Eastfield

EastfieldThis Is My Airport
In D

A. Star Recordings
Street: 12.05
TIMA = Space Needle + Bob Dylan + John Cage + winter

Those kids at A. Star Recordings know what is going on. Just when you think blues is completely played out, along comes a recording such as In D. An obvious play on a classic blues progression, this album is anything but traditional. Most of the recordings are noisy and gritty while others are recorded with more clarity and avant-gardeness. Track three would be the best example of the latter, with what sounds like toy percussion playing atonally against a bluesy type guitar while droney voices shudder along. Add in a little throat singing and you are taken on a strange, eerie journey through some type of cold, barren wilderness. There is a lot of atmosphere on this album that is recorded too well to be considered a local recording. The performances are very engaging, and it is nice to have such a visceral experience while listening to music. It is freezing out!

roughCross-Eyed Slut
Rough

Hump! Records
Street: 2006
Cross-Eyed Slut = Guttermouth + The Cramps + System of a Down

We are lucky in these days of information to have access to many different types of musical influences. Sometimes it is a hindrance to bands when they try to incorporate too much into their music, but that is not the case with Cross-Eyed Slut.”Back Door Girl” is an acoustic bluesy rambling about a sexually promiscuous girl who “only wants it on one place.” The next song, “Spurs in My Back,” is quite a jolt after the acoustic number; it is straight ahead psychobilly. Their music is blatantly sexual, but it’s not sexy, which is a definite plus for Cross-Eyed Slut. They are a bunch of dirty dudes having a good time, and playing music that is fast, funny and arranged very well. The surprise of the album is track six “Sheep Are Easy”, which has metal roots and syncopated rhythms that will make all the rude boys want to dance. Add a little rap-rock and the vision of Cross-Eyed Slut will become clear: have a good time, all the time.

junkJunk Drawer
Album of the Same Name

Self-Released
Street: 11.21
Junk Drawer = 311 + Dinosaur Jr. + Lansing Dreiden

There is something inherently 80s about the band Junk Drawer. Maybe it is the vintage synths or the verse chorus nature of some of their songs, but what can definitely be said is that they are doing something different than your run of the mill local indie band. The songs meander through various styles ranging from the hip-hop flavored “Let the Music Play” to the Dave Gahan influenced “Modus Operandi”. A saxophone is introduced in track four “Walking on Thin Ice” and interacts nicely with the vocals and backing rhythm section. That song is particularly interesting because of all the various tempo changes that the band pulls off seamlessly, reminiscent of Sebadoh or other early indie-rock bands. The music is groovy and alive, but seems somewhat unfocused, I don’t think Junk Drawer would have it any other way.

On the precipice of the release of his fourth full-length album slated for release on August 21, Dan Snaith is feeling very energized about what is happening in his musical world. Born in Canada and later relocating to London, Snaith’s interest in music began in his early teens and he became proficient on many instruments. On Andorra, he follows the pattern of his previous efforts by recording most of the guitar, vocals, drums, keyboards, flutes and various electronics himself. It is his most consistent album yet, riding the line of pop and psychedelia. The recording is full of surprisingly organic, subtle studio tracks and automations. There is no doubt that the woodlands played a giant role in the creation of his sound.


SLUG: You were recording this album over a year now. What is the most difficult part of the recording process for you?

Caribou: I took over a year recording this album and I really mean working on it all day every day. I worked on over 670 songs for this album and ended up choosing only nine! That means on average I’d spend over a month working on new tracks before I came up with something I was happy enough with to put on the album, that’s an incredibly frustrating and draining process. On the other hand, I think if I’d just made this album in two weeks I wouldn’t have the same accomplishment. I would be thinking, what if I’d spent more time on it? Could it have been better? There’s a real sense after working on this album for so long that it’s the best album that I could make and that’s very satisfying.

SLUG: How did your deal with Merge Records come about?

Caribou: A friend who was working with me put us in touch and they were very enthusiastic to work together right from the beginning. I’m a massive fan of a lot of the music they’ve put out over the years so it was a very natural fit. I know a lot of people talk about record labels like they’re some kind of evil McCorporations with only moneymaking in mind, that’s not my experience at all. All the record labels I’ve ever worked with have been fantastic, and I’ve become good friends with all the people I’ve worked with. I guess that’s probably because all my music has come out on independent record labels. It’s just a question of finding the right labels to put out each record.

SLUG: You seem to be very entranced by the flutophone. What attracts you to that instrument?

Caribou: The flutophone is essentially like a recorder but made out of Bakelite. It’s a remnant of the 50s or 60s and was a children’s toy. Somehow it’s much easier to get a nice tone out of it than a recorder, which suits me because I don’t want to spend long periods of time practicing either instrument … just pick it up and get the melody and flute-y character I want in the music.

SLUG: How did you start playing drums?

Caribou: I started playing drums in high school. I got a kid’s secondhand drum kit out of the classified ads in my town and started banging away in this old shed behind my house, surrounded by fields. I don’t get to play them as much as I’d like, but you can probably tell from my music that percussion and drums are a big part of my sound and my approach towards music. I actually still play that same kid’s drum kit when we tour around the U.K.

SLUG: What kind of music to you play when you DJ? What music do you listen to at home?

Carbou: I’m a compulsive record collector of all sorts of music: free jazz, techno, hip hop, progressive rock, Turkish psychedelic music, soul, disco, African music, etc. When I DJ, I tend to play everything from all across the board … I’ve always been more interested in peoples’ musical ideas rather than the genres they end up in. At home I prefer silence a lot of the time. I spend so much time listening to music while I’m working on it, unfortunately, the music that I hear the most, by far, is my own, that sometimes the nicest thing to hear is a bit of silence.

SLUG: What are your favorite things about London? How did you end up there?

Caribou: I really like living in London, probably my favorite thing about it is that it’s a real microcosm of the world in many ways. Having been away to most other places, the first thing you notice when coming back to London is that you’re surrounded by people speaking every imaginable language and doing their own thing. Toronto (where I lived before this) is also really great like that but I’ve realized in traveling how rare that is. I also love the fact that as fast as it’s being dismantled by the New Labour Government (and previously was by the Conservatives) there are still remnants of an impressive social state here with an emphasis on the importance of culture: free entry to museums and art galleries, a struggling public healthcare service, etc.

SLUG: Are you currently pursuing anything with your degree in mathematics?

Caribou: No, not at all. The music keeps me busier than I could have ever imagined. I passed my PhD examination in 2005 and since then haven’t looked at any mathematics. I love mathematics, it’s an extremely beautiful subject at the research level, but I’m much happier dedicating myself to music at the moment and for the foreseeable future.


Andorra is destined to be on many top-10 lists and Snaith is looking forward to spreading his drug-soaked beauty to the masses as he tours through Europe and North America for the later half of the year. He will be bringing friends to help him play his songs and will be arriving in Utah in October 24. His live incarnations are world renowned, with multiple drumsets, hallucinatory visuals and the ever present flutophone. Until then we can listen and wait for the trees to grow a little more.

Localized is a monthly music showcase held the second Friday of every month at the Urban Lounge. This month’s Localized features two individuals involved with SLUG; one current writer, Jesse Kennedy of The Adonis and one alumni, Chris Carter of Trebuchet as well as opening band Bombs and Beating Hearts.

Rather than do the respectable thing and meet them in person, I decided it might be in my best interest as a lethargic computer geek to use the wonderful possibilities of computers to email one band and instant message the other. All the pertinent information was gathered in my personal database and later distributed via wireless protocol to SLUG HQ where it was rendered into print and beamed to your ocular cavities.

The Adonis

Andrew Shaw – vocals, guitar
Jesse Kennedy – bass
Ian Aldous – drums

Date: Sun, 13 May 2007 20:03:04 -0600 [05/13/2007 08:03:04 PM MDT]
From: Andrew Shaw
To: andrew@slugmag.com
Subject: Re: Localized Questions

SLUG: Adonis? What do you mean Adonis?

Andrew: When I was living in Lincoln, NE, I was bussing tables at a hotel bar. There was a group of middle-aged ophthalmologist assistants from Toledo who were kind of drunk flirting with me. One of them said, “Andrew … does anyone ever call you Andy?” Another said, “Does anyone ever call you Adonis?” and giggled. I said, “No, but they should!” Adonis is the most beautiful man in Greek mythology. I got sick of playing as “Andrew Shaw” one day and decided to be silly and start performing as “Adonis.” When I moved to SLC in August of 2003, I added a “The” to make the name even more over-the-top, hoping people would understand that it’s cheeky, not conceited. In April of 2004, I added a drummer to the solo acoustic thing, then eventually bought an electric guitar, added Jesse playing bass in late 2004, switched drummers a couple of times, and eventually ended up with the current line-up in 2006. It’s not interesting, but it’s true.

SLUG: You guys kind of remind me of The Lemonheads and Elefant. What other fruits and animals do you like?

Andrew: Oh, we’re very fruit-friendly! I usually stick to bananas and apples, but I sure do like me some berries, too. We’re animal-friendly, too; we like Weiner dogs, but you have to keep them out of the practice space or else you may end up with a funny smell you can’t eliminate.

SLUG: If the Adonis were a video game, which one would it be?

Jesse: We would be Tetris, because everyone loves Tetris, right?

Andrew: Yeah, Tetris is neat, but I think we’re more like Balloon Fight. Most people haven’t played Balloon Fight, but if they’d just try it, they’d fuckin’ love it. Just don’t let those bird-looking guys stomp on our balloons because you might fall into the water and be eaten by a big fish. It could happen.

SLUG: What do you guys do other than play music together?

Jesse: What don’t we do? We ride dirt-bikes, we sing in the shower, we love the Cornhuskers, we are raising a weiner dog army to do our bidding and we sometimes work our day jobs.

Andrew: I work at the library and am getting my Master’s degree in Library Science; pretty rock ‘n’ roll, huh?

Ian: Pay too much attention to politics and drink. I’m beginning to think there’s a connection between the two.

SLUG: How do you feel about Satanism?

Ian: I hear that Satan is a pretty mean fiddle player. It’s a shame he never goes on tour. I’d easily put down $50 to catch that shit.

SLUG: What is the most interesting book you have come across this year?

Andrew: I haven’t had much time for pleasure reading since I’m in school and have three musical acts right now, but I got on a big graphic novel kick earlier this year. The 9/11 Report was released in graphic novel format and I read it on a plane to California the first week of January. Nothing like reading the 9/11 Report on an airplane to make you feel a little creepy. I’m trying to read all the Harry Potter books really quickly; I’m on the committee to organize The City Library’s big Harry Potter release party, so I’m trying to catch up on everything that happened in his first six years of school.

SLUG: If every man, woman and child in Salt Lake were suddenly listening to you, what would you say to them?

Jesse: You should be really pissed about the air around here.

Ian: Vote Quimby.

Andrew:.I’d urge them to be nicer to each other. And pay attention when they drive or to walk more. And dance at Adonis shows.

Localized will be held at the Urban Lounge on June 8. Don’t be a n00b get off your myspace, instant messanger, live journal and all that other shit to come see a sweet show.

Localized is a monthly music showcase held the second Friday of every month at the Urban Lounge. This month’s Localized features two individuals involved with SLUG; one current writer, Jesse Kennedy of The Adonis and one alumni, Chris Carter of Trebuchet as well as opening band Bombs and Beating Hearts.

Rather than do the respectable thing and meet them in person, I decided it might be in my best interest as a lethargic computer geek to use the wonderful possibilities of computers to email one band and instant message the other. All the pertinent information was gathered in my personal database and later distributed via wireless protocol to SLUG HQ where it was rendered into print and beamed to your ocular cavities.

Trebuchet

Chris Carter – Bass
Camilo Torres – Drums
Eric Rich – Keyboards/Vocals
James Miska – Guitar/Vocals

andrewww.rocks.com says (6:12 pm):
omfg! the trebuchet!

Trebuchet says (6:12 pm):
Hey, how’s it going?

andrewww.rocks.com says (6:12 pm):
lol, like so good man. what are you doooooen?!?

Trebuchet says (6:12 pm):
Sitting at my computer talking to you.

andrewww.rocks.com says (6:13 pm)
nice. wtf does trebuchet mean anyways?

Trebuchet says (6:13 pm):
It is a medieval instrument that was used in warfare. It is a kind of catapult. There is no real meaning behind it. James wanted to name us The Trebuchets, but we thought that was a little too doo wop.

andrewww.rocks.com says (6:14 pm):
lm(f)ao! that would be so cute. so like, what kind of video games do you play?

Trebuchet says (6:14 pm):
I actually despise video games. They make people lazy and I feel it is very counterproductive to doing anything positive. I don’t watch TV for the same reason although we do rent DVDs like Sealab 2021 and other Cartoon Network shows.

andrewww.rocks.com says (6:14 pm):
haha. gotta love those cartoons!!! what do you do other than play music?

Trebuchet says (6:14 pm):
We all come from Anarchist related backgrounds.

andrewww.rocks.com says (6:15 pm):
you mean the people that like burn stuff and beat down minorities?

Trebuchet says (6:15 pm):
No. We work more on the positive side of things. Three of us actually met while we were living at Boing.

andrewww.rocks.com says (6:15 pm):
is that like, a sex club or something?

Trebuchet says (6:15 pm):
No. It is a collective of like-minded people on 600 s. 500 e. It was started five years ago by this guy named Giles who travels the country setting up collectives like it.

andrewww.rocks.com says (6:15 pm):
that sounds gr8! what goes on in that house?

Trebuchet says (6:16 pm):
It started out as a kind of a monastery. It was really quiet. There is also a political library, local CD library, bike tools, free internet, etc.

andrewww.rocks.com says (6:16 pm):
so you guys just hang out and are all cool and stuff?

Trebuchet says (6:16 pm):
It is the location for Food Not Bombs; a food redistribution program. The reason that Boing is there is to show people that there is another way to live.

andrewww.rocks.com says (6:17 pm):
you guys seem mad, what are you so mad about?!?

Trebuchet says (6:17 pm):
Anarchy makes up the brunt of our lyrical content, but in more of a romanticized fashion. We speak in general terms politically and we speak more about our philosophy about how life should be rather than talk about current events.

andrewww.rocks.com says (6:17 pm):
what makes you different than any other anarchist hardcore band out there?

Trebuchet says (6:18 pm):
We have the energy of old-school hardcore, but add in funk bass, dance beats and avant-garde guitar work. We feel uncomfortable on stage and would rather play in someone’s house especially because we feed off the crowd’s energy. Bar shows never go very well.

andrewww.rocks.com says (6:18 pm):
if you could say one thing to all the people who dgaf out there, what would it be?

The Trebuchet says (6:19 pm):
Fuck the city, go to the mountains. It makes you realize how depressing the city is and how beautiful it is up there.

andrewww.rocks.com says (6:19 pm):
thanks for taking the time to talk to me. ttyl!

Trebuchet says (6:20 pm):
Bye.

Violence follows Gerritt Wittmer and Ryan Jencks (aka Sixes). Together they are the noise project Deathroes and are touring to promote the release of their album, Final Expense. Fear, brutality and cruelty are poor descriptors of the most recent creation from these two veteran noise terrorists whose previous incarnations include Physics and Crash Worship.

SLUG: With bands like Wolf Eyes releasing albums on Sub Pop, it is only a matter of time until noise music becomes a substantial influence on pop culture. What do you think about the current state of noise music?

Ryan Jencks: I think it will be quite some time before the furthest elements of fringe culture will make it to the mainstream. Touring through the states is a lot easier then it was 10-15 years ago because of MTV and the internet but there is still the simple fact that most people hate noise. I’ve got in fights at shows I was playing in the last few years, even in the Bay Area. Wolf Eyes is also farther from the public eye than you’d think. A lot of people hate it but it’s the only direction current music can go. The 90s was just a recycling of every genre. Punk/hardcore is now pop/rock. The only way for kids to freak out their parents these days is through black metal and harsh noise but I still feel it will be quite some time before it hits popular culture. When I first started listening to Throbbing Gristle, PTV, etc. in the 80s it was industrial, then Japanese noise in the 90s. There have been many popular experimental acts to hit semi mainstream status such as Einsterzende Neubauten, Sonic Youth, The Boredoms etc. It’s been around for years and has had a third or fourth comeback the last five or so years, but I think its wont get much more popular beyond a certain point because noise is noise.

SLUG: There is an obvious connection with noise music and horror movies. Do you watch horror movies? Are you influenced by them? What would you do differently if you were directing a horror movie?

RJ: I don’t keep up as far as movies go but soundtracks are probably what influence most noise artists first. There are a lot of noise artists who want to make a big racket and freak people out, usually these young upstarts. Then there are projects which sculpt sound to create a dark, menacing atmosphere. Everything you hear on the radio is a bunch of fake garbage, meaningless “’feel-good” music. Noisists have abandoned rock for the most part, it is the antithesis of pop. We don’t sing about love and all this trite shit. We bring desperation, paranoia, fear, hate, terror and cram it down your throat. You can find calmness amidst the chaos, same goes for horror movies. You can tell a good recording by how it alters your mood, like a film. I’ve done recordings that have made my blood boil or feel nauseous, just with sound. I think horror and noise go hand and hand. I’d love to create music for film. I’ve been trying to make a DVD for some time. The ideal situation would be scoring scene for scene throughout the movie. Oh, and there would be tons of blood!

SLUG: I’m sitting in a park listening to Final Expense. Do you think your music is influenced by nature?

RJ: I’d have to say environment plays a big role in Deathroes’ sound. Gerritt and I come from earthquake country in Oakland which is known for being one of the toughest cities in the US. It is in complete decay. There are no trees in my neighborhood; just cement, burned out cars, junkies, hookers, and trash. I’d say it influences the bleak atmosphere for sure. Deathroes is very much an un-natural disaster.

SLUG: Besides noise, what are you interested in? Politics? Food? Religion?

RJ: Gerritt runs the Misanthropic Agenda label and distribution. I run the underground venue Terminal. I also like to garden.

SLUG: If Deathroes were a religion, what would its major tenets be?

RJ: The closest equivalent to a religious gathering would have to be a live show in a dark basement. All the exits would be nailed shut. The room smoked out to the point of not being able to see a anything right in front of your face. Hundreds of thousand watt amplifiers would surround the room and adorned with high luminescent lighting. Seizure sickness!

May 31st will be a night of noise and terror at Urban Lounge with local openers The Schwas. Bring your rose-colored glasses.

Shedding is really the work of one man, Connor Bell. The Kentucky native is currently seeking out his doctorate in Central-Asian history and like most artists, creates his art directly from his influences. His album, what god doesn’t bless, you won’t love; what you don’t love, the child won’t know, was released Nov. 14, 2006, on Boulder, Col-based record label Hometapes.

Hometapes is a strange little label, sporadically releasing albums that vary from the reconstruction of original tape splices to the deconstruction of classic jazz performances. There are also more customary releases, such as electronic folk artist Paul Duncan and psychedelic folkies The Caribbean. The one thing that all the releases have in common is extraordinary cover art and the love of the slightly bizarre. Bell originally met up with label owner Adam Heathcott through “pornography. No, actually file-sharing on the Internet. I’m not sure how you feel about printing that, but I personally don’t have a problem with it. We started talking and turned each other on to different types of music,” Bell says. Bell wishes that the label would release albums on regular basis, but also said that the label is “kind of low key. They are not trying to take over the world or anything.”

Shedding started when Bell’s electro-pop group Paden slowly dissolved due to busy schedules and social lives; he realized that the band was becoming more about getting ready for shows, than creating something new and interesting. “I still struggle with frustration in bands; in a way it is more rewarding than flying solo, but it is also endlessly frustrating.” He grew tired of being reliant on other people and started fiddling with computer manipulation. “The name Shedding came to me when thinking about shedding the dead weight of bandmates. There have been other interpretations, and they have all become meaningful.” Lately, Shedding has taken on a different form in more of a singer-songwriter mode; “I haven’t been as interested in the computer stuff or excited about the more experimental. I feel like I have something to say again, post-girlfriend, naturally.”

Before his recent delve into the acoustic realm, he performed what has become what god doesn’t bless live. He struggled to create something live that was consistent with what his current vision was until he decided “fuck it! I can’t do it live, so I might as well put it on a record and get it perfect.” The album was directly influenced by Bell’s discovery of the groundbreaking alto sax player, Eric Dolphy. Dolphy was renowned for his use of wide intervals as well as getting various animal sounds out of his instrument during the 60s. Dolphy was very influenced by North American songbirds, and his playing often reflects these animals. On what god doesn’t bless, Bell used microscopic sampling techniques to gently lift milliseconds of data that were then manipulated by various computer programs. Some minimal percussion and bass lines were added to produce a brooding, yet sometimes whimsical record. The three tracks amass 40 minutes of music, leaving the listener with a sense of beauty, mystery and psychedelic redolence.

The future of Shedding is somewhat uncertain as he begins his sojourn into the depths of the academic world. “I’ve put a lot of stock in music in the past, dropped out of school and such, but sometimes it makes me wonder if it is worth it.” There is one thing that Connor won’t abandon, which are his favorite TV shows. “The OC is classic television. I heard it is getting cancelled, which is fine, because I’m sure I can find another crappy show to watch. Wednesday is Beauty and the Geek; I don’t know why that resonates so much with me.”

Darker Than the Deepest Sea: The Search for Nick Drake
Trevor Dann

Da Capo Press
Street: 09.12.06

It wasn’t until nearly thirty years after his death in 1974 that the music of Nick Drake started to get the attention that it deserved. It is no wonder that his voice wasn’t heard during the beginnings of the 70s punk movement in collegiate England. The mystery that surrounds his life and death seem somewhat disconnected to his beautiful and simplistic folk induced songs. He was a loner, someone who was prone to deep reflection and meditation. This is a great place to start for anyone interested in trying to get to know more about the mystery of Nick Drake; his depression and his charm. There are many anecdotes from people who knew him and loved him, as well as several pages of pictures depicting him as someone who was full of light and hope. An obvious labor of love, Trevor Dann has compiled the most interesting aspects of Drake’s life as a college student and recording artist, while also including previously undiscovered University papers that shed light onto his slow dissent into depression and finally death. The book also explores the resurgence of Drake’s music in the last five years, and how it is still remains relevant to our current society. –Andrew Glassett