- January 2004
- Blastitude #16
YORK" SHOW REPORT
by Daniel DiMaggio
"...I dunno. Pretty good. Who knows. I was
too busy getting off on the considerable celeb
presence of the event. As soon as I get there
there’s Blastitude’s own Tony Rettman talking
to Pete Nolan of Shackamaxon and the Magic
Markers, and then a guy from Sunburned
Hand of The Man comes up and then people
from that band the Believers that I think
I read about. It was insane. And they
were all complaining about the Wire “New Weird
America” article. Haha, whatever suckas. In
good time I peaced upstairs to see the second
band of the night...."
- February 9,
2003 - WFMU
w/ Shackamaxon on the air.
Check out the WFMU
archives for playlist and RealAudio
access to history!
Sunday, February 9th, 3am - 6am
on Airborn Event with Dan Bodah
Featuring the members of the Son of Earth-Flesh
on Bone trio (Aaron Rosenblum, John Shaw,
and Math Krefting) with Marcia Bassett (of
Double Leopards and formerly of un). Four
improvisations over an hour using balalaika,
garden weasel, harmonium, bells, coffee can,
guitars, and electronics, plus an interview
with the band. Beautiful music for slowly
shifting late afternoon sun.
- November 1,
2002 - FakeJazz.com
review of Terrastock V
by Philip Smoker
(the quote comes from the last paragraph of
"...We arrived in time to see Shackamaxon
play first, which constituted some sparse
textures accented with bursts of feedback
or related discordance..."
- January 2002
- Northeast Performer
November 17, 2001
by Dave Madeloni
The Flywheel is a funky, volunteer-run performance
space tucked unobtrusively alongside Nini's,
the best pizza place in this Blue-collar town.
The audience sits on some grubby and tattered
green, orange, and brown carpet remnants except
for the garage sale reject loveseat adjacent
to the velvet Elvis portrait in the back of
the room. There are way cool 'zines in the
lobby, a five buck cover, and a contribution
cup for the do-it-yourself java and tea. The
place exudes an irreverent post-modern bohemian
ambience that is unlike any in the Pioneer
Valley and is a welcome alternative to the
nightclub scene in nearby Northampton and
The place was full for tonight's four act
bill, which is to say about forty adventurous
folks, most sporting wool caps and those funny
looking fifties style glasses. I was there
to catch an up-and-coming singer-songwriter
from the Big Apple named Chris Lee.
Shackamaxon, which includes players from Amherst,
Queens, Hartford, and Maine, was billed as
a "Drone-rock" band. Drone they did, rock
they did not.
Each member sat on the floor huddled or hunched
over their instruments. There was a "Ban Haircuts"
poster attached to an open suitcase at the
front of the stage and a string of blue Christmas
lights along the back wall where what looked
to be strands of old reel-to-reel tape were
When the droning began, I counted five Shackamaxons.
About ten minutes in, I realized that a guy
sitting offstage to the right was also playing
along. Besides the obligatory electric guitar
and bass, there were odd stringed things that
I couldn't name, an antique tuba, various
bells and whistles, flutes, tambourines, harmonicas
that the performers would arbitrarily play
then put aside.
For a half-hour or so, the audience sat with
rapt attention as Matt Krefting, John Shaw,
Chris Gray, Pete Nolan, Aaron Rosenblum, and
Marcia Bassett noodled about, picking up then
discarding one instrument after the next,
or toying with their amps. Throughout, the
Shackamaxon never once made eye contact with
each other or the audience, looking somewhere
between bored and/or preoccupied as they labored
over one instrument, then the next. I wondered
if they practiced much, or if they just kind
of wing it.
The sound that emanated from Shackamaxon can
only be described as a monochromatic drone.
It was hypnotic for those it worked for and
dull for those it did not, a kind of keyboardless
Tangerine Dream, without the dream, or a poorman's
Phillip Glass. There were no lyrics, no discernable
melody, no solos, no dynamics to speak of.
The sound varied little, despite the constant
shifting of instruments. At one point, Bassett
stood up for a minute while playing. I wasn't
sure if she was just in the moment or needing
to stretch. It was a welcome sign of life.
After a half-hour or so, the droning petered
out. The audience applauded, snapping out
of their collective hypnosis. They seemed
genuinely appreciative of the set. I headed
out the door, looking forward to getting home
and listening to some Steve Earle.