Category: Blog

Vampire Belt (Bill Nace & Chris Corsano) – November 13th

Formed in 2002 in western Massachusetts, Vampire Belt is Bill Nace (Body/Head, x.o.4, Ceylon Mange) on guitar & electronics and Chris Corsano (Paul Flaherty, Joe McPhee, Mette Rasmussen, Michael Flower) on drums & occasional electronics. Early on, they self-released a couple of CDRs of lo-fi blow-outs, something like a mangled car wreck at the intersection of hardcore and free jazz.

See them headline at The Loft at The Chanticleer plus Kjostad, Flose, Casas. Tickets available now.

BRIAN! “Aibohphobia”

Local bassoon-driven trio BRIAN! just released their latest video off “Chasms of Color & Thought”!
Streaming from Facebook or YouTube – pick your poison.

Don’t miss their set at our upcoming August 11th fundraiser with powerdove and more! Check Events for details.

Directed by Benjamin Torrey .
Gaffer: Claire McClusky.
Choreography: X Senn-Yuen Rance.
Dancers: X Senn-Yuen Rance, Tori Parham, Ariella Ranz.
Live Painting: Zachsquatch.

IU Summer Fundraiser!

Bubba’s Birthday summer fundraiser featuring powerdove’s Bitter Banquet, Dumb Waiter, BRIAN!, and Space Fuck — Saturday, August 11th at The Haunt!  7PM Doors, 8PM Show.

**Entry with $10 minimum donation or free entry for any Ithaca Underground Patron supporter through Pateron. Check the event page for details.

IU Fundraising Comp Artist Spotlight Series: #4 – Lady D & The Shadow Spirits

Every year, as a part of our ongoing fundraising efforts, Ithaca Underground puts together a compilation album featuring local, regional, and national artists. Proceeds from the comp help Ithaca Underground fund volunteer training, support local musicians, buy equipment, and produce radically inclusive music events. Purchase the comp for yourself or as a gift here.

From the Lady D & The Shadow Spirits press kit:

Lady D and the Shadow Spirits is Alyssa Duerksen’s soul calling, songs of her higher self and through this she’s shining the light on the darker sides of her past and what we are experiencing as a collective human race at this time. This band has their roots deep in ethereal folk music with a post punk-rock edge, their latest album, to be released in the summer of 2018, is even pushing into the realm of pop. Alyssa Duerksen’s potent vocal command with Justin Roeland on drums, Mike Amedeo on bass and Chris Ploss on keys, richly textures and grounds the music; together they create a passionate current between the intimate and expansive that brings the audience into a dreamlike magic.

Alyssa shared the following about the track “Warlord” from the compilation, and good news about upcoming projects:

“I recorded ‘Warlord’ on my iPad in Garageband the night before the 2017 election. My biggest announcement is I’m doing a crowd funding campaign to raise $ to release my album on vinyl this summer/real release this fall but I’m hopefully gonna have records to sell at Grassroots, fingers crossed.”

Follow us on social media (links below) to stay up on this series; for the next entry we’ll be highlighting mysterious technomancy artist, bit rot and the track “init”.

IU Fundraising Comp Artist Spotlight Series: #3 – Kyra Skye

Every year, as a part of our ongoing fundraising efforts, Ithaca Underground puts together a compilation album featuring local, regional, and national artists. Proceeds from the comp help Ithaca Underground fund volunteer training, support local musicians, buy equipment, and produce radically inclusive music events. Purchase the comp for yourself or as a gift here.

Kyra Skye, a nineteen-year-old singer-songwriter and producer from Nyack, NY, released her debut album Summer Nights last August. Skye wrote, performed, produced, and mastered the album with help from drummer Leah Byck. Along with pursuing her own music endeavors, Kyra Skye is the bassist in the band Izzy True, a Live Sound Engineer for Ithaca Underground, and a sophomore at Ithaca College.

Skye had the following to say about her compilation track:

“‘I Wonder’ is about my experience in high school. In my sophomore year, I was diagnosed with a pretty severe case of Tourette’s Syndrome. I had to be taken out of school because I was ticcing a lot and was really disruptive in all my classes. I struggled with it a lot and it got to the point where I didn’t want to leave the house so people wouldn’t look at or make fun of me. It was really frustrating because I didn’t know what was happening to me and felt powerless to do anything to stop it.

“However, I had such a great support system of friends and family that helped me get back to a place where I felt comfortable in my own skin. They built me back and an helped me feel confident again, despite everything that was happening to me. I was able to build up a resiliency to go back to school after a semester of being homeschooled. It was an incredibly difficult time in my life, but it’s one that has shaped me into the person I am today.

“‘I Wonder’ is a reminder that you are meant to be who you are, even when it feels like life is going against you. When you go through the hard stuff, the muck, the growing pains of life- it sucks, it’s scary and it’s painful. It might even feel like a huge setback. But it’s going through these trails and tribulations that help you grow into an even better version of yourself.”

Kyra’s album Summer Nights is available on iTunes, GooglePlay, Spotify, and other streaming services worldwide.

Follow us on social media (links below) to stay up on this series; for the next entry we’ll be highlighting Lady D & the Shadow Spirits and the track “Warlord”.

IU Fundraising Comp Artist Spotlight Series: #2 – Varth

Every year, as a part of our ongoing fundraising efforts, Ithaca Underground puts together a compilation album featuring local, regional, and national artists. Proceeds from the comp help Ithaca Underground fund volunteer training, support local musicians, buy equipment, and produce radically inclusive music events. Purchase the comp for yourself or as a gift here.

When artist and writer Christopher J. Harrington moved to Ithaca from NYC in early 2015, he lived right across the street from the Chanticleer. His first live musical experiences in Ithaca were punk and metal shows put on by Ithaca Underground at said venue. It was an ideal beginning to his time in the small city. Harrington would eventually work for the Ithaca Times as an editor and writer, covering IU shows extensively. The song “The Skrelth Floor” was written and recorded during the early part of Harrington’s Ithaca experience. IU was an integral piece to that puzzle. Harrington moved back to NYC in 2017.

Harrington had this to say about his musical project Varth and “The Skrelth Floor”:

“Varth is a project stepped in art: visual, aural, philosophical. The idea was to create something with a free jazz backbone, that collided with modern electronics. ‘The Skrelth Floor’ was recorded on an old Tascam 4 track, capturing the direct energy of the moment. The music is mostly improvised—the lyrics: poems from my heavy traveling days (Greyhound writings). Varth is something like a monster from a different dimension. On ‘The Skrelth Floor’ he is traveling, walking his solo space cruiser thinking about the past. ‘There is no more hurt, there is no more gain,’ he opines. Artists that were inspirational during this time included: Power Tools (a band featuring Bill Frisell, Melvin Gibbs and Ronald Shannon Jackson); DNA (Arto Lindsay’s 1980’s no-wave NYC band); Kreator (the German thrash band); John Carpenter’s first film Dark Star; the Grateful Dead (always), and John Constantine: Hellblazer (the comic series, particularly Garth Ennis’ 1991 run). The apartment I lived in at the time was also instrumental. Porched over the State Theatre, there was something airy and bubbly about the new space. The ceilings were high, initiating an opportunity for expansion.”

Listen to “The Skrelth Floor” and the rest of Volume 4 at the Ithaca Underground Bandcamp page, and visit Chris’s website to see some of his visual art.

Follow us on social media (links below) to stay up on this series; for the next entry we’ll be highlighting Kyra Skye and the track “I Wonder”.

rill ghosties

IU Fundraising Comp Artist Spotlight Series: #1 – Rill Ghosties

Every year, as a part of our ongoing fundraising efforts, Ithaca Underground puts together a compilation album featuring local, regional, and national artists. Proceeds from the comp help Ithaca Underground fund volunteer training, support local musicians, buy equipment, and produce radically inclusive music events. Purchase the comp for yourself or as a gift here.

Ithaca’s rock band Rill Ghosties was formed in earnest in 2017 after composer and percussionist Sarah Hennies offered to play drums for singer-songwriter Benjamin Torrey. Hennies, known internationally for her avant garde solo percussion performances and experimental collaborations, was growing nostalgic for playing straightforward rock ‘n’ roll (she’s served as drummer for the bands Obody and Pure Gems). Torrey, who’d established himself playing melancholy pop songs under the name Benjaminto, had been eager to get a full band project off the ground for years. After inviting Lucas Knapp (Winston Bongo) to play synth, and writer-performer Patti Creamer to share lead vocals, Rill Ghosties debuted at Ithaca Underground’s showcase for Ithaca Fest. In the months that followed, the band recruited Sander Moolin to play bass, and rising Ithaca music-scene legend Claire McClusky (Slumbers, clam lust) to play keyboards.

Nearly every member of Rill Ghosties is already a familiar face in Ithaca’s DIY scene, fostered in large part by Ithaca Underground. Hennies currently sits on the IU board of directors and books shows for Queer Sound Ithaca. Knapp has engineered sound at countless events at seemingly every club, bar, theater, and house venue in Ithaca, and has trained IU sound volunteers. McClusky and Torrey have each volunteered as photographers, videographers, and poster artists for IU, in addition to booking house shows for Varsity Sex Club and Tweehouse, respectively. Torrey also recently agreed to take on the position of IU Social Media Coordinator.

Self-described as a “sleepytime motorik marching band”, Rill Ghosties draws inspiration from (and shamelessly rips-off) earnest pop-rock and protopunk from the 60s and 70s, the jangly dreampop of the 90s, and—especially—the early krautrock output of the band Stereolab.

ghosties in the chanti bathroom
Rill Ghosties, from left to right: Ghost Lucas Knapp, Claire McClusky, Benjamin Torrey, Patti Creamer, Sarah Hennies, and Sander Moolin.
Photo illustration by Benjamin Torrey, original photo by Anna Wang.

Torrey had this to say about the track itself:

“Well that song was actually something I first wrote in an afternoon in like 2011 as a filler track for a different project’s EP—it ended up being a Rill Ghosties song because the project I originally wrote it for never performed live, and I had a hunch it’d be fun to hear with a band. Sarah [Hennies] recorded most of it at her house, Lucas [Knapp] mixed and recorded his parts in Philly. We’ve been performing as a band since last summer, but all six of us literally haven’t ever been in the same room at once… that won’t happen until we record the EP at the end of April, and probably not again until we play Grassroots in July or whenever it is.”

Listen to “Brake and Stall” and the rest of Volume 4 at the Ithaca Underground Bandcamp page.

Follow us on social media (links below) to stay up on this series; for the next entry we’ll be highlighting Christopher Harrington’s dark progressive project Varth, and the track “The Skrelth Floor”.

April 2018: Mirah, Screaming Females, Record Store Day, and more!

This month with Ithaca Underground:


Friday, April 6
Mirah, Secret Drum Band, Anna Oxygen, and ghost slut
— The idiosyncratic pop artist comes to Ithaca on tour with the experimental percussion ensemble Secret Drum Band, with special support from Anna Oxygen and ghost slut.

$10 at Sacret Root Kava Lounge & Tea Bar, Doors at 7PM.
Tickets / Facebook


Thursday, April 12
Screaming Females, Thou, HIRS, and Escuela
— The legendary Screaming Females return to Ithaca hot on the release of their new album All at Once. With Thou, HIRS, and Escuela opening, you’re going to feel this one in your bones.

$12 advance / $15 at door, at The Haunt, Doors at 7PM.
Tickets / Facebook


Saturday, April 21
IU’s Record Store Day with Zero Mean, Water Bears, Spazzare, and RVSNST
— Ithaca Underground celebrates Record Store Day with an all-locals rock show, and the release of Zero Mean’s new album & The Finite Variance! Come through after hitting up Angry Mom on the Commons!

$7 at The Chanticleer, Doors at 7PM.
Tickets / Facebook


Saturday, April 28
naps, Lung cycles, Flose, and SMAXKULT
— The ambient house show heroes naps and Lung cycles return to Ithaca on an east coast tour, with the loud-weird-and-lovable Flose and SMAXKULT supporting (both of whom recently killed it at Naked Noise #9 💛).

$7 at Sacred Root Kava Lounge & Tea Bar, Doors at 7PM.
Tickets / Facebook