarist Bradford Cox (QRO live review), who not only put out the well-received Microcastle (QRO review), but also included a second disc of all-original bonus material, Weird Era Cont. (QRO review) – and oh, yeah, released a solo record (as Atlas Sound), Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel (QRO review) that beat ‘em both.  Known for electric shows whether as the Sound (QRO live review) or with Deerhunter (QRO live review), Cox & Deerhunter (QRO photos outdoors) have been as prolific with the festivals.


6:45 PM – 7:45 PM: She & Him

When stars of the screen try their hand at music, the results are usually as bad as when stars of the stereo try their hand at acting, but proving there’s an exception to every rule has been Zooey Deschanel (who you may remember from such films as 500 Days of Summer or Elf), the ‘She’ in She & Him (QRO photos) – of course, it doesn’t hurt that the ‘Him’ is a star of the stereo, alt-folkster M. Ward (QRO solo album review).  2008’s Volume 1 (QRO review) and single "I Was Made For You" (QRO video) let the indie world know this was no Keanu Reeves-in-Dogstar, and this year’s (of course-titled) Volume 2 (QRO review) let it be known that it was no fluke.  Yes, Deschanel & Ward channel the likes of Patsy Cline, Sam Cooke (QRO video of Cooke cover) & Lurlene Lumpkin, through an ultra-cute muse (QRO photos), and yes, this leads to a tight, tight pack of fans (QRO photos at a festival), but She & Him deliver (QRO live review).

She & Him

8:45 PM – 10:00 PM: Amadou & Mariam

It may feel like ‘rich white guilt’ to think that modern music, like mankind itself, came out of Africa, as well as that those who cannot see have the best hearing in the world, but you can’t argue with Amadou & Mariam, the "blind couple from Mali."  The pair met at the west African country’s Institute for the Young Blind over thirty-five ago, but only more recently has north caught on – opened for Coldplay on their Viva la Vida tour (QRO album review), and for Blur’s two Hyde Park reunion dates.

Amadou & Mariam
                                                                               Centre Stage

1:45 PM – 3:00 PM: Boredoms performing Boadrum

While Osaka’s Boredoms may be the quintessential Japanese noise-rock outfit, they’ve taken the sound to whole new levels in their near quarter-century of existence.  The last few years has seen the multiple drummer event ‘Boadrum’ – seventy-seven drummers recruited for a July 7th, 2007 performance (7/7/07), dueling New York & L.A. concerts on August 8th, 2008 (8/8/08), and nine at New York’s Terminal 5 (QRO venue review) on September 9th of last year (9/9/09 – you get the general idea…).  Who knows what October 10th of this year will bring, but they’ll be pounding out double sets at ATP (see below).


3:45 PM – 4:45 PM: Lightning Dust

The side project of Amber Webber & Joshua Wells of Black Mountain (QRO album review), the pair eschews the heavy rock of the Mountain for the sparse, near-goth as Lightning Dust.

Lightning Dust

5:45 PM – 6:45 PM: Konono N°1

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire) may be best known in the west for the tragic civil war still ongoing there (though who knows if westerners have even heard of that…), and Kinshasa for the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ between Muhammad Ali & George Foreman, but the capital city of the massive nation brought forth Konono N°1, whose DIY usage of the electric likembé has recently found a home in indie music ears.

Konono N°1

7:45 PM – 8:45 PM: The Residents

Every avant-garde, conceptual musical act that shock and divide owe a huge debt to The Residents.  Active now for over forty years (!), the band is still best known for their look – tuxedos, top hats & eyeball helmets (more thirty-first century New New York than twenty-first century Springfield) – but maybe that’s because it’s so hard to describe anything else about them…

The Residents

10:00 PM – 11:00 PM: Ponytail

All Tomorrow’s Parties has long welcomed those playing outside the mainstream, but Ponytail (QRO photos)?  There’s a reason this Baltimore act is outside, because their noise-rock is just noise, fronted by screamer Molly Siegel – who looks like a petulant twelve-year-old boy (QRO photos outdoors) – yet somehow they keep getting booked (QRO photos at a festival).  It is physically possible for something to both suck and blow at the same time.


11:45 PM – 12:30 AM: The xx 

Almost overnight, south London’s The xx (QRO photos) went from little known to massive acclaim.  Even before debut record xx (QRO review) actually came out, the dark, post-punk revival act was garnering lots of attention (QRO photos at a festival).  They quickly jumped from opening to headlining (QRO live review), as they were overshadowing the headliners.  They also saw Baria Qureshi depart (QRO photos with her), leaving them a three piece.  Certainly subdued, they’re much better suited for an artsy, respectful crowd like at ATP (QRO photos at a festival), than at chattering rock clubs (QRO video).  They’re also doing double-duty at ATP (see below).

The xx

1:00 AM – 2:15 AM: Panda Bear

One of the founding members of Baltimore’s ultra-relevant experimental electronic outfit Animal Collective (QRO album review), Noah Lennox – a.k.a. Panda Bear – broke out of the zoo and is now on his own.  His anticipated Tomboy, the follow-up to 2007’s Person Pitch (QRO review), comes out in September, so look for new material as well as old, like the Lindy Hop.

Panda Bear

1:00 PM – 1:45 PM: Hello Saferide

First thing in the afternoon, take the ride to Reds for Sweden’s indie-pop Hello Saferide, fronted by Annika Norlin.

Hello Saferide

9:45 PM – 10:30 PM: Thee Oh Sees

Hailing from The O.C. (the name was original ‘Orange County Sound’, then ‘OCS’, then – well, you get the idea…), John Dwyer formed Thee Oh Sees (QRO photos at a festival) to put out his experimental, instrumental home recordings, but over seven records has morphed into a full band and a wild live show.

Thee Oh Sees

11:00 PM – 11:45 PM: Ruins (solo)

What originally began as a drum-and-bass duo when the guitarist never showed up to the first rehearsal, since 2004 Japan’s Ruins has been a solo operation by drummer Yoshida Tatsuya.

Ruins (solo)

12:30 AM – 1:30 AM: James Chance & Les Contortions

New York’s No Wave movement might have had a short life in the seventies, but it did give forth singer/songwriter/saxophonist James Chance, who combines punk, funk & jazz.

James Chance & Les Cortotions




6:00 PM – 7:00 PM: Daniel Johnston

Singer/songwriter/artist Daniel Johnston (QRO video interview) first came to notice thanks to fans of his like Kurt Cobain & Thurston Moore, and his struggle with bipolar disorder & fame was chronicled in the 2006 documentary The Devil and Daniel Johnston.  While still not on an even keel, he still produces & performs (QRO live review) work that can reach into the brilliant, such as "Life In Vain" (QRO video).

Daniel Johnston

8:00 PM – 10:00 PM: Spiritualized performing Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space

After the demise of the space-rock Spaceman 3, Jason Pierce stayed in the stratosphere (thanks to an inanimate carbon rod) as Spiritualized.  1997’s Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space was named NME‘s Album of the year, and was performed in entirely at ATP NY 2009 – and now ATP proper.

                                                                               Centre Stage

2:00 PM – 3:15 PM: Boredoms performing Boadrum

Returning to kick off the Centre Stage for the second day in a row in Boredoms (see above) and ‘Boadrum’ – as strong as Mr. Sparkle!


3:45 PM – 4:45 PM: The Tiger Lillies

The Brechtian dark cabaret of London’s Tiger Lillies are celebrating their twentieth year with an appearance at All Tomorrow’s Parties.

The Tiger Lillies

5:15 PM – 6:00 PM: Juana Molina

Juana Molina’s family fled their native Argentina after the 1976 military coup for Paris, and though they returned with democracy, Molina (QRO photos outdoors) now combines the bossanova of a Parisian songstress with the guile of a Pampas diva.

Juana Molina

7:00 PM – 8:00 PM: Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions

Singer Hope Sandoval – the star of Mazzy Star – and Colm Ó Ciosóig of My Bloody Valentine (who curated the inaugural ATP NY in 2008) combined on Bavarian Fruit Bread back in 2001, only for the camera-shy Sandoval to disappear.  However, the return was Warm for last year’s softly beautiful Through the Devil Softly (QRO review).

Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions

10:00 PM – 11:00 PM: Joanna Newsom

One of the few ‘indie-harpists’ out there, California’s Joanna Newsom (QRO photos at a festival) garnered serious attention with Van Dyke Parks-produced Ys in 2006 (QRO Top Records of 2006), but she’s only been seen sporadically in the last few years, often not having to do with music (she’s been dating Saturday Night Live‘s Andy Samberg, and has even worked as a model).   But 2010 looks to be a big year in the Newsom household, thanks to her amazing three-disc Have One On Me (QRO review).

Joanna Newsom

11:45 PM – 12:30 AM: The xx

Doing double-duty at All Tomorrow’s Parties is double the x (see above) – and is there a band better suited for midnight?

The xx

1:00 AM – 2:00 AM: CocoRosie

Sisters Bianca ‘Coco’ & Sierra ‘Rosie’ Casaday combine a welter of sounds & visuals as CocoRosie.  Previously of the now-departed Touch & Go label, they’ve found a new home at Sub Pop for the just-released Grey Oceans, the duo’s first since 2007’s The Adventures of Ghosthorse and Stillborn (QRO review).


3:15 PM – 4:00 PM: Viv Albertine

Viv Albertine was there at the beginning of punk as the guitarist for the influential all-Girl The Slits in the late seventies – indeed, she dated The Clash’s Mick Jones, and The Clash’s "Train in Vain" has been seen as a response to The Slits’ "Typical Girls" (and Jones-Albertine break-up).  She left the music world to work as a television producer through the eighties & nineties, but has just returned to the rock, with Never Come EP.

Viv Albertine

11:00 PM – 11:45 PM: The Raincoats

More original ladies of punk rock rule Reds in The Raincoats.  More post-punk than proto-, singer/guitarist Ana da Silva & singer/bassist Gina Birch split in 1983 only to reunite ten years later thanks to high-profile fans such as Kurt Cobain & Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley (who played drums in their reunion gig).  They’ve only played sporadically since then, so ATP will be one of your few chances to catch ’em.

The Raincoats

12:30 AM – 1:15 AM: Trash Kit

Reviving the lo-fi kick-ass feminity of the early days of punk is the (new) Trash Kit.

Trash Kit


For festival website, go here:


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