Body/Head (Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth & Bill Nace)

In Conjunction With Ars Nova Workshop

Body/Head (Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth & Bill Nace)

Axis: Sova, Fully Glazed

Fri, November 11, 2016

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 8:30 pm

PhilaMOCA

Philadelphia, PA

$16.00 - $18.00

Sold Out

This event is all ages

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Body/Head (Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth & Bill Nace)
Body/Head (Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth & Bill Nace)
Creative alchemy doesn’t just happen in the studio or in the practice space; so much of it is the product of solo time with one’s instrument, learning how body and wood and electronics fuse, and of subconscious processes as one lives one’s daily life—picking up the ambient noise of the world outside, listening to others’ work, talking through ideas with friends. For Kim Gordon and Bill Nace, time together these days is limited to live performances and recording, so they’ve got to bring all their magic to every encounter. Lucky for us, these are two experimental sorcerers of significant renown.

Their debut album together as Body/Head, Coming Apart, from 2013, was more of a rock record—heavy, emotional, cathartic, spellwork in shades of black and grey. The Switch is their second studio full-length, and it finds the duo working with a more subtle palette, refining their ideas and identity. Some of it was sketched out live (if you’ve not had the fortune of seeing them in that natural environment yet, see 2016’s improvisational document No Waves), but much of it happened purely in the moment. Working in the same studio and with the same producer as Coming Apart, here Body/Head stretch out, making spacious pieces that build shivering drones, dissonant interplay, Gordon’s manipulated vocals, and scraping, haunting textures into something that feels both delicate and dangerous. Less discrete songs than one composition broken up into thematic movements, a slow-moving narrative that requires as much attention and care from the listener as it did from everyone involved in its creation, it is a record that sticks around after it’s done playing.


This is Nace’s favorite of Gordon’s guitar work; she’s truly come into her own as a guitarist, having built up her confidence through solo shows. The way the duo work together, you’d never know they spend so much time apart; on The Switch, their vision and focus feel truly unified. If Coming Apart was dark magic, The Switch works with light, though it never forgets that these approaches are two sides of the same coin, and that binaries—black/white, near/far, emotion/analysis, body/head—are made to be broken open, and that the truth of things is in the energy between.

-Jes Skolnik, May 2018
Axis: Sova
Axis: Sova
There’s something in the air! It’s getting closer everyday, and it ain’t no damned superman, either. No, the occupants of the approaching craft are human as FUCK, their soft goo shielded with bony protrusions. It’s Axis: Sova—and they’re here to
Shampoo You.

These alien sounds have signaled our borders for a few years now; Shampoo You is the third Axis: Sova album, following 2015’s Early Surf and 2016’s Motor Earth. With each succession, the Axis soundshape we recall in our mind’s ear
morphs in subtle yet definitive ways, allowing Axis: Sova to take its intended form before us, as different essences coming into clearer view in every listen. Now, with Shampoo You, the impact is unprecedentedly direct and connective, the amusement of rock-making turned thrillingly alive, in the present!

The natural truth is that Axis: Sova has always been a rock band, even when the “band” was just Sova and his Roland TR66 creating a surging maelstrom of reverberant fuzz, with guitars foregrounded and wailing at length, while beats distended the depths. Through the years, though, this amorphous thing has grown into a group. Evolution is unavoidable, man—eventually, you just have three heads and that’s all there is to it! Shampoo You sounds the arrival of the trio version in trademark Axis style: relentless tempo with distorted, interlocking guitar concussions, and vocals that howl of otherworldly mutations. This time, however, they’ve honed in on a sleek transport for their new sounds, with tightly conceived power-punk and classic pop touches creating memorably melodic (and harmonic) contours. This is the group-mind in action—the trio of Tim Kaiser, Jeremy Freeze and head Axisman Brett Sova, whose new tunes demanded a radical clarity and got it, too.

The sharpened peaks of the landscape on the Shampoo You trip provide fresh pleasures for the listener — as we get into their neck-throttling dysmorphia anthems, we become glammy and physical, moving and transcending beyond our fallible body. Reality becomes a crystalline game to be mastered, as our mind vanishes beyond the fog that’s plagued our existence, the eternal night flashing blindingly into bright day.

Like the Axis before you, it’s your time to be wiped clean. Head down to the scar wash and slip into neutral. Let Axis: Sova Shampoo You.
Fully Glazed
Guitar-wall ecstasy achieved thru relentless monotony. dead horse-beating trio bliss that simultaneously channels live VU boots, PSF-label woolliness/amp melt & Bo Diddley-beat West Coast psych duncery reduced to its lowest possible common denominator.
Venue Information:
PhilaMOCA
531 North 12th St.
Philadelphia, PA, 19123
http://www.philamoca.org/