Bang on a Can’s exhilarating marching band Asphalt Orchestra brings its latest radical performance, Asphalt Orchestra Plays the Pixies: Surfer Rosa (honoring the groundbreaking album’s 25th anniversary) to the stage at Le Poisson Rouge (158 Bleecker Street) for a late-night show on Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 10pm. The New York Times praised Asphalt Orchestra’s “inventive, idiomatic arrangements” of Surfer Rosa in a review of the world premiere at Lincoln Center Out of Doors in July. The performance at Le Poisson Rouge coincides with Asphalt’s recording sessions for Surfer Rosa as well as the band’s Kickstarter fundraising campaign for the new album. Asphalt’s recording of Surfer Rosa will be released on Cantaloupe Music during the 2014-2015 season.
The Pixies released Surfer Rosa – the band’s first full-length record – in 1988. A cult hit then, the album’s influence has grown to mammoth proportions over the years; it is now considered one of the most important recordings of its time. Name-checked by Kurt Cobain, Billy Corgan, and PJ Harvey as a major influence, Surfer Rosa still sounds current today. With production by Steve Albini (who later produced In Utero and a host of other classic records), Surfer Rosa is raw, dirty, and utterly captivating.
With Surfer Rosa, Asphalt discovers a new direction for exhilarating acoustic music by paying tribute to a modern monument. Taking the originals both literally and inspirationally, Asphalt Orchestra’s rendition transforms screaming electric guitars into brass exhortations, searing vocals into a chorus of saxophones, and a lone piccolo takes on shrieking feedback while a 3-piece percussion section thrashes and grooves.
Asphalt Orchestra’s shows are driven by its virtuosic and uniquely physical music performance. Making innovative use of the stage, hall, or surrounding landscape not chained to instruments and equipment that normally limit musicians’ mobility, the band’s choreographed performances knows few boundaries. Along the way, Asphalt Orchestra explores and reveals a new form altogether – a mobile-musical-dramatic ensemble, bringing their unstoppable sound and exceptional talent to the stage.
Asphalt Orchestra tackles Surfer Rosa fresh from collaborations with David Byrne and St. Vincent, Yoko Ono and Goran Bregovic, and from covering Björk, Zappa, Mingus and Meshuggah. Since its debut, stretching 10 packed nights at Lincoln Center Out of Doors in New York over the summers of 2009 and 2010, Asphalt Orchestra has performed across the US and Canada, at London’s Barbican Centre, the TED Women conference in Washington DC, New York’s Alice Tully Hall and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and more. Created by the founders of the “relentlessly inventive” new music presenter Bang on a Can (New York Magazine), Asphalt Orchestra brings together some of the most exciting rock, jazz and classical players in New York City who The New York Times called “12 top-notch brass and percussion players.”