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TABLE OF CONTENTS LOOK ALIKE :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::p.2 SEAN PECKNOLD:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::p.3 STEVE CONTE:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::p.4 MATT BUTCHER:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::p.5 BRAD OPPOSITION:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::p.6 ALL MEIXD UP: MIKAH SYKES:::::::::::::::::::::::::p.7 LAYNE/KURT TRIBUTE:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::p.8 REVIEWS:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::p.9

IN MEMORY OF A POET WORDS FROM ALLEN GINSBERG {June 3, 1926 – April 5, 1997} ―Poetry is not an expression of the party line. It's that time of night, lying in bed, thinking what you really think, making the private world public, that's what the poet does.‖ ―Follow your inner moonlight; don't hide the madness.‖ .‖

What are your favorite records of all time? After the Gold Rush, Loveless, Rubber Soul, Blood on the Tracks, Maggot Brain, All Things Must Pass, Keep It Like a Secret, Low, There‟s a Riot Goin On, The Return of the Durutti Column, Illmatic, The Soft Bulletin, Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea.

Any other form of creative expression besides music? Are those your paintings on your myspace? Yeah, the two other than the Cy Twombly. But my most recent project can be seen at It‟s satire/theory.

How did Your Nature start? I

met James

through a writing workshop in Virginia when we were younger. I moved to New York for school and started playing with them (the brothers and John Frank). Then we wrote some new material.

I think everyone kind of has that band that marked a turning point in their know, those songs that you hear and they instantly blow your mind...what's the oldest and most recent incident of that for you? At an early age that happens every day, there are so many new sounds and moods--experiences to make certain bands or songs important whether hearing the songs in that way last or not. Recently listening to Odessey and Oracle by The Zombies has done that for me.

Illustration and Interview by kebah

Have you ever played your Look Alike songs to an audience? Yes.

Where are you from? Charlottesville, Virginia.

What inspires you? Traveling,


played around the US. Mainly in the winter of 2006 when I was playing in other bands called The Extraordinaires and Lux Perpetua and opening with Look Alike stuff.


weather changing.

What was the first song you ever learned to play on the guitar? Some classical exercises on two

Any artists that you like [filmmakers, photographers, painters, etc.]? I like Eric Rohmer‟s


strings. Then a handful of Nirvana songs probably—you know the usual.

and most paintings—I have a lot to learn about photography. Too much to talk about here. Art is ultimately about ideas for me but I always try to remind myself to enjoy it sensually.

What about the first song you ever wrote...and how did it come about? I wrote songs with my

What do you get out of playing music by yourself versus playing with the band? Playing with a band is about

brother and a neighbor kid on cinnamon hill. They were about war and cryptic 90s kid stuff. “For us not THEM”.

listening, learning to compromise, and making something that is impossible alone and (hopefully) greater.

What attracted you to film making?I think it was exposure at an early age to animation and film. My dad would bring home a lot of old epic movies and musicals. I shot photographs for a long time before trying filmmaking and I think I got really interested in documentary work at first, then that evolved into more narrative storytelling then that evolved into animation where I am currently focused for the moment.

Can you think of the first time you ever picked up a camera?I remember on a family trip to Hawaii I got addicted to one of those disposable cameras and started taking photos of small insignificant things. Then in high school, I took a photography class and got hooked on it.

What was your first experimentation with film like? I remember making a short film once about a guy who figured out how the world was going to end by reading every book and newspaper article ever printed and finding patterns in them. It was edited in camera and it didn't really make any sense, but it got me excited about the process and about film. What/who were your early influences? I used to watch a lot of films growing up with my dad and brother. A lot of Terry Gilliam and Monty Python, musicals and such. My dad was working on music videos in the 90s that influenced me. The Simpsons was a big influence on our personalities I think, but also attracted me to animation. All the Disney movies growing up were an influence, but then also once I started watching stop motion animation by Jan Svankmeyer and Will Vinton and Tim Burton, and also all the stop-motion from Sesame Street and Square One and 3-2-1 Contact, that got me really interested in that form. But I was also really influenced by David Lynch, Wim Wenders, PT Anderson, Ingmar Bergman, Werner Herzog, Woody Allen, and Richard Linklater.

They all got me really excited about film. Did you ever go to art or film school…or did you just hop right into doing your own thing? I never went to art or film school. It could have been fun, but I was never good at learning in a classroom. I guess I started getting serious about making stuff after an inspiring travel experience I had in the early 2000's, and just tried to teach myself as much as I could about editing and cameras, and storytelling.

What provokes

the images that you come up with for your music videos? I‘m not really sure, I usually try and think of something that to me fits the tone of the song. Then I will try and match the visual style to that, and it goes from there. Do the images for your music videos come instantly when you hear the songs? Sometimes I get an immediate image or scene but I usually spend a couple days thinking of a bunch of ideas before landing on something I like. Then I usually do a bunch of experiments to see if it could work with the time and budget, if any. How would you describe the story line behind the

Mykonos video? I really love that one…it seems pretty abstract until it gets to the castle part. But I really love watching the geometric shapes interact with each other and morph into different arrangements in the beginning. It makes me think of acrobatics…or the people who dance in water.Thanks, I think I wanted to illustrate a classic journey using the simplest of shapes. And as I went on things got more and more elaborate and you can see the progression as it goes. I had done some tests with a multiplane set up and some scraps of paper, and I loved how such simple shapes could do so many things and transform and move. I wanted it to be a strange shape-shifting world, where this main character travelled on a sort of revenge quest and either knowingly or unknowingly destroys

Is that construction paper that you used?

everything it encounters. No we used a thicker paper made by Canford. It's really great for art and animating. The whole stop motion thing must be very detail oriented and time consuming. I'm sure that sort of process can either be a bit aggravating or really make you zone out into whatever you're doing. What's it like for you? It's quite gratifying really. It's time-consuming but the pay off is worth it once you start seeing a shot come together.

Do you do any sculpture aside from your music videos? Seems like you’d be good at it. I love sculpting, it's something I want to keep doing. I'm We are usually working out of my basement studio in Seattle and we put on some records or a podcast and just get into it. Time starts to fly by after a while.

working on some pieces for an outdoor show I have in mind. Sculpting is so gratifying, I would recommend it to anyone, even if only for an exercise.

music as well?I've tried, but I know I'm no good at it.

Do you make

I enjoy singing with my family when it happens, and I do a lot of sound design pieces that sometimes takes on

a slight musical form, but as far as writing songs, I'll leave that to the musicians. What are some things that you are constantly inspired by? Riding my bike, seeing a new place, music, the outdoors, old movies, sounds, ice cream, old people,babies, science, history, and love. Why do you enjoy creativity?Because I was never really good at anything too practical. Any interesting things in the works? Some friends and I just finished making an animation for the BBC Knowledge, and we are working on a pilot series for an online animated television show as well. Also developing a couple other film and music video projects. I am definitely looking forward to trying a bunch of new things over the next couple years.

"Record stores are like museums, libraries, sacred places." Steve Conte and I value the musical days of old. His latest album, Steve Conte and the Crazy Truth, brings to mind an era when people filed into record shops on the very day that an album was released. Now, I won‘t be surprised if rock n‘ roll lovers line up virtually to download his record on iTunes. Steve Conte and the Crazy Truth has a history that took shape long before it‘s release date in 2009. "I had a lot of these songs with the Crown Jewels‖ (a band he was in during the early 1990‘s.) But they didn‘t fit the Jewels‘ melodic records.‖ The first songs emerged 20 years ago when he was living in New York. ―The feeling of the songs came from a similar place: sex, drugs, booze, crazy people." Conte was not idle while he waited for the right place in time. He was in several bands; Company of Wolves in 1990, the Crown Jewels in 1996 and the Contes in 2003. In 1993, the acclaimed Japanese composer Yoko Kanno asked him to sing on her solo album Song to Fly. This formed a lasting impression. He tells me that just last summer he was in Tokyo, Japan performing some of Yoko Kanno‘s songs with Japanese artist Maaya Sakamoto. Overtime, Kanno has asked him to work on several anime sound tracks, my favorites being Wolf’s Rain and Cowboy Bebop. "Could You Bite the Hand" is a definite stand out track from the former. When I ask him about it, he says, "She played me a track by her band The Seatbelts. It was a great bosa nova song," I can hear the admiration in Conte‘s voice, "I didn‘t know what I could add." The final version of the track, which is acoustic, emerged spontaneously, "I was playing my acoustic guitar, just messing around, and she asked me to play it just like that. I guess the other track got scrapped." What resonated with me as a listener is that it sounded raw, like a good recording from a live show. I always wondered if he tracked the guitars and vocals together. Of that, he said, "I recorded it live, without a net, but tracked the guitar and the vocals separately. I did have to learn how to play and sing it live. I was playing guitar 90 miles per hour! I play it a lot now." "There‘s never a dull moment," Steve Conte says about playing shows with the New York Dolls. There‘s a lot of improvising between him and guitarist Sylvain Sylvain. Conte cut his teeth hitting musical "curve balls" on stage with Eric Burden and the Animals. He clearly enjoys those "left turns" as he fittingly refers to them. He‘s been playing with the Dolls since 2004 and says, "There‘s no such thing as a mistake. That‘s why I love the Dolls, "he says, "It wakes up monogamy." He wanted Steve Conte and the Crazy Truth to posses that energy. "It‘s pretty much what we sound like live. It‘s the record I‘ve always wanted to make. My past projects were built in the studio without thinking about what it sounds like live. "Conte wasn‘t always a fan of the garage rock genre. "I missed the dolls. I was listening to The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix. I didn‘t get garage rock. When I was a kid I heard that Dolls and said, ‗Nah.‘" Years later he would take on the project of playing guitar for their reunion show and listen to their records. Unlike the days of his youth, Conte thought they sounded genius. That was 2004 at the Royal Festival Hall. "Morrissey put it together. He‘s the president of the Dolls fan club. David Johansen (front man of the New York Dolls) had been asked about a reunion show before but he always said no." Around the house, Conte says he rarely listens to rock. "At home, I listen to opera, old dub reggae, flamenco, African music. I have eclectic taste." His family is important to him. "I just took my 8 month old to see his first gallery. In New York, you forget what‘s around the corner from your apartment." He and his brother Jon have had a musical friendship since they were children. "Growing up I heard Tchaikovsky and Beethoven around the house. My brother I would make up characters and dances to the songs, like, ‗This one sounds like pirates,‘ or ‗This one sounds like sailors.‘ We were being creative and acting out music." The Contes play music together in a manner opposite the Gallagher brothers of British band Oasis. They get along very well. He describes playing with his brother like "musical telepathy." Without speaking, they can feed off of the same musical train of thought, but respect each other‘s differing perspectives. "Lee approaches things completely different from me. He‘s into punk and reggae. The Crazy Truth is my first band without my brother as the bass player." Steve Conte and the Crazy Truth is a soulful rock record. The lyrics tell tales about the underbelly of that genre of excess. When I ask him about the lyrical content Conte says, "It sounds like a rock n‘ roll party. Reviewers call it a party record. But if you want to look deeper there‘s something else there." This rings true. When listening to the record anyone with at least a decent sense of rhythm can‘t help but move. Here and there you pick up on the lyrics ("In New York City/ Feel high then sh*tty/ The truth ain‘t pretty after all") and realize that this is more than a party. Each song has the fast and loose appeal of the rock n‘ roll days of old. The album opens ominously with a song titled "This is End." About the track he says, "‗This is the End‘ is ironic for me because I start at the end and look back. The songs are about self destructive trips that people I knew and myself were on." The album has the sober perspective that he gained when he realized that he didn‘t need to intentionally suffer to make music. It‘s an album of many dimensions. There‘s the party, the booze, sex and drugs and then there‘s what‘s left, the other side. The title says it all; it‘s the crazy truth. - Jocelyn

Just seconds into our phone conversation, it‘s apparent that Matt Butcher and I have something in common. We both know the perilous combination of infant relatives and dogs. He excuses himself to ask his sister to stop his nephew from hitting the family companion. Butcher spent the day working at Dandelion Communitea Café in Orlando, Florida. "They don‘t mind me leaving for a few weeks to tour," he says. Many musicians would envy such luck. The first time I listened to "Me and My Friends" by Matt Butcher I immediately grabbed my Moleskine note book and feverishly wrote down my impression of him. I was immediately struck by a sincerity that has rarely been heard since James Taylor‘s heyday and Nick Drakes captivating, melancholic instrumentation. Throughout the record, it‘s apparent that the musician has a maturity that belies his 26 years. In photographs, Butcher‘s wide green eyes hold the story of a well worn trail amongst his thin, youthful frame. "I wrote the title track, ‗Me and My Friends,‘ when I was 18." he says. The opener is a definite glimpse into a dark time. The lines, "Let‘s drive out of town, get stoned and get lost and turn and my friends are hurting," are reminiscent of a life he later tells me he left behind. After talking to him, it‘s no surprise that such a young person can make music of a higher caliber. He was raised listening to artists who have had successful, long careers (The Beatles, Van Morrison, U2) thanks to his dad (a journalist who wrote news write-ups for YWAM-Youth With a Mission.) His mom got him started playing the guitar, "The only instrument I play decently," Butcher confesses with a laugh. His missionary family lived in England, Amsterdam, and Colorado. After his band The Heathens split up in 1996 Butcher began to focus on solo work. He settled in Florida in 1999. The songs on Me and My Friends were conceived over a 5-6 year period. He chose the final 11 tracks because of their connecting thread—they were the most revealing. "I was kind of a partier. I would go out a lot and drink. I got sober 5 years ago," he says specifically of the R.E.M. tinged song "The Company I Keep," which is a prominently dark tale of loneliness, "I wrote that song about staying home and not knowing how to connect with people because I‘d been so used to getting trashed." The song opens with the lyrics "Black shoes with a worn out sole/ Same old blues/ Rock n‘ Roll/ Friday night and there‘s nowhere to go/ But stay home alone...try to build castles in a city made of sand and sin." The first time I head him sing that loneliness was, "A thief in the night/ He‘s dressed in black/ He breaks in my house every night...he‘s just the kind of company I keep," my own memories of the feeling surfaced. On the phone, the sincerity found in his music also comes through in Butcher‘s low register voice. He‘s the kind of pleasant and polite stranger that you would remember speaking with briefly on a bus. The song "Grace on a Greyhound Bus" chronicles such an encounter. "I was taking a Greyhound Bus to play a show with the Avett Brothers. When I woke, up there was a woman sitting across from me." Butcher then listened to her story about her departure from an abusive boyfriend and gave her some money. I don‘t think she‘ll ever forget him. Butcher‘s album is not without heartbreak. But, the track, "Giving My Sadness a Name" isn‘t your typical degradation trip. Instead, Butcher chose to visit the relationships end from both view points. He and singer Olivia Wynn harmonize the tale of

love found ("We locked eyes in a crowded bar"), fought for ("Two warring families just couldn‘t have kept us apart"), and lost ("Don‘t look back...Don‘t worry ‗bout my pain/ Your just giving my sadness a name.") Whenever he sings, "girl", Wynn sings, "boy", a narrative technique that I haven‘t heard since the Raveonettes album Pretty In Black. The folk and country laced ballads on the record have a classic sweet melancholy that can make you immediately smitten. Butcher has a collection of Native American and Western style tattoos. My favorite is the dream catcher on his shoulder. "You think about your first one a lot," he says, "then that opens up the flood gates. I don‘t over think them very much anymore. I‘ll think, ‗I want a dream catcher on my arm,‘ and the next day, I have one." Butcher describes the process of recording his upcoming record, "more like Frankenstein," in terms of the revolving cast of musicians who will be involved. This time, he‘s changed his line up completely. It was an amicable split. Butcher likes to start a record with a "clean slate" and feels that the direction of the record will stay focused. This time, he has multiinstrumentalist Anthony Cole and melodic bass master Matt Laphan on his side with more people to come. Unlike Me and My Friends, the narratives are not from his personal life. He‘s been inspired by Southern Gothic literature. Books by Cormack McCarthy, William Faulkner, and Flannery O‘Connor‘s are providing inspiration. Butcher is intrigued by the tragic characters and stories with dark overtones. With him at the helm, the album is bound to read like a good novel. -Words and Illustration by Jocelyn


Where do you reside and how old are you? I live in a big, empty, plastic house with ten cats and a lazy dog in Royersford, PA and I'm 18 years old. What were your influences growing up? Due to a series of concussions I don't remember anything before 4th grade. But after that, I was really influenced by punk, the squatting/freegan lifestyle, and society and its many flaws. Have you ever been on tour or would you like to in the future?I've never been on tour, but I hope one day that I will be able to. I love traveling to new places. Do you play all of the instruments in your recordings? Yes, unless my friends were there at the time of the recording, but they mostly play the other parts when I play live shows. Do you express yourself in any other artistic form?I love to paint, graffiti and write poetry. Your music expresses a wide range of sounds, very dynamic. Does that sort of versatility come naturally to you? I get sick of the same thing over and over again, sometimes I go through phases where every song I make sounds the same, and I get tired of it, so that's why it all sounds so different. What have you been listening to as of lately?Lately I've been listening to Little Teeth, Animal Collective, Discharge, the Germs, Crass, and MF Doom.


ALL MEIXD UP Musician, Mikah Sykes {who you may recognize from issue 01}, gives Hook and Line a sneak peek into what he‘s been listening to these days for this issue‘s mixtape feature.


My first memories of Layne Staley go back to middle school. I heard a beautiful song called "Nutshell" one day and I was captivated. The lyrics were equally deep, painful and lonely. My older brother informed me that I‟d been listening to a cover. For Christmas, he gave me a tape of Alice in Chains: Unplugged and said that I "had to have the original." "Nutshell" was the first track. I listened to the tape countless times, but always rewound it back to the start after that song. I didn‟t listen to much more Alice in Chains until years later. One summer, when I was seventeen, I discovered Alice electric. My few friends were all on vacation. Even my grandparents, whom I love to spend time with, were away at some tropical paradise. I was alone. I put on my brother‟s Alice in Chains CD and tried my hand at playing along on the drums. From there, an obsession was rooted. The combination of Layne Staley‟s expressive vocals and the intense instrumentation was a power that many bands aspire to achieve, but often fall short of reaching. The lyrics that he and guitarist Jerry Cantrell wove so carefully and beautifully reached out to me in all my times of alienation. I know this sounds cliché, but it was soothing to hear thoughts and feelings similar to my own come out of someone else‟s art. Layne Staley was a musician of an incredible caliber who unfortunately died in 2002. The love hate relationship with drugs that he expressed in his music took his life. When I heard that Alice was reuniting with a new singer, I was a bit upset. I‟m embarrassed to admit that I was quite unaccepting of the idea. "That‟s like U2 without Bono!" I even said to a friend on one occasion. But after months of refusal to hear the new material, I had a change of heart. Mike Inez, Sean Kinney and Jerry Cantrell don‟t make music because they want to be filthy rich. They do it because they love it. They wouldn‟t include anyone in Alice in Chains who doesn‟t care about the music and respect it as much them. William DuVall is a great vocalist and front-man, and the new material is sick. I thought I would honor Layne by being close-minded, but I can only do that by opening myself up to what the people who love and care about him are doing; their making music with the same passion that he always had.- Jocelyn

The song “Come As You Are” emanated from the TV screen. The couch was a magnet and I was a shard of iron. I sat down, like a student. This was when I learned about being “doused in mud” and “soaked in bleach”, how to be Dumb and about a man named Kurt Cobain. “Kurt who? Oh, yeah, that sounds familiar”. Familiarity matured into buying myself a copy of In Utero and becoming accustomed to the feeling of Nirvana. Sometime thereafter, I received Nirvana Unplugged as a Christmas gift. Subsequently, I became enthralled in the acidic sensitivity that was Kurt‟s voice. Acidic Sensitivity. Kurt Cobain, at that point, was beyond “grunge” or the “Seattle scene” or flannel shirts. From what I have listened to, I consider Kurt to be an incredibly sincere artist. My favorite song on Nirvana Unplugged is none other than “Where Did You Sleep Last Night”. It ends with Kurt singing with the intensity of a car engine, yet it still somehow manages to sound graceful and beautiful. That takes real talent. It only really gets you the very first time you hear the song. It leaves you in awe—as if you just witnessed some incredible act of nature—like thunder ripping the dendrites off of a tree or really incredible, howling wind or rain that looks like it‟ll pierce the ground. Or, like all of those things happening at once—it makes you feel alive. His music will never burn out nor will it ever fade away.*kebah


AMONG MY SWAN Placid murmurs like dripping honey. Hope Sandoval‟s voice elongates time and like a good piece of candy, makes you want more. If twizzlers were somehow transformed into sound, they would be inclined to shape themselves into the tunes that spew from Hope‟s every croon. An effortless bird chirp entangled within in Boback‟s tumbleweeding, brillo pad-ish, nesty guitar fuzz. Among My Swan is slow music for those seemingly mundane moments that are actually quite sublime once a second look is taken. It is music that urges you to notice the divine sunset or the infinite patters that exist in a flower‟s petal. Opposed to owning the moment, this record paints a backdrop for your thoughts to tumble freely. I can attest, for, the first time I heard this record [I always say that in reviews, „the first time I heard this record…‟], I was walking on a path down by the Schuylkill River on a super hot humid day while the sun was beginning to close its eyes. Then, I was forced to lie down on a bench and observe the paintings in the sky. It‟s not often that you get to Disappear into the clouds with angels singing in your ear. -kebah


Spring has arrived! Time to go for a drive and roll the windows down. If you‟re going to turn your music up to 11, why not Rock n Roll? Though, Ryan Adams only recorded it in two weeks to humor his record label (then, Lost Highway), he clearly wasn‟t messing around. He covered all the bases: Bravado? Check. Profanity? Check. Sex? Check. With the help of some friends, who just happened to be talented, he put his signature on the American rock genre. His quick, bullet barrage vocal intonation on most tracks is almost cheesily rock. He gets old school with "1974." Adams boasts rock bravado with lines, "The city is an animal ready to eat/ It‟s raining like a nosebleed...bloody as the day I was born!/ It‟s 1974!" Here, perhaps he‟s saying that his labels expectations are stuck in rock‟s heyday of the 1970s. "Shallow" is reminiscent of many sixties songs that came out of the wave of mass drug consumption. It hints at an underlying sexual tone with lines like, "I gotta know you inside out/ Know what I‟m talking about?" but doesn‟t get any more explicit than that. He even touches on a 1980's feel with the hit "So Alive" and the slow song "Does Anybody Want to Take Me Home?" which has a heavy Smiths overtone. The opening lines ("So, I am in the twilight of my youth/ Not that I‟m going to remember") sound like they came out of Morrissey‟s own mouth. "Note to Self: Don‟t Die" plays with the rock n‟ roll „live fast, die young‟ attitude. Adam‟s sings about being blue and cold, "But never sick enough to die." The chorus is a headbanging barrage of guitars where he sings, "Note to self/ Don‟t change for anyone/ Just lie." Throughout the record, signature, old school, girl group „ooohs‟ are supplied by Adams‟ then Chelsea Hotel neighbor, bassist Melissa Auf der Maur. They especially seem fit on the mockery anthem "Do Miss America." The chorus is lewd in a rock-ish way ("Hey! C‟mon/ Everybody do Miss America/ Hey! You know when she goes down it‟s hysterical.") But, the verse plays with the dark side of a plastic American dream ("So tell me how you feel without your medicine?...sweet sixteen for a schizoid") The record is penetrated with the quiet, piano-driven track conversely titled "Rock n Roll." The song is a direct stab as his label with lyrics like, "Everybody‟s cool playing rock n‟ roll/ But I don‟t feel cool at all." Adams originally approached his label with the gorgeous and painfully excellent Love is Hell double album. But, New York City rockers like the Strokes were „in.‟ They demanded rock, and Adams delivered an album like a sucker punch in the face. - Jocelyn




INTERVIEWS WITH Malcolm Perkins (Look Alike, Your Nature), Sean Pecknold, Matt Butcher and Steve Conte.