The Growth

March 31, 2006

On April 9th, two of our hometown avant-rock faves are teaming up for a benefit concert. Gang Gang Dance and Growing will perform at the Anthology Film Archives for "Save Our Films". $20 bucks gets you movies, tunes, and A LIVE SESSION JAMMED ON YR MIND. Grab your tickets now, this will be a good one. If you still need to be convinced (stop fronting!) we posted up the Growing Gen F from our latest issue after the jump. Read!

Present Progressive

Growing tackles time and space

By Will Welch

I have a crumpled bar napkin of notes from a recent Growing show at New York’s Knitting Factory, but now, a couple days later, it reads ridiculously—something like an eighth grader’s jottings from the audio room at the science museum: “Gap between the sight of K&J’s performance and the sound that it’s producing.” Also: “Guitar reduced to mere distortion machine, not capable of notes and melodies.” And finally—wait for it!—the real mind-melter: “Do you hear the almost country, picked melody of the one guitar or the wall of noise from the other? Even if you concentrate on just one, what effect is the other having anyway, especially at that volume?” It’s pretty embarrassing stuff.
The “K&J” in my notes are Growing—Kevin Doria and Joe Denardo. They met at school in Olympia, Washington, but are now roommates in a warehouse space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Since forming Growing, they’ve released a couple of albums, a 7-inch or two, a six-cassette box set, a series of limited edition live cassettes, an out-of-print video and so forth. They recently finished a fantastic new full-length called Color Wheel, recorded at Godspeed! You Black Emperor’s studio in Montreal, and if you go to their website ( there’s an insane picture of them playing while the entirety of a small audience in Philly lies down, not bothering to watch. “It depends on the place,” says Denardo. “Yeah at some places we get a lot of sitters, not a lot of layer-downers,” says Doria. At the Knitting Factory, everyone stood.

One of the joys and frustrations of a Growing show is the constant flip-flop-rock between the way the show feels and the overactive thoughts it inspires. I went from feeling in the abstract things that can’t be felt (the passage of time, maybe?) to thinking literally about them, which isn’t any more fruitful. And I went from physically feeling the impact of sound so terribly loud, to thinking about the technical side of how Doria and Denardo were creating it—is that mixer-like console full of pre-programmed sounds or are they sampling and manipulating the samples on the spot? Perhaps the duo is thrilling in the same joyous frustrations—coming face to face with abstractions that are simultaneously totally everyday and also completely elusive. Or—more likely—perhaps Doria and Denardo are a little farther along in all this, and are no longer scrambling to match thoughts to feelings and words to thoughts. They are, after all, the ones turning the color wheel they created, not the ones watching rapturously as it goes round and round.

Posted: March 31, 2006
The Growth