Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Untitled Interview #200: Starring The Cult of Dom Keller

I thought long and hard and then some about who to have star in this, the 200th iteration of The Untitled Interview. But a realization finally dawned on me, friends, that there was really only one band that should be involved. It's quite obvious, really. The Cult of Dom Keller topped my Best of 2013 list, and it's entirely possible they'll do it again this year. Nottingham's finest (and definitely one of the UK's finest) psych rock contortionists do all sorts of magical things to my brain that I can't even comprehend, and if you're at all into psych rock you'll probably want to check them out immediately.

Read on for answers from Jason, Neil, and Ryan to see what makes the Cult tick (Sartre! The Monkees! Victorian parks!). You might wish to do so whilst listening to their jaw-dropping opus The Second Bardo (out now on Cardinal Fuzz) to further enhance the experience.

Fuzzy Logic: How the hell are you?

Ryan: Hell is other people but I'm doing fine.

Jason: I am!

Neil: Ok, ta.

FL: What was the last song you listened to?

Ryan: Currently listening to The Fall in the car. Last song was "Cruiser's Creek."

Jason: "We Don't Care" from the first MGMT record (when they were still called The Management).

Neil: The last album I listened to was "The Terror" by The Flaming Lips. It's a kind of all-or-nothing listening experience.

FL: Playing music is:

Ryan: Play music or go mental.

Jason: The only reason we're not all in seperate padded cells (instead we're all in the same one).

Neil: A necessary therapy.

FL: What album most made you realize you wanted to make music?

Ryan: I was a massive 60s freak (Beatles, Stones, Yardbirds, Zeppelin), then the 13th Floor Elevators' first album and the Pebbles (60s garage compilation) series changed everything and connected with me in way music hadn't before.

Jason: Michael Jackson's Thriller. I was about five at the time though.

Neil: The Beach Boys - 20 Golden Greats, It was my bathtime music as a child.

FL: Beatles or Stones?

Ryan: The Stones. No, The Beatles. Can't do it. White album, Revolver, Rubber soul, Beggar's Banquet, Exile on Main Street, Let it would be like a real bad father having to choose between his kids.

Jason: The Beatles from Monday to Thursday, The Stones from Friday to Sunday.

Neil: If I had to choose, then I'd go with the Beatles, but I love the Stones, so my answer has to be Wednesday.

FL: Top 5 albums (of now, of this week, of ever):

Ryan: Mmm.... Well this changes every day but right now...
Stooges - The Stooges
13th Floor Elevators - Psychedelic Sounds of
Chrome - Half Machine Lip Moves
Brian Jonestown Massacre - My Bloody Underground
The Doors - Strange Days

Jason: (of the mood I'm currently in)
Flaming Lips - The Terror
The Amps - Pacer
Royal Trux - Sweet Sixteen
The Moles - Flashbacks and Dream Sequences
Neil Young - On The Beach

Neil: In the car / on the phone this week =
Flaming Lips - The Terror
Scott Walker - 4
Tom Waits - Bone Machine
The Warlocks - Heavy Deavy Skull Lover
The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds

FL: Favorite music-related film?

Ryan: The Blues Brothers.

Jason: They're almost always awful, so er..The Monkees Head, maybe? "Porpoise Song" is one of the greatest psychedelic songs of all time, just as the concept for Head is the most amazing concept, especially as the intention was to utterly destroy the myth of The Monkees. Fantastic.

"Wanting to feel,
To know what is real,
Living is a lie.
The porpoise is waiting, goodbye, goodbye"

Neil: This is too hard to answer, will go with A Requiem for a Dream.

FL: Which of your peers do you think is making the best music these days?

Ryan: Liars, Flaming Lips, and Indian Jewellery. BJM continue to create great music.

Jason: The Vacant Lots, Black Bombaim, Reverends and Flash Hits! all deserve a listen. I've been listening to Flash Hits' newest demos and that band are CRIMINALLY overlooked. Damien Taylor (Flash Hits/Asteroid #4/Sounds of Kaleidoscope) is a seriously talented and all-round great guy too. Oh and Cloudland Canyon for mind-bending trancy greatness..and Cheval Sombre for the most beautiful songs...Duncan McKnight from The Virgin Tongues' new group The Seldom Seen also really needs listening to. I'm sure I'll kick myself in a minute when I remember another 20 great bands I should have mentioned. There's a LOT of great music happening right now, hiding in the corners of your eyes. Dual Split, also. Phenomenal stuff.

Neil: The Lumerians, Lola Colt and Indian Jewelry.

FL: Half-full or half-empty?

Ryan: Half full of emptiness.

Jason: What's in the glass?

Neil: Today it's half full.

FL: What's the first thing you think when you wake up in the morning?

Ryan: Well done. I made another day.

Jason: that would depend strongly on where I am, but lately it's "I really need to tidy up and stop living like a hobo."

Neil: How do I feel today.

FL: Little-known Cult of Dom Keller fact?

Ryan: On an Amazonian exhibition when I was 18 I lost my fingers in a freak accident in piranha-infested waters. I had to have an emergency transplant. The only fingers available for transplant were those of a Great Peruvian silverback ape so now my left hand is actually almost all monkey. Everyday I look down at my hand and thank that monkey because now my fingers can do things on the guitar mere mortals can't.

Jason: Ryan's monkey hand.

Neil: Ryan is an alien from the future, with a monkey's claw? All of our songs are named by strangers.

FL: The greatest record store in the world is:

Ryan: I'll answer this when I get back from my US road trip at the end of the month as I have a list of record stores on my itinerary.

Jason: Joe's Record Paradise in Silver Spring, Maryland...or Amoeba in SF...

Neil: Don't have one.

Jason: will someone please buy Neil a record player...

FL: Your boots were made for:

Ryan: Someone else to die in.

Jason: clown feet.

Neil: Me.

FL: Shaken or stirred?

Ryan: Shirred.

Jason: Always shaken as violently as possible. ...well unless we're talking about which case; stirred as violently as possible.

Neil: Shaken.

FL: Favorite venue (either to play or to visit)?

Ryan: I really loved the power station when we played Austin Psych Fest in 2011.

Jason: Madame Moustache in Brussels. Great venue, great people.

Neil: Locally, it's The Chameleon, it's got a great sound system and sound man; a very intimate venue run by a local eccentric. I'd have to agree with Ryan for best venue ever. APF4 at the Austin Power Station was something else.

FL: Best piece of advice you've ever been given?

Ryan: Try not to die and you'll live longer.

Jason: "Don't try too hard." (Neil Hagerty & Jennifer Herrema)

Neil: Look both ways when you cross the road.

FL: What's your favorite spot/place/city/wherever in Nottingham?

Ryan: Home.

Jason: Our rehearsal space/church/tinnitus factory.

Neil: Any of the Victorian parks.

FL: If you weren't in a band you'd be?

Ryan: A successful solo artist haha.

Jason: ...a total recluse.

Neil: Something else creative.

FL: Heaven's Gate had matching tracksuits and Nikes, Branch Davidians had David Koresh...what is the Cult of Dom Keller's cult staple?

Ryan: Conspiracies and madness.

Jason: Eyes and ears.

Neil: Mental health issues.

FL: If you were so inclined, whom would you form a tribute band in honor of?

Ryan: Alice Cooper would be fun.

Jason: I'll be in that Alice Cooper tribute band with Ryan. Dennis Dunaway wrote the greatest
bass lines ever. Neil do you want to join?

Neil: I was going to say Love, but now I'm going with Alice Cooper!

FL: Best song ever written?

Ryan: This is like asking me what my favourite cheese is and that's impossible to answer.

Jason: "Helter Skelter" by the Beatles.

Neil: "Broken Arrow" by Buffalo Springfield.

[posted 8.14.14]

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Video Of The Day #20: Golden Age Sessions featuring Lydia Cole

There’s a bunch of videos out there. Some of them are good. Some of them are a cut above. I like to think my picks for Video Of The Day are a cut (or two) above.

There are times, dear friends, that I wish I had my own recording studio. This is one of those times. Some good people in Auckland, New Zealand, got together and cooked up a plot to bring people to a studio and have them record acoustic versions of cover songs. Yep, I totally want to do this too. The Golden Age Sessions, as this project is called, gets underway with a session with Lydia Cole. Cole, in this impeccably-shot video, appears not only to have seriously flawless skin but a heck of a powerful voice to boot, and she can strum an acoustic guitar ever so prettily. She takes HAIM and goes in a different, blue direction, and the result is totally gorgeous. It's a winning concept as far as I'm concerned.  

Side note: this is the same studio where Lorde recorded Pure Heroine. I'm hooked.

[posted 8.12.14]

Good Cover Version #9: The Point Does Big Star

Pulp gave the world the song "Bad Cover Version." But seeing as I'm a sonic optimist, I'm of the belief that there's more likely than not more good cover versions floating around than bad ones. Good Cover Version celebrates the good, and leaves all that bad and ugly stuff alone.

I've never been a huge Big Star fan (I know, shame on me), but I can appreciate when someone does a good (perhaps even great) cover of one of Alex Chilton and co.'s little ditties. Case in point: The Point. This Brooklyn duo take a rambunctious ode to young love and romantic rebellion and reconfigure it into a delicate, breathlessly ethereal piece of spun sugar, with lovely lady vocals and a subtle tautness that speaks to the rebellious nature of the song. 

Part of the band's South Second EP, released today. 

[posted 8.12.14]

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Video Of The Day #19: Liam Bailey

There’s a bunch of videos out there. Some of them are good. Some of them are a cut above. I like to think my picks for Video Of The Day are a cut (or two) above.

Here's the thing about Liam Bailey, y'all. The man has one of the sexiest, bra-toss eliciting voices you will ever hear. I could literally listen to him read James Joyce (and I hate James Joyce, sorry to my fellow literature snobs). Thankfully, Bailey has songs instead of having to settle for any of the Joyce catalog. I was first introduced to Bailey's voice on the (killer) Chase & Status track "Blind Faith," and "On My Mind" takes Bailey in a totally different direction (soulful rock as opposed to soulful and dubstep) that is really no less appealing. Add some blurry video effects, a band, and a warehouse and you've got a video I'm definitely digging. 

O, that voice...pardon me while I swoon. 


[posted 8.6.14]

Album Review: Sultan Bathery - "Self-Titled"

I'm all manner of in smit with Sultan Bathery, y'all. They came into my world billed as "Italian freakbeat swamis" peddling "reverb soaked psychedelic garage pop," and with an introduction like that I was sure I would love them even before I checked out their debut LP "Self-Titled." I'm pleased to report the record is as advertised, and probably even better than I expected.

"Self-Titled" has it all, as far as I'm concerned (even a Baudelaire reference). This record is a ferocious romp through nervy, clever psych-drenched jolts of garage songs, and as far as I'm concerned Sultan Bathery can do no wrong. They've got the drone thing just right. They've got the gritty fuzz just so. They've got the perfect amount of swagger in their collective trousers. And there seems to be an ever-present hint of being just about ready to abandon the realm of catchy, perfunctory songs for drugged-out, indulgent ravages on the senses. As it stands, the senses get barraged good and plenty, thank you very much.  

It's safe to say that when these three dudes get together, psychedelic garage pop magic most definitely happens. Strongly recommended listening for my fellow lovers of all things psych/garage/just plain noisy.

[posted 8.6.14]

Monday, August 4, 2014

Sounds Of Woodsist Festival 2014

It seems like these days everyone has a festival. But some of these fests are well worth your time, especially some of the smaller, more select ones.

For example, my good friends, Woodsist Festival. Happening in beautiful Big Sur tomorrow and Wednesday, and then in quirktacular Pioneertown on Saturday the 16th. While a small fest, Woodsist Festival has a heck of a lot to offer. Besides great locations, the lineups are pretty killer, and showcase the weird and wonderful roster that Woodsist has on offer. Lineups for each leg of the fest are below, as are some awesome sounds from the awesome folks who happen to be playing. 

If you're in California, go to this shindig! Tickets are all gone for Big Sur, but still available for Pioneertown. Go here for more info. 

at the Henry Miller Library
Presented in association with (((folkYEAH!)))

Set Times:

AUG 5th, 2014

Gates 1:30 - 3PM DJ sets

3 - Skygreen Leopards

4:20 - Kevin Morby

5:45 - Angel Olsen

7:20 - White Fence


AUG 6th, 2014

Gates 1:30 - 3PM DJ sets

3 - Meg Baird

4:20 - Steve Gunn

5:45 - Little Wings

7:15 - Foxygen

9 - Real Estate

WOODSIST FESTIVAL Pioneertown 2014

at Pappy & Harriet's
Presented in association with (((folkYEAH!)))

AUG 16th, 2014

Cass McCombs Skiffle Band
Fresh & Onlys
Peaking Lights
Kevin Morby
Little Wings
Amps For Christ
Skygreen Leopards
Matt Kivel

[posted 8.4.14]

Singles Club: Graveyard Club

Y'all know I'm a sucker for a catchy little ditty. Today's ditty is so catchy, in fact, that it could probably cause a graveyard dance party. And not only because it's been concocted by a band with Graveyard in their name...

...sure to beat the blues even in the dead of a Minnesota winter, Minneapolitans Graveyard Club hit the nail on the irresistible synth pop head with their "The Night Is Mine," full of chaste John Hughes-ian sweetness and adorable his-n-hers vocals. Crucial good time listening. 

[posted 8.4.14]

Remix Fix: Future Islands/Vince Clark

In theory I like the idea of the remix: taking someone else's song and tweaking it the way you want it done. It's a great means for completely redoing something, and for reinterpretation. Sometimes remixes go awry, and sometimes they're better than the original. Remix Fix is all about the happy medium when a remix totally nails it and makes a song that much better.

As far as remixes go, putting a late-90s English synth pop sass into a song is always a winning idea. In my humble opinion, anyway. Such is the case with the Future Islands jam "Doves," as remixed by Vince Clark of Erasure. It's kind of a perfect fit, with the panther slink of Clark adding that extra something to the already voluminous fantasticalness of the song. Well done on all counts.

Oh, and keep your eyes peeled. Future Islands is taping an Austin City Limits session, and we all know what happens when they get in front of a TV camera...

[posted 8.4.14]

Video Of The Day #18: The Griswolds

There’s a bunch of videos out there. Some of them are good. Some of them are a cut above. I like to think my picks for Video Of The Day are a cut (or two) above.

Mondays have been known to be a little scary from time to time, which makes this here video a little right in line with the horror of the first day of the work week. The Griswolds have released one of my favorite clips of the year thus far with this super fun piece Red Riding Hood-meets-werewolf madcap tomfoolery. As Red Riding Hood and her wolfish companion tool around the countryside on their hog, causing mayhem, blood splatter, and flying limbs wherever they go, the band bounds along on the rambunctious, infectious heck of a fun love-gone-sour song that is "Beware The Dog." Both the song and the video should more than get you out of any Monday funk you might be stuck in.

[posted 8.4.14]

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Video Of The Day #17: VANIISH

There’s a bunch of videos out there. Some of them are good. Some of them are a cut above. I like to think my picks for Video Of The Day are a cut (or two) above.

"Nothing to remember, nothing to regret," sayeth VANIISH in the chillingly wonderful "Memory Work." A haunting dirge of shoegaze-industrial-synthpop, the song is given visual life in a video fraught with as much frantic, ghostly energy as is the song. Multi-colored static bursts are peppered with distorted closeups of the band members, and the whole affair creeps with shades and specters. It's a killer song, and a killer video, and y'all need to check both out immediately.

[posted 8.2.14]

The Week In Shows: 8/4-8/10

An overcast, rather sleepy Saturday morning seems as good a time as any to plot ones weekly live music schedule, I think. Let's take a look at what's happening in the greater DC metro this week, with the added bonus of filling you in on what I may or may not be taking in over the course of this abbreviated week. Hot diggity!

Am I alone in thinking allergies in the DC metro are the worst of all time this year? I feel like all I do these days is work and sleep. And listen to music, of course. These are my picks for your upcoming week, friends, so I hope you'll seriously consider attending a few of these. And you never know, I just might see you out and about during the week. Your blogstress just might be at shows indicated with a star. 

MONDAY, 8/4/14

-Nine Inch Nails (Jiffy Lube Live)

TUESDAY, 8/5/14

-Rom + Vundabar + East Ghost (Velvet Lounge)
-Gregg Allman (Ram's Head - Annapolis)


-Hooray for Earth + Grooms (Black Cat)**
-The Rosebuds + Jesse Marchant (DC9)
-The Dawn Drapes + The Genuine + Stranger In The Alps (Gypsy Sally's)

THURSDAY, 8/7/14

-Tiny Ruins + Brandon Minow (DC9)

FRIDAY, 8/8/14

-Judas Priestess (Comet Ping Pong)
-Presidents of The United States of America + In The Whale (9:30 Club)
-Me & Karen + Black Hills + Honest Holoway + Chomp Chomp (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-Steve Lauri + Ben Mason (Gypsy Sally's)

SATURDAY, 8/9/14

-The Deadmen + Vandaveer + Tomas Pagan Motta (9:30 Club)**
-Galvanize + Honest Holoway + Andrew Grossman (DC9)
-Peter Murphy + My Jerusalem (State Theatre)
-The Effects + Celestial Shore + Zula + Stronger Sex (Paper Haus)

SUNDAY, 8/10/14

-Twin Peaks + The Lemons + The Sea Life (DC9)
-Pet Parade + Wailin Storms (Galaxy Hut)

[posted 8.2.14]

Friday, August 1, 2014

Sounds Of Secret Stages 2014 #12: Promised Land Sound

Y'all know I've got all sorts of love for Sweet Home Alabama, and if there was any way I could be in Birmingham this weekend I would be. You see, Secret Stages is this weekend! If you're not familiar, it's a little festival devoted to the best of new (primarily) Southern music, and I'm just dying to go check it out. So, since I can't be there, here's a few bands I'd definitely be making time for.

It took me approximately one second (maybe just a touch less) to fall in smit with Promised Land Sound. Their old time rock & roll sound definite belies an affinity for the glory days of the 50s and 60s, and their nostalgia makes for some seriously badass listening. It's a good old, swampin' and foot-stompin' time, and I'm all about it.

[posted 8.1.14]

Sounds Of Secret Stages 2014 #11: Kaleidico

Y'all know I've got all sorts of love for Sweet Home Alabama, and if there was any way I could be in Birmingham this weekend I would be. You see, Secret Stages is this weekend! If you're not familiar, it's a little festival devoted to the best of new (primarily) Southern music, and I'm just dying to go check it out. So, since I can't be there, here's a few bands I'd definitely be making time for.

I've got to tell y'all, Kaleidico is really hitting the spot. Hailing from Louisville, the band concocts some seriously spacey astral projections, throwing conventional song structure out the window in favor of expansive, pulsating compositions that bring together elements of the electronic, psychedelic, and folk. I'd venture a guess that at least one of them listens to The Flaming Lips kind of a lot. No doubt their set makes for a compelling live experience.

[posted 8.1.14]

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Video Of The Day #16: M185

There’s a bunch of videos out there. Some of them are good. Some of them are a cut above. I like to think my picks for Video Of The Day are a cut (or two) above.

Y'all know I have a thing about pedals. So when a video comes along that stars a dude dressed as a pedal...let's just say it was meant to be. The video in question comes from awesome Austrians M185 for their awesome "Soon," a grimy, scuzzy little rock ditty that sounds a little like those great rock songs you used to listen to back when while also sounding perfectly and so very of the right now. And damned if it's not catchy as hell.  

Did I mention there's a dude in Big Muff headgear?

I love the song, and I love the video. This won't be the last you hear of M185 around these parts.

[posted 7.31.14]