Tea Time With Tori & Baby Mollusk
an interview by miss tori cote Baby Mollusk is the cutest little project created by Rachel Gordon. Not only will you relate to her life lessons and stories from past experiences, but also the music is easy on the ears and quite pleasant. Rachel is currently attending SUNY Purchase and has been playing the Ukulele since she was in high school. Even though her songs are kind of sad, they donâ€™t make your soul feel sad. You will like her because she is the kind of girl you want to be friends with, I mean at least I want to be friends with her. She is telling you her secrets and feelings in her music, so I highly recommend giving this girly a listen. Tori: How did Baby Mollusk start? What is Baby Mollusk all about? Rachel: I picked up ukulele in high school but never really took it seriously, but when I got to college I was really inspired by all of the musicians I was surrounded by to make songwriting a thing. It was really difficult for me to get over my shyness and unwillingness to make my music public, because I was really intimidated by the talent of so many of my friends and most of the world. I guess that sorta ties in with what Baby Mollusk is about, feeling really silly and vulnerable but expressing those very feelings as a means of getting over, or at least coping with them. Also lots of DIY always. Tori: Your songs sort of sound like an eloquent diary entry that a 20-something girl would write, and they really are extremely relatable for tea time kinda girls and boys. What inspires you? Rachel: That is great to hear! Its so reassuring to hear that other people are able to relate to what I write. Personal experiences are what mainly push me to write songs, specifically those that involve love and being sad about it. I think that will always be a source of inspiration, but in addition to that I am influenced by gender roles, extreme nonchalance & how obnoxious it is, the Q train, and feeling like a mom/dad/baby all at once.
Tori: If you could be any kind of cake, what kind of cake would you be and why? What kind of frosting would you want? Rachel: Holy f. I think I’d be a swiss roll, because I really like the idea of constantly snacking, and the light density and lack of frosting on the outside of a swiss roll makes it easy to carry around and eat throughout the day. I’ve never done this, and now I’m wondering why. I would like the cake to be matcha flavored and for the swirl of frosting on the inside to be vanilla buttercream. Tori: What is your favorite outfit? What do you think Baby Mollusk listeners are wearing? Rachel: I’ve been in a pants phase lately, so pretty much everyday I’ve been wearing these camel-ish tan pants that I roll up twice at the ankles for that dapper effect, in addition to my insanely soft dark grey Planned Parenthood t-shirt, a nice light blue denim button up that belongs to my friend Nora, Doc Marten Mary Janes and crazy patterned socks. I think listeners are wearing something really comfy and that they look fantastic. Tori: Do you think you relate more to water or land and WHY? Rachel: I’m more of a land gal because coziness is really important to me and I think it would be difficult to get cuddly in water. AMIRITE? But then again, water is really responsive and expressive and it can’t help it, so I guess its a tie. Tori: When I hear the name ‘Baby Mollusk’ my heart explodes with hearts and love. How did you come up with the name Baby Mollusk?? Rachel: D’ohh thanks! Unfortunately I don’t have a cool story for it, its more of a combo of two good words. Last year my pal Angela tried learning Russian, and she learned how to say mollusk so that word sort of became an obsession of ours. (I think it’s pronounced moll-oosk or mollyoski, I don’t remember!) Also, despite how I mentioned earlier that I feel like a mom and a dad and baby at times, I think baby is the role that I actually relate to the most. So, there ya go! Tori: What is in the future for Baby Mollusk? Rachel: Lots of shows with Whatever, Dad for sure! Also, some friends and I discussed playing my songs with more instruments (ie: drums and bass) and even getting amplified, which I’m really excited for because I have lots of rage in my soul, and I am planning on putting out a tape in the spring.
Listen to Baby Mollusk @ http://babymollusk.bandcamp.com! 3
this issue is brought to you by simple pleasures.
Single of the
Week Find this week’s Sing Of The Week on whatever, dad’s selftitled release. We’re listening to “R E S T S T O P,” a lovely song of road trips and gum ball machines and the long way home. Download and enjoy the whole record at whateverdad.bandcamp.com!
falling in love with a banjo by mary luncsford
“This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender.” This alone makes my heart, which is inclined to feel weepy, sprinkle little droplets of water any time I hear a banjo. This saying was so eloquently scribed by a man named Pete Seeger onto his banjo, and it’s been there since 1952. I learned that in 2012, and that sealed the deal, I would forever love the banjo. Like LOVE. Which is how I came to be crying in Guitarworks as the sales clerk/banjo wizard played a simple tune on one of those blessed instruments. “Here, you can hold this while I go look up a price.” He handed me the instrument, which I had previously never held. I felt the weight of it in my lap and tentatively strummed it, like when I was nine years old and picked up a violin for the first time. I just sat in this showroom with my mother, a dumb smile on my face as I haphazardly plucked at the five strings, which made an incredibly loud and tinny sound. Mid-December and instantly it was July, on a porch somewhere in the mountains. I had to leave empty-handed that day, and I cried for a good portion of the drive home just for the sheer beauty of the thing. Like most things that claim to be purely American, the banjo originated elsewhere. However, like pizza or Taco Bell, over the years it has become distinctly Americanized, which, in a way, is maybe even more American? Because everyone is usually from somewhere else and then they become a part of where they are. Maybe that’s a reason why I love the idea of the banjo, it reminds me of being a pioneer and ingenuity and dirt and all the things that are good about this place called America. The banjo has only recently come out from behind its stereotypical hillbilly-spitting-in-a-tin-can cloak. The instrument that was once reserved for bluegrass and mountain music is now getting air time on stations like 100.9 due to bands like the Lumineers. If someone wanted to get to know the banjo better, but didn’t know where to start, I would suggest that he or she look no further than Scott Avett of the Avett Brothers. “Talk on Indolence” will convert any non-believer to the banjo. And once you convert, you never go back. No pop will ever sound good enough. It is so hard to put love into words. Pete Seeger came the closest when he said that the banjo forces hate to surrender. When I listen to a banjo, I stop thinking about all of the things wrong in the world, like wars and politics and Nicki Minaj. It’s just love being radiated from an instrument. No sonnet or synthesizer can do that with a single verse or chord. The banjo is back, and it’s here to stay. Good thing too, I think we need all the love we can get.
the Honor roll The Top 5 Most Anticipated Albums of 2013 by matt boswell
A year of quality music behind us just means a new year of quality music ahead of us. There are many large and familiar bands that will be releasing (or planning to release) new albums this year, and there are a bunch of smaller, more independent bands that I am personally excited for and therefore think you should check them out. 5. For The Boats by State Lines (due January 2013 through Tiny Engines Records) For The Boats is State Linesâ€™ debut on Tiny Engines records. The pop-punk band from Long Island, New York continues to prove to me that not all hope is lost in a genre that is continually becoming more and more watered down and generic. Showing heavy influence from bands like Alkaline Trio,
Against Me!, and maybe even a little Sense Field, State Lines definitely is appreciative of their roots. Riding the success of a 7”, a 4-way split with Misser, Into It. Over It, and You Blew It!, as well as a spot on Fest 11, this band is poised for a big year in 2013. 4. Cruel Winter by Kanye West (due TBA (winter 2013?) through G.O.O.D. Music) Kanye West has been my favorite rapper for as long as I can remember. I’ve always loved Public Enemy, Run DMC, Jay-Z, N.W.A., MF Doom, amongst other rappers, but Kanye has always stood above and beyond as the greatest, due mostly to the sheer creative ability and the fact that he will try new things that nobody touches. Everything he touches turns to gold, and I’m sure Cruel Winter will be no different. Big Sean did already record his part and say this album is coming out this year, but we’ll see if the pregnancy of Kim Kardashian/birth of Kanye’s child will affect it. 3. Instinctive by Vampire Weekend (due Spring 2013 through XL Records) I’m going to be totally honest when I say that I was bored by the new Vampire Weekend song “Believers”. However, I’ll continue to be honest when I say that it definitely started to show promise near the end of the track. I expect so much from Vampire Weekend as they set the stage so high with both their self-titled album and Contra. I want an album that continues to deliver catchy song after catchy song while continuing with the incredibly creative and unique “Vampire Weekend sound”. I’m anticipating this album very anxiously out of excitement and nervousness. 2. TBA by Wavves (due Spring 2013 through Mom + Pop) After the wonderfully received 2010 album King of the Beach, Wavves has released a handful of singles, EP’s, and even a split with the California hardcore band Trash Talk (now fairly hilariously part of the Odd Future collective), and I loved all these releases. Wavves does a great job of playing punk rock while still keeping his sound really approachable and fun. I guess fun is what punk rock should be though. Wavves makes me want to skate, and I need new music to skate to. So I’m ready for this album to drop. 1. TBA by My Bloody Valentine (due TBA through Pickpocket Records?) On 12/21/2012 the world did not end. However, My Bloody Valentine completely finished their first album since 1991. In all honesty, the fact that MBV came out of nowhere in November and said they had a new album coming out was much more of a shock than if the world would have actually ended last year. Loveless was an album I grew up loving and it expanded and pushed my musical tastes further than many other pieces of music to date. Kevin Shields says that some people feel like this new album will be “weirder” than Loveless but he personally disagrees. Either way, this album is easily one of the most anticipated albums for me from the past few years. Honorable Mention: Braid, Tigers Jaw, Jay-Z, Against Me!, Arcade Fire, Earl Sweatshirt
an interview by the miscreant “Whatever, Dad.” The words roll off the tongue almost as easily now as they did when you were sixteen. Elaiza Santos has been using this youth-inspired mantra as her moniker for writing cathartic melodies and releasing dreamy cassette tapes. Here, she talks about The X-Files, food co-ops, and making music from the heart. The Miscreant: When did you first start making music? What was the first instrument you picked up? Elaiza Santos: I guess the stuff I put online last spring marks the beginning of this mess. “Rest Stop” is a few years old, but everything I’d written prior to last year was dumb. Before guitar, I tried teaching myself how to play the tin whistle and this shabby electric keyboard, but never advanced to reading music, playing complete songs, or composing my own stuff. So, the first instrument that stuck was guitar. I’m not very good! The Miscreant: Who and what would you say your influences are? Elaiza: Lotsa kooky people like the folks from Elephant Six, Daniel Johnston, and Lemony Snicket. Lately, I’ve been listening to this Patsy Cline tape and stuff pals have recorded. Making music is always a cathartic process for me, so catharsis gets me writing more than another band, more than anything.
The Miscreant: What was your first cassette tape you owned? Elaiza: Either Pure Donna by Donna Cruz or this instrumental lullaby tape titled something like Sleepy Time Melodies? I left that one back at Purchase and the name slips my mind, but it’s good stuff! The Miscreant: What do you like most about putting your own music on cassette? Elaiza: When I was about three, my mom would record conversations we had onto blank tapes. She was supposed to send them to the Philippines so my dad could hear my voice (he’s not a part of home), but I guess she never did. Listening to those tapes now, I can’t recognize myself, which is funny and weird and a little sad. Anyway, cassettes can function like miniature time capsules. It’d be nice to listen to my tapes years later and re-experience whatever it was I felt when I first wrote those songs. Totally lame and corny, but we can get over it! It’s sorta like looking through photos of yourself and trying to understand a dumb haircut, but not really. The Miscreant: Talk a bit about the self-titled tape you put out this fall. Were there any overriding themes to that record? It sounds like you were doing a lot of traveling? Elaiza: The tracks on that tape revolve around memories, places, dreams, and people I’ve spent too much time thinking about. They’re all vignettes of fixations, I guess. Except for B U B B L E G U M S H R I N E; that one’s about Hey Arnold. In terms of traveling, every year, my family used to hit the road to visit relatives in Maryland/Virginia, Jersey, and some places in Long Island. Everyone seems to be doing their own thing nowadays, which means driving around less, which means being together less. I miss that, so more retrospective trekkin’ than actual trekkin’ might’ve found itself in those tracks. The Miscreant: Is there a story behind the artwork of your self-titled record? Elaiza: ‘Aica’s Voice’ was the spine label for each tape on which my mom used to record those old conversations! ‘Aica’ is the nickname my family calls me!
The insert is a fortune teller! Everything was hand-drawn/written and the ugly baby face is mine! The Miscreant: You’ll be putting out a tape with Double Double Whammy’s Cassette Club next year. How did you get involved with that project? When can we expect the release? Elaiza: Sometime over the summer, Dave was explaining this idea of his and he asked if I’d be interested in contributing tracks. I said heck yeah! DDW have worked on some neat releases before, so, it was a treat that I was even considered for this particular project. When a situation like this encourages you to tinker within a collective of artists at a pace without the demand of, say, working alone on a full-length release, it’s hard to not be excited. The Cassette Club is the closest I’ve gotten to being part of an E6 kinda thing! Also, ya can’t say no to tapes. For anyone curious, the first batch is scheduled to ship out on or before the 1st of February and you can subscribe anytime throughout the year, so subscribe! Subscribe twice. Get your dad to subscribe. The Miscreant: Tell me a little about your friend Baby Mollusk and the split you did with her? Elaiza: Gordoroni is the queen of ~*my*~ multiverse (eek she’s gonna hate me for that one, yikes). One day, back when the Food Co-op was still around, Rachel and I were working behind the counter discussing W,D, Baby Mollusk, and the possibility of a split tape. We’d never released original music before, we realized our aesthetics were fairly similar, and Purchase needed more girls playing shows. At the time, they were just ideas, but something as simple as a conversation about sharing our music with other people was enough of a nudge in the right direction. You can (i.e. should!) listen to her music at babymollusk.bandcamp. com. She rules. The Miscreant: would you describe scene developing SUNY Purchase where are based? How do think Whatever Dad
How the at you you fits
into the other projects coming out of that college town? Elaiza: Rego Park doesn’t really care much for art, so the music scene at Purchase was something I was both curious and nervous about. I remember wanting to hurl every time I wormed into a show alone because there were usually lots of boys and everyone was already friends. The Stood oftentimes felt exclusive (it sort of still is), but it’s certainly more inviting after playing a couple of shows and getting to know the community. It’s real nice because creative output is constantly in flux, but nobody is out to win anything. So far, W,D has been like a quiet thing that’s trying to settle in with the big kid bands on campus. The Miscreant: Where are your favorite places to play shows? Elaiza: I don’t think I’ve played enough shows in enough places, but!, there’s no place like our old Food Co-op. Once a Co-op girl, always a Co-op girl. The Miscreant: Tell me about your X-Files fandom. What are your top three favorite episodes? Elaiza: A pal and I started X-Files Wednesdays last year. It doesn’t have to be Wednesday, but they usually happen then since we have the day off from classes. We’ve only just finished the second season, but my favorite episodes are Ice, Fire, and Humbug. Our recommendation: Pair X-Files with pals, cozy beverages, and Colorado Prime Time Cigarillos for optimum ~chillin~. The Miscreant: What’s next for Whatever, Dad? Any upcoming releases and shows to look forward to? Elaiza: Aside from the DDW // Mt. Home Arts Cassette Club, a couple of split tapes with some pals are fat perhapses! By the time you release this issue, Baby Mollusk and I will have played a few house shows, but keep an eye out for acoustic sets here and there with LVL UP in the coming months maybe probably wee!
search and destory: my addiction to vinyl by olivia cellamare
Sometimes habits can kill you, destroy relationships and/or leave you totally broke. I have no money, none at all but the money I do have is slowly feeding an old habit of mine; record buying. I recently bought a new record player as the one I had since I was 14 (I’m now 26) died a while ago. I own nothing of worth, but my records are easily my most prized possessions. Closely followed by my notebooks and books. The way something sounds on vinyl is like nothing else. The crackling between tracks fills in the silence nicely. Reminding you that with music, you are never alone. I don’t want to talk about how wonderful records are, because anyone who loves music knows this. I want to talk about the excitement you get from finding a record you’ve been trying to get hold of for so long, or finding a record you forgot existed and maybe thought you’d never see again. Where I sadly live is dull. Saying it is dull is me being kind, but I don’t want to swear as it isn’t needed. My days are filled with applying for jobs I never get a response from. If I’m lucky, I get a rejection. All done in the hopes I can leave here again, but this time for good. So, I took a walk to an indoor market and flicked through some of the records. I’ve been here before and I rarely found anything. I once found a few 7” singles of The Jesus And Mary Chain and an LP by Sarah Vaughan, but other than that I had pretty crap luck. About 2 or 3 weeks ago, I went back and looked through a small pile. I felt my heart race and my thoughts turn to what can only be described as mush. I FINALLY found Transformer by Lou Reed. Anyone who knows me even a tiny bit knows of my love for this record. I will gladly take on anyone who doesn’t agree just how perfect it is. I also found another one by The Jesus And Mary Chain, Kate Bush and The Velvelettes. The latter caused me to nearly pass out with joy. Since then I have gone back every week and found the likes of The Inkspots, The Crystals and The Walker Brothers. I discovered another part to the record section which has resigned me to the fact that this will now be the cause to all my financial problems yet the cause to so much joy at the same time. It is difficult to describe the sheer pleasure you get from buying records unless you found something you have been looking for for so long. What I love about standing there and going through every single crate and box that holds these records is the unknown yet known. You know you are going to find something amazing, but at the same time what you are about to find is unknown. I feel sorry for anyone who has ever endured dealing with me in a bookshop or near records. I can happily spend hours searching for something. When I was looking through the old records the other day, I was on my own. No one else was around and it was just perfect. Maybe I’m just too sentimental (or mental) for my own good, but going through records and finding something, my own little treasure amongst it all, is truly one of the best feelings. Maybe I do need to get out more, but when I do I seem to just end up at this market buying records. It’s not a habit I guess, nor is it something to do just to kill some time. I think it justifies that I was born at the wrong time possibly. I’ve also taken one of my mum’s Hall & Oates records; it goes nicely with my Ronettes LP!
GROWING UP SUCKS by cassandra baim I’m on a hellish 13-hour train ride from my motherland Chicago (have you heard? I’m from Chicago, but I don’t think I say it nearly enough) to my adopted motherland, Syracuse, NY. I put my dying iPod on shuffle because I’m hung over and already homesick and at that moment I can’t find a single band that would hit my right in the feels. I keep hitting “next, next, next” until I’m 300 tracks into my 9000 song library and I haven’t listened to a damn song yet. I realize I’m in a fickle mood, but this is ridiculous. As I finally decide on a musician to serenade me through the World’s Longest Train Ride, I realize that my inability to choose a 13-hour soundtrack is less a sign of indecisiveness and more a sign of that terrifying milestone for a young adult such as myself—personal growth. There are musicians that I’ve loved for the last 5-10 years, and my love remains timeless. There are other musicians that guided my through my formative years, but they haven’t done much for me since then. They guided me through my thousand identity crises, the death of a close friend, and my transition to SU. But, much like an old worn-down bicycle, I find these musicians have suited their purpose for me, and it’s time I retire them. It breaks my heart to say that I’ve grown out of a band. I feel like a bad girlfriend who used and abused them. It is unavoidable, though. You can’t force yourself to love something that’s lost all meaning.
1. The Crane Wife from The Decemberists In an effort to form some kind of bond with me, my mom bought me The Crane Wife when I was 16 after hearing “O Valencia!” on the radio and assuming I would like it. I fell in love immediately, and listened to their entire catalog on repeat well until I was 20. I’ll never not appreciate their narrative songs, baroque melodies and SAT-prep vocabulary words, but they’ll never sound as fresh or cathartic to me now as they did when I was 16.
2. For Emma, Forever Ago from Bon Iver I loved For Emma, Forever Ago for how it helped me graduate high school without the use of physical violence, and how it kept me sane and (mostly) tear-free when I was homesick and alone my freshman year. I’m happy to report that I’ve made Syracuse more of a home than I ever thought I would, and while I’ll never tire of Justin Vernon’s beautiful falsetto and intellect, I don’t need Skinny Love the way I once did.
3. Grand from Matt & Kim Give me a few whiskey and ginger ales and I’ll be scream-singing the words to “Daylight” like there’s no tomorrow, I discovered when I saw this raucous duo play a show two years ago that while they’ll always be great, they won’t get me jumping up and down (but then again nothing much does anymore).
4. Dancing On My Own by Robyn I spent my junior year of college pining after a boy and living the precise narrative trajectory of Robyn’s Dancing On My Own. That boy graduated, I’ve moved on and as much as I love my pixie cut-ed Swedish pop star, I don’t need to dance it out to her music for therapy anymore. I’ll always have a special place in my heart and that nostalgic corner of my brain for these artists. Some got me through the shitty times, others gave me something fun to rock out to when I needed to have a good time. No matter what their impact was, or how much I really can’t tolerate listening to them anymore, I’ll never not love them.
THE MOST UNDERRATED ALBUMS OF 2012 by quinn donnell By now, 2012’s best music has been recognized and analyzed by just about every music blog, website, and magazine in existence. Everyone has concocted their own lists of top albums, top songs, most profound Lil B lyric, etc. While many of these lists credit great music, worthy of their acknowledgment, there are also a number of albums that I wish would have gained more attention this year. Here are my most underrated albums of 2012, albums that I recommend giving a listen, even if your favorite music blog hasn’t: Beat Connection—The Palace Garden When describing Beat Connection’s music, I always seem to end up using the fictional adjective “dancey.” Dancey describes Beat Connection perfectly. While avoiding the “dance music” category through vocals by folk singer, Tom Eddy, and a self-described “tropical psychedelic pop” sound, the Seattle quartet’s usage of samplers and synthesizers encourages just as much shoe shufflin’ as it does appreciation for their music. Allo Darlin’—Europe Europe is the second album released by the Elizabeth Morris-fronted, Allo Darlin’. Demonstrating guitar riffs as clear and clean as the technique Morris uses to vocally deliver ballads of Neil Armstrong and Woody Allen, Allo Darlin’ plays catchy tunes influenced by their Australian upbringing. Europe’s upbeat theme is the perfect remedy for a rainy mood or a hankering for some Australian-made songs that demonstrate appreciation for Neil Armstrong’s trip to the moon. Waxahatchee—American Weekend Waxahatchee is Katie Crutchfield, a young singer/songwriter from Alabama, whose self-produced debut album, American Weekend, features the perfectly simple combination of her voice and her guitar. Crutchfield’s raspy vocals fit right on top of distorted, often despondent chords that compliment her lonely, love-lost lyrics. You Won’t—Skeptic Goodbye Throughout Skeptic Goodbye, the Cambridge, Massachusetts two-piece, You Won’t, deliver twelve diverse, folk-influenced tracks. Although each song on Skeptic Goodbye exemplifies the band’s folk style, it is clear that You Won’t draws influences from a number of genres; from song to song, vocalist Josh Arnoudse is accompanied by an arrangement of different instruments. Skeptic Goodbye’s release date on Valentines Day of 2012 made it the perfect gift for any loved one that is allergic to chocolate. Taken By Trees— Other Worlds Victoria Bergsman, also known as Taken by Trees, released an album in 2010 that boasted a diversity of cultural influences. Bergsman’s Swedish heritage merged with traditional Indian sounds and contemporary indie music to create something straight out of a Bollywood film. 2012’s Other Worlds recognizes these foreign influences and modernizes them, using samples and synth lines to accentuate Bergsman’s extrinsic style.
Why 2013 Is Going to Be My Favorite Year In Music by caitlin lytle
2013 is looking bright. I finished off my break with a lot of sleep, just got back and ready to kick off my second semester of this college experience, and not to mention Girls just started its second season. But what my lazy ass is most excited about is shockingly not the fact my favorite show has started again or that I just found out I can have groceries of any sort delivered right to my dorm, but that by some sweet miracle of god all of my all time favorite artists have decided to have new music released this year. And while last month I encouraged my fellow miscreants to do some “winter cleaning” of their iPods, this month I am oh so serious on the matter because the new I have high expectations for. (Except I will admit I had to leave that Hilary Duff hiding in my shuffle- sometimes I just need the ‘rain to fall and wake my dreams’). So here are my most anticipated albums of 2013, because everyone has got one of those lists. 1) Local Natives - Hummingbird When they released the song Breakers at the end of the year I just about died. I have had the date of this albums release (1.29.13) on my calendar since the day it was confirmed. Gorilla Manor blew my socks off and for me just never gets old, so I can not wait to see what these Silver Lake, Los Angeles natives have in store. 2) The Virgins - Strike Gently The Virgins have not released an album since 2008, a release itself I waited for anxiously. The Virgins were my first love of indie. To me they are everything, and despite being a slight sell out when they altered a lot of their songs from their original EP to their one and only full length album I still stuck by their side. With a new record label I am excited to see if they return to their original style I originally fell in love with when Strike Gently drops 3.12.13. And yes their hit “Rich Girls” is still my ring tone from 7th grade. 3) Vampire Weekend I cried hysterically when I got a ticket to see Vampire Weekend live. To say I love them would be putting it gently. I know ‘all their songs sound the same’ and ‘they are so mainstream,’ but quite frankly I just don’t care. Their debut album was awesome, Contra was the soundtrack to my life the first months it was out, and this next mysterious album which is rumored to be out as early as this spring has me anxiously biting my nails. I track is entitled “Obvious Bicycle,” what is there not to love. Last week I received the Cold War Kids email newsletter with a download for two new tracks and news of some ‘big announcement’ sometime in the next few weeks to watch for. New record possibly? This is plausible since the band has been off the radar for some time since Mine is Yours was released two years ago this month. News of Arcade Fire also recording in the studio recently has been lurking on the Internet, but the group is apparently taking their merry time with this one. Dear Win Butler, Stop spending time in the suburbs. We would like to hear new music. Sincerely, your miscreants.
AN INTERVIEW WITH UP AND COMING POP QUEEN, DRÆMINGS, ON HER DEBUT MIXTAPE NEVADA by jeanette wall When did you first start writing music? I first started writing words when I was a child. I’ve kept a journal since the age of 7 -- words have always meant the world to me. When I was in high school, friends of mine suggested that I put my words to music, and that was it. Nothing has ever felt as right as playing and writing music does. Who would you influences?
There are artists who I really respect, admire and completely look up to, but when it comes to actually making music, I am influenced by my surroundings, by stories, by lovers, friends and demons. The best writing I have done has either been on the open road, longing for someone back home. Or being with someone at home, longing for the open road. You have a mixtape about to come out. What would you say are the major themes of this release? The vast emotional landscape of being a human being. This mixtape was written in the middle of a earth shattering heartbreak- it’s filled with memories,and holding on for too long, and finally surrendering. This is the first time I have ever released any of my solo work, so that just seems super beautiful to me. That these songs about loving someone and having to let them go, and the heartbreak that inspired them actually pushed me to actually do something on my own and follow through with it. What was the recording process like for this release? How was it to work 18
with Joe Keefe of Family of the Year? I wrote these songs in the middle of night, often hunched over my keyboard or guitar, singing super low so no one could hear me. I never thought that anyone would actually want to listen to these songs, they were just something I did to distract myself from being lonely. So of course, the songs were a bit dark at first. Joe lifted the songs out of darkness. He made them sparkle, gave them hope. He is such an amazing songwriter and soundscaper. I feel super honored to have him as my friend, and the fact that he produced this mixtape for me still blows my mind. Where did you get the inspiration for your aesthetic? I was raised in the forests of Germany and the mountains of Colorado. I didn’t really watch television as a child, so I spent most of my time exploring the outdoors, searching for fairies and elves, believing that every light that caught the corner of my eye was magic waiting to be discovered. So, I guess the inspiration for my aesthetic, which I think lies somewhere between dreamy, magical, surreal and creepy comes from being rooted in believing and always knowing that magic is all around us. What other creative fields have you experimented with before? Photography? Fashion? When I was younger, I really wanted to be a fashion designer. I had these dreams of just making dresses out leaves and what not. Then I realized that I am absolutely NOT talented at sewing, and didn’t really have the passion to do the work that goes with doing design. I love taking photos, I love drawing, I love finding vintage clothes and recreating them into something else, I love being creative and just being inspired. But music and writing... they are the two things I couldn’t live without. Not a day goes by that I don’t write or hear a song in my head. What is it that you dream of for the future? Happiness. Staying inspired. Inspiring others. Always, always creating. http://www.draemings.com 19
on music and men by katie young
I react to music the way that others may react to any other sensory stimuli- sure, there are a few smells or sights that bring forth memories, and sometimes a certain touch will pull me backwards in time. But nothing compares to the way a song completely triggers me. And as a woman who has been “boy crazy” from preschool forward, you can only imagine how songs have been applied and attached to every kind of boy, dude, guy and man I’ve fallen for (and usually recovered from.) These vignettes are my sometimes (ok, most times) teary-eyed, visceral and sincere attempts to translate those truly heart wrenching/doofus grin inducing moments into words. I can’t say why I am this way- be it an already emotional mind, or too many viewings of Almost Famous, but I am who I am, and here they are: my most current thoughts On Music and Men.
PART 2 OF 4 Our relationship was not typical by any stretch of the imagination. Something I thought could last for a long time ended up over before anything could happen. I’ll always associate a lot of things with you- it’s almost how we communicated, through silly memes, song files and movie clips. In retrospect I know this is no way to build something real with a person. I like to think we had real moments of honest to god, true understanding, but how does a person ever really know? Especially when hundreds of miles, conflicting schedules and a never-ending list of difficulties interfere. I’m obviously still working on letting go. For something so seemingly short-lived, I invested a lottime, emotion, money, everything. I think that’s why I’ll always feel that visceral reaction, that tugging at my gut and quickening of my pulse when I hear “Coffee and Cigarettes,”- that Valentine’s Day we spent talking and laughing and typing furiously. I’ll feel that empty chest and jiggle my leg anxiously whenever I hear “I and Love and You,” - the long bus ride taken to meet you in the crowded lobby of the hotel, as real as ever, from the computer screen to right there in front of me. Eventually I might even be able to smile when I hear anything from that one Unicorns album- our rainy trip to the art museum, our hands clasped briefly over the coffee stained cup holders. Maybe these things meant nothing to you. I don’t know and probably never will. And I know we’re both better off this way. But if you’re getting a furrowed brow and finding yourself still vaguely upset when “Laura” shows up on shuffle, just know that I am too.
Get Down, Way Down by ben houck
The rock power trio is alive and well, Way Down proves that. The classic line up of guitar, bass and drums playing solid melodies with catchy hooks will forever be a good time. Forming in Spring 2012, Justin Henricks on guitar, Dylan Perrillo on bass and Kevin Urvalek on drums hail from the Capital Region under stage name Way Down. The band got together at a jam session where they wrote “Dylan’s song.” That immediate creativity set the tone for the future of the band.￼ The trio is young compared to the complexity of their sound. Considering the caliber of who they’ve played with, maturity is natural. The Way Down sound has opened for Marco Benevento and Brooklyn R&B Horn section the PitchBlak Brass Band. The men were on the Albany Jazz Festival bill along with the Pedrito Martinez group, Delfeayo Marsalis, Charlie Hunter and Gretchen Parlato. They will hit the stage with NY jam band champions, Aqueous at the Bayou in Albany on February 14. “We’re starting to construct an original sound I’ve never achieved anywhere else,” commented Henricks. Henricks, a seasoned band member of Albany jazz and R&B group The Chronicles, has been pushing new sounds for a while. Maybe the original sound comes form the crazy list of band influences. Hendrix and Rush to Grant Green and Oscar Peterson. “For me, jazz really fuels it all. I figure, if I can play half as good as Charlie Parker, I can play anything.” ￼ People seem open to tunes without lyrics, however the trio brings guests to the stage that fill the vocal void on the occasional Hendrix cover. Their original songs fit in both circles of danceable and tunes that you and drink beer to. The three men on stage enjoy themselves as much as the crowd. The interplay is intricate as the three grin back and forth at each other. Henricks is similar to Eric Krasno in the face making department and the melodic soloing. Dylan and Kevin make the groove pocket more like a fat mans sweat pants... big and comfy. It is hard not to appreciate. “First and foremost, I want the crowd to be thoroughly enjoying themselves.” Henricks commented “If our music invokes some thought and conversation about what they’ve heard that’s an added bonus.” The band plays crowded bars but is working on bigger festivals and summer stages. “I just love the atmosphere of a bar a lot. Crowds seem to connect best in that situation.” Way Down has big plans for Summer 2013. Beyond a bunch of concerts and new songs the band has a couple tricks up their sleeve. Even though they are on the rise they still enjoy band basics.”We pack up one car and all go to the gig together. There’s always a few stops at gas stations for smokes and candy and the conversations are almost never about anything important. It’s a great time.”
ringing in the new year by amanda dissinger Ah, the New Year. A time to (in no particular order): lose weight, drink less, work out more, and… rock out!! So, while everyone’s all “Auld Lang Syne” you can be all, “yeah, let’s forget old acquaintances but also listen to some rad music”, yeah? Here are some tunes (13… get it??) that I’ve been in particularly heavy rotation in the first days of 2013.
1. “Sex”- The 1975 I’ve been a creepy fan of this band for about two years, as they circled through multiple names and band lineups. I’m really excited that more and more people are hearing about their incredibly simple yet catchy as hell pop songs. “Sex” is my favorite song thus far; such a big sound, lyrics that won’t leave your head for days. Can’t wait to see what this year brings for The 1975. 2. “She Lit a Fire”- Lord Huron I fell in love with this band after seeing them play in Brooklyn in October. I’m really hoping to catch them in Brooklyn in February too, because listening to the album is not nearly as good seeing them capture these lush sounds on stage . This song reminds me of a beautiful moon and a cowboy riding around trying to find his long lost lover. Maybe that’s just me though… 3. “Dance With Me”- Ra Ra Riot The new year is a TIME TO DANCE and how appropriate is it that Ra Ra Riot (a band I like, like a loooot) just released a song called “Dance With Me.” One dare say it’s fate! Whenever I hear this track, I want to bounce up and down like a pogo stick. So I do. Sometimes in public. 4. “Breakers”- Local Natives If I told you HOW INCREDIBLY EXCITED I AM IN ALL CAPS for new music by Local Natives, would you believe me? Because I really really really am and this song made me fall back in love with the band (it’s been a long emotional four years since they released an album after all!) If this single is any indication of what the rest of the album will sound like, then I know what album I’ll be pumpin’ for months this year. 5. “Let Me In”- Snowmine The members of this NYC band are some of mah best buds and they make beautiful, challenging incredible music. “Let Me In” is one of their older songs but a song that makes me cry almost every time I hear it. It’s
haunting and vulnerable and just, for lack of a better adjective, gorgeous. Do yourself a favor and discover these guys ASAP. 6. “Borrowed Time”- Parquet Courts This is just short and sweet punk attitude at its finest, people. These Brooklyn by way of Texas musicians are blowing up on the scene and I love that this song makes me want to dance and break things at the same time. (Isn’t that the ultimate dream anyway?) 7. “Do You…”- Miguel For someone that detests the phrase, “He charmed the pants off me”, I know for a fact that Miguel would most certainly charm the pants (and shirt and socks) off me. This is THE sexiest song I’ve heard in a long time, cementing Miguel as President of Musicians Who Make Babymaking Music club (sorry, Prince). If you haven’t checked out Miguel’s Kaleidoscope Dream yet, do it right now!! (I’ll wait). 8. “The John Wayne”- Little Green Cars This song makes me feel good every time I hear it, even though it’s about a most difficult kind of first love. I love the harmonies and the slow buildup of this song and while this Irish five-piece is still young, I just know good things are in store. 9. “Keep You”- Wild Belle I dare you to play this song and not do a weird groovy bounce thing to it. Yes, maybe this is just the way I dance but this song is inescapably catchy and just funky. I love the saxophone solo and the song has a certain energy that’s incredible. Really hoping to catch them on tour with Toro y Moi (another fave!) 10. “We Don’t Eat”- James Vincent McMorrow The raspy of McMorrow’s voice is unmatchable as is this song. He’s a great storyteller who crafts this intimate track that I can’t stop playing. The rest of his album, Early in the Morning, is equally as great. Definitely a songwriter to watch, me thinks. 11. “Heat and Hot Water”- ARMS It’s hard for me to describe how much I love ARMS. Lead singer Todd Goldstein is one of the most creative and talented songwriters I have the privilege of knowing and the band’s 2011 effort Summer Skills is one of my favorite albums evar. “Heat and Hot Water” is a track off of this incredible record, which now also has a well-crafted and amazing video. Get to know ARMS, fo’ realz. 12. “Float”- Pacific Air Talk about imagery: everytime I hear this song, I picture myself running through a forest made of candy. It just puts me in a happy place. And, now I hear this band is touring with equally happy supastars Walk the Moon! How can anyone ever be sad? 13. “Shadow”- Wild Nothing I’ve always loved Wild Nothing and the Virginia band’s latest record Nocturne was one of my favorites of 2012. Every time I hear a song from them, I’m hit with an overwhelming feeling of nostalgia. This track, FYI, is great to listen to on a bus or train as trees and snow are passing you by. So lovely. Welp, that’s all y’all. Hope you lurve these tracks. Have a good first month of the year!
WANT MORE MISCREANT? Dearest Miscreants, I hope you all have had a wonderful start to the New Year! I know it’s been pretty crazy -- for me, it’s been a fresh face back in Syracuse, the start of my last semester of college, and the promise of many exciting things to come. So happy to have so many fellow miscreants around! I’d like to thank everyone who submitted to this time around -- it was a strong start ever so suited the incredible year ahead. I’m so pleased to introduce you all to my new friend whatever, dad; she’s a treat to have on the cover, and I hope you’ll all go and snag the tape. Also, excited to have DRÆMINGS and Baby Mollusk interviewed it this issue. Be sure to check out their releases as well! We will have a lot of great features coming up here soon, and I can’t wait to see what else is to come. More and more folks have started submitting regular columns when they can, and it’s been great to be introduced to such talented writers and rabid music lovers. As I always say, the more the merrier! If you’re interested in getting involved or aren’t sure what to write about, always feel free to email me. So, now, it’s time to start on issue 34, featuring Magic Wands! Submissions are due on January 28. Send in your top 10 favorite band t-shirts, your best story about a guy asking you to dance, your critical analysis of the Space Jam soundtrack, anything to do with music. Email your work or any questions to email@example.com. Look to miscreantrecords.com and the Miscreant Facebook for more info on the music you read about here and more! All my love, The Miscreant PS - My roommate Maddie sent me some music by Holland Patent Public Library and you should check it out because it’s nice and his website is really fun! GO HERE: hollandpatentpubliclibrary.com