When not trying my best to not fuck up this label or finding myself buried in my real job, I try and do as much film shit as possible. For this in San Diego, this a long-running, off-and-on local film showcase that started nearly seven years ago when I was managing the now-defunct Citizen Video. Lineup below, and thanks to my good buddy/Volar art designer Ryan Bradford for the flyer above. (Burn This Image is the name my film events will be under, which will a five-month monthly film series at Space4Art.com in which I’ll screen a somewhat recent, genre-subverting favorite of mine and give a lecture. More on that later.)
Landings at San Diego Airport - Cy Kuckenbaker
Backyard Jams - Randy Christopher
M4M - Linda Skeens
Voyage to the Moon - Chris Radomski
Captain of My Desire - John Redlinger
Terrado - Roman Arriola
The Student - Jodi Cilley
The Living Room Singer - Tanner Cook
The Ticket - Erica Cullwell
Geese Who Love You - Katie Buono
Bye Honey Bear - Diana Li
Hunt - Michael Neel
Sonny: Hidden America - Erina Alejo
Marcus Allen’s Couches - Brad Kester & Lowell Frank
Short Term 12 - Destin Daniel Cretton
(2013 short doc Oscar winner)
Inocente - Sean Fine & Andrea Nix Fine
Trailers for upcoming shorts and projects, Music videos by Charles Bergquist, and plenty more
Burgers, Bill Murray & SXSW: Finding Connections in Austin -
Last year I took my good buddy along with me to SXSW. This is what he wrote about the trip.
I get a facebook message from Craig Oliver asking if I want to go to SXSW with him: a 22-hour drive from San Diego to Austin, both ways, to promote his label, Volar Records. We don’t have badges, don’t know where we’re staying, but says he’ll figure it out when we get there.
He sends me the message two days before we’re supposed to leave.
“What do you think?” I ask my wife, Jessica. “It’s kind of short notice and I know Craig, but I don’t KNOW know him. Plus, I got plenty of stuff I need to do.”
Jessica, newly-tanned from a week-long cruise—a Girls’ Trip but one I couldn’t afford anyway—looks at me with disbelief. “Things to do?” she says. “Like what?”
She has a right to be incredulous. I’ve spent our entire married life—about six months—unemployed.
I’ve gotten weird.
I justify not leaving the house so I can finish my Black Metal screenplay. I eat an abundance of apples and apple-flavored Nature Valley Bars to somehow compensate for my lack of exercise. Upon Jessica’s return from the cruise, she found all our reusable grocery bags in the fridge.
“You should go,” she says. “It’ll be a better opportunity than any listing posted on craigslist this week.”
This is her really nice way of saying: you need to get the fuck out of the house.
I’m 27, married and this is the first time I’ve been on tour. Really, I thought my window had closed. I spent my teens in a pop-punk band called The Flare whose claim to fame was playing the band in the made-for-TV Disney movie The Poof Point (I’m credited as “Ryan”). These factors do not add up to the romanticized sleeping-on-couches/playing-in-basements aspects of touring that I craved so much. Simply, there’s nothing punk about The Poof Point.
Our touring “band” is me, Oliver and Peter Holslin, music editor for the San Diego CityBeat. A car full of music-writers and musicians makes for a strange dynamic, like giving your assassin a ride to your execution.
Not that I’m really a music writer. In my 20s, I spent nearly three years writing about music for the numerous publications until I became burnt-out on it. At first, I found it fun to live vicariously through these bands I interviewed, sort of an extension of my own failed musical career. But there were only so many times I could listen to a band talk about our great-but-underappreciated scene. I hated rewarding mediocrity because it was “local.” I ran out of adjectives (writers should be allotted the word “blistering” once a year).
Before I leave, I send a few emails to some of my old contacts, telling them that I’m going to be at SXSW, seeing if they need coverage. Only one person gets back to me, telling that they already have someone down there. When Holslin asks who I’m providing coverage for, I say, “Oh, I have a couple places I could send it to…” and trail off.
Oliver and Holslin love music. It sounds like a really stupid claim, but I know tons of people that are into music that don’t really love it. I’ve recently recognized that quality in myself, and it’s utterly dismaying. I sit in the back seat and listen to them gush about local artists and I can’t think of an album I’ve bought in the last five years that would make my Desert Island list. It feels like the last time I was truly interested in something was the ’92 Barcelona Dream Team, and that was when I was eight. I spend my days listening to the punk I was into when I was 16: Hot Water Music, Jawbreaker, Refused, Samiam, etc.
I love Holslin’s enthusiasm, especially. His excitement about everything is earnest and sincere, almost to the point that, if you didn’t know he doesn’t drink or use drugs, you’d swear he were high. “Whoa man. This groove is… killer!” And he’ll often punctuate his enthusiasm with repeating the phrase, albeit in a cooler way: “This groove is total killage”. He’ll nod, then I’ll nod, because yes the groove is killer. He also doesn’t have a driver’s license, which he doesn’t tell us until his after he’s already started driving.
Soft Riot is a band from the UK that Oliver wants to sign to Volar Records. He plays a track called “Your Secret Light Shines At Night”. It’s a brooding, minimalist electronic track punctuated by horror organ (horrgan?). It’s hypnotic, terrifying and puts me in a trance as I-10 races under us.
It’s 3 AM and we’ve just spent the last half-hour talking about ghosts and aliens. Oliver and Holslin fall asleep. The music sends a chill down my arms. I’m sure West Texas is haunted and I’m ready for all the highway ghosts to show themselves.
We arrive at Trailer Space Records around 3:30 pm. I’ve had roughly 4 hours of sleep in the last 24 hours. The day is overcast and muggy. It’s my first time in Austin. The air holds me.
It’s only two minutes into Austin and we’re already drinking. A Burger Records showcase is going on at Trailer Space Records, where kids smoke openly inside and there are two massive tubs of icy Lone Stars that await us. Oliver immediately knows everyone there. I trail behind him like a quiet satellite, awkward and increasingly disheveled. Everyone talks music and I don’t have anything to add to the conversation—a sidekick with the occasional one-liner.
Burger Records is home to a slew of bands including Nobunny, The Oh Sees, and Jacuzzi Boys. They have (by my count) at least 4 all-day showcases happening during SXSW and might be the most important thing happening in punk rock right now—a grand presumption that I come to after my fourth free beer. One of Oliver’s “Rules of SXSW” is that you can only drink cheap beer to keep the stamina up (actually, the only rule). I watch The Cosmonauts play some hard-driving garage rock, the staple sound of Burger.
I take a picture of my Lone Star and text it to Jessica. I tell her we should move to Austin. She replies: “So free beer but no free abortions? I’ll think about it.” I find this hilarious and laugh out loud.
I get sidetracked into talking with a wiry fellow named 4AM, who got his name from the time-slot he used to begin his electronic music sets in Europe. He’s drunk and wishes they had a Lasik surgery that would let him read his cellphone better when he’s intoxicated.
Somehow it’s gotten dark and we leave Trailer Space to go downtown. Holslin heads off to get his official SXSW badge, given to him through the CityBeat. Oliver and I go to the Sacred Bones showcase at the Elysium to see Zola Jesus, Wymond Miles and The Men, but not before eating a sausage wrapped in a tortilla. They call that barbeque in Texas. We eat them in an ally adjacent to the Fiona Apple line that stretches around the block. A girl passing us looks at the line and says “We’re lucky we don’t get excited for popular things.”
This is what I tell Oliver outside the Elysium: “I don’t have a problem with music, I have a problem with how it’s written about. The example I think of is the last Kanye West album. Yes, It was good, but after the perfect scores given to it by Rolling Stone and Pitchfork, music writers had this obligation to become more elaborate in their praise. Because nobody is doing anyone a favor—music writers like music, sure, but they’re writing to get read. And in some cases, they use their vitriol or praise—
—they use their vitriol to build their own cult of self. You see this kind of local-god stuff in a lot alt-weeklies and radio-personalities. Cantankerous writers who emphasize their own agenda over the music they write about the worst thing to happen to whatever credibility music journalism has left. Anyway, so these writers are piling praise after praise on this Kanye West album so their take on it will stand out from the pool of other blogs. While it was a good album, it wasn’t nearly as great as everyone said it was. Everyone wanted their voice to be heard. In essence, it’s not that music has become boring, but it has become a victim to those who write about it.”
I don’t remember what Oliver said to prompt that.
You can’t buy beer in at Austin grocery stores after midnight. I don’t know why we’re looking for more; I have to walk around just to keep from falling asleep. We end up back near Trailer Space—a few kids hang out in the parking lot. There’s a bar around the corner and rapper Danny Brown is playing to about 50 people there. And we only came for the beer.
I wake up on a hardwood floor in a single-room apartment. It’s nearly 1 PM. I don’t sleep this well in beds. Oliver sleeps beside me a leather love seat too small for him. His body remains straight and he looks like a surf board.
The apartment belongs to Clarke Wilson, a member of Burger Records’ The Vomettes and Volar Records’ Cowabunga Babes. He’s very welcoming and has the soft features of a Shel Silverstein drawing. He buys us breakfast tacos which look surprisingly like burritos. I learn that that’s what they’re called in Austin.
Wilson also lives within walking distance to Spider House, a woodsy, sprawling indoor/outdoor coffee shop and bar that reminds me vaguely of an Ewok village. Oliver turns around and tells me that this is where Psyche Fest is going on. We pass four stages before entering an inconspicuous door that seems that it should be hidden by a bookcase. The room is dark; the stage is lit red. The air-conditioning and the coffee I drink make me feel good. Alive again.
LA band Cold Showers plays. Afterwards, Oliver asks me if I want a beer. I suppose it’s about that time.
When Jessica told me that she was going on a cruise, I bought David Foster Wallace’s collection of essays A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again. In the titular essay, Foster Wallace spends a week on the exact same cruise that Jessica was going on. It’s a fantastic portrait of a mind that loves low culture but cannot connect to it without intellectualizing it. He spends pages breaking down the cruise’s brochure but throws a fit when a 9-year-old beats him at chess. Most of his problems with the cruise seem to come from his own neurosis.
I’m thinking about this essay when during a Mikal Cronin set featuring Ty Segal, who is absolutely killing it on guitar while ollying on a skateboard. Everybody looks mildly amused. Everybody crosses arms over their beer bellies. Everybody has beer bellies and concave shoulders from hunching over computers. They have spotty facial hair and unflattering, long hair that only accentuates their balding. All the girls have bangs. They all thumb the screens on their smartphones. These are the bloggers that control the fates of these bands.
Jesus, I think. Why can’t they just have fun?
Here’s a list of everything I eat on the trip:
- 2 In N Out Burgers/fries/sodas
- Egg/sausage burrito
- Bag of assorted chips (snack mix)
- Starbucks doubleshot
- Sausage rolled in tortilla (bbq)
- 2 bags of fritos
- 1 sausage/egg breakfast taco, 2 chorizo breakfast tacos
- 7 slices of pizza
- Pack of donettes
- Bag of mini Nutter Butters
- Shredded beef bbq sandwhich
- Huevos rancheros
That night, we go to see Thee Oh Sees at a genuine wood mill. The space is large and only a quarter filled. Signs everywhere tell you to not smoke, but a group in the parking lot has started a bonfire which, in addition to the playground climbing dome out here, makes it feel like a Mad Max movie. A fire marshal patrols the perimeter, anxiously eating trail mix out of a baggie. He seems to be hired by the show-organizers to cover their asses, but he looks like he’s in over his head. As a shirtless man fans the bonfire with a large piece of cardboard, he visually measures the distance between the fire and the wood-mill before walking away. He picks his battles; surely an intervention would cause an uprising of Lord of the Flies magnitude.
Fancy beer cools in orange, industrial hampers, free for the taking. We’re on our second or third when Oliver begins talking about girls.
Craig Oliver might be the most out-going person I’ve met in San Diego. He loves meeting people and making friends, but he never forces himself upon you. Shadowing him, I get the sense that he’s a superstar in Austin—taking and giving hugs to everyone, dishing out warm heeey buddys by the boatload.
But Oliver has a dark side, and Volar Records couldn’t be a more apt reflection of it. Volar has two taglines that exemplify this duality: “Community Not Competition” and “Give Me Your Weird.” Volar’s arguably most-famous bands, The Beaters and Ale Mania, are punk bands with slight garage-rock leanings, which gives lazy music writers the excuse to categorize Volar as a punk/garage label. Going through Volar’s catalog, however, I find that every band is considerably darker and meaner than anything Burger puts out. In my opinion, The Beater’s Fishage album could give anything put out by Steve Albini a run for its money. That doesn’t even count the gothic psych sound of Oliver’s own band, Spirit Photography.
Actually, we’re not talking about girls, we’re talking about the gym. It’s a casual topic I bring up during one of my drunken fits of body-anxiety and the fact that these Lone Stars are doing nothing for my unemployed physique.
“No, I’ve never joined a gym,” he says. “But there was a few years ago where I went through this break-up and I just began running. I wasn’t even that overweight. I would run like four miles a day. Not even for the exercise, just to keep me from going crazy. I lost like 20 pounds.” He goes on about close relationships that destruct once the prospect of commitment enters. He talks of just wanting somebody to watch movies and have breakfast with. We talk about parents. We talk about the dark shit that we’re attracted to—the music, the books we read. A disjointed conversation rooted in commitment and beer. We’re looking for what the other has: two different connections, but connections all the same.
We watch a band called the K-Holes destroy. We leave to meet up with Holslin at a funnel cake stand. He tells us that the Tom Morello secret performance turned out to be a bust. “It was a bust, man,” he says. “A major, total bust.”
The Volar/Burger showcase is an all-day event that takes place at The Grand, a pool hall in the center of a dilapidated strip mall. The façade looks suspiciously retro-future, or like the helmet that Shredder wore in the Ninja Turtle cartoons. The space is massive; the bands are tucked into the corner, next pinball machines (Tales from the Crypt, Addams Family) and in front of the glass exit, which makes taking decent pictures impossible.
Everyone has the disgruntled/tired look that comes partying from two days straight. I drink luke-warm coffee from the bar, anxious about a phone interview I’m about to have. It’s a marketing position for a company that sells Astroturf—the main responsibilities are spreading the brand’s image through social media and other campaigns. I’ve come up with a mock campaign to send along with my resume that I won’t get into detail here, but if “Turf Wars” ever becomes a thing, you’ll know where it came from.
I get the call. The interviewer asks me what my interests are. Specifically, she asks why I’m passionate about social media. It’s a tough question. I stutter and grasp for what I like about internet blogging, facebook, twitter, whatever. She stops me and says “I think there’s a poor connection.” I find a place where she can hear me and tell her that I like engaging with online communities.
The Stalins of Sound are a three-piece synth-punk band who plays to a drum machine. They wear black, quasi-Fascist uniforms and scream, but after two days of listening white-dudes-with-guitars-rock, the sound is incredibly refreshing. A drunk guy in a “Wasted Youth” shirt and an orange hat forms a one-man mosh pit, jumping and kicking on the slippery tile. He leaves once they are done.
Comfort returns as a country band with cute girls plays next.
With so many people paying attention to their smartphones, it’s very easy to cut in line everywhere you go. I learn this from my friend Nick, who doesn’t wait in line. I play along because these are the kind of places I’d rather die than wait in line for: dance clubs, sports bars and rooftop bars.
I’ve known Nick since high school and have seen him off and on since. He lives in Austin now and gets in touch after he knew I was coming to SXSW. He calls me around 9—Oliver’s pool hall showcase still has 5 hours left—and asks if I want to go downtown with him to 6th Street.
While we drive, he tells me that he moved to Austin to get away from a girl. He tells me of a marriage that didn’t work out. He moved to Austin to disconnect.
We push our way into a shitty dance club called Barcelona to meet up with a potential hookup for him. We end up doing shots of tequila, clearly breaking Oliver’s cheap beer rule. The girl Nick came to meet shuts him down. She’s not very attractive; Nick doesn’t seem all too upset.
6th Street is filled like Mardi Gras. Kids take their shirts off and challenge each other to fights while tourists take pictures.
We end up on the roof of a bar called either The Green Pig or Maggie Mae’s. The crowd here is considerably more attractive than at the rock shows, but in the kind of way that you’d see in Vegas or the Gaslamp, San Diego. Everything feels disingenuous. Bartenders keep their tips without offering change. Everyone grinds each other while a man with a shitty pork-pie hat butchers a rendition of Springsteen’s “Born to Run.” Every band I see on this main drag wears a hat of this variety, and they all look like terrible versions of Smashmouth. I have a feeling that this is why the majority of people come to SXSW: drinking, mostly. But also boring bands, skanky girls and side-boob.
He drops me off at a Wendys where I meet up with Oliver and Holslin. Holslin tells us all about how he ended up at a Norah Jones concert. “It was a weird, man. I’m not even a big fan. Someone in the audience asked her out on a date. What a dork.”
I can remember the first time I went in a mosh-pit. I was 15 years old and watching a melodic punk band called Ten Foot Pole. They were opening up for Millencolin on a Punk-O-Rama tour. A band called Osker opened up for them. I watched from the back as the crowd moved and pumped their fists in unison. I pushed my way through and was picked up and thrown to the other side as someone caught me. That was more than ten years ago.
I think about it as I watch Peter Case and Paul Collins from The Nerves play Burger’s Spider House Showcase. It’s our last night in town.
Before they go on, guys with sacks of foil-wrapped burgers launch them into a hungry crowd. Nothing could make more sense. Bill Murray walks onstage to announce the band. He asks the crowd if anyone would like some pretzels before claiming we are all in Burger Heaven. The crowd pushes to get a photo of him. It feels revelatory.
Case and Collins play classics I didn’t even know I loved: “Hanging on a Telephone,” “Don’t Wait Up for Me Tonight,” and “A Million Miles Away,” one of my dad’s favorite songs and seems laced with meaning. I text Jessica: #imissyou. Hashtag jokes are our thing.I get pushed further into the crowd as people go crazy for these power-pop legends. They run through a catalog of The Nerves, The Beat, the Plimsouls songs—they look like they’ve never played such an eager audience. A mosh pit doesn’t break out, but people are holding each other, dancing. This tent is hot, humid and for the first time it feels like there isn’t a disconnect between band and audience. People are not watching critically. There’s no over-analysis; nobody is holding their iphones up—this will not be a video on youtube anytime soon. This is the community that can only exist in music.
30 hours later, I wash the jambalaya out of my jeans.
Premiere: Window Twins - "Others (Uptown Sinclair Remix)" -
April 26, 2013
Written by Nicole L. Browner
Wish continues down the dark, echo-y chambers of experimental, lo-fi folk Bernson and Cohen together explore in their collaboration. Having moments of pure deconstruction, reverby tangents, and even breaking out into somewhat jazzy percussion, the album is a trip, for sure. It is the follow-up to Window Twins’ debut LP I’m This Tall City, which was released in 2009 on Howells Transmitter.
Lo-Pie » Interview: Tropical Popsicle -
Julian Elorduy of Fine Steps interviewed Tim Hines of Tropical Popsicle for Lo-Pie.
Tropical Popsicle’s Dawn of Delight is one of my favorite records of the year so far. I’d like to think of all superior works of art as a pre-conceived effort, however, that was not case with Dawn of Delight as Timothy Hines, the main creative juice behind the band, reveals in his responses below.
It seem like Hines’ process is about using whatever tools are immediately available to him, whether it be dictaphones, iPhones, an 8 track cassette recorder or a 16 track studio with 2” tape. It was more happenstance than forethought that brought us Dawn of Delight. Below, Hines talks about the variety of records he listened to during the 1 and 1/2 years it took to create the album, and how Tropical Popsicle became a band thanks to a Thanksgiving Day party and a show and tell meeting with Volar Records’ Craig Oliver. As Hines mentions, there is already a new album in the works. I look forward to hearing more about it and seeing where things go from here.
What was the process involved in creating Dawn of Delight?
The whole musical project, which in turn created this album, stemmed from the initial tune “Always Awake in Shadows” which was meant to be a demo for my other band/project Lights On. It didn’t really sit in that band well. The tune stood on its own legs, very archaic and benign to the theory of less is more. That song and the others to follow started on the bedroom recording ethos. I used the back of my acoustic guitar with a towel over it, beating on it for drums manically, than slowed it down with an organ to follow and so on…
“Tethers”, “Age of Attraction” and “A View from the Dihedral Wall” were recorded the same way: completely improvisational with zero forethought, building on ryhthm and a melody line or bass riff with not much else to go on. I can’t edit in the computer very well so I had to play everything from start to finish with all the nuances in there, which I felt lent a good hand in the process. The mixes constantly felt chaotic, naked and vulnerable to the trappings of a real recording process in a slick studio. “Ghost Beacons” was of course recorded in a real studio with the band. We wrote that one as a band and it captured what is really the essence of our live show currently with a larger headspace and wall of sound quelled by the initial minimalism of the track.
Throughout the album, there are variety of sounds and feelings expressed in the songs. How did you cultivate each sound? How much is accidental and how much is a conscious effort?
The lot of it was very accidental, incidental and improvisational with little edit or filter involved. In the initial effort, there’s the effect of not really having a sense of continuity because of the mere fact that you are experimenting within your own unconscious minds eye, that really has no filter, and a complete alter-ego. So for me each song on this record was manifested in a complete state of flux. I was drinking alot of wine, smoking grass and chain smoking cigarettes throughout the process of each song, well into the wee hours of the morning. The lyrical content always comes after the bones of the song are recorded, so I’m usually pretty out of my head by that time, but really with it at the same time. The total alter-ego. My body and mind are completely thrashed and abused after each song, it’s not easy.
Within that alter-ego was complete wanderlust for the supernatural, occult, death, conspiracy theory and a general distaste for a grim reality of the most present times. I feel like my generation and the latter are in an extraordinarily difficult and unprecedented time, as far as the 21st century goes.
Can you talk about how you recorded the album?
Many different ways actually. The record was recorded and performed primarily by myself in my bedroom and in my basement with the exception of Ghost Beacons, which was recorded in 2 different real studios by Andrew Montoya on 16 track 2″ tape. I recorded with Garageband, 8 track cassette muti-track, 8 track 1/4″ multi-track, and dictaphone recordings. I recorded drums for “Tethers”, “View from the Dihedral Wall” and “Age of Attraction” in my friend Mike Kamoo’s studio on 16 track after I already had all the instruments down on format for said songs. I used alot of direct guitars (no mics) for the initial songs ie: the bedroom stuff. Interesting enough, I recorded almost all of “Beach with No Footprints’ with the iPhone. Drum beats and mellotron. I love that you can do a whole song just about on an iPhone, it’s brilliant!! At the end of the day I don’t care what format you use, as long as it lends it’s helping hand to you creating a song your happy with.
What was on your turntable most often while creating the album?
The Rolling Stones’ Their Satanic Majesties Request, Siousxie and the Banshees’ Kaleidoscope, Pink Floyd’s Saucerful of Secrets as well as Piper at the Gates of Dawn, Suicide’s second album, The Stranglers’ Feline record. But this record was created over the course of 1-1/2 years. I listen to so many different styles of records its really hard to list all here. I’m a big fan of weird Italian and French exploitation and horror film soundtracks, and pre ’69 jazz and Bossa Nova, so that always has a place somehow indirectly in the music.
How did you hook up with Craig of Volar records?
I played the 7 tunes I had recorded to Craig at a Thanksgiving Day dinner party at my house, telling him: “You should do a 7″ of this shit, man.” I had no intent of this project ever seeing the light of day. He actually liked the tunes and said he was interested. Ryan Hand (my drummer) was present as well and a part of the conversation before he was formally in the band. Craig was, I think, officially sold when I sent him The Beach with No Footprints. He really liked it and was like: “Yeah I want to do this song and ‘Always Awake in Shadows’ as a 7″. But you gotta have a band.” We formed shortly after with Chase Elliot on bass and Kyle Whatley on guitar.
Do you have plans for upcoming releases? Tours?
We are working on a new record as we speak, and have a few tours in the works and in the mind. West coast tour, NYC and Europe. The new record is a bit of a departure from the last. A bit more dynamic and less monotonic. The new record is much more of the “Light vs Dark” esthetic, but will be very eclectic. It will definitely be more ‘Mid-Fi’ than the last. I am in a good headspace right now. I can actually dwell in the darker zones much better than when I am uneasy and at odds with my life.
If some people reading this wanted to get to know the band more, what would you tell them about yourselves?
As a band, all four of us have a really strange and dynamic set of personalities. I wont really go into too many details but we don’t always get along because of different values and tastes, but when we’re playing or writing it works out pretty well. I don’t think we could ever be one of those bands that lives in one big house together. We’d probably kill each other. But Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts couldn’t stand Keith and Mick, and look how well they did.
It would be easy label you as “dark” and “gothy,” but I feel that based on your artwork, videos and sound, it really would be a cop out to just do that. How do you wish to characterize your sound and aesthetic direction?
I think we have a lot of ambition and are excited about change within the sound of the band. I will always write dark shit, but than again I really love sunshiney pop shit, and so many other things. A lot of bands say this, but I feel with us it is really hard to characterize our sound in less than 3 adjectives. We’ve heard so many different descriptions of our sound in write ups and shit. Some are quite comical. I think I will always have elements of 60′s Folk/Psyche and 80′s Post punk/goth/new wave angles within the skeleton of the song and tones. They’re all just the canvas for my lyrical rants. At the heart of everything great in music is a great melody and lyric vamp, and not pretending like you’re trying to change the world or reinvent the wheel.
Impose TV: Premiere: Fine Steps, "All Day Long" | Impose Magazine -
Impose Magazine premieres Fine Steps’ video for “All Day Long” from their upcoming 7” on Volar. Buy limited color vinyl here, and the Strange Mutations Vol. 2 7” box set that also includes Cosmonauts, Teenage Burritos, and Lenz here.
When we were little kids—so long ago—we’d wonder what our friends with no siblings were up to when we were delighted by companion-full endless entertainment. They didn’t have an other half to play with, share with, steal from, or want to strangle, so what could these only children be doing in their down time? With the new video from Julian Elorduy’s Fine Steps, we’ve finally figured out what those lonely children were doing—tumbling in their back yards and filming it. The playful video from the Oakland performer is such a happy matchup with the sundrenched song that it feels like a rare instance of visual matching audio. It’s organic.
The great part about the Fine Steps video is the accompanying 7” box set that it will surely inspire you to order from Volar Records. Strange Mutations Vol. 2 is a four-artist set of 7-inches that includes two songs each from Fine Steps, Cosmonauts, Teenage Burritos, and Lenz. You can get the scoop and the download on those here. Pick up the set and then roll around in the grass while listening. It’s a reversion to childhood.
Week in Pop: Baobab, Chalk And Numbers, Expensive Looks, Polytype, Soft Riot | Goldmine Sacks | Impose Magazine -
Soft Riot’s “Cinema Eyes” video premieres over at Impose as part of the Week in Pop. From the upcoming Fiction Prediction LP available late June on Volar/Other Voices. Preorder limited color vinyl here.
“Draw the red velvet curtains for your own personal screening of Soft Riot’s “Cinema Eyes”. The strobing vintage goth video for “Eyes” is captured by MM Lyle, that fades into scenes to carry you away into the dystopian worlds of technocratic realities. If the seizures don’t take you first, the flashes will have you pondering Jack Duckworth’s night time cinema brooding of, “those scenes you see are cut to carry you away, those scenes you see have cracks that stop you, pause and wonder about them, what’s behind that mirror?” This is the Philip K. Dick school of future pop reflections on film perspectives. Soft Riot’s album Fiction Prediction comes out June 2013 on Other Voices Records in Europe and Volar Records in the States.”