Fotosputnik live at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, November 2008.
This was a cold show. We drove down from Chicago with a small touring party in the Blackwell family's now-deceased 2000 Chevy Venture packed side-to-side with gear. We're pretty sure this was the first show at which we started projecting film and images onto us while we were playing, mostly to enhance the experience for the spectator.
This was at the high point of our Big Muff drone phase – hypnotic, Germanic drone rock. Songs blended into one another with little improvised interludes or just plain white noise. Driving music for people with no place to go. Loudness. Intensity.
There were a lot of people at this show, which was held at the Courtyard Café in the University of Illinois Student Union. We played with two or three other rockabilly bands from New York City who sounded nothing like us. Or we didn't sound like them. Graham and Tom ran around posting up flyers he made at the last second. Tom stepped out to meet some dudes in the middle of the crosswalk on Green Street to get them to come out to the show. Not sure if it worked.
We'd been playing this material live in the form heard here (more or less) since the beginning of 2008. As we are wont to do in the live setting, all songs are dramatically faster than as were rehearsed or recorded, often ending in a runaway freight train style There are some rough spots as well; some songs were still being written. Featured are a couple of obscure jams never really properly released including "Carotene" and the scrapped beginnings for "Apache Beat" and "Great Northern." Right after this show, we started getting together on weekends to do more writing and begin recording Translucent Marmoset.
released February 1, 2011
Recorded by audience member Ben Valocchi on a handheld digital Dictaphone. This release produced by Fotosputnik. Liner notes by Tom Blackwell. Artwork/design by Graham Grochocinski