The Lisps to Perform FUTURITY at the 92Y Tribeca Tonight, 10/6
Brooklyn's The Lisps have recorded three full-length albums and undertaken several national tours since their formation in 2005.
They set out to "apply their artistry-songs bordering on the literary and borrowing liberally from vaudeville, Anti-Folk, science fiction, and Americana-to the creation of a Civil War sci-fi musical."
The work, entitled Futurity, attracted the prestigious A.R.T., in Cambridge, MA, which presented the world premiere in March/April 2012, and the Walker Art Center, in Minneapolis, which commissioned the work and presented it in April. The Lisps have recorded an album of the same name, released in March by Extropian Records. The band will perform songs from Futurity tonight, October 6 at 92Y Tribeca (200 Hudson St, NYC).
The performance will begin at 8:30 P.M. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased by visiting www.92y.org or calling 212.415.5500.
The Lisps were formed in the South Bronx in 2005 by Alvarez and Tunis, and were joined by percussionist Eric Farber in 2007 and bassist Lorenzo Wolff in 2010. They have always thought of the band as an ongoing, collaborative art project/collective. The Lisps' previous albums include The Vain, The Modest and The Dead (2006), Country Doctor Museum (2008) and Are We at the Movies? (2011). The group has been featured on NPR, WFUV, WBAI and in Paper and Spin, which said, "Tunis and Alvarez trade lyrics so sweet and silly they sound like the Moldy Peaches' campy, country cousin."
Futurity, written by Lisps founding member César Alvarez (vocals, guitar, percussion) with the band, tells the story of Julian Munro, a Union soldier in the Civil War who is an aspiring inventor. As the war rages around him, he and the brilliant mathematician and visionary Ada Lovelace attempt to invent an omnipotent steam-powered brain designed to save humanity from itself. The songs blend traditional Americana and Brechtian choral elements with avant-rock, comprising a unique portrait of war, human imagination and technological hubris.
The Lisps' Sammy Tunis sings the part of Lovelace. The "Steam Brain" is represented on stage by an immense collection of mounted found objects and kinetic percussion sculptures, built and played by Farber. Wolff plays a number of instruments, including bass, sousaphone, resonator guitar and percussion.
Produced by JosH Clark (Beirut, The National, The New Pornographers) and Alvarez, and recorded last fall at Seaside Lounge in Brooklyn, the album includes performances by renaissance man Michael Cerveris on banjo, mandolin, backing vocals and more, Kyle Forester (Crystal Stilts, Frankie Rose) on organ, sought-after New Orleans songwriter Luke Winslow-King on resonator guitar, and multi-talented instrument inventor (and frequent NYC subway performer) Ben Simon on organ and guitars.
Paper has called Futurity "a rebellion of sincerity in the sea of cold-shouldered, indie irony." Reviewing the A.R.T. production, Harvard's Crimson said, "Futurity is a poignant tale of what it means to believe in something, logical or not. It is not just a musical for philosophers in love; [it is] a brilliantly executed piece that stands as one of the A.R.T.'s strongest recent showings." Broadway World raved, "Leave your presumptions about musical theater at the door. Born of the art world and the indie rock scene, the show is part performance art, part rock concert, and totally defies conventional labels."
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