Thursday, September 29, 2011

LP Lust: Baltimorean Goodness Edition

Tuesday night I took a little roadtrip up to Baltimore with a good friend for the Jeff Mangum/A Hawk & A Hacksaw show (which I will be discussing at length in another post). A quick drive later (it pays to leave work early if possible when heading up that way), we were in Hampden, sipping beer and snacking on some amazing Brussells sprouts at the Golden West and thumbing through record bins at a couple fine local establishments. Of course, since it had been a little while since I let myself go crazy in a record store, I ended up, well, going a little crazy. Not as crazy as I have done in past outings, though, so perhaps that's progress.

You'll notice I went for quality over quantity, as well as forking out for some titles that I knew nothing about, other than that my Spidey senses went all sorts of tingly when I pulled them from the bins. I'd call this a fine assemblage of music both old and new, and I'm so happy to have got my paws on each and every one of these long players. It was a great, great day overall, enhanced of course by these babies that are now a part of my collection.

* The Flying W Wranglers - An Evening At The Famous Flying W Ranch (autographed!)

* The Turtles - The Turtles Present The Battle of The Bands

* Bob Dylan - Nashville Skyline

* New Math - Gardens

* Soft Machine - Fourth

* Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Rust Never Sleeps

* Iggy Pop - Lust For Life

* The Flying Eyes - Done So Wrong

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Through A Lens Fuzzily #4: Oh, Virginia

Many of you know that I'm a born and raised Virginia girl (I leave, but I keep comin' back). Sure, you could probably put an asterisk on there, because coming from Northern Virginia is certainly unlike hailing from the rest of the Commonwealth. But having lived in Richmond for a while, I feel a lot more in touch with being Virginian (whatever that really means).

So I'm going all sorts of literal on this here post. To the right, a shot of some dogwood blossoms from a tree growing in my dear friend Chelsea's backyard in Richmond. Below, for your listening delight, some Cardinal. Just try to guess what decade this song was released. Timeless. So yeah. State flower, check. State bird, check. Sweet Virginia, indeed.

mp3: Say The Words Impossible (Demo) (Cardinal from Cardinal)

[photo by Megan Petty]

The Good Ship Rediscovery: The Very Hush Hush - Mourir C'est Facile

We all forget about the older stuff from time to time, in our quest to stay up to speed with the latest and greatest. But one should always respect their elders. So don’t forget about them, y’hear?

As with many things, the way I discovered The Very Hush Hush has been lost forever in time. But what shouldn't be lost is this record. Released in 2006, Mourir C'est Facile (translation: "Dying is Easy") is an epic, incredibly and beautifully evocative of so much at once. The Denver band is just a duo, though they make enough noise for several full-size bands.

The record incorporates a little bit of shoegaze and a little bit of post-punk, along with, well, that noise I mentioned above, meaning there's plenty of fuzz and plenty of heavy, heady walls of crushing sound. "Slow Destroyer," for example, begins with a rush of air that elicits the moment of natural expectation just before a rainstorm, followed by the downpour of steady, intricate instrumentation. The exceptional "Eyes Become Rooms" crunches and batters, a cloudburst wrapped in a squall wrapped in a tornadic supercell.

I'm reasonably sure it was "The Outskirts" that initially hooked me, sinuous in its musical movements and more than a little spooky. It's like waking up to the fog rolling in, heavily wisping and alive with something almost unnatural. My two favorites close the record, "Green" pulling the album up to heavenly heights with the feel of the fog lifting and the sun streaming through, and "Coup de Main," the dizzying closing masterpiece, rich and hypnotic and glorious.

All told, Mourir C'est Facile is a brutally beautiful record. To listen to it is quite possibly to love it.

m4a: Coup de Main (The Very Hush Hush from Mourir C'est Facile)

Newsflash!: The Sweet Tea Pumpkin Pie Fest 2.0 & The Fuzzy Logic Showcase Therein

I hope none of you local types have made plans over Columbus Day weekend, because there is a musical event happening over that lovely long holiday weekend that you do not want to miss. October 8-9 will see the return of the Sweet Tea Pumpkin Pie (STPP) Fest, a free two-day musical festival featuring over 125 bands from both the DC environs and further afield. Oh, did you catch that free part?

Yours truly is not only a member of the festival committee, but the proud owner of a weekend-long showcase, to be held at The Islander (conveniently located near the one and only Ben's Chili Bowl!). I've booked in 25 wonderful, stupendous, glorious bands and singer-songwriters, and seeing them all in one place will be rather exciting. And FOR FREE. Really, kids, you are spoiled. You can check it all out at the fest's official site, but here's the lineup for my Fuzzy Logic extravaganza:

Sat, October 8th

12pm – Matt Tarka
1pm – Thrushes
2pm – Teen Mom
3pm – Mercies
4pm – Canary Oh Canary
5pm – Fear of Virginia
6pm – The Late Virginia Summers
7pm – The Snowy Owls
8pm – The Cinnamon Band
9pm – Drawbridges
10pm – The Diamond Center
11pm – Ttotals
12am – FUN

Sun, October 9th

12pm – Robert Mitchell
1pm – Herd Murmurs
2pm – Marionette
3pm – Little Anchor
4pm – Sean K Preston
5pm – Jonathan Vassar & The Speckled Bird
6pm – Kindlewood
7pm – Bobby E Lee & The Sympathizers
8pm – The Milkstains
9pm – Mother Sun Flower
10pm – Tungs
11pm – Dead Fame

I'll be at The Islander all dang weekend, so make sure to stop by, check out some amazing music, and say howdy. Stay tuned for more details, friends.

[poster design by the incomparable Matt Klimas!]

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Good Ship Rediscovery: The Young Knives - Voices of Animals & Men

We all forget about the older stuff from time to time, in our quest to stay up to speed with the latest and greatest. But one should always respect their elders. So don’t forget about them, y’hear?

Voices of Animals & Men
isn't a particularly old record (just four years old), but it's one that I feel doesn't really get nearly enough attention. Year after year, I keep going back to The Young Knives and this colossally dynamite album, because it's just that good. And, perhaps in part because they have a band member given the dubious nickname "The House of Lords," which is both glaringly ridiculous and monumentally spectacular.

The record kicks off with the kick in the teeth that is "Part Timer," a song that instantly shows off what The Young Knives represents (that being ferocious, tightly jagged riffs, a rhythm section that fits the mold of British excellence [sounds a bit like Joy Division cracking a fang-bearing smile?], and sharply witty lyrics ["I found it hard to pick up the pen/tomorrow I will try it again/with the sword/with the sword"]). Just offbeat enough, the song tantalizes one more than enough to listen to the remaining thirteen songs. "The Decision" is a slow mocker, full of aggrandizing pomp instrumentally-speaking and wryly amusing lyrical content ("I mixed the matte with the sheen/it's not the way to be seen," and "I am your monarch/your supreme monarch," for starters). Fan as I am of British social commentary, I might go as far as to say The Young Knives does it better than most, maybe even better than anyone since The Kinks.

"Hot summer/hot hot summer," goes the refrain of "Weekends & Bleak Days (Hot Summer," a Stranglers-esque ditty full of "Peaches"-like basslines and the droll boredom that hallmarks this particular record. "Here Comes The Rumour Mill" is a favorite, salaciously staccato and prone to fits of bombastic loudness, and classifies as a triumph. The farcical "She's Attracted To" is another charmer, a class struggle wrapped up in an ode to the difference between parents and their offspring. "Reason I tried/but when reason she died/we were fighting on the drive under the security lights," it goes, set to bounding riffs and slightly sarcastic background "la la la's." "Loughborough Suicide" has been a favorite from the beginning for me, societal angst given a cheeky, musically-pleasing wrapping.

Strangely enough, as much as I love this album, I have yet to dig into the subsequent Young Knives offerings. Perhaps I just haven't been able to tear myself away from this one yet.

m4a: Here Comes The Rumour Mill (The Young Knives from Voices of Animals & Men)

The Untitled Interview #162: Starring Pete Fowler

Art and music frequently collide, but every now and again, they seem to belong together. Case in point: the partnership between my favorite architects of Welsh spacefluffery, Super Furry Animals, and their longtime artisan of incredible fantasmagorical otherworlds, Pete Fowler, that's been nigh on perfect for years now. The world Fowler creates is heavy on the fantasy, whimsy, and daydreamery, brightly-colored and larger than life (in the way that you tend to start wishing that world was the real world). I for one would love to be a part of his technicolor vignettes, even for just a day.

The man, the myth, the artiste has kindly answered some of my burning questions, and has provided us with a wealth of answers. I trust you'll enjoy them as much as I do. Check out Pete's official site for all things Fowler, as he's always up to something! Read on for Pete's thoughts on the Stones, the Furries, and the fine art of the Welsh insult.
Fuzzy Logic: How the hell are you?
Pete Fowler: I'm good thanks, just had an amazing burger at Byron and a drink at my local on the way home. It's Saturday night and I'm here doing this interview with TV on waiting for a film to start.

FL: What was the last song you listened to?
PF: The Horrors - "I Can See Through You." It was the last song that played just before I left my studio as I was painting for this show later this month. Really love their new LP.

FL: Beatles or Stones?
PF: I have more Stones records than Beatles but I can't really choose, but since you're asking I'd say the Stones though the post-Beatles solo LPs hold a lot more water then the Stones' solo efforts!

FL: Top 5 albums (of now, of this month, or of ever):
PF: This month is easier to list!

The Horrors - Skying
J D Emmanuel - Trance Formation 1-Anceint Minimal Meditations
Harald Grosskopf - Synthesist
The Amazing Births - Younger Moon
Quantum Jump - Mixing

FL: Favorite music-related movie?
PF: It HAS to be Spinal Tap. Don't think I've ever watched that without enjoying it and the DVD extras are as good as the movie. I also loved Gruff Rhys' Separado recently, what a movie and what a journey. All held together and navigated by music.

FL: Half-full or half-empty?
PF: I can be a bit of a worrier so trying to view the half empty as half full! You got to be aware of the emptiness to appreciate the fullness.

FL: What bands are most conducive to making great works of art whilst listening to?
PF: Well, for me, it depends on my mood or the piece of artwork, though I don't select particular music to work to that often and usually listen to the radio. When I'm painting it's quite different, I like quite 'warm' music and lots of space to think and drift. I suppose stuff like J D Emmanuel or Oneohtrix Point Never to The Advisory Circle.

FL: You seem to do a fair bit of djing. What are some of your favorite records to take along on such occasions?
PF: I used to play a lot of psychedelic rock but for the last few years it ranges from disco debris, smooth AOR yacht rock, cosmic electronic old and new, to what ever floats my boat or the particular boat I'm planning to float.

FL: What’s the first thing you think when you wake up in the morning?
PF: Can I hit the snooze alarm?

FL: The greatest record store in the world is:
PF: Tough one! The internet is pretty good (sorry) but I love visiting stores as much as I can. Rough Trade in east London is a great one, covering so much music and great staff that would have to be my local store to support and recommend.

FL: It’s probably something like having a favorite child, but is there any particular character you’ve created that you love a smidge more than all the rest?
PF: Not really, I've been asked that before and named a few but I can honestly say that it's probably the last one I've created. My recent fave is Fitch. A fictional character I draw for Caught By The River that I have a lot of fun drawing and thinking about what he gets up to on the river bank and beyond with his dog Piscator.

FL: Last record you bought?
PF: J D Emmanuel - Trance Formation 1-Anceint Minimal Meditations. He's a Texan new age/electronic minimal/cosmic musician that I guess would fit into the 'outsider' genre but he's recently been rediscovered and lauded by modern day electronic heads and I love his
music.

FL: Shaken or stirred?
PF: Stirred of course!

FL: Little-known Pete Fowler fact?
PF: I used to live on an island of 60 people making and repairing boats.

FL: Your boots were made for:
PF: Shuffling!

FL: What’s a good Welsh insult I can start calling people?
PF: Mochyn brwnt - dirty pig!

FL: Is there any band around that you’d really be tickled to work with? And what band, historically-speaking, would you most have wanted to create for in their heyday?
PF: The list could go on and on. I've been so lucky to work with SFA and Gruff for so long I couldn't really ask for more, it's been an amazing run of artwork and capers but I suppose there are a few if I could travel back in time. Maybe a 1970's Beach Boys LP or a Dennis Wilson disco 12", that would be insane but we are talking fantasy stuff here! Neil Young would be pretty special too, I'm a long time fan.

FL: If you were so inclined, whom would you form a tribute band in honor of?
PF: Probably Lieutenant Pigeon or Giorgio Moroder.

FL: Mine is probably obvious, but which record of the Super Furries is your favorite? PF: Another tough one, so many great LPs but Phantom Power I'd have to say. One of my favourite covers too.

FL: Best song ever written?
PF: Todd Rundgren - "I Saw The Light."

m4a: The Piccolo Snare (Super Furry Animals from Phantom Power)

[Pete Fowler by Pete Fowler]

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Through A Lens Fuzzily #3: Philly & The Black Angels

As you know, dearest amores, I occasionally head to the City of Brotherly Love for some concert good times. Last November was one such instance, where I ended up spending a lovely little weekend taking in the city in Autumn and spending time with friends, not to mention taking in some seriously great live music.

This shot was taken after brunch and a hangout session with a dear friend that I don't get to see but once every few years or so. The afternoon was melting into evening, the sky was darkening just a touch, and the air was gently nipping. It was a beautiful day, and this beautiful, mystical heavy psych Black Mountain cover by FL favorites The Black Angels totally makes me remember that wonderful weekend, especially since I was there for their joint tour. Enjoy.

mp3: No Satisfaction (The Black Angels from the Black Angel Exit EP [refer to this RSD release])

[photo by Megan Petty]

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Newsflash!: Instant Pleasure, A Richmond Psych Fest

Since Bad Behaviour is taking the month off, I figured today was a good time to share some delightful news with you little lambs. Some very wonderful people have put together a very wonderful sonic treat over the weekend of September 23-24, to be held in Richmond and featuring some of the best and brightest psych rock bands around. In addition to hanging out with me, here's the official release, giving you all the other reasons you'll want to be there:

"
What: Instant Pleasure – Richmond Psych Fest

Where: Strange Matter, 929 W. Grace Street, Richmond, VA 23220

When: Friday, September 23, 2011, 8pm-2am and Saturday, September 24, 5pm-2am

A collaboration between RevoltoftheApes.com and the Richmond-based band The Diamond Center has resulted in the announced lineup for the first installment of “Instant Pleasure,” – a Richmond Psych Fest filled with psychedelic and experimental rock. This first festival features bands and artists from Australia, Belgium, Delaware, Maryland and Washington, D.C., as well as homegrown Richmond, VA, talent. The Festival will also include DJs and video projections.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 – DOORS @ 8PM – DONATIONS ENCOURAGED

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=239202162792816

Equinox occurs at 9:04pm- introduction and welcoming

9:10-9:30 Frailty of Angels

9:40-10:00 Flesh Control

10:10-10:40 PJB (DC)

10:50-11:15 Borborites (DC)

11:25-12:00 Dark Sea Dream

12:15-12:40 Caves Caverns

12:40-1:40 DJ Shravnasty/+?


Admission for IPF-DAY 1 is free, but DONATIONS are ENCOURAGED.


SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24 – DOORS @ 5PM - $10

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=112348008871648

6:00-6:30 Palindrone

6:50-7:20 MUTWAWA

7:40-8:10 Ceremony (Fredricksburg, VA)

8:30-9:00 The Flying Eyes (Baltimore, MD)

9:20-9:50 Gull

10:10-10:40 The Sky Drops (Wilmington, Delaware)

11:00-11:30 Black Box Revelation (Belgium)

11:50-12:20 Morning After Girls (Australia)

12:50-1:20 The Diamond Center

Soundscapes provided by REVOLT OF THE APES

*Follow INSTANT PLEASURE on twitter- @INSTNTPLSUREFST

*Contact INSTANT PLEASURE at instantpleasurefest@gmail.com

http://revoltoftheapes.com/pleasure/"


Revolt of the Apes has a bunch of information about the bands playing and other festival specs, but the above should be enough to get you more than excited. It's gonna be a damn good time, y'all. Don't miss out.

The Good Ship Rediscovery: Mansun - Attack of the Grey Lantern

We all forget about the older stuff from time to time, in our quest to stay up to speed with the latest and greatest. But one should always respect their elders. So don’t forget about them, y’hear?

I fell in love with Chester, England's Mansun (named for my beloved Verve's song "Man Called Sun") many, many years ago. At the time, I was obsessively, compulsively, unstoppably digesting anything and everything Brit in music that I could get my hands on, and studiously devoured the pages of my favorite music mags every month, in an effort to keep up with the latest music from across the Atlantic. For a while, the foursome enjoyed the benefits of being critical darlings, this first record of theirs, Attack of the Grey Lantern, nabbed them plenty of attention from the music press, and I lapped up feature after feature on the boys with the frilly shirts and kohl-lined eyes. It is important to note, boys, that a boy in frills to this day gives me no shortage of thrills.

Attack of the Grey Lantern was, and is, like nothing I've really heard before. I've said it before, but I believe Mansun was leaps and bounds ahead of their time. They seem to have been inspired by anything and everything, the kookiness of Brian Eno's classic Here Come The Warm Jets, the deft creation of caricatures that The Kinks did so well, the over-the-top theatrics of T. Rex and, naturally, David Bowie. Across the record is an air of something sinister, the curl of a lip hovering somewhere between a smile and a snarl, a nasty glint in the eye. With Mansun, something wicked this way came indeed.

Opening track "The Chad Who Loved Me" begins rather bombastically, with a fanciful sweep of strings giving way to the rich lull of guitar as played by lead Mansunite Paul Draper and Dominic Chad, Draper's creative foil, a man I'm still convinced is one of the best British guitar players ever. Second song "Wide Open Space" was their "hit," if you will, the one that got them noticed enough to get on MTV's 120 Minutes once upon a time. It's a catchy as hell, poppified terrible song, full as are most Mansun songs of Draper's anxieties and neuroses and given a glossy coating to make the pill easy to swallow. Draper's slightly nasal yet warm tones give the perfect dramatic air to his lyrics. The band wasn't above a little campiness, as evidenced by the silly titles "She Makes My Nose Bleed" and "Mansun's Only Love Song," to name just a couple.

An all-time favorite, for now and ever, is the divine "Take It Easy, Chicken," featuring a Stone Roses jangle gone dark in the guitar riffage and Draper's nasality shining through in rare form. "Mansun's Only Love Song" is a little sonically ostentatious, sweeping and more than a little melodramatic. The epic "Taxloss" is both amusing and impressive, with those subtle jabs at modern British life working well with the large scale of the band's instrumentation. Draper's vocals get a little Mott The Hoople, and to me that's never a bad thing. "Come back to me/we want your money," Draper sings cynically in the seven-minute monument to the 90s. "Just remember that we said we deliver," and that the band certainly does.

I listened to this album so much that I'm lucky if the CD plays properly these days. For those of you who enjoyed the second installment of the British Invasion but missed Mansun, I'd advise you to make things right. While the band is sadly no longer with us (which still makes my heart ache), at least one member (the splendiforous Paul Draper) is still recording.

m4a: Wide Open Space (Mansun from Attack of the Grey Lantern)

Singles Club: Son of the Sun

When I think of Buffalo, I think of Vincent Gallo. I know some of you can relate. However, I'm about to put another Buffalo so-and-so on your radar, friends, and they're even more enjoyable than kidnapping a random person and forcing them to act like they're your significant other when going to visit your horrible parents.

I'm obviously talking about Son of the Sun, the fivesome from the city of the Bills with a penchant for pretty, slightly bombastic songsmithery, as can be witnessed from their glorious offering "My Best Mistake." The song shimmers, shimmies, and swaggers its way across three and a half beautiful minutes. I'm seriously crushing on this song, and I dare you not to develop your own little song crush.



Monday, September 12, 2011

Meet Voyageurs

I have been to the end of the rainbow, friends, I have been to the other side, and I can tell you exactly what it sounds like: My new favorite band, Arkansan and perhaps in general, Voyageurs. When I listen to this band and look outside, I see magenta grass and orange looking-glass skies and undulating waves of kaleidoscopic insanity. And I tell you what, y'all, the colors look so pretty, and the sounds sound so very, very good.

Voyageurs, of Fayetteville, threatens to put Arkansas on the map for something other than Bubba C. Their songs are packed full of the loud, heavy psych swirl of Dead Meadow, but have even more of a snarl to them. I'll tell you right now, you'll be hearing a lot more of them from me in the not-so-distant future. Be ready.

mp3: Demon Wings (Voyageurs from Nude Vegas)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Untitled Interview #161 – Hopscotch Edition: Starring Gauntlet Hair

If there’s one thing I love, it’s going to a new festival for the first time. And this weekend yours truly shall be heading down to Raleigh for some serious festival goodness in the form of Hopscotch. With a varied, all sorts of awesome lineup, I have no doubt this weekend will be a hot diggity dog dandy. I tracked down some of the most interesting out-of-town prospects playing Hopscotch this year to get their collective take on the joy of fests.

In medieval times, you could either (or perhaps both) take up the gauntlet or throw down the gauntlet. I think Coloradoans Gauntlet Hair probably do a little of both. Their electropartyrock is lively and pretty, but at the same time doesn't mess around. The more I hear, the more I like. Gauntlet Hair's dastardly duo Andy and Craig talk festivals below, and I sure do hope Craig got him a funnel cake while he was in Raleigh.

Fuzzy Logic:
How are you getting to Hopscotch: plane, train, or automobile?

Gauntlet Hair:
Plane.


FL:
Inevitably, you will forget to pack:

GH: Hopefully nothing.

FL:
How many shows will you be playing?
GH:
One.

FL: Band you're most looking forward to seeing at the festival?
Andy:
Swans.

Craig:
Cold Cave, Earth, Tyvek, and our Woodsman buddies.


FL:
What's the first thing you plan on doing upon arrival in Raleigh?
Andy: Drinking heavily.
Craig:
Sleeping heavily.


FL:
What was the first festival you ever attended, either as a musician or member of the general public?
Andy:
Lallapolooza (14 y.o.).

Craig:
Blues Fest with my parents since I can remember.


FL: Favorite thing about festivals?
Andy:
...

Craig:
Funnel cakes.


mp3: I Was Thinking (Gauntlet Hair - more here)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Untitled Interview #160 – Hopscotch Edition: Starring Nathan Bowles (Black Twig Pickers)

If there’s one thing I love, it’s going to a new festival for the first time. And this weekend yours truly shall be heading down to Raleigh for some serious festival goodness in the form of Hopscotch. With a varied, all sorts of awesome lineup, I have no doubt this weekend will be a hot diggity dog dandy. I tracked down some of the most interesting out-of-town prospects playing Hopscotch this year to get their collective take on the joy of fests.

When it comes to authentic old-time goodness, friends, you can't do much better than Ironto, Virginia's Black Twig Pickers. They might well have stumbled out of the Prohibition era, so for real is their mountain moonshine magic. Keep the still warmed up and your dancing shoes on and you'll be in business. Picker Nathan Bowles had some answers to my festival queries, which you can read below.


Fuzzy Logic:
How are you getting to Hopscotch: plane, train, or automobile?

Nathan Bowles:
Automobile, hopefully of the hybrid variety if we get a tire replaced in time...!


FL:
Inevitably, you will forget to pack:

NB:
My camera.


FL:
How many shows will you be playing?
NB:
3, thanks for asking! We'll be performing Thursday night at the Five Star -- 10:30 showtime. We'll also be playing some day parties over the weekend: Friday we'll be playing interstitial/'spaces between' sets for the Three Lobed/Holidays for Quince party at the Pour House (12pm-5:30pm), and Saturday will see us performing at the Lump Gallery/All Day Records party. Whew!

FL:
Band you're most looking forward to seeing at the festival?
NB:
Can't really choose one, but we're definitely looking forward to seeing and catching up with Steve Gunn, Rick Bishop, and SWANS (!!!).

FL:
What's the first thing you plan on doing upon arrival in Raleigh?
NB:
Grabbing bracelets, food tickets, and the nearest cold beer.

FL:
What was the first festival you ever attended, either as a musician or member of the general public?
NB:
I vaguely recall seeing a beachside summer festival as a child that featured Huey Lewis and the News...

FL:
Favorite thing about festivals?
NB:
Festivals are generally a ripe opportunity to perform for a new audience while catching up with old friends! See y'all soon...hide the white label Dickel...

mp3: Don't Drink Nothing But Corn (Black Twig Pickers from Ironto Special)

The Untitled Interview #159 – Hopscotch Edition: Starring Shelley Burgon (Family Dynamics)

If there’s one thing I love, it’s going to a new festival for the first time. And this weekend yours truly shall be heading down to Raleigh for some serious festival goodness in the form of Hopscotch. With a varied, all sorts of awesome lineup, I have no doubt this weekend will be a hot diggity dog dandy. I tracked down some of the most interesting out-of-town prospects playing Hopscotch this year to get their collective take on the joy of fests.

Family Dynamics
is another New York band that ventured down to Raleigh for the Hopscotching this weekend. Formed from the ashes of Stars Like Fleas, Family Dynamics is a part of the Hometapes festivities this weekend. Newly-formed, I'm all aflutter to see what Family Dynamics has up its collective sleeve for the future. Continue on for Shelley Burgon's festival insights.


Fuzzy Logic:
How are you getting to Hopscotch: plane, train, or automobile?

Shelley Burgon:
Dodge minivan.


FL:
Inevitably, you will forget to pack:

SB:
I don't usually forget anything, I usually overpack.


FL: How many shows will you be playing?
SB:
Three. We're doing a videotaping Friday 9/9 at Marsh Woodwinds with a 5:00 taping time, the 2:00pm set at Hometapes Friend Island @ Tir Na Nog, then our showcase @ Five Star at 9:30 on Saturday night.

FL:
Band you're most looking forward to seeing at the festival?
SB: Swans, Rhys Chatham.

FL:
What's the first thing you plan on doing upon arrival in Raleigh?
SB:
Walking around in the sunshine.

FL:
What was the first festival you ever attended, either as a musician or member of the general public?
SB: Lollapalooza, as a member of the general public. As a musician, some jazz festival in Santa Cruz.

FL:
Favorite thing about festivals?
SB: Lots of friends...food...new friends.

The Untitled Interview #158 – Hopscotch Edition: Starring Kevin Alvir (The Hairs)

If there’s one thing I love, it’s going to a new festival for the first time. And this weekend yours truly shall be heading down to Raleigh for some serious festival goodness in the form of Hopscotch. With a varied, all sorts of awesome lineup, I have no doubt this weekend will be a hot diggity dog dandy. I tracked down some of the most interesting out-of-town prospects playing Hopscotch this year to get their collective take on the joy of fests.

Man alive, y'all. I'm really fallin' in love with The Hairs. These New Yorkers carry the torch for Flying Nun's golden era (think The Clean, especially), as well as capturing that glorious lo-fi jangle of cityfolk Beach Fossils. They're charming, nothing less. Rest assured you'll be hearing more about them on this here blog. For now, Kevin Alvir talks about festivals, stormy weather, and the deliciousness of certain adult beverages.


Fuzzy Logic: How are you getting to Hopscotch: plane, train, or automobile?

Kevin Alvir: Automobile - one in the form of a bus then borrowed car. Hopefully, we can get there cheaper by a tropical storm washing us down there.


FL: Inevitably, you will forget to pack:

KA: Show-Clothes - the audience will have to be submitted to my poor everyday fashion choices.


FL:
How many shows will you be playing?
KA: It's a short little trip for us. We're playing a show in Richmond, VA (I think?) and then at the festival. Less is more for us these days.

FL: Band you're most looking forward to seeing at the festival?
KA: If I can manage it, I hope we can catch Times New Viking. But I'm excited to see Kurt (Lambchop) Wagner's set, which we're opening for.

FL: What's the first thing you plan on doing upon arrival in Raleigh?
KA: Realistically, racing towards the venue to make sure everything is in order. Fantasy-wise: eating BBQ and searching for a mudslide (adult milkshakes).

FL: What was the first festival you ever attended, either as a musician or member of the general public?
KA: The Kindercore Records expo 2000, in Athens Georgia. I had to run away there. I was a part of the general public. My parents didn't approve of me going to music festivals alone since I was young and naive. But everyone was really nice and helpful. No assaults or psychic damage to report.

The Untitled Interview #157 – Hopscotch Edition: Starring Jim Dempsey (The Moderate)

If there’s one thing I love, it’s going to a new festival for the first time. And this weekend yours truly shall be heading down to Raleigh for some serious festival goodness in the form of Hopscotch. With a varied, all sorts of awesome lineup, I have no doubt this weekend will be a hot diggity dog dandy. I tracked down some of the most interesting out-of-town prospects playing Hopscotch this year to get their collective take on the joy of fests.

The Moderate doesn't sound like your typical DC band, though that's probably, definitely part of their charm. Like their Hopscotch bio explains, you've got your 90s indie rubbing shoulders with classic rockisms, the resulting intermarriage of sounds being so very pleasing to the ears. Several of The Moderate make a trip home for Hopscotch, singer/axeman Jim Dempsey being one such native North Carolinian. Read on for his festival reflections.


Fuzzy Logic:
How are you getting to Hopscotch: plane, train, or automobile?

Jim Dempsey:
Three of us are heading down by car. Our bassist Kris will be taking the bus down a day early. In case you didn’t know, the Megabus rate between DC and Raleigh/Durham is $1.50 each way. In related news, Kris is smarter than the rest of us.


FL:
Inevitably, you will forget to pack:

JD:
Mascara? My heels? Nail polish? What’s a boy to…Sorry, Drew just stole the keyboard. Ummm…I’ll probably forget my contact case. It never fails. Also, not very exciting.


FL:
How many shows will you be playing?
JD: We’re playing two shows this weekend. On Saturday, we’ll have an early start for our first show – 11am. It’s an acoustic show that our good friend Kelly Reid put together at Marsh Woodwinds. Our official Hopscotch Music Festival show takes place at White Collar Crime on Saturday night – 9pm sharp. Great lineup too: The Old Ceremony, Onward Soldiers, and Jon Lindsay!

FL:
Band you're most looking forward to seeing at the festival?
JD:
There are plenty of bands down there to keep us busy running from club to club over the next few days. Personally I’m looking forward to seeing Mount Moriah, a band out of Durham. I can’t get enough of Heather McEntire’s voice and the honesty of her lyrics. That album is really beautiful.

FL:
What's the first thing you plan on doing upon arrival in Raleigh?
JD: Our drummer Drew Marks and I are both from Raleigh originally, so I’ll probably stop by both my parents’ houses to say hey. If I’m lucky, I’ll get in a visit with my sister and nephews. So…my answer is…either see my family or go to Snoopy’s for hot dogs.

FL:
What was the first festival you ever attended, either as a musician or member of the general public?
JD: We played Music on the Mountaintop in Boone, NC in 2009 and 2010. A few weekends ago, we played BiMA Fest up in Baltimore, which was a ton of fun. I was really impressed with the talent and how well run it was. Still, I think we’d all agree that playing at Hopscotch is taking things to another level. Can’t beat that!

FL:
Favorite thing about festivals?
JD:
The music never stops!

mp3: Ex Lovers, Enemies (The Moderate from The Rest Is Up To You) (from the lovely Everybody Taste)

The Untitled Interview #156 – Hopscotch Edition: Starring Dylan Shumaker (Woodsman)

If there’s one thing I love, it’s going to a new festival for the first time. And this weekend yours truly shall be heading down to Raleigh for some serious festival goodness in the form of Hopscotch. With a varied, all sorts of awesome lineup, I have no doubt this weekend will be a hot diggity dog dandy. I tracked down some of the most interesting out-of-town prospects playing Hopscotch this year to get their collective take on the joy of fests.

It's not that the gentlemen of Woodsman were born in the wrong time, necessarily. Moreso that they could easily be a part of a scene long gone. The Denver dudes deal a sort of prog-psych-jam card, loud and layered and more than a little kooky. Which, as you know, means I love that thing they do. All this and a drummer that references The Big Lebowski? That Dylan Shumaker's a man after my own heart, y'all.


Fuzzy Logic: How are you getting to Hopscotch: plane, train, or automobile
?
Dylan Shumaker: Submarine.

FL: Inevitably, you will forget to pack:

DS: Creedence tapes.


FL: How many shows will you be playing?
DS: Two. Kings Thursday night and The Hive Friday afternoon.

FL: Band you're most looking forward to seeing at the festival?
DS: Earth also Swans if I get the chance. Gauntlet Hair is pretty sick too.

FL: What's the first thing you plan on doing upon arrival in Raleigh?
DS: I actually grew up in Raleigh until I was a sophomore in high school so I've got a bunch of friends still in the area. I think first thing will be to find some of those friends, go to Bojangles and drink some sweet tea.

FL: What was the first festival you ever attended, either as a musician or member of the general public?
DS: Ohio Street Fair sometime in the 90s. RATT probably headlined.

FL: Favorite thing about festivals?
DS: Body paint booths and mud people.

mp3: Insects (Woodsman from Rare Forms) (cheers, Altered Zones)

On The Road Again: Is Tropical

I don't know about y'all, but I'm always pretty pleased to be able to see a band's first show, be it first show in a particular city, first show out of their hometown, first show ever...the firsts for international bands are even cooler, somehow. Some lucky folks out across the US, Canada, and Mexico, I envy you because you'll get the chance to see Is Tropical's first North American tour ever ever ever. Lucky bastards. Yes, I might be a smidge bitter that the Kitsuné-signed danced delinquents aren't stopping in the DC area. But I won't hold it against them. I'll trust you to go and see them on my behalf. And dance your asses off.

10/16: Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle

10/17: Toronto, ON @ Wrong Bar
10/18: Montreal, QC @ Le Belmont

10/19: Allston, MA @ Great Scott

10/20: New York, NY @ Good Units *

10/21: New York, NY @ Santos Party House

10/22: New York, NY @ Cameo

10/24: Vancouver, BC @ Fortune Sound Club

10/25: Los Angeles, CA @ House Of Blues *

10/26: San Francisco, CA @ Mezzanine *

10/27: Los Angeles, CA @ Echoplex

10/29: Mexico City @ Terraza Uruboros *


(*part of Kitsuné Club Tour w RAC, DATABASE, Beataucue, etc)


mp3: The Greeks (Polarsets Remix) (Is Tropical from Native To)


mp3: Lie To Me (Tom Waits Cover) (Is Tropical)

The Untitled Interview #155 – Hopscotch Edition: Starring Disappears

If there’s one thing I love, it’s going to a new festival for the first time. And this weekend yours truly shall be heading down to Raleigh for some serious festival goodness in the form of Hopscotch. With a varied, all sorts of awesome lineup, I have no doubt this weekend will be a hot diggity dog dandy. I tracked down some of the most interesting out-of-town prospects playing Hopscotch this year to get their collective take on the joy of fests.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am in love with Disappears. The Chicago noisesmiths make a pummeling, battering brand of rock, replete with a kicky swagger amidst all that droning and thrashing. I like to think of their music as a maelstrom of shoegaze and post-punk and late 60s Detroit. I'm a smidge obsessed with "Superstition," and those galavanting vocals with all the drone and guitars hellbent on making your eardrums bleed. It'sla glorious noise indeed. Read on for the Disappears festival scorecard.


Fuzzy Logic:
How are you getting to Hopscotch: plane, train, or automobile?

Disappears: Plane.

FL:
Inevitably, you will forget to pack:

D:
Money.

FL: How many shows will you be playing?
D:
Just one.

FL:
Band you're most looking forward to seeing at the festival?
D:
Weekend.

FL:
What's the first thing you plan on doing upon arrival in Raleigh?
D:
Eat BBQ.

FL:
What was the first festival you ever attended, either as a musician or member of the general public?
D:
Lollapalooza, the second one with Lush, Jesus and Mary Chain and Ice Cube.

FL:
Favorite thing about festivals?
D:
It's nice to see see so many bands in one place, I really like NC so I've been looking forward to this one

mp3: Superstition (Disappears from Guider)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Untitled Interview #154 – Hopscotch Edition: Starring Michael Kentoff (The Caribbean)

If there’s one thing I love, it’s going to a new festival for the first time. And this weekend yours truly shall be heading down to Raleigh for some serious festival goodness in the form of Hopscotch. With a varied, all sorts of awesome lineup, I have no doubt this weekend will be a hot diggity dog dandy. I tracked down some of the most interesting out-of-town prospects playing Hopscotch this year to get their collective take on the joy of fests.

The world stalwart gets tossed around carelessly, but when it comes to The Caribbean the word definitely applies (and I myself have used it when referring to them). The band has been making their noisy yet melodic rock racket in DC for quite a number of years, and they're currently spreading the word of latest release Discontinued Perfume. Read on for guitarist/vocalist Michael Kentoff's thoughts on festivals, minivans, and Canadian beer.


Fuzzy Logic:
How are you getting to Hopscotch: plane, train, or automobile?
Michael Kentoff: We're driving down from DC Friday night in a rented minivan, color TBA.

FL: Inevitably, you will forget to pack:
MK: Aside from Matt forgetting to pack underpants? Me forgetting to pack everything but underpants.


FL: How many shows will you be playing?
MK: We're playing two shows on Saturday -- Tir Na Nog at 3:00 as part of Friend Island/Blount Street Block Party, and at 9:00, also at Tir Na Nog, playing with Man/Miracle, Beach Fossils, and Titus Andronicus.

FL: Band you're most looking forward to seeing at the festival?
MK: Probably Earth (hoping we make it down in time).

FL: What's the first thing you plan on doing upon arrival in Raleigh?
MK: Check in and see Earth.

FL: What was the first festival you ever attended, either as a musician or member of the general public?
MK: I think the Caribbean's first festival event was in Toronto at Candian Music Week in 2003 or 2004. Everyone warned us about how strong Canadian beer was. Did we listen? Guess.

FL: Favorite thing about festivals?
MK: For us, it's generally a great chance -- whether its Hopscotch, SXSW, CMJ -- to hang with our label and labelmates. Many of these people have become close friends over the past few years and we have so much more in common with them than just music.

mp3: Mr. Let's Find Out (The Caribbean from Discontinued Perfume)

[photo by Dakota Fine]

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Untitled Interview #153 – Hopscotch Edition: Starring James Jackson Toth (Wooden Wand)

If there’s one thing I love, it’s going to a new festival for the first time. And this weekend yours truly shall be heading down to Raleigh for some serious festival goodness in the form of Hopscotch. With a varied, all sorts of awesome lineup, I have no doubt this weekend will be a hot diggity dog dandy. I tracked down some of the most interesting out-of-town prospects playing Hopscotch this year to get their collective take on the joy of fests.

I do so love me a good dose of music that’s so lonesome it could make me cry. Wooden Wand, the latest project of wandering troubadour type James Jackson Toth, definitely fits that bill. Full of heartbroken drives down dusty, lonely roads and wistful glances towards the past, Toth tugs at the ole heartstrings something fierce. The man himself kindly answered some festival queries, which you yourself can read in just a minute. They read even better if you happen to be listening to some Wooden Wand at the same time.


Fuzzy Logic: How are you getting to Hopscotch: plane, train, or automobile?

James Jackson Toth: The band and I are driving a van from Birmingham. We organized a few shows on the way and the way home, so it's sort of turned into a mini tour.

FL: Inevitably, you will forget to pack:

JJT: More than the one pair of jeans I'm wearing, and my phone charger.

FL: How many shows will you be playing?
JJT: At Hopscotch I am performing three times. Once in a duo with my good friend William Tyler for the Three Lobed showcase, once at a panel on Narrative Songwriting I've been asked to participate in, and once with my band, Wooden Wand & The Briarwood Virgins, at The Berkley Cafe. All in the same day, and all on my 33rd birthday. Can't really think of a better way to spend it.

FL: Band you're most looking forward to seeing at the festival?
JJT: It'll be my 19th time seeing the Drive By Truckers. So, them. But also, Guided By Voices, Liturgy and The Body.

FL: What's the first thing you plan on doing upon arrival in Raleigh?
JJT: We get there a day early so we'll probably nap and take it easy.

FL: What was the first festival you ever attended, either as a musician or member of the general public?
JJT: I honestly can't remember. I'm generally not big on festivals. I don't have the endurance. But I think I'd pay to go to this one. The lineup is killer.

FL: Favorite thing about festivals?
JJT: Seeing other bands, making friends, and staying drunk. And the abstract expressionism of a porta-john at midnight. Groovy.

mp3: Tiny Confessions (Wooden Wand from Death Seat)
(thanks a bunch, Raven Sings The Blues!)