The Newtown Sessions is a new bi-weekly in-studio series, brought to Noisey by our friends over at Newtown Radio, the Brooklyn-based online radio station.
It's a rare and beautiful thing when you see a band perform live for the first time, and they completely change your point of view. I'll never forget the first time I saw Total Slacker play at a crowded Shea Stadium, the Bushwick D.I.Y. jewel, waaaay back in 2009.
It was surreal and awesome watching Tucker Rountree, the frontman of Total Slacker, roll into the space wearing a gigantic Southwestern parka, as though he had been beamed in from another planet, only to wail on his guitar strange and wonderful sounds. And to be fair, there was just as much to the sound as there was in the delivery, both were strangely beautiful. One moment Tucker was sprinting through the crowd in 90s throwback attire in the midst of complicated jazz scales and guitar solos, drenched in the signature Slacker reverb and distortion - and the next he was lighting his guitar on fire for the crowd to watch. I thought to myself, "here is one talented dude that is on to something..."
Total Slacker's appeal has as much to do with the music as it does with a certain mythology of the 90s: a love of VHS, weed, and grunge. This comes across naturally in their early songs as well in the early videos. But, there is a noticeable difference in their new material.They are no longer a noise inspired lo-fi trio but are instead a fully charged shoegaze outfit.
Tucker Rountree is still lead shredding on guitar/vocals along with Emily Oppenheimer on bass/vocals, but they've added their new drummer Zoe Brechter following a fatal hit and run of their former drummer Terence Connor (R.I.P). They are joined by guitarist David Tassy, formerly the bass wizard of fellow pop gazers Night Manager.
For this session Total Slacker played two songs, "Keep the Ships at Bay" and "Out of Body Experience,"off their new full length album, "Slip Away." Watch them perform both, here.
Listen to the full session recording, right here.