Tag: Bohemian National Cemetery

Beyond The Gate feat. Grouper, Mute Duo Ensemble, & Hilary Woods 9.23

It’s not often you get to see a well-programmed concert at a cemetery on the Fall Equinox. And under the Harvest Moon. But Empty Bottle Presents’ Beyond The Gate was exactly that.

Photo by Danny O'Donnell, @312

Right off the bat, the setting was beautiful—blue lights illuminating the building behind, branches and handmade lit-up orbs adorning the stage, blankets and chairs packed into the lawn with bundled up fans.

Photo by Danny O'Donnell, @312

Once the crowd and the sun’s light settled, Hilary Woods began, twangy guitar accompanying her wispy but resonant voice. The atmosphere she created, especially in the cemetery, was reminiscent of Angelo Badalamenti’s music for Twin Peaks—thick, muddy voicings on a keyboard and 50s-sounding guitar (she switched between the two) created structured songs that still allowed there to be an atmospheric, open quality.

Photo by Danny O'Donnell, @312

Mute Duo is Sam Wagster on pedal steel and Skyler Rowe on drums/percussion, but for this special concert, they were the Mute Duo Ensemble, joined by six others. An instrumental group (aside from wordless vocals from Bottle staple Bruce “Hesh” Lamont, who also played tenor sax), the collection of musicians played without breaks, going from unified drones to solos to prickly durations of time that had the many voices peeking out of the combined voice with their idiosyncrasies.

Photo by Danny O'Donnell, @312

Grouper was—in terms of the whole bill—a synthesis of her openers, bringing together chaos and stark songwriting. The fact that it was just a sole musician (Liz Harris) didn’t stop there from being layers and layers of sound enveloping the audience. Grouper’s outside music surrounded and comforted me, the powerful moments—emotionally and sonically—making the near silent moments even more silent, and the silent moments making the powerful even more powerful. The dynamic and emotional range of her performance was flooring, and this was only accentuated by its setting.

While the space and her interaction with it was an instrument itself, it would not have functioned as such without the sources—her elaborate but well-controlled setup of piano, guitar, affected vocals, and samples, all through a mixer she intently controlled. Melting and shifting together, these different instruments often took on similar forms in context of her larger work.

Hilary Woods, Mute Duo Ensemble, and Grouper evoked an unsettling creepiness at their concert space without forcing it at all, their music finding a home at Bohemian National Cemetery and, ultimately, being more moving thanks to the environment. I’m already excited to hear more bands find a home for their music at the cemetery next year.

*A review by Izzy Yellen

RECAP: ‘Beyond The Gate’ @ Bohemian National Cemetery (9.10.15)

On September 10th, 2015 we returned to the Bohemian National Cemetery on the northwest side of Chicago for the fourth installment of the Beyond The Gate series, which Empty Bottle Presents produces alongside J.R. ROBINSON, leader of Chicago doom collective WREKMEISTER HARMONIES. For this end of summer concert, EARTH, DISAPPEARS and HOLY SONS performed on stage and ROBINSON kept the tone in place with cryptic vinyl selections before and in-between bands. It was a thrill to host such this line-up in such a gorgeous and haunting setting, especially since the skies were clear after a long (and stressful) day of rain. We are incredibly thankful and excited that all of the artists  were as into the idea of performing in this setting as we are. Read More »

Posted September 17th, 2015

Categories EBP, News

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Photos Gallery: ‘Cold Moon’ @ Bohemian National Cemetery on 12.6.14

On Saturday, December 6th, we returned to Bohemian National Cemetery for Cold Moon, December's full moon that summons the beginning of the winter. For this performance, we ventured into BNC's Cathedral, where we presented three outstanding performances by Chicago's WREKMEISTER HARMONIES, RYLEY WALKER and CIRCUIT DES YEUX. The show was sold out by 8:15pm, just before we started, and the artists were joined by Brownshoesonly, everyone's favorite multi-talented projectionist. Rob Sevier of Numero Group came through once again to set the sonic tone of the evening, playing some brain-melting records throughout the event. Consequence of Sound was there to catch the mystical concert, and at the end of their review the writer "wondered whether the whole event had been some sort of ancient rite, the incantation on the steps of some final initiation. Only time will tell... until the next full moon anyway." Read More »

Posted December 9th, 2014

Categories EBP, News, This Week

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Wrekmeister Harmonies @ Bohemian National Cemetery – Saturday, June 22nd, 2013

This week we're hosting a show at Bohemian National Cemetery and it's also the night of a Supermoon. It’s going to be perfect. Literally, we could not imagine hosting an evening such as this – experimental melancholy and searing ensemble performances – in a better location. And you know what? We think you'd be into this sort of thing. Come spend your Saturday in Bohemian National Cemetery, as Wrekmeister Harmonies and a renowned roster of collaborators serenade you into darkness. The performance will take place near the Mausoleum (not among the graves  – we aren’t monsters!) at the south-east corner of Pulaski and Bryn Mawr. Doors will open at 7 p.m., and WREKMEISTER HARMONIES set will begin at 9:30, one hour after sunset. This is a one-of-a-kind event that is not to be missed! "Reflective drones grow and decay, forming waves of overlapping sound that evolve into a gigantic roar of distorted guitar. Searing, disembodied howls and pummeling drums signal a shift from mournful to harrowing as Robinson and his ensemble lurch forward into the abyss." [Thrill Jockey] Tickets available here Wrekmeister Harmonies - You've Always Meant So Much to Me from Thrill Jockey Records on Vimeo. Read More »