June 17 # Colin Stetson + Hangedup # Sala Rossa
Colin Stetson was born and raised in Ann Arbor, MI and earned a degree in music from his hometown school, the University of Michigan, in 1997. Six years in San Francisco followed, then another four in Brooklyn, NY. Since 2007, Colin has made his home in Montréal, Canada.
Throughout the past decade Stetson has developed his unique solo voice on saxophones and clarinets, culminating in the 2008 release of his debut solo record New History Warfare Vol. 1. As a soloist he has performed countless shows in a variety of contexts and in front of diverse audiences, from intimate rooms to jazz/new music festivals like Moers and London Jazz to rock stages opening for Arcade Fire, The National and others.
His second solo album, New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges, was released in February 2011 on Constellation, co-produced by Shahzad Ismaily and mixed by Ben Frost.
Stetson chiefly plays assorted saxophones and clarinets, but is also adept at cornet, french horn and flute. Aside from his work as a soloist, Stetson has recorded extensively for other artists and joined a number of live bands as a full member or guest. These include Tom Waits, Arcade Fire, TV on the Radio, Feist, Bon Iver, Laurie Anderson, Lou Reed, David Byrne, Jolie Holland, Sinead O’Connor, LCD Soundsystem, The National, Angelique Kidjo, and Anthony Braxton.
Colin is a regular member of the bands Sway Machinery and Bell Orchestre. Alongside solo concerts and tours to support his new album, Stetson will be a member of the touring band for Bon Iver throughout 2011.
Hangedup is the Montreal-based duo of Gen Heistek (viola) and Eric Craven (drums). The two met in 1995 while playing in Sackville and formed Hangedup in 1999. They released their eponymous debut in May 2001. Kicker in Tow followed in October 2002 and Clatter for Control in April 2005.
Hangedup play battle hymns for shut-ins, tightrope walkers, and urban bicyclists. Hangedup channel dead Roma musicians from Slavic republics, playing east European folk tunes backwards, skipping every 3rd note. Hangedup write road songs for model train enthusiasts. Hangedup compose soundtracks for slow-motion automobile accidents and use leaded gasoline every chance they get.
Hangedup are unique operators of their chosen instruments, and have mastered a signature sound that is well ahead, and far behind, the times. Heistek’s vertigo-inducing viola runs through hallucinating loopers and warranty-voided amplifiers. Craven’s inimitable sound fuses auto shop discards with home-wiring experiments and fifteen-year-old drum skins. Sometimes soaring, occasionally distressing, Hangedup are the sound of tomorrow, only tomorrow was this morning, just before you left the house. And you left the stove on.
Hangedup has toured extensively in Europe and North America, including performances at All Tomorrow’s Parties in England, Printemps de Bourges in France, Domino festival in Belgium. At the Rhaaa Lovely and K-RAA-K festivals, also in Belgium, they headlined and were widely declared the highlight of these events. The K-RAA-K show led to friendship and collaboration with Tony Conrad, who also played that night. Conrad joined Hangedup for several North American shows and a series of recording sessions in 2004.
Since moving to Montreal in 1987, Gen Heistek has been a member of many bands, including Pest 5000, Sackville, Set Fire To Flames and The Mile-End Ladies’ String Auxiliary. She has played with Sam Shalabi, Elizabeth Anka Vajagic and many others. She wrote for CBC Radio’s Brave New Waves and now co-owns Local 23 and General 54, the former a fripperie and the latter a purveyor of locally made stuff.
Eric Craven moved to Montreal in 1993, having previously played in various punk bands in his native Victoria. He has been a member of Shortwave, Sackville and Blackout, and has thrown down his unparalleled rhythm thing, on record and in concert, with Mitchell Akiyama, Polmo Polpo, Elizabeth Anka Vajagic, Silver Mt. Zion and Hrsta, among many others. He composes extensively for dance in Montreal, and is currently tending to an impressive bicycle graveyard in his back yard.
After a several year break, the band has performed at the Godspeed-curated All Tomorrow’s Parties in December 2010.