Friday, December 20, 2013

One of the realest things I've ever committed to digital paper.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Want Crucial Sprawl? Get it here. Operators are standing by, etc.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Two new playlists of mine that went up today, one on letters and another on Labor Day.

Tomorrow (or later in the week), my "softer side of Nine Inch Nails" playlist should be up, which is awesome.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Can anyone think of songs, from any era or genre, where laughing or laughter is significant, or where people are just cracking up constantly? If so, please post them!

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Poem: "Play The Hits"

Like a blossom pressed in the leaves of 
volume, locks pinched tenderly. Or 
tymbals crashing, foraging for scars - 
such concessions to vanity: that sort 
of perspective. You'd have to be read in.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

If you'd asked me six years ago if I thought I'd be excited for a new Boards of Canada album, I'd have laughed in your face.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Sonic Youth - "The Diamond Sea" (LP version/alt.end) from musicUPloads on Vimeo.

So long and winding that sometimes you don't want to even find your way back out; it's just a blessing to linger there, to bask in it.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Q&A with Brian Chippendale of Black Pus (February 2013)


After years of corresponding with Brian, it was neat to finally do an interview with him, for a brief MAGNET feature where I wasn't able to squeeze too much in; you can find my piece in the April 2013 issue.

Thanks, Brian!

What does the title "All My Relations" refer to?

Hey Ray, here we go!

"All my Relations" is a Native American phrase basically meaning "all my relatives" but also meaning "we are all one" as in we are all connected. I’ve taken part in a few sweat lodges and the phrase was always said by the leader at the beginning of the ceremony. I perceived it to mean he is inviting in his past relatives, or inviting us in to participate. I think for me it has two reasons to be the title; one, i felt like this was a diverse Black Pus album(though some may think it's not very diverse) and I wanted to bind the diversity into one record by giving it an inclusive name. I invited all the songs into the same ceremony together. And also, as the songs were divergent forces coming together so too is the world at this point, so it was a shout out to the state of the world, a diverse group of people who are connected and need to be reminded of their positive connections as much as possible. So the album title was talking inward toward the record and outward toward everyone it comes into contact with whether they listen to it or not. 

You've done a bunch of self releases. How'd you get hooked up with Thrill Jockey?

I came to Thrill Jockey because I was looking for a label to put out this higher budget record. This was recorded in a studio(Machines with Magnets in RI, Keith Souza and Seth Manchester) and cost more than all my home recorded ones combined, so i wanted to get some help on the bill and i wanted to get what i thought was a solid good quality record out to as many people as i could. I love the self releasing because it's casual and there are no expectations and no deadlines, but I get tired of throwing music into the void and not ever hearing it bounce off a whole lot out there. I mean, I am lucky enough to always get responses to what i release but i want more. I want responses from the people i can't target with my own resources. So I asked some friends about different labels and came to the conclusion that Thrill Jockey might be the best fit and they were gracious enough to release the record for me. And so far I am really happy to be working with them. Also I have worked with very few labels and it seemed fun to try out something new. New label, new studio, new mastering engineer(Heba Kadry at The Lodge in NYC). Newness abounds.

Up to now, based on the responses you've received from people and via reviews and sales/download, which Black Pus album is the most lauded? What is it about that album, in your opinion, that stands out?

I think the best response I have gotten so far is for Pus Mortem, 2012’s Bandcamp release. It’s hard to gauge monetarily because they are all on different systems, the CDR’s have expenses because I buy the blank media and for Black Pus 0 and 4 I got them mastered which was a big expense. Load spent money on Primordial for mastering and to put it on vinyl and CD, so Pus Mortem was cheap as hell in comparison(the price of a few blank cassettes) and instantaneous and very easy for people to have the opportunity to listen to. Maybe that is why it got the most attention. By that I mean a handful of blog reviews and people cheering it on on Facebook and that sort of thing. Primordial seemed to be generally ignored. Too dirty, too sludgy maybe? I don’t know. I really like it. Maybe my recording techniques tightened up for Pus Mortem as well so it makes it a little gentler of a listen. My personal favorite might be Black Pus 3. I think it’s the least commercial in a way, the most “out there”. I did an experiment on that record where I would record a simple song, 4 chords, a straight beat, and then start layering more abstract stuff over it, more drums that played with or around the initial straight stuff, then I subtracted out the original straight layers leaving just the abstract. So it had a whisper down the lane effect. HuckDoll Finn was done that way. Black Pus 3 is intentionally scattered and abrasive, and I like that it stays in that mode pretty well. Black Pus 4 might also be one people continue to talk about, the pop one. I like it, to some extent, but it’s a bit high school sounding. Thin, light. Lofi in some bad ways, not raw but, weak? But it’s got some pretty catchy songs, simple songs I’m proud of and really like, and I think the catchiness has won over some fans. There are a lot of ideas I could follow up all over that record, ideas that could benefit from some higher fi recording techniques.

Tell me about the first time you recorded as Black Pus: when it happened and what it was like, the sense that you were onto something.

I’ve been playing by myself from the beginning of my drumming career in 1989. I’ve always liked to play alone. In high school I had a guitar I played as well, a nice Les Paul Sunburst(long since sold in one of my many broke periods) and I recorded songs on my 4 track as a whole band just myself. A practice I continued into college when I was in a few bands and I would self record songs and offer them up to be played. So I have been doing it for over 20 years. But when Lightning Bolt kicked in in ‘94 I got away from the solo recordings for the most part, there are a couple mid/late 90’s cassettes I put out under the name “Glemun” which no one has heard but for the most part I was focused on the band, and capturing the band and just playing live music. But the band works at it’s own pace and I play all the time, so the extra energy and ideas needed to find a home. I think it was maybe 2003 or 4 that I started to incorporate an oscillator into(actually onto) my set up that was triggered by the bass drum, it’s featured some on Hypermagic Mountain. Suddenly my solo practices began sounding like a realized thing, a very minimal band, so I started playing shows. The first CDR, Black Pus 1 was done as a challenge to create a “fake band” in late 2005. It was recorded in a couple days and quickly thrown on a CDR. And I think it holds up. It’s raw. I love making small things like a CDR or a zine or minicomic, something you have on you that you can give away. It’s harder and harder for me to keep this small thing practice up, I have been working on longer works as a comic artist or releasing online, but when I can get a handmade item together it’s a feeling of sharing like no other.

Talk to me a bit about the All My Relations cover art. Your releases have always had distinctively idiosyncratic covers, cryptic and earthy and whimsical and implicitly infinite notionally, sometimes all at the same time: there is always something arresting about them, with strong symbolism and burnt Fantagraphix overtones that complement the music. I feel like the new cover is in your lane but comes from a slightly different place. It's almost as though you painted canvas of day-glo colors, then layered a foil skein of impossible contradictions, then scratched through that top layer very painstakingly, and in the end it's hard to say where one image starts and the other ends.

I have always tried to move my art images forward at a similar pace as my music. So when it’s time to release a record, the small evolution in musical style can be matched by a small evolution in graphic style for the cover art. This new cover is part of something I have been working towards the last couple years in my fine art(which I conceptually separate from my narrative comic book art) which is to eradicate any overt story. Where I was for very long trying to have literal narrative in all my visual work, now my goal is to boil the narrative down, or dissolve it, so that what remains is suggestion versus announcement. This works to let the viewer take more control of “the meaning” of an image versus me ramming meaning down their throats. So yes, the cover is a shift away from past stuff though obviously connected, but I think the shift is a serious one.

It's interesting to hear you talk about sonic experimentation, because the most exciting aspects of Relations are where you're shoving techniques into new realms. "Word on the Street" is a good example; there's a madness and unevenness to it, a unhinged wobble to everything, and at some point it stops being a song in the sense that the listener can mentally erect fence posts and reason as to what was played and what's the product of loops, dubbing, other audio trickery. "Fly on the Wall" is like that too, only with your vocals multiplied to psychosis; "Hear No Evil" runs even further a field. The effect, to me, is that somehow this sense of unreality shifts Black Pus away a bit from the corporeal world with which it was once easier to associate the project - the hail of drum hits like billions of dying stars, the teeth-grinding riffs - and towards something...else. I'm still working out how to classify that something, but I enjoy it. Am I making sense? It's hard to quantify because your songs are getting weirder even as your melodies are getting stickier, but you're moving into a new place.

What’s interesting is that this record is still a fairly live experience. Word on the Street has zero overdubs and was just a live improvisational jam. It’s completely played live. There is a little bit of mixing work, an effect here and there to pull something back in that was trying to get away like a loop getting way too far off, or a few measures edited out that might make a change sound abrupt, but the song was played live. Which means drums and an oscillator triggered by the bass drum run through various effects but still maintaining a fairly droney signature. Vocals looped(no pre recorded stuff, no memory card just resung into the loop pedal for each perfomance) and then vocals sung overtop some more. It’s the base for all the songs. Every song save “All Out of Sorts” and “Nowhere to Run” are basically played live with maybe some redo on the vocals or oscillator. Occasionally, like on Fly on the Wall, I think we did some overdubs and left pieces of the old takes either out of laziness or for effect. Letting some loose ends linger. So there is a little bit of layering going on. I think what makes this feel like a different BP experience is that everything you have ever heard previously was recorded on a cassette tape and that gives it a very specific character. A campfire, dirt tunnel, squished squirrel character.  Just lofi, warm, limited.  Cassette puts everything on a very level playing field and maybe it takes the some of the edge of the sounds, fuzzes it out. This new Black Pus is Black Pus Colder Unlimited. Perhaps it’s capturing that details better and the details might have been weirder than we thought. Though I guess this recording is no more or less real a portrait than the other recordings. Specifically for Word On The Street I think I start speeding up the beat somewhere in the middle, which is something I tend to do, that probably explains some of its odd wobble.

I still remember the first time I heard Black Pus I. It blew me away. It was like being hit in the face with flying gravel. I've liked everything since - particularly Black Pus II - but I feel as though Pus Mortem and All My Relations are the first time since those early blasts that you're really killing it, really claiming something.

Black Pus II is so mean. I miss that stuff. Black Pus 0-4 are all layering, not live songs, instead just playing a beat by itself and making up shit to put over top. So it’s wide open, and I am more like 3 or 4 people approaching each song using drums, voice, sax, keyboards and oscillator. It’s very much from a different mind than what I am doing now. Since Primordial Pus it’s all been basically songs I can play live. So it’s very limited, just me, 1 person using a drumset, vocals, and an oscillator mainly manipulating them live. There was a switch in process when I started playing live shows, it should maybe be two different bands. It almost was. I was going to rename the live project to separate it from the recording project but I didn’t and now here I am. Primordial Pus was the first live album and it has some pretty old recordings on it, pretty base stuff. But as I go I am learning more about what I can do or need to do to make the live project fully fleshed out and interesting. But I do want to go back and make some crude noisey as hell not live at all recordings like the first batch of CD’s. It’s liberating. Two songs, “All out of Sorts” and “Nowhere to Run” on All My Relations are more of that old process, me jamming over beats without a preconceived live song in mind. But I was still limiting my instruments to the voice and oscillator.

Can you tell me about the genesis of "A Better Man"?

“A Better Man” is another song that was from my live show. I’m not sure where it came from, just another jam, the lyrics were kind of a late addition in the studio, that’s how I do lyrics, I’ll sing sounds that I find emotive live and then try to tighten it up in the studio lyrically. And then generally go back to sound based vocals for live shows again. But I like lyrics, I just can’t remember them all. And drum. And turn pedals on an off, flip loops and all that. Too much. Better Man lyrically is about competing with your fellow humans, and that you will always lose really. Someone will always come along who is better at everything. Better looking, healthier, faster, smarter. So in a way it’s a hate letter to the perfect man, or a hate letter to myself for not striving to be the perfect man. Either or. Or maybe a note to ones self to accept some of your natural weaknesses and get on with it anyway. But really A Better Man is a simple song that acts as a launch pad to get to the second half where it breaks down and spreads out musically. I love stomping on the bass drum at a leisurely pace and just rolling where ever I want on the toms and snare. It’s like taking a walk but letting your thoughts rage. Upper body lower body.

Who engineered Relations, and where did you record?

“Machine with Magnets” in Pawtucket Rhode Island. Keith Souza and Seth Manchester. Really great guys to work with. Their most well known work is probably the last two Battles records, and then the The Body LPs, Skull Defekts, a lot of other stuff. It’s a great place. They also have a show space, a gallery space and now a bar in there. Overachievers. The nicest guys and real smooth on the Pro Tools, or tape if that’s your preference.

I think the most surprising - and subtle, also - songs that I've heard from you recently is "Play God" from Pus Mortem, which reminded me a bit of Chic and Yello rhythmically while streaming this threshed-to-haunting vocal malfeasance over head. It was just very spare and direct, in its way. How did that song come together?

“Play God” was just another lucky break. That recording on Pus Mortem is the first time I ever played that song, it’s an improvisation that I limited to a song structure in the moment. When I practice I generally record a vocal loop and then jam on it for a while, trying different beats and structures. I just arrived at that beat and mumble vocal one day during a jam and it all came together. In Lightning Bolt and Black Pus I am very conscious of being recorded because I have recorded every practice since 1994. So I tend to improvise and jam in song length spurts for part of the night. Giving me lots of little recorded songs that are basically all finished in a rudimentary manner. Then for a chunk of the night’s session I let loose and try to turn off the song preconceptions and be ugly and wrong and long and boring or whatever. But I have a lot of random songs recorded that feel fairly complete just as a result of my approach to jamming.

You have a very intense percussive style, a heavy touring and practice/recording schedule. Do you have any chronic pain or trouble with injuries as a result of this? If you do experience that sort of thing, is it something you work around or become accustomed to?

I think my body is doing ok. Funny just the other night while practicing my wrist started to hurt and I was like, uh oh, here we go, it’s finally caught up with me. But I think I just banged it on something because now it’s fine. I popped some ribs out of place on a tour 2 years ago and missed one show because of it and was in some pain, but a chiropractor/masseuse in Portland Oregon cracked me back in shape. I try to be careful, I stretch and do some exercises after I practice when I can to be well rounded in what parts of the body are getting used. I’ve always been athletic but I am almost at the year 40 mark and everyone wears down eventually. We’ll see what happens. I may have to make some adjustments as I go, and maybe I already have it’s hard to tell. The elevator in my building has been broken for almost 2 years so now whenever I play a show I carry the 650 lbs of equipment for Black Pus up and down 3 very long flights of stairs. But I kind of like it. Kind of. My lower back hurts in the morning. I need a real mattress, this “found in a college dumpster” futon we have has long since lost it’s integrity.

Do you ever look back at everything you've accomplished musically and artistically and just find yourself agape at all of it? Do you find a sort of pride in what’s come before, overall, or is it more like "yeah, that's what I've done but I've got miles to go before I sleep"?

I’m proud of my output thus far. But I feel like a kid still figuring out how to steer the ship. I love what Lightning Bolt has done as a live band, but I think we are still searching for the perfect recorded capture of it. Black Pus grows each day and I also feel like it’s definitive record is still in it’s future. I look misty eyed back at my old Fort Thunder days, at how mentally and physically liberated we were back then. But with everything I have behind me I would never go back, I’m all about going forward. I hate to go to bed at night because I can’t ever get everything that needs to be finished done each day. I’ll go to my grave trying to catch up to and complete various ideas and schemes. So, “yeah, that's what I've done but I've got miles, like a planets worth, to go before I sleep"


What artists (musical, visual, whatever) and albums, new or old, are fueling you right now in terms of inspiration?

I’m really into Die Antwoord. I only recently discovered them. I really enjoyed the last Black Dice, Mr. Impossible. The last few year I’ve been listening to a lot of the new “world music” wave of vinyl, like Sublime Frequencies LP’s by Group Inerane or Doueh, Omar Souleyman or Sahel Sounds releases like Takamba or Music from Saharan Cellphones. I’m loving the immediacy of it most of it, the rawness of the recording styles and the fluidity of the playing. It’s an ocean of inspiration. I’ve listened a lot to Vybz Kartel’s Kingston Story this past year too, Dre Skull the producer is an old friend and he gave me a copy and it blew me away. Maybe because of my naivete of the genre, but whatever it is the album is just really smooth and sweet sounding. Good to listen to before you practice drumming.


When you play live these days, are you generally improvising, or playing specific songs or versions of songs?

It completely depends on the season. I just played a show here in Providence (I’m answering this in January) and it was maybe 70 percent improvised, very non linear wandering jam. That’s just where my head is at. Lost in Space. But when I do a month tour of the states this spring it will tighten up into a song framework with some open sections to improvise. I like to get strong at a specific live set and play songs to people on tour. Like drawing the same picture over and over and seeing how it fluctuates day by day but retains the same basic shape. Generally that song mindset is usually just for tour. In my practice space on any normal day, with both Black Pus and Lightning Bolt, I(we) tend to make new stuff up and try to move forward, or document the shifts of any of given day, not be held down by yesterday’s thought. “Private jammers, Public singer-songwriters”? 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Wonderful, "late"-era Breeders



 Do I wish that this song was a painting?

 Yes.

 Yes, I do.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Interview up at Village Voice with the fellas from Sightings, whose new album is subtle but fabulous.

Also:

The first question and answers were edited out for some reason; I felt that they should be preserved.


I notice that you guys all have Hotmail accounts; I have one too, have had it for a while though I don't use it much. Have you ever had your account hacked into? If so, what was the result? What happened? Did it happen more than once? Some asshole or demon hacked my Hotmail over SXSW weekend and was mass mailing all these nonsensical haiku to people I haven't been in touch with for half a decade. That kind of shit can ruin your day.

Richard Hoffman: No shenanigans yet, actually haven't had anything hacked. Yet. Wait - is a haiku 5-7-5, or 7-5-7? Seventeen, syllables I think.

Jon Lockie: I did once have a small group of emails sent out to some of my Hotmail contacts regarding prescription meds. My mom called me, and was like "Why are you sending emails out about prescription medications? Are you ok?" I changed my password and haven't had another problem. I have a Gmail account for my business, and I do notice that it doesn't get the spam and BS that Hotmail gets.  



Later this week or next week I'll put up the Black Pus interview that I did for my MAGNET feature.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Pete Swanson was cool enough to do a long, in-depth email interview with me for this Village Voice music blog piece.
Have a chill week - as much as is realistically possible, anyway.


Friday, March 08, 2013

Q&A: Day Joy


I interviewed Day Joy for a story that appeared in the February 2013 issue of MAGNET Magazine. My word count was tiny, so I wasn't able to squeeze much of the mountain of information I got from the interview into the piece. 


Here it is. To get a sense of whether they're your cup of tea, test-drive "Talks of Terror."





One of my favorite moments on Go To Sleep, Mess is the very beginning, the start of "Animal Noises," where it seems as though the album greeting daybreak, waking up in nature - but then at the end, nature swallows the song whole, reclaiming the sonic space. How was this song written, and what led to the decision to kick things off, and wind them down (in terms of the song) in this way?
Peter Perceval III: Well, "Animal Noise" was actually the first song that me and Michael ever wrote together about 4 years ago or more at this point. It was a riff that I had been working on and one of the first times that me and Michael hung out we were sitting on my roof and I was playing that riff and he sort of encouraged me to keep playing it and he developed a melody to it and that was basically the jump off point where we realized we could make music together. I think partially that is one of the reasons it is the album opener- but also there is some more depth to using it as the first song on the album conceptually. I think how you described it is a good description- in terms of greeting day break and waking up in nature and then having that realization and moment of serenity ripped away from you. I think Michael could go into a little more depth with the concept of the song lyrically and how those lyrics were initially developed.

Michael Serrin: I lived in a house with a large forest behind it for years. The Little Econlockhachee river was just a short walk back and brought all sorts of wild life (and the noises they make) right into my back yard. The owls, alligators, and insects would blend into this polyrhythmic chorus every night. It was really calming. I envied the simplicity of their existence and the carnal beauty of their music. I always thought that, if they had a chance to be human for a day, they'd gladly choose to go back into the woods and never experience the burden of self-awareness again. I guess that's what happens in the song.

How long did the songs on Go To SleepMess gestate prior to recording?

PP: They are actually all really old. Most of the songs we wrote at least three or more years ago at this point… Michael and I began sketching things out and did some really bare bone recordings and then about a year and a half ago we sat down and recorded them all as properly as we could with what we had to work with in my living room at the house. 
MS: As old as the songs are, I really feel like the gestation period was necessary. The songs changed form in a lot of ways, especially lyrically. 

How did Day Joy get its start?

PP: Michael and I met in Spanish class at UCF. I was twenty-two and he was eighteen he was in a band called Introduction To Sunshine at the time and I went and checked them out and then one night I invited him over to my house downtown to go to a Heliosequence show. He had never heard them at that point but i convinced him to tag along so we went to that show and then I invited him back to my house to have a few drinks… we were sitting on the roof and playing some music (what would later become Animal Noise) and then I proposed the option of tripping. Although he didn't know me all that well he agreed to it and we spent the next 8 hours on a journey through our minds plastered to the roof with the Ruby Suns Sea Lion on repeat the entire time. We watched the sun rise and from that point forward knew we were gonna be good friends and decided one day we would start a band together. About 2 years or so later Intro broke up (Which would eventually split into what is now Day Joy and Saskatchewan) I was supposed to be moving to Africa and I told Michael we should record the songs we had wrote and we began that process and did some really basic recordings using more or less just the microphone on a macbook, garage band, and an sm57… I ended up not moving to Africa and we decided to do the band thing and here we are now. 

Can you remember the first time you picked up a banjo to play it, or explored its sounds?

PP: I can absolutely remember the first time I picked up a banjo. It was on July 28th 2005. I had recently become obsessed with bluegrass and the banjo from a few different sources. There is a website that has archived old folk documentaries that I discovered and fell in love with and that led me into getting into artists like Lee Sexton and Earl Scruggs. Around the same time as well when I was in high school in 2003 Jim White had come out with his film "Searching For The Wrong Eyed Jesus" I fell lin love with that soundtrack and movie. I remember a few years later I was watching it with my girlfriend at the time and she realized how much I had loved that innocent backwoods culture and the sound of the banjo and everything involved. I believe I actually cried at some point or maybe a tear slipped out marveling at the beauty and she decided that for my 21st birthday she would buy me a banjo. I had never played nor touched one before that just respected and adored it. She got me a gold tone banjo and that really was the genesis for everything. If that moment had not of happened I dont think a lot of other events would of taken place. I dont however see the banjo being a big part of our music in the future... It was a big thing for me at the moments of a lot of our songs in the past but now I envision our sound moving out of that space maybe utilitzing here and there. Beyond that it is actually a pain to use live if you dont have an electric one. There is always an issue with miking it or using a DI. 

MS: I used to play around with Peter's banjo before I had any idea what I was doing - there wasn't ever any magical first impression or anything. 

What is the most intense song you ever encountered, growing up, in terms of its ability to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up? Did that song inspire you, scare you, or some combination of the two?

PP: I think for me growing up in the 80's and early 90's that most songs that made the most visceral connection to me also had a visual one because it was the age of the music video. I remember 4 videos/songs in particular I can think of off the top of my head that had huge impacts on me - Pearl Jam - Jeremy, Red Hot Chili Peppers - Under the Bridge, REM - Everybody Hurts, and for some reason I always had nightmares from Soul Asylums - Run Away Train. I think that might also have to do with the direction I have conceptually pushed the ideas for our music videos. I want them to be intense and visceral. Our songs are very emotional and lyrically evocative and I want the video to reflect these sentiments that are found in our songs. 
MS: I was relatively sheltered from anything non-Christian growing up. All the songs I would hear were second-hand from my friends' cooler (older) siblings or something to that affect. The first song that really inspired me was "From a Balance Beam" off Bright Eyes' "Lifted" LP. That record made music feel accessible to me. It was the first time that I could imagine myself making music because it wasn't so polished. Pop music and religious music often seems to come from nowhere - like there is no human element to it. Any song that feels rawly human will make my hair stand up.

What is "Talks of Terror" about? I interpret it as the outcome of a really dispiriting political discussion with someone who's sort of fatalist, who you can't talk off the edge to a more positive perspective.

MS: Well, I guess that works. That's what I love about writing lyrics. A single song will develop so many different meanings across different interpretations. It's like writing a thousand songs at once. But, for me, Talks of Terror is more of this ongoing internal conflict I have with myself. I delve into a lot of divergent thinking modes. I guess I'm ultimately trying to say to the listener (and myself) that you can't let yourself be scared out of being who you are supposed to be.

PP: I think that writing music and creating art in general is probably the closest thing to creating a child that I can understand. These songs are like our children. They came from within us at very distraught and intense moments of our lives and then they grow up to sort of have a life of their own that is beyond what we had ever initially conceived in them. “Talks of Terror” is a song that leaked out long before the album, and it has impacted so many people on so many levels. I have read emails and interpretations of it that I think are awesome and all relevant in some way or another. For me the song means something entirely different than it does to many others or maybe even Michael. Most of the songs Michael will lyrically develop entirely on his own and then some others I will have already had a little melody and a few lines or I will add some things to him singing and Talks of Terror was one of those songs we sort of built together lyrically in that way in a really base form and then Michael took it and developed it much further. For me, it’s a representation of our current world and someone trying to find themselves in it. In Orlando and FL in general you meet so many people that are just absolutely passionate and convinced in their belief systems. You will meet a devout Christian right or far right individual or someone that is the polar opposite and believes in nothing and has such loathing for those around them and the culture they live in down here and Talks of Terror is sort of a song that in my mind reflects all of us that think we have our minds made up in our life and then are hypocritical at some point in that belief or perhaps our belief system evolves into something else. This can be taken into a political context reflecting our current political climate and peoples interpretations of "terrorism" or religious extremism.. and deeper and further than that really.

Is your songwriting process still like that today?

PP: For the most part yes. I will write a riff or chord progression and perhaps a melody and bring it to Michael and we will flesh it out. I am not as good at contributing things to songs as I am at creating them so the songs that Michael makes and brings to the table on his own are usually 100% him and I will have a little input in the direction and maybe add a thing here or there.We share a very connected mind when it comes to our ears and music so we usually know what the other is thinking or the direction to take something we pretty much always agree on or understand. We have a lot of new material and will probably be recording our next record really soon even though the first one hasnt even been released. I would say we already have half of it demo'd out and most of those have been the same writing process. We just write really well together- I have never been able to write with someone like I can with Michael - Im not sure I even could. We are starting to include the other band members and exploring that a little more for some of the newer songs we are currently writing. We have been jamming a lot and just doing a lot of random stuff with one or two band members and seeing what sticks and works with the direction/vision we are trying to take the band.

Mike and Peter, you're obviously the main songwriters in Day Joy. Can you tell me a bit about the other members and how they came to be in the band?

PP: Well once we heard the songs recorded we knew that if we ever wanted to play anything live we would need 5 or 6 members to pull it off successfully. We added 3 members to do just that and those are Travis Reed and Artie Burer of Loud Valley- which me and Michael also used to play in off and on... and Adam Ibrahim whom is also in a local band. I also live with Artie and Travis and all of our equipment and practice space is at our house so it just made sense. Day Joy just sort of had a better response publicly when we released stuff on the internet and picked up a lot of momentum so the boys got behind it and have been real supportive. Artie is a sound engineer and amazing musician and I know he has a lot of interest in writing with us on the new record and being a part of it as much as possible and Travis is really interested as well... so we will see how it goes in terms of the writing process. I get a little nervous with too many chefs in the kitchen though haha. 

If the banjo isn't the core of Day Joy's future music, what instrument(s) do you see taking its place?

MS: We recently bought a Juno 6 after a show in Atlanta. We were on tour. We had no money. It was a completely brash and irresponsible decision, but it was the best bad decision we could have made. I think that will take a center role in a lot of the music. Peter also recently invested in an electro-harmonics voice box which will probably play a psychedelic role in the vocal arrangements. I was big into "found music" on the first record - i.e. train sounds, amp static, nature sounds. I would like to take that to the next level, but I'm not quite sure how yet. Ultimately, nothing will really replace the banjo per se. I think we're just moving away from it.
Michael, does Day Joy material strike you as religious in a way? 

MS: Yes and no, and I hate to answer the question that way. I mean, there are definitely a lot of religious references, but they never really portray religion in a positive light. So I would shy away from calling them religious. I think I have an underlying resentment towards religion in general. There is a song on the record that is almost entirely dedicated to my feelings on religion and accepting (rather than denying) our mortality. One of the lyrics is "Tragedy's honest just like they taught in church as a kid. Learn what to call it; learn how to draw it prettier than it is". I guess it's hard to look your child in the eyes and tell them they'll one day die - maybe that's what religion is for. That's sort of the opposite of the message in any of the songs.

Why did you choose "Go To Sleep, Mess" as the title for your debut album?

MS: Originally, when we were first drafting the album, I had this grandiose concept of the album mirroring a late night tossing and turning, finally falling asleep and having beautiful nostalgic dreams, then a nightmare, then awakening. The album still follows this trajectory - it's just a little more interwoven. The line between the waking and dream states is blurred. I think it is actually more effective this way. "Go to Sleep, Mess" was kind of the obvious choice. The title made the album as a whole make more sense and (I think) it's a good indicator of the weight of the subject matter listeners will encounter.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Triple Threat: Farewell My Concubine, Gabriel Saloman, David Bowie.
Triple Threat: Heavy Hawaii, Pak, Grouper.
Triple Threat: Wavves, Kitty, Alicia Keys.

New poem: "Eggshells On Matzo"





EGGSHELLS ON MATZO


Cold-cream jars agape. HVACs singing
scat. Clods of palladium shaken loose
into piles. Exteriors dreamt en cumuli
A tribunal of paper birches, quaking aspens.
Is this one of your movies about nothing?

Daylight humanizes rafters. Using mop 
brushes we applied white lacquer to 
alabaster idols. Trowels caked in fondant. 
Before the lift an apparition hovers, mute.
Contrails beget halos or elide the action.

So boogie on down to Blanco; check out
the ecru scene. Under layers of kohl, more 
silence. Arboretums beset by unicorns, 
melisma. The video feed was uncut sclera. 
Constellational, bones curl round a wrist.  

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Voguing to Danzig's Top 25 Tracks of 2012


1. Ab-Soul, "Track Two"
2. Animal Collective, "Applesauce"
3. Black Dice, "Pigs"
4. Black Pus, "Play God"
5. C.F.C., "Goldie (remix)"

6. Eric Copeland, "Double Reverse Psychology"
7. Sharlyn Evertsz, "Flush"
8. Darq E Freaker feat. Danny Brown, "Blueberry (Pills & Cocaine)"
9. Death Grips, "Deep Web"
10. Lana Del Rey, "Ride"

11. Farewell My Concubine, "Tarbox/Telepathic"
12. Andrey Kireyev, "Second Free Bird"
13. Fela Kuti, "Just Like That (Live In Detroit, 1986)"
14. Kendrick Lamar, "The Jig Is Up"
15. Eric Lanham, "Position: BWIK"

16. Lantern, "Pupa"
17. Lightning Bolt, "I Found A Ring In My Ear"
18. Mystikal, "Hit Me"
19. Janka Nabay, "Feba"
20. Naked City Cinema, "Sink (Or)"

21. OPPONENTS, "Lucid Dreams"
22. Carly Ptak, "All Ways Different"
23. Starving Weirdos, "Land Lines"
24. Swans, "A Piece of the Sky"
25. Marta Zapporoli, "Turbulence of the Soul"

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Voguing To Danzig's Top 25 Albums of 2012


1. Fiona Apple, The Idler Wheel...
2. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, Mature Themes
3. Chris Cohen, Overgrown Path
4. Death Grips, The Money Store
5. Diablo, Twins

6. Dial, Western Front
7. Grasshopper, The Day America Forgot
8. Lightning Bolt, Oblivion Hunter
9. Lotus Plaza, Spooky Action at a Distance
10. Meek Mill, Dreams & Nightmares

11. Melody's Echo Chamber, Melody's Echo Chamber
12. Mission of Burma, Unsound
13. Mount Eerie, Ocean Roar
14. Natural Snow Buildings, Night Coercion Into The Company of Witches
15. Neptune, msg rcvd

16. Oneida, A List of the Burning Mountains
17. Pacific 231, Scuffle
18. Pauline Oliveros, Reverberations...
19. Rainier Lercicolais, End Print
20. Penny Royale, This Town

21. Mike Shiflet, Merciless
22. Schoolboy Q, Habits & Contradictions
23. Sontag Shogun, Absent Warrior, Abandoned Battlefield
24. Various Artists, Compilation for a Cat
25. Elizabeth Veldon, Pine Trees in the Wind

Monday, January 21, 2013