HOOK AND LINE SUMMER 2010 | ISSUE 05
ALLISTER IZENBERG SLEEP ∞ OVER DIANE CLUCK
Table Des Materes Reviews…………………………………………..p. 4 Breaking Up Sucks…….............................................p. 5 Eternal Life In A Song : Jeff Buckley Tribute…….............p. 6 Summer Mix………………………………………….p. 7 Allister Izenberg……………………………………..p. 8 Sleep ∞ Over……………………………………p. 10 Diane Cluck……………………………………….p.12
2010 © Hook and Line Magazine cover photo by kebah
Us east-coasters are familiar with the sluggish days of summer. While some states enjoy pleasant dry heat, we get weighed down by heavy air with a 90% humidity rate. On those days Bon Iver looms below you soggy brain radar and Gun’s n Roses just whizzes above your head in a confusing mass. One summer, I found the perfect soundtrack, The Umbrellas selftitled album. The dreamy flow of atmosphere and Scott Windosor’s soft voice floated perfectly in the humid summer air. For us, summer is a battle between humidity and torrential rain. On rainy days, I’d put "Reactionary" on repeat and stare out of a window. The slow, sparse song that seemed to flow the tide of gently rippling water fit the humid East Coast days of summer. The steady, rhythmless sound of raindrops cracking against the pavement like balls of glass complemented the low, slow bass and piano driven piece. Like summer east coast weather, Windsor’s placid, dreamy vocals are subject to change. His voice adapts to the biting tension of the second track "Sleep Well" and, later on, the flirtatiousness of "The Black Dress", a song driven by electric guitar swagger and bass that was made for dancing. Overall, a somberness looms over the album, heavier on some tracks and just infiltrating other, much like the humid summer air. – J.M.
Everyone is crouched around the perimeter of the room—legs tucked under thighs, twisted like Indians. And then he walks in, his mane trailing behind his bent stride while eyes transfix in eager anticipation. A green sweater awaits him on stage, as does his mic and the guitar. It is Kurt. Kurt Vile. Kurt Vile from Philadelphia. Playing a set at AKA, promoting his new record, Childish Prodigy (last fall). And so the speakers begin to fuzz and he hunches over the voice enlarger, and his locks dangle so as to obscure his whole face permanently— only his lips pucker through the wall of dead protein, and occasionally, you see his eyes peek between the spaces. Soon after, there comes a long arrangement of reverberations, ambiguous & muffled noises, and arpeggios drowned in echo – everything ricocheting off of everything. Then, like most ―post-live music experience‖ instances – I bought Childish Prodigy. I didn’t crack the case open for a while. Not until I encountered a minor bike riding obsession phase. With CD player in hand, (this was shortly after my iPod broke…I had to buy a CD player) I rode and listened and rode and listened and came to realize that Childish Prodigy is great bike riding music! I say this because I feel as if Childish Prodigy sort of emulates the movement of ones body while riding a bicycle. It has an incessant twirling, thumping, and waving feel to it. I think it’s because of all the finger plucking and doing the same thing over and over again in comparison to your legs, always making it full circle. Listen to this while you’re riding somewhere and you’ll get there in half the time because your feet will be trying to keep up with Kurt’s fingers.- kebah
It all started with Scorpions. I remember where I was when I heard the news. In the car, on the radio it was announced: Scorpions had called it quits. "NO!" I wailed in disbelief. Over the past year, I’d become a connoisseur of the finest cheezy hair metal. "Rock You like a Hurricane" was my favorite song. It was perfect for jumping on the sofa in my pajamas on a Saturday morning (or evening. Lame, I know.) For a while, I had the channel VH1 Classic. Often, I indulged in rockumetaries (rock music documentaries), and films that were quintessential to the music of the past. At first, I laughed at the 80's video marathons. Months later, I would find myself still sitting in front of the TV after an hour had passed still watching. Overtime, Motley Crue, Warlock and Whitesnake videos became familiar, even the power ballads. I was hooked. Although Scorpions calling it quits was saddening, break up’s of younger bands are far harder to swallow. Just last winter, a very, very young, yet mature sounding band called Thieves was featured in Hook and Line. After becoming addicted to their myspace months earlier, I rejoiced upon hearing their first EP, Divider. The interview questions were very fun to think about because their music is intellectual. Asking them what their favorite ice cream flavor was wouldn’t cut it. Thieves managed to convey depth and, perhaps, melancholy without suffocating the listener in darkness. In my article, I now realize that I praised front man Ryan Hiser’s voice without clarity. To me, there is some kind of struggle, or past struggle that I feel beneath his voice, that is what I find so compelling. Overtime, Thieves became rather quiet. There were no more online updates. Fear of the worst arose: a break up. The thought that no more new Thieves material would reach my ears was pushed away, just beneath consciousness. Yet, the omen didn’t spare me from some sadness when the group disbanded. When I was young, extremely shy, and alone, I forged a strong tie to music. My hunger for music is one that most don’t understand. Though, my life has become more positive, emotional ties are still often made to laser discs, cassettes, pancake shaped vinyl, and now MP3's. Just earlier this month, it was announced on Thieves’ facebook that it was over. I will miss the fruit of their combined efforts, but, alas, everything has a season. I am looking forward to any projects that the former members. And I’d like it if Chet Kueffer could help me sharpen my bass skills sometime. *cough cough*
ETERNAL LIFE IN A SONG:JEFF BUCKLEY TRIBUTE WORDS AND PHOTO BY J.M.
Some days, life is not easy. On those days, I usually, listen to early Metallica or Guns n’ Roses and stare at the ceiling. But one day, I chose a change of tune. As I was gearing up for a bike ride one sunny afternoon I intended to head bang to Ace of Spades (Motorhead), but an old favorite called my name from my CD shelf. As I descended the driveway, the opening song on Jeff Buckley’s Grace swept over me with the feeling of its namesake. I coasted at an easy pace and as I rounded each curve, the shimmering, melancholy guitar would ring. The ebb and flow of the dreamy arrangement was perfectly in tune with dips and curves of the pavement. Then, as I peddled up a steep hill with the determination of an infant climbing a flight of stairs, the unexpected, tense build-up of the song began. To me, and many others, Jeff Buckley’s music feels like an old friend. The warmth and vulnerability is comforting, soothing to the listener. You feel the music relate to you like a kindred soul. Many remember the very moment that his music touched their life unlike anything they’d heard before. My love for his music began one winter evening beneath a brilliant sunset. After learning of his death, I composed a poem about his 30 year old soul’s untimely release from this world. During Jeff Buckley’s short life, he recorded only one album, but left a wealth of material behind. Buckley experimented with many genres of music (rock, jazz, blues, and sounds seemingly from a different century.) Just a few of his notable songs are the uplifting ―Grace,‖ the loud and wild ―Eternal Life,‖ and the reach-out-and-grab-you feeling of ―Woke Up in a Strange Place.‖ Buckley’s musical range also extended to covers of Edith Piaf songs from the 1930s, and the haunting, yearning soul of an old church bell that is ―Corpus Christi Carol‖ Benjamin Britten. Jeff will be remembered as a friend and fellow musician to some. But to all, he was beautifully gifted creature who manipulated the intangible mystery of sound with brilliance.
I love randomly stumbling upon really good music on MySpace (yes, Facebook has honed everything else, but Myspace still gets props for its Music profiles). Hailing from Los Angeles, Allister Izenberg is only 19 and Courtney Love and Linda Perry have already given their nods of approval to his tunes. His songs are catchy but they still have underlying roughness and creakiness; minimal and operatic at the same time — something along the lines of a tormented lullaby (in a good way, of course). Allister just finished his first EP, ―Lonesome‖ (which you can download for free on his last.fm}. He is also going on a mini tour along the west coast towards the end of summer. So go see him if you can. - kebah
-Age/Current Location/Current favorite song? I’m 19 years old, I live in Los Angeles California, my favorite song right now is Jump Into The Fire by Harry Nilsson. -What did you want to be when you were a kid? When I was a kid I wanted to be just like Jimi Hendrix and dress up like I was him, except I was this little white boy so it might have been a little awkward. -Why did you start playing music? I started playing music because it’s a way of freeing yourself from your dayjob (pun intended), or from your addictions or from your fears or from anything else that can be stressful. -Do you remember what your first song was about, and how it came about? My first song was called Dreamer and I remember once I was showing it to Linda Perry in her studio and Courtney Love walked in and thought it was the most amazing thing she had ever heard and it’s because I was obsessed with Nirvana when I wrote it in about 7th grade before my balls dropped. -What are your biggest influences? My biggest influences are dogs, trees, and so many others that the list would be for another interview dedicated completely to my influences. -What was the last piece of music you bought? And how does it make you feel? The last piece of music I actually bought was Hanson in 5th grade and it really is terrible and it makes me depressed thinking about it. I plan on buying Cerulean by Baths — which is my friend Will. We went to Hamilton together and were in bands that were friends with eachothers friends and just in a similar circuit of teenage circles in LA when we were younger.
-Some of your songs have more than just guitar...how do you plan on playing them live? On tour I’m going to have a full band but depending on the night I might use a laptop kind of like Bradford Cox [Atlas Sound] but I won’t be as creepy, haha. No, just kidding, I actually love him and think that he's very talented.
Deep down in the heart of Austin, Texas, special jumbles of energy have melded to create noisy, ghostly, and beautiful coagulations of sounds. For some reason, when I listen to these sounds, I envision a foggy cemetery with female zombies wearing long white dresses…and a very charming and welcoming patch of roses nestled at the center all of the spooky madness. Stefanie Franciotti (bass/drum machine/vocals), Sarah Brown (guitar/vocals), and Christa Palazzolo (vocals) are Sleep ∞ Over. - kebah
-How is your name supposed to be said? Sleep Over Forever or Sleep Forever Over...Or is it Sleep Infinity Over??? The name is totally whatever, though we prefer just SLEEP∞OVER - the infinity sign is more eye candy then anything.
-Some of you have been in other bands...how has working on Sleep ∞ Over been different? We all sync up around the full moon and flip the fuck out.
-How did you girls meet/form? Sarah and Christa bro’d down as pre-teenagers in Austin, Stefanie met them after college.
-Has it always been the same lineup? Yes.
-What types of instruments do you use? Sounds like lots of keyboards and what not... Akai AX 80 and 60, Casio RZ-1 drums and some crazy knock off Rickenbacker guitar and Matsumoku bass combo that was Stef’s dad’s.
-What are some things that you are constantly inspired by? Raging out on boyfriends, breaking up with girlfriends, fog machines, lasers, drugs, children, dreams, yoga, paint fumes, garbage, 2012, astrology, horses, the oil spill, coffee, resonance and cut off freq filters, knob tweaking, fat bass tones, tremolo.
-What artists are you girls influenced by? Our parents, the Solar System.
-It's interesting that you've released tapes...are you into vinyl and stuff? Into reality. Why would anyone buy a CD when you can download it for free? If you care about hearing the song at its highest quality, holding it in your hands and keeping it forever, then buy the vinyl.
-What have you been listening to these days? Prince Rama, Pure Ecst. [Pure Ecstasy], Survive, Silent Diane, Psychic Violence, George Quartz, How I Quit Crack, Amasa Gana, Sea Cry, Soft Healer, Slow Jams.
-If you could collaborate with any musician that has ever existed, who would it be? Enya and Brahms...Brian Wilson, Gram Parsons or Mama Cass.
-Your music has this really interesting quality of being dark and spooky, but there's still something really sweet about it.....I feel like I just want to float in it....like water or something. If I ever make a movie, Come Wander With Me will be in it.....Your music is really cinematic...Do you guys get any specific images in your head when you're playing? I wouldn’t say that we get images, if anything we are constantly trying to blank the fuck out and feel the groove. A really good jam feels like meditating. The visual imagery is more inspiration and eye candy to pamper the mood, thus projections/fog are ideal at shows.
-What was your first show like? Really positive, it was at Awthum Fetht during SXSW this year. It was a huge all day, all Texas shitter. We were all so well practiced and nervous that it felt a little mechanical, but everyone there was really supportive.
-I enjoyed perusing your Tumblr...are you guys visual artists as well? Yes. Christa is a painter/printer and Stefanie is a fibers artist. collector of all things.
Sarah is a straight up hoarder
-Any releases I should look forward to? Are you guys working on a full length or anything, or a more extensive tour? We’re touring this summer with Pure Ecst.
And we got some more 7‖ and a full length in the works.
So back in May, I got wind that Diane Cluck would be playing a show at the Fullhouse Gallery in Philadelphia. Fullhouse was nothing short of – someone’s house. A really messy house with really gross bathrooms…but that’s not the point! The point is it was one of the most interesting shows I’ve ever been to. People were sitting on the floor of a ―living room‖ while looking into a ―dining room‖ that was really a ―stage‖. It was all wonderful. And the best part was getting to hear Diane pour her heart out. -kebah
-Where did you grow up? Lancaster, PA.
It was suburban, with lots of cornfields around it.
-Describe your first encounters with a guitar. I played electric guitar for awhile when I was twelve. I think I did it because my friend wanted to play drums. I took lessons for a few months, had a little Gorilla amp, and joined 'guitar club' during club period in seventh grade. There were only two of us in the club. Lessons didn't go very well — guitar felt painful and clunky to me, then.
-How do you write a song? Any which way.
Moving and not thinking seems to help the process along.
-Do you remember why and when you got into playing music? I just always liked it. I had a crush on my friend's kind-of-big toy piano when I was four. One of my favorite moments in childhood was when I got to be in the house alone ( which was rare )— then I would sing until I was hoarse or until someone came home.
-What do you do when you're not playing music? I cook a lot. Really, a lot. I make everything from scratch. I like learning new old-fashioned skills in the kitchen. Making food is definitely a form of play, of care. I don't have any babies yet so I try to feed my friends and family when I can. I spend time noticing plants and making plant medicines. That started about ten years ago, when I got tired of the dead-end, violent advice I was getting from doctors.
-What's the best thing about playing for an audience? I like hearing what 'landed' for people, afterwards. I like being quiet with people, together. I'm the one with my mouth open, but singing actually feels very quiet inside.
-You're on Voodoo Eros, right? Well, I released an album with them. I think one is only 'on' a label when there are current or future commitments, which I don't have. Melissa & Bianca's label was a new venture for them at the time, with all of us learning as we went. Voodoo-Eros seems to be dormant, just now.
-Do you know Sierra and Bianca well? We are friends.
We don't spend lots of time together, but I like feeling them out there.
-Do you feel like you're part of a family of musicians? Yes, I suppose so. But it feels more like a family of people. The fact that my friends make music isn't something I notice so much anymore. I used to be more inspired by external creations. I'm more interested in people now, in what we're being, in what we're saying.
-What's your life's soundtrack? I used to listen to recorded music a lot, but now, almost never. I might be sensitive to how jagged digital media sounds and how computers have been turned into stereos. But I also soaked in so much music earlier in life that now I'm pretty much okay only hearing it live, on occasion. I sat in a subway station today and listened to a man named George play harp with amazing skill, honed for fifty years. I make a lot of music in my mind that I enjoy.
-What is your favorite sound? I like noticing when appliances, houses, etc. are powered down. That's a wonderful sound. I think about how that sound used to be everywhere all of the time. Maybe it's not a 'favorite', but it would be close.
-Have you ever played in a band or would you ever want to play in a band? I played in a Pink Floyd / R.E.M. / Peter Murphy cover band in high school, called Nosferatu. We played together at fire halls and local clubs for about three years. By the end we were playing mostly original songs, which were suggestively about vampires. We made an album in Ken Heitmueller's basement called "Agape"; I wrote and sang one of the songs called "Disciple". I was very, very nervous during recording; my teeth were chattering; the effect was that I sounded like Natalie Merchant, whose singing I liked a lot. I've been playing with a terrific drummer, Anders Griffen, for the past couple of years. It's kind of casual. We are both 'busy'. I'm not feeling wanting to play in a band, because I'm not feeling wanting to focus on that kind of relationship just now. I think you have to be there for band mates, over time, in order to create good lovin'. I do get lonely traveling and singing by myself sometimes. It's part of why I haven't toured so much. I like being at home.
-Last crazy dream you had? I am having so many crazy dreams lately. I've been sleeping in a new place. I don't feel like typing specifically about the dreams, it seems wasteful. There have been some 'shame about sex' dreams, as usual. Also some 'hey, this is a dream! I can try things out! Which is unusual â€” I used to have lucid dreams like that as a kid, but not since then until just recently. Sometimes I'm trying to fly, but it's mostly floating / hovering, and it's not easy.
-Last crazy song you heard? Dan from BunnyBrains makes good-crazy songs all the time â€” I can just stare and open up and laugh at them. We played a show together recently, and it was great. He played me some live recordings of improvised songs which were also good-crazy.
-Your living space is burning...what do you take with you? You're asking what 'stuff' is important to me? I appreciate and enjoy my stuff, but it's mostly replaceable. I like the notebooks, sewing machine, guitar, books, stones, typewriter that I have. I have a couple of mixing bowls and a wooden spoon I like that belonged to my father's mother. I might try to save my passport, because it wouldn't be fun to replace, and, until 2015, I still have the old-fashioned kind without the freaky RFID chip inside.
-What are you working on at the moment? Not rushing!
Not allowing rushing energies to rush me.]
INTERVIEWS WITH Allister Izenberg, Sleep Over and Diane Cluck.