Arms, Blue Hawaii

Fri, October 26, 2012

8:00 pm

$7.00 - $10.00

Tickets Available at the Door

This event is 21 and over

After eight years fronting New Zealand's acclaimed "trouble gum art punks" The Mint Chicks, Kody Nielson unveils a new project Opossom with the captivating album "Electric Hawaii".

The Mint Chicks chapter in Kody's career closed with the band splitting time between their American base in Portland Oregon and hometown Auckland. Brother Ruban formed a new band, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, and Kody began producing a diverse range of projects including Bic Runga's recent album and Auckland punk up-and-comers, The DHDFD's.

Electric Hawaii presented a new challenge, an album written and performed with just a little help from others – Bic Runga lending a vocal while father Chris Nielson (a regular Mint Chicks collaborator) plays trumpet. The rest comes directly from the brain, hands and heart of Kody. Home-written, recorded and mixed by himself with just the final mastering courtesy of Howie Weinberg, "Electric Hawaii" is a unique window into a lively, engaging world of carefully layered sonic layers of light and dark.

It's an album about love, DIY, drugs and freedom made from mixing a hint of the sound of Kody's Polynesian heritage into a stew of groove-laden garage psychedelia. A project that became titled Opossom as it matched its creator's own nocturnal instinctive animal; feisty, vicious and enigmatically cute.

With the album complete, Kody's now joined by Bic Runga in the role of chanteuse and multi-instrumentalist and former fellow Mint Chick Michael Logie on bass guitar duties bringing Opossom songs to life. A performance at Auckland's leg of the St Jerome's Laneway festival in January drew great reviews and the band made their UK debut live just ahead of their Australian dates announced for May and New Zealand shows announced for June.

Opossom's "Electric Hawaii" is out on June 1, 2012 on Dark Summer Records. Take the trip.
ARMS is what happens when the back burner bursts into flame. A one-time side project transformed into a full band, ARMS synthesizes Todd Goldstein's years of bedroom experimentation and sharpens them into a single bright blade. ARMS' full-band debut, Summer Skills, explodes the lo-fi pop of 2008's Kids Aflame into a widescreen epic, telling a fractured tale of love under supernatural circumstances. Sonically generous and emotionally raw, ARMS' Summer Skills lures listeners like a siren song and then pulls them into the deep.

Todd Goldstein has been writing and recording songs as ARMS since 2004 — although never quite like this. During his years playing guitar in NYC-based indie rockers Harlem Shakes, Todd quietly self-released his own music as ARMS, sneaking home-recording sessions in his rare spare time. Todd's first album as ARMS – the luminous, ramshackle pop of Kids Aflame – was released on Melodic Records (UK) / Gigantic Music (US) in 2008 to enthusiastic Internet-praise. When Harlem Shakes disbanded in the summer of 2009, Goldstein expanded ARMS into a full band with the addition of Tlacael Esparza on drums, Matty Fasano on bass / vocals and David Harrington on keyboards / electronics. The group immediately began writing the songs that would become Summer Skills, holing up with producer Shane Stoneback (Vampire Weekend, Sleigh Bells, Cults, Fucked Up) in Stoneback's Treefort Studios in Brooklyn.

On Summer Skills, ARMS' former emotional directness is abstracted and expanded into something more ambitious and ambiguous: a keenly observed fictional universe that shows more than it tells. With Stoneback behind the boards, drums pop and shimmer, analog synths cast audible shadows and ambient clouds glow on the horizon, rendering ARMS' golden guitar pop something both lovelier and more ominous than before. Todd's unmistakable baritone is the anchor; it swoops and slides into view, veering between vulnerable, seductive and, maybe, a little bit dangerous. The resulting noise calls to mind the atmospheric clarity of British pop experimentalists like Talk Talk or Kate Bush, with a nod to the minimalist melancholy of Red House Painters and the end-over-end urgency of early REM. But ARMS ' noise is all their own, taking the no-nonsense bones of tight songcraft and covering them in shining skin.

Amid the life-or-death stakes of Summer Skills, noses drip kerosene, chill winds blow sweet and razor-sharp teeth gleam in the darkness. It's this terrain of texture and mood, set among the long purple shadows of August afternoons, that underpins the album's sequence of haunting moments — little nightmares lit with the blurry shine of dreams. With Summer Skills, ARMS manages the elusive trick of weaving these threads into something both lush and beautifully, painfully alive. -- Eli Dvorkin
Blue Hawaii
Blue Hawaii tells the story of a lush paradise. The way begins ambient and uncertain, but beautiful white shell beaches and carefree sunshine parties await and nourish those travelers with love in their hearts; their peace thus raised above the arguments found along the rocky road. The duo consists of Raph and Agor; they use voice, guitars, synths, drum machines, and other electronics to create a kind of tropical-pop with love ache melodies and experimental club rhythms.
Venue Information:
Cameo Gallery
93 N. 6th St.
Brooklyn, NY, 11211