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Noveller Gives Us a Glimpse into the Future of Music With Elegant and Haunting Show at The Echoplex


Sarah Lipstate, known as Noveller, is one of the finest guitarists out there, taking the instrument from rock and into the ethereal.

Sarah Lipstate, known as Noveller, masters a range of guitars – Photo by Donna Balancia

A Pink Sunset for No One

The talented, film-scoring composer-performer held the audience at the Echoplex entranced with her breathtaking performance over the weekend. She has a new album out, called A Pink Sunset for No One.

Noveller and her extensive rig – Photo by Donna Balancia

Haunting Compositions

Her range is amazing and she makes it sound as if she’s backed by an entire orchestra. Elegant and beautiful, Noveller’s haunting compositions ring true to a welcome audience of fans.

Sarah Lipstate elicits amazing sounds by creating new ways to play – Photo by Donna Balancia

Casting a Spell

Novel sounds coming from Noveller might be expected as Sarah drags a violin bow across a double-neck guitar, works with a range of pedals and boards and casts a spell on the audience.

Noveller’s new album is nothing short of phenomenal, as all of the artist’s compositions sound as if they are the score for big-budget thriller actioners or sci-fi films.

Impressive Credits

Sarah Lipstate has more than 10 years of recording and performing experience. Not only does she play in a solo environment, but she has been a member of both Rhys Chatham’s Guitar Army and Glenn Branca’s 100 Guitar Ensemble. She’s collaborated with Lee Ranaldo, Carla Bozulich and JG Thirlwell. Following 2015’s Fantastic Planet the musician was invited to tour with Iggy Pop across the US and Europe.



British Punk’s Prolific Colin Newman: The Band Wire is Not Just Some Heritage Group from The 1970s

The Drill Fest by Wire Packs the Echo


Wire held its Drill Fest at The Echo and Echoplex, and it was a rare opportunity to see some of punk’s originators tell it like it is.

Judging by the attendance at the fest, which ran over three days and included performers like Mikal Cronin, Bob Mould and of course headliner Wire, it’s easy to see punk is very much alive today. Or it’s making a “curated” comeback at the very least.

The Pink Flag Guitar Ensemble – a roaring finale – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Drill Fest is not just Wire playing on tour, founder Colin Newman told

“Drill is curated by the bands,” Colin said. “It’s just another aspect of what the band do.

Colin Newman: 'Being influential is a double-edged sword' - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Colin Newman: ‘Being influential is a double-edged sword’ – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Wire: Not Re-Living The Past

“The importance is it’s partly to us,” Colin said. “One of the things about Wire is we’re not doing the heritage circuit. We’re not trying to relive our past. It’s about us making connections to other artists, not necessarily younger artists, but artists of different genres, with different ways of working and in a way it’s putting ourselves in a situation and saying this is what we are, we’re not just some band from the ’70s living off our past.”

Great musicians curated at Drill - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Great musicians curated at Drill – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Newman On Being ‘Influential’

Wire has been so influential to so many bands, but that’s an interesting conundrum, Colin said in typical fashion.

“It’s a double-edged sword, really,” Colin said.


“Because you don’t like everything that you’ve influenced,” he said. “But everything influences everything else in music. Music is a dialog.”

Musicians and friends - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Musicians and friends – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

That dialog connected this weekend as the crowds at the Echo and Echoplex appreciated the music of many favorites.

Among those who hit the stages were:  Malka Spigel (Minimal Compact), Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips (Luna), Jason Falkner (The Grays, Three O’Clock, Jellyfish), Jessica Lipstate (Noveller), and Jess Labrador, and Shannon Sky Madden (Chasms).

Not just 'Part-Time Punks' The Drill is the real deal - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Not just ‘Part-Time Punks’ The Drill is the real deal – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Other friends and players on hand included Rafe Mandel, Caroline Borolla, Geoffrey Halliday, James Hamblin, Stefan Nelson and Sandy Yang. Wire is Robert Grey, Matthew Simms, Graham Lewis and Colin Newman.



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