A Hawk and Hacksaw

A Hawk and Hacksaw

Silje Nes, Infantree

Wed, March 2, 2011

8:30 pm

The Satellite

Los Angeles, CA

$12.00

This event is 21 and over

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A Hawk and Hacksaw
A Hawk and Hacksaw
A Hawk and a Hacksaw is a band from Albuquerque, New Mexico, currently signed to L.M. Dupli-cation. The band consists of accordionist Jeremy Barnes, who was previously the drummer for Neutral Milk Hotel and Bablicon, and violinist Heather Trost. The music is inspired by Eastern European, Turkish and Balkan traditions, and is mostly instrumental.

The band's self-titled first album (released in 2003) provided the soundtrack for the documentary Zizek!, directed by Astra Taylor, which features Slovenian cultural theorist Slavoj Žižek. Darkness at Noon (released in 2004), was the band's second release, and was recorded in England, the Czech Republic and New Mexico. It was during the recording of this album that Barnes met Trost.

In 2005, the band met Zach Condon of the band Beirut and gave his bedroom recordings to the small independent label, Ba Da Bing Records. They also played on the first Beirut album, Gulag Orkestar. The band's third record, The Way the Wind Blows (released in 2006), was partially recorded in the small Romanian village of Zece Prajini, and features members of the brass band Fanfare Ciocarlia. In 2007 they were awarded a grant by the CMN branch of the UK arts council, which enabled them to do a collaborative tour of the UK with the Hungarian folk group The Hun Hangár Ensemble. Barnes and Trost ended up staying in Budapest for 2 years.

Délivrance (released in 2009), the follow up to The Way the Wind Blows, was recorded in Budapest, Hungary. It includes collaborations with some of Hungary's best folk musicians, including Ferenc Kovacs, Balazs Ungar, and Kalman Balogh.
The first four albums and an E.P. were released on The Leaf Label. In 2010 Barnes and Trost started their own label, L.M. Dupli-cation, and released their 5th album, Cervantine, in February of 2011. The label aims to release music from around the Eastern European region.

A Hawk and A Hacksaw have appeared at All Tomorrow's Parties Festival, Roskilde (Den), The Green Man Festival, Pitchfork Music Festival, The Calgary Folk Fest, Wellington Arts Fest (N.Z.), among others. They have also toured with Wilco, Calexico, Andrew Bird, of Montreal, Beirut and Portishead.

The name "A Hawk and A Hacksaw" is a reference to the book "Don Quixote" by Miguel De Cervantes. The original quote was changed from "Handsaw" to "Hacksaw" to reference the "Aksak" meter that is so prevalent in Balkan and Turkish music. In the original "Don Quixote", Cervantes contrasts black and white rather than a hawk and a hand-saw. The Smollet translation, however, reads, "...therefore, let every man lay his hand upon his heart and not pretend to mistake an hawk for a hand-saw; for, we are all as God made us, and many of us much worse."
Joined by an ever expanding and contracting line-up of musicians, A Hawk and A Hacksaw seeks to create an ecstatic sound much like the village bands of old- virtuosity is appreciated but not over-emphasized- and it is the communal aspect of folk tradition and musicianship that becomes important.
Silje Nes
Silje Nes
Once you hear that Silje Nes hails from the tiny coastal town of Liekanger, Norway, her music seems to echo out of some vast snowy terrain, a lonely expression of arctic life amidst all those fjords and floes. With her hushed vocals and spindly strings, she sounds like some miniature snow sprite or white gypsy fox dancing on the tundra, bright northern lights sparkling like jewels overhead. But that's just one, rather mystical way of listening, and it misses a lot of what matters in this music. Nes is not just another Scandinavian siren, but a tough, forward-thinking musician whose music could just as easily have emerged from Brooklyn, Glasgow, or Berlin (where she now lives). A fitting description, but the sentiment is the same, and she seems here to be doing for indie music what minimalists such as Cage, Rauschenberg, and Ono once did for other arts: using simple combinations of sound and noise to bust open our sense of its possibilities. Her musical methods reflect a compelling view of the world; everything here seems programmed and static, and yet the results are full of spontaneity and wonder. In the end, Opticks sounds nothing like Norway, but it's still quite a trip. Artful, spooky, groovy, human, it sounds like anywhere and nowhere on Earth.
Infantree
Infantree
You won’t get any puffed out chests from the members of Infantree. They have kept their band uniquely frontless, like some sort quasi-communist-prankster collective. By eschewing ego, the four friends who make up Infantree have learned to work as an ever-evolving creative unit - thereby elevating their sound. Infantree is a young band whose very nature is elusive and enigmatic.

The music is equally hard to pin down – ragged rock guitar and electric rocking chair drum beats are balanced against traditional banjo melodies. Some compositions, like the instantly hummable “Speak Up”, bounce joyfully around your brain, while darker songs like “Hypo” and “Slaughter House” dip into unsettling territory.

Whatever form of blood-brother voodoo they’ve tapped into, the bond has allowed Infantree to exchange influential music for the listener to enjoy. Their music gives a voyeuristic glimpse into the world of four friends whose creativity is obviously rooted in their shared musical trust. The music swoons and squawks, drags and thumps, and most importantly, helps you dream of something brand new.
Venue Information:
The Satellite
1717 Silverlake Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90027
http://thesatellitela.com/