When you watch Mattress, you’re going to have a little bit of a “what the fuck?” reaction. Don’t worry about it, it’s natural. I’d try to classify this music here, but the hyphen key on my keyboard is hooped. There are many online Nick Cave comparisons that use way too many adjectives to describe one dude with a noise machine. I looked at these, but in the end, I came up with my own Mattress reading: Rex Marshall is a fucking librarian. I imagine one day he couldn’t hack the silence anymore so he snapped and made Mattress. I’m really happy that he did and also that he was kind enough to answer a few of my questions regarding this silence/noise dichotomy.

ONLY: The Dewey Decimal System has always stumped me and I have a certain level of respect for people able to navigate that kind of organization. Any tips?

REX: I usually carry a boombox with me in the library. When I get lost, I sit down and hit play on my “I Didn’t Mean to Turn You On” cassette single by Robert Palmer. Then I get the assistance I need.

ONLY: I usually go for a little Huey Lewis and the News in situations involving literature, but to each their own. What are you reading these days?

REX: This week I am reading Last Exit to Brooklyn by Hubert Selby Jr. I am also slapping around some Gary Lutz stories, and sampling an assortment of survival guides… you know, how to survive a nuclear blast, how to treat contaminated water, how to pick bullets out of yourself. The basics, basically.

ONLY: Um…is paranoia something you’ve struggled with your whole life?

REX: I grew up in the cold war, you know, good old nuclear family fun.

ONLY: The last time I went to Portland, when I told people I was from Vancouver the general reply was “you have to move here immediately.” I kind of got the feeling that most people were content to never leave, to remain in their happy little bubble full of breakfast nooks, organic produce, independent press, bikes and babes. Are you nervous about braving the world outside of PDX on your tour?

REX: The cross-Canada tour will be a boatload of fun. I am curious, not nervous, to see how bad it will get. I always assume that things will go badly so I am not caught expecting too much. Maybe on this tour I will hit puberty, and my voice will crack and disgrace me. The good time possibilities are endless.

ONLY: You’re pretty physical on stage. Have you ever rolled/knelt/sat in anything yucky?

REX: I only roll around in the finest organic fresh from the farm mess.

ONLY: “Rex Marshall is a one-man rhythm ace of prison water torture repetitive beats and slippery Casio keyboard progressions.” “If Nick Cave had a bad dream with Suicide on the soundtrack.” I pulled those quotes from various internet sources. A less creative example would be some nerd’s description of your performance at the Pub 340 as “TV on the Radio meets Jim Morrison, but in a good way.” I find these descriptions totally funny and not that accurate. Why do you think everyone wants to figure you out?

REX: It is easy to figure me out. I am a singer. Hey! It is fun to hear the theories. Once someone told me I sounded like karaoke with the midget from Twin Peaks.

ONLY: To your face? Ballsy. So, Reluctant Recordings out of Edmonton picked up your album for Canadian distribution. How did that all go down?

REX: The Doers’ handsome young singer Sean Maxey put me up to it. Said he would make me a star. Said he would solve all my problems and take all my troubles away. Then I met Evan, the honcho of Reluctant Recordings, and we had a good talk about mustaches and I knew history was being made.

ONLY: How much do you charge for a mustache ride?

REX: I think you sent me this question by accident… maybe this was intended for your interview with the Red Hot Chili Peppers?

ONLY: Nope, Nick Cave. I hear he charges a cool grand for a go on that steely black caterpillar. I’d pay more though.

Mattress plays Pub 340 May 16th to mark his Canadian record release and the start of his cross-Canada tour.

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Ruby Suns, Four Tet, The Roots, and Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin

Ruby Suns – Sea Lion
Definitely the best new release since Vampire Weekend. Seriously, the entire staff at Only Magazine agrees. And we are definitely not kidding. We keep telling the rest of those guys at Only: “C’mon. Don’t you guys think that bands like these guys and Vampire Weekend are just mixing tropical themes into their mediocre indie music as a cheap gimmick?” But then the Only guys are all like: “No way dudes. These two bands are the real deal. We guar-on-tee.” And who are we to argue with everyone else at Only Magazine? [Ed: Actually, we think Vampire Weekend sounds like unreleased end credit music from The Lion King]

Four Tet – Ringer
Jeph: Rumour has it that Four Tet was interesting for a week in 1998, but if you have heard any electronic music that wasn’t made from Robert Miles, then you will probably find Four Tet to be pretty uninteresting. There you go. Awesome Jeph Wager just slipped a Robert Miles reference into a review for some mysterious reason.

Meg: Yeah, you’re so mysterious, and don’t we all just wish we could be a part of your special, little, mysterious world.

Jeph: Point taken. Oh, and to remove any ambiguity from my first point, I was saying that Robert Miles is the most boring electronic musician and that a fan of such music might be pleasantly surprised by these songs. Also, I should acknowledge that Four Tet does one awesome thing on here. The song “Swimmer” has an organ chord noise stretch through the whole song. It gives a nice break from the overly quantized and sequenced sound of the rest of the EP. I hope I didn’t sound too much like a real reviewer there.

The Roots – Rising Down
Listening to The Roots makes us both a little bit nostalgic. It’s been almost ten years since we first started going out at a rave in the old Woodwards building, and talking about “Things Fall Apart” that night is probably one of the reasons that we actually talked to each other again after that and eventually ended up getting married. But most of all, it reminds us of a girl we once knew that bragged to Jeph around that time that she had a friend that could understand the words that Erykah Badu was singing in the chorus to “You Got Me”. What do you want to bet that that girl we knew was from Maple Ridge that we no longer talk to her?

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin – Pershing
Jeph: I think it’s a pretty clear case that if there are six words in your band name you should just give up and end it all.

Meg: I still love Boris Yeltsin.

Jeph: Obviously. Everyone loves Yeltsin. That’s another reason the band name is so bad, unless it’s a clever reference to some cool thing I’ve never heard of. But, barring that possibility, this album is one of the worst things I’ve heard in my life. And I’m pretty sure this is the band from the Tom Hanks movie That Thing You Do! (And that exclamation point is in the movie’s title. I wasn’t ending that sentence that way).

Meg: Actually, I’m pretty sure you’re wrong. The band that did the music for That Thing You Do! is Fountains of Wayne. Everybody knows that.

Jeph: I’m not saying these guys did the music for that movie. I think they’re the fictional band that the movie was about. Actually I don’t just think so, I know it as a fact.

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Meth Teeth

You’ve got to laugh at bands that pick weird imaginative names as a result of retarded inside jokes or awkward moments at gas stations. They think they’re being funny and cleverly inventive but really they’re just setting themselves up for interview after interview answering totally irrelevant questions about a topic that has nothing to do with their music. It’s a total nightmare really, and as predictable as the crazy bag lady outside my office who asks me for quarters every time I walk out like it’s the first time she’s ever seen me. But that’s what you get when you decide to name your band something totally random and nonsensical and it explains why Matt Hunter of the bizarre Portland folk three-piece is so at home talking about all things “Meth” and “Teeth.”

ONLY: Have you seen the crazy old man that makes crystals to ward off giant lizards from taking over the world lately?

MATT: Actually that was my friend Schyler and his band Reptilian Civilian that knew the crystals maker. But you wouldn’t believe how popular that theory is with people here. I had no idea, YouTube “shape shifting reptilian” or “reptilian agenda”. I still meet people at parties that believe in it every once and a while.

ONLY: What else should crystals be used to ward off?

MATT: Oh man, there’s a whole crystal underground thing that I wasn’t aware of until recently. Apparently if you are all new age-ish and believe in them they can solve anything for you. But mostly I think they’re just the only hope for a lot of people who don’t have health insurance. Maybe I need to invest in some.

ONLY: How many cavities do you have?

MATT: I’m pretty much cavity free, which is just pure luck I think.

ONLY: When you were a little kid and went to the dentist did you get a toy at the end? I always picked the ring, what did you pick?

MATT: I don’t remember that part. I’m one of those people that anesthetic doesn’t work very well on. So I mostly remember that part and the part where the dentist and the assistant talked about how he was getting a divorce. Why would you say that stuff around a six year old? I mean, all the creepy details too. Jesus.

ONLY: How much joy do you get out of the fact that people who google “Meth Teeth” without mention of the word “band” end up staring at gnarly images of rotting junkie mouth? Is that the best part about having that name?

MATT: [Laughs] No, I feel bad for them. Sorry. I think the best part is having to stare at the ground when I tell my family members what my band is called. Or the part where I get asked a million questions about meth in interview type situations.

ONLY: Well in that case, in honour of your band name and our city, let’s talk about meth… Have you ever done it?

MATT: No, I’m not a big fan of uppers. They make me feel like I’m going to have a heart attack. I stick to drinking. I guess that makes me a poser.

ONLY: If you did and got really good at it, would you prefer to live in a garbage can or a giant fridge box?

MATT: I would do it for reals and go ahead and have a kid or two and live in a trailer in Irrigon or near the Umatilla Chemical Weapons Depot. There’s a nice trailer park I look at whenever I go through there that overlooks a sewage treatment plant. That’s my meth dream!

ONLY: You have a song called “BUS RIDES.” Taking the bus in Vancouver’s downtown eastside might be the easiest way to see some real Meth Teeth. Are there lots of drug addicts in Portland for you to get inspired by?

MATT: I’ve been to your ‘downtown’ and you have some pretty epic junkies. Meth seems to be a small town problem more than anything here. So not so much in Portland itself but if you drive to like say… Vancouver, WA (5 min away) you can drive around and catch a whiff of that cat pee smell sometimes. Or like where we all grew up in Eastern Washington – the only way to pass the time out there is to do tons of meth and have kids, oh and maybe work at the french-fry factory.

ONLY: And on the topic of our city, how did you get involved with Sweet Rot Records?

MATT: Pure luck! Sent out some demos and Jeff from Sweet Rot liked them and that was that. Totally amazing considering we made those recordings 2 days after me and Kyle started practicing. Those are the recordings that are now on the 7’‘ we just put out.

ONLY: Is it a match made in heaven between you and Sweet Rot Records, considering your names are both about decay and disintegration?

MATT: That’s pretty weird huh? We agreed pretty early on that the band would not be a “meth” or “teeth” themed band but with coincidences like that, there are obviously forces beyond us that are in control.

ONLY: What’s the title of your upcoming full length on Sweet Rot?

MATT: We don’t have a real name yet. So far the joke is that it’s called “taking dude mountain by strategy”. But that name just comes from being stuck in a room for 12 hours, re-recording the same parts over and over again and trying to make each other laugh because we’re going crazy. We don’t have a real name yet.

ONLY: Is Meth Teeth better than any of the other bands (Artificial Limbs, Leper Print, and Night Wounds) you all play in?

MATT: Totally different. None of the other bands we are involved in sound anything like Meth Teeth. But in my eyes, they shouldn’t be a surprise when you hear them. We/They are all going for the same thing, just in different ways. There’s my political answer to your question [laughs].

ONLY: You seem to really like the tambourine. Will there ever be a Meth Teeth maraca or maybe even a cowbell?

MATT: Cowbells are played, egg shakers are cool, woodblocks are cool and handclaps are dead.

ONLY: Terminal Boredom called your band “ODD BALL,” personally what’s your weirdest odd ball habit?

MATT: I watch cat videos on YouTube a lot. But I think everyone secretly does that. I’ve noticed that Japanese cats are bred to look like Japanese cartoon cats.

ONLY: A fan of yours said listening to one of your seven inches “helped him defeat mono”, what else can listening to it do for you?

MATT: You have really done your Myspace research… Probably just bum you out. That’s our super power, bumming out lives.

ONLY: You have people who go by zombiehamburger, welltunedpiano and Yedna listening to your music, in your experience what sort of people like Meth Teeth?

MATT: Negative people who like folk music and haven’t realized it yet. Definitely not people who like Matt and Kim. Even though I kinda like Matt and Kim.

ONLY: Are you excited to be playing some shows with Naked On The Vague while they’re up here from Australia?

MATT: Yeah, they are fucking great and very interesting. All the bands we are playing with are good. It’s an awesome bill for sure!

ONLY: Without looking, how many balloons are there on your Sweet Rot seven inch?

MATT: Shit man, I’m not sure. 7? I remember thinking there wasn’t enough initially and freaking out. We added more. That’s why it turned out well – lots of balloons.

Meth Teeth (Portland) play with Naked On The Vague (Australia), Twin Crystals & Modern Creatures at Pub 340 Saturday April 26th.

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Midnight Juggernauts

Andy from the Midnight Juggernauts took a few minutes to shoot the shit with me about some stuff while relaxing in Paris.

ONLY: So you and Daniel and Vincent are the Midnight Juggernauts. For those of us who haven’t heard you, why don’t you give us a little background on yourselves.

ANDY: Yeah, well we’ve been playing for two or three years. Vincent and I are high school friends, we’ve both played in bands together, just having fun playing parties and playing all types of music. Rock bands mainly, and mucking around with synthesizers. Maybe three years ago we started playing some shows with synthesizers and a drum machine and guitars, playing friends’ parties. When we started to get decent, friends suggested we start to take it seriously, so we built it very slowly and put out and EP. Once the album was put together, things started to come together more for us as a band. Daniel we met who lives in Sidney (Vincent and Andy are from Melbourne) he started drumming about two years ago with us. Since he joined, it’s a real band. Things are going really well.

ONLY: Your music is sort of a cross over, it seems. Lots of songs you’ve recorded have been remixed by friends and bands.

A: Yeah, it’s good, especially with our live show it is really different to our recorded music. It’s a lot rawer and it has more of a rock vibe I guess. The remixing is another sort of thing we do on the side which is really great fun. We’ve got some good exposure from doing that as well, it’s kind of fun to toy with other songs and really turn things inside out. That’s how we approach it. To see if we can create something completely different. We never stay very true to the original version. We haven’t done so much remixing lately, although we get asked a lot to do remixes. It’s been hard because we’ve been so busy playing live and recording our own stuff. We did one recently for Sebastian Tellier, and that’s the last one we did.

ONLY: When you have a simple set up and it’s just the three of you guys playing live all the time, do your songs just evolve naturally?

A: That’s what’s happened with our live show. We never really used to rehearse very much when we first started, but we’re kind of forced to take it a lot more seriously now. It’s paid off because we rehearse so much and I think the live show has improved a lot. We’ve spent so much time re-working the songs live. They (the songs) really do keep evolving. We’re not always entirely happy with them so we change a lot of the middle parts and the intros and outros. We go off on proggy jams; maybe we do it too often but it’s really fun.

ONLY: That’s the word. Progressive.

A: Well I think that’s just because of the amount of shows we’ve played and the amount of shows we are about to play over the next few months. We kind of have to change things up in order to keep things interesting for ourselves.

ONLY: Great, so many shows.

A: Last year was great. The second half of the year we went and did the Justice tour. Since then we’ve just been building, and now it’s just about time for the festivals. I guess Coachella’s the first one, so thats good. It’s exciting to be playing so many big festivals around the world.

ONLY: I saw Cut Copy and SXSW. They’re buddies of yours from Melbourne?

A: Cool. Yeah they’re doing really well at the moment. They’re good friends of ours and I think we’ll cross paths over the next year or so at festivals. It’s always fun to hang out again. I think their path is similar to ours, you know — touring a lot for their premier album. It’s good to see friends doing well.

ONLY: So you guys have a record label called Siberia. Why is the mailing address for somewhere in Russia?

A: [Laughs] The website is interesting, there’s an address to send demos to some Russian address, but its a joke and obviously not true. The label was set up for us in Australia to release firstly our EP and then our album. We did that because we’ve always been self sufficient and we like having control on all the aspects of the band. In Australia it’s small enough that you can put a record out yourself. Especially with the internet, you don’t really need big promotional money to make something travel. So we opted to put our own stuff out and it was really successful that way.

ONLY: That’s the dream — to run everything from the ground up.

A: I think it’s important. It’s not necessarily that a band needs to be independent, but I think that you really have to be independent minded. I think anyone who starts and builds some momentum their self before signing really helps. We were doing a lot of touring in Australia and putting out records ourselves without any help from a label. So when you get into a position where you need some support you can make it happen. It worked for us.

ONLY: I think it also shows kind of a good role model for other bands that want to do their independent thing and tour lots.

A: We’ve still got so much ahead of us and things we want to achieve. I think that it just takes perseverance. For us there are a lot of extra people involved with our band now, you know? There’s stuff going on all over the place. It’s a lot of work. Like staying up all night after we play answering emails and stuff. It’s a lot of work. Not so much in Paris right now, because we’re just enjoying doing nothing.

ONLY: Yeah, Paris is good. So you guys are coming to Vancouver soon, and then off to the US and Japan?

A: Yeah I was just thinking today how soon that is. Coming to Canada and then the US… It was really exciting the last time we came with Justice. It was really one of the best experiences I’ve had. If it’s anything similar to last time, I’ll be happy.

Midnight Juggernauts play Tuesday, April 22nd at Richard’s on Richards.

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Time Travel: Yesterday's Music Yesterday Today in the Future

The 1970s were the heyday of British television funding. Thousands of pounds were poured into producing the very best dramas, cutting-edge music programs like Top of the Pops, and education. One show in particular, Look Around You, served as both televisual intelligence developer for children and grown-ups who weren’t smart enough the first time around in school, and as a living laboratory exploring the mysteries of science and entertainment simultaneously. In one episode, the presenters of Look Around You held a competition to find out what the music of 2000 AD would be like. Amazingly, their results were incredibly accurate. Such foresight surely counts as time travel, time travel of the brain, and so we represent here that fateful morning when the future of world music was decided with the help of Tchaikovsky in a briefcase. Enjoy! And think.

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Time Travel: THE FuTuRE - 2112

I traveled through time. I went to 2112 and I brought back music. Music from the future. Music from 2112. And since I harness the raw hot talent to travel through time (for this week only), I decided to quickly visit Toronto in 1973, with the music from 2112 in tow. I took the music from 2112 to 1973 so I could play it for a Junior Sales clerk at a large department store named Gary Lee Weinrib. It goes without saying that he dug it. It goes without saying that a simple gesture in Toronto, 1973, which I happened to accomplish on April 17, 2008, just after I was in 2112, resulted in the epic masterpiece, Rush’s 2112. 2112 was recorded in 1975, and released in 1976. I made this happen, it took 10 minutes.

Now, let us listen.

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Best LOVER! You’ll Ever Have

I know Tuesday nights are normally reserved for wallowing in hangover sorrow — a time to reflect on why you thought it was a good idea to drink that extra double, and the six after that, not to mention how in the hell you managed to wake up next to that weirdo with the blinking problem from the line at Megabite — but next week you’ll have to rearrange your schedule. Move all that to Wednesday, because on Tuesday, Lover! is in town. A power-pop explosion from the sweaty palms of Rich Crook, Lover! is the next installment of rock ‘n roll debauchery from the demented dynamo that helped spawn The Reatards, Lost Sounds, American Death Ray and Knaughty Knights. In honour of the fact that Crook collects roving musicians to play in this latest project as easily as you or I gather packets of soy sauce from Japanese take out, Only decided to talk to Billiams, Lover!’s current drummer about “joining” the Memphis band and the upcoming tour…

ONLY: So how did you end up in Lover!?

BILLIAMS: Road dog… best drummer around??? Naw, Me and Rich are old old friends from the Tard’s days. I knew he needed a drummer, I asked him, and he said yes! Hope it turns out OK.

ONLY: Who else will be playing in the band with you besides Rich? Will Greg Roberson (ex-Reigning Sound, Arthur Lee’s LOVE) be along for the ride or is he just a collaborator on Lover! recordings?

[Of course I know he won’t be, but any chance to name drop the prolific Roberson in the hopes of getting lazy Vancouverites out on a week night is worth the effort of using italics.]

BILLIAMS: No Greg. He’s a family man. He’s got a kid at home and a pro radio DJ gig. As far as the rest of the band, It’s Rich, Talbot Adams, Johnny Vallant and I — Talbot and Johnny being from The Black And Whites, our tour mates. DOUBLE DOODY!!!

ONLY: So all of a sudden you’re in this new band, what do you actually know about Lover!?

BILLIAMS: Richard told me about starting up the project about one year ago this past March when I was in Mem-Phis on a Ponys tour. …..and now here we are.

ONLY: Have you ever had a run in with “friendly animal poachers or in-the-closet crane operators?”

[Take a look at LOVER!’s Myspace profile if you want a little background here.]

BILLIAMS: Naw, Rich is the oil rig guy/southerner. I grew up in the Land-o-Lincoln…. All right, there was a little poaching down state.

ONLY: Rumour has it Rich has quite a thing for garden gnomes. How do you feel about them? What if Rich brings them on tour?

BILLIAMS: FUCK! I did not know this. No gnomes in the van! Takes up too much precious cargo space.

ONLY: Do you think the “!” is key to the entire feel of the band?

BILLIAMS: YES!!!!!! It’s the extra oomph, ya know. You’ll see.

ONLY: Does playing drums for someone who played in the Reatards excite you?

BILLIAMS: No not at all. I’ve played drums for the ‘Tards as well. I’m just excited to play in a killah band brah!!

ONLY: You’ve played in the Baseball Furies, LiveFastDie, Hot Machines, Vee Dee and Lover!, how the fuck can you keep all the songs straight?

BILLIAMS: And The Spits. Drums are easy — that’s why I’m a whore.

ONLY: You were in Vancouver a month or so ago with LiveFastDie, any observations about the city?

BILLIAMS: Beautiful city! It twas a grand ole time and great show!

ONLY: What are you expecting touring with The Black and Whites to be like?

BILLIAMS: Rolling party. It should be good, Talbot is one of the nicest men I’ve had the pleasure to meet.

ONLY: What’s your position in the tour van?

BILLIAMS: Missionary

ONLY: And finally, are you a good LOVER! ???

BILLIAMS: You answer that.

And for that answer check out Lover! with The Black and Whites and Master Apes when they play at Pub340 on Tuesday April 22nd – EARLY SHOW, 9:00pm sharp.

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The Dead Ghosts

There’s something about dragging a group of young musician boys out of bed on a Sunday morning and forcing them to eat less-than-edible chicken strips while asking them random questions, which aren’t much better than the food itself. Maybe it’s the retardo haze of the cheap beer from the night before, or the fact that Clint is in the band, but my breakfast rendezvous with The Dead Ghosts left me giddy like those grade eight slumber parties where everyone makes friendship bracelets and then braids each other’s hair.

ONLY: Are any of your songs true stories?

DREW: I don’t know what any of our songs are even about so let’s hear this…
BRYAN: I don’t think anyone can hear what I’m saying.
CLINT: You write songs about cowboys and shit that happened in the 1800s.
MIKE: Brian writes all the music and we just read off the sheet music.

ONLY: What record best describes the band’s personality?

DREW: The Cars “Who’s Gonna Drive You Home?”
CLINT: The Chipmunks.
DREW: No, definitely The Cars.

ONLY: Who started the band?

MIKE: Drew and Brian.

ONLY: How did these other two [motion to Clint and Mike] get involved?

BRYAN: We were drunk.
DREW: Cause Mike’s my brother and he lived at my house. And cause Clint’s good at bass.
CLINT: And other stuff.
DREW: Like oral sex, that sort of stuff.

ONLY: Do you all have nicknames? What are they?

CLINT: Ask Levon (from Ladies Night).
DREW: My name is Big Cat and this is Little Turtle [points to Clint].
MIKE: My name is Mike.
BRYAN: [silence]

ONLY: What do The Dead Ghosts bring to the local scene?

DREW: Not much.
CLINT: Courage.
DREW: We bring a lot more than half the shitty bands in Vancouver!

ONLY: So was it the plan to sound like the Black Lips?

CLINT: Fuck I knew you were going to ask this one. Just because we’re under them in popularity… that’s fucking dumb… [insert thought provoking well defended blabity blah argument.]
BRYAN: It’s like saying The Kinks sound like the Rolling Stones.
CLINT: That’s the most uneducated thing to ask a band, especially at this time in garage rock. God.

[You’d think the guy who has his Black Lips band wristband mounted in a gold case at home, reminding him of the glory of filling in for Jared Swilley at the recent Vancouver BL show, would be thrilled with this comparison – obviously not. Moving along…]

ONLY: Is it better now that you’re not in a band that wears matching outfits from another decade, Clint?

CLINT: Ya. Those kinds are dumb man.
OTHERS: [Laughter]

MIKE: Hey call Brian’s phone.

Brian’s phone starts ringing, blasting “You can’t go on/Thinking nothing’s wrong/ Who’s gonna drive you home…”

DREW: It’s our record
BRYAN: Best three dollars I ever spent!
MIKE: That’s how much we made at our last show. [Laughs]
DREW: Why didn’t I see any of it?

ONLY: So when’s the next show?

BRYAN: We only find out a few days in advance usually.
CLINT: Somehow we just end up playing randomly [pause] we might just wait for Nobunny!
OTHERS: Ya, Nobunny!!

FYI: Nobunny plays in Vancouver on May 24th – it will be the best show of the year.

ONLY: What about Dead Ghosts Records?

DREW: We have one single out, “What To Do” on Milk-n-Herpes Records.
MIKE: And a tape.
BRYAN: A mix tape from Alabama.

ONLY: Why Alabama?

DREW: ‘Cause we’re huge down there.
BRYAN: It’s a split tape with this really cool Alabama band called The Shining Path.
MIKE: And it has a hotdog on the case.

ONLY: What… I didn’t know about this?

CLINT: We’re full of secrets – we’re dead for god’s sake!

ONLY: What other secrets do you have?

DREW: Uh, I live in Surrey.

ONLY: Back to records…

CLINT: We are recording with Felix at Little Red Sound Studios on Cambie. He paid me five dollars to say that.

ONLY: So how much of that are you gonna pay me to write it?

MIKE: We’re also recording our full length one day in May. We’re going to have a BBQ, you can come but you have to wear a bikini. We’re going to wear shorts.
DREW: The record’s gonna be called Big Cat & Little Turtle.

ONLY: What about being stuck in elevators?

DREW: Oh man, Clint and I were trapped inside the elevator at our jam space for like an hour and a half last weekend after the Pub340 show!
MIKE: They had to call the fire department. [laughs]
CLINT: We lit some candles.
BRYAN: It got pretty psychedelic
CLINT: We had a shirts-off-party in the elevator and dripped wax all over our bodies.
DREW: Now we’re completely hairless.

MIKE: I can’t eat anymore.
DREW: Anyone want some chicken?
BRYAN: This is overly mediocre.

The Dead Ghosts may play randomly some place soon. And hopefully with Nobunny!

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SXSW: Logan's Polaroids

Inside the P.C.O.V.

Inside the P.C.O.V.

Inside the P.C.O.V.
Me, Jody

Inside the P.C.O.V.
Jason, Marek/Boys Noize

Inside the P.C.O.V.

Inside the P.C.O.V.
David Banner/Pretty Titty

Inside the P.C.O.V.

Inside the P.C.O.V.
Pool Party

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Only goes to SXSW: A Complete week

Recap, recap, recap… where to even start? My mind is buzzing with the events of SXSW. With so many bands, veggie tacos and hours in the Texan sun, it’s hard to do anything but curl up into a little ball with all my new seven-inches and hide from the Vancouver rain. If you were lucky and/or crazy enough to be in Austin this past week, you’ll know what I mean, if you weren’t, well, may I suggest tracking down some Lone Star, chugging about eight and then reading my highlights. By the time you get to the end the photos should be swirling, the words totally incomprehensible – it’ll be pretty much like you were there… almost.

Thursday: I spy with my little eye something insane called FRITO PIE!
I started the day camped out at Beerland for the Florida’s Dying daytime showcase. While everyone was excited to check out the bands, the afternoon turned out to be more about enjoying the Texas sunshine and reconnecting with old out-of-town friends. I wasn’t overly excited to see any of the bands on this lineup except for the Coconut Coolouts from Seattle. Somehow I missed them (sadly, this seemed to be a pattern with bands I really wanted to see at SXSW – time management becomes a bit of a challenge when the bar is open for business at 1pm). Of the bands I did see on the FD lineup, Johnny and the Limelites from Chicago were the most impressive by far. But how could the exuberant five-piece not be, what with their semi-matching wedding-singer inspired tuxedo ensembles and retardedly catchy songs about pizza parties and hot tubs. And it was their silly, good times dance punk that served as the perfect soundtrack to my ultimate SXSW discovery… THE FRITO PIE!!!

Johnny and the Limelites

I could not believe my eyes when I saw the bartender lean over a slow cooker perched on top of the bar, scoop out a big heap of Texan chili and drop the gooey meat pudding into a mini snack bag of Frito potato chips! And to find out that this obnoxious heart-attack snack-pack has an actual name, not to mention its own Wikipedia page, well, I almost lost it. That little chunky-meat-chip-pack was enough to tempt even this vegetarian, but then I remembered I didn’t want to die 24 hours later in some dark bathroom stall, so I let a member of Detroit’s Terrible Twos try out this southwest delicacy instead.

Here’s a picture of Frito Pie Loving.

Frito Pie

We’ll start Friday off with veggie breakfast tacos – everything before that was pretty much moody and hung over. So after enjoying yummy Mexican food and lamenting over the fact that nothing in Vancouver really compares – please feel free to take me out and prove me wrong – I headed back to Beerland for the Get Whiskey Bent day show. Eat Skull from Portland was playing when I walked in. They played an awesome noisy set of discordant angular gems. The set was super entertaining to watch; it’s no wonder they’ve gotten cozy with Slitbreeze. Up next was Home Blitz from somewhere in New Jersey. There’s some hype around these guys (“hype” as in that dirty word that gets bands mentioned in Rolling Stone and on Pitchfork), so I was a little suspicious about the whole thing. But turns out they’re great, not-kick-me-over amazing, but definitely worth standing in the second row for some sloppy entertainment. I think Tyvek from Detroit played next. Don’t hold me to it though – I was a few rum’ n’cokes in by then. I can’t really say anything insightful about this band that isn’t captured by their bizarre Myspace ramblings, “Treads through sub-USA travels messed up always worried keep moving, pleasant after thoughts, funny comments worth some occasional repeating, friendships, pagan style celebration, Hittite war drums, post institutional loud buzzing.” None of it really makes any sense but it all sounds so wonderfully compelling when it’s strung together, much like their actual music. It was a real pleasure to see them play, one that my tired mind can’t even begin to describe beyond this slack-ass copy and paste method.

Eat Skull

So somewhere in there, TV Ghosts played. I don’t think I was wasted until later and I’m pretty sure I hadn’t fallen in love with anyone by that point, yet somehow the order of events escapes me. Regardless, as soon as their set was over I rushed right over to merch and grabbed a copy of the Indiana band’s LP. Totally weird and perfect, I can’t say enough good things about this band. Hands down this was the set of the day for me.

Hours, and a few more tacos later, I was back at Beerland for the evening Goner Records showcase. It was a stellar night. So good in fact, that the women’s washroom never even ran out of toilet paper, despite the bar being at capacity – you can’t beat magic like that! It was also an absurd night considering the performance of Memphis’s Ross Johnson. Watching this aging man play the drums in between stand-up jokes, which not even the phlegm-coughing Neil Hamburger could touch, was sort of like watching your drunk uncle do naked karaoke. There’s a bit of a thrill at first but then it gets really uncomfortable and the experience haunts you for the rest of your life. Still it was pretty awesome, especially when I got to grab the microphone with a couple other ladies and get in on Johnson’s “Gorgeous Body, Gorgeous Dink” number.

Somehow it seemed normal that Jack Oblivian followed this lewd spectacle. Or at least I think he did… drink drink. And just like all the other Oblivians, Jack can do no wrong. So, obviously, he played an amazing set, showcasing true musicianship with just the right amount of southern sleaze and grease to keep it interesting. Cococoma from Chicago and Digital Leather from Arizona both played great sets after that but I was having a hard time staying focused knowing that the Carbonas from Atlanta were soon to play. I’m sure all the rum’n‘cokes were really helping concentration levels too.

Ross Johnson


So the Carbonas, here we go. First thing is first, being a girl in the front row is never a good idea at a punk show. And being a girl in a dress in the front row at a punk show is an even worse idea. So trust me to be that girl. The moment the band started playing it was mayhem, and of the most wonderful kind. Their fast, 77’ style punk-pop complete with snotty vocals blasted the room. Greg, the lead singer was wildly charismatic and a pretty good sport to put up with half the crowd shouting out his lyrics, butchering most of them with drunken slurs. This was my third time seeing the Carbonas and it was definitely the messiest. Thankfully fellow Vancouverites Christa, and photographer Jason were beside me to help push me back up when crazy, lunatic punkers fell on top of me. It was quite perfect really.


Somehow after that I managed to make it to the most anticipated after-party of the entire festival, The Lamar Pedestrian Bridge Fucked Up show. Contrary to NME’s report, no one jumped off the bridge early Saturday morning during the now infamous event. Yes there were at least 600 kids packed onto the footbridge. And yes most of them were drunk and disorderly. But the most outrageous thing I saw on the bridge were the hordes of hipsters dressed in multi-coloured skinny jeans and feathers. I mean don’t get me wrong, seeing a bunch of twenty year olds in matching Urban Outfitter feather necklaces talking about dj-douche-fuck’s mash-up is pretty fucking disturbing, but it doesn’t compare with NME’s “account” where “the bridge began to buckle and bounce under the weight of the crowd, which prompted many fans to jump into the river to escape.” Despite no one flinging themselves off the bridge, I’m sure everyone had a good time. Although I had to get the hell out of there once the bottle rockets started going off, so I missed most of the show.

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