Mission Of Burma

Mission Of Burma

Speed The Plough

Friday · February 7, 2014

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

$25.00

Off Sale

This event is 21 and over

Mission Of Burma
Mission Of Burma
From the outset, 'Unsound' was not going to be like any other Mission of Burma album. As expected, the material is raw, primal and aggressive. They still have a signature knack for twisting even the most ferocious noise into complex structures. There are, of course, those killer hooks scattered throughout, but just not quite where you would expect. Yet with all three lead members resolutely making the decision to deliberately stretch their boundaries even further, they stepped out of their comfort zone to create their most rewarding, bewildering and multifaceted long-player yet. With a new label home, 'Unsound' will be released on Fire Records in July.

'Unsound' is Mission of Burma's fifth studio album, continuing their remarkable legacy. It seems redundant now to even call it a comeback because they're a dynamic, current band. Originally together just four years, from 1979-83, Mission of Burma reformed in 2002 for a handful of shows…which let to more concerts, then more, and eventually the release of 2004′s "ONoffON", their first new recording in over twenty years. But no one expected them to just keep putting out records, let alone records that were every bit as vital and influential as their seminal early recordings. Their first album 'Vs' is down in the annals of time as being one of the most important post-punk records ever. Their subsequent recordings: "ONoffON", "The Obliterati", "The Sound, The Speed, The Light", and now, "Unsound", continue to grow in scope, depth and accomplishment with every step.

On "Unsound" we see Mission of Burma messing with their comfort zone by recording in their Boston rehearsal space which doubles as a recording studio: Analog Divide. As usual, Roger Miller (guitar, vocals), Clint Conley (bass, vocals) and Peter Prescott (drums, vocals) share the songwriting credits with their distinct styles. All of them tried their hand at other instruments and sounds, allowing them to take risks with their creativity and giving them a more fluid line-up. Of course, regular fourth member Bob Weston (of Shellac) was on hand to provide the tape loops and production duties.

As part of the manifesto to stretch musical boundaries, Roger wrote two of his songs ("Opener" and "ADD in Unison") on the bass rather than guitar. Another ("Dust Devil") was based on an acoustic guitar improvisation. Both Clint and Peter also tweaked their writing just enough to make them feel it was actually worthwhile making another record. They also decided to use trumpet on the record, so Bob pulled out his trumpet playing skills to oblige. Peter Prescott describes the experience: "We are a four headed hydra trying to create unity without canceling or censoring each head. So we juggle melody, groove, noise, depression, disruption, ecstasy… tension, release. I guess it's thrilling for us to walk that musical tightrope."

Clint Conley describes being in the studio: "There were certain technological advances, as well, that might have been unthinkable just a few short years ago, in a distant time and century. During the mix at Woolly Mammoth, Peter occasionally opted for a virtual presence. From time to time a hologram of his head would appear, hovering in a darkened corner, issuing directives and encouragement. Not to say there weren't occasional glitches in the system. For a few days the hologram seemed locked in a mystifying loop, calling for more cymbals, regardless of whether the band were working on a mix or ordering Vietnamese food."

The results are spectacularly successful. With 'Unsound', Mission of Burma has achieved its goal of making something utterly unique and stretching the realms of musical possibility. Mission of Burma's curiosity and creativity remain undiminished. The graph just keeps rising…the boundaries breaking…and the ears ringing. Long may it continue.
Speed The Plough
Speed The Plough
Speed the Plough is a New Jersey-based band that has been playing since 1984. The name, from an old Scottish folk song, was plucked from a book of sheet music just days before our first gig, which was at Maxwell’s in Hoboken, NJ. Founded by John and Toni Baumgartner and Marc Francia, the band has had numerous line-ups over the years, including former members Rich Barnes, Stanley Demeski, Jim DeRogatis, John Neilson, Chris O’Donovan, Frank O’Toole, Pete Pedulla, and Brenda Sauter. Speed the Plough rose out of the ashes of The Trypes, a band formed in 1982 by John, Toni, Marc and Elbrus Kelemet, and later joined by Feelies Glenn Mercer, Bill Million, Dave Weckerman, Stan Demeski and Brenda Sauter.

STP released four full-length albums on the East Side Digital label: Speed The Plough (1989), Wonder Wheel (1991), Mason’s Box (1993) and Marina (1995). In addition, they released a limited edition single on the French label Acetone and had songs featured in two independent films: Strangest Deams (1990) and Paradise Park (1993).

After a long hiatus, the latest incarnation of STP was launched in the Summer of 2009 with John and Toni’s son Mike on guitar and Marc’s sons Ian and Dan on drums and bass, respectively. They recorded Swerve, the band’s first album in 15 years, which was self-released in May 2010. Later that year, they recorded three new songs, dubbed The Summer Sessions, which were released in September.

2011 continued to bring exciting developments. First, Ed Seifert joined the band, bringing his distinctive guitar-picking and vocal talents. And in August, STP released their sixth full-length album, Shine, on Dromedary Records.

2012 saw the late-April release of a retrospective of The Trypes short career, Music For Neighbors, on Acute Records. The reception to the music and the unique packaging was more than could have been expected, with raves from nearly all quarters, including Pitchfork, Dusted, Other Music, Prefix, and Boomkat.

The highly-regarded indie label Bar-None Records released the Speed the Plough compilation, The Plough and the Stars in September 2013. It features a CD that includes 17 songs from our first four (out-of-print) albums on East Side Digital, tucked in a 12" package featuring a bonus split LP, with six brand new songs in a collection we call Tag Sale on one side and five live tracks from our 1993 appearance on WFMU’s Live Music Faucet on the flip. It also includes a 16-page booklet and a digital download card offering access to all the tracks mentioned, 10 additional live tracks, and an interactive version of the booklet with more music and videos.

Another development early in 2013 saw the departure of Dan and Ian to pursue their own musical projects. So the band recruited Cindi Merklee on bass and vocals, and John Demeski, filling the drum seat once occupied by his father Stanley two decades ago. Coming full circle indeed.
Venue Information:
The Bell House
149 7th Street
Brooklyn, New York, 11215
http://www.thebellhouseny.com/