Review of Skye Klad’s Strange Daze shows – Aural Innovations Sept 2000 by Keith Henderson

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Skye Klad at Strange Daze

Aural Innovations Sept 2000 by Keith Henderson

Skye Klad did get their opportunity to play for us (twice as it turned out), and they didn’t disappoint! At the stroke of 2:00 PM, the five shot right into a blistering version of Can’s “Mother Sky.” An appropriate track, since despite an uncanny resemblance to Billy Corgan, singer Adam Backstrom is far more predisposed to the breathy-scat singing style of Damo Suzuki. The next couple of tracks surprised me, as they were fast, loud, and almost ‘stoner rock.’ But the band was extremely tight, and the dual guitar approach was spot on. Jason Kesselring was exercising his fast and nimble fingers on the fretboard during numerous lead lines, and Erik Wivinus was more prone to the droney e-bow and wah-pedal guitar work on his semi-acoustic. We got treated to more of the latter during the slower, more shoegazery numbers (“Ionosphere” and Low’s “Sleep at the Bottom” I’m guessing), and I grew to love Skye Klad’s multivariant form of Space Rock. Oddly, the group goes without a full-time keyboard/synth player, but they did pull out a Theremin and drummer Matt Zaun appeared to have a loop playback unit at his disposal. By set’s end, Kesselring had proven to be pursuing the “Jimmy Page Guitar God” status with his violin-bow demonstration (I was waiting for the lighter fluid to appear next), but I couldn’t criticize what I was hearing, and that’s the main thing. To be frank, Skye Klad *looks* like a mega-star MTV alternative band, but they the sure don’t sound like it! Skye Klad Set No. 1 closed out with the delightfully fun and shagadelic “Mind’s Eye,” where I got the pleasure of watching Orion Studios’ engineer Mike Potter show off his version of the Twist. There were a few problems with the sound (especially with the vocal microphones, which continued through most of the day), but you couldn’t deny that >Skye Klad really impressed the die-hard fans who packed into the tent. ST 37’s Scott Telles ended up next to me and said he’d been listening to them from across the way and just had to come by and see who these guys were. High praise indeed.

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Skye Klad feature-First Avenue In-House Magazine – 11.04.99

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We have experienced this sort of musical phenomenon before and were intrigued by the information Solarium presented to us. Let us avoid the usual fallbacks of “dreamy,” “trippy,” and “spacey” in describing this event. The crew for this Solarium project consists of Skye Klad, Peter Anderson (Polara), Stuart Devaan (Savage Aural Hotbed), Erik Wivinus (Salamander, Gentle Tasaday), Fred Teasley (Ousia), Di Dollari, Flybussen and Optical Alchemy. The amalgam certainly includes people from area bands that have been described as such, but the project is more than just the sound of the music.

The Solarium project is less of a gig than a concept being put into practice and is built with the goal of changing the way people think of music as being presented. Rather than having a night of similar bands/friends play together with a theme, the whole night is one giant collaboration. There will be no band set times, no set changes and no witty banter as tunings or strings are changed – at least not as the audience has learned to recognize these phenomena. What happens at Solarium is an ebb and flow of music and lineup over the course of the show. People will mount the stage, people will leave the stage. People will be added, people will be subtracted. Sound will be mutiplied, sound will be simplified.

The last Solarium experiment was successful. The scientists of Skye Klad, Solarium labs, and their friends at First Avenue invite you to investigate this wonderful opportunity. Come witness music – the event formerly known as the “gig” – as an organism.

-First Avenue In-House Magazine – 11.04.99

Skye Klad show review City Pages by Simon Peter Groebener 3/3/99

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Dropped by the latest installment of Skye Klad’s “Solarium” series at 7th Street Entry (February 7) just in time to catch Al and Mimi from Low play a set with the enchanting Jessica Bailiff on guitar and vocals. Bailiff is a fellow artist on Kranky, Low’s new indie label, and the threesome has been touring in combo this month. Low bassist Zak Sally was nowhere to be found. The show was a benefit for Simeon of krautrockers Silver Apples, who was recently injured in a car accident. Headliners Skye Klad were near-transcendent as usual, but dropped their cover from Pink Floyd’s Piper at the Gates of Dawn for perhaps the first time.

– City Pages by Simon Peter Groebener 3/3/99

Skye Klad A List- City Pages – 02.03.99

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Local space-rockers Skye Klad once again host the must-see band cabaret Solarium, this time featuring two “name acts” who could easily sell out the Entry in their own right-Duluth’s Low and local Jazzbo’s Happy Apple. Perhaps the Klad are hoping to attract only the most die-hard fans of each group; it wouldn’t surprise me if they did. This is, after all, not just and experimental music showcase, but an attempt to incorporate “surrealism, Fortean science…and millenialist paranoia” into your standard 7th St. Entry electro-jam–at least according to the latest emails. Members of Savage Aural Hotbed, Ousia, February, and Salamander will also perform, and the show benefits moon-rock pioneer Simeon of the Silver Apples, who was recently left paralyzed from a car accident.

-City Pages – 02.03.99

Skye Klad A List- The Pulse – 02.03.99

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The latest free-form amalgam of electronic, improvisational and just plain weird artists to honor the sun, josh around with millenial dada, and surprise their audience and themselves with the results. Proggy organizers Skye Klad are joined this time ’round by Happy Apple, Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker of Low, Kranky Records’ Jessica Bailiff, Damian Nuebauer, Paul Horn, & Fred Teasley of Ousia, and Miskatonic Observer, with moody light patterns and atmospheric decor providing just the trippy trappings to camouflage the far-from-futuristic Entry Environs.

– The Pulse – 02.03.99

Skye Klad Feature – First Avenue In-House Magazine – 01.27.99

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Twin Cities psychedelic rock is getting some more exposure thanks to guys like Erik Wivinus of the “internationally acclaimed psych-rockers” Salamander. Wivinus, while being featured in a recent City Pages article, shared his ethics of gigging around town, which boils down to simply “don’t play often – it makes it more special.” That seems to be the collective mind of Solarium, the third in a series of ambient/experimental rock collaborations featuring Wivinus and members of Savage Aural Hotbed, Ousia, and Skye Klad.

In Fact, space rockers Skye Klad seem to have taken the lead on these Solarium nights. As Skye klad’s Jason Kesselring explains, the name Solarium was chosen because it imagines a “science fiction sun ritual.” Sort of a “futuristic space-age tribal ritual,” he says.

Watch for Wivinus spinning international psych music (under the moniker “Miskatonic Observer”) from Italy, Japan, and beyond, and electronic music from DJ below Zero, hailing from Duluth. Optical Alchemy will be splicing a surrealistic video/lightshow together, transforming the entry into a “sun room” full of sound and space.

This will truly be a night of aural mutation and collaboration. To complete the tranformation, pick up a copy of Skyeklad’s house ‘zine The Manifesto and read up on their Fortean science, the Virgin Mary appearing on a tortilla south of the border, and other close encounters.

And finally, this is a benefit concert for Simeon from psychedelic rock pioneers Silver Apples, who was recently paralyzed in a car accident, proving that psychedelic music has no sense of history — only the sparkling now.

– First Avenue In-House Magazine – 01.27.99

Comets Ov Cupid at Roger Williamson’s “This Is How The Spirits Talk” exhibition

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A collection of clips from my solo performance at Roger Williamson’s “This Is How The Spirits Talk” exhibition of paintings. My performance was on guitar, guitar loops, and theremin. The event took place on Nov 3, 2012 at the Tea Garden in St. Paul, Mn.