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JULY 2009 ISSUE #4


ISSUE #4 TABLE OF CONTENTS

6

community records

download day

12

title f i ght photo spread

26

wingnut dishwashers union review

32

andrew jackson jihad interview re: house show @ chriz z’s


aurora braddon


“To put it simply, I had a lot of time to think,” said Matt Banta about the

construction of DON’T SAY I WON’T’s new EP Heavy Hearts. A depressing cocktail of isolation, inadequacy and misery hung on Banta as he sat down on university grounds one night last September and wrote the first Don’t Say I Won’t lyric: ‘Late night I’m walking home/and the loved ones are under street lights calling home/as I walk by I feel all alone, there’s no one to call./No one on the other line.’ What was Banta’s emotional trash became Bryan Burke, D’andre Fontanelle and his musical treasure. That line germinated into ‘Mary Lyon,’ the first track on the five song EP. They’re the fruits of practices in Burke’s back house, a hub that generated the Jawbreaker/Alkaline Trio fused melodic hardcore found on Heavy Hearts. Whatever fever Banta devotes into songwriting is just as intense as the band’s team gusto. “It’s the first thing I think about in the morning, it’s my best friends and it’s what I’ve become. I swear if I die before my time it will be with these two guys in a car full of gear.”

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Being so emotionally founded, it makes sense to expect a lyric heavy trend- the kind that shoves the heart on its sleeve directly in your ear’s eye. And at points, it does just that. ‘The Apple Who Fell Far From The Tree’ has an acoustic introduction that is rich in nostalgia and the powerlessness that comes with the inability to change the past: “Do you remember the summer days?/Those autumn nights?/We sat on our roof watching the sky go by/wishing we were someone else/somewhere else/I never understood how good we had it.” Through the grit of his flat yell, Banta delivers an unprocessed vocal component. At other parts, the musical and lyrical breakdowns tend to pick up at the clutch before collapse. They never hinge completely on the emotionalism that brought them into being in the first place. It’s a balance that brings to fruition a record as laden with lyricism as it is with melodic heft. EG

"

Nick Balzano once gave me the best advice I’ve heard. He told me, “When you’re playing in a band, write those songs as if you’re creating your own favorite band. And when the songs are done, if you sit back and listen to them and you’re not your own favorite band then you’re not done yet.” I am to the point where if I did not create this music, it would be my favorite band. And that is enough for all of us. flickr.com/photos/thisjaneisplain

matt banta

all photos by laurelin matulis

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"


downloa

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DOWNLOAD DAY DOWNLOAD DAY DOWNLOAD DAY DOWNLOAD DAY DOWNLOAD DAY

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community

DOWNLOAD DAY DOWNLOAD DAY DOWNLOAD DAY

DOWNLOAD DAY

COMMUNITY RECORDS is a grassroots record label created to

cater to the “little pocket of bands” Greg Rodrigue and his mates were in at the time. They had designs on doing a compilation with some staples like Public Access, The Flaming Tsunamis and The Fad. As ideas have the tendency to do, it grew into something much larger. Today, Community Records is a label that offers all sorts of media from their friends and labelmates: CD-Rs and vinyl, zines and compilations. “No label was going to come out of nowhere and sign ourselves,” said Rodrigue. “It just came down to [the realization] we have to do this ourselves. No predominant label was doing this special niche genre, where they would want to sign all our little ska bands.” Making their music even more accessible, Community Records is

holding their third DOWNLOAD DAY on JULY 30TH. Heaps of free downloads will be available, including The Flaming Tsunamis’ entire discography. The process is as web-Neanderthal friendly as any other site, newsletter, or spam you’ve intentionally or accidentally signed up for in your life. After entering some basic information like your name, e-mail, and location, you’re also asked for some thoughts or comments on Community Records. When that’s all filled out, an e-mail is sent to your inbox- now, whether it goes to spam or not depends on how picky your server is, but I just kept an eye out for it and moved it from spam. Once you access the free downloads page, you have a selection between ‘active’ and ‘in-active’ bands. A new page opens up with a column of record thumbnails, which if you click on will begin downloading in a .zip file. Some, like Stuck Lucky’s Possum Soul, even come with attached lyric book and cover art files. There’s also album descriptions available. Now, onto some elaboration via Greg.

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records

DOWNLOAD DAY DOWNLOAD DAY

IP: TELL ME ABOUT DOWNLOAD DAY.​

G: This is the third one we’re doing. Community Records has a lot of

mp3s for free download, and instead of putting albums up randomly or trying to promote each album at one time, we just put six or eight or nine albums up at one time from different bands. That way there can be a lot of promotion, we can get people to check out a lot of different music for free at the same time.

IP: HOW LONG ARE THE DOWNLOADS AVAILABLE FOR?

G: They stay up on the website until we stop being a website.

IP: HOW HAS THE FLAMING TSUNAMIS IMPACTED YOU?

G: They’ve been highly influential. For years they’ve worked really

hard and created music that’s really weird but likeable. I’m pretty sad that they’re deciding to call it quits, but I understand. I’m happy they’re trying to put together one last record. I’m excited about that, excited that community records can be a part of that.

IP: When’s the release going to be? What are Community’s other plans for the record?

G: Tentatively October. That’s the goal. We’re still trying to figure

out how we’re going to do the mp3s with vinyl, since they probably aren’t going to be touring a whole lot… the advantage of giving away mp3s is reduced. For sure, there’s going to be a really cool vinyl with some sort of weird colors and patterns and packaging. The vinyl might come with the CD instead of trying to sell them separately. We haven’t figured out yet how digital distribution is going to go.

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IP: Who else besides The Flaming Tsunamis are going to have material up for free download?

G: A Billion Ernies, Informant from Texas, which has members who used to be from Detonate. It’s their brand new album, they kind of sound like RX Bandits-like ska but a little bit more punk. We’re also putting up albums from Arm the Poor and Infamous Jake. IP: What are your thoughts on the downloading wave versus physical formats like vinyl and CD-Rs?

G: I think that there’s obviously room for both to exist. Downloading won’t eradicate the idea of having physical albums. As far as music ‘sales’ go, there needs to be less emphasis on selling albums, because it’s pretty obvious that music arrives for free in front of people. In terms of underground music, mp3s should be either really cheap or free for the most part. There’s just way more added benefit of having someone hear your band and potentially liking it than having to sell them something and getting a small amount of money from it. I think that there are other ways to make a living off of music than having to put a stranglehold on physical albums. If you’re trying to make a living off of it, it’s one thing. But as far as free mp3s go, I feel like it really-- in the end-- helps live shows where people can much more easily have a connection with your band. They don’t have to pay anything to be introduced to what you’re trying to do as a musician. The barriers of entry to figure out what the band is all about are diminished or nonexistent. Donations have been a really small part of the label’s income, but we have it available. I feel that it’s better to put out physical albums and t-shirts or whatever else so when they give money to the label, they get something tangible in return.

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IP: Explain a little bit of the process behind Download Day.

G: We get the word out through messageboards and our newsletter.

Every time someone new comes- we ask people to submit as much info as they want, but we ask for their name, city, thoughts/comments on the label and e-mail address. The only thing you really need to fill out is your e-mail to get an automatic response in your inbox that has a link to all the mp3s. We look at the e-mails and look at what people are saying for one, but we also put them on a newsletter to let them know about future stuff in case of another Download Day or a record coming out or a tour or whatever. I know people can very easily crack the code of getting into the website, because we don’t have any firewalls or anything like that. Some people are weird about giving out their e-mail or getting on a newsletter. It’s not that we’re trying to hold it back from anybody, we’re just trying to get the music out to the people who want it.

IP: Any last words?

G: If there’s anyone who’s reading this who’s familiar with us in the past, thanks for paying attention and caring and giving us your support. We started this a little over a year ago and it’s more successful than we’d ever hoped for and it’s all because people care. EG

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Material

ABRAHAM

like

KING’s always has a definitive texture, oftentimes sacrificing the standard priority of vocals over instrumentation. It’s in the same vein of his lofi ancestry. Elf Power, Great Lake Swimmers and Thanksgiving have a similar resonance, and all create the sparse, homespun tracks that can be heard on Mark of the Mess. Some tracks are tighter than others, like ‘The Busy People’ which opens the record. It’s shorter, for one- ‘Two Jackals Go Roaming’, the longest on the record, packs up at 7:04. Adam Eisler takes any window of time and tacks on his planks of arrangements and sampling until just a few shards of light are left poking their head through. Most songs were done in one take on a 4 track or digital 24 track to avoid the process becoming “corrupted or complicated.” Straying into experimental territory, his songs tend to dilute with the extra time they’re given. Take ‘Never Thirsty, Never Drinking,’ one of the strongest of the six. The chord progression is brooding, and attractive. But it’s repetitive, laying down a rule of thumb for the rest of Mess. Base, simple instrumentation simply filters on a backdrop while Eisler’s cottony vocals, whistling, and other general noise constantly mutates in the foreground.

HOT AIR PRESS ABRAHAM KING MARK OF THE MESS

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“If there is one thing that I could say about the record is that it is almost entirely influenced by things non-musical; the woods, animals, and alienation from the aforementioned,” said Eisler. For King, the album title illustrated the “typical story of finding an identity and suffering from the many mental ailments that manifest themselves as signs or ‘marks of a mess.’” Marks of the mess materialize structurally within the lattice of the songs. Feedback-like interference ducks in and out of ‘Two Jackals Go Roaming,’ layers are laid on and hold their own while settling in the dust of a gritty song. After some flat tonnage overlays Eisler’s voice, it eventually digests the song’s end entirely. ‘Looking Up/Down’ has a sort of similar dustiness to it, like a track you’d find in a sun bleached attic behind one of those too-happy, too-posed vintage portraits. There’s a weathered feel to it, Eisler singing, ‘Looking up I wasn’t young/looking down I wasn’t old.’ The way his voice echoes gives the song, and the body of the record, a haunting antiquity. The CD-R and cassette are available through Hot Air Press. EG

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REMEMBER THAT TIME

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all photos bylaurelin matulis www.flickr.com/photos/thisjaneisplain

ELISE GRANATA | INKWELL PRESS | ELISEGRANATA@YAHOO.COM

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all photos bylaurelin matulis www.flickr.com/photos/thisjaneisplain

E?


Straylight Run still stands, as does a massive collaborative

musical outreach. JOHN NOLAN is still managing to branch off in yet another direction- the solo tour. Nolan’s solo material is more introspective than emotional, drawing from other sources like religion rather than his personal plight. He’ll be playing THE on Saturday, JULY

25th thanks to Manic Productions.

SPACE

IP: Is there any source from which you get most of your inspiration for songwriting? J:I’ve drawn from different inspirations at different times, and I think in the past I tended to draw from more negative feelings I would have. I would use songwriting as a way to tap into frustrations and things that I’ve felt that were negative but didn’t know how to express otherwise. More recently, I’ve gotten tired of that. It’s kind of like-if you keep doing that--a lot of what you’re putting out and sharing with people is negative. I’ve tried to draw inspiration from a more thoughtful place, not forcing things to be positive but not drawing from emotionally negative feelings that I have. That’s what I’m hoping for.

IP: Do you notice your style changing while going through different projects?

J: I think that there are things that are always going to be there through whatever project I’m doing. There’s something in the melodies that I write that usually stays fairly the same- I could look all the way back through any band I’ve been in, all the way through high school and there’s something in the melody’s make up that doesn’t change very much. It’s just a consistency. I tend to mess around with different projects but I always come back to songs that have basic chord progressions, songs that you could break down to just playing on the acoustic guitar no matter what the style of that is.

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It’s definitely not a conscious kind of thing. There are chords, chord progressions, and melodies that I think I like, and gravitate toward to without much thought.

IP: What direction are you trying to take your solo work in?

J: I’m really trying to embrace the idea of simple, straight forward song with basic chord progression and solid melody, but I’m also trying to go further than I had in the past with arrangements around the song. It’s a slightly different direction with slightly different songs.

It’s me and the producer [Mike Sapone] (Brand New, Straylight Run), who got the album from me after I did everything at home. He added drum machine stuff, and bass and guitar and keyboard. It’s because while mixing it, he heard things he thought would enhance the songs and did some drumming, added little bits of instrument to fill things out. It’s collaboration in a pretty serious way.

IP: What are your plans for the tour you’re going on? Who are you touring with?

J: We’re going out with MANSIONS and we’re gonna do a kind of thing where we get involved in each other’s set. Their band is going to be playing on some of my songs and I’ll maybe play something here and there with them and collaborate on performances. So far what I’ve done is have my wife play keyboards and a little bit of guitar with me, recreating some of the arrangements on the songs in a more low key way. I’m still figuring out how many songs we can pull together that Mansions can play with me.

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IP: What are you going to do with the material?

J: As long as everyone who worked on the songs are okay with it, I’m going to put it up for free download at some point. Haven’t talked to people who’ve sent it to me yet, but they’re probably as happy to get their music out there as much as I am.

IP:

And

your

plans

for

the

solo

album?

J: Set to be released in September. [Not having the record available on tour] will probably be an obstacle. Going to put some songs out on my myspace page, gonna get at least two of the songs from the album up for people to listen to. Maybe I’ll just record some acoustic versions of songs and make a little EP out of that to sell for the shows on the tour or just to give away. I’m trying to think of some things to do. EG

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7PM| 12 dollars

J: It kind of started a while before I was gonna get the songs from my album up on myspace. I think it’s an interesting way to get music out there before the songs from album. To have people send music to me and collaborate on it seemed like an interesting idea, a good way to get some music going, and was a challenging project for me, too. Some people sent in songs with vocals over it, but it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for. The songs I ended up going with were songs with instruments that people sent me, so far I’ve only added a little to the songs instruments like guitar or synthesizer. Mostly what I’ve done is written lyrics. Put it up on my myspace, that was all I did. Absolute punk put a post up on their website. Got like one hundred-something songs sent to me I na couple of days. Didn’t take much to get the word out.

wi. mansions | modern hearts break faster | the tired and true |

IP: Tell me a little about your collaborative project. Why are you doing it? Process?


You might remember Mama Urff and recognize East India Company. You probably don’t know Bicycle Thieves or Bearcastle Jug Orchestra. And really, as far as the latter goes, I’m not totally sure if it’s a legitimate project.

In any case, JON STONE is the common denominator throughout them all, and whether he’s performing all by his lonesome or with a full band, there’s a trembling deviant in him all the same. That deviant extracts from bands like The Pixies and Sonic Youth, and spouts tongue-in-cheek balladry via his technicolor acoustic guitar. A close vocal comparison is Jeff Mangum. But the dynamic of Stone’s songs are of a breezier pace than Neutral Milk, and his voice is consequently a less swollen, more able-bodied one. I’ve seen his boxered, writhing self be electrocuted on stage while electricity met bubble-gun residue, and I’ve seen him perch on a stool in the middle of a hall--an acoustic guitar planted on his torso-- as the folk induced ‘fill-in’ while sets were in limbo. He’s also opened for Titus Andronicus while bedazzled in a purple dress. All I can say is that if you keep your thumb-or at least a pinkie-on any of those names mentioned up there, you’ll be able to tap into some of Stone’s fundamental joie de song. EG

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“We’re all weird ass dudes making music,” said guitarist Mario Nascimento, balancing on a stool as I was talking to him one night outside of a show. He

was referring to COLD SNAP, a callous brand of hardcore saluting from the ranks of northern Connecticut. On a single-sided, double track 7” titled Godspeed, Cold Snap will be releasing ‘Can You Even Hear me Scream? and ‘Trials.’ Like on their untitled demo and EP, the band shies away from the technical ying of hardcore and sticks with the brutal, face-up yang. A single play-through of the record falls five seconds short of a five minute clockin. If there’s any aftertaste, it’s one of blood. The run is short, tense and violent. Godspeed’s trumping style straddles recent hardcore- one foot planted in late 90’s material and the other with a toe in progressively post-hardcore elements. ‘Can You Even Hear me Scream?’ is a tight interface of blunt dissonance, more sure-footed in pace than their ‘Skeleton in NYC’ while tolerating no more relief. Most of the song’s relentlessness varies with that of the bass drum. It’s almost bruising, and swallows both of the tracks on the recording.

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Instruments on the record were recorded in “a basement in Seymour,” said vocalist Jack Vibert. The production process, also homegrown, was done by Nascimento. Vibert tracked at the humble abode of Kilian Appleby, also “king of the road.” Godspeed will be released through Hot Air Press. The writhing duration of ‘Can You’ oscillates between spiraling electric staircases and the song’s grounding chords. Those give you the only minor inch of footing you’ll be spared on the record. On ‘Trials,’ Vibert nearly bleeds a vocal aneurysm- a fate he borders on the rest of his Cold Snap track record. But here, while the song’s title rips through his esophagus in the chorus, he unhinges completely. That strain is something Cold Snap latches onto with a chilled vice and exhausting solidarity. What’s interesting is that complete release in ‘Trials’ gives something like an anti-relief. The tension has finally ‘snapped,’ and the record ends in UFO-like static. EG

BIRTH OF FLOWER

From the ashes of Post-Modern Sounds and from Bristol, Connecticut

BIRTH OF FLOWER

comes Birth of Flower, the band name perhaps referring to the “birth” of a new and more serious sound. “With the Birth...we wanted to do something different,” described Jeremiah Tillman, ”maybe more serious, maybe not, we were not too sure.” Birth of Flower has opened their minds to write metaphorical and intricate lyrics instead of their previous lyrical references to Ron Jeremy and proctors. I was tossed around by the vocalist’s uninterruptible array of words that are not necessarily screamed, just simply thrown forcefully. They have a unique sound that’s a general mix between post-punk garage rock, psychedelic rock, and a jam band. The result is top notch fun that just about anybody can enjoy no matter what decade you live in. I’d say that if The Gories were not such a noisy mess, merged with Magazine and then recruited The Jesus Lizard’s David Yow as a vocalist, Birth of Flowers would be the outcome. In regards to their future, “We are basically floundering about Connecticut from show to show, directionless, and I say all this sincerely, with the biggest smile on my face possible,” said Jeremiah. “We are still living in the shed in the scene but are willing to expand and essentially be fully creative to our hearts’ content.” They plan to record in the next two months. JW

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I

try to keep all

I

n

kwell

the

material

in

Connecticut-

based, whether it’s a touring band playing a show in state or you know, a band that’s actually in state. But I’ve seen some acts recently- although foreigners- that I’ve wanted to write about.

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“What were those sounds coming out of his mouth?” Through whatever voodoo, the voice of the solo polk act we had just seen,

BROOK

PRIDEMORE, was good.

Not to say other acts in the same vein aren’t, but with the standard acoustics of a basement or driveway, yelling usually takes the front seat. That being said, Pridemore’s craft can be both for the faint of heart and for those who have eaten their musical Wheaties. As he puts it, his performance is more of a “dance party,” the bits on his acoustic guitar buoyed by almost poppy tempo. The tone of the lyricism throughout A Brighter Light (see: “99% the record I wanted to make”), is face-up organic, and both metaphor and nonsense-free for those of you with those stubborn literary allergies. And then there’s his singing. “Because I was kind of a nerd growing up (as opposed to the full-fledged [one] I’ve grown into), everyone (family, friends, everyone) laughed in my face when I played,” Pridemore said. “So I started screaming. People still laughed. So I kept screaming. Eventually they stopped laughing.” With the naysayers quieted, he stuck with being loud. Only now, he sings. Like a goddamn angel, in fact. In the most psychotic interludes of his new record A Brighter Light— in the title track, for one—Pridemore’s riotous siren still pokes its head through. But overall, the aesthetic of the record is harnessed and refined. Though studio performance, Pridemore said, is a “different beast.” “And to just bang through acoustic demos, and then expect people to buy them; unless you’re on your first two or three tours, seems a little cheap to me,” he opined. Production work was done with Matt Davis, Endless Mike and the Beagle Club’s drummer and an engineer on the side.

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The quality still allows for some of Pridemore’s independent texture, but it took a stretch of post-record imagination to isolate the same Brooklynite I had just seen in the basement to just himself and his guitar. Then there was the body of packaging for A Brighter Light: first of all, it wasn’t an unmarked burned CD-R. Hark, it had a lyric book! A fully decorated fold-out case! Yet in this case, it’s safe to judge Pridemore by his cover: “Someone posited to me, a few years ago, that kids on the D.I.Y. circuit don’t give a shit about packaging or sound quality. At the time, I felt like he was laughing at my expense: for putting all this effort into making something that no one cares about. Now, whenever someone tells me I should do something based on that ‘Nobody gives a shit,’ or ‘No one’s gonna notice’ logic, I vow to be the one guy who gives a shit.”

EG

Folk punk is good. folk punk is a lot. It was around thirty or so people crouched and

Eight

hours of this slot, standing on

Emily Byram’s front porch that MALLORY played in the grass, near her flower bed. Justin Fallon, Niko Para, and Andre Ricard are from Amherst, Massachusetts and employ three-piece instrumentation of a banjo, an acoustic guitar, and a bass. As on recording and in this performance, they played without the helping hand of any stereo. For the settings they frequentbasements and front yards, bonfires and libraries- it’s in the name of practicality. Fires are awful to plug into.

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“All I’ve ever wanted to do was play acoustic instruments, I’m not a fan of electric,” said Para. “Justin and Andre love playing electric music but love the spontaneity of what we do.” Even on their LP, Lights in the Quarry, the levels of voice versus instrument are flush with each other. Vocals are loosely conjugated and sometimes intertwine, sometimes divert to pioneer their own piece of the lyricism. They’re fortified by gang vocals and softened by harmonies. All politically charged, Para said for Mallory, folk punk is a “great venue to explain our radical beliefs.” Songs on the record plot territory from areas of anarchy to love. ‘The Devil in the Moonlight’ is a five minute soft spot, where they ask, ‘But how vain can two people be to think that now will last forever and when we leave can we do it together please?’ And then there are the characteristic chugs like ‘Red, White, and Blues’ that fizzes into gang-shouting “I’M AN ANARCHIST!” and ‘This Song Kills Cops,’ a salty instrumental. ‘The Quarry’ is a tryst where the two meet: ‘When you would wake up and say/we were gonna get those bastards, those sons of capital/I’ll break through every world trade window/and we’ll make love in all the rubble.’ The title is a nod to the rock quarry that surrounds their outdoor venue space in Massachusetts. The juxtaposition of both their lyrical and instrumental content is one that’s easiest to access in its purest form-- their performance-with each one bodily invested in their part. The raw energy in every impulse of their presentation when I first saw them just didn’t translate for me on the recordings. Even now, it’s hard to listen to the LP without imagining them in your mind’s eye, Niko wailing on his banjo with the force of a manic seize. The recordings are more of a postcard from their live performancewishing you were there, but still giving you a callous picture of what it’s like in case you were wondering. EG

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“Welcome to the Real World” 2’ x 3’ - Ink on Paper Dave Estes


SUNS is a four piece band from southern Connecticut. Will Rutledge is the pivot point both musically and structurally, beginning alone as a singer and songwriter changing hands between friends passing through the band. The truth is that you’ve probably heard that story before, and have heard bands like Suns before. Another can’t hurt. Abandon Yourself for Everyone, their recent EP, is a three song mix produced with Travis Bell at Adorea Studio. The EP has three songs doting on heavy themes including concepts like loneliness, loss and religion. There’s hardly a lyrical leaf left unturned by Rutledge’s vocals aside from the extended end of ‘Bedspreads of Bliss.’ The last portion of ‘Bliss,’ the EP’s longest track, coincides with a recording of children’s laughter. Some of Tim Marzik’s violin is also interworked here. It produces a fitting tone for a song about following ‘your bliss/forget the shades/let your eyes embrace brand new days.’ Suns capitalizes on lyrical content, making what bassist Omeed Goodarzi (Midi and the Modern Dance) and drummer Will Ponturo contribute basic illustrations of what’s already there, rather than contributing something auxiliary. ‘Get Well’ is a song that skirts complete release, an expression neither of the songs on Abandon Yourself approach. Rutledge’s voice always keeps its head just below the surface in a song, never breeching to express the full magnitude of the emotion implied in his lyrics. There’s a crescendo of sorts with Marzik on keyboard and comparatively unleashed riffage, but that’s all that Suns will give you in terms of release. With ‘Mary’s Funeral’ sitting uncomfortably close after the track, it’s difficult to grasp onto any of the emotional zenith. Suns’ performances are more of a friend riot then it seems like they’d be based on the tone of the record. It’s the type of symmetry that dwells in the darkest spaces similar to where Conor Oberst has buried his head, while throwing an arm around your shoulder in camaraderie. Because the truth of it is that we’ve all been there. EG JN

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It is only fitting that a band making such scatterbrained music is

called TWO HEADED HORSE. The obscure bipolarity of the music certainly lends itself to the name.Hailing from Woodbury CT, Justin Romanos (Bass, Vox), Ian McGovern (Guitar) and Josh Romanos (Drums) weave a sonic tapestry, spanning from trippy rock jams to furious guitar-tapping frenzies. The main thread keeping this tapestry together is the ever-present psychedelic groove permeating the entire EP. Plenty of swelling reverb and sprawling echo on the guitars and vocals make everything sound rich and luscious while the rock-solid bass and drums keep the songs anchored here on earth. As a result of this obscure sonic mixture, the album seems to melt from genre to genre, conjuring many different yet familiar sounds. Most potential comparisons will only make it to the tip of your tongue before being swallowed. One of the few stark comparisons would be to Jack White related projects. The unmistakable jangly twang and slapback echo of the guitar is reminiscent of the more upbeat, garage blues style of some older White Stripes material while still retaining its own unique vibe. Overall, many influences leant a hand in the construction of this tapestry of an EP, each adding their specific hint of style to the piece but in the end, creating something in a league all its own. ML

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ELISE GRANATA | INKWELL PRESS | ELISEGRANATA@YAHOO.COM


Experimental rockers from Easton and

Trumbull, Fugue, have recently released their new EP. Ancient Glass (free download on fugue.bandcamp.com) will be the instrumentalists’ introduction as a band to the Connecticut music scene. According to Alexa Ambrose, Fugue’s drummer, the release showcases the bands’ desire to play with time signatures, tempos and progressions in a way that feels natural to the song. The first song, ‘The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters,’ likes to go from one theme to another. For example, halfway through the track, the band lapses into waltz but creates a dissonance when the tempo is rushed and the time signature changes. Alternating for several measures, they move on to a part that seems sloppier and doesn’t fit into the liquid theme. I have to believe that it was the rapid change in time signature throwing my ear off, not the band falling out of sync since the rest of this song is well organized. The sound couldn’t have been anything but planned. The easiest category to put the band in is possibly psychedelic, though it seems more intelligent and well gathered than what comes to mind with the term. Think The Mars Volta--but with actual flow. The sounds aren’t pretentious, where most bands might force the issue by fitting a square peg in a round hole. Fugue has you wanting to listen instead of making yourself listen. While the bass drives most of the song, its lines don’t become stale. On some movements, the guitars outline the chords or riff before heading off into their dueling textures while the drumming stays tight--but not rigid The transition to ‘Telemachus’ is seamless. It wasn’t until I noticed the drums and guitars holding their own did I realize the song had changed. A bit of Dub-step is mixed in to ‘What the Tortoise Said to Achilles’ but all in all it is what we have grown accustomed to after listening to ‘Sleep’ and ‘Telemachus.’ It doesn’t mean that the song had any less thought than the former, if anything it just means the listeners were spoiled right out of the gate. On the EP as a whole, there are not that many production tricks. The focus, as it should have been, seemed to be on what the band could do live instead of adding unnecessary layers to something that already has a lot going on. For their first recording this is a very ambitious and wellexecuted outing. CD 28

FUGUE

ELISE GRANATA | INKWELL PRESS | ELISEGRANATA@YAHOO.COM


The first song of the two on Chalk Talk’s debut EP release is entitled ‘Food Chain’ and is a catchy, uptempo jaunt into life’s choices, conditions, and opinions. There are four phrases used in the entire song: ‘I’m wearing the same clothes as yesterday’, ‘Do you want peanut butter or Nutella?’, ‘Don’t get specific even though I asked you,’ and ‘If they had their choice we’d still be in high school.’ Their repetition builds like the suspense of an intruder- pushing a door you’re struggling to hold closed until the final phrase knocks you to the floor boards in a heap. That line: ‘Do you want peanut butter or Nutella?’ adds to the nonsense. Then comes a little chanting, that takes us to the statement of ‘Don’t get specific, even though I asked you’ which brings an essence of defiance that is matched to the heavy clashing symbols and the repetitious guitar work of the song. Some energetic tambourine work was involved as well. After ‘Food Chain’ there is a second song on the EP is entitled ‘Killing Spree’ and is a slower march of a song with heavier guitar based on a descending triplet pattern. The tempo slows down to nearly a crawl, and brings a tension that makes a listener change a run of the mill headbang to an almost three stage headbang. The lyrics center around bodily functions, and add to this with lines like ‘my piss smells like chicken broth.’ A interesting quality in this song was the almost whammy bar-like quality of some of the words. These lines plus tight drum work and guitar makes this listener want to grab something and rip it apart in three equal parts. They have a tour coming up through July and August-find the means to the end and check them out. JN

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ELISE GRANATA | INKWELL PRESS | ELISEGRANATA@YAHOO.COM


HOT AIR PRESS florida=DEATH

DEPRESSION ERA MUSIC

Depression Era Music is a record that mirrors itself structurally as it does musically. Actually, let Gregory Alan--bassist, trumpeter, and noisiest--explain. Alan said, “…the record is a conglomeration of an LP we recorded which is currently in the process of being self-released as well [with] a few improvisations that we recorded after the LP was completed...the record track listing is considered one piece entitled Depression Era Music.”

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ELISE GRANATA | INKWELL PRESS | ELISEGRANATA@YAHOO.COM


The piece is 25 minutes long and is a single, fluid track on a 12” released in early June by Hot Air Press. There’s a collective core of five members, each injecting guitar, synth, tape loops, percussion, bass and trumpet into the LP. Instinctively, the ear tends to search out the small incongruities in a dense portion of noise music like this. Six minutes in, there’s a stretch of straight noise, the kind that’s diluted and wayward. They’ve taken easily neglected sound—something that sounds more like the background noise you hear while traveling inside a car, for example-and folded it into their material to steady itself on its own sea legs. Silence does make an appearance for a second here and there, souring the contrast instead of allowing relief. At the end of this particular run, there’s a period of sonic, overamplified drums that pulse in without any rhythmic foreshadowing. Interactions like these conjure a dynamic. They make constant use of reintroducing their samples at different points. For this to be done on an opaque train of a track like this makes the effect so much more reachable for me. It’s such a simpleton’s train of thought, I know- to think: ‘I heard this sound before, and now I’m hearing it again!’ but for compositions that are as vast and convoluted as what florida=DEATH has crafted, those stabilizing constants are necessary. Vocals enter around two and a half minutes in and round out the introductory stretch of the 12”. Though vocals make an appearance throughout the track, there’s very few lines actually uttered. So, for fans of the linguistically attractive, this isn’t for you. But for anyone who craves noise- well, there’s never a second left unchecked in the florida=DEATH crusade. EG

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ELISE GRANATA | INKWELL PRESS | ELISEGRANATA@YAHOO.COM


PRESE

WINGNUT DISHW The record’s titled Burn the Earth, Leave it Behind, but its proceeds are still fueling a way for you to get around the well-done terrain. Spoils from the sales will fund a D.I.Y. anarchist bus project the Bandits are giving Pat the Bunny a hand in funding. Produced by the D.I.Y. Bandits, the new

WINGNUT

DISHWASHERS UNION pressed CD is available through the Bandits’ and Spare Change Records’ mail order. It’s also available through the WDU site where you select from the options: ‘slide $20.00,’ ‘as high $15.00,’ ‘or as low $10.00,’ ‘as you can $8.00,’ ‘afford! $6.00,’ an automated sliding scale ladder of sorts. Johnny Hobo and the Freight Trains and older Wingnut material, although token Pat the Bunny madness, doesn’t hold a candle to the quality of Burn the Earth’s production. He exchanges the tinny sound bites, diffused with cellar-like acoustics, for a more refined product—occasionally even backed by a full band. Listening to this reminded me of something Pat said during an interview in an earlier issue of Inkwell, where he hashed out why he plays the “nonelectric punk music” he plays. “The reasons to play acoustic have always been extremely pragmatic to me: that I want to play music focused on lyrical content and the PA system at most punk shows is too shitty to be able to tell what any bands are singing about, and that I want to be able to tour easily without needing equipment or large vehicles to carry it in.” Burn the Earth is an extension of that pragmatism. Recording is stationary, and Pat took full advantage of what he could garner without having to worry about transporting equipment.

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ELISE GRANATA | INKWELL PRESS | ELISEGRANATA@YAHOO.COM


ENT:

WASHERS UNION He’s got drums on some tracks, harmonica on the rendition of ‘Alley Cat’ called ‘Just because I don’t say anything (doesn’t mean I got nothing to say),’ and even the lap steel at the end of ‘Picking Sides’. It’s always more of a treat than anything to hear the reworked versions of songs done in the eye of the beholder. Six out of the ten tracks on Burn the Earth have been previously released, like ‘Fuck shit up! (whanananananana)’ and ‘Jesus Does the Dishes.’ But they’re all reworked, and all come out in good health. The remaining four songs are pure teeth-bearin’, fist-thrustin’, utopia-illustratin’ power manifestos. Yeah, through the lens of a guy and an acoustic guitar, the sentiment’s gravity is often hefty. But surprisingly, the record doesn’t dilute any more with the number of instruments that get tacked on. So much of what played into Johnny Hobo and past WDU chugs is retained here in all its visionary glory. Like in ‘Fuck every cop (who ever did his job),’ after the track lapses into canned sound quality: ‘I fell in love again/that time that you said, ‘Fuck every cop who ever did his job/fuck every pig that never got robbed’’ The song ends with ‘I know that you’ve been dealing/with that awful feeling/that we’re running out of time/and so have I/but we aren’t alone!’ Pat fastens onto that dynamic between the human and idyllic, often blurring the two to paint a portrait of a purer, potential community.

EG

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ELISE GRANATA | INKWELL PRESS | ELISEGRANATA@YAHOO.COM


NEWSNEWSNEWSNEWSNEWSNEWS - Constructing a release with varying tempos and more melodic vocals,

DEADLIGHTS hopes to produce a new record within the next few months. As far as shows go, they’re looking. And up “for anything and everything.”

-Despite ¾ of the band crashing their bikes in “true rock and roll

SIDEWALK DAVE recently begun new demos. The felons have also got a split cassette with NEW YEAR’S REVOLUTION in the gears with Jonny Grenier’s PREHISTORIC RECORDS. Via California, fashion,”

a 4 song version of Songs For Cowards will be released on vinyl.

-TWEEFORT is releasing the first in the set of D.I.Y. compilation albums featuring bands like Welcome, Conversion Party, Boy Genius and The Bynars. The compilation release will be on August 7th at Café Nine. -Chin Up, the frenzied recent release from

JOHNNY 9 AND THE RACERS will be available on interpunk.com, cdbaby.com, and iTunes.

-MIDI

AND THE MODERN DANCE has designs on releasing a much darker record by the end of August. -EASY

CHOWDER is awesome!

-Fresh from a full US tour, MY HEART TO JOY is touring the east coast this August. They’re also recording two 7” splits. One will be with End of a Year (NY), where they will write songs about Russia. The other will be with Make Do and Mend, a Smiths tribute 7”. That’ll be out on Hot Air Press. -TOUGH LUCK recently recorded four new songs, targeted for a September full-length. They are looking for shows to play.

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ELISE GRANATA | INKWELL PRESS | ELISEGRANATA@YAHOO.COM


“Crucifixion of Time” Linocut Study - 8.5” x 11” Dave Estes

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- Ink on Paper

ELISE GRANATA | INKWELL PRESS | ELISEGRANATA@YAHOO.COM


Presenting Sean Bonnette from ANDREW JACKSON JIHAD on the upcoming house extravaganza this Sunday at Chris Z’s house.

IP: How do you expect the upcoming tour to go? Are you promoting any new material, or circulating stuff previously released?

S: I am jittering with anticipation on starting this tour. I think this is the most free we’ve ever been in terms of booking the places we want to play with the bands we want to play with. It’s become a lot easier in the past two years to book shows and that’s granted us the luxury of going pretty much wherever we want. We are going to be promoting our new album titled “Can’t Maintain” as well as a few 7 inches and a tour ep that we haven’t taken on tour outside of Arizona, California and my solo run with BTMI this March. We will also have pillowcases and koozies, which will both be totally extreme.

IP: Do you prefer any setting of show more than another?

S: I prefer shows that have water readily available to anyone that wants it, enough room to breathe when it’s needed, and a PA (or a Polite Audience (funny, same initials, hmmm…)), so that everyone that attends the show can hear the bands if they so please. As long as these things are taken care of, we’re happy to play anywhere.

IP: How’d you arrange the show at Chris Z’s house?

S: If I recall correctly, we met Chris last May in Connecticut during the Asian Man Tour, he was kickin’ it VIP with Flood from Asbestos Records. I met him more personably when Jeff Rosenstock called upon Mr. Zizzimia to set up a show for us at the Fred, which is basically the common room of this dormitory in Hartford. He’s a good dude.

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ELISE GRANATA | INKWELL PRESS | ELISEGRANATA@YAHOO.COM


august 2nd with | Delay | | Laura Stevenson and The Cans | | Swear Jar | Mutiny Amongst Friends | | All The Friends | @ CHris z’s HOuse $5 suggested donation 7PM | 32 nook farms rd windsor 37

ELISE GRANATA | INKWELL PRESS | ELISEGRANATA@YAHOO.COM


IP: What’s the touring band’s set up (members, instruments)?

S: Typically it consists of Ben Gallaty playing upright bass and me on guitar, with the both of us singing. Sometimes we have guests, which I’m really hoping for when we play these shows with BTMI.

IP: Are there any elements you bring to your live performance that aren’t detectable on recorded material? S: We are a lot more energetic and less deliberate when we play live. We make a lot more mistakes, as well.

IP: What’s the atmosphere at your shows normally like?

S: Well, from my eyes the atmosphere is lovely. I really like being at our shows, it’s fun to meet people, make friends, play music and party.

IP: What are your upcoming plans?

S: I’m planning on having a ton of fun on this tour and then attending my last year of college. We might be going to the U.K. in the winter for some shows, and probably recording and releasing something later this year.

IP: Any last words?

S: I wanna give a shout out to our road puppy Dan Trovillon, and to the bands we’ll be playing with during these next five weeks, including Kepi Ghoulie, Kevin Seconds, The Gunshy, Bomb the Music Industry, Delay, Vision of a Dying World, and Laura Stevenson and her lovely Cans. EG

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ELISE GRANATA | INKWELL PRESS | ELISEGRANATA@YAHOO.COM


THU JUL 30 –MANIC- So Many Dynamos/Cast Spells/Bruhder/Sounds Like Spring @ The Space

FRI JUL 31- MANIC- Moving Mountains / Abel / The Files and Fires/Towering Days @ The Space SUN AUG 2 – Andrew Jackson Jihad / Delay / Laura Stevenson / Swear Jar @ Chris Z’s

MON AUG 3 – Casting Curses / Don’t Say I Won’t / Moon Hammer / Humanoids @ Alex’s House TUE AUG 4 –MANIC- Cursive / Midi and the Modern Dance @ Daniel Street

FRI AUG 7 –The Morning Paper / The Hornitz / Me, The Target @ The Space

SAT AUG 8 – REAL ART WAYS – Extended run of Food Inc @ Real Art Ways Cinema SUN AUG 9 – Middle Distance Runner / Suns @ The Space

WED AUG 12 – The Ghost Sonata / Fugue @ Heirloom Arts Theatre

THU AUG 13 – Robbing the Vatican/Fire First/Me, The Target@ Assyrian Community Center FRI AUG 14 – New Year’s Revolution / Wood Spider / TRAGWAG @ The Pineloft WED AUG 19 – Positive Noise + TBA @ Whitney House

SAT AUG 22 – Noise Show ft. Telecult Powers @ 405 Capitol Ave, Hartford

FRI AUG 28 – Hostage Calm/End of a Year/Make Do and Mend/My Heart to Joy @ Trinity on Main SUN AUG 30 – MANIC – Kevin Seconds/Angleworm (Acoustic)/Mutiny Amongst Friends @ The Space

INKWEDITORIAL That means I can do whatever I want here.

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(THANKS KITTY THREAD!)

ELISE GRANATA | INKWELL PRESS | ELISEGRANATA@YAHOO.COM


inkw el

ss.blogspot.co e r m lp

Elise granata, editor elisegranata@yahoo.com

Matt lobo, contributing writer instanthumanjustaddcoffee.blogspot.com

James neurath, contributing writer charles desrochers, contributing writer Jesse warner, contributing writer songsfromtheroad.blogspot.com

Andrew mckinnon, cover artist deviantart.com/whitebitch

Aurora braddon, artist aurorange84@gmail.com

dave estes, artist www.dave-estes.com

Laurelin matulis, photo

flickr.com/photos/thisjaneisplain

Summer Issue of Inkwell Press  

The Summer Issue (#4) of Inkwell Press