Big Sir

Big Sir “Regions” Live from the Bootleg Theater…sort of a bootleg from the Bootleg.


Big Sir and their Fuck Your Laptop, Fuck Your Playback, Fuck Your Drum Machine Tour.  Starts at home - Los Angeles - Bootleg Theater, Sunday, Feb 24th with Biceratops.

Big Sir and their Fuck Your Laptop, Fuck Your Playback, Fuck Your Drum Machine Tour.  Starts at home - Los Angeles - Bootleg Theater, Sunday, Feb 24th with Biceratops.


INDIE MAG’S ICON Feature: Lisa Papineau


Lisa Papineau solo artist and the singer in both Big Sir and Me & LP Is the Indie Icon feature in the July / August issue of Indie Mag. You can download the full magazine for FREE or buy in Print HERE


Sessions 65: Video Interview with Big Sir in Manchester UK


Lisa Papineau and Juan Alderete take time out to talk with Sessions 65 about the joy and love of making music and about the Big Sir European Tour.

Check out all 3 of the Videos of Big Sir performing Live In Studio for Sessions 65.
The Ladder
Born With A Tear
Old Blood


NO TREBLE: Big Sir In Studio Video “Old Blood”, “The Ladder” & “Born With A Tear”


Big Sir, the project led by bassist Juan Alderete and vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Lisa Papineau, just wrapped up a nice European tour. Lucky for the rest of us who couldn’t make it out, the duo stopped off for a performance at SSR Studios in Manchester for the online show Sessions 65, who made a few nice videos of their performance.

Above is “Old Blood” the 8th track from their latest release, Before Gardens After Gardens. The energetic song is propelled by Alderete’s awesome fretless playing while Papineau’s ethereal vocals float over top.

Now, here’s to hoping the duo make a North American tour!





Big Sir Headline European Spring Tour - Starts April 7th


Big Sir will be touring in Europe starting in Namur, Belgium on April 7th, please always make sure to check directly with venues for start times and exact details.

BIG SIR EU/UK Tour 2012
Apr 7, 2012 - Namur, (BE) @ Sergent Pepper’s
Apr 8, 2012 - Berlin, (DE) @ Spirale Kulturzentrum
Apr 9, 2012 - Hamburg, (DE) @ HafenKlang
Apr 10, 2012 - Solingen, (DE) @ Waldmeister e.V. Raum für Kultur
Apr 11, 2012 - Leipzig, (DE) @ Ilses Erika
Apr 12, 2012 - Munich, (DE) @ Ampere
Apr 13, 2012 - Innsbruck, (AT) @ Los Gurkos
Apr 14, 2012 - Bolzano, (IT) @ Vintola 18
Apr 15, 2012 - Molfetta, (IT) @ Le Macerie
Apr 16, 2012 - Copertino, LE (IT) @ I Sotterranei Arci
Apr 17, 2012 - Rome, (IT) @ Locanda Atlantide
Apr 19, 2012 - Trieste, (IT) @ Etnoblog
Apr 20, 2012 - Rimini, (IT) @ Velvet Club
Apr 21, 2012 - Livorno, (IT) @ The Cage Theatre
Apr 22, 2012 - Milano, (IT) @ La Sacrestia
Apr 24, 2012 - Birmingham, (UK) @ The Birmingham Ballroom / The End
Apr 25, 2012 - Manchester, (UK) @ Sound Control
Apr 26, 2012 - Swansea, WA (UK) @ The Garage
Apr 27, 2012 - Bristol, (UK) @ The Croft
Apr 28, 2012 - London, (UK) @ The Old Blue Last - Binnacle Festival
May 01, 2012- Grenoble, (FR) @ Le Ciel
May 02, 2012- Paris, (FR) @ Le Trianon - Night 1 of 2
May 03, 2012- Paris, (FR) @ Le Trianon - Night 2 of 2

CLICK FOR FULL SHOW INFO & UPDATES


NO TREBLE: Bassist Redefined an Interview with Juan Alderete


Juan Alderete
is a man who stays busy. After getting his break with thrash metal outfit Racer X, Alderete now contributes the low-end to progressive rock giants The Mars Volta, whose new album Noctourniquet hit stores this week. The record marks the band’s sixth effort anchored by Aldererte, who joined their ranks in 2003.
The Mars Volta ‘Noctourniquet’

Additionally, Big Sir released its third album, Before Gardens After Gardens, in early February. The album was created after Alderete and collaborator Lisa Papineau were both diagnosed with serious illnesses: Alderete with polychythemia vera, and Papineau with Multiple Sclerosis. Three weeks before the album was released, Papineau was also diagnosed with cancer.

“I wake up and I thank God every day – and God meaning everybody’s God who looks down on me,” Alderete said. “I can’t believe how fortunate I am to wake up every day and feel good enough to go play music and do what I do.”

A veritable gear guru, Alderete is also launching a new website called PedalsAndEffects.com, in which he will give advice on building pedal boards, how different pedals sound, and how to get the best sounds possible out of your effects.

We phoned Alderete at his house the morning after Big Sir played a special in-store concert at Hollywood’s legendary Amoeba Records to get the latest from this exciting bass player.

Congratulations on the new Big Sir album, Before Gardens After Gardens. It’s a really incredible record.

JA: Thanks! It’s something that means so much to me. A lot of people know my band through Mars Volta, but when Lisa [Papineau] and I put this record out, we never thought that Mars Volta fans would get it. We thought we would put it out on Omar [Rodriguez-Lopez]’s label, and it would just sit there, but our other record is jumping in sales because people are finding the new one and liking it, so they check out the old one as well.

I’m not going to say we’re a band that’s in the black yet, but I anticipate we will be if we continue to promote it and do videos for it. Hopefully if we go on tour, we can continue to get that support to spread our word, and basically our word is that no matter what you’re going through, you’ve gotta keep that dream alive. If you’re at a day job and you really want to create something really beautiful in a graphic artist program or something, or you’re a photographer and you want to take the most beautiful picture you’ve ever seen… as long as you have that inspiration, it drives you.

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Big Sir Announce Free Instore Performance at Amoeba Hollywood - March 19th



Amoeba Music’s MONDAYS IN MARCH series continue on March 19th with a FREE all ages in-store performance and signing with Big Sir. Their new album, Before Gardens, After Gardens, is out now on Rodriguez Lopez Productions / Sargent House.

Big Sir at Amoeba Music

March 19th at 7pm
FREE / All Ages


Los Angeles Times Feature: Big Sir talks about creating a new album in the face of illness

Big Sir talks about creating new album in the face of illness

During 12 years of sonic partnership, vocalist Lisa Papineau and bassist Juan Alderete’s mesh of meditative lyrics, electro-inflected boom-bap and prog-jazz has combined fury and philosophy in a way that doesn’t have to shout to be heard.

Formed in 1999, their band, Big Sir, brought together the operatic tone of Alderete’s fretless bass with Papineau’s penchant for soulful restraint. On Feb. 7 the band released “Before Gardens, After Gardens,” their first album in six years, via Rodriguez Lopez / Sargent House.

Despite their positive outlook on an album over half a decade in the making, the inspiration it took to make it has taken a serious, very literal toll on their bodies.

Shortly after completing their previous album, “Und Die Scheiße Ändert Sich Immer” in 2006, Papinaeu and Alderete were both diagnosed with life-threatening diseases. Alderete was found to have polycythemia vera, a rare bone marrow disease that makes the body produce too many red blood cells, while Papineau discovered she had multiple sclerosis. And just three weeks before the release of the album, heavily steeped in reflections on life and death, Papineau was also diagnosed with cancer.

Despite their health obstacles, both have been incessantly busy with projects ranging from Alderete’s work as the bassist for The Mars Volta to Papineau’s solo career and collaborations with artists like Air and M83 and ME & LP with Matt Embree of RX Bandits. But even with so many other projects to occupy their time, both admit that their shared sense of humor, affinity for bass and West Coast gangsta rap creates a bond that keeps them together.

Ahead of Big Sir’s gig at Harvelle’s in Long Beach on Monday, Papineau and Alderete spoke to Pop & Hiss about crafting their new album and facing mortality head-on.

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LA WEEKLY Feature: Big Sir

Big Sir Had Serious Health Scares. So They Made an Album About Life and Death


Six years after the members of Big Sir were forced to confront their mortality head-on, singer-composer Lisa Papineau and bassist Juan Alderete are back with their third album of jazz-prog-electronic jams, Before Gardens, After Gardens.

Right around the time they were finishing their last album Und Die Scheiße Ändert Sich Immer, they both fell ill and were diagnosed with serious diseases. Alderete discovered he had polycythemia vera, a rare bone marrow disease where the body produces too many blood cells, while Papineau was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. “The bottom fell out,” says Papineau. “In the midst of this juncture, Juan dreamed a song, woke up, recorded it and emailed it to me in Paris. He said, ‘I know it may be corny to say this, but from now on everything we do really has to make a difference … even if only to us … there’s no point any more to do less.’”

Papineau and Alderete were introduced to each other in 1996 through her band Pet, which she co-founded with composer Tyler Bates (Watchmen, 300). Three years later, their mutual love of ’80s tunes, West Coast hip-hop, and bass led to the formation of Big Sir.

The two were sitting around with their friend, producer Mickey Petralia, trying to think of a proper name. “I think we said something like it should be a name that could be equally used by a 13-year-old’s punk rock grrrl group or a hardcore gay activist group, something tough and fierce-sounding to contradict the ‘94.7 The Wave’ band names the music might invoke,” she says.

Big Sir released its self-titled debut album in 2000 and an album of remixes the following year. Around this time, Alderete created another project, Vato Negro, and later joined The Mars Volta. Meanwhile, Papineau continued working on her solo career and released her debut album, Night Moves, in 2006. She’s since worked with Air, M83, Matt Embree of (Rx Bandits), Jun Miyake, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and many others.

Their latest album is an exploration and reflection of life and death. Its title comes from a poem by Indian mystic poet Kabir about seeking peace and knowledge within. “For me, though,” said Papineau, “what the title evokes is earthly gardens and their heavenly or other-dimensional counterparts. One garden to tend to now and not take for granted, and the other garden not to fear, to see as a place of comfort and deliverance.” - By Ivan Fernandez


Sound Colour Vibration Review: Before Gardens After Gardens

Rodriguez Lopez Productions and Sargent House have been expanding on dozens of releases over the last few years with the plethora of artists that exists between the two. Connected at the heart by Cathy Pellow, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and many others, this is a movement of sound and vision that is gaining considerable reputation as progressive minds are evolving even further from their origins. Boris, Fang Island, Native, Zechs Marquise, Le Butcherettes, Hella, there are so many genre defining artists to name that it’s hard to really sum up the label and Big Sir is one group out of the entire whole that we have been anticipating a new LP from the most. 2012 has been a phenomenal year for music culture already and the arrival of the latest Big Sir album, Before Gardens After Gardens, only adds more depth to the shape of this year. Based around the multi-instrumental and vocal work of Lisa Papineau and the Jaco Pastorius inspired tones of bassist of The Mars Volta, Juan Alderete, Big Sir is rooted in as many fields of electronica as they are in heavy doses of jazz, pop, hip-hop and so much more. It’s a sound all its own and genre definition becomes some what meaningless in the emotional power and provocative nature of the music. 2000 saw the release of their self titled debut release on the short lived Mootron Records and the follow up, Und Die Scheiße Ändert Sich Immer, would be released 6 years later to further critical acclaim. Und Die Scheiße Ändert Sich Immer was given the special vinyl treatment on the Sonny Kay and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez owned imprint Gold Standard Laboratories (GSL). Exactly 6 years later we find a new gestation period and a new cycle of life from Big Sir and it feels right on time with the latest Big Sir offering Before Gardens After Gardens. 11 songs and a little under 40 minutes in length, Before Gardens After Gardens is the summation of the last 12 years of the band and what feels like a launching pad for where Big Sir is going to take their sound in the future. The smooth, sonically blissful fretless bass work from Juan Aldrete creates a florescence that saturates itself into the mix. The bass tones pick up in such a frequency and full mode of sound that it knocks the middle and higher register of the wave patterns into the center of the mix. Stanley Clarke, Jaco, Ron Carter, there are only a dozen out of 1000′s bass players who can add this level of emotional quality into the bass foundations and Juan is walking in these steps actively with every record he touches. Adding a nice pair of headphones only intensifies the listen and adds to the perceptual depth of what long time The Mars Volta engineer Robert Carranza added to this LP.

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Dirty Impounds Albums of the Week: Big Sir Before Gardens After Gardens Review


Big Sir: Before Gardens After Gardens
(Rodriguez Lopez Productions/Sargent House)

 
Just lovely, haunting, too, and thought provoking like an itch that wakes one in the night, suddenly aware of some sore spot stirred up that now must be attended. The latest work from this 12-year-and-counting collaboration between bassist-composer Juan Alderete (The Mars Volta) and sublime singer-composer Lisa Papineau (Air, M83, ME & LP) cements their place as one of the coolest, adamantly modern duos of past few decades – think a much less depressive Suicide, a grittier Yaz, or early Eurythmics with less constrictions and you’re part way there – with Before Gardens After Gardens (released February 7). This is the kind of soundtrack one would want in their ear buds walking through the grimy streets of Blade Runner looking for love beneath the blimp billboards offering exciting lives in the off-world colonies. Okay, it’s maybe not that futuristic, but Big Sir does reach into our collective metal chest and squeeze a few fresh beats from our buried ticker, a gently shocking touch for infidels awash in wanton pride, raising heads from the ground, encouragement to be brave even as we’re falling down. There’s some beautiful beat science here, and Papineau’s willingness to use her voice like an instrument and not just a lyric delivery system keeps the colors splashing. Tying it all together is Alderete’s extraordinary bass work, a conversational, very alive presence snaking into every crevice, a thing of feel and instinct that could steal the show if he were less careful or deft. Taken together with well-chosen, musically appropriate guest turns from bassist Joanthan Hischke (Broken Bells), violist Heather Lockie (Mike Watt, Listing Ship), drummer Deantoni Parks & Cedric Bixler Zavala (The Mars Volta), Money Mark, David Sims (Jesus Lizard) Matthew Embree (RX Bandits) and others, Gardens is a testament to longing and dreaming out loud, yearning given melody and rhythm for modern times and beyond. (DC)


Juan Alderete creates the “Vato Vibrato” Tone Print


In this video Big Sir’s own Juan Alderete creates a TC Electronic TonePrint for the Shaker Vibrato pedal. He names the TonePrint “Vato Vibrato”.


I Paint My Mind: Big Sir – Before Gardens After Gardens


Big Sir is a collaboration between kindred spirits – two people who’s interests, skill, and acumen converge in an incredible melding of aesthetics.  They include trip hop & down tempo with rhythms that sometimes break out, bass lines that bring you with them, and dust it all with some of the most heart-tingling vocals you’ll ever hear.  Big Sir is of course Juan Alderete (Racer X, The Mars Volta) & Lisa Papineau (ME&LP), and for those of us who consider their previous full length “Und Die Schiebe Andert Sich Immer” a favorite, news of this record was anticipated highly. We at IPMM have been blown away by “Before Gardens After Gardens.”

The record opens with “Regions” as Ms. Papineau softly reminds us that “you’re with us all the time.”  The track incorporates supremely tasteful programming with one of Juan’s overtly round and bubbly bass lines, that sounds like a happy bee hive.  The duo’s rhythmic sensibilities inspire moving feet on “Ready On The Line”, while “Infidels” evidences Lisa’s unique ability to float over instrumentals as if her vocals were there first.  “Right Action” is a tribute to Juan’s love for the Squarepusher realm of bass work, and he kills it.  If this track doesn’t implore your inner video game player to take a daytrip, we have little hope for you.  The albums’ true victory is in the balance achieved in the ebb and flow of its trajectory. “The Ladder” and “The Kindest Hour” are testaments to this trend, and create a lovely gray space for you to chill out in. We’re also so in love with “Be Brave Go On” and “1 Thousand Petals” which lowers you to the albums conclusion as gently as we could have ever hoped. The album features collaborators such as Cedric Bixler-Zavala, Matthew Embree, Teri Gender Bender, and more…

BUY or LISTEN To Album here


Big Sir Announce EU/UK Tour and Two dates in California


Big Sir
— the longtime collaboration between singer/composer Lisa Papineau and bassist/composer Juan Alderete (The Mars Volta) - announce Spring 2012 EU and UK headlining tour dates in support of their forthcoming new album, Before Gardens After Gardens coming out on February 7th.  Please see complete dates below. In anticipation of this new release, Prefix Mag just premiered another new track called The Kindest Hour available to download/stream HERE.

RCRD LBL recently posted the song “Our Pleasant Home" (featuring special guest Cedric Bixler-Zavala of The Mars Volta on drums) which is available to download/stream HERE. Back in December, Big Sir premiered the shimmering pop song, “Ready On the Line" which is available to download/stream HERE.

BIG SIR USA
Feb 20 - Hollywood, CA @ Harvard & Stone w/ Gregory Rogove,  Eureka The Butcher & Sadah Luna, & Devendra Banhart DJ’ing. - FREE SHOW
Feb 27 - Long Beach, CA @ Harvelle’s w/ The Vespertines & C-Gak

BIG SIR EU/UK Tour 2012
Apr 7, 2012 - Namur, (BE) @ Sergent Pepper’s
Apr 8, 2012 - Berlin, (DE) @ Spirale Kulturzentrum
Apr 9, 2012 - Hamburg, (DE) @ HafenKlang
Apr 10, 2012 - Solingen, (DE) @ Waldmeister e.V. Raum für Kultur
Apr 11, 2012 - Leipzig, (DE) @ Ilses Erika
Apr 12, 2012 - Munich, (DE) @ Ampere
Apr 13, 2012 - Innsbruck, (AT) @ Los Gurkos
Apr 14, 2012 - Bolzano, (IT) @ Vintola 18
Apr 15, 2012 - Molfetta, (IT) @ Le Macerie
Apr 16, 2012 - Copertino, LE (IT) @ I Sotterranei Arci
Apr 17, 2012 - Rome, (IT) @ Locanda Atlantide
Apr 19, 2012 - Trieste, (IT) @ Etnoblog
Apr 20, 2012 - Rimini, (IT) @ Velvet Club
Apr 21, 2012 - Livorno, (IT) @ The Cage Theatre
Apr 22, 2012 - Milano, (IT) @ La Sacrestia
Apr 24, 2012 - Birmingham, (UK) @ The Birmingham Ballroom / The End
Apr 25, 2012 - Manchester, (UK) @ Sound Control
Apr 26, 2012 - Swansea, WA (UK) @ The Garage
Apr 27, 2012 - Bristol, (UK) @ The Croft
Apr 28, 2012 - London, (UK) @ The Old Blue Last - Binnacle Festival
May 01, 2012- Grenoble, (FR) @ Le Ciel 
May 02, 2012- Paris, (FR) @ Le Trianon - Night 1 of 2
May 03, 2012- Paris, (FR) @ Le Trianon - Night 2 of 2 

CLICK FOR FULL SHOW INFO & UPDATES