Live Concert Photography: Summer Thunder at Union Pool 6/2/19: Magik Markers with Telepathic Band and Weak Signal
If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of years of its nine year history, you’ve come across a handful of live concert photography posts from Summer Thunder at Union Pool. Now, as you may recall Summer Thunder is a free weekly showcase, presented by Academy Records and the folks at Union Pool that features up-and-coming nationally and internationally touring acts and DJs at the Williamsburg hotspot and music venue’s back patio. Over the course of the showcase’s run, Union Pool and Academy Records have regularly hosted the legendary avant-garde jazz outfit, Sun Ra Arkestra, the New York-based boogaloo, Latin soul and salsa composer, songwriter and pianist Joe Bataan, as well as Psychic Ills, the renowned Malian desert blues act Songhoy Blues, Malian desert blues master Mamadou Kelly and his band, Philadelphia’s Chris Forsyth and The Solar Motel Band, the acclaimed Brazilian psych rock act and JOVM mainstays Boogarins and a growing and eclectic array of other artists.
This past Sunday was the first Summer Thunder show of 2019 — and the first outdoor showcase of the summer featured the Hartford-based noise rock/no wave/indie rock trio Magik Markers, the New York-based avant-garde jazz quintet Telepathic Band and the New York-based indie act Weak Signal. Check out photos from the showcase, below.
Currently comprised of founding members Elisa Ambrogio (vocals, guitar. drums), Pete Nolan (drums. guitar, vocals) and John Shaw, the Hartford-based noise rock/no wave/indie rock trio Magik Markers can trace their origins back to when its founding duo Ambrogio and Nolan, along with Leah Quimby started the band back in 2001 to open for Tart and the Bunny Brains at a local house party. Ambrogio, Nolan and Quimby subsequently hit the Western Massachusetts scene, playing gigs with the likes of Astral Blessing, Noise Nomad and Angst Pfeffer Nase. Interestingly, those early shows were marked by a fierce improvisational style that frequently drew comparisons to no-wave and at times could be driven to the level of performance art by Ambrogio’s confrontational and charismatic stage presence.
Shaw replaced Quimby a few years ago but that hasn’t stopped the band from several tours across the US and Europe — and from being wildly prolific as they’ve released proper studio recorded material and frequent snapshot-styled albums that accurately captures the sound of the band’s live shows and practices. Magik Markers’ headlining Summer Thunder set was centered around their forthcoming album tentatively titled Shaw’s Rebellion, which will be released through their longtime label home Drag City Records.
Comprised of acclaimed Wilkinsburg, PA-born, New York-based multi-instrumentalist Daniel Carter, Austin, TX-born, New York-based clarinetist Patrick Holmes, Ohio-born, New York-based pianist Matthew Putnam, acclaimed New York-based bassist Hilliard Greene and Rome Italy-born, New York-based drummer and 577 Records founder Federico Ughi, the New York-based avant-garde jazz quintet The Telepathic Band is the exciting, unusual and at times unexpected result of five musicians from very different backgrounds getting together to create music. Putnam is a scientist, known for his work in nanotechnology and a classically and theater trained pianist. Carter is a live and session musician, who over the course of his 30+ year career has worked with the likes of Sun Ra, Yoko Ono, Cecil Taylor, Living Colour, TEST, Other Dimensions in Music, MMW (Medeski Martin and Wood), Jaco Pastorius, Sonic Youth and others. Italian-born Ughi studied with the legendary Ornette Coleman, eventually developing his own sound before playing and touring with The Cinematic Orchestra and Blue Foundation. Greene has been a downtown avant-garde jazz scene mainstay, playing with Cecil Taylor, Don Pullen and Charles Gayle among others. And Holmes is a well-regarded, New York downtown jazz scene up-and-comer. Interestingly, the quintet’s live sound, which at points will remind some listeners to Bitches Brew-era Miles Davis and This Is The Shape of Jazz To Come-era Ornette Coleman is centered around the bandmembers unique simpatico, which makes their work seem guided by a telepathic understanding; in fact, their first few albums — 2017’s Telepathic Alliances, last year’s Telepathia Liquida, which was recorded live at the Forward Festival and their forthcoming album Electric Telepathy — all play on their telepathic-like simpatico.
Mike Bones is a New York-based singer/songwriter and guitarist and local scene vet, who has written and recorded albums with Soldiers Of Fortune and under his own name, who has also guested on albums by Cass McCombs, Endless Boogie and Run The Jewels. His latest project, Weak Signal features Sasha Vine and Tran Hunyh and the project specializes in hook-driven, noisy guitar rock.