Although you might not need us to tell you VIA is coming up next week, you probably aren’t as prepared as you should be. It’s not every day that Pittsburgh is graced with the company of amazingly talented experimental artists, musicians, and all around solid peeps that help get the party vibe flowin. We get it flowin on the reg quite enough, and it’s always a good time, but VIA is a special occasion – the time of year where you take off those god awful flip flops, put on a proper pair of shoes and prepare to boogie, or at the very least, be on your feet more than you ever should in one week. It’s VIA time. Get with the program. We’re here to help. Part I of our three-part VIA Teaser series will tell you all you need to know about the musical guests that perform from Tuesday-Thursday of the festival. You ready?
We’re omitting Monday because it’s all art, and yes, we will be covering the art, just not today. In case you’re curious, peep Monday’s events here and stay tuned for part II on Wednesday when we discuss what you can expect in terms of the art this year at VIA. Tuesday, however, is a whole different story. Tuesday takes place at The Andy Warhol Museum and features locals The Garment District and headliner Julia Holter. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. This event is likely to sell out in advance, so snab your tickets here if you haven’t already. This all-ages event is co-presented by the Warhol Sound Series and WYEP.
The Garment District is a project by Pittsburgh-based multi-instrumentalist Jennifer Baron. Her debut, Melody Elder, was released on cassette and features a variety of synth-driven experimentation that takes the listener to a whimsical place. Baron plays everything from the electric piano, organ, synthesizer, guitar and glockenspiel, in addition to providing backup vocals, lyrics and production. This gal really owns her work. The accompanying videos to each song are equally as impressive. Take a look at “Nature-Nurture”, which features 700 news stills that Baron collected organized in random sequences matching the pulses of the music.
Headliner Julia Holter has been gaining momentum on the bedroom pop scene, drawing comparisons to the likes of Kate Bush, Joanna Newsom and Stereolab. Her unique breed of experimental pop, r&b is at times chamber-like in its approach. You will love her if you’re into DIY home recordings and chicks with pianos. Check her out in action.
The jams start to get a bit more weird on Wednesday, so if you’re into experimental techno be sure to hit up Brillobox for Wednesday night’s affair. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased here. There’s gonna be a whole lot of noise in the house and VIA has made sure to highlight the “intersection of the American noise underground and more traditional house and techno structures” for the night’s programming. This night is not for the faint of heart. Drainolith is formerly of AIDS Wolf, a Canadian noise rock band. French-based Lafidki is a sound/visual artist who has a penchant for abstract electronics, noise and sequenced multi-layered rhythms. Nate Young, who is touring with Drainolith, is a solo live electronic project, but you might recognize the name from Detroit-based post-industrial/noise band Wolf Eyes on the Sub Pop label. Three Legged Race is the solo project of Robert Beatty, who is involved in multiple gigs, all of which you can learn about here. The icing on the cake for this night, however, truly is Andy Stott, a UK-based dub techno artist whose 2011 release received an honorable mention on Pitchfork’s 2011 albums of the year list, calling it “tormented, but physically powerful dance music”.
Things heat up a notch on Thursday, which is going to be a very dance-friendly, funky, and high energy night at 6119. For a mere $12 bucks (tickets available here) you can enjoy a variety of sounds ranging from juke, ghetto tech, hip hop, bass, riddims and electro. The night begins with Toronto-based turntablist Slowpitch whose experimental jams are very sci-fi inspired. Porier is sure to get your feet moving with his bass-tinged tropical riddims and urban electro. Le1f‘s breakout single “Wut” has a distinctly recognizable beat by an even more standout performer. He’s out and proud. Fun fact: he’s responsible for the beat behind fellow VIA alums Das Racist’s “Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell”. If you don’t like that song then you probably take yourself way too seriously. And finally, the sounds of UK-based Girl Unit will have you dancing into the wee hours of the evening, hopefully to the point you’re oblivious to the fact that you have to get up and work the next day. He and his Night Slugs cohorts share the same affinity for progress and futurism. Expect the unexpected from this fella.
Phew. But it’s not over yet. We’re giving away a pair of weekend passes to one lucky reader. Follow the Rafflecopter instructions below and enter to win tickets to the weekend haps at this year’s VIA festival, which we’ll cover in the third and final part of our preview. Although the winner is selected at random, your chances of winning are much higher if you haven’t attended a VIA event before (wink, wink). If you’ve been, share this with a friend who hasn’t had a chance to experience the VIA awesomeness in the past. We’ll select a winner next Wednesday, October 3.
a Rafflecopter giveaway