Body/Head

Northhampton, MA

body_head_by_annabel_mehran

Body/Head is the duo of Kim Gordon and Bill Nace. The more familiar of the two, Gordon is a high priestess of noise, thanks to decades spent as a force in Sonic Youth and in projects that have included a seemingly endless list of collaborators, from Yoko Ono and Yoshimi P-We to Lydia Lunch and Julie Cafritz. Gordon is a notable visual artist and a writer, too, most recently with her lauded 2015 memoir, Girl in a Band. Though Bill Nace is less well-known in wider circles, he is equally provocative. From Massachusetts, Nace stretches the guitar into new territories. He is also a prolific collaborator, appearing on dozens of albums alongside the likes of Hopscotch veterans Chris Corsano and Bill Orcutt.

Together, Gordon and Nace have released a strong series of LPs and EPs; this year’s The Switch is a mesmerizing and magnetizing work, pulling you into a drift and then jolting you into an upright position. Indeed, live, you never know quite what you’re going to get. When the set starts, the audience and the musicians jump together from a cliff. Sometimes the ride is exhilarating, as the ground comes rushing at you while you’re twisting in every direction, only to land perfectly on your feet. Sometimes you end up mangled on the beach below, only a broken back and a complete loss of faith to show. During a rare Southern appearance at Big Ears in 2014, the pair bruised and battered the crowd, causing a full theater to stumble into the spring night like a posse of drunks, concussed from the impact of the sound. Body/Head skew minds with unusual angles of being.