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Sun Aug 2 |
RED FRANCIS
with MALE BLONDING, ON REPEAT
Sun Aug 2 |
SUNDAY BBQ SERIES
with SHAHIYE OF RA, APOTHEON, THE HEALZ
Mon Aug 3 |
STOLEN RHODES
with DOUG BALMAIN & THE LOCKDOWN, FIERCE CORNBREAD
Tue Aug 4 |
STICKY FINGERS
with TRANSVERSE WAVES
Wed Aug 5 |
LEE GALLAGHER AND THE HALLELUJAH
with ZETA JUNE, CHOCOLATE DIAMOND, SOUL PHLEGM
Wed Aug 5 |
HAPPY HOUR BINGO - Win tix to Tallest Man on Earth, Langhorne Slim, Best Coast
Thu Aug 6 |
RAYLAND BAXTER
with PATRICK DETHLEFS, TYLER LEE HOLTER
Fri Aug 7 |
RASPUTINA
with DANIEL KNOX
Sat Aug 8 |
HOLLY MIRANDA
with MARNIE HERALD, HOLLY LOVELL
Sun Aug 9 |
SUNDAY BBQ SERIES
with THE B LIFE, PATRICK HESSE, CHAD NEIDT, BENSON THE DOG, THE TASTY LICKS
Tue Aug 11 |
SCI-FI ZEROS
with ASSAULT ON THE COMMONPLACE, HIDDEN POWERS
Wed Aug 12 |
HOPE DEALERS
with LOVE GANG, AKNOT
Wed Aug 12 |
POP NATION
Wed Aug 12 |
HAPPY HOUR BINGO - Win tix to Trampled By Turtles, Tallest Man On Earth, Twin Shadow
Thu Aug 13 |
SURVIVAL SKILLS
with SOUND|STUDIES, JULIET MISSION
Fri Aug 14 |
UNCON SCI (RECORD RELEASE PARTY)
with SLEEVE, MAN MANTIS, SNUBLUCK, MUTA
Sat Aug 15 |
THE LOLLYGAGS
with SOFT SKULLS, THE BORN READIES
Sat Aug 15 |
SPECIAL PERFORMANCE FOLLOWING LANGHORNE SLIM
Sun Aug 16 |
SUNDAY BBQ SERIES
with THE E.T.'S, TKETTLE, MORE TBA!
Mon Aug 17 |
UNCOMMON NASA
with BABAH FLY, ABEASITY JONES, ADAM SELENE, BIG J BEATS
Tue Aug 18 |
MAMA MAGNOLIA
with HIBBITY DIBBITY, DANDU
Wed Aug 19 |
WATCHING FOR FOXES
Wed Aug 19 |
HAPPY HOUR BINGO - Win tix to Tallest Man On Earth, Trampled By Turtles, Best Coast, Fratellis
Thu Aug 20 |
PXLMAN
with PANTHER MARTIN, DENIZENS
Fri Aug 21 |
MINER
with GREAT PEACOCK, DOVES & WOLVES
Sat Aug 22 |
PUNCH DRUNK MUNKY FUNK
with ZAGRICULTURE, DOG'S GOT FLAVOR
Wed Aug 26 |
HAPPY HOUR BINGO - Win tix to Glass Animals, Best Coast, Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr, Fratellis
Thu Aug 27 |
FINISH TICKET
Fri Aug 28 |
JL UNIVERSE
with MF KAAOS, THEOGEN
Sat Aug 29 |
AMERICAN SLANG
with DEARLING, TYLER GLASGOW (of PLACES)
Thu Sep 3 |
CROOKS ON TAPE
Fri Sep 4 |
CD RELEASE PARTY
with ROOTBEER AND MERMENTAU, THE OUTFIT, HAIR CULT
Sat Sep 5 |
JMSN
Tue Sep 8 |
GOODNIGHT, TEXAS
Sat Sep 12 |
DIET CIG
Sun Sep 20 |
GOOD GRAEFF
Sun Sep 27 |
THE FRATELLIS (DJ SET)
with DJ HOLLOW
Tue Sep 29 |
YOUNGBLOOD BRASS BAND
Wed Sep 30 |
AVAN LAVA
Sat Oct 3 |
SHAMIR
Thu Oct 15 |
THE BROTHERS COMATOSE
Sun Oct 18 |
GIRLPOOL
Thu Oct 22 |
TEEN DAZE
with HEAVENLY BEAT
Sat Oct 24 |
ODDISEE
Sat Oct 31 |
ALBERT HAMMOND, JR.
Sat Nov 7 |
DAVID RYAN HARRIS

Wed Jun 25 | Lost Lake Presents | 21+

EMA  

MAS YSA

Doors open at 8 PM   |   Show starts at 9 PM   |   $12 ADV | $15 DAY OF SHOW





Having teased us with a new track ‘Satellites’ last month, released to rave reviews and scored Pitchfork’s Best New Music who said “The most bracing thing yet from an artist already more bracing than most”, EMA returns with her highly anticipated second album The Future’s Void, released on 7 April via City Slang.

Erika M. Anderson first graced the limelight under the guise of EMA in May 2011, when the brilliantly scuffed debut album Past Life Martyred Saints was released to a multitude of acclaim. After having spent time in the California underground fronting the genre-defying cult duo Gowns with Ezra Buchla, Past Life Martyred Saints offered a deeper glimpse into the world of EMA. An absorbing and ambitious masterpiece that revealed a unique and feed-backed noisy guitar style, a skill for visceral songwriting and a DIY recording ethos, it showcased a distinctive sonic signature that sounded like nothing else around.

If Past Life Martyred Saints was an inward exploration of human relationships and their toll, The Future’s Void catapults them out into space, both thematically and musically. The album meditates on universal themes of how we interact with the wider world and how that interaction is increasingly modified by technology. Through collaboration with Leif Shackelford on production duties, the sound of this record reflects these themes and instead of using electronics to create a polished, airless environment, Anderson’s techno-future thrashes strongly between harsh tones and paranoia, to beautiful colour bursts and mellow guitar strums.

Lyrically, Anderson tries to answer the question so often put to her during the last round of press and interviews: “How does it feel?” to be pushed through a media vortex and back. The answer is of course, complicated. On ‘3Jane’ she seems plaintive and introspective, with lyrics about visuals and consent that are even more poignant in the age of posted YouTube assaults, bullied teen suicides and revenge porn. On ‘Neuromancer’, an electronic punk rant with analog synths and machine drums, she rages, and explores the implications of building an online database of all your pictures and information. “It’s basically an AI (artificial intelligence)” she says. And it’s not just those in the media spotlight who have them, it’s all of us.

This is where Anderson has always excelled, in taking the chaos and angst of the modern age and making it relatable. While sonically The Future’s Void is a big step up and out, lyrically it’s in a similar vein to Past Life Martyred Saints, with EMA herself laying bare, cracking sly jokes, and making the nuances of her story seem like ours as well.

“I realised that we were all kind of building these AIs, whether intentionally or not, and how the data we post online is parsed by programs that see patterns in our behaviour that we fail to see ourselves; how and where and what we eat, status reports that reveal our moods, our shopping habits, who we date and who we stalk, where and how we spend our money. Literally, they know more than you do about the things that you do. And that’s just the data we give up willingly, to say nothing of what is taken surreptitiously.”

The opening track “Satellites” was written before the current NSA scandal and hints at a more nostalgic paranoia, in drawing current parallels to the dream of the former Soviet “satellite” countries, where “everyone has equal access but is also under constant surveillance”. Musically the track hints at a further emboldened EMA, without forgoing the industrial-noise and glorious fuzz of her solo debut and previous work with Gowns. Opening with a wall of hiss, scree and galloping piano motif, ‘Satellites’ bursts into a flame of feedback and bass to provide one her best tracks to date, as well as introducing analog modular synths into the mix.

As well as EMA pulls off these topical and outspoken tracks, she’s still got a knack for a classic pop tune as heard on the likes of ‘So Blonde’, with its hooky grunge riff and playful lyrics about “generic and specific cool blonde kids, maybe you knew one in high school or college or at a party at 5am in your 20s”. Similarly, the catchy ‘When She Comes’, a nostalgic paean about a teenage Riot Grrl friendship. Along with ‘Dead Celebrity’, these tracks are at odds with the more abrasive and electronic likes of ‘Solace’ and ‘Cthulu’, the latter climaxing with a Gary Numan ‘Are Friends Electric’ style breakdown that sounds like nothing Erika has produced before. Despite moving towards electronic sounds, the machines are mostly played live and they often possess aDIY ‘first take best take’ aesthetic that rails against the carefully constructed and glistening sheen of the digital age. This punk spirit maintains a spontaneity that is all too often lost.

“This record is the sound of resistance to digital commodification” Erika explains. “I naturally gravitate towards hooks and melodies and in some ways, the structure of these songs is the poppiest yet. The harshness and production strikes a balance with that so they don’t sound like they could be on adverts.”

So, The Future’s Void means the future IS void? Or the void that belongs to the future? According to Anderson, both work.

Either way, The Future’s Void is a record that seeks to deal with the fact that certain ideas that once seemed futuristic are now the norm, while also trying to sidestep a lot of the musical tropes that come along with exploring technology. It straddles the ugly and animalistic, the pretty and civilised, the digital and the analog and the past and the present, resulting in a timeless and yet timely piece of work. And like any great punk record, it questions social convention and rebels against the status quo.

EMA continues to evoke a unique and ambitious sound that saw her rightfully recognised as one of the most singular artists to emerge in 2011, and is likely to send her back into the public consciousness once again in 2014.

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