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02 June 2007



Darcy---you are a madman... Go to bed! This instant, or you will surely die!


Love the updates....that's too bad that Juana Molina had tech issues, she's great. I've seen her live twice and thoroughly enjoyed both sets.


I love how the commentary has become slightly more unhinged - seemingly delirious, at times - as the marathon has progressed.

Vanessa Lann

Thanks so much for these great posts! I'm really enjoying the whole event from over here in The Netherlands. Wish I could have been there, and actually shared the sounds and silences, but your commentary is the next best thing. Looking forward to the next couple of hours. Plus, the "live" aspect of your writing is fantastic.


definitely give dälek another chance. ASM collaborated with them a few years back and it was a fantastic experience all around. that recording should be coming out sometime soon... but anyway, they're good folks, good musicians, who are really pushing the envelope of hip-hop. cheers.

jim altieri

Bravo, Darcy. That's a lot of listening. I wish I could have heard the conductorless Music for 18 at sunrise. Sounds magical.

Bruce Hodges

You and Steve Smith (who I think also stayed the entire time) should get some kind of award. I wish I could have joined this tiny, exclusive all-night club but alas, long-confirmed plans on Sunday intervened. Great work documenting the evening, and it's fun reading it on Monday morning, bringing it all back.

Andy H-D



Hey Andrea,

This was definitely the wrong marathon for Dälek. Also, their set became this obvious and increasingly annoying arms race of "Oh, you Bang on a Can types don't like what we're doing? Too unrelenting loud and piercing for you? Well, fuck you all, here's something even louder, assholes!" This looks especially silly when all you have to do to generate more volume is turn up. The World Sax Quartet were loud, too, but they worked hard to generate that volume. I'm glad there was at least one hiphop group represented on a 26-hour marathon, but something funky and stripped-down and downtempo (or even just something involving actual turntables) would probably have been a better fit.

That said, I will do my best to approach the ASM-Dälek record with open ears. I'm actually kind of curious how that would work, given that Dälek's sound at the marathon didn't exactly leave a lot of room for additional audio information.


Also: I'm fine, thanks for asking. When I got home, I figured I would stagger through the door and instantly collapse on the futon, but I actually had a lot of trouble getting to sleep and was up until 4 AM or mindlessly websurfing. The guy who has it really bad is Steve Smith, who was there just as long as I was, but then had to go home and bang out a 700-word piece encapsulating the previous 27 hours for the NYT. His deadline for this is 12 hours after the concert ended. After that, he had a full day of work ahead of him at Time Out. The liveblogging was a bit of a grind, but at least when the gig is done, I'm done. (Sort off. I guess I should go back and add something substantial about David Lang's men. And then there are the photos... )

Steve Smith

Darcy, someone -- I forget who, exactly -- told me later that Dälek had not been able to do a sound check, and that this had affected their performance. I definitely liked their set a lot more than you did; the only thing that actually disappointed me was the apparent dismay written across the MC's face, which I took to indicate a disconnect from the distant, seated audience (but which might well have been caused by that missed sound check).

Anyway, the loudness in this set seemed completely appropriate, whereas in some of the chamber-ensemble performances it was close to unbearable.

Great spending such a quantity of quality time with you.

(And yes, Bruce, all 27 hours and 10 minutes, no sleep at all.)

Steve Smith

Also -- and I mean this utterly without snark -- I'm actually surprised you hadn't heard about Clogs, given that guitarist Bryce Dessner's other band, the National, just sold out five straight nights at Bowery Ballroom. That's one great little combo, even better up close at a place like Joe's Pub (where I first saw them a couple years back on a double bill with Ethel). That Padma Newsome is some kinda talented, yo.



Are you still up? Jesus, man. Have you forgotten how to sleep, or what?

Obviously, I've heard of The National, but I've only checked them out very superficially. I had no idea Dessner had another band, let alone that it was one with such an awesome instrumentation and such compelling songwriting. Or, uh, "songwriting." Whatever. Anyway, I am now officially a Clogs fan.


I was at the Roky Erickson show not too far away on Saturday night, and both Ira and Georgia were there. She was on crutches, but I couldn't see a cast.


It's interesting to me that you liked the WSQ. I had heard some positive things about them, but when I heard them a couple months ago (the first and only time), their playing just seemed empty and uninteresting. Maybe in the hinterlands of Minnesota they decided that hamming it up was the only thing called for. When they left the stage for the drummer to do a "throwing sticks in the air and playing behind his back" routine, I left. Are they a group that's variable from show to show, or do I just not know what I'm talking about (very possible)?

(and what D:O thread/young sax player are you referring to?)

Anyway, an impressive display of endurance and an entertaining write-up. I, too, enjoyed the way your commentary slowly became unhinged, although it also just made me feel bad for you.



I'd never seen the WSQ live before, and have kind of lost track of their recent recorded output, but of course I'm a huge fan of their early years, and most especially of Julius Hemphill's writing for the group. At the marathon, it was just the four of them -- no drummer -- and what showboating there was felt sincerely joyous and unforced. Also, the more over-the-top moments were leavened by their heart-rending sincerity on "Come Sunday," their authentic gutbucket blues playing, and the sheer beauty of their ensemble sound.

Also, for what it's worth, WSQ tenor saxophonist Don Braden stuck around for almost the entire remainder of the marathon. He took a lot of carefully-composed photographs of the subsequent performers and seemed to be having a grand old time. I don't know where he found the energy -- after a set like that, I'd be totally wiped.

(and what D:O thread/young sax player are you referring to?)

I'm not about to spill my guts again here! The player in question made a big splash as a young lion in the 1990's and has on occasion recorded/performed with members of the WSQ.

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