Never mind all the April Fools prank hype, because Impose's Week in Pop is proud to present exclusives and the freshest media in this portion of your indie spring almanac. Ripped from the week's headlines, David Lynch to re-release his album The Air Is on Fire on Sacred Bones for Record Store Day, while Jack White has plans to make the world's “fatest record release” on Record Store Day, with Rough Trade NYC to curate an interactive expo called “LCD Soundsystem: The Long Goodbye” surrounding the infamous last show held at Madison Square Garden, David Letterman is retiring according to R.E.M.'s Mike Mills, Will Nelson's stuffed armadillo mascot got both stolen and returned in Las Vegas, we mourn the loss of Chicago house icon Frankie Knuckles, and Alanis Morissette's claims that her former dog-walker/housekeeper stole her dog, Circus. Moving along, we are joined by conversations, world premieres, and insights from our friends Brown Shoe, Colleagues, The Woodsman's Babe, 1,2,3, Aaron Holm and Matthew Felton, Indestructible Grampas, Lonely Child, and so much more—in no particular order.
Our friends Brown Shoe premiere “Babe in Woods” today off the Lonely Beast Part 1 EP. Our old buddies Aaron, Ryan, Bryson, and Landon Bagaley have been building sounds together for what must be more than a decade, where unclenched expression takes the form, scale, and shape of an amphitheater's sized audio entity unto its own. Perhaps this grandiose purgation of pensive thought that makes up their music comes from their constant touring passions, adventurism, travels, and tribulations. On every occasion when we have our get-togethers with Brown Shoe, we always get new stories of road warrior survivorship, recounted wild live shows, unexpected events, and whatever the hell happened the night before.
The Bagaley brothers pour out the raw materials of inner dichotomies of being and feeling into anthems that bring down the house and speak to every heart in one sense or another. Their albums Jackalope and The Gift Horse have given rise to the vulnerable places and states that become molded into the thick densities of forests that are drawn by a continuous rise of gut-expression and large cloud-pluming sound designs. Which brings us to the premiere of “Babe in Woods”, where the ability to see the forest for the trees becomes obfuscated through a lone wolf and prey ambiguity told through lyric and the brothers' elaborate mix of guitars, rising production atmospheres, and intensity. The spill of honesty lends to a vulnerable, and un-caged representation of urges of the wolf on the prowl, the hunted, the hunter, all wrapped up into the insistent reiterations of, “I will tear you apart”.
Brown Shoe's Aaron Bagaley joins up to discuss their recordings with the Lonely Beast series, some fun campfire tales and anecdotes, and more.
We last caught up with you guys around the release of The Gift Horse at various gatherings and pubs about the Bay. What have you learned and taken away from recording, touring, and making the rounds for Gift Horse and how has it informed Lonely Beast?
For the first four records we would write, record, and tour in blocks of time. We loved it, but on the last record, The Gift Horse, spending nine months recording might have been a little excessive and on Jackalope spending six months of the year on the road might have taken us out of the writing process for too long.
Where does this Lonely Beast release cycle lead, if you can tell us?
We’re not really sure. We have a plan for it, but what we’re really trying to do is to keep ourselves stimulated by constantly engaging in writing and recording. For us, messing with our process is like playing stranger danger.
I feel like all of you have this push within your songs to pen ballads that are very anthemic. What kind of processes were consciously or unconsciously at work while writing and recording of “Babe in Woods”?
“Babe” was the first song we wrote coming off of The Gift Horse and also the first song Landon (new drummer and baby brother) wrote with us. We were coming off of the road and were just excited to be writing something new.
There is this kind of lost-in-the-woods desperation, and that kind of growl that goes on in the chorus takes on a rugged, 'beast' like quality that feels almost particular to some kind of wild forest. How does this song fit into narrative of Lonely Beast Part 1, and maybe even Lonely Beast Part 2 if that's applicable?
For Lonely Beast Part One, all three tracks—“Nightwalker”, “Lonely Beast”, and “Babe in Woods”—speak to a sense of being either the hunted or the hunter, and of not always knowing when you are one or the other. There’s this sense of fear—of what you’re capable of doing to someone else in a desperate moment and of being alone. The songs fluctuate between this eerie feeling of doubt and an obsessive need to be certain.
You guys have shared some wild stories late night after hours, van/hotel lockouts, wandering adventures, etc. Any good recent stories you all care to share?
This is not a fun story but it’s has gotten a few laughs at my expense: Our first manager and dear friend owns a pub in our hometown of Folsom, and they were having their one-year anniversary party and asked us to play. We were slated to go on late, but early in the evening I started to see people I haven’t seen in years. I thought it was a little strange, but it was the town I went to high school in, so I just went with it: I’m out there shaking hands, kissing babies, thanking people for coming out to see us.
At this point I’m a bit drunk, and I’m talking to a guy I used to be friends with in high school. He tells me he came up from Los Angeles, and I think man, that’s so nice of him; that’s a really long way. He then tells me that he was really trying to get a bunch of people out—my ex-girlfriend and some of her friends that I haven’t seen for years, friends that moved all over the state. I kept thinking fuck, this guy is amazing; if only our manager was pushing us this hard.
So we played the show. It went. At one point, the PA caught on fire. Monitors weren’t working, etc. Not our night. But by the end of the night I’d spoken to 30, 40, maybe 50 people that I went to high school with, which I still thought was weird but by that point I might have had more than a couple drinks. I keep thanking them for coming out to see us. People want to catch up, asking if I’m married and if I have kids. They’re asking how my brothers are doing, so I just keep talking about the band. You know, just completely self-absorbed.
The next morning, we’re driving back to our house in Sacramento and Ryan says, 'so that was fun, playing your high-school reunion.'
At first I didn’t get it; I thought he meant it sarcastically. It took a second to register, but then I realized that it was literally my high-school reunion and every conversation I’d had that night was “Thanks for coming out to see me.”
Spring, summer, fall schedule plan for Brown Shoe?
We’re looking to get out on the road in the fall and do a tour of 15-20 of our favorite cities. Some of the obvious larger markets—NYC, Chicago, San Francisco—and some smaller markets like Marfa, Texas and Ashville, NC. Maybe we’ll try and squeeze in a high-school reunion show or two as well.
Brown Shoe's Lonely Beast Part 1 will be available April 8.
Stockholm's Colleagues cried forth a fountain of digital tears in advance of its April 14 release of “Tears” on London In Stereo's new imprint Fierce Panda Records. Discourse between significant partners gets elevated to a dance inspiring audio spectacle on “Tears” and is backed by the b-side of familial memories on “Parents' House”. “Tears” is the brightest rendering of lyrics and sentiments that are told out of necessity between a pair with shared experiences, that are too often reserved for phone call confrontations.
With April showers and the season of spring having us thinking about sunnier solstices, “Tears” spills out clever production that rushes by the propeller jets that remind us of the near infinite pop knowledge that is continuously displayed by the raised undergrounds of bedroom recorders going big time. Colleagues keep the rhythm in a ride that laps around the hazy-phase of dance guitars and an organization that reads like the history of the past decade's developments of keen Swedish production evolutions in recording advancements. Discover what others around the world already have, with the lead off track of your summer playlist having arrived early.
The Swedish five piece Colleagues were kind enough to exchange cables back and forth overseas to talk about their upcoming new single, the new In Sound imprint, and the newest sounds from Stockholm.
From now to 2012, tell us how you all met up and became collected as Colleagues, to the recording of your recent “Tears” and “Parent's House”.
The foundation is the song “Visits”, we wrote it watching the trailer for Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette and it worked so well with the visuals we realized we wanted to collaborate with different visually creative people with every sound we wrote. So It is more like a project, a “collaborative collective” if you will (we hadn't even thought of it as an item at that time).
Anyway we sent that song to an Oz filmmaker we really liked called Benjamin Dowie and it became the video “Seacreatures”. The only way to hear that song is watching his beautiful work. A little later we wrote “Parents' House” and released it with a painting by Tom Hadar Elde on Soundcloud and named the project Colleagues. It got some attention and promotors started to ask about so we teamed up with a few more people and formed a live concept. Tears / Parents' House is released with an illustration by Moa Wiking, and a limited 24 piece cassette edition by J. Derlow with cassette players designed by J. Dahl.
The Swedish world of indie pop is the stuff of canonical legends and current day lore, what about your surroundings attracts you toward your own creative paths? What towns, favorite countryside or rural get aways do you all really dig?
The southern suburbs of Stockholm, especially a place called “trekanten”. A place of our youth, nightly baths and almost tropical surroundings. There was a tree there that was tall enough to jump from, but that tree got hit by lightning and is no more.
Who are some of the greatest undiscovered independent Swedish artists that we should be listening too that need more attention?
Albakin, MINT, Alexandria, Anti Pony, Alice Boman, Le Fever, Systraskap to name a few.
How do you describe the bright portraits you all paint with your bright pop productions?
I think it is the general absence of sunlight, warmth and palm trees in Sweden that makes you want to preserve that little piece of summer euphoria you get. And the inevitable melancholia of winter works as formaldehyde… Something like that.
Favorite keyboards of lately that capture all the sounds you need, or keyboard combos that are ace for the road?
We write a lot of songs on a battery driven “CASIO SA-21” that was actually purchased in a second hand market on the American west coast, it detunes everything you play, epic keyboard.
What other releases do you all have in the works after the release of Tears / Parent's House?
There's a lot of sounds that will see the light of day soon enough, all of them may not be presented in the classical way though.
Tell us a bit about the creation of In Stereo Records, from London In Stereo's In Stereo Records.
In Stereo is the part where London in Stereo and Fierce Panda have come together to release singles in new and different ways. It just seemed like the right fit for everyone, it is a good place for creativity.
With winter hopefully melting away sooner than later, what are plans do you all have for spring and summer?
Rent a house in the clouds somewhere on the south coast where we can finish our current projects and search the grid for new inspiring people to collaborate with for the things to come. And we just might give a show or two.
Colleagues' single Tears / Parents' House will be available April 14 from In Stereo Records as a digital release and silk screened tote bag to celebrate the imprint's inaugral first release.
(Joe Lengson, of The Woodsman's Babe, photographed by by Phillip Erickson in Manhattan, NY.)
Sometimes there is that particular song that you discover while in the thick of the week that grabs all of your attention and focus and makes everything else around it fade for the duration of the track. Such was the case upon first hearing The Woodsman's Babe's “A Heart In Port”, that we are proud to debut here today. This is the latest from the Los Angeles based artist, Joe Lengson, who has just signed to Autumn + Colour Records with his new indie power pop vehicle. Lengson created The Woodsman's Babe after turning down an opportunity to host a MTVu video program, as his visions and passions have ran parallel toward creating evocative, heartfelt songs like tapestries stitched together in the sunbeam glow of the afternoon. The role as a singer-songwriter for Joe find's the artist channeling and sharing new discoveries of song craft for someone who has published the novel, Sleeping Parking Lots, to beginning his music career as a bassist in the Christian metalcore group, MyChildren My Bride from the Tooth & Nail/Solid State family. The new solo outfit finds an invitation to walk the meadows of modern pastorals that are a welcomed contribution to the emerging indie American landscapes of self-made songwriters that seek out there own creative horizons.
The guitars strum in relaxed chords that are encased by the horns that transport you to sitting on the edge of a wooden pier, watching the sun slowly dim away those warm hours of day. Bringing the big arrangements right off from the very beginning, Joe addresses the various histories and roads traveled in his career that have brought him to where he is today. “I have traversed many paths in response to droughts and floods and some gold promises and prospects, and sometimes just because.” Every note is struck with a harmony that reinforces the chorus line about, “your pulse is a compass”, where a lively humanist excitement evokes an air that anything and everything is possible. As a multi-talented artist that has endured and interacted with a variety of styles and facets of these evolving industries, nowhere is there a hint of any jaded cynicism as The Woodsman's Babe invites everyone for an inclusive sunshine-core/power chord outing.
How did you first start making music?
I first started making music when I was seven years old, I initially inquired my mother to learn the piano. I immediately discovered that I am more of a hands on learner as opposed to having an instructor dictate on how to perform. I began playing guitar at age twelve, I got into digital music production at age fourteen, drums around sixteen, then bass around seventeen. I started my first band when I was a freshman in high school with my best friends, it was a chaotic metal band and I played guitar. I was also involved in several other hardcore and metal bands throughout high school and a solo ambient electronic project, which I am still creating music for.
How did The Woodsman's Babe begin, and how did the name come about?
The Woodsman's Babe was born in November 2011 in Massachusetts. I was living basically in a cabin in the woods with my old band while we were recording an album, and I reached a point in my life where I felt as if I was lying to myself artistically. I was full-time in a heavy metal band, but I possessed a passion for much more gentle music. I reached the boiling point during my stay in Massachusetts then one night decided I was going to quit, move back to Los Angeles, and start The Woodsman's Babe with my friends. My first trip back after quitting the band, I was in a used bookstore and found a book called The Woodsman's Babe. I didn't buy it but I liked the name and remembered it. None of my friends got it, but I found the name rather sexy, and none of my friends liked the name, but that's probably why I chose the name.
I love the power pop quality of “A Heart In Port”, what inspired the song in lyrics and construction?
The lyrics are actually co-written by one of my best friends, Erik, and which the lyrics are strongly influenced by a poem by Emily Dickinson. This is one of my very first songs I wrote for this project. I believe I wrote and recorded a demo of this song while I was still living in Massachusetts. I wanted to use very basic chords and just repeat over and over, which is in fact the structure of this song.
Tell us about the process of your recent recordings for Autumn + Colour Records. Favorite things about the LA scene these days?
Most of my recordings were done in an abandoned warehouse in East Los Angeles, where I was living with several of my friends. In essence, I was working as a photographer and the company owned a huge warehouse which was more or less abandoned, until I decided I wanted to have my office there, then I wanted to start recording there, then I wanted to get a bed and invite all my friends to live there with me. I lived in this massive warehouse for over a year with my friends, without paying rent because we were basically squatting in this building that clearly was not zoned for living. We recorded a lot there, in which most of my songs have stems from there, but my good friend Jon Gross who runs Black Market Recordings in Calabasas offered to remix all of my tracks to make them sound like actually recordings and not like they were done in a bathroom with a telephone microphone. I love my unconventional “band.” It's primarily just me, with all my friends saying they want to be a part of it. I went about it very backwards but it's working for me, and I can't thank Autumn + Colour enough for putting up with me through all of it. I love doing my music project. I love being a photographer. I have been trying to stay away from the “L.A.” life, but I've been getting sucked into it, going to fancy restaurants and going to exclusive parties and stuff. It's fun and all, but at the end of the day, I'd much rather be sitting at home with a bottle of wine playing with my guitar.
Least favorite things about the LA scene these days?
The people. I will say it, people suck. People that feel entitled or hipsters that think they're smarter or better than you can go die. The traffic here sucks. Everyone is after fame and fortune here and everything is so expensive. I like being here, because anything I could ever want to do is here and all my work is here, but I still have to deal with all the negativity.
LA bands of interest?
I dig Father John Misty, he's not originally from here, but he's located here now. II find myself making music that I really want to make that is seemingly organic to me, such as stemming off inspiration given to me by artists like Crosby, Stills, & Nash, and Neil Young, and Tom Petty and stuff, that ends up sounding like Father John Misty stuff.
Not-so-LA bands of interest?
I really dig The National right now. The singer lives here, but they are not from here at all. I just can't stop listening to them. You can find me almost every night in my room under my sheets crying myself to sleep listening to The National.
Spring and summer plans for The Woodsman's Babe?
I've been asked to do a few west coast tours, but I really am not trying to do that right now, they just don't seem lucrative right now. I have toured the world for the past decade pretty much and I'm not in it for the experience of touring anymore. I need to be smart about it and do it because it's a good tour, it's a good offer and it will benefit this music project. I have a lot of music I need to work on, I have about 50 songs, that just need to be re-recorded at the studio, which I plan on working on this spring and summer.
The Woodsman's Babe's single, A Heart in Port will be available April 22 from Autumn + Colour Records.
Pittsburgh band of numeric title design 1,2,3, are back, and we have a listen to their single, “Big Weather Part 1” b/w “Leave Me In The Sky With The Lawnchair”, plus an exclusive one on one with the one and only, Nicolas Snyder following the listen. The road from their first album, New Heaven, to Big Weather came through a trial of turbulent storms that was born out of natural disasters of tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, label gridlock, the break up of the band, and the subsequent reuniting of 1,2,3. Releasing Big Weather on their own imprint, American Hermitage on May 20,
The title single “Big Weather” is a stomp and chant harmonizing force that stares down the cyclone tempests in a heart straining showdown. This Midwest storm chasing mover makes a dash by doing the cool strut to the outskirts of town before the shit hits the fan. Next the vortex lifts you up from the bedlam sedentary life on the patio La-Z-Boy, beer koozie gripped in hand as you are thrashed in the distorted winds of, “Leave Me in the Sky with the Lawnchair”. This is that point where you have nearly demolished an entire 36 pack of light beer, and when the air raid sirens blare you dismiss the repeated emergency broadcast system alerts by saying, “fuck it”, crack another cold boy before being consumed and lifted into the turbulent throes of 110 miles an hour plus wind current funnels.
Nicolas Snyder from 1, 2, 3 shares some wild tales, talks about the best and worst ways to break up and then make up with your band, among some other flavorful short stories.
Okay, so give us the story about the turbulence from New Heaven to the storms that gave birth to Big Weather.
How about a list instead of a story?
2010, 2011, 2012
Iron City Brewing sponsorship
Dawn of the Dead
Keeping it real
The title track is you guys like giving it that real David Essex, but mightier kind of presentation. How did you all come up with this particular titular stomper?
The basic tracks were the first thing we recorded for the LP. It's got a pocket with a hole in it. The vocals were one of the last things we recorded. It was always in my head that way, it just took me two years to be in the mood to sing it. At the time I was living next to a parking lot.
“Leave Me In The Sky With The Lawnchair” is the idyllic everything. What were the states of mind when this beauty was recorded?
Well, thanks. It's our “Rip This Joint”. That's why it's track two [Ed's note; “Rip This Joint” is the second song on The Rolling Stones' Exile On Mainstreet, following “Rocks Off”]. Mostly recorded live or with one takes. No click. It's about a fella who hit a dark patch and is out in the yard enjoying a gin drink when, 'lo, a twister this way comes.' Only thing is, dude doesn't care because he doesn't care.
Can you share more 1, 2, 3 debauchery stories?
Not really. We have our moments, but we're not the Replacements or anything. Mostly just a few beers and some laughs on the porch while some Zeppelin or Sinatra comes through the screens. Once I wrecked into a brick building on tour.
What are the best ways to break up with your band?
You have to tell them you love them — especially if it's the truth. Then make it seem like it's all got to do with you.
Best ways to make up with your band?
You have to tell them you love them — especially if it's the truth. Then make it seem like it's all got to do with them.
Worst ways to call it off with your band of bros?
By vocalizing all of the horrible things that band members think about each other, like, 'fuck you, man. I don't even like your bass tone,' or, 'fuck you, man. Your second fill in [such and such song] was so bad I spent a whole night editing it… and your drum tone sucks.' You should really just avoid starting sentences with the phrase, 'Fuck you, man.'
What can we expect from 1, 2, 3 from now through summer?
We're gonna be shooting a video or two and releasing a few more singles before the album drops, some shows, then I'm gonna focus on a few more releases for our new label American Hermitage.
1,2,3's new album, Big Weather, will be available May 27 from American Hermitage.
Meet the new ambient duo on the block, with Seattle's Aaron Holm and Matthew Felton, as they prepare to release their debut release of atmospheric exercises with, Transitions Seattle this Tuesday, April 8 for Dissolve Records. The two were former executives from within the tech industry machine, and have now found a redemptive, alternate path through developing an audio ars technica of hearing and understanding the evolutions and motion of moments and virtually any applicable science of minutiae studies. Timely and fit for the latest developments of Seattle, where the technology tycoon trends contrast the underground rebellion in Washington State indie communities already in progress —the two calculate the distances and bonds between this world with Aaron's iPhone curated electronic sound pieces to Matthew's classically trained piano knowledge applied to the touches of a Steinway.
We have the premiere of Aaron and Matthew's track, “Electro Note Magnet” that moves in notes that progress like the blinking flashes of red lights fixed to the top of sky scrapers. The pulsing notes are joined by samples of crowd noises of commuters making their way through train stations, where Matthew's piano minimalism are fixed with echo effects that get sucked into the production and ether of Aaron's vacuum pull. Throughout you are met with the sound of electronic frequencies making their own transit in what this listener imagines to be AC adapter chords, XLR cables, firewire, USB wires, and the connective places where the digital and virtual conduits and signal transmitters are met by the cognitive, connective response to the real living, and breathing audience.
Join us after the jump for Aaron and Mathew's thoughts on their compositions, along with a viewing of the video for their classical post-modern track, “Breathing Waves”. On both recordings and media, foggy Seattle moods for evenings, and mornings abound.
Aaron and Matthew wrote us the following companions pieces behind the making of their debut collaborative ambient work, Transitions Seattle.
Aaron’s Comments regarding process of making Transitions Seattle.
Aaron: I was at a crossroads in my life. Living in a new city and having just abruptly ended a decade long run in the tech industry. I was discovering Seattle and bringing my iPad mini with me everywhere I went so I started building synth performances. I mostly used Nave and Sunrizer and programmed synths with tons of space and movement. Five to eight minute performances sitting on the street, in a coffee shop, at a bookshop. Then I’d bring the tracks by Matthew’s studio and we’d spend time talking about the ideas that were underneath and how the piano could add depth and structure. I can’t think of another album that was created using an iPad Mini and a Steinway.
I’d talk about the feeling and the idea and Matthew would run with it. We’d get a few different takes down and more often than not we’d use all of the takes, together in the track rather than picking one over the others. Each take had a unique feel so we’d find ways in the mix to move in and out or have multiple piano tracks running together. All of the layers really work together to create the dream state.
Aaron’s comments on the Seattle scene and making indie music:
A: Seattle’s wide open to new music and sound. People here really love music and art and have truly open minds to new ideas which is great for the indie scene. From the beginning of our collaboration, Matthew and I worked in a spontaneous way that only worked because we had complete control. We were enjoying the process and the freedom and the music came directly out of that spirit. It’s also huge fun and surprising to see where the audience for this music comes from. People you’d least expect really love it as it fires up their imagination or gives them space that they don’t expect from music.
Matthew’s Comments regarding process of making Transitions Seattle:
Matthew: Something that was important to us on this recording was the sense of performance and the improvisational approach without overworking the parts. So you can see the music came very quickly. So minimal edits were made and what you hear are two performances with the piano being recorded second whilst listening to Aarons Synth and ambient recordings. With the Piano I like to keep it sparse and reacting and responding to what I’m hearing, really without analysis, just using emotional response to what I’m feeling in Aaron’s music. Much of what you hear in the piano is the first take and thus spontaneous and fresh and also had more of a live edge and energy to it.
Making the “Breathing Waves” video
M: Aaron was inspired by the Union Street Station, a large open space in Seattle which has no trains. So it is somewhat a surreal feeling to be there. There is an incredible, natural reverb there which Aaron recorded and used on the album. Just like the CD the ideas flowed whilst we shot the footage. Aaron brought his kids with him and his daughter’s pet gecko, 'Lucas,' and he ended up being the star of the video. This was allvery spontaneous and experimental. I shot the low clouds in time laps from my studio and then reversed it to create a surreal feel. We also slowed video down again to make it more dream like. The station was perfect for a CD about Transitions, because often one is traveling when in transition and this station is more symbolic than real. Lucas is so small his transition seems even more daunting. The cover of the CD is a frame from the footage of Lucas sitting on the red, 'In Case of Fire' panic button which seems appropriate when one is in transition one can feel lost.
Having just released their album, 1-800-MATTERS for Mecca Lecca; thank Derek from Rice Cultivation Society and Robbie and Beach Moon for their DIY singing and songwriting project, Indestructible Grampas. Presenting you a limited time streaming listen followed by a fun interview with the band, Derek and Rob have given us all something that entire families can get behind and enjoy.
The dialed up action of MATTERS begins with the intro, “Plight of the Bumblebee”, coursing into the Eastern radiation piano emissions that enrich farm fields with uranium on, “Fukushima Strawberry”. On “Approaching The Subconscious”, a folk day trip into the air of the unknown falls into the whisper, twang, and motor home chants of, “Plastic Bones”. The title track “1-800 Matters” has that accidental slacker pop brilliance, that we can expect to invade the college radio station charts and mixtape requests from now through fall. But the hits and wisdom keep coming, as “Told” strums and sings like water in a creek, before they crack you up with a lo-fi beat bumper interlude, “Talking Politics at a House Show”. The lysergic modern indie folk keeps on serving up hearty chicken soup for the soul, on “SpaGetty Lee”, with the serious sounding piano interlude with the coarse title of, “Modern Art Is a Flyswatter On My Dick”. All things flows with the natural, home-recorded setting of “Sleepy Head”, that is replete with chirping bird samples and the warm but subtle analog tape hiss. As out of this world and humorous Robbie and Derek are on this project; Indestructible Grampas' 1-800-MATTERS might very well be that special spring album to you that matters in psychic senses of understandings and it's aura of fuzzy vibes.
We were able to track down both Indestructible Grampas, Robbie and Derek to take us deep into the cosmic road map of this band.
What are the matters that you are dialing through on this psychic highway? What is your cosmic road map?
R: The beauty of the process is that there was no map, only a cosmic road, which turned out to be the alchemical process of channeling our thoughts/fears as aging ol’ grampas through our child-like minds, with a grain of salt, avocado, and nutritional yeast. The psychic highway was inside us.
Some matters we dialed through on the cosmic road:
Disconnection from people, trying to understand what it is they see, but projecting our own sight regardless.
The subconscious as an entity of its own, telling us the things we already know that we don’t know we already know.
Relativity of time, size, age, and your grampa.
Society, the status quo, what it does to people, and it’s frivolity in the cosmos.
Losing sight of who you are.
Gathering raindrops, building stoves.
Some characters we met on the cosmic road:
Rumpledumplestilskin, Spaghetti Lee, ghosts, drunken sailors, the cassowary, the ground hogs, the king of Malashikis, the bird on cocaine, the hawks, the chicken, cotton tummy, the kids, the coyote next door, the robbers, the thief with the head of a drum, Atilla the Hun, the capricorns, Tom Sawyer with them devil horns, the rump roast, and the consciousness collector.
The plot twist: The characters were reflections and projections from the mirrors inside us.
How did Indestructible Grandpas begin?
R: It started out as a joke, but became a self-fulfilling prophecy. Grampa Derek approached Poppy Da Bobby at a Common Courtesy Collective house show at The Pape Space Station with the band name and album title. From that moment on, the band existed forevermore (whether the album was recorded, or not).
After a Grampa Derek’s two year long struggle with Rice Cultivation Society’s album Sky Burial, Poppy Da Bobby’s super chill stream-of-consciousness/go-with-the-flow/honey-badger-don’t-care methods of recording (which foster instant and tangible creative gratification) was exactly what he needed. As for Poppy Da Bobby, he was a ghost that couldn’t connect to anything, and had run out of dreams and ideas. This was his last hope for salvation.
How did the name come about it, what/who inspired it?
R: Grampa Derek?
Derek: The Universal Soul is a Grampa, ancient and wise and somehow flowing with youth. Kinda like Lao-Tzu or Bill Murray.
There is something about the album's title track, and “Sleepy Head” where you really fall into it and lose yourself and senses of time in the song. How is this achieved via this barely-conscious home recorded delivery of vocals, guitars and samples?
R: Often times, consciousness is the inhibitor. To create something where people can lose themselves, you must be lost when you create it. Let the path flow through your mouth, and seep through your fingers, into microphones and tube pre-amps. Tone sensibility, and tactful marriage of music/cosmic/brain space are helpful to project accurately.
We recorded very off the cuff, which is a good way to live. We didn't aim to end up with songs that sound a certain way, no goal, no destination, we just relied on pure Grampa.
What is the plan for this spring and summer?
R: Our only plan is to exist, into the spring, into the summer, and into forever. We are Indestructible. Beyond that is chaos, pregnant with possibility (because we knocked up chaos with the release of this album). The future is our oyster, the world is our canvas.
D: Robbie, what do you think of doing a snail mail album? We can send snails on missions between San Francisco and NY to whisper new melodies to each other. Or we can just mail the snails to each other, that's probably quicker.
Other recordings and events you guys got going on we should know about?
P: Poppy Da Bobby’s solo project, Beach Moon/Peach Moon is always ripe with new or unreleased ideas/recordings. Currently, he’s working on an EP from the recently defunct beach moon band (tentative title: Kite Without A String EP), a b-side album, a solo album, a split with Whorhaigh K, and two Practice Room Records compilations. Leaks of tracks being featured on upcoming releases can be heard here https://soundcloud.com/beach-moon-peach-moon
Derek is working on the new Rice Cultivation Society album, “Mystical Shitheads”, and well as working with Yankee Longstraw, and just finished producing recordings for Leah Pape (mentioned way up at the beginning of all this, she did flight control at the Pape Space Station).
Get a look at the satanic underworlds of these video tape altered majesties, courtesy of ZZ Rameriez for The Ukiah's Drag video for “Dirt Trip”. The lip curling snarl-song was recorded by Ben Greenberg and released on 7″ from Wharf Cat Records.
With Melbourne shade and edge with an LA modern art sense of synth pop production, meet Australia's White Hex, Felte's latest signing. Their first single “Paradise” has the production sleakness of 80s sports car advertisements at night, lifted from their upcoming, Gold Nights album available June 24 via Felte and it Records in Australia.
Fresh from the April 22 slated Thyluxe album, check out Sacramento's Tynethys dropping the Friendzone produced cut “TFZ” that keeps it slick like the rainiest clouds in the sky. Skate across these perfect skies to Tyn's “yeah, yeah” repetitions that enourage a showing of raised and waving hands in the air.
Off the Hit City USA Timeshare EP, check out Tony Lowe's video for Shy Girls' “Voyeur's Gaze”, and you can catch them on tour with Haim. features Bailey Stiles of Chez Deep drag queen crew.
With more reports from the Mecca Lecca collective: Carl Creighton takes you on a personal tour through Brookings, South Dakota with the self-made video song from the album of the same name from Mecca Lecca Recording Co. Take a walk through the midwest, and feel those sad, small town vibes as you make your way down a side walk city path in the cold of winter with a cigarette butt as your chimney smoke stack.
André Obin once again sends our frontal lobes on an exotic mind tripping journey into the worlds on his new single, “Loaded Soul”, off the forthcoming album, Ways of Escape available April 29 from Sky Council Recordings. Following up The Arsonist, and the much beloved recent single, “Approaching Zero”; the synth visionary laser sight of Obin on “Soul” loads the most exciting things that are happening in the worlds of dance that many of the EDM-hounding hoards haven't discovered yet. The Boston electro-wonder is one of the best arguments in favor of, and for the durability of the digital composition generation.
CHAMPS delivered the Henry Edwards-Wood video for the A-side of their upcoming single filmed about Ventnor, Isle of Wight off their forchoming My Spirit Is Broken/St. Peters 7″ available May 6 from Canvasclub. Spring break swimming pull fever and UK-hearted holidays abound.
Check out the Roarke Pearce video for London's Light Year's new single, “Come Together”, fresh house esoterica off the 12″ available now from Spectral Sound / Ghostly. Lose yourself in the beat, prisms, and silver ribbons.
Nothing's album Guilty of Everything is available now from Relapse Records, and we got the Don Argott performance video for, “Bent Nail”.
Check out the Beta Carnage of TOBACCO's “Side 8 (Big Gums version)” full of found vintage fun with film, off the Fucked Up Friends album released by Anticon.
Peep the Luis Cervéro for Liars' “Mess On a Mission”, off their album Mess from Mute.
Listen to Mirah's new single “Radiomind”, from her forthcoming album Changing Light available May 13 from her imprint, Absolute Magnitude label, in conjunction with K Records. Turn your mind like a radio dial with Mirah.
With the Broken Ankles EP available April 8 from DatPiff, check out the Girl Talk and Freeway video for “Tolerated” featuring Waka Flocka Flame.
MammaBear's Kyle Gordon dropped by the back to nature romance vibe video for, “Raven Falls”. Acoustic strummed songs are put to the vintage amp glow, even as a zombie outbreak happens in accompanying visual narrative. Read more about why we love MammaBear in our interview with Kyle some months back.
Tyson Meade, of 80s underground legends Defenestration, dropped the single “Nihilists Need Love Too”, off his May 20 slated album Tomorrow in Progress. Loaded with superstar spots and cameos from Chainsaw Kittens' Trent Bell, Flaming Lips members, folks from Stardeath and White Dwarf, and Smashing Pumpkin's notorious drummer, Jimmy Chamberlin.
London by Australia's Tom Crandles is handling things in Colours, prepping You Can’t See Me/My Memory Is A Maze digi single for release April 8 for Father/Daughter Records, sharing the A-side with us here. This is UK dreampop the way you envisioned it yesterday,
From cinematographer Amberlie Bankoff, check out Shara Gibson's gorgeous and lush video to match the gentle breeze of adoration on, “Man Like You”.
From their upcoming Heartbreak Hour EP, Verdigrls bring synths and strings to translate their feelings on the song, “Feeling Nervous”. Listen for more from the GRLS coming later this spring.
We're not sure if George West sampled the sound of hair being cut on his new single, “Here Again”, but the sounds of returning familiarity are put to the scissors and shears of chopped and brewed beats that create a new stew for comfort. As Mr. West absorbs you into his mix, you are invited to follow the stem sounds and cells further and deper with GW's interview feature from a few weeks back available here.
Callow, the wandering duo of Red Moses and Sami Knowles lent a listen to their ghost song of “Black”, as they prep for a mess of dates spanning from April 10 through July 11. Rumor has it that this song of scorched sky and earth was written while the two lived in a yurt, during the lava flow of Mt. Shasta, whilst coyotes howled to the smoke-sooted moon overhead. Keep an ear out for these two, crashing a North American town near you.
Cleveland's Herzog crashed onto the scene this week with their single, “Mad Men”, off their Boys album available from Exit Stencil Records on May 20. With Jordan from Diarrhea Planet highly recommending these guys, we're listening to the poppy madness of garage geared, stage dive inspiring PAs on overdrive.
Shlohmo remixed Perera Elsewhere's “Light Bulb”, as the Everlast LP will be re-released in a deluxe edition that also includes reworks from Prefuse 73, Planningtorock, Antipop Consortium, amongst others, available May 6 from Friends of Friends Music.
Off the Friendly Bacteria album, available May 19 from Ninja Tune; check out the real life renderings from Mr. Scruff's “Render Me” that features Denis Jones. Follow the projections of illuminated bacteria of microbiotic bytes that get augmented and infected everything in sight on a macrobiotic scale.
Brooklyn's Dead Stars delivered a grunge-y, harmonized bit of pop and power with, “Someone Else”, from their upcoming album Slumber, available June 17 from Old Flame Records.
Eric McNelis of the Progress, is now playing in Sleep In with fellow Philly hardcore vets and shared a listen to the no apologies of, “I Do KNow And I'm Not Sorry”. Their album Settling is slated for digital release, April 29, with the vinyl issuing available May 27 from Hide Away Records.
Check out Marie Kim and Brooklyn's Blank Paper sending you digital ear pills on their Joe Accardi video for, “Ambien”, with a follow-up EP to 2013's Step Into My Office expected later this summer.
Hear what everyone is talking about, with a stream of Denton, Texas's Two Knights' forthcoming album Shut Up, available April 8 from Count Your Lucky Stars. This is the “fuck the bullshit” battle between Parker Lawson's spastic and aggro delivery to Miles DeBruin's drum timing synergy.
Zilla Rocca & The Shadowboxers invites Roc Marciano, Geechi Suede of Camp Lo, Open Mike Eagle, Has-Lo, Curly Castro, and more can be found on the album, No Vacation For Murder available now via iTunes, Bandcamp, and steaming here via your old pals at Myspace.
Wrekonize is joined up by a fun crew with, Bun B, RiFF RaFF, and Jackie Chain to yet you all politely know that there is no such thing as easy money, with beats courtesy of Supahotbeats' Will Power.
We got all the cosmic wild and weirdness on Sleepy Sun's Canada directed video for, “Galaxy Punk”, that erupts into a guitar propelled psychedelic western. Maui Tears is available now via iTunes.
Sweden's Cape Lion describes their video for “Called You Mine” in the following terms:
“Describe that moment when you suddenly see a person you used to share everything with, and while it might only last for a few seconds, it brings back memories and feelings that have long since passed.”
Let those good memories and sunset silhouettes run wild in your mind to the pop-toned inflections.
Breathing Statues will be available May 6 from Carpark Records, and you can check out the exotic video from Angus Borsos for Young Magic's “Fall In”.
Kristin Johnston and Joshua Wentz are Brash Flair, who released their EP Two on Sidedown, and bring a plethora of evocative productions to the picture.
We got the latest from the always awesome Lee Fields & the Expressions with his video for, “Magnolia”, from his upcoming Emma Jean album, available June 3 from Truth & Soul Records. Following Lee's record release gig at NYC's Bowery Ballroom, check for him and the Expressions hitting up EU/UK June 4 with a handful of West Coast dates through June 6.
Our new buddies Bear Hands got themselves a wild, short film/music video for, “Peacekeeper”, off their recent album, Distraction. Check out our recent premiere/interview/headline feature with those dudes here.
Walking Shapes dropped their video for, “Winter Fell” off their upcoming album, Taka Come On, available April 8. Captured on 8mm courtesy of editor Alexander Evan Morales and director Adam Erick Wallace, with the fancy dance studio footwork of Karolina Wallace and Darla Baker choreographed to compliment the post-winter season rock.
Watch the video for, “Coastline” from our new friends Wunder Wunder, that features Miami Horror's Aaron Shanahan and Benjamin Plant and a whole lot dazed West Coast beach technicolor footage. Read Wunder Wunder's interview feature here, while their album Everything Infinite will be available July 15 from Dovecote Records.
It's like Swedish ultra-pop crashing into the LA glamorous discotheques with Kat Ostenberg and Skyler Stonestreet that comprise, SIRENS, who are about to give your ears type-2 diabetes with the classroom passed note pop of, “I Think I Like You”.
OFf their upcoming album Remise, available April 22; check out Bailiff's gritty-folk-blues ripper, “Helicopter”, and check out our premiere of, “Shake My Heart”, and interview with the band here.
Check out the NSFW Alia Penner video for The Shoe's “Dead Rabbit Hopes”, that features the beautiful Jena Malone on a piano dressed only in floral petals and singing of an endless, enduring, and natural beauty.
Kristin Hoffmann graced us before with the Rise of Troy remix debut of, “Ghosts”, and now she is about to celebrate the release of The Human Compass: New Directions at NYC's The Slipper Room, Thursday April 10 beginning at 7pm. Listen to further entranced strings (acoustic and electric), ethereal breaths (sung and breathed by the atmospheres), on the looking glass pond waters of, “The Magic” (Rise of Troy remix).
(Lonely Child's Bryan Ray, photographed by Carly Roye)
In our continuing coverage of Bryan Ray's indie pop vehicle, Lonely Child, we got the gun powder fueled track, “Loaded Gun” for your listening pleasure. Mixed together with popped up production and danced up guitars, it adds another chapter to the Monday EP, and we have someof Bryan's words on the new song:
“It is super funky and poppy and that's the idea. It's really the centerpiece of the ongoing Monday EP. It started off as this kind of relationship dilemma, followed by a more sombering, supportive feeling. Now the main character of this EP is out and about being kind of a dick. The next song is going to be more reflective, how this man has made some mistakes and is having a hard time taking responsibility for them.”