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936: Recorded by Luke Tweedy at Flat Black Studios in Iowa City and mastered in Berlin

Peaking Lights is Aaron and Indra from Rah Dunes and Numbers. The new duo project settled in rural wisconsin to record what was to become Peaking Lights. Noise Pop on Not Not Fun Records, they have released two exquisite albums, Imaginary Falcons and their latest titled 936.



Peaking Lights – All The Sun That Shines from Not Not Fun on Vimeo.

mike bob chris: The Mutts

In the basement of Double Door, I had the chance to sit down and ask The members of The Mutts a few questions twenty minutes before they went on stage…

So, The Mutts…

Mike: I have never really explained the band name before, this is an inaugural explanation… combination of liking dogs and making a living walking dogs.

First question… Most important, is, why?

Mike: Because it’s out there

Safe Word?

Chris: Booger

Favorite/least favorite cheese? (for the cheese-enthusiast)

Chris/Mike: Gouda
Bob: Well, I am a vegan… so least favorite might be the cheese that smells kind of like feet.

Robots or Dinosaurs?

Dinosaurs (collectively)

Strangest venue or gig you’ve ever played?

All: The Mutiny… not that it was strange… more cool than strange

how did you begin your career and who were your influences?

Chris: I was in a few bands before the Mutts (i.e. The Hush Sounds) and we all just sort of met up and rocked out.

What is the most memorable concert you’ve ever attended?

Chris: The Roots at Depaul, outdoors in the pouring rain.
Mike: New Kids on the Block, my sister dragged me there when I was 8, my first concert I ever attended
Bob: My first concert was Filter. Also Cornelius.

What are you listening to now?

Archie Powell and the Exports, Sting, Tom Waits and NPR, Big Science, Pillars and Tongues, American Football.

Old records/music that influenced you?

Bob: The first record i remember digging on as a kid was weather report’s birdland.  I was kind of obsessed with jaco pastorius’ bass in the title track.  i also really liked joe venuti and john barnes live at the concord music festival for some reason.  i was 5 or 6.  who knows? haha

What is the worst advice you’ve ever been given?

Chris: When someone handed me some peanut butter and said “Eat this, you’re not allergic”

If you were to communicate using one word what would it be?

Chris: Aghhh (with some silent J’s)
Mike: Meow
Bob: Yum

how do you make those wicked guitar riffs, is it a gift or did you learn from some venerable teacher?

Mike: My piano teacher from age 7 to 13 was a 6’7″, 300+ pound Hungarian man named Janus Zemzars.  He had a booming voice and had to duck to get through the practice room doors at the Arts Center back in Ashtabula, OH.  It was terrifying to imagine going to a lesson unprepared.  But he was really a nice guy, who just happened to make a grand piano look like a toy (like a real-life Shroeder from Peanuts).  I loved learning gypsy Tarantellas, Muzio Clementi sonatas, and heavy Tchaikovsky compositions.  I accidentally lift riffs from that stuff on occasion.


have you ever considered touring with some strange band whose sound is polaropposite of your own? if you had to choose what would it be?

Mike: Yes – either Sigur Ros or Dream Theater. Or both!

Best part of the sandwich?


Mike: The Crust
Bob: the sandwich is all about the hot giardiniera, available only at the subways in the midwest.  tastes like home.


What can we expect from the band in the future?

we  going to invent something for space travel.
All: Going on tour, playing SXSW, 90 day tour in March

Mutts - The Tells of Parallels Cover

Terranaut

From their album The Tells of Parallels

Siskiyou_room01-1



Siskiyou

It is an album of desire, composure and grace, as it tears at your hearts strings, softly at times. It’s’ melodically transitions accumulate like folds of luscious thick velvet layered upon a long winding wooden floor. There is simple imagery that in its essence is integral and lighthearted, though has peaks and valleys that bemuse you.

Great Lake Swimmers former members branched off and patiently learned to record and create their debut Self-titled album, which was released on Constellation in the Fall of 2010.
colin eirk
The band is a collaboration of Colin Huebert and Erik Arensen; Peter Carruthers and Shaunn Watt joined the band to play the songs live, but have since become institutions. The Band name was inspired by the Northern California mountain range, Siskiyou.
Colin currently resides in Vancouver, which is where he was when I spoke with him over the phone

 

 

http://siskiyouband.com/listen/

You can trust that Constellation Records will get it right, about over 100% of the time, and Siskiyou is an example, and, ahem, may I be so bold to say a testament to that? Colin himself enjoys the artists on the label; Pat Jordache, Godspeed You Black Emporer, Colin Stetson and Do Make Say Think… just to name a few. Here is a video courtesy of Constellation, The Land by Siskiyou
This Land – Siskiyou from Constellation Records on Vimeo.

1. Now for the safe word….(in case you don’t want to answer any questions, useful)


skate board

2. Favorite cheese?


Brie is my favorite

3. Robots or Dinosaurs?

Dinosaurs, stegosaurus is my favorite…


4. Strangest venue or gig you’ve ever played?

It was in Jackson, Mississippi at a Hot dog restaurant. It was infested with man-size cockroaches.


5. How did you begin your career and who were your influences


Erik and I were (Erik still is) playing in Great lake swimmers until it became less enjoyable for me due to busy schedules. I learned how to record with two cheap microphones, recruited a few close friends, namely Erik Arnesen and released the album on Constellation just recently. In the Fall, we will release a new record…
Aside from music I do some tree related work, and some urban farming. At the urban farm we mainly grow sprouts… sunflower sprouts, pea sprouts, in Vancouver. At the other farm (in the interior) there was much more land to grow every vegetable imaginable. Erik plays in Great Lake Swimmers and teaches ukulele to kids.

6. What is the most memorable show you’ve ever attended?

It would have to be The Flaming Lips performing Zaireeka in Austin, Texas. There were 40 boom boxes and they brought up 40 people from the audience.

7. What are a few items essential to your “tour survival kit”?


Sleeping pills.


8. What are you listening to now?

Damien Jurado. St Bartlett, his latest release.

9. What is the worst advice you’ve ever been given?

If you avoid something it will go away.

10. If you were to communicate using one word what would it be?

Motherfucker, two guys communicated using just that word on “the wire”. It was quite successful.

11. Can you dance?

Yes. mmmhmmm (Matter of Fact tone)

12. Anything else you want the people to know?

Our cat Pixie is an aspiring accountant. She is currently doing our taxes.

Enhanced-buzz-1358-1295384168-36
Please note this is not an actual picture of Pixie, she preferred not to be photographed

Hold it in….




Everything I have…

Impulsivity, intuition and heavily influenced by The Kinks and Neo Boys, Hannah Lew and Raven Mahon, former members of Shitstorm, joined Lillian Maring and became Grass Widow. Their second album was recently released on Kill Rock Stars. The ladies were more than happy to answer a few of my questions.

Favorite/least favorite cheese? (for the cheese-enthusiast)

Hannah: Never met a cheese I didn’t like.
Lillian: Very enthusiastic.
Raven: yogurt

Robots or Dinosaurs?

L: Dinobots. Robosaurs.
H: Humans
R: I pick dinosaurs. Or robots raising dinosaurs in incubators for humans.

Strangest venue or gig you’ve ever played?

R: Strangest?… Strangest….er….sometimes when we finish songs we
lure test subjects/friends into our subterranean meatlocker practice
space, which is about 12 cubic feet of raw, smelly noise.

Were you influenced by old records & tapes? Which ones?

H:We have a pretty wide range of influence as a band. For our song-writing-we’re generally influenced and inspired by each-other but, we listen to everything from Classical to Rank Xerox on tour. Some rock albums that have influenced me/made me want to just quit are …Wire:Pink Flag,  Kinks:Village Green preservation Society, Neo Boys:Crumbling Myths, Nirvana:Nevermind, Alice Cooper:Pretties For You, Wipers: Is This Real, Kaliedescope(UK):Faintly Blowing ….to name a few.

R: Yeah, and I’d have to add a few classical dudes to the list like Chopin and Rachmaninoff and Liszt.

how did you begin your career as and who were your influences?

H: Fellini, Italo Calvino, Neo Boys, Laura Mulvey, My dad.
R: Unrelated to music, but as creative influences: David Foster Wallace, Louise Erdrich, my mom, and of course, Hannah and Lillian.

What is the most memorable concert you’ve ever attended?

R: Red Hot Chili Peppers, circa 1996, Auckland, NZ, doc martins, fence
jumping, alcohol, vomit.

What are a few items essential to your “tour survival kit”?

H: Stretch Pants, Corn Thins, Will Shortz Crossword book, Cold Press coffee
situation.
L: Playing cards, soda, lavender, bobby pins.
R: A picture of Bobby, a four-leaf clover, my grandmother’s necklace, a 22. Just kidding, I don’t own any of those things.

What are you listening to now?

H: Rank Xerox, Nose Dive, Broken Water, Caethua, Milk Music.
R: Rodriguez, Wetdog, Trash Kit, Yo Yo Ma’s cello sonatas.

Any stories from your excursions on the road?

R: Once we were late-night swimming in an Iowa City reservoir and some lights started twinkling in the distance. Someone yelled “WATER COPS! WATER FUCKING COPS!” and everyone flipped out, which led to a mad scramble up a cliff face and over each other and through poison oak and into the car…etc. “WATER COPS!”

H: If you heard a rumor that we are known to fall asleep with food in our mouths on tour-that is not true!
L: Yes, it is.

What is the worst advice you’ve ever been given?

H: A lot of people like to give us advice, like when we get shitty show
offers and the booker says he’s “been in the biz for a while and that we
should be glad to get the exposure.” Recently a guy that was touring with a
band we were playing with offered me “rock and roll advice”. We recently
wrote a song called  “Advice” based on some of these experiences. There’s a
lot of condescending douches out there, but the bottom line is that if you’re in a band-you have the opportunity to use your celebrity to set standards . You have to make your own decisions about what you care about, and not settle .

If you were to communicate using one word what would it be?

L: “Charisma”
R: Tjerokngk

Can you dance? What is your day job?


H: Yeah, when? Don’t you live in Chicago? We could Skype Dance. I work at an independent Video store in San Francisco called Lost Weekend.
L: I love to dance. Right now I’m working on a move called the “Moon Age Day Dream”, it involves appearing to float. I’ll post a video once I nail it. I work at a cafe.

R: I like to dance. I am a woodworker/fabricator/furniture-maker.

What can we expect from the band in the future?


H: We are working on a new album right now and are touring a bunch this year

You have mentioned in an interview your aversion to the “angry Chick Band” so many female artist’s’ are labeled. Can you elaborate more on what Grass Widow is all about- and if you do get angry- do you get even? (pretty sure that is a standard interview question for potential grocers)

H: Sometimes I get angry/depressed and then I get down on myself for getting angry/depressed, but then I think-The world is totally fucked. Any intelligent person who cares about anything is bound to get angry and depressed from time to time. Feminism and the riot grrrl movement have set the stage and created a context for women playing music today, but these labels are redundant and have lost their potency in a modern context. There is plenty that female musicians are up against these days-with internet voyeurism and a youth culture largely based in some blog’s validation of a band. This stuff is new-and female musicians have never had to deal with this shit before, so in a sense we are responding with our merit and intuition alone-using our own tools. I don’t think there is a limit to the ways that femininity can be expressed,  and I would hope that we could be part of a system that enabled other women to be confident with their individuality-have the balls to display strength and integrity. Forging new ground and creating ways to include women in the audience is an ongoing challenge,so I guess we just have to maintain a modern outlook and be ready for the future.

Some one posted a “Missed Connections” ad on craigslist about you, what does it say?

R: “I saw you eating cheese.”

Roberto Carlos Lange earned his nickname, Negro (a name used as a term of endearment), growing up  in South Florida. He went off to college in Savannah, Georgia and discovered visual and auditory art. He and David Ellis were working on some  kinetic sound sculptures.

‘These include typewriters that self-type the lyrics to Grand Master Flash’s “The Message” (in rhythm to the song, none-the-less), musical owls drawn out of liquor bottles, owl costumes made out of straws, flying musical birds, motion paintings, and trash cans (full of trash) that are actually living drum machines.’ –Asthmatic Kitty.

He has worked on several projects, including Epstein, School of Seven Bells, Prefuse 73, and has released two albums, Awe Owe and Pasajero on Asthmatic Kitty. His third album, Canta Lechuza, comes out May 10.

He currently resides in Brooklyn New York, where I had a chance to chat with him while he was working on some kinetics with David Ellis…



Favorite/least favorite cheese?


I say the stinkier the better… As a kid I started with American Cheeses, nowadays I go to the farmers market/cheesory for some stinky blue.


Strangest venue or gig you’ve ever played?


while touring in Japan we had several strange experiences. we were traveling through smaller towns when we stopped by this strange place filled with fast food joints and strip malls… and a truck lot is where we ended up playing; weird to be at some abandoned spot with a total of five people and giant speakers surrounding the room, I was thinking “where the hell are we?”
Another strange (awesome) venue we played was on a mountain top, while in the pouring rain, ape shit crazy, so random to just end up on a hippie commune in Japan. They had some super earthy hippie products too…  for instance reusable lady pads, I put them on my eyes before I go to sleep. And we stopped at a beer joint and ate whale and octopus jerky… I had to try it, the whale jerky.


How did you begin your career and who were your influences?


I just got into it…. my  first step in the direction was buying records, playing guitar, sampling records… seeing where I could tear things apart and reorganize them, veer from a traditional learning structure.


Seen Any good shows lately?

Oh shit, I have a hard time attending live shows which reflects how I feel when performing live as well. I can only take so much. If they were only ten minutes, no more then thirty minutes, I’d enjoy it much more.

What is something you never leave home without before going on tour?

Trying to think of something good to say, something original… clothes.


What was the last record you bought?


This is funny because its like when I get into a record store those 300 albums that I wanted and thought of throughout the day just escape my memory, so recently I bought an album from the originals, still have yet to open it, judging from the cover I would say it is R n B and Soul; Abner Jay; also Juliana Barwick, we’re actually working on a record right now.


What is the worst/best advice you have ever been given?


My High School guidance  counselor said I should go to community college. The best advice I have ever been given was don’t go to community college.


If you were to communicate using one word what would it be?


Hide.

Can you dance?


I can dance, yes, though I dance for specific reasons…


There is a Craigslist missed connections ad written about you, what does it say?


I saw you with the puffy hair, remember me? You were at the micky D’s eating chicken nuggets.


Let’s say for the rest of your life You have to carry a 50 lb bag, that is full of ______?


Of… what, what the hell would I have in there? A lot of paper and pens…


Would you rather have hands for feet or feet for hands?


Either way would be fine because I would be a monkey


Anything else you want the people to know? Or not to know?


I do have to go to the bathroom… and I love interviews.



Helado Negro



Alden Penner

Clues… marimba’s and feedback, drowning lyrics that drip and unravel like that of a blood velvet curtain, as the light creeps in you think “finally”. It’s that anticipation of melodic bliss that keeps your ears finely tuned to the painstaking chaos that precedes, patiently, that relief. The rush.
And to try and solve what Clues intent was for every track off their self-titled album, would not be worth the perspiration that should be savored and stored for the inevitable dropping to your knees in a devastated dysphoria that somehow has your heart fluttering and plummeting and you feet tapping. Released in 2007 by Constellation Records.

And a track worth listening intently to…

elope

and…

Cave Mouth

Kopeckyfamilyband.bandcampAn ExKopecky Family Band, Kelsey, Corey, Steve, Marcus, Benjamin, David and Gabe,clusive Interview with the Multi-talented, well-versed 7 piece band from Nashville, TN.

Sitting in the basement of Schuba’s eating Chipotle and chatting it up with the seven members of The Kopecky Family Band.

Their safe word:

BANANA

KopeckyRobots or Dinosaurs


(Discussing amongst each other…)

‘Are they fighting each other?

You could program a robot to be a dinosaur…’

What is the strangest venue you have ever played?

Kelsey: Oh, definitely a wedding, where we played Butterfly Kisses. (Gabe follows with a lovely sample…)

How did you all begin? Influences:

Gabe: Kelsey and I started the band. We played our first show at a school sponsored clothing store.

Kelsey: Gabe and I met through mutual friends in college, I invited a group of people over for game night; I heard Gabe play the guitar and I was like, I want to play music with this guy. We started writing together on Halloween, and finished our first EP in a week.

Gabe: Influences: Cake, Menomena, Pedro the Lion, James Taylor, Radiohead…

Corey: When I was in middle school I was into hard core music. Now I am more into Modest Mouse, anything with mice in the name.

Ben: Anathallo

Most memorable concert you have ever attended?

Gabe: Radiohead, Steve and I share a birthday, and we went to see them live.

Steve: Yeah, that had to be one of the best shows I have seen.

Some tour Guide Essentials:

Gabe: Well we had our trailer stolen, so we can’t bring a whole lot, so now it is basically two buckets and two benches, so it is all ass to ankles right now.

Worst advice you have ever been given?

Markus: We were told to get rid of three or four of our members, because we would never make it with seven.

If you could say only one word, what would it be?

(Collectively at first there were many beeps, boops and finally they decided upon a clever form of communication. SOS.)

All: Morse Code…

Can you dance? Any hidden talents:

Gabe: (motioning to Corey) Can this guy dance!? I spun him on gravel, he is a trooper though, for being so delicate, we call him Baby spoon and Bread crumb, two of the many nicknames Corey has acquired.

Corey: I like Bread Crumb the best I think.

Gabe: Hidden talents? I can pack the van really well. And Marcus can smoke A LOT of cigarettes.

(Marcus sort of shrugs, I ask him what kind he smokes, Marlboro Menthol Mediums)

What can we expect from you guys in the future?

A lot more music, We have a split seven inch coming out February fourth, and we are doing SXSW. We’ll be around as long as we are playing music and being friends.

Have a listen and FALL IN LOVE with their melodies.

The Disaster Cover

Birds

“The Disaster”


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lucy betina

lucy betina

A song that slowly builds and expands can make the agonizing pace of the first few verses seem worth hearing in the end.

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