In downtown New York City, in 1979, painter Jean-Michel Basquiat and performance artist Michael Holman founded the industrial-sound band Gray. Basquiat named the band after Gray’s Anatomy, an important reference for his paintings and the perfect name to capture the haunting, machine-like ambient music the band wrote and performed. Joined by Nicholas Taylor, Justin Thyme, and Vincent Gallo, Gray participated in the burgeoning No Wave scene, performing at the Mudd Club, CBGB, and Hurrah’s. Following two exclusive re-formations, once in 1988 at Basquiat’s memorial service and again in 1996 for a scene in the film Basquiat, Gray has seen the contemporary music landscape catch up with their heavily textured, rhythmic sound. Their articulation of depression-era malaise—and its reciprocal thirst for beauty—carries a special resonance for today’s listeners. In 2010, Holman and Taylor have fully re-formed Gray, issuing the band’s first-ever album: Shades of… which brings together samples from their earliest recordings and performances with new compositions that shift from Stockhausen-inspired fugues to churning dubstep workouts.
This performance will mark Gray’s first public concert in nearly two decades.