October 31, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

Halloween Special Issue -

Thursday, October 30, 2014

UM alumni hopeful for their up-and-coming snowboard company -

Thursday, October 30, 2014

UMass hockey looks to end road trip on a high note with weekend series against Maine -

Thursday, October 30, 2014

#WrongDoor: Why I am not surprised? -

Thursday, October 30, 2014

B-horror films: hits and misses of the nightmare genre -

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Appreciating campus workers -

Thursday, October 30, 2014

UMass hosts Ebola panel to address concerns of the public -

Thursday, October 30, 2014

UMass Democrats hope to get more students connected -

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The broke college student horror comic buyers guide -

Thursday, October 30, 2014

UMass Republican Club: Not just for Republicans -

Thursday, October 30, 2014

To live and die and live again -

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Five reasons why Halloween is the best holiday -

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The anatomy of a horror game -

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Berger has first shot at securing starting role with UMass basketball -

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Robert Johnson’s deal with the devil -

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Humans vs. Zombies: UMass’ most dangerous game -

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Group Halloween costumes inspired by the roles of Hollywood icons -

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A haunting at UMass -

Thursday, October 30, 2014

At the end of your rope? Write about it. -

Thursday, October 30, 2014

UMass men’s soccer heads down to Carolina for a weekend pair of games -

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Yeasayer returns to NoHo

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While the nation waits with baited breath for the election results to come in, avant-garde indie band Yeasayer prepares to kick off its tour at Pearl Street Ballroom in Northampton. Yeasayer  is promoting its third album, “Fragrant World,” released in August by the independent record label, Secretly Canadian.

Formed in 2005, the Brooklyn-based outfit is known for its dedication to the avant-garde, bending genre and incorporating far-flung influences to weave a sonic tapestry so rich in texture the listener is left stunned, sedated and awed.

In 2008 Yeasayer toured with MGMT.

For the “Fragrant World” tour, Yeasayer’s hauling along a stage environment of which guitarist Anand Wilder said is “like we’re performing from a spaceship.”

Working with Vice Magazine and Intel’s “The Creators Project” – a partnership between the two companies to help elevate new artists – Yeasayer teamed up with architects, visual artists and more to build a stage setup that far surpasses the typical rock staple of lights and lasers.

“It’s supposed to make it so the audience is fully immersed in the sound and the visuals of the band, so that sometimes they’re blinded, sometimes they can’t see anything,” Wilder said, “it’s to make them feel it’s not like a rock show, it’s to make them feel like they’re a complete part of the experience.”

Replete with mirrored, angular surfaces and surreal projections, the setup towers over the band like massive, monolithic crystals—the iridescent fractals amounting to some sort of visual canvas that’s controlled live, syncing up with the band for a unique show every night.

“I think it kind of plays into a lot of the previous visual setups that we were going through before, with photography for the band,” Wilder said on the stage design. “With a lot of mirrors reflecting back at the audience, and these lights kind of mutate colors constantly. They’re great.”

Yeasayer’s commitment to experimentation doesn’t stop at the visual aspects, though. Their debut LP, “All Hour Cymbals,” was an experimental rock album bursting with interesting synth textures layered over soothing vocal work.

The second release, “Odd Blood,” showed the bands evolution to something more along the lines of psychedelic pop—marrying complex sonic experimentation with insidiously catchy pop structures. The lyrical subject matter is all over the map; from boxing, to love, to breaking up with a girlfriend via alcoholism.

“Fragrant World” is another departure, this time putting a dark and foreboding spin on R&B. These tracks are as likely to get you dancing as they are to give you nightmares.

This just goes to show—the only thing the audience can expect is the unexpected.

“We like to do something a little bit different with every recording,” said Wilder on their new album. “We didn’t feel like we needed to repeat ourselves. We always kind of worked under the theory that, you know, it’s better to experiment and maybe not please everyone than to just kind of repeat ourselves, even if that was maybe more successful.”

Even Yeasayer’s music videos transcend the typical, pedestrian and continually rehashed footage of a band playing music. The videos seem less a story, and more an experience in a world seen through the lens of Yeasayer. For the video of their single “Ambling Alp,” the band experimented with a 360-degree camera which fans could control—something like Google Streetview except in a music video.

Yeasayer first played in Northampton in 2009, accompanied by Ponytail. With two more albums and a fast-growing following, Yeasayer returns with Sinkane—a psychadelic solo project from Ahmed Gallab.

Doors open at 8:00 pm, so after polls close head to the Pearl Street Ballroom. Contact the Northampton Box Office for tickets.

Tom Barnes can be reached at tbarnes@student.umass.edu.

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