THE MAST: “Wild Poppies” by Matt Mowatt.

ALBUM REVIEW:
THE MAST
“WILD POPPIES”
by Matt Mowatt
RELEASES: June 21, 2011
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CD RELEASE SHOW:
THURS, JULY 7, 2011 @ Le Poisson Rouge, NYC, 7PM
CD RELEASE SHOW, get tix HERE


“Trump” Wild Poppies, 2011 BUY ALBUM.

“Wild Poppies” Wild Poppies, 2011 BUY ALBUM.

I had always thought that the djembe was an instrument solely relegated to the living room of a stoned and nude Matthew McConaughey. To the sandal clad college kid; or perhaps set in the corner of some ecologically sound mansion as a decorative gesture of cultural awareness. It’s refreshing to have one’s stereotypes shattered. The Mast’s new album Wild Poppies -and their djembe- did just that.

The ethereal vocals of Haale, whose riffs conjure scenes of panoramic deserts, compliment the unfolding complexity of Matt Kilmer’s poly-rhythmic drumming (using not only the djembe, but also a frame drum a bass drum, a floor tom, and cymbals) and invoke a sort of blooming, colorful landscape of layers, organically grown. I think of a toned down Kills, a hyperactive (or perhaps simply active) Mazzy Star, a straightforward Blonde Redhead. In spite of these comparisons, and in a music world saturated with tuned glossy duos, The Mast has carved out a niche all their own, weaving together a sound both simulated and organic.

Song titles like “The Lake” and “Hummingbird,” and lyrics such as “gold dust of the sun has settled, brightens my mind,” or “rolling over the reeds, rolling over mounds of earth, from my head to feet, oh land, the grand masseuse,” reinforce the earthiness of the sound. Despite the fact that the cover art, a fractal image of poppies grown in the band’s backyard, invites the psychedelic, to label their music as simply psychedelic, electronic or rock/pop would be off the mark. Much like their self-proclaimed symbol, The Mast’s strength lies in its ability to merge the best of all three in symbiotic sound.

WATCH THE ALBUM TRAILER. 

The Mast will play THURS, JULY 7, 2011 @ Le Poisson Rouge for the release of their album “Wild Poppies.”

ABOUT MATT MOWATT: Matthew Mowatt is currently working as a freelance editor and English teacher in Paris, France. He’s  searching for publishers to accept his first finished novella and in the meantime, he seeks out musicians and writers for entertainment of the inspirational kind. He occasionally contributes to his own fanless blog (fairweather chronicles) when he’s licked by life.

Hirotaka Suzuki.


Perhaps I am painting the cruelty of contemporary life because it is in opposition to my naïve outlook.  In contrast with the physical features of my paintings, I think I am visualizing my feeling of anxiety in contemporary life.  Though I do not think I am fully aware of the relationship between this cruelty and my anxiety, I represent this unsure feeling as figuratively as possible, and I am trying to figure it out in my painting.  Although there are some prominent aspects of our contemporary world, such as commercialism and materialism, I cannot say who my enemy is.  Some of the threats might involve the art world, however to protest such issues overtly does not suit my personal outlook.We cannot live in a developed society unless depend on its complex social rule.  Following the rules and social values provides us stability.  However, each of us creates exceptions, unstable rules and changeable standards.  These double phases never unite, and I do not think they should be.  I am really interested in these dilemmas and focus on these realities actually.  This ambiguity may be my starting place and the reason I engage cruelty in my artwork.  There does not appear to be a universal justice or evil in the present world.  We need a grayer position in order to stay peaceful.  In other words, I believe the dilemma of today’s morality, which is different from that of yesterday am, surely has helped develop my insight.  Thus, my message cannot be a negation or an affirmation.  My attitude in my artwork is a reflection of what the contemporary world is to me; my painting is my introspective confession.  I believe I am making right artwork.

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The Week: June 6-10.


June 5-11

Vision Festival 16Arts For Art, Inc. presents the 16th annual Vision Festival, New York City’s premier multidisciplinary celebration of innovative jazz music, dance, poetry, and art, held for its third year at the Abrons. Critics have described it as “arguably the most important free-jazz fest in the U.S.” (Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader), and stated that “avant-garde jazz culture has no better colloquy in this country than the Vision Festival” (Nate Chinen, The New York Times).

Each year, the Vision Festival honors the achievements of one living artist who has greatly influenced the world around them and paved the way for other innovators to move forward. On Wednesday, June 8, Arts For Art and The Vision Festival will celebrate a Lifetime of Achievement by Peter Brotzmann. This great improviser was one of the first practitioners of the Free Jazz movement in Europe. Brotzmann has programmed his own evening in such a way that it would reflect his ongoing pursuit of musical innovation. This 70-year-old artist is not interested in looking back — only in looking forward and being as creative as possible in the present.

Visit visionfestival.org for more information and listings of Vision Festival events at satellite sites. (SEE FULL SCHEDULE.)

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“Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Contest reading with contributor ANSEL ELKINS TONIGHT @92Y.

MONDAY, MAY 9th, 8:15 pm.

Formerly called the Discovery/The Nation poetry contest, the Joan Leiman Jacobson Poetry Prizes are, for the fourth year, presented by Boston Review poetry editor Timothy Donnelly.

The four winners of the 2011 “Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Contest are: Ansel Elkins, of Greensboro, NC; Angelo Nikolopoulos of New York, NY; Adam Roberts, of Iowa City, IA; and Solmaz Sharif, of Los Angeles, CA.

The three runners-up for 2011 are Xavier Cavazos of Ames, IA; Rebecca Lehmann of Tallahassee, FL; and Megan Williams of Boise, ID.

At their reading on May 9, the winners will be introduced by Timothy Donnelly, Cornelius Eady and D. A. Powell (subject to change).

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