Rock times three

By Julian Wise - August 31, 2006

Major band alert! Alternative rock icons Shellac make a first-time visit to Martha's Vineyard to perform at the Katharine Cornell Theatre this Sunday, on a triple bill with Kahoots, and the Italian rock outfit Uzeda. In the alternative rock world Shellac is a pivotal artistic force. The minimalist Chicago trio is comprised of guitarist/vocalist Steve Albini, bassist Bob Weston, and drummer Todd Trainer. Their songs are characterized by unusual type signatures, repetitive and heavy rhythms, and musical structures that eschew the normal verse/chorus/verse for more experimental sonic explorations. The band performs sporadically, and their Vineyard performance is a rare opportunity to see this outfit live.


Shellac formed in Chicago in 1992 in the thick of the early 90s alternative rock explosion. Mr. Albini and Mr. Weston are renowned recording engineers, with Mr. Albini helping craft legendary albums by The Pixies, Nirvana, P.J. Harvey, Bush and Fugazi while Mr. Weston has produced discs by Polvo, The Rachels, Archers of Loaf, and Rodan. Shellac has released over a dozen EPs and albums, with the most recent record being the critically acclaimed "1000 Hurts." Their Vineyard performance is book-ended by shows in Brooklyn and Pittsburgh. Shellac will be joined by local artists Kahoots, recently signed to New York's I and Ear record label. Also on the bill is the Sicily, Italy, group Uzeda, who have recently released their fifth record, "different section wires."

Shellac, Kahoots, and Uzeda perform on Sunday, Sept. 3, 5 pm, at the Katharine Cornell Theatre, Spring Street, Vineyard Haven. Tickets are $10 for this all ages show.

All good acoustic

The Imagionational Anthem Volume 2 Fall Tour visits Aboveground Records, presenting live performance from the artists who contributed to the guitar compilation album. This leg of the tour will feature performances by Max Ochs, Christina Carter, and Shawn David McMillen.

Max Ochs is a genuine legend of 60s folk guitar, having recorded for the Takoma Label alongside label mates John Fahey and Leo Kottke. He learned guitar at the feet of Mississippi John Hurt, Skip James, and Son House and has crafted his special variety of old Piedmont and Delta blues. Mr. Ochs has run the 333 Coffeehouse in Annapolis, Maryland and teaches history to high school students in Baltimore, yet he still escapes from time to time to tour and perform. Christina Carter is a founding member of the folk/blues outfit Charalambides, which has released albums since 1993. Shawn David McMillen is a strong presence in the Texas psychedelic music scene, garnering praise for his solo album "Catfish." Together these three artists weave a compelling portrait of roots-based modern music.

The Imagionational Anthem Volume 2 Fall Tour performs Wednesday, Sept. 5, 7 pm, at Aboveground Records, Triangle, Edgartown. A suggested donation of $5 for this all ages show.

Julian Wise is a frequent contributor to The Times, specializing in music, film, and the performing arts.