TOTAL SLACKER / HUNTERS / JANGULA / CELESTIAL SHORE + more music, art & fashion!
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EDITOR S LETTER Issue five...
Total Slacker is finally on the cover, and what a fucking weird cover it is. This issue felt like I was playing catch up with ideas I had months ago and bands I’ve loved for even longer. Jangula was supposed to be in the first or second issue originally and they’ve finally made it in now. I can’t think of any good movie references having to do with fifth films...I guess there’s Drago from Rocky V. Everything he did was fucking GOLD. I will break you. I traveled down to SXSW with some of my favorite Brooklyn musicians and some others that I barely knew, it was crazy, it was fun, people got too drunk, people got in fights, no one could get a cab ever. We had a show in the woods with way too many bands, too much beer and cheap mexican food. After SXSW I headed out to the Burgerama festival in Orange County, CA to check out some of my favorite west coast bands including Ty Segall’s Fuzz, Gap Dream, Summer Twins and Hunx and His Punx. You can see polaroids from my SXSW and Burgerama adventure in the back of this issue and you can
see my friend Sam nomming on a burger to the left of this letter. This summer we’re getting ready to go so hard that we might die. If you’re reading this at our issue release party you’re part of my realized dream of booking a show at 285 Kent (the venue that inspired me to move here in the first place), and I hope it’s a damn good show. You can gauge how good it is by how drunk I am. We launched a new digital art zine called Art Crush, you can find it on our website. It’s run by Brandon and Danielle and they did a bang up job with the first issue. The next one of those will come out at the end of May and I’m sure it’ll be even cooler than the first. There are some cool things planned for Northside Festival and the rest of the summer on our end. We’ll probably have a party on our roof sometime soon, add me on facebook for details on that. There’s a party up the street from my house tonight, so I’m gonna grab some dinner right now and then head over to that before I go down to Fort Greene for Parker’s birthday party. Enjoy the issue.
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TEAM EDITOR IN CHIEF/
PHOTOGRAPHER TITLES/ILLUSTRATOR LAYOUT ILLUSTRATOR WRITERS
BRANDON JOHNSON DANIELLE LEE KEVIN LI JILLIAN BILLARD ASHLEY CANINO GABRIELA JUNE TULLY CLAYMORE ILEANA LITTLE LEAH LOVECAT ANDREW ALEXANDER PRIETO GWEN RODGERSON
CONTACT firstname.lastname@example.org facebook.com/gigawattsmag instagram @gigwattsmag 2
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contents ART DYLAN VANDENHOECK
TOTAL SLACKER on
1.21 GIGAWATTS MIXTAPE
& Stuff we’re listening to
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... First , some comics by
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and check out his paintings at www.dylanvandenhoeck.com ISSU E 5
DANIELLE LEE Hello! Danielle here. I started doing layout for 1.21 Gigawatts last issue. I’m originally from Hong Kong and am now studying graphic design at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. Besides making art/designing things, I also love making music, taking photos, doing yoga, and I cannot stress how much I love cloud porn. Recreational design
Select days from ‘Visual Diary’ homework assignment
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Logo design for catering company O-Bite Me!™ ‘Legs are sexy’ typographic poster
Valentine’s Day cards series Times Square
You can check out more of my work at daniellehoksiulee.com ISSU E 5
essica Slagle, also known as Slagletron (a joke nickname that ended up sticking), is a collage artist originally from Minnesota but currently based in Brooklyn. Jessica works in both traditional and digital collage. Sheâ€™s heavily influenced by both fashion and metaphysics showcasing the intersection of physical and spiritual beauty. Not having her own camera to create images with, Jessica pulls images from stock agencies and magazine. She enjoys the unpredictability that comes along with sourcing found images for her work. Her work can be seen at various pop up shows around the Brooklyn area as well as longer running shows in Manhattan and Queens. danny krug
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here is something about diners that I absolutely love. I don’t know if it’s the smell of pancakes and coffee or the conversations of total strangers but you immediately feel comfortable and cozy. Naturally, I was over the moon when Parker Silzer suggested I meet him, Dylan Vandenhoeck and Zack O’Brien, otherwise known as Slonk Donkerson, at a diner. As I was en route to my destination, I soon realized that I would be a few minutes late. I texted the boys to l let them know and got a message back saying that I had a coffee waiting for me. I already had an idea of the Slonk Donkerson boys in my mind but this just confirmed it. This band couldn’t be more genuine. I approach the table and we immediately started talking about owning 90’s movies on VHS and what we felt like ordering. Slonk Donkerson have what most bands don’t. They have a history. They’ve known each other since they were young and have remained friends throughout their formative years. They’re tight knit and it works. While most bands go through lineup change after lineup change, Slonk Donkerson hold it together perfectly. The thought of bringing in another member enters then quickly vanishes from their minds, why fix what’s not broken? Having had the opportunity to see the band play live a number of times, I was interested in finding out what
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words by leah lovecat photography by danny krug
that’s so easily accessible and I don’t want to be a part of that club", he says. While most bands drench their voices in warped peculiar versions of themselves, Slonk Donkerson keep it simple. There are no tricks, no gimmicks, no hyphens between the genre they represent. They are a rock and roll band and they take their role seriously. Having recently recorded at Converse Rubber Tracks with the plan to release an EP in the near future, the boys wisely hold tight to their cash so they can fund their album. "If we get paid at a show, I take that money and put it into an envelope" Silzer explains, "that’s our "band money", it’s what we use for recording. Most bands just take that money, split it up between the members and spend it on beer. When it comes time to record, they don’t have the money." they thought of the whole "live show experience". "The whole Brooklyn music scene is something that’s really easy to get sucked into and that’s something we want to stay clear of" states drummer, Zack O’Brien. His words are truthful. It’s easy to get wrapped up in this scene and before you know it, playing and attending shows just becomes a social affair. The three-piece are clear with their goal of remaining true to their roots, playing music because they enjoy it, not because they want to climb the scene ladder. The one thing you notice right away is that singer/bassist, Dylan Vandenhoeck, doesn’t add any effects to his voice. "Reverb is just something
Slonk Donkerson have brought new light to Brooklyn, a freshness that we’ve been waiting for. After nearly three hours of chatting, we went our separate ways. A gang of dogs were awaiting us outside and of course we couldn’t resist remarking on how cool it would be to join a dog gang. Though this was our first official meeting, I felt as if I’ve known these boys for years. That’s the most important thing any band could ever bring to the table. They have the music that makes you rock but they back it up with virtue. So keep your ear to the ground for a new wave is coming and at the front of it are Slonk Donkerson.
words by ashley canino photography by danny krug
Dead Stars is coming into their own. Cousins Jeff (guitar, vocals) and Jaye Moore (drums, vocals) have been playing music together since childhood. For the past four years they and John Watterberg (bass) have played as a trio. "You could hear more of our influences in the early stuff but now we are coming into our own sound," Jaye explains. With such iconic and disparate influences as Nirvana, Weezer, and My Bloody Valentine, it is no surprise that Dead Stars has taken some time to carve out an aural identity. "Our sound used to forage," John adds. "Now it hunts." However much an echo their material has been to this point, it resonates with fans. At an early 2013 show at Glasslands, my first time catching Dead Stars live, I was taken aback by the fervor and diversity of the crowd. From 20-somethings to 40-somethings, everyone sang along with the no frills performers. Anthemic, self-released track "So What," brought the ecstatic audience as close to stage edge as possible. The energy could only have been higher when they performed the final night of 2012’s Brooklyn Night Bazaar. The palpable connection between artist and spectator could be chalked up to Dead Stars’ catchy, yet tender and honest lyrics. Other bands on the scene weave their introspection into various distortions and a layer of noise. Dead Stars doesn’t stray from
holding a mirror to themselves and their audience—their name nodding at a musician of the people, not separate or above. "I’m obsessed with depression, self doubt, hope, despair, etc," says Jeff on the angsty subject matter of their songs. "It’s more interesting to me than singing about going to the beach, or whatever." Dead Stars’ forthcoming EP, "High Gain," promises to be expressive of who they have evolved into as a band, and their fans innermost thoughts. The recording challenges and limitations--familiar to most of our
favorite local musicians--have pushed the trio to be even keener on what they are presenting and how to present it. John sums up the band’s thoughts on the release: "I’m really proud of this project because I feel, more than ever before, we’ve captured the essence of who we are and are delivering it in an impeccable product." They plan to take the five new tracks out on tour in the North East. High Gain is out June 4th on Uninhabitable Mansions.
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words by leah lovecat photography by danny krug
handful upon handful of
cookie cutter bands roaming around Brooklyn, it was with happy ears that I unexpectedly happened upon Spires. It was a basement show and I had never seen them play before but after they did, I was stunned. They were playing something different than the norm and I loved it. I let it soak in and bury deep inside. Spires did something that is difficult for any band to do. They were memorable. Formed in November 2012, Spires, like any other band, has gone through line-up changes but are currently made up of Matt Stevenson, Samuel Shea, Jack Collins and Ethan Snyder. "When I initially started making demos at home I wanted Spires to have a sound similar to bands like Felt or
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The Wake, but because of the way Ethan plays drums I quickly lost interest in my old ideas. I wrote new songs, and the band became a lot louder and more psychedelic", explains Stevenson. Being one of the few Psych Rock bands active in Brooklyn, Spires are doing something new and exciting. They’re bringing back some style. Their inspiration stems from reading books and dreams they remember. It sounds old fashioned and thats what so intriguing. Something as simple as what you experience while you dream is turned into a piece of musical art that gets showcased to whomever wants to listen.
Vowing to take the band as far as the possibly can, Spires have plans to release some new material within the next couple of months. The songs they play at their live shows are so infectious that I’m getting impatient thinking of having to wait for more. They have songs I look forward to hearing and once I do, it’s a treat. It feels like something I have to go out for in order to hear because there is nothing like hearing it performed live. Spires have the ability to hold your attention for an entire set and once they’re done, you wish it started all over again. It’s rare to find a band with that sort of hold but, Spires are a gem and I eagerly await what they have planned.
urnip King, formerly known as Beach Moms (a name attributed
to the plethora of suburban moms that hit up the beach in the summertime) is a band reigning from their hometown of Sea Cliff, Long Island. To the locals, the band’s curious name is quickly recognized as a reference to a sidewalk engraving speculated to have been etched in the 60’s at Sunset Park—the prime location for watching the sun set over the water and for hanging out with your buds. The Turnip King himself remains a mystery, but his name resonates in the vibes of these young folks and their chill tunes. Singer/guitarist Lucia Arias began writing songs while attending North Shore High School. Postgraduation, she began looking for people to jam with. She asked guitar shredder Cal Fish to join her in writing songs and the two created a set of demos. Drummer Christian Billard joined the duo not long after, followed by bassist Nick Kivlen—who had been doing recordings with Cal at the time and initially contributed a drum beat via a Spongebob trashcan to the demo mixes. Turnip King’s music is a fusion of a wide spectrum of influences and is best described as psychedelicchill-punk-post-shoegaze. Their recordings are deliberately lo-fi, as they feel that their sound is more impassioned in this form. The majority of their tunes are recorded in Chris’ basement, accompanied by a loyal audience of three puppies. When they started playing gigs, they were often not allowed in the venue due to their being underage. But if you never saw their dreadfully fake id’s, you’d never know that they were so young. (And no worries— they’re all 23 now). The band played their first show at the Delancey with Mannequin Pussy just over a year ago, and frequently plays at various venues in Brooklyn including 285 Kent, Cheap Storage, Muchmore’s, Big Snow and Death by Audio. Apart from their music, the band is well known for their beautiful girl hair. Their interests include Jurassic Park, dogs, tex-mex, McDonald’s, skateboarding and outer space.
They will be releasing a cassette entitled Moon Landing? in the near future, so keep your eyes peeled. Be sure to check them out, give them a high five, say "hey."
words by jillian billard photography by danny krug
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o riet er p rug d n k a nny alex ew y by da r d y an raph ds b hotog p wor
"You know—sometimes as I’m just getting to bed
I see everybody else heading off to school or work. And then when I wake up, they’ve been through their whole day and mine’s just beginning." Sharing an apartment with Sam Owens, front man of Brooklyn innovators, Celestial Shore, for a month —constantly being around the band members and being privy to the repetitive inside look at their song writing process would have normally kept me up all night if I hadn’t been already pulling a similar schedule. The Brooklyn music scene lends itself to late nights and early mornings, and often those trenched hours in
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the middle of the night become filled with the energy necessary for individual creativity. It’s this creativity that’s landed them on blogs across the Internet, including a Pitchfork review that caught the band by complete surprise. And, although the band seemed annoyed by the "reposting of 3 word descriptions" everywhere, unable to relate to the snappy analysis, there’s no arguing that it’s brought the band out of hiding. Celestial Shore’s roster currently rounds out with Sam Owens (guitar/vocals), Greg Albert (bass/ vocals) and Max Almario (drums). Getting a feel for the band isn’t something you can do simply by visiting their Bandcamp —their music moves in an intangible way that eludes the very idea of a set recording. Seeing them on stage gives rise to a whole new set of expectations as it becomes increasingly apparent that this isn’t a group rearranged from the failings of several others, they are a family with a musician’s bond
that can only be described as telepathic. It’s the kind of bond that only comes after years (five to be exact) of collaboration; the kind of bond unique to musicians. As their first four releases began birthing a unique sound, originating at California Eden (Jan 2011), it was clear that the group was shooting for something more jarring than the average local band. Live, you’ll hear large improvised sections that take over songs you might have believed you knew front to back and with a new LP on the horizon—all you listeners out there should be anticipating and imperative step toward definition. Come this summertime we’ll all be listening to 10x (mixed by Greg Saunier, drummer of Deerhoof), the upcoming full length from Celestial Shore. Rounding out at nine tracks, the record is being pressed for 500 limited edition copies for the grand launch of the new label, Local Singles. But, please, let me step back for a second, because "definition" is what this album is all about,
whether the band realizes it or not. The last release leading up to 10x, a split with Shopping Spree, brought the bands sound into the light. Stylistic clarity is important, and the aesthetic growth from California Eden displays the bands actual ability to grow, as "growth" becomes a word all to commonly used to signify any change aesthetically from album to album. For Celestial Shore, growth means improvement, not change. There is no question of identity or desperate search for approval, the band knows their sound and rather than change (something a band does to appeal to their consumer beliefs) they innovate. Innovation in the form of density arrangement, innovation in the form of time signature modification and innovation in And that’s why 10x is truly exciting. It is the culmination of a timbre and dynamic that, for four EP releases, has continued to introduce wildly challenging elements while still remaining human, and ultimately, lovable.
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Most bands come to you conveniently packaged into a scene and labeled with a disposable genre title that some critic made up while pushing a deadline. In contrast, the Brooklyn-based band Jangula is its own micro-culture: "I think we’re a life influence band, not a music band. The jang lifestyle," QChordist and vocalist Johnny Campagna said. The band has existed for many years under different monikers, but the jang-lifestyle began circa 2006 when Johnny and drummer Barak Kemeny ditched their former name The Young Lords. Guitarist and vocalist Daniel Bachrach and bassist Cody Gordon completed the band in 2009, and since then Jangula has released two EPs, Strange Child (2012) and Bird Risky (2010). Jangula expects to record a third 6-track EP next month to be titled Ataraxia. 16
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Jangula draws inspiration from a variety of sources, all of which are described as ‘jang’, an adjective that the members use frequently in conversation, but struggle to explain: "A dude sitting on a stoop with a beret on, eating a hamburger. That’s pretty jang," Daniel said, resorting to examples. Jang is, "Whatever makes you happy, that’s how Johnny put it once," Barak said. Han Solo is an original janger. Bernard Herrmann film scores are jang. Video game music is jang, an aesthetic that first inspired Johnny to start playing the QChord that is featured throughout the Jangula catalog, "It had a video-gamey, ethereal sound, and that’s what I wanted," he said. Aside from their skintight jeans and elaborate necklaces, the QChord is the first thing you notice about Jangula
when they take a stage. The instrument’s hypnotic, electroaccordion sound permeates each track, coating standard rock arrangements with its dreamy timbre.
Jangula’s unconventional instrumentation parallels the
quirky categorization of their sound. The band champions a variety of genres, all of which Barak invented, and some of which are not fit to print. He describes Jangula’s genre in three ways: Gutter Rock, Pocket Symphony, and Better Than Monopoly. Few musicians have had the pleasure of performing for political dignitaries, especially those who label themselves as "gutter rock", but Jangula count themselves as one of the few. Daniel serenaded George and Laura Bush with an acoustic rendition of "Chinese Tea", Jangula’s whistling and
"A dude sitting on a stoop with a beret on, eating a hamburger. That’s pretty jang" melodic stand-out track off of Strange Child, "All he said to me was, ‘Thank you for entertaining us,’" Daniel recalled. He is not the lying type, as Johnny pointed out before half-jokingly stating, "Do you think George Bush has heard Radiohead or Animal Collective? No! He probably hasn’t heard them. He’s heard Jangula. He fucks with OUR shit." Aside from being the 43rd president of the United States, George Bush is unique in that he is one of few people outside of the east coast who can brag about seeing Jangula perform, "All of us mostly have full-time jobs, we have lives. None of us are excessively wealthy that we can just afford to just be like, ‘oh let’s go on tour.’ We need to pay our rent," Johnny said. Although they have not toured nationally, Jangula plays shows regularly throughout New York City and the surrounding area.
It is one thing to listen to an MP3, but a live performance gives the most casual listener a taste of the jang-lifestyle. Live, the pocket symphony is on full-display in tracks like "The Chamber Ritual" off of the 2012 EP Strange Child; only three minutes long, the harmony-rich song boasts an eerie melody before pop-punk guitar riffs overwhelm the cryptic QChord. "The Jungle is Dark and Full of Diamonds" is similarly structured as melancholic lyrics mingle with the staunch drumbeat before a playful guitar motif and frenzied collective chorus interrupt Johnny’s downcast voice. Lyrics aside, the band’s instrumental arrangements are reminiscent of a group of guys trying to cheer up their bummed-out friend; Jangula not only look like a brotherhood, they determinedly sound like one.
It is in this camaraderie that makes Jangula stand out. Of the four, Barak and Daniel are the only members with traditional musical training. Johnny has, "purposefully none," while Cody learned to play the bass after he failed to be a decent manager (he has since re-adopted the title). However, the band works together to write all of their songs, and Daniel and Johnny collaborate on lyrics. Jangula is a collective, it is a lifestyle, and it is what Barak consistently refers to as a ‘brotherhood’. Cody tried to formulate the perfect analogy for the band, all of which were absolved due to excessive bickering. Like trying to define "Jang", all analogies fall short of encompassing Jangula’s individual and collective charisma.
words by gabriela june tully claymore photography by danny krug
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words by ileana little photographs by danny krug illustration / title by kevin li / brandon johnson
"I got somethin’ to show ya, Francine! It’s long.
And it’s sleek. And it’s powerful. It’s mah new ‘vette!" Those were the words exclaimed by Todd Tomorrow, played by Tab Hunter, in Polyester. When you name your band after an actor from a John Waters’ movie, you have to deliver—and deliver they do —sleek ‘n powerful, just like a new Corvette. The noisy, garage band started a few years ago in a greasy, little arcade in Chinatown where Isabel (Izzy) Almeida and Derek Watson were working. They met their bassist, Tommy through a friend who was originally going to play with them on tour, and Gregg from shows and their old drummer who he replaced.
HUNTERS’ background is as eclectic as their style. From two opposite ends of the spectrum, Derek is from a "normal, boring suburban town in Pennsylvania" and Isabel is from Brazil. With not much to do, he filled his time during his teenage years smoking pot, thrifting, dropping acid, going to shows and listening to music. During this time, Derek and his friends decided to form a band. Despite them not knowing how to play any instruments, they gave it a shot, which resulted in a "noise freakout jams kinda thing." Izzy on the other hand grew up in Brazil. At the age of 8, she received her first microphone . "I would plug it into the stereo and scream and make it feedback. My parents pulled the plug
all the time," she remembers. Because she had no interest in what other kids her age were doing around her, Izzy had a difficult time growing up. As a result, she isolated herself and spent her adolescence getting into a variety of music, which has obviously had its benefits. When I asked them to describe their sound, Izzy modestly, yet accurately responded with, "Its so hard to describe your own sound, to me our sound is us. It’s a mix of who we are, who we were and our influences all mixed together." They’ve played all over the east coast and the south to a wide range of crowds. Derek recalls an audience member at one of their shows, "this dude that
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had opposite sides of his face and head shaved. He had a long beard and long hair on opposite sides. He was also really persistent about talking to us about green jello." Aside from their favorite, local DIY venue, Death By Audio, "somewhere in Texas" comes a close second. I was able to catch them this past March in Austin, TX at South by Southwest (SXSW). They were the last band that I saw and after a week of driving 30 hours in two days and going to over twenty shows and countless beers and tacos, I was exhausted. Hunters gave me my final wind. The postpunk, thrash-pop Brooklyn band played in a dimly lit venue, Old Emo’s, where I had seen a couple Brooklyn Vegan showcases earlier that week. Their set was short, yet powerful. Izzy told the audience that she wasn’t feeling well, but it didn’t seem like it. She jolted her body around, kicking
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and stomping across the stage as she screamed her lyrics as intensely as Derek played his guitar next to her. The energy between the two artists is unlike any other. The immense chemistry they share is both chaotic and beautiful. Hunters’ inspiration behind their music comes from their relationship with one another. "We feed off of each other and we push each others buttons." That’s probably what propels such great music from the band. Hunters had played in Austin before, but this year was their first full on SXSW. They played ten shows in the one short week. What may seem overwhelming to many, the band seemed to have had a relaxed attitude. They mostly hung out at their friend’s house, ate nachos, and messed around until they had to play. Definitely not a bad deal. Immediately after SXSW, Hunters entered the studio to track their first full length
album, which was recorded to tape. They did it in six days, starting their days at 2pm and ending the next morning around 11am. You can look forward to a couple of the new songs having the "Hands on Fire" vibe (released October 2011) and some that take new direction. They’re spending all of April touring with Bleached, which they’re really looking forward to. Following that, they’ll be with JEFF the Brotherhood. "The JEFF tour will be rad cause we’ve known those guys for a while and have toured with them before," Derek anticipates. By the time they wrap up, it’ll be summertime and their record will be ready, a perfect soundtrack to the season.
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words by gwen rodgerson photographs by danny krug
It’s not surprising to hear that TOTAL SLACKER
started out as two people writing joke songs. Tucker Rountree and Emily Jane, who are both from the Southwest, met in early 2009, but didn’t try to start a "real" band until months after they met. And when they did, a powerhouse of charming vocals, reverberating psychedelic guitar, and humorous lyrics about anything from the nineties to mystical enchantments happened. In Slacker’s debut album Thrashin, lyrics sung in Tucker’s friendly stoner voice combine with fuzzy guitar and heavy drums, allowing for multi-dimensional songs that are serious in the instrumentals, and lighthearted in the words. Tucker says, "In the beginning, the band was more about leisure and an ironic statement on how upper middle class white kids in college take that for granted." Tucker talks about how, like in Richard Linklater’s movie Slacker from which the band draws
its name, "Everyone’s just trying to hold onto being able to secure their free time and create and come up with ideas and be in touch with what they want to make." But Total Slacker has changed a lot since the beginning. Songs in Thrashin, which came out in 2011, feature catchy, accessible verses that will get stuck in your head after one listen and distorted, trippy guitar that puts you in a trance after the vocals end and often fades into buzzes and echoes. Even though the only song on Thrashin that’s really about the Southwest is "Physic Mesa," a highlight of the album that captures the magic and mysticism of that landscape, you can tell Tucker and Emily aren’t from the East coast. Heavy use of reverberation and vocals that are almost a background to the instrumentals aids Total Slacker’s Southwest canyon sound. Tucker sings in a lazy, accented kind of
way, a bit like Stephen Malkmus but more melodic, and Emily provides eerie, mystical "ohs" and background vocals. Besides the Southwest and nineties themes, Total Slacker’s also about an ironic statement and not being too serious. Tucker says, "The whole idea was that there was no idea. Everyone comes to New York, starts a band, and everything is so polished and serious and professional and there’s no heart." However, Total Slacker is no longer "hiding behind a veil of sarcasm and irony," something their first drummer pointed out when the band showed him some of their new songs. If Slacker was singing funny songs about things before, they’re now talking about something more real. You can tell by the track names alone of songs that will be featured on Total Slacker’s upcoming album Slip Away, which should be released ISSU E 5
sometime this spring. Take the song "Sometimes You Gotta Die" for example, which is an honest account of living in New York City, and dealing with all of the bullshit, especially when you aren’t from the East coast. Tucker says, "The sense of humor is still there and there’s definitely these ties to just being from the Southwest, but also the new album’s just more genuine. There’s less irony... A lot of living happened in the past year." The band’s lineup has also completely changed. Total Slacker snatched up guitarist David Tassy when his former band Night Manager dissolved, and he’s been killing it on guitar for eight months now. Total Slacker has also adopted a new drummer, Zoë Brecher, who’s been playing with the band since late last fall. Each member of the band has his or her own particular contribution, which is something that makes the music so good. Tassy played more metal before, which shows in his heavy shredding, but his dad was also a jazz guy. Tucker explains, "He’s good at being a minimalist but
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also good at putting down really textural sounds." Zoë studied jazz, and Emily was classically trained in guitar from the time she was thirteen ("You can talk music with her," Tucker says). All that aside, Tucker thinks "personalities are more key than the whole musical background thing. Because sometimes you can have the wrong personalities on a stage together and it doesn’t really gel." Total Slacker describes their current lineup as "crystallized," saying it is the best version of the band yet. This is pretty clear just from comparing their older recordings to new songs like "Keep the Ships At Bay," which has much deeper subject matter and a more mature, and polished yet simultaneously unwound sound. Tucker explains, "A lot of songs off the new album are about living in our country and how it’s really broken financially right now, but also trying to deal with coming out of being a young person into adulthood and coming into your own but not losing your sense of
freedom and your sense of what you want to do with your life even though you have to adhere to some system to be able to fit into society." It sounds like Total Slacker has come into its own. Emily confirms this, saying, "Even apart from the lyrics, we just had a much better sense this time around of what we were trying to sound like and what our songs should feel like. We finally grew into our sound. It feels like we have more direction." Tucker compares Total Slacker’s new direction to the "Dark Comedy" section on Netflix, saying, "Darker’s more the key word than serious. Because the humor is still there." The new songs are not only darker, or deeper, but they’re also a little more abstract and through this abstraction, they become more personal. Total Slacker’s music isn’t just good recorded; their live shows rule. Tucker says performing is his favorite part of the whole process, and the band explains, "One thing that sets us apart is that we’re really into making our shows kind of erratic. It’s gotta feel uneasy. Like either you’re gonna die or be really happy." As soon as the new album comes out, the band plans on hitting the road for a tour. In the meantime, catch them at any number of venues in Brooklyn (or Manhattan) and there’s no doubt you’ll be tripping out on Slacker’s sound.
"One thing that sets us apart is that we’re really into making our shows kind of erratic. It’s gotta feel uneasy. Like either you’re gonna die or be really happy."
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Clothes // MARY MEYER Jewelry // WXYZ & MACHA styled photography
by JENNA IGNERI by DANNY KRUG
MARY MEYER Founded in 2005, Mary Meyer designs clothing that is casual, comfortable and laid back, while still sweet and put-together. Drawing inspiration from a wide variety of sources, such as African textiles and 80s graphic tees, Meyers use of custom prints is distinctive.
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Necklace, Bangle, Ring // wxyz
WXYZ Designed by Laura Wass, WXYZ jewelry is inspired by science, art and industrial design. Known for itâ€™s repeated elements and sometimes-unconventional materials, you can always expect the unexpected with any piece.
Four Finger Ring // MACHA
MACHA Irish designer Bernice Kelly makes conceptual ideas wearable with her jewelry line, Macha. Standing on the belief that jewelry does not need to be flash nor polished, Kelly brings us handcrafted, unique pieces that are full of texture.
Dress, Cropped Sweater // Mary Meyer
N Y L K O O R B D E R B
Necklace // WXYZ
ISSU E 5
Dress // MARY MEYER
I S S UE 5
Ring // MACHA Cuff // WXYZ
Bracelet // MACHA
ISSU E 5
YZ / WX Ring /
Ring // MACHA
Ring // WXYZ
Bracelet // MACHA
I S S UE 5
s Ring A
Ring // WXYZ
ISSU E 5
SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST AUSTIN, TX
BURGERAMA, SANTA ANA, CA
I S S UE 5
mixtape vol. 5
includes fresh tracks and demos from some of Brooklyn’s finest bands. Listen online or download your free copy at gigawattsmag.com
The Aquadolls - We Are Free EP
Anamanaguchi - Endless Fantasy
Colleen Green - Sock It To Me
Slonk Donkerson - Watching Every Channel At Once
stuff we’re listening to
WANT YOUR BAND FEATURED IN 1.21 GIGS? WANNA SAY WHAT’S UP TO THE PEOPLE OF THE MAG? SHOOT US AN E-MAIL AT GIGAWATTSMAG@GMAIL.COM ADD US ON FACEBOOK.COM/GIGAWATTSMAG FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM @GIGAWATTSMAG
ISSU E 5
A R T
M U S I C
FA S H I O N
C U LT U R E