October 9, 2009
JezebelMusic.com @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
October 3, 2009 | Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, Sightings, Talk Normal, Drunkdriver
The final performance of the WFMU Fest, featuring seminal 1970s No Wave ensemble Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, took place last Saturday in the Music Hall of Williamsburg. Opening duo Talk Normal cloaked the cacophony of antisocial Jerks-style noise in their velvety effects and drones, while Drunkdriver chose feedback over musicianship and Sightings gave an earnest but disappointing recital of squeaks, squeals, and grunts. Teenage Jesus and the Jerks then took the stage, lashing out with a fury that has lost no intensity over the last 30 years.
Brooklyn’s Talk Normal began mysteriously, launching straight into a cacophonous dirge, not bothering to turn the stage lights up, introduce themselves, or indulge in any other formalities. The twinned noise of guitar and effects writhed against a chugging motor of a beat, overlaid with what sounded like the cries of small mechanical creatures caught in the gears. Hypnotic rhythms lured listeners into a sluggish sonic whirlpool enveloped by vocals that channeled early Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon, husky and pleading. Both Andrya Ambro and Sarah Register of Talk Normal share vocal duties, and their voices settle seamlessly into the sea of effects, half-atmospheric screaming and wailing harmonies alternating with chanted bits to give the wall of sound an almost silvery lining. Later songs upped the suspense, each pause piling apprehension around the dizzyingly repetitive churning of the noise.
Suggesting variously the ominous creep of an oncoming train, the disorienting circling of vultures, and calming, surprisingly melodic nighttime lullabies, the trance-inducing loops of Talk Normal were at once soothing and disturbing. When the girls thanked the soundman and audience, listeners were jolted awake from a dark hallucination that, in retrospect, did not nearly last long enough.
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September 28, 2009
Brooklyn noise duo Talk Normal may be a minimalist band, but they sure have a lot going on. Though certainly drawing on No Wave influences, drummer Andrya Ambro and guitarist Sarah Register are hard to pin down, shouldering against boundaries and weaving a variety of other musical strands into their dense bundle of steel wool sound. The duo, known for their exciting, intense live shows, is playing WFMU Fest with Teenage Jesus and The Jerks this week. We caught up with Talk Normal to chat about their upcoming tour and their new album, Sugarland, which drops on October 27.
JM.com: Well first off, how did you two meet?
Talk Normal: We met in college…different programs that shared similar classes, and we ended up working in the same department (music technology) at school as well.
JM.com: You were in another band together, Antonius Block, right? How does Talk Normal differ from that first band?
Andrya: The structural components between Antonius and Talk Normal seem very different; whereas there was four of us in Antonius, all doing separate things, Talk Normal blurs the lines of “who does what” much more, which opens up new ways for orchestration & arrangement for us. Common themes definitely include a “discordant” & “minimal
JM.com: You have your first full-length coming out at the end of October right? What can we expect – how does it build upon [your EP] Secret Cog?
TN: Yes, October 27! Record release party that night in NYC at Cakeshop.
JM.com: Yeah, you’re playing with Pterodactyl that night, right?
Sarah: Sugarland represents material spanning a broad time frame, including a few songs that were pre-Secret Cog. But the majority of it is more recent, from the past year-ish, that we’ve been performing live. Also it’s the most representative recording of what we sound like live, which is very satisfying to us. For these reasons and many more, we are extremely pleased to be unleashing it – finally! Nicolas Verhnes, who we recorded and mixed with at Rare Book Room, was key in helping us translate the sounds we make into the recordings we wanted to hear. And yes, we are beyond psyched to be playing with our buddies Antimagic & Pterodactyl, with the additional sparkling company of DJ Mike Wolf.
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