Goodbye Tumblr! Thank you!
Sadly, we had to move on to a more focused blogging interface:
COME JOIN US AT THE NEW SITE!
WE LOVE YOU.
-The Process Records Team
Goodbye Tumblr! Thank you!
Sadly, we had to move on to a more focused blogging interface:
COME JOIN US AT THE NEW SITE!
WE LOVE YOU.
-The Process Records Team
Written By: Rina Rosen
BAND: Drop Tank (Listen if you like The Donnas of The Runaways)
There’s a strong Riot Grrl and hard rock vibe in Drop Tank’s EP, Domina. With heavy metal riffs, Zebidy has a scowling punk/blues voice that are a nice compliment to the album’s strong and bassy drums. The songs are epic and full of pop punk vigor! Drop Tank’s Domina EP’s “gain-heavy” sound has an impressive heavy rock style that will leave you with a sound-hangover! This band should be played VERY LOUDLY in order to enjoy the breadth of the experience that is Drop Tank.
By: Jordannah Elizabeth
Aufheben is a very French-pop inspired album despite the opening tracks Panic in Babylon and Viholliseni Maalla, which display deep aesthetical realms of Middle Eastern guerrilla warfare.
The album is probably one of the most romantic and optimistic albums Newcombe has ever written. The melodies of the songs are mainly bright, cheerful, and doused with electronic keyboard riffs that repeat major note progressions over and over again, but the songs are whimsical and multi dimensional enough to avoid being overly simplified.
Aufheben is not a post-apocalyptic album; it is futuristic. Blue Order New Monday sounds like a 2095 burning man track where you would find thousands of blue and green teenagers dancing around their burning idol, all singing “You’re gonnah seeeeee!”
The most pleasing thing about this record is that it is coherent, professionally mixed, and full of imaginative sounds and interesting messages. There is nothing complicated about Aufheben. The songs may have several layers, especially Seven Kinds of Wonderful, but Newcombe seemed to have decided to make simple, happy futuristic pop songs in 4/4 (maybe a couple are in 3 /4 but this is not music school), and they came out great. The entire project is refreshing.
It is no secret that indie rock musicologists recognize “My Bloody Underground” as the “Post BJM Age”, where Newcombe seemed to have slipped and hit his head, and moved to Iceland, got really high, and never really recovered from his mental and spiritual shake up before releasing the album. It become clearer that we almost lost the romantic revivalist for good once Who Killed Sgt. Pepper came out, displaying a fragmented album that seemed to show that he got lost in every continent of the planet.
But with this album, Aufheben, we seem to be able to sigh with relief, because the best parts of Anton as a musician are beginning to emerge again…accept the shoegazy psyche folk songs are a lot more European…and that’s ok.
I don’t review albums much (unless I’m paid to do it), but once I was finally able to hear this record in it’s entirety, I was very endeared and took the time to review it at 1 am on a Tuesday morning.
This is a loving, tasteful, and giving album. I would even say it is a forgiving album, therefore, we should forgive Anton for going off to space for a while, because ironically, this album is about Aliens, but it’s probably the most human BJM record ever written.
Written By: Jordannah Elizabeth
Edited By: Chris Parsons
FOUR AMAZINGLY HEAVY AMERICAN PSYCHE BANDS
This article came to me in the middle of the night, and it’s been simmering in my soul for about four days, and I had to get it out. These bands are the bands that I chose in my mind that night, and these are the bands that I’m stickin’ with; no apologies, baby.
Here is a list of exceptionally HEAVY psyche rock bands. They make super loud, weird, and invasive psychedelic-based music; more specifically the thing that they all have in common is that there are elements of metal present in their music. So, I guess I would define heavy psyche rock as psychedelia that melds metal rock into their sound. It’s just my opinion, it ain’t gospel.
Oh, and I also chose ONE track that really embodies the personality and heaviness of each of these bands.
MEMBERS: Jami Duggan and Den Campbell
LOCATION: Iowa City, IA
WHERE TO LISTEN: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2AJvBNkjdo
BESTE’s Naked is one of those tracks that pulled me in by my hair. I usually discover my favorite new music in the wee hours of the morning, when musicians timidly share their more obscure tracks on Facebook. And that is how I discovered this top music choice.
Naked sounds like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Danzig, and Mazzy Star having a threesome. I loved it. I am always very pleased when I find a female musician holding her own over the top of heavy, dirty rock and roll riffs, and Ms. Duggan really embodies the strength and frailty that a female psyche musician must have to be able to create a well-balanced psyche rock track and/or album.
Naked is a bit of an odd track for this particular rock duo, and that’s really why I like it. It’s a bit heavier than most of their other work, and I’m into anything that bends the rules, and sits outside of the general norm.
MEMBERS: Dandy Lee Strickland, Ryan Pitchford, Kyle Jones, Nick Bable, Dan Strickland, Gilly Sena
LOCATION: Atlanta, GA
WHERE TO LISTEN: https://www.facebook.com/SomeHighSun
Reverends’ Somehighsun is one of those tracks that makes you feel like you’re completely tripping your face off in the middle of the desert while trying to find your way home…but you’re so wasted that you tend to forget you’re also hot, lost, and dying every time you twitch your eye in any direction.
Somehighsun is magnificent because it is unapologetic and portrays a reflection of the Portland revivalist sound that seems to have gone overlooked for the past 10 years or so. Somehighsun is intense, almost discomforting, but well composed, driven, and tastefully conceptualized.
NAME: Dax Riggs
MEMBERS: Dax Riggs and other various dead boys and girls
TRACK: Say Goodnight to the World
LOCATION: Austin, TX
WHERE TO LISTEN: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JMe5QWbBAU (great version of the track!)
Some people know of Dax Riggs from his previous bands Acid Bath and Deadboy and the Elephantmen, but in 2007 Dax embarked on a solo career by releasing the album “We Only Sing of Blood of Love” which was a fabulous record, and is still one of my favorites.
Nonetheless, Say Goodnight to the World is a song that I can listen to at least once a day, every day. There is a particular live studio performance (see link) of the track that is entrancing, flawless, and incredibly impressive. Dax’s music is an amazing mesh of folk, metal, and psyche rock, which gives his work an almost religious but very heavy musical aesthetic that is so different and pleasing that it’s hard to deny Dax’s pure talent.
Say Goodnight to the World is a musical feat, and a great work of art.
NAME: Dead Meadow
MEMBERS: Jason Simon, Steve Kille, Mark Laughlin
TRACK: I’m Gone
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
WHERE TO LISTEN: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XolG7a5ciCA
I’m Gone is one of my favorite songs of all time. Dead Meadow is my The Monkees. They are a top selection of my favorite bands, and I listen to them often. Every time I’ve seen them live, they’ve never disappointed.
I’m Gone is not one of Dead Meadow’s heaviest tracks but since it is common knowledge that this band is a very metal-driven psychedelic band, I feel it is ok to highlight one of their best composed and coherent songs. The song is a great introduction ballad for Dead Meadow newbies, while catering to undertones of romance and nostalgia for those musicians and listeners who love heavy psyche rock.
I think all of us know what it’s like to meet someone while they’re on tour only to have them leave a few hours later, probably never to see them again, or sleep with them again in the very least. I’m not saying this is what the song is actually about, but I think this realistic, heavy-psyche anti-love approach to songwriting is brilliant.
And of course I’m Gone doesn’t cease to melt your face off without showcasing one of Jason Simon’s overachieving guitar solos in the middle of it.
By: Rina Rosen
The title of the album “Sweet Heart Sweet Light” is a reflection of Spiritualized’s music; it cries of positivity and lightness, and even melancholy lyrics are carried with cheerful tunes. His songs are a cross between Pulp’s style of “speaking through singing” and British 60’s psychedelic rock riffs, with Beatles-influenced guitar solo screaming through the bridges. “Sweet Heart, Sweet Light” is a reminiscent celebration of classic British rock especially with the layered vocal tracks that sound more like a blues folk chorus. It is enjoyable in its complexity while not being entirely experimental. While listening to the album, Spiritualized paints a paisley atmospheric and sonically powerful experience.
Definitely not of the ‘ordinary,’ Spiritualized really put a lot of effort into their new album. It sounds like it was recorded “off the floor,” which always provides a more personal experience for the listener. It’s not easy to create such sound effects that recall popular psychedelic albums of The Beatles or The Rolling Stones, but Jason Pierce and his latest collaborators are in the right vein. There is a conviction in Pierce’s voice and lyrics that are anything but phoney. It’s rare to find a singer supported by a band where all the sounds blend so well together. This album is highly recommended.
By: Jordannah Elizabeth
The Dandy Warhols are a veteran band who have given their fans almost 18 years of great music. I frankly reached a bit out of my realm to learn from and about Peter, but I wanted to help The Dandy Warhols celebrate the release of their new album, and give everyone a chance to learn from the thoughts of a man who helped indie rock and our beautiful neo psyche generation become what it is today.
Things get more amazing for The Process Records everyday. No matter what happens in life there is something about this blog and the artists we interact with that is magical.
Thanks to Peter for being kind and open. I’m very honored.
What is the secret to maintaining longevity as a band and as a successful musician?
If you could do anything besides be a musician, what would you do?
I’d be an artist of some sort. I was planning on being a painter. I always thought music was out of my reach, but 18 years later it seems like painting is out of reach.
What’s your favorite Dandy Warhol’s song?
Mohammed. At least it’s my favorite to play.
Do you enjoy your bond with the other members of the Dandy’s?
Yes, when we get on stage, I know what will and won’t happen.
What do you think about the digital takeover of the music industry?
I don’t particularly like it. I don’t have a choice though do I? It was easier before it happened, I think. You knew what you were supposed to do. It may not have worked any better than the new model, but there was an obvious path.
Have you adapted to it?
Sort of. I certainly like how easy it is to find new music. But that takes the fun out of the hunt.
Has the new music industry changed the way you interact with fans?
Yes. I have direct contact, which works well when I want to announce upcoming shows or release dates for my side projects. But not so well when as soon as we announce tour dates I’m flooded with requests for guest list spots or people wanting their band to open for us.
Do you consider your music and band an artistic pursuit, or a career path?
The music will always be an artistic pursuit. But the band has to approach things as a career at this point. I don’t know how to do anything else at this point, and I don’t want it to ever end.
Tell us a bit about your new album The Machine and your upcoming tour?
We decided to make the record sparser, less layering of sounds. That means that each part has to be perfect, it won’t be hiding behind 17 other parts. Because of this sounds are therefore bigger sounding. We also stayed out of Tchad Blake’s hair when he mixed the record.
Do you have any advice for young musicians just starting out? Please share!
All my advice is well out of date, probably wouldn’t help. Accept “practice a lot”
“Well, I personally consider these bands to be POST MODERN SHOEGAZE/PSYCHE bands that derived from post punk, 60’s and 70’s psychedelia, and folk music and emerged between 1989-2010 (or to the present). That’s how I see it.” - j.e.
I’ve been corrected a couple of times for my use of the genre and term, Shoegaze. I have been informed that BJM, The Dandys, and Spiritualized are NOT shoegaze.
So, let’s deal with this right now:
The Process Records supports, covers and promotes shoegaze, psyche, experimental, and alternative bands mainly from North America, Australia and Eastern and Western Europe. So the bands that I wrote about in my last post (which of whom I rarely cover…this is the first time I’ve posted anything about the Dandys or Spiritualized) really birthed a broad generation of musicians and listeners that could sit under several different genres.
I generally thought it was interesting that BJM, the Dandys, and Spiritualized were touring and releasing albums at the same time…so, if anyone was going to trip on a post, this was a very simple one to attack. Let’s talk about experimental/deep house/ anti folk from Estonia, if you want to play “musical wits”
Why did I call BJM, The Dandys, and Spiritualized shoegaze bands? I didn’t. I wrote that I was going to write a series about shoegaze and its happenings and that the reemergence of these bands proved that the genre is not dead.
Why do I associate these bands with the genre at all?
“Well, I personally consider these bands to be POST MODERN SHOEGAZE/PSYCHE bands that derived from post punk, 60’s and 70’s psychedelia, and folk music music and emerged between 1989-2010 (or to the present). That’s how I see it.”
I work hard, and I study hard, and have given a big chunk of my life learning from many of the bands I write about.
If you actually talk to the bands that are branded as shoegaze/psyche, they don’t take the time to combat what genre they are under. Shoegaze is an understandable brand at this point for younger readers, and non elitists.
I write to share and educate. But we all interpret the story differently.
Look out for articles from The Process Records about The Paisley Underground, and Ride, and Slowdive. I am not ignorant. I’m just writing to a broad generation of readers who associate bands with certain genres that may not be completely or aesthetically correct…but their associations should not exclude them from being knowledgeable about music.
I am just trying to communicate with a larger audience than just music snobs who have nothing better to do than correct music bloggers who eat, sleep, and breath this stuff.
There is a whole world around us. Let’s try to agree on something so we can communicate and share without freaking out over semantics. This is what I do, baby. Anyone who knows better, please write a blog, or write for us, or shoot me a message and share. I’m open and willing to listen and learn, as we all should be.
Since everyone and their mom is releasing a new album and going on tour this year, I’ve made the decision to write a series of articles, interviews, reviews, and editorials about the shoegaze happenings of 2012. There series is called:
2012: The Year of Shoegaze
OPINION - EDITORIAL - April 12, 2012
“Three Albums and Tours That Prove Shoegaze is Far From Dead”
By: Jordannah Elizabeth
BAND: Brian Jonestown Massacre
TOUR: World Tour
BAND: Dandy Warhols
ALBUM: The Machine
TOUR: Europe/North American Tour
ALBUM: Sweet Heart, Sweet Light
TOUR: Europe/ North American Tour
If you would have told my 20 year old self who was simply reeling after hearing “Cold to the Touch” and “Bad Baby” that I would become professional music journalist who’s specific niche would be covering and chronicling the historical and international benevolence of post modern shoegaze and psychedelia, I would not have believed you.
This is a season to recognize all that shoegaze has given us over the past 20 years. This is the year where the younger bands like The Vacant Lots, The Orange Revival, and The Blue Angel Lounge have gotten their feet wet enough to sign with labels and/or continue touring with more support and familiar fanbases, and this is also the year where bands like the Brian Jonestown Massacre, Spiritualized, and the Dandy Warhols, continue on their long and potent musical journeys.
I for one am simply fascinated by what this entire year is going to bring.
Because this is an introduction to a series that will follow the exploits of as many shoegaze/psyche bands as I can stomach and track down (I mean that in the most respectful manner, because most of the musicians I have met have been nothing less than gentlemen), and I will also be offering some op-ed pieces in order to do my best to illustrate the true importance and cultural and international influence that this music and it’s bands has accomplished over time, I’ll keep this post simple.
Without further ado, here are three albums and tours that PROVE that shoegaze is far from dead.
Written By: Jordannah Elizabeth
Spice Mouse - Tallinn, Estonia (Listen if you like Bjork, Coco Rosie)
The experimental music that is being produced in Eastern Europe is second to none. Last year, I completely immersed myself in Eastern Europe’s experimental rock music while learning about and interacting with artists like Amazing Electronic Talking Cave (St. Petersburg, RU) and Rachael (Warsaw, Poland), I came across the music of Ms. Laura Vunk of Spice Mouse.
Spice Mouse is a talented and intriguing artist who has an amazing sensitivity to musical atmosphere. Listening to a Spice Mouse song is like walking into her world of fantasy that is accompanied by a psychedelic and trip hop soundtrack that’s graced with her milky vocals. She’ll also completely woo you with lyrics expressed in her native language. I really appreciate international artists who sing in their first language. Her production value is also something to be praised and recognized. Get into Spice Mouse. She is quite incredible.
The Seed Coat - Åre, Sweden (Listen if you like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club)
The Seed Coat is a surprisingly modern and bluesy band from Sweden. It is always lovely to open my inbox and find submissions from all over the world, but The Seed Coat exceeded my expectations by stepping away from the washed out psyche sounds that is dominating underground rock and roll right now, and really touching on melodies that derive from blues, classic rock, and R&B.
Their music is funky, sexy, and well produced. You won’t be able to help but move when you listen to their sounds. The Seed Coat is HIGHLY recommended.
Dead Horse One – Valance, France (Listen if you like Slowdive)
France seems to consistently produce great bands that truly understand their genres and represent the classic elements of their chosen genres well. Dead Horse One was submitted to me by a fan of the band’s on Facebook. Their classic shoegaze rock sound is solid, and their songs are well written. I really enjoy a tight (a band who stays on beat, and in key to maintain a professional sounding musical execution) band, and Dead Horse One sounds great on their recordings. Make sure you dig into their music. They’re an amazing band!
Stereowoolf – Marburg, Germany (Listen if you like Sleater Kinney)
Stereowoolf is one of my new obsessions, but I just got wind that the band just broken up. I don’t really have time to be heartbroken because I don’t want to accept that it is true!
Stereowoolf had a very unique sound, that mixed storytelling, a riotgrrrl punk attitude, and a minimal rock aesthetic without sounding overly bizarre. The beauty of the band was that they had a lot going for them, as riotgrrrl rock is returning quietly to underground music, and their song “When I Was a Baby Feminist” was listenable and exciting without being overwhelming. The song had humor and brought nostalgia of the 90’s and the amazing girlcentric rock scene that dominated during that time.
They were also getting acclaim from being featured on Riotgrrrl Berlin’s music compilation. They would have gone really far.
RIP Stereowoolf. We love you.
RIDE INTO THE SUN – Adelaide, Austraila (Listen if you like Brian Jonestown Massacre)
Ride Into the Sun is an energetic shoegaze/psyche band that injects a new level of quality into a style of music that that has been done so well, many times. Ride into the Sun is another professional sounding, and exciting band that incorporates aboriginal sounds and layers of fuzz, reverb, and sex appeal that makes their music very hard to ignore.
I’m very happy to have learned about their music because musicians need standards to reach for and Ride Into the Sun sets a very high standard for psyche bands to achieve. They’re an amazing band with great taste.
By: Jordannah Elizabeth
I usually write a lengthy prelude about some encounter I’ve had with the musicians I interview on this blog. Nonetheless, I don’t really remember how Eric and I came into contact. I think he knew about the label and reached out, and eventually, I reached back. It’s not a very interesting story. Anyway, the beautiful thing about The Process Records being an International music collective is that I get to interact with people from all over the world. Sometimes, I’ll listen to demos from three or four different countries in one sitting.
Eric Alexander is an enthusiastic and talented musician from Sweden. His band, The Orange Revival has made a name for itself over the past few years as an excellent shoegaze/ psychedelic ensemble. In light of Austin Psyche Fest, I thought I’d share Eric’s jolly insights about music, guitars, and travel:
When was the first time you heard psychedelic music?
What’s your favorite guitar?
I guess my favorite guitars is the one I play the most: Gretsch country gentleman. But I also like my Rickenbacker 330 and my vox stereo 12 .
Have you ever played in America?
We haven´t played in America before, only Europe, so it (Austin Psyche Fest) will be fun.
What do you like about American music?
I don´t think I like anything special about American music. I like the sound of many American bands, but I also love the music from the rest of the world so, I don´t care where the bands come from as long as they sounds good to me!
What have you learned from hearing Swedish music all your life?
Ohh, I have been listening to mostly music from outside of Sweden, I guess. But there are many good Swedish bands!
If you could move to any city as an artist, where would it be?
Probably a place where the Sun shines and it’s not to much stress, and where I have a good view. It doesn´t really seem like I would move to a city, but maybe I will find a good city and want to move there. The place where I live now is really good actually!! It’s in the North of Sweden with the mountains just outside my door! It’s beautiful and pretty mellow.
What do you hope to get out of playing Austin Psyche Fest?
Something like this: Click Here
Who’s your favorite psyche band right now?
I don´t have a favorite psych band right now. There are too many good bands! I’ve been listening to a lot of Townes Van Zandt and Daniel Johnston lately.
What do you see your band five years from now?
Our ¨The best of ¨ album release is set for May 2017 so it will be a good year.
The new full length LP from The Brian Jonestown Massacre is available for pre order on Cargo Records. If you don’t know, now you know…
The the 2012 Australian tour dates have been announced.
Principal Entertainment Presents:
The Brian Jonestown Massacre with The Raveonettes
2012 Australian Tour
Tickets on sale Thursday 8th March
Thursday 17th MAY- Sydney- METRO THEATRE
Friday- 18TH MAY-Canberra- ANU REFECTORY
Saturday-19TH MAY – Melbourne- FORUM THEATRE
Sunday-20TH MAY- Adelaide- THE GOV
Tuesday-22ND MAY – Perth- ASTOR THEATRE
Thursday-24TH MAY Brisbane- HI FI
Friday- 25th May Newcastle- LEVEL ONE-NEWCASTLE LEAGUES CLUB
By: Jordannah Elizabeth
After spending almost 10 years in the independent music industry I cannot say I’m jaded in any way, shape, or form. Nonetheless, it is harder to get me to attend shows and it takes me a few days to a few weeks to listen to demos.
I never know exactly what I’m going to like, but when it comes to having a refined taste and an understanding of pro-am technical and artistic aesthetics, I think I understand what the scene wants to hear…but most importantly, my life and career are based on what I like to hear…
Enough with the mumbo jumbo. Here are five bands that excite me, and couple of them even arouse me, simply because the music is too good, or their videos have male nudity in them…either way, they get me going.
STEROWOOLF ( Marburg, Germany) -
I sent Sterowoolf’s debut single “When I Was a Baby Feminist” to my mom because the song really pin pointed how I grew up. Back in my day, it was cool to be a feminist. It was cool to have opinions, and be strong, sexy, loud, violent, and talented.
Now…well, Katy Perry is here. I am not angry about this. I’m just here to spit some Riot Grrrl juice right in your eyes. Remember? Remember when women were actually interesting to be around??
NURSING HOME (Brooklyn, New York, US) -
Not only has Justin Symbol become a great friend of mine, but he’s established himself as a worthy visual artist and musician. His new band, Nursing Home is an interesting and super twisted take on the shallowness and the complexities of pop culture.
He’s got an amazing sense of humor, and the production value of his work really shows that the lofi culture in Brooklyn, while amazing, really could take the time to step it up and invest in their music and their videos a bit more. Justin has taken Brooklyn Indie art to a new level, and has no real competition.
TRABAJO (Brooklyn, New York, US) -
I don’t have many obsessions, but Trabajo is truly one of the things in my life that I can’t live without. I know it may look bad because I never have time to make it to the weeknights shows, but I really do love them.
Trabajo will be playing The Process Record’s next showcase, and it is because I want to have babies with their music. Yes, a tiny Taiwanese grrrl, and tall thin American noise musician have turned me into a true blue groupie. I don’t care, I’m not ashamed, as long as they don’t dump me, I’ll be ok.
THE PINK PEARL DRAGON (Toronto, CA) -
Rina Rosen has also become a great friend of mine. Her washed out new wave rock and roll is not female centric, or trying to be anything it’s not, it’s just good. Rina’s got a really laid back approach to music, but her soprano vocals and amazing and mature electronic music skills are refined and intentional.
I really like her work. She played two nights at The Process Records Winter Showcase, and I was honored to have her perform. Never under estimate the power of a woman who can produce her own brilliant music!
THE DOVE & THE WOLF (Paris, France) -
I know of Louise Hayat-Camard because she is in a French band called Black Ivy. I was also able to meet Louise in Brooklyn while she was in town visiting from Paris.
She recently sent me music from her new music project and I loved it very much. I think French musicians deserve more credit than they get and I really love the peaceful and sensual folk sound of The Dove & The Wolf. It’s always an honor when great musicians take the time to share their music with me, and I always want to give back to great artists.
By: Jordannah Elizabeth
Jared Artaud has always been very kind and supportive of me and The Process Records. I was a bit naive about how well his band was in when I emerged into the New York City music scene as a booker and A&R in 2010. Nonetheless, it’s been a pleasure to watch The Vacant Lots earn great opportunities and recognition for their hard work and wonderful music. They deserve everything they have and all their future looks very bright.
Thanks so much to Jared for taking to time out to participate. Please do your best to support The Vacant Lots’ music and their return to the Austin Psyche Fest this year!
How did you get into music?
I stepped away from what everyone else around me was listening to and started to search out music that I liked. Then music was like a thread that I could trace through time. One band would lead to another then I would discover something new and dig deeper into it. It started to happen all the time. It was the way a certain kind of rock n roll could make me feel and hit my soul and take me out of reality. A spiritual kind of feeling.
What do you think the future holds for the band?
I would like to see more of our music on vinyl, as well as working with more record labels and touring other countries. We have a strong vision of what we want to do. I think we have always set out to make our own kind of music and form our own style from the beginning. I think we continue to evolve from that perspective which makes the future exciting and new for us. It’s a full time commitment. We have a new release coming out on Austin Psych Fest’s label, The Reverberation Appreciation Society in April & right now we are working new songs for an LP.
Do you believe it is important for bands to work with labels, indie or major?
Yeah, I do. I like the idea of working with other people that believe in what you do and help you move forward. For the most part, there is a lot of hard work, expenses & time that goes into everything. The experiences we have had with labels so far have been positive. It’s about getting your music out there & developing your art. The right label can help see that through.
Who’s you fave band right now?
Tough one. I have 2. The Gun Club & Screamin’ Jay Hawkins.
What your favorite type of guitar?
I play a Gretsch Country Gentleman & Vox Phantom XII. I would go with those two. When I was 18 I sold my car & bought the Gretsch & then I taught myself how to play it.
Love or money?
If you had any advice for young musicians, what would it be?
Don’t listen to what anybody says & stay true to your own vision. Get inspired from what turns you on & turn other people on.
*TPR does not endorse or encourage drug use.
Nursing Home, we love you! The Process Records is excited to welcome this amazing Brooklyn based Electro Psyche ensemble to the family. We’re very impressed with their talent and are honored to share a little piece of ourselves with them. What does that mean? You’ll find out very soon.
You can catch them at:
Lit Lounge in the East Village (NYC) on
We’ll see you there!
By: Jordannah Elizabeth
Rina Rosen, the sole performer, writer, and producer of The Pink Pearl Dragon (Toronto, CA) and I have a relatively harmonious bond. I am happy to write about her and her music because she is a good friend of The Process Records, and because it has given me a chance to learn more about her musical history:
Rina started her career in 1992 and should be noted as one of the organizers of the original Ladyfest, a riot grrrl run music festival that took first place in Olympia, Washington and later had a hand in throwing Ladyfest Melbourne.
She’s a talented musician who also played in the garage band, ADHD (Melbourne, Australia) in the early millennium. The band moved to Toronto, later becoming The Dramics (2009-2011)
THE PINK PEARL DRAGON
The Pink Pearl Dragon (Toronto, CA) is an amazing washed out new wave/post modern rock music project that really shows Rina’s talent for psychedelic and pedal driven rock and roll. Her music is surprising, well composed, and enjoyable to listen to. You can find her work at:
Take a listen and make your own assessment of Rina’s art.
I little birdie dropped me a line through the grapevine. And now, I am sharing the word with you.
BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE are glad to announce the start of their world tour for 2012. Below are the West Coast North American dates. This coincides with their new album release, Aufheben, on May 1, 2012 on ’a’ Records available through Redeye Distribution. East coast dates will follow.
West Coast Dates 2012
Fri April 27 Dallas @ Granada Theatre
Sat April 28 Houston @ Fitzgeralds
Sun April 29 Austin @ Psych Fest
Thu May 3 Vancouver @ The Venue (To Be Confirmed)
Fri May 4 Seattle @ Neptune Theatre
Sat May 5 Portland @ Wonder Ballroom
Tue May 8 Denver @ Bluebird Theatre
Wed May 9 Salt Lake City @ Urban Lounge
Fri May 11 San Francisco @ The Fillmore
Sat May 12 Los Angeles @ The Wiltern
By Jordannah Elizabeth:
Shoegaze is my life. I have a very particular musical taste and palate, and thrive in a specific field of music expertise.
This doesn’t mean I haven’t had great experiences like meeting Courtney Love and throwing a couple of metal rock shows… it just means that when I’m in a conversation about music, whether it be with a major label exec, or an indie rock blogger, I never cease to explain that I’m not really interested in too much music outside of the psyche/shoegaze orb of reality and sound.
No one judges me for it.
Nonetheless, it took a young man from Warsaw, Poland to mention to me several times about his love for Christian Bland and the Revelators and his different music projects. After interviewing Alex Maas, I did have a little revelation to interview Mr. Bland…but it was truly my European friend and his Bland fanaticism who made our simple connect actually manifest.
Whatever or whoever brings us together is just another brick in the wall, and a link in the chain of shoegaze and musical expression. Such is life.
I’d like to thank Christian Bland for partaking in this interview. After reading it, I learned that I have the more in common with him than I have with any other psych musician I’ve ever interviewed. Anyone who is a preacher’s kid, and a Daryl Strawberry fan is a friend of mine:
How many music projects are you playing in?
Three. The Black Angels, UFO Club, & Christian Bland & The Revelators.
How do you balance working with different bands?
The Black Angels is my main thing. When The Black Angels have down time, I play with the Revelators, which is my solo project. I like playing live, so it allows me to do that more often around Austin. The Black Angels only play a couple Austin shows a year. The UFO Club is a project with Lee Blackwell, the lead guitarist/singer for The Night Beats. So we’re only able to get together when he comes through town.
Who were your musical influences?
My Dad had The Beatle’s Sgt. Peppers album and Bob Dylans’ The Times are a Changin’ record, and I would listen to them over and over as a kid. Those albums along with my parents always listening to Oldies 94.5 in Houston laid the foundation for my musical influences. Bo Diddley, Buddy Holly, Syd Barrett, John Lennon, Brian Wilson, The Byrds are some of my favorites
What was your childhood like?
My Dad was a preacher in Miami, FL when I was born and we moved to Houston when I was 7. I grew up going to church every Sunday. I loved baseball (Daryl Strawberry) and collecting Garbage Pail Kids.
Did you think The Black Angels would become so successful?
No, I cant believe what we’ve gotten to do and all the places we’ve been.
I knew in 2004 when I graduated from UT that I wasn’t passionate about advertising, and that I needed an alternative plan. I figured the thing I enjoyed most in life was playing the guitar and creating music, so I should put 100% into making it my job, allowing me to pay my bills and eat. It’s gone beyond that, which is a real blessing.
What are your interests besides music?
I like screen printing and graphic design. I majored in advertising/graphic design at FSU then went to UT for grad school. I still get to use my skills for the black angels.
DIY or Major label?
Whichever would allows us to be bigger than the Beatles.
USA tour or International tour?
I love traveling overseas, but I think I prefer playing in the USA only because I get to use my own amp & our Compact Duo Farfisa. We can’t travel with our amps or the Farfisa overseas because they’re too heavy, so we use a backline. I think the crowds in Europe are more into it though.
If you had any advice for new musicians and bands, what would it be?
I think you’ve gotta make it your sole reason for being here. We all moved in with each other early on, and it made us practice more and become immersed in our music. I think that everything you do should be about what you love the most.
If you could have any other profession outside of music, what would it be?
A graphic designer or an archeologist.
(An Unexpected Interview w/ Alex Maas of the Black Angels)
By: Jordannah Elizabeth
I met Alex Maas for a brief moment in 2008 in front of the Bluebird theater in Denver, CO. The Black Angels were on tour with the Warlocks who I’d been hanging out with for a few weeks in Los Angeles before their tour commenced.
I went to Denver out of boredom I guess, and was curious to see Dead Meadow at the Larimer Lounge because I’d heard a lot about them and missed their shows on the West Coast, and of course I’d heard a lot about The Black Angels who were getting tons of press and attention in the scene at that time.
Anyway, I met Alex and The Black Angels in front of the venue as they were packing up to leave. I said hi and asked them a random question, because I was 21 and drunk, and looking for a boyfriend who was already genuinely annoyed with my existence. They were all very warm and kind and told me where they thought he was. Alex introduced himself to me. Then I scurried off to continue my on my own little self deluded adventure.
I regret not taking the time to speak with the band longer, but at that age, I was a tumble weed. I had not roots. If someone didn’t demand my attention, I didn’t have the sense to stand still and inquire about them. You live you learn.
Check out this very concise interview I did with Alex Maas. I appreciate him taking the time out to do this. This is a great gift I can share with everyone this New Years’ Eve:
What made you want to be a musician?
Who are your musical influences?
Beastie Boys, Wu Tang, Beck, BJM (Brian Jonestown Massacre), Huun Huur Tu, Donovan, Troggs, Electralane, Mississippi John Hurt, Tony Conrad (outside the dream syndicate), Buddy Holly, The Everly Brothers, Bowie, 13th floor Elevators, and The Beatles.
Did you ever expect to be so successful as a musician?
What’s the best thing about being in The Black Angels?
Being around my best friends
What’s the most challenging thing about being on a major label?
Well, I wouldn’t Blue Horizon is a major label. But I have heard that on major labels it is tough to get the label to focus on just your band because generally major labels have so many bands. This isn’t the case for Blue Horizon.
Do you like to perform or record more?
They both are fun but, I don’t know if I prefer one over the other. Maybe recording?
Are you guys coming out with a new album?
We are in the process of recording a new record. It should be out 2012.
If you had any advice for young musicians what would it be?
TOUR and surround yourself with people who have done this before.
If you could choose a different profession, what would it be?
By: Jordannah Elizabeth
We love Dand Lee Strickland long time.
I became interweb buddies with Dand during the days of the Myspace world domination. We were both 15 pounds lighter, always on drugs, and always in bands. Over time, I guess we matured and got grown up jobs and now try fight the stigma of being seen as burned out hipsters…(frankly, my back and knees hurt, and I don’t go out two nights in a row, so I don’t know about him, but it is what it is.)
Nonetheless, I’ve been bugging him for about a year about him putting out new music because he leaked some soloish unreleased stuff to me last year that was incredible. I was under strict instructions not to share it…so I didn’t, and won’t.
I initially learned he was a talented musician by hearing he was in a great band that never left the groud called Rebel Drones. Rebel Drones had a beyond all star line up consisting of: Matt Hollywood, Colin Hegna, Jason Anchondo, William Morrissey Slater, Peter Holmstrom in Portland, Oregon.
reverends (Atlanta, GA):
So, Dand told me he had this new band called reverends and they have a facebook page and stuff…
and now they have a new song, which is awesome and the entire reason why I’m writing about them. The song is called “Somehighsun”, and you can watch the music video for the song on their official band facebook page.
Reverends is: Ryan Pitchford Kyle Jones Gilly Sena Joe Andrews Glenn Burns
I already asked Dand for a youtube of the video, and he’s not budging so follow the link and check it out on facebook.
By: Jordannah Elizbeth
It has been my pleasure over the years to meet several amazing musicians. Whether I have had the pleasure to run into DIY artists or professional rock and roll stars, every artistic person I encountered had something special about them.
Nan Turner of Schwervon! mentioned that she was inspired by Agent Ribbons over facebook, so I checked out their music, as I was simply moved by curiosity to hear something that got a great artist like Nan’s blood pumping.
After I listened to Agent Ribbons I was very impressed with their music. I quickly set up an interview with them last night and we had such a wonderful time.
You can watch my interview with them for Think Like a Label.com here.
After you check out the interview, take the time to listen to this dynamic riot grrrl duo. They are fun, spunky, and very entertaining. I highly recommend you indulge in their recordings.
By: Jordannah Elizabeth
The Blue Angel Lounge is a band of stylish young shoegazers who are taking Europe and America by storm. Hailing from Hagen, Germany, this talented band has experienced great support from the strongly influential shoegaze rock scene in Berlin.
The Blue Angel Lounge’s sound is mature and fits in with other young international shoegaze musicians like Amazing Electronic Talking Cave (St. Petersburg, RU) and Spice Mouse (Tallin, EE). Their songs are dark and dramatic, moody and atmospheric, and artistically potent.
By: Jordannah Elizabeth
I Am The Programmer (IATP) is an Itunes podcast radio show that is hosted by a couple of robots, seriously. These robots introduce you to bands, and allow you to listen in as musicians give an intimate account of their musical experiences between segments of featured music. I really like the show.
I listened to the show for the first time about a week ago, after being added to a massive facebook group that included almost 6,000 people. The group shares the same name as Ryan L. Abato’s podcast radio show, and acts as an extended promotional tool for it. I guess Ryan’s enthusiasm drove me to promote The Process Records on the group wall. He was supportive and very kind, and took an interest in my label and blog. So, I’m taking an interest in him and his brilliant radio show, I Am The Programmer.
Take a moment to learn how this music programmer came to produce his incredibly popular podcast radio show:
What was it like growing up for you?
I grew up with two very loving parents who got a divorce when I was six. Growing up on Star Wars, (yes, I had the Vader case with all the figures, the fighters, etc.) One day, I told my mom before she was going to take me to my grandparents house to bring my Star Wars toys for I could play with them there. She put them all in a black trash bag. After that day, I never saw my toys again because my grandfather thought the black bag was trash and threw them away. I never collected toys again.
They were replaced with a 2XL educational robot, The Cars and The Police record collection. Duran Duran came later. My stepfather who recently passed away, was a radio programmer for an oldies radio station. The station used to get loads of music they couldn’t use. Tons of obscure stuff. My obsession with music escalated from there. My parents have always been supportive, just as my school friends were when I was growing up.
What led you to your interest in podcasts?
I Am The Programmer did. It was a learning process for me. The first five “flight episodes” were pretty good, but my production skills and attention to detail truly started the day I launched Flights onto iTunes. Game on.
How did you get the idea for I Am The Programmer?
When 9/11 happened, the stock market crashed. As devastating as that was, I knew the economy would come back strong. I launched IATP basically because the sadness we all have felt regarding the music industry.
It was planned out a bit before I launched it, but overall, it came about because I couldn’t find nearly as much new music as I used to. It pissed me off. MySpace WAS a fantastic resource. NME, Mojo, Spin, Melody Maker, etc…they were all limited.
Some of the best bands in the world right now are doing it themselves and no one is covering their existence and expenses accordingly. Also, our minds are packed with more information than ever. I wanted to create a nucleus, and believe I’ve created one.
What else do you do besides running IATP?
I am a contracted Marketing & Event Manager for a couple different companies, although a lot of this type of work has been and will be phased out in the coming year.
What interests you when it comes to managing bands?
I am solely interested in managing Lilies On Mars. I’m blown away by their music and voices. Both Lisa and Marina are certainly easy on the eyes! We consider each other the complete package. I have a lot of respect for them as a Manager, it is my interest to take this band I adore and surround them with their contemporaries, fans, and beyond.
Are you musically inclined?
I used to play the piano. it’s all a faded memory now! Some people say I have a voice. Some don’t, but fuck them, I’m still gonna sing!
Who is your favourite band right now?
Too many. If I can answer this, I’m in the wrong business. The last three years have exposed me to more music than working for record labels and retail.
How do you choose the bands you promote?
There is definitely a formula covering both song quality and production. If I like a song, I find more from that artist to ensure I just don’t like that one track. If I still like the music, I correspond with the band or their manager.
What are your future plans for IATP and yourself?
After November’s episode of Flights, I will be taking a little time off from radio to bring on a couple of key sponsors who will compliment, accept and add to this world we have created. Also, IATP on tour, live dj’ing events, merchandising will occur. I’m putting together a band, but not with me in it. There is a lot on my plate. For 2012 - it all goes the distance.
If you have any advice for young promoters and programmers, what is it?
By: Jordannah Elizabeth
Gary Wilson is such a cult relic that he sits up there with super weird legends like John Waters and Kubrick, accept, he’s a musician. I found out about Gary Wilson from a former member of The Warlocks, Ryan McBride’s myspace account. Do you remember the days when you could post ONE profile song on your personal account? Well, Ryan posted “In the Midnight Hour” on his profile in the summer of 2008. I listened to the track and experienced one of those pinnacle life changing music moments.
I got into the music deeply, then went on with my life and travels and almost forgot about his art until Gary emailed me, out of the blue in 2011, and submitted his music to The Process Records. I run a small record label and receive artist submissions a bit regularly, but you can imagine my surprise when one of my musical idols (you can see his influence in my music video “Cult Grrlfriend”, where the DP and lead singer of Baby Erection, shared my love for Gary’s work) asked me to release his upcoming record. I was open to his request and we corresponded and planned to have a meeting about the opportunity. Many months later, I met Gary Wilson backstage at his show in Brooklyn, NY.
Gary Wilson has recently signed with Tip Records to release his new album “Feel the Beat”, and we couldn’t be more thrilled for him!
Along with having his voice sampled on Beck’s “Where It’s At”, and being one of Questlove’s biggest inspirations, Gary Wilson is experiencing a career revival that is unprecedented after experiencing almost 20 years out of the limelight, and returning to music in 2002.
Gary has become a great friend of mine and The Process Record’s, and I am honored to share this amazingly insightful interview with you:
What bands are you listening to during your free time?
Sometimes I feel like I am out of the loop. I don’t really listen to other bands (except when someone gives me a CD of their music) so it’s hard for me to answer this question. I listen to mostly classical music (Debusy, Ravel, Ralph Vaughn Williams, Bax, etc.).
What is it like to perform for such a devoted fan base?
Very gratifying. Such a change from the early days when most of the audience (at that time) wanted to ‘kill’ me and the band. I sometimes needed a police escort out of the venue because of the hostility the audience felt about me. In the early days my hero was John Cage and I took to heart his comment, “If you don’t irritate the audience then you’re not doing your job.” I certainly irritated the audience in my small town of Endicott, often booking myself to play the wrong venues, knowing that the venue’s audience would disapprove of my music. I had to entertain myself when I was young. Very happy things have changed for the better.
How do you think young people found out about your music?
It took awhile. In the early days I had a much smaller following (a few underground radio stations, writers, individuals, etc.). When I self released “You Think You Really Know Me’ in 1977, I had to promote myself. I sent my record out to a lot of college radio stations and some of the more underground rock magazines. Things took a while, but in 1997 Beck released “Odeley” and was riding high with the song “Where It’s At” which featured a Gary Wilson shout out in the song. This gave me a bit of popularity with some of the newer audiences. But it still took until 2002 when Motel Records re-released “You Think You Really Know Me” to reach a much larger audience. Everything changed for the better at that point and I am very happy with that.
Did you always know your return would bring such a kind welcome?
No. I was totally taken by surprise when everything took off in 2002. That year Motel records brought me to New York City for two shows at Joe’s Pub. It blew my mind when I found out the Joe’s Pub show was sold out and ticket scalpers were getting hundreds of dollars for tickets to get in to see me. It brings a tear to my eyes when I think about the massive change (for the good) that has occurred for me and my music.
What inspires your music and art?
I suppose life, art, and what I would like it to be are my inspirations, what I would personally want to see and hear. I’ve been doing avant garde music and art since I was 12 years old so everything that I do now concerning my music and art seems to come naturally to me. I approach my shows, music, and art with this in mind: “What would I want to see and hear from Gary Wilson?” Then I do it.
How long have you been playing with The Blind Dates?
The Blind Dates started out (when I was 13 years old) as an off shoot of my rock band Lord Fuzz around 1966-67. I wanted to be more avant garde then Lord Fuzz and put together some of the players from Lord Fuzz along with my school friends (Frank Roma, Vince Rossi, Carmen Putrino, Butch Bottino, Joe Lunga, David Haney) and formed Dr. Zork and the Warts. We were very experimental and did various avant garde shows around the Endicott area. Slowly (by 1974) things evolved and Dr. Zork and the Warts became Gary Wilson and The Blind Dates. I was able to book my band into CBGBs (around 1976-77) after I self released “You Think You Really Know Me”. I still include some of the original members when I perform now.
What are your plans for the future?
Just to enjoy doing Gary Wilson music and art. I have a new album currently being released by Tip Records in San Francisco called “Feel The Beat”.
What advice do you have for young musicians?
First of all enjoy what you are doing. I’ve been playing music since I was 8 years old. The years between 1966-69 were a wonderful time for a young small town boy. The British rock scene (Beatles, Dave Clark Five, Rolling Stones, etc.) was in full swing and my rock band Lord Fuzz was playing every weekend at various psychedelic rock clubs. It’s funny that when I play now with the Blind Dates, I try to recreate that feeling within me of how I felt when I was 13 years old. When music and bands were exciting. When there was a certain innocence to it all.
How has the music industry change since you began performing.
Since I’ve always been a little outside of the music industry, it’s hard for me to comment on this question. I’ve always had to rely on my own instincts and actions as far as my own music. This includes having my own recording studio in my parents basement and self promoting myself. I tried (submitted a lot of tapes and demos) to get the mainstream record labels interested in me back in the 70s and 80s but the labels rejected me. It’s funny, every now and then I will hear from some A&R guy who I submitted a copy of my album “You Think You Really Know Me” to back in the 70s. They now tell me after all these years that they still has a copy of the album and how much they like it. The problem the major labels had with my music back then was that they liked my music but couldn’t figure out how to market it . Strange. I guess the major difference between then and now is that it is now easier to produce your own CD, album, etc. with the use of a computer. Boy, it sure would have been nice when I was thirteen to be able to produce and duplicate a finished copy of an album as easily as it is now.
It seems like you are experiencing the opposite of what many artists experience in their careers, because the industry is embracing you when they used to condemn you, it that true?
Yes, that’s an interesting observation. I’m happy with that. My life has changed for the better. By the late 80s into the 90s I sort of gave up and accepted my fate after so many years of trying to get people to like my art. Who would have thought all this attention for my music would happen to me when I was working as a clerk in some video store for minimum wage in the 90s. “You Think You Really Know Me” was originally self released in 1977. It took till 2002 for the record to finally be embraced. I am very grateful for that.
Are there any positive aspects of being a professional musician?
I think there is. My father was a professional musician who worked three to four nights a week at local hotels and restaurants with a local instrumental quartet. When not performing with the Gary Wilson show I play keyboards at a local restaurant (for the last 18 years) with jazz pop singer Donnie Finnell. Donnie does the great American songbook. Music of Nat King Cole, Johnny Mathis, Mel Torme, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, etc. I call this my therapy. Two extremes. The older conservative restaurant (and country club) audience knows nothing about the other side of Gary Wilson. I like it that way.
By: Jordannah Elizabeth
I met Adam Green at the Cake Shop in 2010 on the Lower East Side of New York City. I was on a first date, and my friend was kind enough to take me to that specific show because I mentioned to him that my goals in NYC were to meet Adam Green, Kimya Dawson, and Jeffrey Lewis (it’s always nice to meet a man who listens).
I’d finally gotten Adam’s attention long enough to get him outside of the club for a smoke and a chat, when a spirited Macaulay Culkin barged into our conversation…and then rest of the night was full of strange people and music, my curly tendriled red haired date, and me running off in my 4 inch platforms and my fave plum skinny jeans like an urban Cinderella, to hand in my term paper before my 2 am deadline (I was attending college online).
Adam Green has been influencing my music since I heard his classic solo track “Dance with Me” in 2006. I’m a bit fanatic for his art and music as are many young girls and women in Europe and South America. In the United States, he remains rather obscure and maybe even unfairly overshadowed by his former band mate, Kimya Dawson’s success with the Oscar winning film Juno (although I deem Kimya an absolute Goddess, and love her work very much).
Meet Adam Green:
Adam Green is the Nat King Cole of Anti Folk. He emerged onto the music scene as one half of the cult experimental folk band, The Moldy Peaches with Kimya Dawson. The unlikely mix of folk, lounge, and uptempo jazz instrumentation within his ballads gives Adam’s musical persona a touch of class.
His lyrics are confusing, simple, humorous, and sometimes crass, but his bassy Sinatra-esque vocal stylings are a serious throwback to The Rat Pack days, mixed with a drug laced coo of sensuality.
Make sure you check out his music. You will become completely addicted while being introduced to modern music that is very original.
By: Jordannah Elizabeth
The Warlocks was one of the bands that changed everything for me. I wrote and co produced an album called The Holy Implant in 2009 that was heavily influenced by Bobby Hecksher’s intensely brilliant band. His music just made me see art more clearly. One of the pinnacle moments of my music career, was when my mom and I were jamming music during one of my rare visits home (amidst my many young years of “waifhood”) and I played House of Glass for her. During the intro of the song, she asked me “Is this one of your songs?” That was a good moment. It wasn’t about fame, it was about the fact that I poured my little heart and soul into writing The Holy Implant and she “got it”. Somebody got it.
Bobby Hecksher of The Warlocks was kind enough to openly answer a few of my questions. I was and am very fascinated with his story and his general musical perspective. It was an honor to have him oblige me and participate in this Q&A.
When did you know you wanted to be a musician?
When I was in the 6th grade, I was randomly assigned Cello for music class. I really don’t know why we had that class now that I think about it; but I remember it being enjoyable. The teacher came around to each student and helped them with tuning, finger placement, and how to bow. When I first heard the sound of two strings being played together, forming a cord, I knew there was something there for me. Cello was a little boring so I switched to stand up bass a few years later. It was such a joy to play with a band. However, it wasn’t until I heard the Butthole Surfers, Sonic Youth, and various punk rock bands (in my teens) that I wanted to actually pursue music. I didn’t get into the originators (Dylan, Beatles, Rolling Stones) until I was in my 20’s.
When you think about your musical history, what was the most important moment of your career?
There have been many important moments in my career, if you want to call it that. The main one was moving out of the swamps of Florida to Los Angeles. The whole world opened up to me and became an exciting place for me as a musician. Some of the shining moments were meeting Timothy Leary and all the good friends I still have from that period before he died in the early 1990’s, playing with Beck and hanging out with him was an eye opener to what the music business was really like; very cruel, and starting my own band (Charles Brown Superstar) with Benett Rogers as a crazy teenager. In those days, you could have all these crazy ideas and they would actually get properly released as oppose to today where everything is nightmare! What else? Meeting Rivers Cuomo to audition for Weezer was a really neat experience. I beat out a lot bass players but Mikey Welsh turned out to be tighter and got the gig. Mikey was a nice guy, it’s a real shame he passed away at such a young age. Rivers was really right on about a lot of things in music. Being focused, dialing in your sound, and not being sloppy… just shit you take for granted. Playing with Anton Newcombe was really great. He was drinking in those days but when you got through all that craziness I realized what a genius the guy was, and is. He really knew what things should sound like and how to get it right. He also pushed me to write and play guitar more and to start singing and stuff; that was all Anton! Up to that point I really just considered myself a bass player. It was a blast to play bass with the BJM but The Warlocks started to tour and I just couldn’t juggle both! There were so many amazing moments with The Warlocks. I got to tour the world with some of my best friends. We had some bummer moments for sure, but all and all this experience was and is what dreams are made of!
Was it inspiring or discouraging to have had so many different musicians in The Warlocks?
Neither; people just move on with their lives. I don’t really look at it like that. Corey got sober. He’s an amazingly gifted guitar player. Jenny moved to NYC. Jason (plucky) met Tristen and moved to Portland. Danny Hole met Sarah Jane and moved to NYC. Bob moved to Austin but he had other reasons. Fingers went back to Las Vegas. And some, I just had a falling out with and well, that’s life, as with Laura and few others. I’m hoping I can patch things up with Laura someday but we will just have to see. It is inspiring to play with people that are into it. It’s always a blast playing with JC, George, Chris, and Earl. They are really understanding and supportive!
How do you choose new musicians for your band?
If you don’t make me nervous; that’s pretty much it. That’s hard to find though!
You released “Enter At Your Own Skull Unreleased Vol.1” and “EXP” earlier this year on Bandcamp.com. What moved you to share almost 30 songs for free??
They are not good enough to release properly, but also couldn’t just sit on my computer either!
Which do you enjoy more, recording or performing?
Can we expect a new album next year?
If it’s good enough.
You’ve been playing local shows throughout the year while not on tour. Is L.A. your favorite town to play shows in?
No. People don’t really appreciate us here. They are kind of mean, actually. Jealousy, spoiled, too cool for school??? I really don’t know why. I get heckled a lot, people will shout at me to play “insert song” all night. It sucks. I hate that by the way (so hecklers, if you want a short set just shout shit at me and you will get one! It’s your money!). No one else in the world does that. I like to play France, London, Denmark, Switzerland, anywhere else in the world, please!
What’s your favorite The Warlocks album?
I look at more like favorite songs. Red Camera, House of Glass, Shake The Dope Out, Hurricane Heart Attack, Caveman Rock, Isolation, Song for Nico, I love Heavy Deavy Skull Lover, and The Mirror Explodes. They are like a warped dream!
What music and bands are you currently listening to?
Hawkwind, Boris, Ariel Pink, Black Mountain, Early Metal, Justice, Queen, AC/DC, Buzzcocks, Tones On Tails, Nikki Sudden, Austra, Hate Rock, Washed Out, John Maus.
Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians?
Don’t be in big bands. Solo, duos, and trios will always last longer and be easier to mange than a 6-9 piece psychedelic rock group. The Kills, BRMC vs. Polyphonic Spree? It’s been our Achilles heel. Invest in compact, good sounding gear not the bulky stuff. You will cut costs on all levels.
By: Jordannah Elizabeth
There are certain points in my travels that are sacred. There are some places in the world I like to keep to myself in order to escape from the fast paced rock and roll peril that is my life.
Nonetheless, I’m risking my obscurity to share information about a haven that exudes an air that would make even the most connected hipster quake in awe.
The Leechpit is a vintage clothing and record shop that has not ceased to impress me every time I step into it. This apparel, music, and nick-nack filled independently owned store has everything a remotely interesting person could ever want to own.
I personally rile through Adam and Heather Leech’s well compiled vintage record collection two to three times a week, looking for albums to send my old roommates in Brooklyn in thanks for keeping me in food and booze…and I often wore their vintage hats and tee shirts (because boy’s clothes are awesome).
If any of you are ever in Colorado Springs, CO I encourage you to find The Leechpit. It is located right in the downtown area, and I have personally spent A LOT of money on vinyl records from their SERIOUS music collection.
If you’re an amateur or dabbler of any sorts… go to the shop anyway and ask Adam Leech for any weird thing you can think of. I can almost guarantee he’ll have it or he’ll suggest something much cooler!
Website: The Leechpit.com
Facebook: The Leechpit on Facebook
PS: One of the store’s owners, Adam Leech is working to fund the production of a film about an American folk art form called “The Hobo Nickel”, where ordinary men reinterpret…or just simply deface American coins and turn them into art!
Watch the film trailer here:
And help fund this AMAZING film!
By: Jordannah Elizabeth
Dead Meadow is one of my all time favorite bands. I saw them perform for the first time at the Larimer Lounge in Denver, CO. I was on morphine, (I was a bit interesting in my younger days) and as I watched the psychedelic patterns on Stephen McCarty’s bass drum swirl and vibrate, my 21 year old fried brain thought, “This is the best show I’ve ever seen in my life.”
Nonetheless, this entry is not about Dead Meadow, but it concentrates on one of the band’s founders; guitarist and singer, Jason Simon.
Jason began playing a string of solo shows in Los Angeles in 2009 or so. Every time I tried to go see his gig, something would happen and I’d miss the show. Nonetheless, I listened to his music, and I still do.
He released a self titled solo album with Tee Pee Records last year, and does what he can to create an atmosphere that is more mellow than his Dead Meadow counter part.
You’ve been playing solo lately?
I have been playing solo lately. It’s a more mellow affair than Dead Meadow. The line up changes from being only me to guitar and harmonium to a full band. I just recently got a real cool group together to back it up. It’s gonna be more of a band but in the style of the solo stuff I have been doing. I’m gonna call it Tekeli-li…named for the last words heard by Arthur Gordon Pym as he falls from the great cataract found at the south pole in the Edgar Allen Poe story.
What was the inspiration for your first solo record?
I was still living in Washington DC for a few years after the rest of the band had moved to LA. A lot of the songs from the record came from that time. I really dig the challenge of trying to convey a complete vibe and song in a way more stripped down fashion.
Do you write love songs?
I got songs about being in love, loving, and love as the great cosmic force that it is.
What’s your personal song writing process?
I read books, listen to music, mess around on the guitar and mostly wait to get inspired with and by something. The creative process is an endlessly fascinating thing. It does sometimes feel like ideas drift down from above or below and all we can do is keep ourselves open to receive. All these disparate elements are taken into our conscious and unconscious mind; and somehow a new and complete creation does emerge….”the miracle of creation” that occurs all day everyday. Anyway, I rarely get words and music at the same time. It is a pairing of the two elements into a bigger whole.
How do you relate to other people personally and artistically?
I’m not really sure on this one?
You seem to be a quiet person, is this true?
Yeah I guess I’m pretty quiet and reserved until I get to know people, then I never shut up. I definitely need my space out time though…. and my quiet reading time.
What artists inspire your solo work?
Well, musically I’d say it was inspired by all my favorite acoustic players and folk artists…those being Townes Van Zandt, Leonard Cohen, Bert Jansch (may he rest in peace, it was sad to hear of his recent passing) Roy Harper, John Fahey etc. Also there’s a bunch of middle eastern and Indian influences like Ali Akbar khan and some Tinariwen and north African desert blues stuff.
If you couldn’t make music anymore, what occupation would you pursue?
I dream about doing more writing all the time. A writer of macabre and surreal tales of the singular and the supernatural seems about right.
How has the music industry evolved since you started playing music professionally?
It’s definitely become a lot more difficult to make any money. Of course that never has been nor ever will be the reason to make music but it certainly does facilitate things when there is money to live on. On the bright side there are way more rad bands. When we started back in the late 90’s we would invariably be playing shows with emo and post-punk type bands that had nothing in common with us. Now there are all sorts of more psychedelically minded bands around.
Do you consider yourself a professional musician?
Yes. It’s the one thing I do in which I give all of myself and am continually striving to make it better. It is also the one thing I do in which I can completely lose myself in.
By: Jordannah Elizabeth
I’ve been noticing that when I post a couple of bands on The Process Records facebook page, they don’t get as much attention as other bands, so I thought I’d introduce a few of my favorite artists who I’ve been a loyal listener to for years.
Jeff Lewis is an anti folk musician who made his mark playing in the Lower East Side of New York City. His creative and sometimes brilliant musical takes on historical movements like the history of punk, the French Revolution, and the History of Rough Trade Records (his current record label) has made him an interesting and addictive folk musical figure.
Take the time to get into his art. No, it’s not normal, yes, it’s anti folk, and no I’m not going to explain what anti folk is. This is just an introduction that will hopefully peak your interest enough to research him and listen to his music.
After that, I hope it will prompt you to buy his new album, A Turn in the Dream-Songs.
Oh, and did I mention he’s an amazing comic book artist and writer?
Check him out:
By: Jordannah Elizabeth
Please allow me to express how important it is for me to give homage and respect to my predecessors. Whether she or anyone else knows it, Juliette (Lady Godiva) has paved the way for me to be able to do exactly what I’m doing as a music journalist, and I love her very much for it.
I met Juliette in Brooklyn, NY as she was in town to support The Blue Angel Lounge (8MM Records/A Recordings) on their first American mini tour, and to celebrate her birthday. It was no problem for me to take the train from Bushwick to Greenpoint to meet her and the band.
Juliette is very beautiful and kind. She introduced me to the cool, collected, and jet lagged young men of The Blue Angel Lounge, (Hagen, DE) and the lovely Louise of Black Ivy (Paris, FR). We spent the evening before the show smoking cigarettes, and chatting about Nico, Jackson Browne, and many other shoegaze geek related subjects.
The most important thing about meeting Juliette was that she treated me with respect, and for the first time, I finally felt like a valid and knowledgeable person in our genre. The Blue Angel Lounge were well behaved young gentlemen and I was also surrounded by strong, self assured, and beautiful women who welcomed and supported me. I was well aware, and somewhat shocked at how far our scene had come.
Juliette gave me the confidence to endure all the hardships of being a woman working in the music industry. I am forever indebted to her, and I’ll always consider her to be a friend and a truly wonderful self-willed woman who deserves every bit of praise she can get.
What turned you on to music journalism?
I’ve always loved writing and music is the core of my life, just over five years ago. I had an urge to write reviews as it is the perfect combination of two of my favorite things. Besides, I was disappointed in most of the music press, especially in France. I wanted to give credit to some bands that seemed overshadowed.
When did you start Reverberation?
I started Reverberation in summer of 2009. It is a joint project with my dear friend Nadia Rivero (aka Hattie Carroll) from Buenos Aires. I had been reviewing music on a French webzine called Xsilence for three years and felt like starting my own thing. That meant that I could do pieces about whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. Creative freedom galore!
Have you experienced difficulty in the music scene because of your gender?
I experienced a few difficulties at first. For some stupid reason, women are not necessarily taken seriously in this sphere, but it was only in the beginning, and I was only discriminated against by a few people. I enjoyed shutting them up eventually.
Which bands have you interviewed or covered?
First off, interviewing is not a favorite task, I much prefer writing reviews. There are only a few artists that I have enjoyed interviewing. I have covered many artists. I guess it makes more sense for our readers to just visit our site, rather than giving them a long list of bands.
What was the best interview or cover story you ever wrote?
I don’t know whether it is appropriate for me to evaluate my own work but the artist I most enjoyed interviewing was Anton Newcombe. His answers were fascinating. You learn so much from this man.
In terms of cover stories, I don’t write for a paper magazine, the most original piece I ever wrote was the review of Magic Lighthouse on the Infinite Sea, an All In The Golden Afternoon record. They are named after a Lewis Carroll poem and their music is definitely poetic and enchanting. Therefore my review was in the form of a poem. It was a delightful moment on a creative point of view.
Who’s your favorite band?
The band that altered my perception of music forever was The Velvet Underground. but I’d say my all-time favorite band is The Jesus & Mary Chain. I love how chaos and bliss are mingled in their soundscapes. Jim Reid is an outstanding vocalist and lyricist, and their guitars are killer.
My favorite musician is Rowland S. Howard. He is the king! He is best guitarist ever in my book. He was a sound alchemist and a master-class of style. His music and lyrics are enthralling and strike a chord like nobody else does. I was lucky enough to see the documentary, Autoluminescent about him. I recommend it.
My current favorite band is The Laurels from Sydney. They’re a phenomenal shoegaze band. It was magical to see them after listening to them for years. Luke O’Farrell is the best guitarist I’ve ever seen live.
Do you get paid to write?
Writing is my hobby, but I would like it to be my main occupation in a few years. I have only gotten free records so far. My motivation for writing has never been financial. I do it for fun.
Do you have any advice for women who want to become music journalists?
Just do what you love and do not care about what some people might say.
What would like to see change in the music scene/industry?
As a reviewer; nothing specific. As an artist, I’m sure things can be improved. I wish touring was easier for a lot of bands. There are gem bands from the States and Australia who never get to make it overseas. It’s a shame.
Do you like European or American bands more?
I like both historically, but Europe has been kind of disappointing in the past decade. The most exciting thing happening this side of the Atlantic is Vebeth in Iceland, all the Vebeth bands have their finger on the pulse.
Juliette, WE LOVE YOU!!!
See music video in it’s entirety on our homepage:
By: Jordannah Elizabeth
Felix Bondarev (St. Petersburg, RU) is a proverbial unicorn. Searching for him and his work is like chasing a mythical animal that only exists within a childlike concept. With Как Вчера (Like Yesterday), Felix begins to show his masculine maturity with a music video that is hauntingly sexy and appropriate for his artistic evolution.
At barely 22 years old, Felix exerts bouts of profound musical insight into the complexities and sadness of life. I think if you were to touch his deepest moments of misery, you would not be able to survive them.
His new music video, which was created by Estonian filmmaker, Aleksandr Rachynskyi, shows a strangely comforting video of two women kissing. The first woman is older and stands in a wooded area while lighting a cigarette and smoking. A much younger lady walks up to her, shares the cigarette, makes out with the older women, and then walks away. I think the age difference of the women brings an air of a reverse oedipal struggle. On who’s part? It’s not my place to speculate.
Felix’s need for women’s love, attention, and acceptance is very apparent in his work and can sometimes be boarder line exploitative; but this time, Felix took an approach that is mature and touching.
By: Jordannah Elizabeth
Cave Days emerged onto the New York Indie rock scene in 2010 as a duo which consisted of the original members, Jonathan Murphy and Erik Luebs. They composed, recorded, and rehearsed their unlikely mix of heartbreak ballads and an electronic hodge-pogde of iridescent sound trinkets in a loft building that is a staple of the Brooklyn art community. It is even rumored that The Killers recorded in the 345 Eldert Lofts in the gentrified section of Bushwick, New York.
Soon after Cave Days completed recording and assembling the hand made cover art and packaging for the Cave Days EP’s release; they began to play shows around Brooklyn and the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The band was received well while sharing bills with their community of Brooklyn indie bands. The future looked bright for the budding music duo.
Jon Murphy and Erik Luebs started performing as an electro-indie band where Jon played his guitar that was hooked up to a myriad of pedals, a loop machine, and amps. Erik tweaked and turned a full spread of electronic equipment to recreate the intricate tonal and electronic expressions that were recorded on the Cave Days EP. Their performances did sound like the album and they combined Jon’s singer/songwriter sensibilities with Erik’s knowledge of DJ and musical electronic equipment in a manner that was as interesting to watch as it was to listen to.
After only a couple of shows, Erik bid farewell to Cave Days and New York City to move to Japan to teach and continue to make music. Jonathan Murphy went on to play solo, while still displaying his own electronic savvy using loops and pedals creating strong and interesting sound-scapes as Cave Days toured NYC as a temporary solo act.
It took time, but Jon found a friend and band mate in Richard Thomas. Cave Days was a duo again, but this time, Richard played bass guitar, keeping Jon’s newer musical concept a bit more organic. Along with playing bass, Richard doubled as another singer and backed Jon’s vocals, giving the band’s lyrics more presence on stage. Cave Days continued to rehearse as Jon’s new vision was finally coming together. After more time and more shows were played in Brooklyn, Jon and Richard finally found their drummer counterpart in Robert Corsetti. Robert caught onto the songs quickly, and Cave Days was able to headline shows in venues like Club Matchless in Greenpoint, NY and played at prestigious clubs like the Cake Shop on the lower east side of NYC.
Cave Days as a trio seemed to be a young power house bringing Jon’s wispy and thoughtful ballads into tangible and danceable pop ballads. The lyrics were one thing that have always stayed the same with this band, and the lyrics are definitely a huge part of the Cave Days’ appeal. Cave Days EP is a memorable and addictive album. It brings strong experimental aesthetics to sensitive and regretful love songs. The album is a joy to listen to time and time again:
Cave Days EP:
Cave Days EP is a relatively complex album that tells the story of a painful time in Jon Murphy’s personal life. The album is definitely upbeat compared to the lyrical content of the album, but all in all, it is a truthful, creative, and realistic account of issues that young men go through all over the world. Cave Days EP is an album that is Universal and can be embraced by listeners who indulge in different music genres.
Closer is a great first track for the album. It’s a perfect choice for the opening song because it’s upbeat and has a great indie vibe. The song is noninvasive and catchy much like the entire album. In Closer, you’re introduced to the electronic/singer-songwriter aesthetic that’s done a little differently than current television licensed tracks. It’s a bit more mature and attentive to detail. Unconditional can be considered a favorite on Cave Days EP. The track definitely begins to mold the lyrical content and story of the album. It is a song of loss and heartache. It is so well done that this track doesn’t make you feel depressed even though it seems to be an expression of sadness. The guitars and soft electronic touches keep the Unconditional moving forward while keeping a temperate pace. It also adds layers of intensity without overwhelming your senses. “Just a memory now, it keeps driving me insane.” are words that are powerful and understandable. Beat Up Kids is a beautiful song. This song is particularly special because of it’s honesty and tasteful and sweet composition. The off syncopated rolling drums bring a sense of naivety to the track. Although Jon sings about adult relationship issues, you can really get a feel of the youthful side of his pain. While Unconditional is an admission to regret, Beat Up Kids is about coping. In order to seemingly avoid redundancy, Cave Days makes Same Mistakes, Only Sooner an instrumental song that is just as whimsical and crisp as the other tracks on the album. The title becomes the premise of the song, expressing Jon Murphy’s awareness that he’s made very adult mistakes at a very young age. Listening to him struggle through the break up of a young relationship and not having the capacity to make mature enough decisions makes you sympathize for him. All Voices, Just Noises picks up the tempo, which is another tasteful choice. It’s a really catchy track and the lyrics are very memorable. They are worth remembering and repeating in your head or in the shower over and over again, because this is a song of apology. We all need to apologize sometimes, and Jon has a way of expressing himself in such a clear and candid manner, that you can completely understand where he’s coming from. All Voices, Just Noises is a part of Jon’s artistic and personal process. The lyrics are mixed with sorrow but also of acceptance that he lost the relationship, but he still finds the need to obtain closure. The last song on the album, Kodachrome Beach seems to be about going back in time when he and his love first met. There’s a beautiful addition of a bike spoke spinning throughout the song that really shows Erik Lueb’s quiet genius.
On Cave Day’s bandcamp, you read that Erik Luebs did all the recording and production for the record. It is very difficult to express the deep talent that he possesses for indie electro-acoustic music. All the songs are mixed perfectly and the album sounds very professional. Erik can use common sounds like birds chirping and bike spokes spinning, and he can use very abstract sounds that may have been common before he tweaked and manipulated them into unique audial additions to Cave Days EP, and make them blend peacefully with Jon’s guitar rhythms and lyrics.
It’s sad to know that Erik and Jon are not working together anymore. They still remain great friends, but Erik found his calling in the Eastern part of the world. Nonetheless, he encompasses a production talent that is real, attainable, and very unique and arty. It’s very rare to find a producer who pulls off sounding like a true artist as well as a great engineer.
Cave Days is currently playing with a new drummer, Max Bergson and consider themselves to be a Pop, Indie, Shoegaze band. They have so much plausible potential that they’re sure to be recognized on a larger scale if they keep moving forward.
By: Jordannah Elizabeth
I’m positive most people don’t know anything about my musical background. I have emerged out of obscurity as a music industry professional, and my music career gets pushed further and further to the wayside as my professional career evolves. Nonetheless, I have to express that I knew the The Changing Colors before this heart-breakingly elegant band existed. I remember when they were Pale Room and pent on making young and impressionable hippies dance. I was one of those young hippie high school drop outs who was pent on learning how to be a singer/songwriter and overbearingly drove myself in the middle of their formidable and somewhat tightly wound (which was my 19 year old opinion in those days) world. I did my best to soak in all the sounds, attitude, and musical purpose I could so I could go out into the world and showcase what I learned and experienced.
I’m also positive that this intense and incredibly talented musical duo (who are twin brothers, Ian and Conor Bourgal) were not aware that there was a method to my madness and irresponsible use of hallucinogens. I admired them very much. I was so different and bared a strong talent that was so unpolished that I think understanding Pale Room and them understand me really took a back seat to our separate interests until years later, when I floated back into town in 2009 from Los Angeles. I blew back into Colorado looking like a Barbie doll (I had bleach blond dreadlocs, and my skirts were shorter than a baby’s pinkie finger) and I was invited by mutual friends to see The Changing Colors play live in Pueblo, Colorado.
I didn’t know what to expect. I knew I was going to hear Ian and Conor’s new solo project, but what I experienced was a deeply spiritual, lovecentric, passionate collection of songs that were executed with strange commentary about girls and Cross bearing homeless people between songs. Conor also told a story about how some tarot reading I gave him a million years ago turned out to be a prelude to his inevitable heartbreak, and new material for what would be their 2010 release, Ghost of Red Mountain.
The Changing Colors
Ghost of Red Mountain
The pseudo title track On Red Mountain is no where near the strongest song on the record, but of course, there is something creamy and intriguing about the first track of the album. I always thought Conor and Ian to be very simple composers, with exquisite taste and timing, so I really enjoyed the monotone, one note melody (which also incorporates a nice bluegrass diddy that is later replaced with Conor’s vocals) because it opened so many possibilities to experiment and add different textures to the harmony of On Red Mountain. The harmony of the track did offer mixed in rhythmic guitars patterns along with some digital (experimental) installations that were very tasteful.
That’s What My Love is For is my favorite song on the album. I think it’s my favorite The Changing Colors track in general. The song is fruitfully romantic and promising. The vocal harmonizing is flawless, and the instrumental embellishments are strongly touching. The song is so reassuring and definitely flirts with being a full on bluegrass gospel track. Conor’s relationship with a higher being is a very important element in this album. Whether he’s singing about life, God, or girls, you really find that he has an ability to commit to the existence of his personal winnings and failures.
No Wedding is probably the saddest song I’ve ever heard…next to a couple of Townes Van Sant tracks. The soft lyrical self deprecation and regret takes Conor to the point of cursing the choices he made in his past life. I guess if you’re going to lose love (I’ve had a couple of fiances myself), you might as well blame yourself. The song is very strong simply because of the honesty and the brokenness in Conor’s vocals and the ghostly rhythm guitar accompaniment. The song makes me want to sink in an old cabin and drink cheap wine (or whiskey, depending on the ex) and reflect on the utter betrayal of the heart that life can hand us time and time again.
For some reason when The Changing Colors bring female vocals into a song, it brings a bit of an aversion to me. I would hope that others would disagree because it’s completely an aesthetic taste and bares no serious criticism on Let Me Love You. Personally, I hear Bourgal go through all this anguish that when a woman’s voice is introduced into their music, I get a little ill in my spirit. In Let Me Love You , woman is harmonizing with Conor Bourgal’s vocals and it makes me wonder does he really know her perspective? Her singing the same lyrics would insinuate she is having the same emotional experience he is. Are the words of this duet words he has shunned or lives by? It’s all a bit eerie in my opinion, which is great, but I think The Changing Colors stand on very well on their own. Let Me Love You is a beautifully haunting song, I just can’t tell if it is one or two sided.
Red Rose is an interesting instrumental, with reverbed sounds of foot steps moving through what appears to be a wooded area, and an appearance by an electric guitar folk solo. The song is very short and introduces the next track, No Regret beautifully. No Regret is another favorite of mine. I find this song is a serious testament. The vocals are produced and portrayed a bit louder than the other tracks. The song is mixed fine, there is no imbalance with No Regret, but it really seems like Conor has made a choice, makes a promise, and wants it to be clear. “I’ll take my love for you to the grave.” He’s able to vocalise these words in a manner that is commanding and convincing which is very cool
I love gospel music and The Fight is a classic country folk gospel ballad that is wise and well done. It’s really inspirational and a very post modern and classy rendition of an old and timeless musical style and aesthetic.
Alice has a very intense reverb and deep echo effect on the vocals that is terribly creative and almost psychedelic. The experimental/psyche touches on Ghost of Red Mountain’s collection of otherwise traditional folk songs really highlights The Changing Colors’ talent for electo- acoustic production. I would go as far to say that you don’t have to be a professional musician or producer to recognize and appreciate the impressive production value of this album, and Alice in particular.
Telephone is another track that makes me feel a bit odd. Again, I’m not against The Changing Colors using female vocals because I understand what there are people that would consider this track a favorite on Ghost of Red Mountain. I really enjoy the diversity Telephone brings to the album. The song is well done and the vocals are professional. It shares a very sweet simplicity that comes across very well. I think I can appreciate this perspective a bit more than Let me Love You. Girls like using the phone and everyone wants to be reached by someone they love. I never planned on looking too deeply into this album. Ian and Conor take you as deep as they want you to go.
One thing I’ve learned about them and their music is that it is important to not assume anything. They are very multi-layered people and artists, but the layers are very specific and at the same time private. There is never a need to take more then The Changing Colors give you.
And finally with No More, we end with the truth.
If you wait long enough, Conor will eventually tell you what’s happening. The song is concise and a final last expression of heartbreak, disappointment, and innuendos of mysticism. Frankly, I think Conor hopes he will get a second chance in the after life, or on a different emotional level or plane to fix his mistakes and win back his losses.
I definitely believe The Changing Colors’ openness about their spiritual and Christian beliefs are absolutely sincere, but I also feel like the references to death and the after life have a lot to do with depression, redemption, resentment, and hope.
Ever since I saw The Changing Colors play live, I’ve been a believer. I left town a year before the album was complete and am reviewing it a year after its release. But as a fan, and a person who has watched the evolution of Ian and Conor’s musical exploits, I really have no problem with taking time out of my schedule to listen and analyze the depth of such an excellent and elegant folk record. It’s always a pleasure to enjoy an album that’s built on talent and intelligence…and not an effing promotional machine that has no soul. Ghost of Red Mountain has more to do with the presence of the soul than anything else I’ve heard.
You can hear Ghost of Red Mountain here:
Trabajo is hailing as one of our favorite new bands. They’re a Brooklyn based duo (Yuchen Lin and TJ Richards) who touch so deeply and honestly on post punk and experiential rock pressure points, it’s completely enjoyable and respectable. Make sure you take a listen to their new album, Slow Pageant EP. It is a great work of art and precision.
Keep your eyes open here for a full album review and make sure you start following the progress of Trabajo. They deserve every bit of acknowledgment they get.
Follow them on Facebook:
By: Jordannah Elizabeth
I don’t think it is a secret that The Dead Skeletons are one of my favorite bands. I’ve been listening to them faithfully since their debut in 2008. In celebration of the band’s upcoming physical release of their first full length album Dead Magick, I’d like to extend a full album review to you for one of the best albums released this year (…actually last year, 2010). The Dead Skeletons earn the respect of so many serious music connoisseurs because their songs are sound (art) installations. This is a band that not only considers their music as art, but actively intertwines their ideas with visual and fine art. Dead Magick is a is well produced, exciting, and grand album. Most importantly, many of the songs simply make me want to dance.The Dead Skeletons - Dead Magick
Dead Mantra is an energetic nine minute ode that chants the Spanish proverb (which the band has made famous and has inspired many tattoos and tee shirts) “He who fears death cannot enjoy life”. The song personally makes me want to bounce out of my seat. It reminds me of a 60’s inspired Tarantino film score with a touch of evil, and a perfectly blended twist of love. Om Mane Pene Hung, is a treble kissed experimental ballad that carries the album early on into a playful and and dark realm of imaginative sounds. Yet I have to admit that excitement rang into my heart when Kingdom of God started to chug its way into my speakers. Frankly, the album can be considered a psyche/pop album because of the uptempo tracks that introduce the tone for the album.
The first three songs make a serious statement and create an eerie but familiar musical atmosphere. Many of us have been listening to Dead Magick’s songs one by one (a collection of music videos have been released over the years before Dead Magick was compiled), so hearing these well liked tracks one after the other is an amazing treat. Psycho Dead begins with a very lofi intro with vintage voice overs, and then grooves into a very sexy motown-style theme. I felt like I was in the Bates Hotel, or running from Jack Nicholson in The Shining. I know it sounds cliche, but this song is such a great score for a horror film. Psycho Dead encompasses a very sensual side of murder and mayhem.
The Dead Skeletons can walk and still catch you with this entrancing song. Get on the Train has a less pop inspired aesthetic and starts to give off a no wave vibe. It’s really wonderful how The Dead Skeletons keep the light touches of hand percussion (tambourine and maracas) in the song because it keeps the tracks tied into a main audial theme of the entire album. If the small touches like that weren’t in this song, I would feel like the band steered away from the general tone of the record with Get on the Train. Dead Magick I drives you down a spiraled tunnel of emotion…as it should. It bares an almost industrial sound mixed with a Rocky Horror Picture Show piano riff that is so tongue and cheek it makes me smile. This album is full of fun and humor. Dead Magick l is a pleasure to listen to because you really begin to feel yourself going on a ride of Icelandic insanity, experimentation, and fun.
Ask Seek and Knock is a beautiful track. I find it to be rather touching. This song also slightly sits outside of the fun dance tracks and flirts with more shoegaze tones. Adding a sweet yet characteristic female vocal makes the track romantic and creative. I would consider it to be a well done psychedelic duet. LJÓSBERINN brings a great balance back to the album by creating a masculine tribal touch. There is still a female vocal in the song, but the song sounds like Ask and Seek and Knock inverted, which I think it terribly brilliant and strategic. Live! kind of reminds me of a lovely 80’s pop track. The Smiths? I going to get my ass kicked for typing this… Springstein? I really felt an awesome 80’s pop sounds that’s bold, unique, and all too good to turn away from. There are so many hidden sounds and ideas that are lost and found again in Live! that it makes a music lover like me giddy. I hear something new every time I listen to this song. It’s really playful and nostalgic. When the Sun Comes Up for the Last Time is my favorite track. I remember when it came out on youtube with a lovely video of Nonni and his children. I was instantly drawn to the sound. I’d never heard anything like this song before. It was different and surprising. It creates an aesthetic that is hard to compare. When The Sun Comes Up for the Last Time really does give you the feeling that you’ve made it to heaven and you’re swinging on a swing, enjoying the warm sun beaming down on you. It is a very happy song and makes post the apocalyptic music experience hopeful and comforting. It’s a beautifully refreshing track, and I like to think of it has a psyche rock lullaby.
The dirty snare sounds of Yama are invigorating and wakes you up from the euphoric atmosphere of the previous track. It reminds you that the fun times don’t last forever, but the music does. Yama resembles more of the first half of the album but is paced well enough that it doesn’t jolt you too much that you forget where you’ve been, where you’re going, and exactly where you are in the album. Yama is a touchy and moody track that has classic vocal whispers and breaths that seems to be a signature of The Dead Skeletons. Unfortunately, Dead Magick has to end sometime. Dead Magick II is the last track on the album and it brings us right back to where we started. After listening to this track, I decided that the album is cyclical. It really makes a ring around your spirit. Dead Magick II goes all out and really makes a final experimental push for the album. All of the songs are well put together and well contrived, so I’m glad the last track is formless. It’s like they’d been waiting to say that in the end, sound will do what it will, when it wants to…and so will the Dead Skeletons. It’s a testament that they are not trying to please anyone, and that they can be seriously experimental just as much as they can make psyche dance songs.
All in all, the album is brilliant, humorous at times, strategic, and one of the best sound installations I’ve ever experienced. For more info on the Dead Magick physical release go to: http://www.deadskeletons.com/
By: Jordannah Elizabeth
It took me a few weeks to get passed Ian’s “demons” to find the perfect timing to get some personal information out of him.
Ian Ottaway is a shoegazer, or “bootgazer”, (as he considers himself) relic and I thought it important to share his savvy with the world, and to take the time to properly hit on him.
Without further ado, let’s get to know AskiAN:
Hello Mr. Ottaway! Your name is Ian Ottaway yes?
AI -Oh hell yes it is. Pronounced eye-yun not eee-un. I’m also known as Asshole.I answer to that name whenever I hear it said. Robbie (BRMC), he calls me Captain, and sometimes Sailor. When my Mother is mad at me, she calls me IANALANOTTAWAY!
I remember when (a year or two ago) when you were really strung out and would post videos and music and weird shit for hours and hours on end on face book….I remember thinking when you got the “Ask Ian” gig, “Hmm, he made a career out of the insane over blogging he was doing on FB“… who gave you the opportunity to focus your thoughts and interests?
AI- A few years back I went through this heavy death period that lasted for quite a long time. I lost my best friend which was my Granny Freda and I lost her brother, my cowboy buddha Uncle Joe, and two other uncles, one aunt, my step Mother and spiritual guide Jodie, and a few friends, quite a few cats and a couple of dogs, so it pretty much did my head in. I spun out quite a bit, I but was still creative and threw in a lot of dark humor and some sweet alcohol and there you go…
Robert Levon Been (BRMC) or as I call him Babe Shadow, gave me my shot. I don’t know what he saw in me but I guess he had some vision of something. It’s still growing…the idea of it all. I feel truly blessed and I was welcomed into the fold, the wolf den. They are kind of a surrogate family after I had lost so much of mine. I always felt connected to BRMC from very early on. They seemed very familiar to me. Perhaps it was my early seer sight…I dunno, but Robbie understood my dark sense of humor. We both enjoy comedy along the lines of Bill Hicks and Doug Stanhope, so there you go…
I still have your posts hidden on FB cus it drove me crazy, what do you think about that?
AI - That’s kind of creeper…so I guess i like it.*
What the hell do you do for a living anyway?
AI-Like most everybody I know, I struggle. Money has never been a motivator unless I’m devilishly strapped then I am a professional panik’ur. I’ve always held my freedom higher than cashflow so I do what I gotta do to get by. I hustle (not sex), I juggle (not circus), and I boogie (not dance), I gamble (not Vegas) so really I just fuckin’ wing it*.
What was your childhood like?
AI -It was one big ghost shiny Christmas and Halloween beauty spell. I’m a 70s kid. We had things that worked back then, unlike now, where everything breaks within a year…we had cool cars driving around us and our toys were dangerous. We didn’t wear turtle helmets and knee and elbow pads when we rode our bicycles. It was concert t shirts, old levis jeans, boots or converse all stars and bloody hands, wrist and skinned knees. I was lucky to be born to warm people that were kind to others and I fancy it has rubbed off on me. I grew up around lots of animals, lots of good music and good natured people, so it was a really fantastic childhood all in all…
Do you think you were born a writer?
AI- I was born a nutter, that’s for sure. I was the only baby behind the looking glass that scratched his face until it bled. They had to put gloves on my little hands so I didn’t tear my entire face off. I started out in drawing and collage. When I was a kid and I guess I did a little writing growing up. I was writing poems around the age of 17 and then I wrote lyrics and sang for a spell and writing took on a whole new thing for me. with the interwebs . When death comes to town, sometimes writing isn’t a choice or a decision as much as it’s a medication. I do think that good guitar players are born guitar players and people like Dick Cheney are just born without soul. I think I was just born sad.
Are you musically inclined?
AI - My guitar playing (3 chords) has been compared to a blind man with dyslexia strumming a two string guitar with his dong. It has frightened cats and turned dog heads sideways. I have stumped actual guitarist with my guitar playing and 4 track recordings of songs I’ve written. They ask me how I did something and it’s sad because I can’t tell them. I don’t know what I did. I use a lot of layers, hairspray canisters, I lay down 2 or 3 guitar sounds and 3 or 4 vocals, organ sounds, and a drumbeat. Scott Walker on bad crank or a melting Johnny Cash in a sea of dub, sorrow and drone. I wrote some truly great songs with a friend of mine named Don Strong and when I say truly great. I mean they sound that way for me. He is my Keith Richards, my Bernard Butler, my Nick McCabe, my Peter Hayes, etc. We just have a certain unspoken magic between us.
What city would you love to live in to hone in on your career?
AI - I really Love Berlin & Helsinki. Paris would be a gas, but L.A. is always in the back of my mind. It’s so gutting, nastoid, and beautiful all at once. San Diego Is where I would like to spend more time so i guess i would have to say nowhere city. I’d like to be on the road writing for a year x country.
How you’d get hooked up with BRMC?
AI - On their first tour somewhere down in Texas. I blew both Rob and Pete in a country bar bathroom where they have glory holes cut into the pisser wall. Not really, I was just joshin’. I’ve been bumping into them for years. If they were playing somewhere close, I was there. Like I said before, there was always some kinda familiar unfamiliar thing with them in my eyes. Their music sounded just like the music that was in my head that I was waiting to write or hear and on first listen I had white palms. I always felt a chemistry and when I met them it was like I had already known them for quite a spell., but not so much with their first drummer….his chemical reaction didn’t mix with mine. We were like two mental patients from two different hospitals…at the wrong place at the wrong time. He’s really a good cat and an excellent drummer, we just never hooked up in our best moods.
I guess Billy Nicgorski, who BRMC has recorded with was a spirit lantern and also a middleman, midwife, and mid friend. I sent him a video of me doing my first Ask iAN. I was giving advice on how to give blowjobs or something about my friend’s dad blowing another dad and then Rob fired me off an email and the rest is history or the future…
Why “Ask Ian”? Do you really want to give us losers advice?
AI - I don’t really see it as advice. I see it more like giving a different angle or perception to some of the things we all battle with , yearn for, or don’t quite understand, like two people in a relationship. They are in the center but have no perception from the outside. Truly fair friends can look inside from the outside at your relationship and help you get a different perspective. Like songwriting: sometimes two heads are better than one. I like hearing other people’s ideas. The good ones have always helped me get sorted out better, so it’s not so much advice as a humble 2nd party perception/perspective sharing different knowledge, and sharing a new madness and making people laugh is fun too. I never see BRMC fans or people in general as losers. They are more like people that need to be reminded from time to time just how truly fucking awesome they are and what grand potential they have to add their magic to the pie. Don’t get me wrong, there are some real fuckers out there in the world. I just do my best not to tangle with ‘em.
I love your blog. Will you write a book?
AI - I have some ideas floating around for different books. Right now I am too busy fighting demons, jackholes, bad luck, general folly, bad timing ,and just plainly being Arsed.. But yeah, the idea is to get some books revolving out there. I think there are quite a few people that don’t read the Bourne identity series or get a hard on for Oprah’s book club. People that want a little sorrow, gobs of hilarity, and rock and roll in their reading material. I am just the sort of sweet nut to crack their bitter lair. I’m something a long the lines of Johnny Cash meets David Sedaris.
Will you expand on “Ask Ian”, like go solo with your writings and make tee shirts and stuff.
AI- I’m pretty happy with where I am at right now. I have a truly bad time thinking about money and marketing, ego or fame of any sort. I know there might come a day when I gotta earn some money somehow, but right now I really feel blessed just to be welcomed into the BRMC family as a wolfcub, and allowed to be creative along with them. Anything I write or publish is in no way reflective of their opinions.
I am not a spokesperson for them or anything. I fancy we share a certain spirit. Something along the lines of the real America…Native American imagery, the words of MLK, Marlon Brando’s philosophy, and the wisdom of Johnny Cash, Easy Rider, Hunter S. Thompson, Hank Williams, and Levis Jeans, real authenticity, the history of things. It’s a certain spirit that is felt from Wichita to China to the Gaza Strip and Greece; a certain wild freedom that we not only crave but will die trying to reach. T shirts?
30 beer cans
a penis pump
and a guitar with my face on it. Ask iAN* Yes, I can see it!
Are you single? Do you have children?
AI- We’re all in Love with something that we can’t see.
Will you have sex with me? (I hear you like Black girls)
AI- In a heartbeat. My backseat or yours?! I love women, not their periods. I love smart women. I can’t stand the dumb ones. It’s usually the opposite with the male race but I don’t think much like men think and I was raised by very intelligent women. I like warm, smart animal loving women. Smart women turn me the fuck on.
Of course I like black girls. My first black girlfriend was in Junior High school. She wore really dark glossy lipstick and rubbed my cock under the table in art class as my gay art teacher babbled on about Degas. He shouted “Mother of Pearl!” every time he saw my girlfriend waxing my tork.
Can we do another interview when you don’t rush my ass and I have time to do some real research?
AI - You bet yer ass. Thank you for giving two fucks enough to even interview me. Be well Jordannah. I hope everything is so far so good for you right now. Cheers girl*
By: Jordannah Elizabeth
I learned about Cldscp a few years ago as they are label mates with me (Makeshivt Kity) on the amazing net label: Trastienda.org (Mardrid, Spain). I’ve always been into their lovely melodic and simplistic lofi ballads and thought it was very important that I share their musical minds with you. Andy and Leopo are great artists and cool friends. I hope to hear much more from them.
Leopo: Hola amigos!
Andy: Hola Jordannah!
TPR: What is your musical process?
Leopo: Cldscp process is about two guys writing and playing songs with all different types of instruments, vocal sounds or anything that meets the demanded requirements for our genre.
Andy: It’s easy. First we invent some songs in a organ or a guitar. Then we borrow some instruments and we drop all in to my computer and shake. We try to do everything at night, I live near a school and a bus stop, its noisy. Any way you can hear the bus in lot of our records.
TPR: How is your new album different from the others?
Leopo: “Nińos Azules” (Blue kids) shows the evolution of this couple of years composing songs. The concept of the album is very close to LOVE. The songs talk from the infatuation to the shyness, but all of them refer to the heart feelings.
Andy: Niños azules is a full spanish album. With some new instruments. Lyrics are about simple things and life experiences, just the way we are.
TPR: How long does it take for you to create an album?
Leopo: We never stop writing songs, so at the beginning of start recording, we choose among 30, 40 or more songs and then we record our favorites at home. Cldscp always records at home. We think it´s the best way to get the peace to think in the songs fittingly.
Andy: If we have the songs already composed, we calculate 1 day to record and finish each song. Ten songs, ten days. Music and lyrics it is kind of magic, you can sit in one hour and make 5 really nice songs, or you can stay days with out any cool idea.
TPR: What genre is your music??
Leopo: When we create and play the songs, we don´t think about a genre or a style, but usually the albums are related with the tags freak folk or dream pop.
Andy: I like to believe it’s my town folk, because it’s really inspired in it and could not be created in other place. But we are the only one doing it, so I’m not really sure.
TPR: Are you playing shows now?
Leopo: Yes, we´re playing in Buenos Aires as much as we can and we travel sometimes to other cities in Argentina.
Andy: Always! It is the best part of all.
TPR: How do you get along with your fans?
Leopo: Great! It´s flattering that people likes our music and some of them write us and show lots of affection.
Andy: Well, there aren’t too much. So it’s easy to talk after shows, answer mails and stuff. Some times people are strange but lovely.
TPR: Where would you like to tour the most?
Leopo: We´d like to tour all around the world, but first of all we´d like to travel all around Argentina.
Andy: Right now anywhere, need to change some air
TPR: What’s your favorite instrument?
Leopo: Nowadays I play the Charango, it´s like a small guitar with 10 strings and it´s a native instrument here in South America. Today it´s my favorite thing to play.
Andy: My granny’s armonium
TPR: What are your plans for the future?
Leopo: We´re composing lots of songs and we plan to record a new album for 2012, in January and February. Maybe a short album, we don´t know yet, but the future will be full of songs, we know that.
Andy: I always mix my plans for the future with wishes or dreams, and its kind of frustrating. So I try not to plan too much. Anyway, I would love to make a documentary about how we do stuff down here. Plan or wish? Hahaha.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: www.cldscp.com.ar/
By: Jordannah Elizabeth
If there was ever one musician I would envy in the entire span of my career it would be Amazing Electronic Talking Cave. I think I am probably the only reviewer to hear Felix Bondarev’s full length album before it is to be released on September 5, 2011, and I have to say it is one of the most important records of our shoegaze cult generation.
But this is not why I envy him. I envy him because his mixes are so impressive, so clean that it leaves me wanting to hear the world the way he does. His production ability was the first thing I noticed about his music many moons before Radio Psylence hit my inbox. It is the one true thing that really sets him apart from, if not above many of us Lofi experimental musicians.
The first track On Speed is a truly transcendental track that reminisces on the mood of Spiritualized’s “Ladies and Gentlemen We are Floating in Space”. Frankly, you’ll want to reject it as an opening track because of its length (6 minutes and 31 seconds), and it’s also an instrumental. But once you move through the entire album, it makes perfect sense. If you’re patient, and get to the next track “Tri Goda”, you are rewarded with sexy bassy pop anthem for the first few seconds of the song, and then eaten alive with Bondarev’s driving vocals that are similar to a dictator‘s political speech. You feel like he’s forcing you into something, but if you don’t know Russian, you’re not sure what’s he’s on about. Then the album moves onto Serdce, which is understandably the album’s most recognized single. Listening to this track seems to give you a realistic feel for Bondarev as an artist and as a person. As one of the shorter tracks on the record, Serdce is fairly moving and sympathetic which really doesn’t prepare you for my favorite song on the album, Kingisepp. Hailing as Amazing Electronic Talking Cave’s hometown (Kingisepp, RU), the song is truly inspiring. I am personally partial to African inspired drum beats and forward moving musical tones, and Kingisepp is everything you could possibly dream of when it comes to tribal inspired indie rock. It’s a wonderfully creative and imaginative song. There no vocals, but Bondarev’s superior musical instincts help you understand there’s not always a need for a voice. The track just makes you move.
We Fucked Your Statutes is a strange piece that is well placed after percussion driven Kingisepp. It’s a Middle Eastern inspired sound that really requires you to have a previous knowledge Bondarev’s art in order to sympathize with the work. It’s a good song, but it is the odd ball of the album. You wonder what AETC was listening to or thinking about when he threw this track in. Nonetheless, it does flow with the overall tone of the album.
The second half of Radio Psylence is kicked off by Uznat which really incorporates sounds from some of the heavier Brian Jonestown Massacre tracks like “One”, “Feel It , and “Bruttermainia”. Uznat moves the album into a heavier Eastern European aesthetic for a moment, and then pushes you straight into Permanent Black Marker, which has a similar tone, but is softened, smoothed out, and touched with those short moments of sensitivity that Bondarev can sneak in and surprise you with. Black Permanent Marker makes you remember that AETC has the capacity to love and to recognize the beauty of existence. The next track Allisoneisll, seems to be inspired by Jon Saemundur’s Dead art and sound installations. After Black Permanent Marker, Allisoneisall picks up the pace slightly, but not so much that you don’t lose the feel of the entire album. And finally Not Your Name, kisses you on the forehead and says goodbye. It’s a great final track that ties together this smooth, thought out, and well organized album.
Radio Psylence impressed me. I love AETC’s work, but I’ll have to admit that I was not expecting such a mature, professional, and tasteful record. Felix Bondarev deserves a lot more respect than he gets…musically.
At 21 years old Amazing Electronic Talking Cave is already matching, and at times outshining his predecessors. What our favorite psyche/shoegaze artists achieved at 30 years old, he’s already out produced them by a couple of miles. This doesn’t mean he’s at a peak, but he’s definitely on the right track to become one of the most important producers in psyche rock. This album is not just good, it’s really well done. Bondarev’s talent is on a level that should be recognized and respected.
Help AETC release Radio Psylence by donating what you can!
By: Jordannah Elizabeth
I’ve been working in the rock and roll scene since I was 17 years old. I remember walking around my small college campus in Southern Colorado and looking up, only to see three handsome long haired white boys approaching me. They looked lost, they looked like they were searching for something, and I was searching to talk to them, so once I got close enough to ask them if I could help them with something, I did. They told me they were looking for a young man by the name of Traemon McCabe because they wanted to audition him to play bass for their new band, Dugan Hos. He was a mutual friend of my boyfriend’s at the time and so I walked them through the campus to help them search for him. We didn’t find Trae that day, but when they did he became a perfect fit for them and within months I was managing their band. That was the first of many bands I’ve inadvertently had a hand in creating, managing, and almost disbanding.
As I approach my 8th year in the music scene in February 2012, I find myself to be tired daunted and completely annoyed with the very people who have made me who I am: 20 something male, white rock and roll musicians. I’ve lived this co-dependent lifestyle with them where I end up giving these boys their first shows, putting out their records, giving them money for food and drugs, and having them utterly drain the hell out of my spirit and resources because…well, I let them. It’s not their fault and it’s not mine. I’m an A&R and a music manager, I’m made to put up with their shit and they are born to give the world shit. But now that I’m at the ripe old age of 25, I can look back and express what I have learned.
Hello, my name is Jordannah, I just broke up with yet another beautiful broken boy who’s music is brilliant, and his mind and soul are fleeting and incomplete. The sick thing about loving him is that I would have married him simply to get his music to the people. When I meet these young men, and they come with a song, asking for bread it is hard for me to say no. I mean, career wise it would be unwise to do so, but in life I feel a responsibility, a maternal instinct to hold them and make their dreams come true because it’s always clear that they are orphaned, heartbroken, and hungry. Nonetheless, they have a gift that is so proper and pure that it makes me ill sometimes. I get this illness in my gut and it makes me remember living on the streets with a dream and this little brilliant record I’d recorded in my pocket and how I survived that phase in my life. And I dream of their success for them. So, I tell them that I love them too. I mean it. I just mean it on levels they don’t understand yet. This was my third engagement. He doesn’t know that. No one does. One of the men I’d agreed to marry died on September 9, 2009 of liver cancer. He wouldn’t stop drinking and I’d have to drag him out of restaurants because he would get shitfaced and would make a fool out of himself. I met him at the end of his life. I didn’t know how sick he was until later, but I thought, I’d spend time with him and love him until the end. He was discovered by a member of KISS on the 70’s, toured with Joe Perry’s band in the 80’s and sold millions of records. I wasn’t there when he died. We lost touch. He was moving to a hospice and I was 21 and trying to find myself. But I think about him often.
I’ve seen a lot of them come and I’ve seen a lot of them go. I guess when I see these young men who are 20 while I mourn over my lovers who were 60, I know how the story ends…and I just want to keep the inevitable from happening. Young men don’t understand. They think I’m just some girl. I’m cute, I’ve got a lot of connections and I talk real wise, but they don’t understand that I’ve been to the mountain, I’ve been to the end. I’ve sat and read the Psalms to my lovers while they lay dying, next to a night table filled with their old album covers and CDs. I’ve seen old men turn to God while young men turn to the studio.
How do I explain to a young man that the drugs and the sex will only shorten their lives? They could end up dying alone and having no one. Sure, I’m sure Steven Tyler was at my old lover’s funeral and everyone marched in and said their last words, but he was alone. I know because for months, I was there alone with him, 21 years old and dying in a different way. The only thing I had was time, and my boys, my lost boys, they still have time.
The one thing I have learned from young musicians is that their hope and their egos carry them to great heights; great artistic heights that extend beyond space and time. They fly away in their hearts and minds. They have to search, they have to run, they have to get lost because if they don’t they’ll never find a way to the truth of rock and roll. And the truth is, they’re going to die for it. I know I’m going to die for it. They have just not accepted the fact that they’ll probably die young.
I understand that there’s a great chance I won’t live past 45. Maybe I’ll make it to 60. I have dreams of having children and great grandchildren. I dream of living until I’m 80 years old, tatted up and grumpy, smoking weed and yelling at my grandkids running around in my yard. But I understand that may not happen. I love that the lost boys of rock and roll have the passion to fight the inevitable. They have the balls to fight my guidance and love. I look for that. I look for that strength and blindness because it allows me to ignore the death, the drugs, the molestation, lies, and manipulation I’ve experienced. Maybe they’ll be ok. Maybe they won’t have to go through the things I’ve seen time and time again. I can dream their dreams and remember what it was like to be right. Because now I know that I don’t know anything accept that there’s always going to be a young man who’s going to come to me with hopes. They’re going to fall in love with me and ask me for money and a way to get into this club and that one. I do not abuse my gifts and connections because I know I have the keys to a life of heartache and an eventual demise. So, I love them as hard as I can before they leave and call me some tyrant because I did not give them the world. I hold back because I know what’s best, and they just want to be seen and heard. It is understandable. But I’ve seen the beginning and the end of these young men a hundred times. I’ve buried boys 22 and 23 years old time and time again. It never gets easier. In fact, it gets harder every time I lose another one. I think maybe if I’d said something, or if I’d even noticed they were junkies instead of just thinking they were drunk or stoned.
My lost boys. They will grow to be junkie men. They’ll marry young blond girls who will abuse them and suck cock in bathrooms while they wait at the bar. They’ll have children with a colored lover and hide them with alimony, psychologically abusing the mom’s so badly that they move to a different coast or country so that their secret will be safe. I’ve seen the mountains and the valleys.
And I just want to save them. I want to marry them so I can be there to kill the demons that have plagued them from birth. But I know I cannot do these things. And I know they will leave me. And it’s ok. It is life. It is rock and roll life. So, I wish them good luck, and I keep my door cracked open in case they need a place to hide. I write these articles in case they feel lonely and need someone to understand and validate their pain. It is all I can do… because being a woman who loves these men will only lead me to a life of loneliness. I hope I’ll find one who will stick around. But it is not likely so I bare the suffering of solitude. I have sex once every two to three months. I eat and smoke just to keep going without taking the time to consider nutrition, because my door is always open, so I can’t be off somewhere cooking a vegan four course meal when there are lost boys out there. This is the rock and roll life. Enter at your own risk, and if you do, make sure you enjoy every note you ever hear and love everyone man and woman who creates them with fervor and respect, even If they spit in your face. Because this is life as you’ll know it.
And if there is hope, I’ll keep it in my mind and spirit. But baby, I’d like to see a happy ending for me if not anyone else. My true hope is that we gain awareness. Maybe art cannot survive without suffering, or maybe we just have to change the way we think.
*I know my age and the time frame don’t seem to add up. I met my fiance in Dec 2008, so I was 2 months into being 22…and I don’t officially turn 25 until October.