Pylon Reenactment Society

Pylon Reenactment Society

Positive No, Various Eggs, DJ Resin

Fri, June 29, 2018

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

$12.00

Tickets at the Door

This event is 18 and over

Pylon Reenactment Society
Pylon Reenactment Society
When people talk about the beginnings of the music scene in Athens, GA the discussion usually begins "The B-52's, R.E.M., ...." Those who know will continue the list, "Pylon." They were every Athens band's favorite Athens band. Their musical naïveté, southern upbringing, art school smarts, and house-party roots exploded together to create something quite improbably amazing, hitting the listener on mental, physical, and spiritual levels simultaneously. On the surface, their angular guitar parts and propulsive rhythm section had something in common with UK post-punk bands like Gang of Four and PiL. But Pylon was more fun and less studied. And they had a secret weapon in Vanessa Briscoe Hay, whose inimitable vocal textures and phrasing defined the band's sound for most listeners.

Pylon's celebrated history came to a sudden end with the death of iconic guitarist Randy Bewley in 2009. Pylon was and always will be Vanessa, Randy, Michael, and Curtis. It is a certainty that the band will not reform with a new guitarist.

But hey, kids. Everything is still cool! Vanessa has gathered members of Athens bands Casper & the Cookies, The Glands, and world renowned pianist Damon Denton to create Pylon Reenactment Society. Is it a cover band if Vanessa is singing? Technically, it's the next best thing. PRS are here to have fun and perform in the spirit of Pylon. Don't be discouraged! Let's dance!

The driving force behind Pylon Reenactment Society is Vanessa Briscoe Hay, former lead singer for Pylon. Her striking voice has retained every ounce of the power that shocked people upon the band's debut in 1979.

Jason NeSmith and Kay Stanton were fans before moving to Athens with the band Casper & the Cookies. They snuck in the back door of Little Kings Shuffle Club for a surprise 2004 Pylon reunion show. Kay was asked to join Vanessa's band Supercluster, which included Randy Bewley and members of New Sound of Numbers, Olivia Tremor Control, and The Squalls. Jason was brought on to produce Supercluster's recordings and helped fill the guitar slot after Bewley's passing.

In 2014, Jason gave Vanessa a fifteen minute slot for the first Art Rocks Athens music event. She invited him and Kay to back her under the name Pylon Reenactment Society. They repeated the event for 2015 with an expanded repertoire and two new members, drummer Joe Rowe of the Glands and pianist extraordinaire Damon Denton. At present there are no plans for a national PRS tour. Every show in a special event.
Positive No
Positive No
As it turns out, Positive No isn't really a band, it is a remedy.

Positive No started in the confines of a living room in Richmond, Virginia. Songwriter and guitarist Kenny Close began home recording a series of songs over a Christmas vacation. These were shared with Tracy Wilson who in August of that year was hit by a car while crossing the street and was on a long path to recovery. While gaining the strength to be able to walk again and coping with a newly acquired brain injury, she began adding vocals to these songs. This creative process became an important distraction and therapy for Wilson. The intention was never to start a band but once the demo process began in the winter of 2011, the songwriting chemistry snowballed into a series of new songs the two wrote together. Drummer and friend Willis Thompson brought this duo to a trio and then after a series of bass players, this four piece band has been recently rounded out by Sadie Powers. After several years in the band Thompson recently left Positive No and James O'Neill has taken over his drum throne.

Their debut 5 song EP entitled Via Florum was recorded at Magpie Cage with J Robbins (Jawbox / Burning Airlines / Office of Future Plans) and was released on Wilson's record label Little Black Cloud Records in 2013. The line up for this recording included Kenneth Close, Tracy Wilson, Willis Thompson, and James Menefee. A 7" single was recorded for the Negative Fun Records singles club in 2014 (with bass player Andre Phillips) and in 2015 the band returned back to Magpie Cage to record their first full length record Glossa with the original Via Florum line up.

So where exactly did the members of Positive No come from? The band's family tree is well rooted. Kenny has played guitar in a series of noisy indie rock bands from Virginia since the mid '90s. Tracy was the singer in the '90s post hardcore band Dahlia Seed (Theologian/ Troubleman) but has also recorded under the solo moniker Ringfinger over the past 5 years (Magic Bullet Records / Little Black Cloud). Sadie Powers is a long time member of Richmond's synth-pop group Dead Fame. James O'Neill is currently playing in two other bands, Snowy Owls (shoegaze) and Plain Scrap (think Hot Snakes). Positive No may have a confounding combination of styles in their songwriting background, but together they create melodic, unpredictable pop balanced with tension and energy. For those unfamiliar with the band's musical pedigree it would be tempting to suggest they pay heavy tribute to a time when Velocity Girl's singer was rumored to have eloped with the drummer of Sunny Day Real Estate (yes, that was real gossip from back in the day), but in fairness, half of this band has been making music since the mid '90s and have influenced some of the musicians they have been compared to.

With Close and Wilson remaining the core songwriting team, the past year of creating Glossa had its own set of challenges. This time it was Kenny with a seemingly endless string of health hurdles. A sprained foot appeared from thin air in August of 2014 and it spiraled into months of intense leg pain that led to difficulties in walking or standing (goodbye playing live performances). The pain mysteriously spread to much of his body, an X-Ray revealed a shifted pelvis and spine, and then Kenny collapsed in November in what looked like a seizure but was diagnosed as a Vasovagal response. During these 9 months of set backs and slow healing, Glossa was written and recorded. Music once again provided a much needed emotional outlet and necessary diversion between doctor visits and PT.

Spring has arrived and at the end of this long dark tunnel comes 12 new songs and a truly refreshed band. Positive No is back and will be touring in the fall to support their new record.
Various Eggs
Various Eggs
Various Eggs are a trio influenced by the three Nicks: Nick Cave, Nick Drake, and Nick Lowe. Accordingly, their songs vacillate between spare, loud, angular songs that revel in feedback and pretty little acoustic songs. Likewise, their subject matter alternates between satire and sincerity. If you asked Various Eggs, "what band made you pick up guitars?", they would say either "discovering Autolux at Coachella" or "watching Television on the Central Park Summer Stage."
DJ Resin
Venue Information:
Strange Matter
929 West Grace Street
Richmond, VA, 23220
http://strangematterrva.com/