“My Sharona” fans may be in for a treat. Atlas Sound — known more recently for his unusual stage antics including but not limited to playing an hour-long cover of the aforementioned tune — will be arriving in Ann Arbor tonight to play at the Michigan League Ballroom.
Atlas Sound with fthrsn
Tonight at 8 p.m.
Michigan League, Ballroom
Of course, Bradford Cox — the musical mastermind behind Atlas Sound and frontman of Deerhunter — doesn’t usually torture his audience members. While most of his tracks are about four minutes long, Atlas Sound likes to improvise on stage, looping melodies and choruses that extend songs into shape-shifting creations that can only be experienced live. For his show tonight, Cox will likely stick to tracks off his 2011 album Parallax along with some old favorites, and he will hopefully engage in some Youtube-worthy mid-show banter with the crowd. But whether he’s playing a 15-minute version of “Walkabout” or donning a ski mask and commanding audience members to strip (he’s done that), Atlas Sound aims to create a vibrant show.
The group responsible for this event is New Beat Happening, a student organization that books concerts on campus, which have featured such acts as Broken Social Scene and Lupe Fiasco. NBH is governed largely by the student body; the votes of students determine which artists come to the University, and ticket prices are kept low for starving freshmen.
The opening acts for tonight will consist of current School of Music, Theatre and Dance junior Macklin Underdown under the name of fthrsn (pronounced “father son”) and SUBVADER (University alum Peter Wiley). A self-described bedroom-pop artist, fthrsn won the opportunity to play after receiving a majority of student votes at the NBH Battle of the Bands, and he spoke in a recent interview about his opportunity to play with Atlas Sound.
“I am definitely excited for this next show. It’s sort of like my final exam for fthrsn’s school year,” Underdown said. “I’d say Atlas Sound is the most widely known act I’ve played with.”
Underdown also offered a preview to what audience members can expect so the show is a little less surprising should Cox decide to pull any shenanigans.
“I’m going to have a backing band support me for this show, which should be a definite treat. Peter Felsman is on keys and percussion, Jeremy Malvin is on electric guitar and Evan Laybourn is on the kit,” Underdown said. “Also, my friend Nathaniel Whitcomb is coming into town to do live visuals for my and SUBVADER’s sets … I’m really grateful to have these four peeps working with me for the show.”
Speaking of SUBVADER, fthrsn added, “I can’t say enough good things about Peter Wiley. I’ve gotten to know him a lot over the last couple years, and his taste in and approach to music have been extremely influential on what I’ve been doing. He’s opened me up to some different styles of music that have been shaping a lot of new fthrsn material.”
If you decide to go hear the dreamy layerings of Atlas Sound along with fthrsn’s latest creations and the DJ workings of SUBVADER, have fun but be mindful of what you request.
— Musician Peter Felsman works as a copy editor at The Michigan Daily.