AdHoc Issue 23 is here! Download a PDF of the zine at this link.
What does a piece of music say about the person who made it? In AdHoc Issue 23, we hear from artists who build their art upon a framework of personal as well as cultural experience. Victoria Ruiz of Downtown Boys discusses the uphill battle she faces as "a brown, thick, femme frontperson," especially in terms of the expectations placed upon her by audiences and journalists. Still, she notes, these pressures have "made me want to stand closer to the fire and be in this band even more, because I know that there are a lot of people in the world dealing with this experience."
Elsewhere in the issue, Titus Andronicus' Patrick Stickles writes about the importance of all-ages venues in his personal and artistic development, and electronic musician Elysia Crampton talks about how the stories and traditions of the Aymara people have helped shaped her recordings. As with Ruiz, their work is grounded in unique personal experiences, relayed with an honesty and specificity that encourages listeners to contemplate their own experiences in similar ways.
AdHoc Issue 23's contributors:
Patrick Stickles is the singer-songwriter-guitarist of Titus Andronicus. He wrote about all-ages venues for this issue.
Aubrey Nolan is a Queens-based illustrator, cartoonist, and host of the monthly reading series for cartoonists, Panels to the People. She made this issue's illustrations.
Frankie Broyles is in the band Omni. He is a musician/designer from Atlanta, GA, and designed the cover for this issue.
Look out for physical copies both at our shows and at record stores, bookstores, coffee shops, and community centers throughout the city. If you happen to live outside of New York, you may order a copy as well.
AdHoc Issue 22 is here! Download a PDF of the zine at this link, and look out for physical copies both at our shows and at record stores, bookstores, coffee shops, and community centers throughout the city. If you happen to live outside of New York, you may order a copy as well.
In our latest issue, responding to a reader’s question, Priests vocalist Katie Alice Greer
brings up “the difference between reality-you and dream-you,” and suggests that in order to realize your potential, it’s important to parse those separate identities. Navigating that separation can be tough for artists, as the other musicians featured in these pages—Greta Kline of Frankie Cosmos
and LVL UP
’s Nick Corbo—have found out. Both write personal music for bands with cult followings, and have noticed that the more they tour and record, the more those identities—as human and as musician—start to merge. Corbo says that his collaboration with his bandmates is “entwined with my life and who I am.” Kline wonders, “Am I my job?” Yet the social aspect of music—from collaborating to engaging with fans—has helped both artists navigate that distinction. As Kline puts it, “Frankie Cosmos is so much bigger than me and who I am.” Sometimes figuring out who you are who you are requires letting others in.
AdHoc Issue 22's contributors:
has produced two decades worth of records as The Microphones and Mount Eerie that span a wide spectrum, from studio heavy atmospheric landscaping to simple, raw songs. He made the cover for this issue.
is a Queens-based illustrator, cartoonist, and host of a monthly reading series for cartoonists, Panels to the People. She made the illustrations for this issue.
AdHoc Issue 21 is here! Download a PDF of the zine at this link, and look out for physical copies both at our shows and at record stores, bookstores, coffee shops, and community centers throughout the city. If you happen to live outside of New York, you may order a copy as well.
People often praise performers when they “lock into a groove”—when the music they are producing sounds as though it is being made effortlessly, under the artist’s full control. But the folks we spoke to for this issue—Chino Amobi and Laetitia Sadier—actively avoid that sensation of mastery. Amobi—a producer and co-founder of the NON collective—says the aim of his recent album, Paradiso, was to “challenge” himself and the listener alike. Sadier—a founding member of Stereolab—expresses being just as surprised by her recent work with the Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble as her audiences probably were. Both create music that’s fluid, open, and collaborative—work that can make for tough listening experience at first, but that encourages new modes of thinking while pushing the art form—and the community around it — forward.
AdHoc Issue 21's contributors:
Brandon Locher is an artist and musician who lives and works in New York. He made this issue’s cover.
Jesse Jerome Jenkins, V (b. 1984) is an American recording artist living and working in Corpus Christi, Texas. The singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer is a member of the romance rock band Pure X and releases music on his own as Jesse; he made a visual poem for this issue.
Whitney Wei is a Brooklyn-based artist whose work has appeared in Mixmag, The Guardian, and the nightlife zine Club Etiquette, which will soon be available for purchase soon at MoMA PS1’s ARTBOOK. She made the illustrations for this issue.
AdHoc Issue 20 is here! Download a PDF of the zine at this link, and look out for physical copies both at our shows and at record stores, bookstores, coffee shops, and community centers throughout the city. If you happen to live outside of New York, you may order a copy as well.
In AdHoc Issue 20, we get to know three musicians who go out of their way to build community whenever they’re not making great music. Bryan Funck, who tours constantly as the vocalist of Louisiana metal band Thou, runs the website NOLA DIY, which collects information on local shows, bands, venues, and promoters, along with resources for bands just starting out. Moor Mother and Eartheater, in conversation, explain the importance of creating music in the face of systemic obstacles like class inequality and gender-based discrimination—and helping others do the same through collaboration and education. Which is to say, for each of these three, being a musician is certainly about releasing plenty of forward-thinking music—but it’s also about using that platform to help others have their voices heard.
AdHoc Issue 20's contributors:
Alexandra Drewchin is a Queens-based musician who records under the Eartheater name. She conversed with Camae Ayewa of Moor Mother for this issue.
Chris Stewart makes and performs synthy anthems under the moniker Black Marble. He composed and shot the cover for this issue.
Samuel Nigrosh is a Chicago-based illustrator who publishes books and comix under the name Trash City. He made the illustrations for this issue.
This article appears in AdHoc Issue 15, a collaboration with The Talkhouse. You can pick up a copy at AdHoc shows around NYC. If you'd like to order a copy, you can do so here for a physical edition; you can download the PDF here.
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Bill Nace is something of an enigma. A fantastic guitarist, improviser, and visual artist, the Western Massachusetts and Los Angeles-based musician seems to have pulled off the rarest of hat tricks: achieving global notoriety in and beyond his field while making some of the most difficult and challenging music around. The guy doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page, but he’s spent the last decade touring basements and festivals around the globe, helming a prolific record label called Open Mouth Records, making countless collages and drawings, and collaborating with some of the biggest heads in the free music game, including Yoko Ono, Chris Corsano, Paul Flaherty, Thurston Moore, and, more recently, his Body/Head accomplice Kim Gordon. And he’s done it all without gimmicks, shameless self-promotion, or really any shtick whatsoever.
No Waves, the new Body/Head LP, is out this November on Matador Records. The record was edited out of a live set they played at Big Ears Festival in Tennessee a few years ago; each of the album’s three tracks is longer than the last, with the LP culminating in the epic, 23-minute “Abstract/Actress.” Throughout, we hear their guitars running, jumping, dodging, and weaving around each other; the musicians stay on an uncomfortable texture just a little longer than you’d like, and then flip the whole thing on its head. According to Bill, he and Kim never talk about what they’re going to play before a set; they just go out and rip. And that’s the secret of Bill's enigma: the guy just RIPS. All the time. In his damn sleep. He’s really nice, too.
We spoke on the phone the other day about improvisation, running an independent label, and the challenges and unforeseen upsides of bringing free and improvised music to a mainstream audience. (Note: Nace also made the art for Issue 15's cover, pictured below.)
AdHoc: When did you start playing free music?
Bill Nace: I was in some bands in high school and in my early twenties that were a bit more of a traditional band configuration: two guitars, bass, drums. I played bass in all of those. But those bands had an element of improvisation involved, whether it was a process used to generate ideas for parts for songs or [meant] to stand on its own. So the transition was pretty natural. I had always gravitated toward those parts anyway, so it was just kind of focusing more on that aspect of it. I’d say that I was around 23, 24, when I really started to work explicitly with improvising and trying to figure out what that was for me.