If you follow the Minneapolis music scene, you’ve probably seen Polaroid pics of shows and parties shot by Serene Supreme. She’s the IT girl photographer of the music scene and she’s amazing. She shot Sarah and I last weekend for our music project DENNIS. Check out the post here and take a look around her website because she has some really cool shots of a ton of talented artists.
We wanted to include the t-shirts and sweatshirts that I hand paint with glitter on my bedroom floor and sell on our website. They started out as theme shirts for our last album “Don’t Fall in Love,” but the fun just didn’t stop. We kept creating more beyond the original “YUCK” shirts and went on to make “BARF,” “WORST,” and a new one “U.F. FAUX.” Take a look at our website here and see if any fit your fly ass style.
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.
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.
I’m three listens into Stereolab’s “Emperor Tomato Ketchup” (1996) and it gets better with every turn. The name of the song sounds silly, I know. Until you listen and the pretty french vocals come in over the video gamey-surfer-synth and make you feel like you’re 4 champagnes in on a technicolor beach.
The rest of the album is that cool too. I’m listening to the entirealbum as I type, which is confusingly titled Emperor Tomato Ketchup (until I googled that name shit cuz I ain’t no hella lazy bitch). They get the album title from a 1971 Japanese film titled:
TOMATO KECCHAPPU KÔTEI
This album upon first listen sounds like something I should have known my whole life. Maybe just because it sounds like a mix of things I’ve heard before, but different and lovingly familiar at the same time. It’s chill yet energetic. I can’t even pick favorite songs yet, that’s how good it is. Listen to the entire album here while you’re hanging around sometime. It’s totally fucking worth it.
Check out this live studio version of “Dance Malady” by Kodacrome. It goes from cray to cray cray to crazy sexy cool right before your eyes. It’s also cool to see an electronic group doing their thing live instrumentally. If you dig, check out some of their other electro tunes over at their website, because their other songs are bag of fun electropop goodies.
Hellllls to the yeah. Steed Lord is such a good jam. Check out their May mix below. And DEFINITELY check out this song. Download it, put it on a CD, drive in your car on the highway and blast it. It’s fucking bombin’. Dudes will holler at you from their cars too, the song is that good. Trust me.
Maybe you don’t know him by his government name, Jimmy Tamborello. But you soon will. First and most famously, he’s half of the dreamy electro duo The Postal Service. You know their songs, even if you don’t know them. They’re that fucking good. Jimmy T is also a musical wizard behind many other projects: Dntel, Figurine, James Figurine (my fave), Golden Hits, Dublab as well as sparkling on other creative ventures elsewhere. Check out his site here. Go on! Get meandering!
Last week, fresh off another weekly/daily listen of anything Mistake, Mistake, Mistake, Mistake, I decided to tweet the ol’ fella my undying love for that album:
Along with a new Dntel album, Aimlessness, a mixtape (download it fo free below!), and probably 20 billion other amazing projects, JT hints at a new Figurine album and hopefully hopefully hopefully a new James Figurine possibility all the way in 2016. So far away, but it’s good to wait for things that will blow your mind, like summer sausage or fresh pants out of the dryer. I’m in.
I’m not sure how much Jimmy Tamborello-flavored music I’ve listened to. I have one Figurine album, The Heartfelt, that is electronic music with lyrics that talk about technology, space and love, in an oddly poetic way. It’s a great album to listen to on your back, in the grass, with headphones and a sky full of stars. Mistake… is in my iTunes, as well as a couple Dntel albums/EPs and of course The Postal Service.
There’s just something about the movement in his compositions that you want to follow the whole way through to the end of the album. It’s like watching a chef cook a meal, except this time the chef is behind a midi, mixers and whatever the fuck else a musical chef needs to make his melodic meal. He throws shit in here, stirs in some awesome shit over there, sprinkles a pinch of “whoa that was fucked up but I liked it” and tops it off with “This is blowing your mind.” Except at the end of the album, there’s no food to eat (come onnnn technology!) Just a cool oratory experience and whatever the fuck is left in your part-time job refrigerator.
Point being: Check out one of my favorite music people in the whole entire world. And get an album if you like it. You know my fave already. Dntel is ambient-y and electro-y, Figurine is a musical adventure and James Figurine (has goddess Jenny Lewis on a track) is an ice cream cone in summer, under the shade of a tree. The rest of his work you and I can discover togethz, like a summer reading list but musical!
Take a gander at this James Figurine song and below the new Dntel mixtape that is available to download for free, luvaz.
55566688833 by James Figurine (The numbers are ‘Love’ spelled out on a cell phone w/o a keyboard. Think 11th grade. Fucking genius. Took like a year for that to click)
Remixes are so fucking hot. They have the ability to open up songs to new dimensions. They change the energy, the feeling, the mood, the everything of the song. If you’re a Little Boots fan, check out these remixes of her song “Every Night I Say a Prayer” here. I don’t know if it’s the lyrics, the melody or the combination, but this is very reminiscent of early Madonna.
Little Boots “Every Night I Say a Prayer” remix playlist
I found this artist through all my boy band/NSYNC research/obsession a week ago. His name is Brian Transeau and he is pretty much an electronic music pioneer. He created a program/plugin for Logic, Ableton etc. based on techniques he was using to produce songs like NSYNC’s “Pop” that use soundbites as percussive hits. So fucking cool.
His solo ventures are definitely steeped in futuristic electro pop. The chorus is catchy yet kind of sickening. I like the really 80s riff right before the chorus. The actual song is around 8 minutes long and is FULL of amazing electronica sounds. I’m a sucker for a dramatic melody and interesting electronic movements. Even if this song ain’t your jam, his technique and talent as a producer and music software developer is beyond noteworthy. I mean, have you even HEARD NSYNC’s “Pop“???? I listened to the song for a week in complete awe of the invention and creativity of BT’s production. Fascinating. Check out more about his music here.