SAUCE: Sessions at National Sawdust
Acidhead, Maeve Schallert, and Nish Chari
5pm - 9pm
AcidHead is the brainchild of Patrick McGee, saxophonist, composer, multi-instrumentalist, producer, empath. Distractions is his debut, an introduction and experiment; a deconstruction of pop music, a fracturing and reassembling of classical beauty delivered with the angst of crushed love. The songs blur and blend the lo-fi of punk with the tenderness of Aaron Copland, brimming with the desperation of troubled love, seeking answers while running from inevitable truths.
The inevitable truth is that from an early age, while studying classical piano, McGee developed and fostered an unhealthy obsession with the pop star called Michael Jackson. At age 11, he memorized every MJ lyric from every song, including those from the Jackson 5 catalogue. Donning a white pinstripe suit and fedora à la “Smooth Criminal”, he memorized every dance move, including the infamous “moonwalk”, which creates the illusion of floating backwards while walking forwards. The pinnacle of this formative tribute was his staged karaoke review of MJ’s greatest hits, performed in his driveway on a rented stage, with a full sound system, three dancers, and an opening comedy set performed by his brother, who arrived on a dirt bike. He later went on to study jazz and composition at NYC’s second best music conservatory. This is not what Distractions is about, but rather embodies McGee as Acidhead.
Distractions is the destruction of rational thought as an act of love, songs of hidden rage and despair accompanied by moments of a quiet and solitary mind. Distractions contributors include: Andrew Forman (Goodfight), Lou Rogai (Lewis & Clarke), Daryl Johns (Sweet Joseph, Lemon Twigs), Adrian Moring, Fred Griggs, and the Rat Trap Pack, McGee’s avant-garde horn ensemble.
Maeve Schallert, a former-conservatory-violinist-turned-MaxMSP/lap-steel/fiddle-experimenter, works with repetition, harmonic structures, and sustained melodies through live processing and movement. Tapping in to their deep-rooted musicality and lack of technique, Maeve has found comfort, and often discomfort, in the spaces opened up by improvisation, experimentation, and pause.
Nishanth Chari is an experienced sitar player who has performed in various venues in New York and beyond, including the Rubin Museum, Domino Park, the Signature Theatre, the Festival of Colors (Brooklyn), Pianos, Halyards, the Delancey, Leftfield, Vanderbilt Hall (NYU), the National Folk Festival (Richmond), Marran Theatre (Boston), the Sangati Center (SF), Wilshire Ebell Theatre (Los Angeles), Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, Royce Hall (UCLA), Schoenberg Hall (UCLA), Hammer Museum (Los Angeles), UC Berkeley, and Raga Sudha Hall (Madras, India). His collaborations include the electro-pop band Charcole Federation. He is a disciple of world-renowned maestro Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan, who is the seventh generation in an unbroken line of musicians from the Imdadkhani/Etawah gharana (school).