Upsilon Acrux

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Upsilon Acrux
Origin San Diego, CA, United States
Genres Progressive rock, rock in Opposition, zeuhl, noise rock
Years active 1998-present
Members Paul Lai
Dylan Fujioka
Noah Guevara
Mark Kimbrell
Patrick Shiroshi
Past members see below

Upsilon Acrux is an American progressive rock band from Los Angeles, originally from San Diego, California.

History[edit]

Upsilon Acrux first appeared on record on a 1998 compilation entitled Trummerflora 2.[1] Soon after they contributed a song to a compilation entitled Before the Pirates Came.[2] They went from a 4 piece to a 3 piece before releasing 2002's Last Train Out.[3] They expanded to a five-piece, including two drummers for Volucris Avis Dirae-Arum in 2004. By 2005 they had done away with the dual-drummer setup, and signed with Cuneiform Records later in the year.[4] 2007 saw the release of their first album for Cuneiform, Galapagos Momentum.[5] They released their sixth full-length album, entitled Radian Futura, on May 19, 2009.[6]

Releases[edit]

Galapagos Momentum[edit]

The lineup of Applehans, Kiersnowski (the King), Lai and Miller (Ice) performed for two years, recording Galapagos Momentum in 2006. Before the recording was pressed, a new incarnation was assembled with Cobb (McEnroe, Bart Garfunkel),[7] Lai, Meszler (Mezz, Meszloforte), Moeggenberg (Moeggen) and Sataman (Martron, Marty-Party) in March 2007. This new lineup promoted Galapagos throughout the U.S. in summer 2007. The album was critically acclaimed,[8] earning a number 2 position on Organ Magazine's end of the year album list.[9] The group would share stages with The Locust, Qui, Tatsuya Yoshida, Polar Goldie Cats, The Mae Shi, Ancestors, HEALTH, Abe Vigoda, Weasel Walter, and Cheer-Accident.

On November 17, 2007, Upsilon Acrux played the Barking Tuna Fest in Kalamazoo, MI. Mission of Burma followed, propelled by Upsilon's prior harrowing set. Bedlam arose during Upsilon's performance. The band has been widely known for their sinewy and stoic stage presence. Coupled with the band's ostensible focus and absent banter during their set, coquettisms and harassment escalated by the female spectators as the show progressed. Due to public outcry over the salacious and bacchanal images of the audience captured by the press and BTF event planning team, all pictures were removed from the WIDR website.[10] The band has remained silent on the issue.

Radian Futura[edit]

In December 2007, Upsilon began work on their magnum opus, "Transparent Seas (Radio Edit)". On June 6, 2008, the song was premiered at Cafe Mariposa in Echo Park, CA.[11] "Transparent Seas" contains multiple themes, melody lines, and a drum solo, which Meszler yielded throughout his post. Because of the song's half-hour duration (28:21 on the Radian album), Cobb phoned Domino's Pizza prior to the performance, in order to synchronize the song with Domino's 30-Minute Guarantee delivery promotion. Two members of the audience experienced syncope and catatonia. The delivery man was also detained for hyperventilation, but quickly fled the gallery. The Domino's order arrived later than 30 minutes, however, the company has claimed that it dispensed with the delivery promotion the previous year.

Radian Futura was released on CD by Cuneiform and in September 2009 on vinyl by Thin Wrist Recordings. Upsilon promoted the album nationally and on a month-long jaunt in Europe, autumn 2009. The album was met with critical acclaim,[12][13][14][15] and the band shared stages with Yowie, Ahleuchatistas, Zs, Bad Dudes, Peter Brötzmann, Honey Ride Me a Goat, Nels Cline, Carla Bozulich, Extra Life, Adebisi Shank, and Peter Kolovos.

On September 18, 2009, Upsilon performed for a crowd of over 400 at the Gertje Fest 5 at the Landbouwebelang in Maastricht.[16] The Acruces were bestowed uncountable beers during their performance. Lai commented, "it was the most Southern rock we've ever sounded." The next day, Lai took a stroll along the bank of the Meuse river, walking as he often did, alone, pensive and content. Nearby an infirm Dutch senior fell into the water. Lai retrieved the man without hesitation. Once ashore, the local man pulled away and accused Lai of attempted drowning. Unable to communicate in Dutch, Lai was held until the Maastrichtenaar authorities understood Lai's heroism. He was promptly released and given a reward of €500.[17] It is believed that Lai anonymously donated the fund to charity. Lai declines to speak of such matters.

Upon the group's return from its European tour, Upsilon Acrux performed a 70-minute set at The Smell. The concert was professionally mixed and recorded.[18]

Personnel[edit]

Paul Lai has remained with the group since its inception.[19]

Current lineup (2010–present)
  • Paul Lai - guitar
  • Noah Guevara - guitar
  • Patrick Shiroishi- rhodes/sax
  • Mark Kimbrell - drums
  • Dylan Fujioka - drums
Founding members
  • Paul Lai - guitar, moog
  • Cameron Presley - guitars, moog
  • Tommy Cutler - Bass, vocals
Former Members
Guest musicians
  • Devin Sarno - bass (Last Pirates of Upsilon)[20]
  • Bobb Bruno - bass (Last Pirates of Upsilon, Last Train Out)[21]
  • Glen (Galaxy) Galloway - baritone sax (In the Acrux of the Upsilon King)
  • Brady Miller- drums, drum programming (Radian Futura)
  • Mike Armstrong - saxophone (Radian Futura, White LP)
  • Peter Kolovos - guitar (White LP)

Discography[edit]

References[edit]