Hello dear friends! It's been a long time. I hope you've been keeping well, staying out of trouble/jail, and listening to a whole lot of good music since last we spoke. Holy cow it's October! I must apologize, the Fuzzy summer break turned into a hiatus that ended up being a lot longer than I had planned. Sorry. But you know how life can be! Watch this space for news coming in the not super distant future, but for now, your girl is back and promises not to disappear like that again. Now, let's get back to the music, shall we...
As is sometimes the way, it didn't take all that long for it to happen. I fell in deep, major smit with Matt Kivel's Days of Being Wild record about ten seconds into hearing the gorgeous "Insignificance." The whole album has this beautiful, lo-fi sunshine sound, idyllic in its way and impossible not to fall for. You'll hear me gush more about it later, don't you worry. Naturally, I was curious about Mr. Kivel. So read on, dear friends, for a glimpse into the thoughts of a heck of a musician with a penchant for 80s pop song sweetness and a serious hankering for a pair of boots.
Fuzzy Logic: How the hell are you? Matt Kivel: I'm fine at the moment. FL: What was the last song you listened to? MK: A song I wrote yesterday. I was listening to it a few minutes ago. I worked on the lyrics last night. The melody has been kicking around for a few days. It might be something worth pursuing on the next record. The lyrics are kind of different than some of the things I've done in the past. gospel-thunderous drums- with some wiry electric guitar, played at a slow slow pace FL: Playing music is: MK: Something i do on a fairly regular basis FL: What album most made you realize you wanted to make music? MK: Wilco yankeehotelfoxtrot. FL: Beatles or Stones? MK: Beatles ... the songs are too beautiful FL: Top 5 albums (of now, of this week, of ever): MK: This week: Nirvana - In Utero Pussygutt / Story of Rats - Sea of Sand Various artists - Laila je T'aime Cass McCombs - Big Wheel and Others Amps for Christ - Canyons Cars and Crows FL: Favorite music-related movie? MK:Step Across the Border. FL: Half-full or half-empty? MK:Half full. FL: Which of your peers do you think is making the best music these days? MK: I don't think they're necessarily my peers, but I really feel like Bill Callahan, Will Oldham, Joanna Newsom and Robert Wyatt are probably making the best music right now. FL: What's the first thing you think when you wake up in the morning? MK: It's nice to see my girlfriend. FL: Little-known Matt Kivel fact? MK:I wrote two record reviews for The Wire in 2007 ... album reviews for Prefuse 73 and J Dilla. FL: The greatest record store in the world is: MK: Mono records in Echo Park. FL: Your boots were made for: MK: I've never actually owned any proper boots. i'd like to someday. FL: Shaken or stirred? MK: Shaken. FL: Favorite venue (either to play or to visit)? MK: The Echo. FL: Best piece of advice you've ever been given? MK: Learn to record yourself -- Mitchell Froom. FL: If you weren't in a band you'd be? MK: I'm not in a band anymore! FL: If you were so inclined, whom would you form a tribute band in honor of? MK: Probably Nick Drake, or Fairport Convention. FL: Best song ever written? MK: "Born to Run" by Bruce Springsteen.
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. This is the kind of video I could watch over and over again, y'all. It's filled with random vintage clips of all sorts of random things (science! plantlife! Einstein!), grainy and quirky and somehow the perfect backdrop for the sultrily jaunty jam "Black Lemon," by favorite New Orleansians Generationals. The more I watch it, the harder it is not to hit play right after it's over. The video's worth several watches, and the song is worth many a listen. Oh, and don't forget to get out there and catch Grant and Ted when they hit the road this fall!
An overcast, potentially rainy, and quite sleepy Sunday 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! I still feel like all I do these days is work and sleep, y'all. 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, though the week is a little light as we gear up for Labor Day weekend. 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, 8/25/14 -Frog Eyes + PS I Love You (DC9) TUESDAY, 8/26/14 -Humble Fire + Louis Weeks + Swimming + Real Clothes (Paperhaus) WEDNESDAY, 8/27/14 -Windhand, Disciples of Christ, Citadel (Black Cat) THURSDAY, 8/28/14 -The Handsome Family + Richard Buckner (Iota) -Crocodiles + SISU + Shark Week (Comet Ping Pong)** -The Polyphonic Spree + Soft Cat (Black Cat) FRIDAY, 8/29/14 -Kohoutek + Max Ochs + Rat Bastard + Insect Factory (Velvet Lounge) SATURDAY, 8/30/14 -Odonis Odonis (The Pinch) -Perfect Pussy + Joanna Gruesome + Potty Mouth + Love of Everything (Rock & Roll Hotel)** -Hollis Brown (National Building Museum) SUNDAY, 8/31/14 -Spoonboy + Bellows + Eskimeaux (Black Cat) [posted 8.24.14]
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 bleed...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 tea...in 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
WOODSIST FESTIVAL Big Sur 2014 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 9 - WOODS 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 Woods Foxygen Cass McCombs Skiffle Band Fresh & Onlys Peaking Lights Kevin Morby Little Wings Amps For Christ Skygreen Leopards Matt Kivel
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.
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...
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.