The Books lure all out of library WRMC Sepomana injects indie music mania into the scene

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Author: Alison Lacivita

This year is a particularly special one for Sepomana – it’s the 10th anniversary! Since its advent, the annual music fest hosted by WRMC has certainly had a spectacular array of bands including Yo La Tengo, (Smog), Josh Ritter, Calla, Clearlake, Enon, The French Kicks, Animal Collective and Masta Ace, just to name a few.

The list gets even better this year as Sepomana brings The Books, Tal M. Klein and The Sixfifteens to the stage this Friday, May 12th in the McCullough Social Space. It is a little sad that Sepomana will not be held in its usual location, Coltrane Lounge, but due to overfilling capacity the past two years it was forced to move into a larger space – so I guess there is nothing to complain about.

The opening band will be The Sixfifteens, a post-punk outfit from Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Reminiscent of Goo-era Sonic Youth, Pavement, Superchunk and Polvo, the band has been called a “band to watch” by the ever critical Village Voice.

The Sixfifteens were formed by ex-members of the pop-punk outfit Dryer, Bob Carlton and Joel Lilley. After Dryer’s dissolution, the two joined up with Jeff Fox and Matt Bombard to stray from their poppier tendencies and focus on a more angular, biting guitar sound based on the SubPop sound of the early 90s. The band’s newest album, Feature Conference, Transfer (FakeChapter Records) has been charting on College Radio all year and is filled with driving rhythms and punk angst that makes a great live show. For a sample, download “Montreal” off their latest release.

Tal M. Klein comes next, an electronica DJ whose latest release, Alpha-Beats, attempts to rebel against today’s overproduced electronic music. Klein, discussing the inspiration behind the album, said: “This is me, an organic acoustical evolution that came from my experience as a musician and DJ.” Prior to Alpha-Beats, Klein has released two solo albums under the Trancenden moniker.

His first was “nicoTine fits and anaLogue beats” which the All Music Guide saw as an “organic musical experience more like that of a conductor of a multi-pieced orchestra. The album is constructed from the bottom up, using beats from here and sampled bits from there, built to create something fun, dancy, and funky.” Klein then followed with his first full-length album, “Peace Love Beats,” which sold over four thousand units and was charted in CMJ’s RPM Top 10 for several months.

The headlining act, The Books, are nothing less than an artistic experience. Formed in 2000 in NYC, Nick Zammuto and Paul de Jong fused their differing acoustic tendencies to form the plunky, ethereal debut, “Thought for Food” in 2002. The band seems to be very geographically influenced, moving from NYC to Hot Springs, N.C. to record the critically acclaimed “Lemon of Pink” and then to a Victorian home in North Adams, Mass. to record their most recent release “Lost and Safe.” Each song is a unique blend of sampling, acoustic melodies and quiet harmonies that crystallizes individual moments of contemplation into a melodic frame. They are difficult to place into a genre – not quite rock, not quite electronic – yet they are to be enjoyed by most any listener, even those who normally would not find themselves at an “indie-rock” show.

Their music demands little from the listener, allowing one to sit back and meditate on the difficult to articulate emotions evoked by their haunting, mesmerizing works. Their song “Tokyo” off of “Lemon of Pink “attempts to capture the beautifully hectic and surreal sense of moving through the Tokyo airport, while “S is for Everysing” brings you, through slightly cacophonous rhythms, to the experience of a pre-linguistic state. My personal recommendation is “It Never Changes to Stop” off of their recent “Lost and Safe,” which begins with a soft acoustic riff, melting into a low orchestral hum before closing out with a repetitive voice that leaves the listener with an unresolved peace.

Join Middlebury’s WMRC 91.1 FM this Friday for their last show of the year. It’s guaranteed to be a great time, as always. Tickets will be sold all week during dinnertime at the dining halls, $3 pre-sale, $5 at the door.

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