There is No Need to Fear: High Places & Zombie Public Speaking

23 01 2009

Tuesday night, I had an unexpected break in my hectic tutoring schedule, so my friend Milo Cantos and I took the opportunity to check out a show on campus.

Zombie Public SpeakingFirst things first, let me introduce Milo Cantos and his new blog, Zombie Public Speaking. Milo has been writing and recording music with a variety of projects over the years, his latest project being a little band called the Heaps in which I happen to play keyboard (more on that later). Zombie Public Speaking is a new space for Milo to share his work. He’s currently featuring a solo cover of Destroyer’s “School and the Girls Who Go There,” a tribute to the Muffs by the original Heaps lineup (before I joined), and a pair of hip hop tracks recorded under the moniker The Beat Conflicts. I’ll let you know as soon as anything from the current Heaps lineup goes up.

Anyway, Milo and I decided at the last minute to check out the most recent show from Acrobatics Everyday, a student organization “working to bring rad musicians and artists to the UC Irvine campus, filling the void and closing the gaps.” Last year, I caught Dan Deacon at Acrobatics Everyday’s inaugural show. Since then, they’ve brought a number of artists to campus, including the Mae Shi, Mount Eerie, Parenthetical Girls, Parts & Labor, Ponytail, Thao and the Get Down Stay Down, and even Ian MacKaye (for a Q & A session, though, not a performance).

High Places celebrate Acrobatics Everyday's first birthday

High Places celebrate Acrobatics Everyday's first birthday

This time, we went to see High Places, a charming electronic duo that uses a variety of loop effects, lots of reverb, and polyrhythms reminiscent of calypso to create chill, graceful, danceable beats with a sort of childlike sweetness drawn from singer Mary Pearson’s layered vocals. When I saw them at Pitchfork Music Festival this past summer, it felt as if the quietness of their approach allowed some of the subtlety of their sound to get lost in the open air. Here, in the intimacy of a small room in UC Irvine’s student center, in front of a much smaller crowd (maybe 30-50 people? I’m bad at estimating crowds), it was much easier to appreciate. One of the nice things about these Acrobatics Everyday events is that the crowd generally seems rather unabashed about dancing, and I couldn’t help but follow suit.

High Places - 03/07 - 09/07Anyway, here’s one of my favorite High Places songs, most easily found on their collection 03/07 – 09/07:

High Places – Shared Islands (Download) (Buy It)″




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