Ty Segall to land in New Orleans once more
Ty Segall is no stranger to New Orleans; his show this Saturday marks his third at One Eyed Jacks, and his fourth in the city since 2010. In that time, the blonde-haired, boy-faced 27-year-old has been churning out records, touring constantly, and picking up steam. It’s difficult to convey just how prolific he has been since first garnering some attention in 2009, but to give you some idea: he’s put out six full-length albums, endless singles and EPs, and a number of collaboration and side project albums that must run into the high twenties. Segall is tireless, both in the studio and on stage, and now audiences have a chance to watch him tour his latest album, Manipulator, which should make for a hell of a live show. He’s playing shows across North America and Europe, and his New Orleans show comes in the middle of a run of shows on thirteen consecutive nights.
Segall and his band are from Laguna Beach and, naturally, he rose to prominence playing surfy music. In the early days, he’d take the stage by himself with a guitar and sit behind a drum kit, thudding out primitive rhythms on the kick drum and hi-hat with his feet while singing and playing the guitar. It was impressive and creative, but it didn’t last. From album to album, his songs rose in complexity, and he formed a four-piece touring band to recreate his studio arrangements. On bass is his childhood friend Mikal Cronin, who is an established songwriter himself with two acclaimed albums out. Cronin provides backing vocals, and the two feed off each other in what could be described as a one-two punch.
Segall has jumped between a number of genres over the years; from noisy surf rock to fuzzed out psychedelia, from bluesy rock-and-roll to soft, introspective folky songs, the only thing that has been constant throughout his releases is an all-permeating energy. Manipulator is his most ambitious and polished album to date. It’s a seventeen song double album featuring, for the first time, things like full string sections and a cinematic ballad. After a career of putting out albums at an unfathomable speed, he apparently spent fourteen months writing this album, and it shows with the whole thing feeling calculated and precise. Along with the obvious Black Sabbath influence that has been pervasive in his recent releases, the record also has strong Bowie-like glam overtones. This was prominently displayed when he showed up on Conan recently and played Feel, an album standout, while wearing bright lipstick, leather pants, and sparkles on his face. He has even swapped out his signature daphne blue Fender Mustang for a sunburst Les Paul which seems to be a bit of a middle finger to his surf rock roots.
I saw Ty play once. He was booked to a small venue and received a huge surge in popularity in the lead up to the show due to some television appearances and good album reviews. What resulted was a way-over-capacity club that got out of control. The P.A. system was nearly toppled to the floor numerous times from overcrowded moshers, the floor was slick with the sweat of dancers, and one girl suffered a huge gash on her face when Ty accidentally kicked his microphone stand over and it struck her. To make up for it, he let her sit on the stage for the rest of the show, and he dedicated songs to her. Medical attention probably would have been better, but it was a nice gesture. I doubt I’m doing a good job of making this show seem attractive to you. Ty Segall is a frantic mass of rock and roll attitude, a noisy and virtuosic guitar player, and he’ll make you dance. The show starts at nine; Wand and Babes are opening. I’ll see you there.