Thursday, March 31, 2011

Salade de Concombres Vol. 1


Do I dare say that the compilation of the year has arrived now? I think so. The always nice Tiago Duarte and his label Cooler than Cucumbers Records have really put together an amazing collection of tracks by artists such as.... No, there's not even a good reason to just mention a couple of the 34 artists on the album. They all deserve to shine. So what I think you should do is to go to
http://ctcrecords.bandcamp.com/album/salade-de-concombres-vol-1, download the album for free, sit down and listen to it and realise that this really is the best compilation you will hear this year.

Rating: 4.5/5

Creature - Embrace the Day

Earlier this year I reviewed an album by Rebelmatic. Around the same time I heard this song by the groups vocalist Creature, and I really dug it. Now you can download it for free here.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Misanthrop - Straßenkampf

New video from Misanthrop's upcoming album Das Ungeheuer und sein Kritiker.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Stereo 13 - Retrospect

Some great free music from one of the coolest looking people in hip hop, Existereo. Click here to download.

A Band of Buriers - Slides By

A Band of Buriers keeps blowing my mind!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

PLEASE READ!

These last few months I've been on a roll when it comes to publishing stuff here on beats, breaks & big smiles. I've been doing more reviews than before, and also began a series of interviews which has been a lot of fun. Now in April, as some of you might know, it's also time for the 5 year anniversary for this blog. I've been making big plans on making a digital only compilation to celebrate these years. And I must say that I've been getting a very good response from artists being interested in being apart of it. The plan for the release has been sometime in May.
The thing is though, that I in some ways feel that I have run out of steam. Running this blog on my own at this pace have been no problem during the time when I've been unemployed, but since I recently began working a bit again, I feel that the energy is rapidly running out.
Without saying too much really at the moment, I feel that I have to slow down the pace a bit, and things like the compilation might have to be postponed. I will continue publishing stuff of course, but probably not at the same speed as I've been doing these last 6 months or so. I will try to get the interviews done that I've set out to do so far, but then we'll see.
Just letting you all know.


Peace for now

Soundtrack of Week 12

Friday, March 25, 2011

Interview #8 - Kristoff Krane

More Than Just an Emcee

One of my absolute favourite albums of last year is Hunting for Father by Kristoff Krane. I’ve been following him these last few years and he has gone from strength to strength. So it only felt natural to let him answer a couple of questions.

Kristoff Krane. Who’s hidden behind that name?

Christopher Keller. 

Last year you released 2 albums, what response did they get?

Hunting For Father is on daily rotation on 89.3 The Current and was voted top 10 local albums of the year by City Pages, Mpls, MN. 
Picking Flowers Next To RoadKill is # 10 on the US College Radio Charts!!!!!

I know that the passing of Micheal Larsen, more known as Eyedea, was a big personal tragedy. How are you feeling today and would you mind telling us a bit about your work with spreading his legacy?

I have 2 cyclical thought patterns constantly. 1. That says: " You just lost your best friend. You can no longer call him, talk to him or build with him...or love him in this form" and 2. One that says: " You are fortunate to have known someone who was able to truly tap into their full potential...so be grateful." 

Can you tell us a bit about your creative process when it comes to writing songs?

I write down my ideas, feelings, problems and inspirational outbursts when they come and then on certain days I compile them based on the nature/root of the expression. Same goes for sound. Sometimes the sounds come first and once I capture those on an instrument, then the writing comes out. I believe we all have creative reservoirs and that it's important to be constantly adding "input" into those, so that when our filters open we can access what we need to build what we need to build. 

You’re also a creative writing/poetry instructor at schools. How did that all come into play?

My first job was working as a "summer-camp youth counselor". 
I feel like I connect well with youth and that they are willing to allow my influence. 
I feel like I have developed an approach to how to effectively express myself and that i can share my tricks and strategies with others who are open. 


What do you wish to accomplish with your music?

I want people to know they are not alone. 
I want people to know that they can express their-selves and that whatever needs to come out should come out freely. 
I want people to feel inspired if they aren't or more deeply inspired if they already are. 

What can we expect from you this year?

Going on tour in Europe in April with Sadistik (Seattle, WA) . 
Going on 60 day National Tour starting in May with: Sadistik, Ordeal and Bodi. 
I have another full length record completely finished, featuring: Sage Francis, Illogic, Crescent Moon, Buck 65, Mike Schank and Sadistik. 
It was produced by Jaq (Germany). I'm not putting it out without a label...just not sure which one yet. 

What are your musical influences?


Shout outs?

They are in the above question. 

http://kristoffkrane.bandcamp.com/

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Kristoff Krane - Inside Out

Official video for Inside Out from Kristoff Krane's album Hunting for Father. Interview with Kristoff Krane coming up tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Great Deluge from J-A-P-A-N: A Fake Four, Inc. Japan Relief Benefit EP

The Great Deluge by sole, LEIF(kolt), Jared Paul of Prayers for Atheists, Kaigen & greencarpetedstairs from J-A-P-A-N: A Fake Four, Inc. Japan Relief Benefit EP. To buy the EP, go to http://www.circleintosquare.com/item/japan-a-fake-four-inc-japan-benefit-ep


 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Soundtrack of Week 11

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Speed Dial 7 - 11


Speed Dial 7 is Tom De Geeter’s one-man band. You may know De Geeter as one half of Zucchini Drive, one third of Cavemen Speak, one fourth of Nuccini!and one fifth of Gunporn. He is also one of the people responsible behind the label Marathon of Dope. Last year he released his first solo album Short Rich Apocalypse, and now he's already returned with the follow up 11. I'm the first to admit that I didn't listen too much to the debut album when it came, but when it comes to 11 it's a different story. Here we get Speed Dial 7 doing his thing with collaborators such as Pip Skid, Elissa P, Nomad, Marcus Graap and Skratch Bastid. And I really like it. Both the productions and the vocalists hold their own on every track, and even though the beats are varied it feels like a focused album, and it all comes together very nicely in an album to be proud of. The official release for this album is April 19. Until then I think you should check out his earlier material and gives this Belgian artist the credit he deserves. You can also expect an interview with him here in the future.

Rating: 3/5

Friday, March 18, 2011

Interview #7 - decorative stamp

For the Love of Music

When it comes to record labels, the most interesting ones are usually the small independents. Those who are, more or less, run from a bedroom without any kind of real financial backing but with great visions and a genuine love for music. One of them is decorative stamp, a British artist run label. I had the great fortune to ask jamesreindeer, one of the founders, about the label, music and life.



Would you mind telling us about decorative stamp, who you guys are and some history?

Certainly. decorative stamp is a collective of sorts, but shall we say 'curated' ostensibly by myself, jamesreindeer, and the immense James P Honey. We are two decent chaps, with a mutual love for all things musical, having both spent a vast number of years perfecting our skills in the area commonly known as weird-rap, or possibly alt-rap, or possibly just chewing. We met over the internet, as one does in this modern age, around October 2007. We were both living in London, England at the time and so James suggested we meet up to hang out and talk music. We hit it off immediately and by the end of our first meeting we had recorded the first song for what would become the Rough Tongue Surfaces album. We figured that we would handle the physical release of the album ourselves and, as James was also about to self-release the mighty first Murmur Breeze album with AbSUrd, we thought that we should have some unifying symbol which identified the two releases as coming from the same stable. James went away and, along with another close decorative stamp collaborator Jamie Romain, came up with the logo itself. When we talked of this logo, we talked of the 'decorative stamp', and so they became 'decorative stamp' releases. Giving it that official name was only a matter of time.

What was the initial thought behind the label, and has that concept changed since the start?

Mmmn, thusly, there was no initial concept behind the label, as it had not really been our intention to start a label, it just kind of naturally developed out of what we were doing with our self-releases over time. The transformation must have occurred sometime during 2009. In fact, researching it right now, it seems that we created the Myspace page in February, which must have been our first initial indication to the world that we had established this strange beast. That year was wonderfully successful and productive for us both, we took to the road on three separate tours, made a whole heap of real-world friendships from previous virtual ones and recorded a whole bunch of material. By the end of the year we had put in enough groundwork in gearing up to release a series of great releases throughout 2010. The concept behind each release simply being the preparation of great albums by great friends, in complete control of their project, with James and I smiling and excited to get it out to the world at the end of the process. With all of our touring and 'networking', we simply found ourselves in a position of actually having people to inform about all this great work.

It seems like there is a fair amount of new hot record labels in Europe especially at the moment. Why do you think the reason for that is?

It can of course be as much attributed to this great passion for music that we all feel. Music is such an important part of all our lives, shaping our whole worlds even in our teens and into our twenties, and how that deep-set love carries on throughout our adult lives. Much in this modern world is meaningless, but there will always be something so special, so powerful in hearing a particular song that speaks to us in such a particular way. Music fans will always want to start labels, artists will always want to start their own labels, and fans will always want to discover new music. Naturally, the second part is of course the nature of the technology. It is now, and has been for some little while, possible to write, record, mix master and release an album from the comfort of one's home with very little monetary investment. This enables genuinely talented people to be able to release their music, and the music of those they admire to an international audience without having to seek 'approval' from any kind of major or independent record label. Also, Europe is a great place artistically, and always has been. Traveling around France, Germany, Switzerland etc, it is quite quickly apparent that there is genuine support for interesting artists doing different things. A desire to hear something genuinely new and exciting. However, this of course does not translate into the kind of indie label business model of twenty years ago. I will be quite honest in saying that I would be very surprised if any of these new small labels are making any money whatsoever. I imagine for the most part that they are all running at a loss, simply because those in charge love the music. It is easy to start a label but is completely unrealistic to think that you can turn a profit, releasing works for a niche market, especially in this digital age where a large number of listeners are content to do their 'music shopping' on blogs with links to Rapidshare, Mediafire, etc... There are a great number of hot new labels in Europe because it's possible, because there is a passion and a determination there, and because there are amazing artists with releases ready for the world. Long may the passion survive and long may the releases continue.

What upcoming releases can we expect from you?

Well now. We have tentative plans for a great number of releases, but it is all very organic. We're not about imposing deadlines, a release is just ready when it's ready. Thusly, I cannot speak too far ahead. Still, closest on the horizon is probably the upcoming second Murmur Breeze album, entitled Foreshore Reverie. It is an absolute monster of an album, which we will be releasing on both CD and vinyl in a joint effort with Cooler Than Cucumbers. Once again, James P Honey and AbSUrd have absolutely murdered it. The progression from their first release to the 7" on Cooler Than Cucumbers is staggering evident throughout the nineteen tracks that this new album contains. It's just epic in scale. Certainly due to Mr. Honey and Mr. AbSUrd really pulling out all the stops and delivering possibly the best work either of them has produced thus far, but possibly also due to the fact that they admirably opened the floor somewhat and allowed a few lucky outsiders into the fold to contribute. Mildew from the omnipotent papervehicle submits a genre-ending verse, alongside the murderous Babel Fishh, aided and abetted with my own humble efforts. Whilst musically, contributions from the masterful Jamie Romain on cello, Michael Rea on Banjo and Nadia D'Alo on sitar meld wonderfully with mesmerising field recordings to create a hallucinogenic brew of staggering proportions. Perhaps I should blow my own trumpet in saying that I was responsible for mixing this epic creation too, and how it took me nine months to get it just so. It really is outstanding. Haha! So, aside from that, do keenly expect a release from our newest 'signing', the mighty Þverfellshorn, side project of Luke Payne from Wild Dogs in Winter. As yet untitled, it shall be an 'interim' release, to guide us through from his outstanding Bedroom Recordings EP, on into his full-scale debut album to be released later in the year. Expect beautiful post-rock-shoegaze-drone-electronica amazingness, ethereal and enchanting, melancholic but filled with hope. It totally kills me every time, and Luke is a legend of a man. He really is. Lastly, the Decorative Stamp Printing Press is also publishing its first book. Nova Conditions by myself, jamesreindeer, is going to print almost as we speak. It shall be something in the order of a 140 page hard-back book in the form of a kind of extended prose piece, and shall feature forewords by the legendary fbcfabric and James P Honey. More news soon! Other details are sketchy on the ground, so I daren't say more for now... Except maybe, Decorative Stamp Volume Two.

Do you have any dream project?

A dream project. I guess a dream project would be one that would receive the kind of attention that I think all of the Decorative Stamp releases so far have deserved. My dream project might be a new release from Babel Fishh where I can turn on the television and see an extended feature of Scott telling the world just exactly how it is. Or to see Dug Yuck live at Glastonbury, just murdering the pyramid. Maybe it might be Mildew double album, with 250 page book of his lyrics and artwork, pressed up on vinyl and shipped to every corner of the western world... Just dreaming the good dreams.

What is the long term vision of decorative stamp?

Well, it depends on how upbeat James and I are at any given time. It would be lovely to somehow find decorative stamp financially buoyant, able to pay us for the amount of hours a week we invest in it. Being able to continue to release 'strange' and 'interesting' things to a wider and wider audience. To be able to increase the 'seriousness' of it all in terms of being able to spread the word, to convert the masses, to bring about world peace. Oftentimes, in truth, it is simply a case of a bunch of friends making music in their spare time, putting it out there and seeing what happens. No reason why that should ever change.

What kind of response have your releases got so far?

Mmmn, yes! We've been outrageously lucky with the kind of response our releases have had thus far. When James and I first met, we were both pretty established in our own circles and very much ready to ride. But, by the time we'd finished the Rough Tongue Surfaces and taken it on the road, we we're totally blown away by how much folk were into it, how supportive audiences were and how a lot of our indie-rap heroes were kind of taking us seriously as an artistic proposition. Naturally, we worked really hard, with the sole intent of making the best music we possibly could, playing the best shows we possibly could, but it was still remarkable to us that we would be bestowed with such high praise from so many quarters indeed. And then for this whole decorative stamp situation to grow from that, for it to be a name on folks' lips, that all of our releases have been widely understood to be of artistic merit, that's just fabulous indeed. We believe wholeheartedly in the artists we get to work with, and the music they create, and so for that to translate into the understanding of the listeners themselves is just the ultimate final piece of the puzzle.

Your physical releases so far have been hand crafted. Is the design of the records as important as the music itself?

Well now, it couldn't be said that the design is as important as the music, but good design should certainly be seen as a great opportunity to enhance the musical experience contained therein. In this modern world so much is disposable, so much is just plastic and faceless. If we are picking up the gauntlet of preparing a physical release, why ever not make it something a little more special and pleasing in a tactile way? Perhaps, because it is such a niche form of music that only warrants limited numbers, we find ourselves in the position where hand-crafting releases isn't such a terrible burden time-wise. It's certainly a lot of hard work, but more than worth it when seeing the end result. It also seems to very much strike a chord with our audience too. Just manning the merch table on tour for example, seeing patrons skip straight past the digipack CD's, on to the weird hand-made stuff, and of course the majestic vinyl. Still, it would be worth mentioning also that, although a lot of releases thus far have been crafted by the mysterious Raindrop Watchers, largely each artist has been responsible for the presentation of their own release. For example, when you buy the Babel Fishh CD, you can be sure to know that it was hand-crafted by Babel Fishh himself, and there's something very special about that indeed.

What qualities do you look for in an artist?

I guess what decorative stamp looks for in an artist is simply what James P Honey and I look for in artists that we like to listen to. We are a group of friends, working together, and releasing music together. To that end, we don't really 'sign' artists, rather release works by those closest to us. That which we admire in the work of our friends is their originality, their conviction and belief in what they do, the great effort, blood, sweat and toil which they invest in their work. Naturally, we like slow and sad songs, songs with urgency, songs with fragile beauty. Being that we are also both very much in the field of lyrics, we are also extremely keen on 'listening to the words', something of great significance and importance to us. An amazing line has the weight of oceans behind it. When it comes to weird-rap, it's all about the chew. If a rapper isn't chewing their way through their prose, then it might well not be for us. When it comes to folk, it needs to be darkly beautiful, it needs to be that real murder-ballad material. When it comes to electronic music, it needs to sound real, like it was recorded in a real space, not that it has come straight out of a plastic computer. Distinct voices, inspiring lyrics, moving melodies, and naturally, tape hiss and vinyl crackle help a whole bunch too.

Shout outs?

The whole decorative stamp family! AbSUrd, Band of Buriers, Air Con Pyramid, Babel Fishh, Coffin Cutters, Dug Yuck, Edison, Evak, Iron Filings and Sellotape, Fawns, Mesparrow, Mlle Métronome, Murmur Breeze, Nadia D'Alò, Pumpernickle, Radio Disorder, Raindrop Watchers, Sold Out Cyclone, Þverfellshorn... and to all the wonderful friends that James and I have come to make in these last few years riding together, too many amazing people to mention... and to all the folks who have a decorative stamp release or two on their shelf, who have braved the evening to come to a show by any one of our artists, who leave kind comments online and send encouraging messages... we are truly, very grateful.

decorativestamp.org
decorativestamp.blogspot.com
jamesreindeer.blogspot.com
jamesphoney.tumblr.com

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

sole - Cell Memory

New video from sole's Mansbestfriend pt.5. Simple but effectful.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Soundtrack of Week 10

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Another Year

Another Year

Review: I've always been a big fan of Mike Leigh and his movies, and I still am. I must however say that his latest movie Another Year felt like it was missing something. Even though the cast was great, the mood in it was good and it was beautifully made as always, I didn't really connect with the story and the characters this time around. I hate to admit it, but I actually got a bit bored by it all. Don't really know why though.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Interview #6 - Elissa P

Genuinely into Absurdum

Some artists are just a part of your life without you really thinking about it. Elissa P. is one of those artists. I’ve been listening to her for about 5-6 years now without reflecting about how good she actually is. But that has changed now. This incredible artist is getting more and more into my limelight. She was one of the first I wanted to interview for this series. So here she is:
                                                                                      photo: Kelly Puleio

For those who haven’t heard about you, would you mind telling us a bit about yourself?

I grew up in the South Loop of Chicago. I studied 10 years of classical piano, starting at age 6, and also got pretty heavily involved in the Chicago youth writing world. There were a lot of cool creative programs in the city, and this combined with the support of my family helped give me the courage to start writing songs. Thinking back, my poor family must have a really high threshold for repetitive sounds.

I first heard you on Disaster for Breakfast EP together with Brenmar, how did you guys hook up and do you still do any music together?

We met through our mutual friend, Michael Silvestri who ended up playing bass on the EP and with our band for the next couple of years. I haven't worked with Brenmar in ages, but we are still friends. I had the pleasure of catching up with him in Chicago recently over some twilight whiskey at Bijan's. You've gotta catch that guy at 3am between flights these days!

What is your purpose with your music?

I want to mix pretty sounds with a personality that is very true. I have a pretty unromantic albeit humorous view of the world, and I don't think I can really emote through any other persona. But the music intrinsically means so much to me! So, I guess my purpose is to entertain in a genuinely absurdist way. All while drowning your heart in tender chord changes.

To me at least, there seemed to be a bit silence between the release of Prize Pig back in 2006 and your album Quickie Calendar in 2010. Were you up to anything special between those releases?

After releasing Prize Pig, I was living in L.A. and Brenmar moved to Brooklyn to work with These Are Powers. I basically had to reapproach my process of building songs. I'm grateful for this challenge because I learned a lot about the craft, as well as my own style. But there was a definite learning curve, which slowed things down for a bit. I knew I had to keep putting my ideas out into the universe somehow, so I was running around playing at laundromats with my Boss loop pedal and making videos with kids from the film school. It was a great four years in terms of development, and I ultimately ended up meeting my new bandmate Ryan Casey (KaeoFLUX) throughout the process.

Would you mind telling us about the creative process when you’re making music?

I'd say most of my initial kernels are a melody or cadence of some sort. I am attracted to dreamy big band patterns, jumbled out of order with the occasional half-step. I usually play around with this deconstruction until something I like blossoms. It's a very loose process to figure out what the brain wants to hear. I almost never build around a lyric.

How did you hook up with Marathon of Dope?

I feel like Tom has always been in my life, somehow. I can't even recall the first time he contacted me. It must have been back in the Disaster For Breakfast era. We've been working together via internet for over five years, and finally toured together twice in the last year, first on the east coast, and this past winter through Europe.

Any upcoming projects?

Yes! As I mentioned before, I am now working with Ryan in our new band, Kodacrome. I initially assumed this would simply be the new incarnation of Elissa P., but Ryan has actually massaged a new and braver sound out of me. We spend a lot of time considering sound sources, texture and structure, and he challenges me to be more patient and technical, without sacrificing any emotion. Here is a video we made at De Kreun this past December: http://vimeo.com/19479688

Final question, I know a lot of people are curious. Could you tell us more about Rhyming Robot?

Rhyming Robot is a project I started with my friend, Eric Meltesen. We began by writing a feature and adapting it into internet shorts exploring the life of poor naive Rhyming Robot who cannot make a rhyme. His is a story of brotherhood, and character as he intermingles with others who can't quite reach their expected potential (i.e.: his pet Toothless Piranha). Puppets trying to find their place in society. At the end of the day, it's a way for us to be social while still creating something. I'm the type of person who gets anxious when I relax (nothing like a sunny day in the park with friends to make me want to shoot myself), so Rhyming Robot is a way for me to avoid becoming a total hermit. You'd be surprised how many more people want to talk to me when I have the robot in tow!

Shout outs?

I want to shout it out for every roommate, family member and neighbor who has heard me playing sandpaper arpeggios in the middle of the night. I'll do everything I can to repay you for your patience!

www.elissap.com/
www.kodacrome.com

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Hævnen

Hævnen

Review: Denmark is without a doubt the number one country in Scandinavia when it comes to movies, and Susanne Bier is one of the finest filmmakers we have. Her latest movie Hævnen that she has made together with the amazing writer Anders Thomas Jensen is a great story about revenge, friendship, contrasts and loss. It's a strong and beautiful movie with some great acting all around. Perhaps a bit too long, but all in all a great piece of art. It is well worth all it's recent awards


Buck 65 - Zombie Delight

Sneak peek lyric video of the Buck 65's Zombie Delight. The official music video premieres exclusively at Dose.ca in Canada on Friday, March 11th through March 14th.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Gel Roc - Step Science

From Gel Rock's upcoming album Beautiful Tragedy comes the video to Step Science.

Books

Just finished this entertaining read


And now it's time for this one

Noah23 - Fry Cook On Venus


Noah23 on Fake Four Inc. That is the kind of thing that makes me wish for amazing things. I've been a fan of Noah for many years now, but thinks that he's released a bit too much material which has meant that the quality have not always been solid. But when I found out about this upcoming album I got really high hopes. And I'm not disappointed. Far from it. Fry Cook On Venus is a great album which shows us just how amazing this artist is. We get the chopping, we get the slow introspective songs and we get the jams. And the guests on the album only makes it better. Gregory Pepper, RickoLus, Ceschi, Myka 9 and Ghettosocks amongst others all do their thing and brings some extra flavor to this album. I think my favourite song so far is Nuts where he is joined by Liz Powell from Land of Talk. It almost gives WHY? a run for it's money. Fake Four Inc. is almost too good to be true! Want to get your hands on the album? Then go here to pre-order it and perhaps buy a t-shirt while you're at it.

Rating: 3.5/5

Monday, March 07, 2011

He Died with a Felafel in His Hand

He Died with a Felafel in His Hand

Review:  This movie has been in my possesion for a while now, but I haven't got around to watch it until now. And it wasn't a minute too late. I honestly loved it! I won't even go into the plot, I will just say: Watch it!

Mr. Nice

Mr. Nice

Review: This movie tells the story of Howard Marks, infamous drug smuggler who at the height of his career was said to control 10% of the world's hashish trade. I had hoped for a more moving and engaging movie. But it wasn't. It felt quite shallow in many ways and you never really felt anything for any of the characters. I liked the settings though, and thanks to the cast it was still worth watching.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Lemmy

Lemmy

Review: It doesn't really matter if you're a fan or not of Motörheads music. There's something about Lemmy that just makes him one of the coolest people around and watching a documentary about him is a must if you have the slighest interest in the history of rock'n'roll.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

I am very aware that I was a real slowstarter when I came to It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. But now I've made amends and watch all 6 seasons. And yes, I love it.

Soundtrack of Week 9

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Κυνόδοντας

Κυνόδοντας

Review: Κυνόδοντας, or Dogtooth as it's more known as, is a quite different Greek movie. It's one of those movies who are really best seen knowing as little as possible beforehand. It is not your everyday movie though. It's twisted, disturbed, hilarious, dark and very good. If you're in for a movie out of the ordinary, watch Κυνόδοντας.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Kristoff Krane In-Store

Kristoff Krane In-Store @ Electric Fetus, St. Cloud, MN.  Here he performs an unreleased track off of his upcoming album Fresh due out this fall.

Interview #5 - Brad Hamers

Clarifies the Necessities of Art

If I were to make a top 5 of favourite lyricists, Brad Hamers would most definitely be one of them. Ever since I first heard him as a part of Phlegm back in 2002-2003 I’ve been following him closely. Since he released Post No Dreams, so far the best album of 2011, I have been wanting to ask him some questions. And here they are.

Would you mind telling us a little bit about yourself and your career so far?

Hmmmm...
me: clinically misdiagnosed, cynically an optimist, every foot forward off every cliff, schizophrenic mythologist, extinct bi-polar bear, head in the most local honey jar, the most recently scratched off serial number, on the last stolen piece of candy, its removed censor, the shirt tag that gets up the most, a hand-cuff-tan-line, the beached up sure, the whale held in mid smile. me: half free...half with a kind slave owner, really only the gutter running over. My career sits like a double parked car on a highway in a flood. I don't really like the word ‘career’...it sits wrong in me...reminds me too much of why I don't do this...my output is about putting it out there, plain and simple...or better yet, Getting it out!

Do you still have contact with Nobs and if so, any plans on doing something together again?

Christopher is my brother...we came up together in this (food-fight)mess they call a serious game...I absolutely still do have contact with him...actually still have his house cat's claw marks in my hand from when I last slept on his couch a few weeks ago..(I caught that small monster chewing muffins in his cabinet...it got me good)....as far as plans on doing something together....well, time will tell...Nobs and I stay busy on our own ish...but are also always throwing around ideas...so we'll see...

Can you tell us about your process when it comes to writing lyrics? What inspires you in your creating?

My process has become ritual...not writing is like not eating...I do it for my health...so inspiration is everything...as long as i can imagine the finger to put on it...I don't believe in writers block...it's like believing you don't have a subconscious...writing is the best medicine...and addiction is my inspiration. (my spoon - my pen)

I know that you and Big Pauper still do things together, but will we get to see another album from Two Ton Sloth?

yes yes...Big Pauper and I are brothers as well...he is the most talented individual I know...and we stay building (skyscrapers and sand-castles) together...(some see sunshine, some don't)......but yes, we most definitely do have another Two Ton Sloth project in the works...this one will be much different..in the sense that it will not be an audio release...but an audio/video project...the album will be available in video format only...featuring lots of Big Pauper's self-made video-bending instruments, lots of strange VHS footage and/or shot film by us, coupled with an upturned cat-burglars ski-mask full of new Sloth songs...I promise it will burn (just right) going down....there's no set release date for this yet.

What purpose do you have with your music?

The only purpose I have is to let my (proverbial) hair down... (and maybe help others remove their wigs in the process...or at least get mine in their eye) ....as far as surviving on this shit...well I’ve survived on less...whatever fruit it allows me to eat has been imported from somewhere I never could have been myself...I’m happy just to make someone angry.......or cry.

You are also doing a bit of collage art, is that something that you’ve always been doing?

When I was younger I was into drawing and vandalism...writing took over in my teens...then making music...and now...years later...I’ve arrived back at visual art once again...but really to me it's all the same thing...whether its sound collaging...word collaging...idea collaging...or found paper collaging...it's all about assembling symbol..And speaking through tools... (images)....I enjoy doing it and find reward in having another outlet...and am happy that I’ve had the opportunity to show my work in some galleries around Portland as of late...

Are there any other musical artists that inspire you in your own creative process?

Sure...of course it changes with time (though some remain the same) ...but let's see...I’ll name a few artists off the top of my head that I really dig on:

xiu xiu
doseone
Bill Callahan
Joanna Newsom
Jónsi & Alex
eluvium
why?
Set Fire to Flames...and almost every other Godspeed off-shoot
sole
Animal Collective
paleo
Tyler, the Creator
Radiohead
Tom Waits
Beach House
Big Pauper

What can we look forward to, from you, in the near future?

oh man...I’m working on way too many things right now...okay let's see....the next thing from me to be released is an EP with Frietboer (producer from The Netherlands)..together we go under Dust On Snow...that project will be out before Big Pauper and I head out for our May 2011 Europe Tour...and it will be sick, dirty, completely attractive and completely disgusting...you can hear our debut track together here:
...this year will also see the release of my ‘side-project’ solo album, Communiques...a collection of many tracks made for other people (over the last 4 years) sent thru the post, each created in one or two drunken evenings or less with little takes and lots of spunk...very lo-fi and extremely personal...
...of course there's also the next Two Ton Sloth a/v project I spoke of earlier...
..and I’ve also had a (hefty) new book completed for a couple years now...but still haven't shopped it around for publishing....it is tentatively titled: Brand Name Yachay
...and Big Pauper and I will be touring Europe and the US this May and June….so for that upcoming adventure, we have a slew of new 'Only Children' made for the occasion (not to mention the Only Children for our Kickstarter Fundraiser and all that)..Plus some exclusive tour isht to sell of course....plus some...and plus some

I remember hearing, a couple of years ago, about a collaboration with the Australian band Just Like Us. What happened there?

I still love the track we did together for Cut-Ups-Of-A-Paper-Woman...they had sent me a few more instrumentals over the following years...and I’m now sorry I never recorded anything…because I liked what those guys did......I don’t know...we've lost touch over the last 5 or 6 years unfortunately...I’d love to hear what they're up to now....it's my fault really that nothing ever came to fruition....I’ve been all over the place (mentally and physically) since we’ve last spoken....always too many unfinished projects...always too much on my plate..

Any finishing words?

I am honored to share this cliff with all of you....these are amazing times....fuck political correctness…..we are amongst the gods...always......let your milk hang out....please...........and rename art...while you support it.........we lack the proper mythology.

May 2011 Euro Tour - Kickstarter
Back catalog of musical releases including the NEW album
An art collective featuring the works of Brad Hamers
Press release - one sheet
Label
College art
Facebook

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Fake Four Fest 2011 - Ceschi

Footage like this almost makes it even more painful knowing I wasn't there.