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Charles Atlas

w/ Bird Show + Layer

Live in Rome, March 27 2009

 | pall youhideme
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Charles Atlas were in Rome, second stop during the italian tour. I did a brief conversation with Matt Greenberg and Charles Wyatt, - and with Ben Vida too (from Town & County), opening with his solo project named Bird Show.

Edoardo - from Rome, drifting us with his ill-ambient samples out of his laptopBen Vida, pic by Stefano de GiacomettiBen Vida, pic by Stefano de GiacomettiBen Vida, pic by Stefano de Giacometti
Matt Greenberg, pic by Stefano de GiacomettiCharles Atlas, pic by Stefano de GiacomettiCharles Atlas, pic by Stefano de GiacomettiMatt, Ben, Charles, pic by komakino

   27th march 'o5, Roma @ locanda atlantide. Before meeting face to face with Charles, i already was in contact with Him and Sacha Galvagna, - the guy unfortunately hasn't been present during the tour. So, Charles Atlas featured principally Matt and Charles during these gigs, accompanied by Bird Show, that is Ben Vida, as opening. It's been a night spent into trance-inducing Music, - it started with a local Artist, working multilayered sounds through his laptop, and continued between Ben's hymns to the sky and Nature, putting his hands on analogic loops, acoustic guitar samples and whispering/singing to a microphone creating a somnambulant resonance, - and then it's been the time for instrumental nocturnal songs of Charles Atlas: drum loops, guitar, keyboard, synth, and brief trumpet line to close the show, a minimal psychedelic session to drift the audience in a trap of repetitive structures of tension and mesmerism. About 6 songs only, and notwithstanding people were asking for more, guys didn't concess an encore.. hmmmm..
   Ben, Matt and Charles were very friendly and nice people, - and that's fine when Good Music combines with Good People, kindle of a perfect circle ^_^..

[please note, i recorded this interview with a microphone and my frail english inside my brain.. so please forgive if i wrote down the conversation badly..]

k: So, everyone of You says his name please..
ben vida
matt greenberg
charles wyatt

k: well, what are You expecting from this tour, guys
ben: what do we expect? well, hopefully good music, yes, and you know, a wonderful trip in italy.
k: this is your first time in italy, i guess
matt: my first time
charles: my first time as well
ben: first tour
k: so You've been already in italy on holiday, maybe..
ben: yeah, on holiday
k: what town, where You were in last night?
ben: we were in castelfranco last night
k: it's somewhat far from here.. hopefully there were more people than tonight..
matt: no, it was a very small place
charles: a few people
k: it's horrible, but in italy there's this behaviour of ignoring indie shows, just a few people coming.. You can see always the same faces.. btw, well.. (-> Charles Atlas) how many songs are You going to play tonight?
matt: about 6 songs.. very long ones..
k: from 'To the Dust' and 'Worsted Weight'?
matt: yeah we have songs from 'Felt Cover' and..
charles: and probably a new one..
matt: a brand new one, - another one that is never been recorded, actually, we're recording right now in the studio in san francisco, - and then a couple of things from 'Worsted Weight'
k: are You going to play One Foot Under? It's one of my favorite piece of Music of Yours
charles: we could, we weren't planning on, but we can change it, so we can play it for you..
k: great, thanks a lot! - well, i saw that at the enter of the venues there is some merchandise, - i noted You are selling cdR, not official Cd's, why?
charles: it's live CDs, a radio show we did for University in california and it was with..
[matt thinks it's time to go on stage]
matt: hey, wait, i think we gotta go play..
ben: if You want to continue when there is the break later..
k: ok, no problem.

error: it was too early for the stage, a local guy was opening with some good ambient multilayered tunes, but Charles, Matt and Ben didn't know.

k: ok, ready? how did You meet all?
ben answers: we met in NY city when Charles Atlas opened for my band, my other band Town and County, and.. we played the show two years ago.. and when they were planning this tour together, they gave me a call, just saying 'what you doing, - if you'd like to come along' and luckily i have this new solo project, so.. i could!
k: sincerely i don't know Music of Town & County, can You describe it for me?
ben: T&C is all acoustic minimalist.. we're together since three years, we have got a bunch of records under Thrill Jockey rec.. Bird Show is a kind of extension of what i'm doing in Town & County, but bringing a lot of other elements in
k: so tonight You will be alone on stage..
ben: yeah, i will be alone, it's a solo project..
k: one bird only!
k: [charles atlas], i guess You don't have any Girl singing for You tonight at vocals.. You have some on a couple of tracks of Yours..
matt: no vocals, we have a new person who started playing with us, her name is Sarah Bell, but She joined the group very late, so She can't be here
k: so, You said You're working on some new tracks
matt: yes, we are
k: anything new? i mean, are You using some new instruments.. more synth? less keyboards?
matt: i would say there will be more rythm tracks going on..
charles: kind of a drum-direction, there is more beat now, for sure
matt: still guitar, still piano, electric piano, heading the drum element, something we wanna do it's exploring more what we're still experiment
charles: maybe, this time it'll be more popular
k: can You see Your-self in 10 years from here? do You have any idea about the future?
[guys have problems to answer..]
k: well, let's do it easier.. 5 years, not 10.. ok?
ben: we'll keep on making music for a long time,
matt: a long time, yeah..
ben: and sometimes we are in situations that sustain.. i mean, as long as the music can create ideas and keeps us going on..
charles: matt and i we know each other for like 20 years, i think we just really started a musical conversation and probably we'll push each other in different direction somedays, now we are inspiring each other, and so it'll be like that maybe for the next five years, ten years, twenty years..
ben: you must find a trick to have a life-time of making music.. because we all have other things to do in our lives, You must work just to sustain a life time for music making
k: what do You do in your daily life, i mean, i guess You cannot just feed on Your releases
matt: absolutely not!
matt: music is more a money-losing proposition than a money-making proposition..
k: 'have a hair cut and get a job'.. there was a song, by icantrememberwho, singing like that..
charles: touring and getting around is hard, but i think really i'm just blessed to do something like that in ltaly, even if there's not a crowd..
k: it's something moved by passion..
matt: absolutely
k: i mean, it's not something guided by having groupies and money.. if there is, well, ok by the way [laughs], but You're not KidRock, this is an higher passion for Music, it's something different, that's why maybe it's not full of young teenagers right now here..
charles: i need it for my life
matt: the question is if You want to bring out your music off your bedroom to an audience or not, the decision to bring this beyond the door, and no matter what can happen, and sometimes we don't know why we do it, sometimes we know.
charles: and it happens You can find some good people along the way, like Matt, - also, we met Ben, and, i'm a huge Town & County fan, and i am flattered he's doing this experience with us.
k: sometimes when i'm listening to records from my favorite Band, or just one song i consider like a perfect song, i think 'these people should be feeded on this track for a life time.. where are rich men loving Art ready to support It? Like when i hear 'One Foot Under'.. it's just my own opinion..
k: ok, do you want all my money?
charles: ..when we start composing One Foot Under at the beginning it was going in a different direction
matt: Sacha [Galvagna] repaired the guitar, and then..
charles: yeah Sacha really changed the direction, the line of this song
k: and why he's not here??
charles: yeah, especially because he is italian
k: yes, he is, and he's from Rome too!
matt: probably he crushed the wrong people here in italy and he just won't come back [laughs]


by komakino, march 'o5
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pictures 1-7 by Stefano de Giacometti, 8 by komakino.

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