Tag Archives: music

7 Questions in Heaven with Vacation Dad

16 Jul

7 Questions Vacation Dad

I first heard of Vacation Dad through a friend named Elliot (who plays in killer MPLS band Dial-Up). I was immediately blown away by the imagery of the name Vacation Dad: the zinc nose sunblock, the sunglasses with the string hanging around his neck, the Hawaiian shirts that smell vaguely of old cologne and corn dogs. I have probably thought about the name “Vacation Dad” 2 or 3 times a year for the past 3 years, yet I’ve never managed to get on top of my local show shit together enough to make a performance of this elusive name genius. 2014 goals: get a real job, clean the basement, see Vacation Dad live. Until then, feast on the Vacation Dad interview that had me fangirling.

1. Your name is so brilliant. How did you come up with Vacation Dad?

mmmmm its kinda hard to pin down.  i first heard the term when my friend pat told me to stop being such a vacation dad.  i think i had told him to put on some sunscreen.  but the project started when i was laid off and just hanging out in my bathrobe and recording when i wasn’t on tour.  so i kind of became this ridiculous, slightly embarrassing but mostly fun party animal.  vacation dad seemed to fit pretty good.

2. If your music could be described as an animal, which animal would it be and why?

it’d be probably be some kind of psychedelic snake that flies.  can’t say why, thats just what came to mind.

3. What projects are you working on right now?

well, i run MJ MJ Records and am a main organizer of FMLY FEST MPLS so right now i don’t have much time for VD.  but i swear to god i’m going to finish something soon as i can (its been like a year and a half since i released anything).  i’m working on a concept album called “AFTERLIFE”.  it’s a funky odyssey of sorts – a psychedelic journey that takes you from your death through the afterlife and eventually into the heavenly bliss of absolute nothingness. its also going to be a fully interactive video game.

4. Who would you rather have play “Dad” in the family comedy feature film “Vacation Dad”: John Candy or Dan Aykroyd?

dan akroyd for sure.  honestly i never thought john candy was all that funny, he just tends to be in funny movies.  like a better version of david spade.

danaykroyd

5. How does a song come to you?

usually starts with a beat, then a groove, then the hook.  i dont fuck with words.

6. What is one international city you’re dying to play a live show in?

i’d really like to go back to nicosia, cyprus.  i played there a couple years ago and it was just the best fucking thing.  kinda want to tour hawaii too.  or anything tropical, i’m not picky.

7. What’s next for Vacation Dad?

i’ve got a show coming up at 7th street with hundred waters, fort wilson riot and har-di-har (which is a fucking insane-o bill) otherwise just trying to get FMLY Fest together, then hunkering down to finish AFTERLIFE.  probs not gonna go on tour again till i finish it.
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7 Questions in Heaven with Dichotomy

14 Jun

7 Questions Dichotomy

I first met Alex Kauffman through a friend I studied abroad with in Brazil back in 2008. That friend referred to him as “kauffy” if I remember correctly. It was 2009 and we walked into the certifiably dude apartment. I imagine it was full of furniture probably salvaged from street corners that was peppered with bowls of dried mystery food sitting abandoned in forgotten corners of the Como apartment. Maybe I’m making all that up, but dudes are dudes so it’s probably true. Anyways, I’m pretty sure there was a guitar in his hands, or at least guitar hero. Either way, he is here now with a handful of albums under his belt with his group Dichotomy. They just released their second full-length album Subterranean (that you can pick up here). Check out what 1/3 of the group Alex “Kauffy” Kauffman has to say about the songwriting process, Valleyfair and Mars.

1. How did Dichotomy get started?

Joe Laurin and I were roommates in Dinkytown a few years ago. I had a guitar and a violin, he had a keyboard. We just messed around for fun, but we did it every day to the point where we started to learn how to use blues scales and improvise. We eventually learned how to produce our own multi-track recordings, and then eventually got confident enough in them that we made them public and released them online.  We started to figure out how to book shows for ourselves, and we’ve been a live act ever since.  We joined up with Nick Shvetzoff about a year ago, he was the perfect compliment to what we already had going on.  Joe and I were always able to play together really well, but we always had to plan out the backing track beforehand and that was a bit stifling.  Nick can control and improvise percussion and other sounds along with Joe and I, so every piece of the band is interactive with one another live.  It’s exciting to have reached that point.
 

2. What is your songwriting process like?

It can be different each time, and we are always coming across new starting points.  It used to be a lot of recording a part, sitting back and listening to it, and then going back in and adding another part and then repeat.  But a lot of it comes out of our jams too.  We jam to get ideas and riffs out, and then we can hone in and build an actual track around the good bits.  After the “meat” of a track is recorded/sequenced, we’ll usually just listen to it for a good week or two to see if there is anything screaming at us that is supposed to happen, or not.  We are really quick putting out new ideas to start something but are pretty slow and deliberate when it comes to actually finishing the track and finalizing it.

3. If you could go to Valleyfair with any musician, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Jimi Hendrix.  It would be fun to see what he’s like riding a roller coaster.

 

4. You just released your second full length album “Subterranean”. How has your sound mutated since the “Blue Flame EP”?

It’s changed a lot but it’s also kind of come back around again. With the early EPs, we had more of a harsh, urgent sound. Occasional vocals. It was more guitar driven at the beginning. Heavy beats. Then we started adding a lot more violin and piano, and it started becoming much more like modern classical music.  Longer pieces with key changes and lots of parts and sections. Still dark most of the time, but slower and more drawn out.  That was where we were at when we recorded “Nocturnal”.  Since we’ve been playing with Nick and adding more synth and electric violin, it has shifted back more towards an urgent and heavy “live” sound.  Sometimes it’s simple, sometimes more complicated, but there is an energy to the rhythm.  There is much more of a live feel to it now than there was before.

dichotomy heart burger

5. I know it’s hard to choose between one of your latest sonic babies, but what’s your favorite song from “Subterranean” and why?

That’s tough…I’d have to say Tony Montana is my favorite as of right now.  It has a good balance of catchy and weird.  It’s has a nice melody to it, but at the same time you are never quite sure when the the loud and harsh sounds are going to lash out at you next.

6. What does the future hold for Dichotomy?

We want to try to play live as much as we can.  In the cities or elsewhere, whatever we can get going.  We’d like to make at least a couple more videos for the “Subterranean” album.  As far as new music, we always have new stuff cooking, but we’re going to be doing more singles and EPs for the time being.  We’ve spent a lot of the last couple years working on full albums so we are ready to change it up.

 

7. Would you rather compose a song alone on Mars or with a glass of whiskey with Frank Sinatra?

Alone on Mars all the way. I’m more into spacey shit these days. I like making music in solitude AND with a view, so that pretty well covers both.  I would have loved to jam with Sinatra, but he notoriously hated loud rock music, so he probably wouldn’t want to get down with us, since we are more or less an extension of that. Maybe not though. Just an educated guess.

7 Questions in Heaven with False Teeth

23 Apr

7 Questions False Teeth

If you’re tryinna get yo’ friction on, then you need to pay attention to False Teeth, a self-described hip hop/electric indie rock duo slash total QTs from Minneapolis. The duo is a pair of names you may have seen before at shows around town or somewhere on the Inter Web: Bobby Phisher of Bobby Phisher and Matt Sandstedt from I, Colossus and Jon Jones. Their debut album, Grapefruit, is coming out May 20th via Polkadot Mayhem. This is what they have to say about butts, Pokemon-inspired songs and one little know legend of Ja Rule.

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1. How did you all meet and decide to form a band called False Teeth?

we bonded over a similar appreciation for riddick movies and cinnibon flavored pinnacle vodka.

2. Describe the sound of your new False Teeth album using 3 emojis.

shrimp, top hat, pizza (Editor’s note: 🍤🎩🍕)

3. What is band practice like?

A lot of butt jokes and pointing. Also coffee. Because of everyones weird schedule we usually practice in the mornings on friday. Pre-gaming beforehand.

4. You’re releasing an album called “Grapefruit” soon. What’s the weirdest song on your album?

“Red Barrels Explode” forsure. The hook is in 7/4 time and theres a lot of pokemon involved. We wanted to make a song about tweaking out on video games and in that fashion we had to make it really weird.

IMG_9346-2

5. If you had to pick one artist to collab with from NOW THATS WHAT I CALL MUSIC 10, who would it be and why?

Ja Rule. Anyone that has beef with fiddy cent is a friend of ours. Ja rule is a rare breed of person who has done nothing but try to better the lives of people around him. Whether it be through his music his acting or hamster-esq smile Ja is for the people. He really revolutionized the way we think about all white furniture in music videos as well. Taking a step back though we see thats just the tip of the ice-berg. In 2003 he donated 1.3 Billion dollars to Doritos in hopes they would continue the # dimensional line of snacks, unfortunately they declined his request and left him bankrupt. With no where to turn, young Ja was faced with a choice, turn back the only snack that had ever truly trusted or pick up the mic and try again. So a year later in 2004 against all odds Ja Rule got back on the reins and released Sprite Remix soft drink to much critical acclaim. To this day Ja Rule has sold more soft drinks then any other musical artist known to man.

6. If you could have one celebrity star in a music video for a song off of “Grapefruit”, who would it be and why?

Rick Moranis. He is the key master. False Teeth is the Gate Keeper.
rickmoranis

7. What is your wildest dream for False Teeth?

Guns and Ammo Magazine Front Cover. Also, this is not exclusive to False Teeth but it is our dream to live in a world where avocados never go bad.

Fashion: the PERFECT summer crop top

19 Apr

DENNIS Don't Fall in Love

New fashion: DENNIS “Don’t Fall in Love” crop tops and t-shirts for summer

You may or may not know this, but I am an electronic pop artist that goes by the name DENNIS. My girl Sarah and I are releasing a full-length electro-pop album this summer out of Minneapolis that is srsly gonna murder you (in a good way) when you’re hate-singing about your ex in the car. It’s called “Don’t Fall in Love” and is a collection of bangerz produced by me and written by me and Sarah that are all huge electronic pop jams about how much love/lust/life can SUCK.

Along with the album, I have designed a concept line of crop tops and t-shirts that go along with the essence of “Don’t Fall in Love”. You can wear a crop that says “YUCK” or “NO“, “UGH” or “DENNIS“. They are hilarious, hand painted by us and glittery as fuck. If you’re a glass half-empty type of person, you’re gonna love this shit. They are only $10, and all the proceeds go to funding the album release.

!! BUY ONE HERE NOW !!

this is us. we are weird, nice and fun. plz support us.

this is us. we are weird, nice and fun. plz support us.

PLUS, you get a free download of our first electronic pop EP “Ice Cold”. Or you can just download all of our weird pop music for free here. But for real, you’re gonna look so hot in this shit that your shitty ex will probably die or at least tell you that you were right all along and are super hottt.

Plus, a drunk guy once told me that if you support independent music, an angel will bless you with millions of kisses and good luck for like 20 whole minutes. I wouldn’t pass that kind of a deal up bc you never know when you’ll need some KOOL karma.

PS: we also hand paint glitter sweatshirts if that’s more your thang, hottie.

7 Questions in Heaven with Isobel Trigger

17 Apr

7 Questions Isobel Trigger

Isobel Trigger is a synth pop band from Victoria, British Columbia. Recently freaking out over their first radio airplay on a station up north, they have secured a bunch of festival gigs this summer and are well on their way to taking over that friendly country above the good ol’ U.S. of A. Check out what they have to say about doughnut holes, Craigslist, and Hot Hot Heat.

1. How did you guys start as a band?

Felicia: Brett (our guitarist) and I met in music school and we met Ariel and Kyle through online dating for bands (aka craigstlist)!
Ariel: Yeah, I remember walking into some weird warehouse that was their jam space for my audition, in a really industrial area of town. It was totally sketchy but obviously worth it in the end!

2. What’s your favorite snack during band practice?

Ariel: Tim bits (that’s doughnut holes for you Americans out there) and/or sushi!

Felicia: It’s not uncommon for one of us to be late and call to take dinner orders from the others. I like sushi because it’s light and easy to sing after eating… and… well… who doesn’t like doughnuts?
omg it's true

omg it’s true

3. Tell me about your upcoming EP Nocturnal. Exactly how cosmically awesome will it be?

Felicia: Well, we are aiming for astronomically awesome, as in shooting for the moon, literally (you’ll have to watch our video for Tiger Shark to get that joke). We plan on releasing a video for each song and you can expect lots of gritty synth, creative dance beats and unique vocals on top of our usual dirty guitar and funky bass.
Ariel: We are very excited to birth our EP baby into the world.

4. I don’t know anything about Victoria, BC. What’s the music scene like there?

Felicia: Victoria is the beautiful capitol city of BC! Actually it’s great here and the music scene is booming!  We have so many music festivals it’s hard to keep track!  Rifflandia, Tall Tree Festival, Rock The Shores and many more.
Ariel: It’s really amazing because the city is big enough that there are so many festivals and great events and no shortage of talent, but small enough that the music scene is really a community.

5. What has been the coolest moment of your music career so far?

Photo by Sean Behnsen

Photo by Sean Behnsen

Felicia: So far this year (young as it may be) has been our busiest and we’re thrilled with the momentum we’re gaining.  If I had to pinpoint it to a moment, I’d have to say hearing our songs on a major radio station (The Zone 91.3) has got to be the highlight. The coolest DAY was when we found out that we were Zone Band of the Month, playing Tall Tree and the Royal Theater, all on the same day.
Ariel: On that day I cried and had to be put in an isolation chamber. Then I was ready to rock.
Felicia: *Some facts may be exaggerated #dramaqueen

6. Hot Hot Heat or The New Pornographers and why?

Ariel: Hot Hot Heat duh because they’re from Victoria!
Felicia: Hot Hot Heat!  Because they’re also from Victoria and they really know how to bring it live.  Not that The New Pornographers don’t, but we’ve got a soft spot for the Heat’s quirk-rock ways and Steve Bays with his awesome fro and big energy.
hot hot heat brings back so many 11th grade memories

hot hot heat brings back so many 11th grade memories

7. Which pop star has had the most influence over your sound?

Felicia: Currently I would have to say our “band favorite band” is Metric.  We just think they’re the coolest and even though we all have different musical influences, when it comes to picking an album to listen to on road trips together, Metric gets the winning vote.
Ariel: Does Metric count as a “pop star” though? I’m going to have to go ahead and say Justin Timberlake for this one, since I think that N*Sync are the bomb, and I think that we are really in sync with each other.
Felicia: *facepalm … but JT is my hero, can’t lie.

What the fuck is Lady Gaga doing?

17 Mar

BV_ag3xCEAAWNsx

Oh Gaga. I don’t know if it’s just me or if it’s a growing trend by former Little Monsters, but I have been fully uninspired by everything she’s put out related to ARTPOP. Let’s examine why the fuck she’s falling out of weird pop star grace, starting with her latest album release.

ARTPOP is a disaster

There are a handful of great songs on the album like “Aura”, “G.U.Y.”, “Venus” and “Applause”. But there are some REAL terrible things on this album, like “Jewels and Drugs” and “MANiCURE”, which both haunt the shit out of me. Sometimes I’ll just wake up with a riff from “MANiCURE” in my head and I am instantly annoyed. That song is a goddamn leper in her catalog, but she apparently loves it because she just put a part of it in her “short film” of a music video for “G.U.Y.” UGH.

The G.U.Y. ARTPOP Film

__________

I can’t even deal with this. It was boring! The most frustrating part is that I don’t even know why exactly. Maybe it’s because half the themes are very apparent (fallen angel, industry folks who luv money) and half the themes are WTF but not in a fun way (housewives, Andy Cohen). The fact that she is calling this a film is absurd. I hate to be the kind of fan or person that’s like “why can’t you just release a music video?” but for real girl. Has she never considered that doing something insanely simple would actually be shocking for her brand instead of constantly releasing awkward try-hard grandiosity?

Beyonce’s surprise album and music videos are what Lady Gaga’s ARTPOP should have been if she was actually on the cutting edge of the commercial music scene. ARTPOP was supposed to be a next level game-changer in pop music because that’s what she told us it was going to be. ARTPOP then had a lackluster release, AND on top of that, Beyonce released one of the most exciting pop events of all time a month after AP was supposed to blow our minds. Yikes. Ouch. One more example of LG talking herself up and not being able to deliver. And then this ARTPOP “film” release? Girl, if you’re gonna release something and call it a film, plz make sure it’s actually a film and not just a bunch of pretty ideas that you puked onto a dream board and call cinema.

More than ANYTHING, it just really pisses me off watching rich musicians bitch about the music industry. POOR YOU WITH ALL YOUR MONEY AND NOTORIETY AND FAME. I’m an independent artist and it’s a struggle, but it’s even more infuriating watching big time stars complain about all the people who work for them. I don’t fucking care one bit about the specific woes of famous rich people because life and art are hard for everyone, but not everyone has the world stage and power that they do. While every other artist and person mostly has to worry about paying rent or putting food on the table, Lady Gaga is complaining to the world that her record label wanted her to put out better music and how dare they question her genius. EYE. ROLL.

Lady Gaga’s music isn’t that great

tumblr_static_artpop_promo_003Her visuals are always fantastic, but she straight up doesn’t make interesting music. I’m not saying it’s bad because I really like some of her shit. It is standard in the culture of pop music albums to have a few songs that are killer as fuck, and then the rest of the album is full of B-sides. But the fact that she talks herself up so much, talked ARTPOP up to be this fucking grandiose marriage of ART + POP only sets herself up for more criticism because she can never deliver.

Every time I feel let down by what Lady Gaga claims to be and what she actually is, I think to myself (and out loud nearly every Saturday morning to my roommate) what is she such a great artist at? Really? Sure, she dresses in weird outfits and is a really, really great live performer. But if you just take the recorded albums which she claims is her main raison d’être, they are fucking infuriating. Here’s why:

  • Gaga’s music isn’t that weird or interesting. If you’re gonna sit there in a fucking teflon-inspired mock duck hammock skirt and tell us for like 5 years that you’re the weirdest and best bitch on the block, then fucking deliver. “MANiCURE” is one of the worst songs I’ve heard in my entire life. The second half of The Fame is terrible. Her country-inspired songs, her weird foray into show tune-esque songs like “Hair” and her embarrassing attempts to mix rock and EDM like “Electric Chapel” on Born This Way are all amazing examples of the grandiose mediocrity I’ve begun to associate with her.
  • All of Gaga’s albums have a few good pop songs, but so does every other pop album that has ever been released throughout the history of manIt’s no secret that huge pop genre releases have historically spent most of their money on the couple of big hit singles, leaving the rest of the album to sound like the producer had only 20 minutes in between jerking off and eating a boring sandwich to compose a track (for reference, any of Britney’s first few albums, Backstreet Boys, Xtina, Shakira, Rihanna, One Direction, etc). Gaga’s “other” songs aren’t that bad, but they’re not as great as she would have us believe.
  • Quotes like this about her latest album: “To make ARTPOP there must be an exchange between two auras: one from the sphere of ART, and the other from the sphere of POP.” Bitch what are you even talking about. This isn’t even a question of her being on another intellectual level and the masses having a hard time understanding. This shit just doesn’t make sense. Like, thanks for the definition of a compound word. America really needed that explanation.

Her obsession with the fashion and performance art world

ladt-gaga-nude-7

You know what, it’s great that she likes fashion and performance art so much, honestly. But when she spends so much time in those worlds, she neglects her “first passion”–music. It’s like, that’s nice honey. You go scream in a forest. You do you. And then come back and be our Mother Monster plz.

It’s really neat that she’s modeling in a campaign for Versace, and that she hung out with Marina Abromivic and learned some performance art shit. But what she doesn’t realize is that all of that other malarky is negatively affecting her music career because she’s not spending the time on it that she used to (The Fame Monster was brilliant. Where that brilliance at?). And also, don’t continually ask or expect your music fans to be super engaged with all of your mediums. Please please please express yourself in any way you see fit, but pop music fans are pretty much just lookin’ for some feel good dance hits to get drunk to from people who describe themselves as pop stars. I’m not saying that no pop star can change the game, but there have to be less seemingly desperate ways to do so.

Katy Perry vs. Lady Gaga

from fanpop.com

from fanpop.com

It was a really sad day when I finally had to admit to myself that Katy Perry is a far superior pop star to Lady Gaga. LG was quoted at SXSW saying that:

“I don’t know what the f–k-all I have to do with Katy Perry. Our music is so completely different. I couldn’t be more different, really. I really don’t fit in pop music in a way, but I came through it and I’d like to think I changed it in some way so you can feel like you don’t have to fit into a mold.”

Lady Gaga’s music is different from Katy Perry’s in that on the whole, KP makes really solid pop music and Lady Gaga makes slightly less good pop music. I don’t even want to like Katy Perry, but shit, you can’t knock her pop songs because she works with solid producers and songwriters. Lady Gaga may be way more involved in the production and songwriting process, which is definitely respectable, but does she really make better pop music because of it? LG comes off as a bratty shit head most of the time who complains that people don’t get her art or that she alone is held to ridiculous standards in the world of pop music.

“I’m sorry I didn’t sell a million records the first week. I have before…..When it comes to me, everyone forgets where the music industry is now. You come see me and it’s like you’re time-warped to the 70s.”

There are so many things annoying about this, but above all it’s the fact that she’s blaming the state of the music industry on her shitty album not selling. Lame. Taylor Swift, Adele, Katy Perry, and alllll of her other contemporaries have fine album sales. And does anyone really still hold artists to album sales standards from the turn of the millennium? I know I don’t. I don’t even care. I just want a good album.

ARTPOP part deux (plz god no!)

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What is EVEN MORE frustrating than everything I’ve posted above is that the ARTPOP era is not over. She’s planning a second act to ARTPOP that might actually be good because lucky for her, expectations are already low.

All in all: yes it may be hard to live up to pop perfection standards in the music industry, but nobody is forcing you, Lady Gaga, huge millionaire and world star, to stay in that industry. Nobody is forcing you to be a shit head in interviews and talk up your art like it’s a direct line to God. Do what you want with your body, girl, but PLZ if you continue to want to be a “pop star”, put out a cohesive album that can live up to the ridiculous standards you’ve put on yourself as being some kind of ethereal high priestess of ART and POP. Us lil monsters just wanna dance to some cool tunes from you, and maybe see some cool outfits and fun videos in the process. But if you can’t handle the simplicity of that, then I don’t know where our future together lies. Breakups are tough, but time heals all.

Agree? Disagree? LEMME KNOW BELOW YO. 

BEST SONG OF 2013

3 Jan

________________________

YEAH YEAH YOLO.

Y.A.L.A. by M.I.A.

7 Questions in Heaven with DJ_BASKETBALL

17 Dec

7 Questions DJB

I met DJ_BASKETBALL on Twitter after a friend of a friend told me that if I like funny and weird, I should definitely follow @focra. We became Twitter friends, and then he told me he was releasing his album of midi covers sometime. THAT SOMETIME IS NOW. DJ_BASKETBALL sat down at his computer last week and answered all my questions for your reading pleasure. HERE IT IS. Download his album MIDI MIXXES for free here and WELCOME TO THE TECHNICOLOR WORLD OF DJ_BASKETBALL.

1. Describe your new album in 3 emoticons.

Emoji ghost (I like the android one better than iOS tbh,) cat smiley :3 and probably the o___o

2. Why is your name DJ_BASKETBALL?

I was talking to a friend online (and I guess I’ve only known him online, so) and we were spitballing DJ names.  DJ_BASKETBALL was one of mine and it stuck.
from haroldsavage.com

from haroldsavage.com

3. If you could pick any actress to live in a world where your music was the constant soundtrack, who would it be and why?

Maaaaaan.  Uh.  Emma Watson and / or Christina Ricci because they would probably “get it.”  But I’m probably projecting.

4. Who is your favorite pop star and why?

I thought about this one a whole lot and I think I’ve settled on Nicki Minaj.  While she hasn’t really been around to stand any test of time, I appreciate her vivid, up-front persona.  I like the fact that it doesn’t come off as forced, or manufactured by anyone outside of herself, but I’m sure many would disagree.  (Haven’t caught her on American Idol because I don’t think I’ve watched American Idol in years.)
images-27

5. Why did you pick the songs you covered for the album? Which one is your favorite?

Just naturally drawn to all of the songs.  The process was disappointing sometimes, because some of them would just turn out to be poorly made / orchestrated MIDI files, but these made the cut on that front.  With that in mind, I think that OVENS and BENNIE_JETS are my personal favorites, because they’re the most dynamic tracks.

6. You are also a chapbook author by your IRL name. Give an excerpt of your favorite chapter.

this is from my first chabook, and I usually make it a point to read this out loud:
courtney love is tap dancing somewhere, at some point in time
robert rodriguez is channelling someone distant
during the penultimate refreshor other kinds of archiving gmails
i call out a really
i want to get powerfully drunk with you for only five minutes
i want to climb on top of a building and be very scared
during your life
and about it
there was a boring synchronicity of costco memberships

COVER_FINAL

7. You’re ALSO a visual artist. Describe what you listen to/drink/eat/scream when you’re drawing alone in your apartment.

1.  Listen -  put my 15+ year library on shuffle, and if something STRIKES me I’ll listen to more of it / stuff along those lines / music I listened to around that point in time.  If not that, all kinds of RAP.
2.  Drink – Whiskey, usually.
3.  Eat – Big fan of pretzels.
4.  SCREAM – Not usually.
from haroldsavage.com

from haroldsavage.com

7 Questions in Heaven with Phillip Morris

12 Nov
In heaven, there is Phillip Morris times 5. You better behave.

In heaven, there is Phillip Morris times 5. You better behave.

I met Phillip Morris at a sick ass Halloween party in Northeast a couple weeks ago. He was in charge of the cups, very polite and dressed as Dartanian from the 3 Musketeers. I was a little bummed because I thought his gigantic wig was his real hair (hey, it was a great look). Later in the evening, we were sitting by the fire and started talking about music and shit. I had recognized his name from my friend in Seyah and their CD release show a year and a half ago at the Entry (local famous musico babez Lizzo and Sophia Eris performed at that show well). However, I don’t think I got to see Phillip Morris that night because he was on his way back from Chicago and got to the show extra late, or I was being a total bum and had to be in bed by midnight. WHATEVER OK.

Anyways, the night partied on beautifully, twitter handles were exchanged, and the rest my good internet pals is this: Phillip Morris and Wide Eyes (which consists of Minneapolis artists/producers Sean Anonymous, Tony Phantom, DJ NAME and Dimitry Killstorm) have banded together to collaborate on an album released last week titled “The Sick and the Dead“. It is awesome and really cool. Download it below, throw these talents a few bones, and settle in all cozy-like with an awesome interview below from your new favorite rapper, Mr. Phillip Morris.

1) How long have you been making music? Why did you start making music?

I originally started writing short stories in 4th or 5th grade, as my defense mechanism. I was getting picked on and bullied pretty frequently since i was really short and uber nerdy. That ended up resulting in me starting to make music approximately 15 years ago. After I ate LSD for the first time, i decided that I wanted to seriously make music for a living. I was NOT a good rapper then, but that was the turning point where i decided to take it much more seriously and start practicing a lot more. It took me about 6 more years to finally get to a point where I was comfortable performing in front of Chicago crowds.
Phillip Morris. Foto de Facebook

Phillip Morris. Foto de Facebook

2) You just released an album with Wide Eyes called “The Sick and the Dead“. What inspired this album?

First of all I have a lot of love and respect for Wide Eyes. Not only are they some stand up dudes, but they are definitely responsible for me becoming popular in Minneapolis. I was living in Chicago when i met them, the first big Mpls show I did was at their video release party for Borrowed Time, and after that show the momentum just kept going. So yeah, one day my younger whiter twin brother by the name of Sean Anonymous approached me with the idea of doing a collaborative project together and I was like YUP YUP HOME SKILLET THAT’S A STELLAR IDEA and then we began working on it. The official release party is 11/15 at Triple Rock (West Bank in Minneapolis).
Sean Anonymous and Phillip Morris lookin' all rad as hell and shit.

Sean Anonymous and Phillip Morris lookin’ all rad as hell and shit.

3) Lady Gaga is going to be the first artist to perform a song in space in 2015. Which planet would you most like to perform on, and why?

I would most like to perform on Uranus because then when girls would ask me when’s my next show I could be like “Hey there girl…thanks for asking! I’m currently touring across Uranus.” and they might just mistakenly think i was talking about touring their bootyhole. (Okay that was a bit juvenile, but it made me giggle) Yup. Uranus all day. But okay, the real reeeeal reason is that it’s the only planet named after a Greek God (as the rest are named after Roman gods) and I am a huge mythology buff but i prefer Greek over Roman. (Sidenote: I have won 1st place in 3 separate citywide mythology competitions in Chicago. Mythology nerd. Yup. Okay, I’m done)
Look! It's Phillip Morris touring Uranus.

Phillip Morris touring Uranus, 2017.

4) Describe your new album in 3 words.

Fastidious Metaphor Jamboree?

5) If you were taking your soulmate on a date to a live show, which Minneapolis artist would you see perform and why?

Hmmmmmm, that’s a really hard question. So much talent in this city. I’d have to say though, out of all the live shows I’ve seen from Minneapolis the one that might have blown my mind the most was Carnage The Executioner when he headlined the Rogue Citizen Art Opening back in October. It might have honestly been one of the best live shows I’ve ever seen in my life. The energy was phenomenal. So yeah, I’d have to say him (but I’d ask him in advance if he was willing to give my soulmate a shoutout in beatbox format, so that’d make me look a little cooler)
Carnage the Executioner's City Pages cover.

Carnage the Executioner’s City Pages cover.

6) What’s your favorite line from your new album?

“I know that there’s no containing the craziness baby, maybe it’s the shiniest of thoughts on the stormiest days…maybe it’s heinously redundant explaining the story…maybe it’s a Delorean painted a glorious shade of Dorian Gray”

7) Who is your dream collaboration, dead or alive?

I’d have to say…I’d either like to collaborate with Saul Williams or Corey Feldman, but I have a very difficult time deciding which one. Can I pick both? On the same track? Please? ;)
Your wish is my free online photo editor's command.

Your wish is my free online photo editor’s command.

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7 Questions in Heaven with Jus Post Bellum

29 Oct

jus post bellum band music

I was first introduced to Jus Post Bellum‘s music over too many cocktails with band member Hannah Jensen’s sister Kitty (who is also a musical wunderkind along with their Minneapolis music scene ICON mother Wendy Lewis). I can’t even being to quote her, but it was summer, we were drunk on the sidewalk patio of Cause, and Kitty said something like “my sister’s band is fucking awesome!!!” Which is all you really need to hear to give something a listen.

Pic from Lauren of Bonnie and Lauren

Pic from Lauren of Bonnie and Lauren

It’s so cool when you listen to music like Jus Post Bellum, especially because it’s something that transports you directly to another era with one bass note or a drum cadence. In “Stonewall Jackson” you are sent to a field, feeling the sluggish heat and bugs biting your ankles; in “Shotgun Wedding” you’re riding in the back of a truck driving down a dirt road; from the title track of their first full album release, “Devil Winter”, you can hear the existential drain of winter, yet hopeful defiance that spring is on its way. It’s the kind of music that draws you in to listen, instead of demanding your attention like the sometimes obnoxious thump of a dubstep drop.

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Anyways, as for the actual people behind Jus Post Bellum, there is Geoffrey Wilson (lead vocals, guitar), Hannah Jensen (vocals), Zach Dunham (drums, percussion, vocals), and Daniel Bieber (bass, cello, vocals). Below, Geoffrey answers my 7 Questions in Heaven about the birth of Jus Post Bellum, race in America and drinking with the hottest emancipator of all time, Abe Lincoln.

1) How did the idea behind Jus Post Bellum come about? What is it about the civil war that inspired you to start a band? 

jus post bellum music

Pic by Lauren of Bonnie and Lauren

One version goes that Jus Post Bellum got its start in the apartment I had while living in the New York Hudson Valley. I had just graduated from college(I studied music and American Studies) and was working full-time at a school for kids with developmental disabilities. I was also waiting tables and bar tending. I was gifted one of those 70′s era organs with foot pedals and funny analog instrument sounds from a man named Dr. Kim, a loop pedal from a friend John, an old Kay guitar from another friend John. I also had an array of woodwind and and percussion from my collection(*note I am a hoarder of instruments and other stuff) I played saxophones in a Minimalist-Afrobeat band and in my free time recorded weird multi-layered acoustic tracks on the looper. Fast-forward a couple years, I moved to Brooklyn for grad-school and and continued secretly writing and recording ambient singer song-writer inspired tunes. At a very low point, I went alone to a party and met a girl named Hannah. During our year long courtship I wrote the first official JPB song ‘Stonewall Jackson’ in homage to that complicated war hero, and realized my interest in American History and folk style music worked very well together. Duh! Hannah encouraged me to come out of my shell a bit and sing her some songs. Then we started singing together. The rest is history.

2) If you had one night to drink whiskey with any civil war era historical figure, who would it be and why?

Obviously Abe Lincoln. Though I am most interested in the lesser known subtleties of that era. It would really be foolish to skip that chance. I so admire his pragmatism and in a big way it is at the root of how I approach the characters in my songs. I often choose to write from the perspective of a white southern man, a woman, a child. I look to find the good in “villains” and tell complicated histories, and injustices borne by both sides. This all is an effort to illuminate the complexity of our American History. Jus Post Bellum means Justice After War, and one of my goals has been to explore the full scope of what is just and unjust in that period of time.

 

Baebraham Drinkin'

Baebraham Drinkin’

 

3) You just released a beautiful teaser trailer (directed and filmed by Alyssa Pagano, William Hereford and Oscar Hudson) for “Gimme That Gun”, a song off your upcoming album Oh July. Does this mean you will you be releasing more music videos for this album? 

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Indeed! We have 2 full length videos set to be released over the coming weeks [one of which is shot by Drew Weigel and Bushwick Happy Hour]. We are so excited for them and so thankful for the many people that dedicate their time to help us make these works of art happen. One will be a more classic “Music Video” directed and shot by Oscar Hudson in upstate NY at a house where I used to live. It was an overnight shoot and a bunch of our friends and local folks jumped in last minute to play characters. Its a bit light hearted, and was so much fun. The second was done by a collective of artists here in Brooklyn (and fellow minnesotans!) and is a beautifully conceived and executed work of art. Both are very different from one another but serve the music really well.
 

4) This article by Andrea Swensson about local Minneapolis fave Caroline Smith’s new soul sound and of course Miley Cyrus’ self-described new “black sound” are hot topics concerning race and cultural appropriation in America today. Being that your sound and subject matter is inspired by the American Civil war and American history in general, are racial issues something you guys talk about on your new album? Why or why not?

 
Pic by Wendy Lewis

Pic by Wendy Lewis

This is a great question, and perhaps more than I can tackle at one time. Speaking for myself as an African American person and more broadly as an American, addressing the topic of race is a complicated task. It is fraught with many differing opinions, and one which opens you up much criticism wherever your opinion may fall. If we limit this conversation to race as it relates to art, we are inevitably going to discuss the performative aspects of art, specifically music. In my mind these are inextricable from the larger context of the performative aspects of culture. I.E Blackness, whiteness, wealth, poverty. I’m writing you as a black guy, singing a fairly white American(at least in appeal) style of Folk derived music, likely appropriated in large part from black musicians in the rural south.

Growing up I lived for 10 years in North Minneapolis on Washburn Avenue, and then moved to Golden Valley for my adolescent years. Both my folks are from the economically poor, and predominantly black and hispanic side of San Antonio, Texas. I think moving to Minnesota, and specifically to the suburbs, my parents wanted to provide us with a sense of community with a more broad range of identities and possibilities. It should come as no surprise I’m not big on overtly performative aspects of race. More than once I’ve been asked indirectly or very directly why I don’t act black. I’ve never had a great answer other than to say all I can do is be myself. Like Prince;)

You mentioned Caroline Smith. We shared a bill out here in NYC a while back, but I haven’t seen her new, more soul inspired work. My estimation is that stylistically her performance might be a larger reflection of “pop music” moving towards a more stereotypically black aesthetic. Hip Hop and Pop music becoming more and more synonymous. Much is being said about this topic so I wont go into it except to say that if as Andrea Swensson suggested in her recent article music deserving an equal audience is being ignored in the nearby North Minneapolis community in favor of something more palatable and in fact co-opting the label “black music”, we may have a problem. And no doubt this happens all over the country. But if it is as I expect, simply that audiences enjoy Caroline’s voice, music, etc, and are excited about her expanding her palate and genre as a larger reflection of enthusiasm over soul music, so be it. What right do we have to deny her talent because of her race?  While I’ve turned more than a few heads, especially singing our more country tinged numbers, name dropping “Stonewall Jackson” and the “N Word!”, especially in the south, no one has told me I can’t sing “white folks music”, yet…

In regards to the record: I intentionally say the songs are inspired by the Civil War. Some of them are overtly about figures or topics directly related to the period, others simply use that time period as a sort of working point and may not mention it at all. “Abe and Johnny” is most obvious, it is an homage to their parallel tragedies. “Sonny” is a fictionalized story about a confederate army deserter and pacifist. Others like “Oh July”, “Tell Me Mama”, or “For the Brokenhearted” mention elements of war or conflict as a backdrop for a romantic, or other tragic occurrence. Race certainly plays a part in the songs, but as in the war itself, race was only one element of a larger conflict.

 

Pic by Lauren of Bonnie and Lauren

Pic by Lauren of Bonnie and Lauren

 

5) Describe your new album in 5 words.

Harmonious
Raw
Reflective
Searching
Romantic
Still from the "Gimme That Gun" video shot, directed and produced by William Hereford , Alyssa Pagano and Oscar Hudson.

Still from the “Gimme That Gun” video shot, directed and produced by William Hereford , Alyssa Pagano and Oscar Hudson.

 

6)  What has been your favorite place to tour so far and why? Are you planning a tour to support this album? 

Much of our touring has been through the south. I’d hate to offend any one of the many amazing folks who helped us along the way, that wouldn’t be very Minnesotan of me now would it? So suffice it to say, we ate a lot of delicious BBQ and stayed in many great towns. And if your town has a great BBQ joint and a thrift store, we will come, eat, play, and stay the night.

We will be touring the first couple weeks of november. We will also be doing a show or two in Minnesota over the Christmas holiday, so stay tuned. Dates below:

11/5/13: Washington DC -Hill Country, 8:30PM FREE

11/6/13: Cincinnati, OH - MOTR Pub with The Young Heirlooms, 10PM FREE

11/7/13: Chicago, IL - The Burlington, Doors 9PM $5 donation

11/8/13: Louisville, KY - Atlantic No5  TBD

11/10/13: New York, NY – RECORD RELEASE SHOW! with Cassandra Jenkins,Rockwood Music Hall, Stage 2 - 9PM FREE

11/12/13: Boston, MA - The Beehive, 8PM-12AM FREE

11/13/13: Cambridge, MA - The Beat Hotel, 8PM-12AM FREE

11/14/13: Philadelphia, PA - Tin Angel  TBD

 

Pic by Wendy Lewis

Pic by Wendy Lewis

7) If you had to pick one pop star, dead or alive, to feature on a track, who would it be and why?

Woody Guthrie or Bob Dylan. Both of them made folk-art in service to their times, but not limited by that context. This is something I greatly admire. There are many other lesser known American Blues and Folk artists who contributed greatly to this cannon but for me these guys are the top. Guthrie continues to inspire me to look closely at complicated and real histories and capture them in plainspoken, simply executed ways. Dylan encourages me to be aware of my time and place, and to not be afraid to use language, metaphor, and more importantly things said, unsaid, or merely suggested lyrically to stretch the boundaries of songwriting and the tolerance of our audience. And they also happened to have great voices ;)
Woody Guthrie Bob Dylan
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