22 June 2011
2 New Videos: I Break Horses. Hearts. AND a Hearts Remix by Tom Rowlands (One Half of the Chemical Brothers).
Slowness, based in California, consists of three members - Geoffrey Scott: guitars & vocals, Julie Lynn: bass, vocals & keys, and Scott Putnam: drums & vocals. The trio have been called "a gleaming jewel in San Francisco's indie tiara" (by Signal to Noise), and we can certainly see why! Slowness is a relatively new band to hit When The Sun Hits' radar (shame on us!), but as soon as we heard their hypnotic drone-pop, we all immediately fell in love and demanded they give us a track for The First 100,000 Compilation or ELSE. Ok, we asked nicely, but that is how excited we were about them! Their EP, Hopeless But Otherwise (which was just reviewed by Rob Turner HERE) blew us away. And that, gentle gazers, is how their beautiful track, "Little King", became the compilation closer, and the story of how WTSH fell in love with the music of Slowness. Cheers.
How and when was the band formed?
JULIE: Geoff and I had been playing music together, informally, for about nine years, so we finally decided to form a band and make a record.
GEOFFREY: About three years ago Jules and I edited a movie together. We knew we didn’t want to collaborate that way anymore but we worked well together, so decided to put our heads together with music instead. We asked our friend Erik to drum on some demos with us, which eventually turned into recording the EP with Monte. We did two or three gigs in SF and did a US tour.
Can you tell us what the band has been working on and what you've got forthcoming in the near future (new releases, tour, etc)?
JULIE: We’ve begun working on a new record with Scott Putnam on drums. He’s also brought a wonderful harmony element to the vocals. Sean Eden (Luna) will add some guitars on it. He also played on a 7” single that we hope to press in time for our shows this summer in NY and DC with Dead Leaf Echo. This will be our first vinyl, so were pretty excited about it. We plan to put the new record out early next year, and support it with a European tour in June 2012.
Do you consider Slowness's music to be part of the current shoegaze/dream pop scene, or any scene? Defining one's sound by genre can be tiresome, but do you feel that the band identifies closely with any genre? How do you feel about genres in music, in a general sense?
GEOFFREY: We get labeled as shoegaze, which is fine, but we don’t feel confined to that. We do stare at our instruments, for lack of technical ability, but not at our shoes. We never labeled ourselves as such and turn red-in-the-face embarrassed whenever someone asks: “what kind of music do you play?” When we are in the mood to describe ourselves, we feel most comfortable calling ourselves drone pop, which is no established genre at all.
What do you think of modern shoegaze/dream pop/psychedelia artists, any favorites?
JULIE: I spend more time listening to Duke Ellington, Morrissey, The Gogo’s and Sonic Youth. But I do like the bands we’re playing with a lot. Screen Vinyl Image, Dead Leaf Echo, Sky Drops, Tied to the Branches, and Moonbell.
What is the most important piece of gear for your sound? Any particular guitars/pedals/amps that you prefer?
GEOFFREY: I can never find the right guitars, pedals or amps, so I buy stuff and then sell it or trade it and then repeat the process. It’s really annoying and expensive.
How do you feel about the state of the music industry today? There is no doubt a massive change underway; how do you see it and do you feel it’s positive at all?
JULIE: It’s changing so fast, it’s hard not to feel behind. This new DIY world has helped us sell our music in Lithuania, Chile, South Africa, Italy, China and a bunch of other countries. There’s something really positive about having a connection with people all over the world. On the whole, it’s positive, but also exhausting. There’s only so much you can do, especially when you have to work for a living.
When it comes to label releases versus DIY/bandcamp and the like, what is your stance, if any?
JULIE: We have done everything DIY so far, and that works, but we wouldn’t say no to some help. DIY is very cool, because you’re directly involved with everything and know that you can get it done yourself. The negative part of doing it all ourselves is that it can put a squeeze on playing.
Do you prefer vinyl, CD, cassette tape or mp3 format when listening to music? Do you have any strong feelings toward any of them?
GEOFFREY: We buy records and used CDs, the latter of which are great because they are not hip and everyone has shed their collections, so we get to continue building a music library somewhat frugally. Downloads are fine, especially high-quality mp3s and those which come with vinyl. But file-sharing low-grade mp3s is a bummer, unless it’s Metallica.
What artists (musicians or otherwise) have most influenced your work?
GEOFFREY: We’re all music fanatics. Too many to name.
Can you tell us a little about what you are currently into (books, films, art, bands, etc)?
GEOFFREY: Nikki Sixx’s Heroin Diaries. Woody Allen’s new movie.
JULIE: I steal other people’s books from time to time and read them very slowly.
GEOFFREY: Yeah, mine.
If you had to choose one Slowness track that was the ultimate definition of your sound, which would it be and why?
JULIE: Slowboat, because it has some sort of balance in the lyrics between looking both at what is dark and light in life.
GEOFFREY: When we were writing it, it went through a very strange transition at one point. It had this really bad, cheesy metal riff, and then Jules came in with the new bass line, and it changed everything.
Can you tell us a little about the band’s song writing process?
JULIE: Geoff usually comes up with the foundation on guitar and vocals. Then we start coming up with parts for bass and drums. Keyboards usually don’t come until we record.
GEOFFREY: For every 10 songs we come up with, two or three stick. Sometimes, a song will linger around like a hanger-on for a year or so, and we’ll play it as part of our live set, or we’ll try to record it three different ways, four different times, until we say, “Song, would you please go away?” And then the song walks away and we feel liberated.
What is the band’s goal for 2011?
GEOFFREY: To continue getting Hopeless but Otherwise out there. To get the 7” pressed and distributed. To finish the new record and have it ready to put out the first day of 2012. And to book the 2012 European Tour.
JULIE: We may also try to incorporate keyboards into our live set.
What is your philosophy (on life), if any, that you live by?
GEOFFREY: Despair is the devil.
JULIE: Don’t let the turkeys get you down.
*Top two photos are credited to Brad Wise and Aaron Campbell, respectively.
19 June 2011
18 June 2011
Shoegaze Quote of the month: Barry from High Fidelity tells a customer how it is (well, sorta). The JAMC vs. Echo? Nah, but funny!
Barry's Customer: They always seemed...
Barry: They always seemed what? They always seemed really great is what they always seemed. They picked up where your precious Echo left off, and you're sitting around complaining about no more Echo albums. I can't believe you don't own this fucking record. (tosses the record to the customer and walks away) That's insane. Jesus. ~From High Fidelity
17 June 2011
Let's see....how about a couple of gazer vids about night time and sleeplessness and the moon and all that. Why not? I'll just go for whatever springs to mind first. If I gave myself time to think too much, I'd be up all night for sure. Make a list yourself! It's fun. :)
Screen Vinyl Image. Midnight Sun.
Slowdive. So Tired.
Wild Nothing. The Witching Hour.
Autumn's Grey Solace. The Moon Nocturnal.
Sleeping Peonies. Black Lanterns.
Ceremony. Cold Cold Night.
Dean & Britta. Moonshot.
Alcian Blue. Night Sky.
The Psychedelic Furs. Midnight to Midnight.
Morrissey. Moon River (cover).
sunn o))) - It Took The Night To Believe.
MBV. When You Sleep.
Air Formation. Don't Wait Til Dawn.
Cranes. Tomorrow's Tears.
16 June 2011
For the uninformed, our weekly Top 5 Records lists include older and classic LPs and EPs for you to revisit, as well as brand new releases, so that you can keep your finger on the pulse of new artists and still rock out to classics. It's a great way to give old and new bands exposure, plus we just like making lists, because we are music nerds like that.
We've archived all of the previous weeks for your browsing enjoyment, which you can find in the right side bar, if you're curious about such things.
2. Kyte. Science for Living. Rallye Records. (2009)
3. Smashing Orange. My Deranged Heart 7 inch. Lactate Records. (1991)
4. Keith Canisius. The Oceanic Voyage II: 2009 - 2011 . Darla. (2011)
5. Robin Guthrie. Emeralds. Darla. (2011)
*Danny's Top 5 Records of the Week*
2. Magnog. More Weather. Kranky. (1997)
3. Amp. Bliss Out, Vol. 4. Phantom. (2004)
4. Echodrone. The Sun Rose in a Different Place. Self released. (2009)
5. a-ha. Hunting High and Low. Reprise. (1985)
15 June 2011
Ron is also one of the most prolific artists I've personally ever encountered. No, seriously. Since December of 2010, The Consolation Project has released ELEVEN full length albums on bandcamp. No, I'm not fucking joking. ELEVEN. What's even more unbelievable - all eleven of them are good! Boggles the mind, does it not?
Point being, since the last time we posted about TCP, Ron has released 2 full length records - Vampire Souls in May 2011 and Even Greater Things Will Happen Tonight in June 2011 (yesterday, in fact). We highly encourage you to check them both out, and for those of you out there who've been feeling a new music drought as of late, well, here's an ocean of it. Dive the fuck in!
Album: Hopeless but Otherwise EP.
Record Label: Ourselves Records.
Rating: 4.7 / 5
Reviewer: Rob Turner.
(Check out the brand new interview with the band HERE!)
The only reason this is getting a 4.7/5 rating (rather than higher) is because I wanted to leave room for Slowness to grow into an LP. Hopeless But Otherwise is an amazingly solid four song EP, and I want more!
The first track, "Black & White", sets the stage for what you know will be a great listening adventure. The chiming guitar into solid bass and drums, then the almost hypnotic vocals (the lyrics are very smart and well thought out, with an overall sense of warmth) .
Slowness. Black & White.
The third track, " Slow Boat", (which was also included on the Rock Back for Japan compilation (volume two, track four) is a real earworm! It will absolutely make you chant the lyrics: "Project the past... Protect the future..." like you have undiagnosed Turrett's.
Slowness. Slow Boat.
The fourth and final track, "Little King ", is the soundtrack to the sweetest shoegaze dreams you could ever want to have...(which is why we included it on The First 100,00 Compilation, of course!).
I know Slowness is a band to keep an eye on in the future!
For further investigation:
REVIEW BY ROB TURNER.
14 June 2011
10 June 2011
06 June 2011
05 June 2011
As we've already mentioned, several songs on this comp are very special. As you go through the track listing, you will see why! Most of the songs are brand new, unreleased, demos, or made specifically for this compilation. Huge deal to us! Thank you to everyone: the readers, musicians, label owners, and gazers. We're proud to know you all.
Danny & Amber.
1. The Consolation Project - Damage.
2. Love Culture - Islands.
3. Bloody Knives - Whatever You Want. (previously NEVER released)
4. Music for Headphones - Doctor.
5. The Sleepover Disaster - Funnel Cloud.
6. Astrobrite - Supernova Kiss. (unreleased, made specifically for this compilation!)
7. Soren Well - Starry Eyes Gone Blank Tonight.
8. Spell 336 - Silence. (new version of song)
9. Screen Vinyl Image - New Visions.
10. Resplandor - Sensitive. (Field Mice Cover)
11. The Ice Choir - I Want You Now and Always. (unreleased demo)
12. Famous - The Hanging Gardens (feat. Ana Breton - never been heard by the public or released)**
13. The Electric Mainline - Anyhow. (never been released)
14. Sleepmask - Black Depression Blues. (unreleased)
15. Dead Leaf Echo - Trial.
16. Presents for Sally - Smell Your Scent.
17. Starblood - Seaweed Princess. (unreleased)
18. Mittenfields - Mixed Signals. (unreleased)
19. bliss.city.east - Lady Luck.
20. Slowness - Little King.
**This particular band has a special history that we are going to cover next week in a feature. Until then, enjoy it!
Mini VJ Set: Ryan L Abato, creator of I Am The Programmer, chooses his top 5 most influential shoegaze tracks.
Oh, and by the way Ryan, Erasure is a good band. You can drop the charade. You love 'em, we all know it - Erasure even knows it.
I really appreciate WTSH letting me take part in their celebration. It's an honor and I wish them continued successes with even bigger support. Thanks so much, Ryan
They were thrown into all sorts of categories when Leisure was first released. When I bought the single to There's No Other Way, Inertia blew me away. It creates this killer wall of sound and should really be acknowledged as a shoegaze song .
Is it cheating to upload songs not on youtube ? I could never find another song from Fury Things (not to be confused with Furry Things apparently). All I know is this has been played to death and thought I'd share a song with anyone who has not heard it.
Moose appeals to every sense of my musical appetite. They were much broader than one genre, and that is how they became very personal to me. They were able to take a country chord and turn it dreamy. Russell Yates will be on Flights very soon. He has by far one of my favourite voices of all time. Paul Simpson and Guy Chadwick vibes, but way more delicate. This song is always in my head, lucky me !
I have been scrutinizing over what songs should make it in here. So tough ! I'm keeping Adorable, Ride, Swervedrive, UVS, CW, Lush etc out based on pure adoration for most influential songs personally in the genre and Blind Mr Jones has to be there. I frickin love Dolores. They added flutes, c'mon, flutes.
the actual song since we've all heard it - this fan does a really great job covering it.
Mini VJ Set: Kim Welsh of Morpheme, bliss.city.east and Bananagaze enthusiast chooses her top 5 most influential shoegaze-ish tracks.
OH and P.S. - She's TOTALLY serious about her 5th video choice.
I discovered them way late. I heard "Edge of the Ocean" on a cruise-line commercial and looked for it online and discovered all this other stuff I love. "Thinking About You" has the cutest video, but I also LOOOOOVE "Corners of Your Mind".
I freakin' love this song and I love the video. I've "borrowed" most of their video techniques for my day job. I listen to this song at least once a week.
I've made no secret about my love for Animals. Soooooooooo dreamy. I picked this one for this list for the brilliant vocal arrangement. The phrasing and syncopation makes me want to karaoke it. (If only!) It's also why I like the kind of guitar noise I like.
2:20 to 2:50 banana hammock
04 June 2011
Tomorrow: The final day of 100,000 content, compilation news, and Amber forcing you to listen to guitar tone.
The compilation WILL BE AVAILABLE TOMORROW. We're just waiting on 2 more tracks to be sent in, which we'll get tonight. The compilation is going to be really special, everyone. We're very proud of it. Due to time constraints, the first available download of the comp will be via an easier free download platform - in a week or so, it'll be available via bandcamp, as well, so that the spectacular master piece that it is can be more widely available to the world. Not that bandcamp isn't easy for YOU GUYS to dl from, but setting it up takes about a bazillion point three eight years (not really, but we need more time to do it).
And YES, the cover art has been chosen, approved of by all of us with little to no giggling, and won't feature David's laser adorned floating head, Mark E. Smith's mangled rat grill or a rose hued Danzig. I tried to get a unicorn on there, but was outvoted.
In all seriousness, it's a great great comp. High quality in all respects, one of a kind tracks, specialness all around.
ALSO, if not tomorrow, then Monday we will announce the Big Future Plans And Ideas we've been hinting about all week. We're excited about this! You should be too! Clap your hands and chair dance or whatever! Put on some German coldwave from 1985 and stoically cut a rug. Shout quotes from "Blue Velvet" at a loved one. Watch Ren and Stimpy. Make your mom watch the video for New Order's "Touched (By the Hand of God)". Whatever it is you do when you are excited, do that.
So until tomorrow, here's this video, which has nothing to do with anything 100,000 related, I was just speculating earlier today to Laser Head about how I really like the guitar tone in this song, and that's basically why I'm posting it. It's also a good song. But that guitar tone? It's good right? And I'll be putting on a sunn o))) LP right after this, so don't even TRY to call me cheesy.
03 June 2011
Mini VJ Set: Perry Pelonero of Morpheme, bliss.city.east. and Skylight chooses his top 5 most influential shoegaze tracks.
First time I heard this song the guitars and Adams voice just did it for me. I had never heard tones like that. Met them in Boston right when this album came out. We sat at a bar and drank Red Stripes.. They went on stage that night, and I hung off the side of the stage monitors... They made me DEAF that night. Thanks guys.
And speaking of Dean, I just want to add two things: firstly, I can beat Dean's ass with my eyes closed. Secondly, Dean - fucking change your bass strings.
(Sorry Perry, this is your moment, but can I add: FUCK YEAH for this song. FUCK YEAH)
02 June 2011
ANYWAY, this morning I cruised by the WTSH inbox for funsies, and discovered this interesting gem. We haven't yet checked out the rest of the tunes that are streaming on Rebecca Peake's bandcamp page, but we will (and you should, as well, and let us know what you think) but this video was more than enough to get me very intrigued.
01 June 2011
I will say - yeah, I don't mind their first album. It's fine and dandy. Whatever. Better than a lot of other classic Creation releases? PLEASE. NOT EVEN FUCKING CLOSE.
Still, love them or hate them, the Gallagher brothers stay the stupidest shit conceivable to the media. At this point, I'm over their whirlwind of destruction (plus quitting while you are ahead sometimes IS wise, and Creation at least has that bonus), and now find Oasis ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUS. Not because they are awesome, but because they are an inexplicable phenomena of Ridiculously Entertaining Douchebaggery (yeah, that's a sickness). There are a bazillion funny Gallagher brothers' quotes out there, and feel free to leave your favorite in the comment section, but this one made me laugh earlier: