Music Monday: April 21, 2014
Hermitude - Ukiyo
Drowners are currently making their way around the West Coast in support of their debut self-titled record. In their downtime between Coachella weekends, they made a stop in Los Angeles to bring their melodic, jumpy jams to The Roxy. Drowners are made up of Matt Hitt, Jack Ridley, Erik Lee Snyder, and Joe Brodie. I had a chat with Matt and Jack to talk about where the band is at right now, their favorite songs to play while DJing, and more. —Maddie
Since we last talked you had your debut record come out. How was the recording process and putting it out?
Matt: We finished it about nine months before we actually released it, like a human pregnancy, so when it came out, we were ready for it to come out. It was kinda sitting on the shelf a bit. We did it over three weeks last May in a basement under a bar and Gus Oberg and Johnny T produced it. My 25th birthday passed as we were recording it, and that’s pretty much all I remember about it.
Matt, you've been part of other projects in the past. What's different about Drowners as opposed to your previous projects?
Matt: Literally only that I sing in this one. I do Threats with Jack. I kinda stopped doing all the other shit before Drowners started, so it's really just Threats and Drowners. The only differences are that I sing in one and Jack sings in the other, and he writes all Threats and I write all Drowners. Basically the only thing that switches between the two is who stands in the middle of the stage.
Tell us a little bit about the influences that went into your self-titled.
Matt: The things we were influenced by to record were like, The Vapors, Gun Club, and we were inspired vocally by like, when you listen to '50s and '60s shit, like when they scream and the mic blanks out. That was kind of a main point of it. Slickness of Vapors, energy of Buzzcocks, yeah.
Jack: I would say for me, since he obviously wrote the thing in his bedroom, I think it was done with a lot of pain and fun and late nights and such. You play in a different way when all that is going on around. Depending on how you feel you play a bit different. I feel like a lot of long nights and mild suffering in different ways led itself to a nice product.
Matt: There’s like twenty different versions of the same song, depending on how we feel. Particularly live, it completely changes. Like how hard you want to play or how much you want to scream or how much you want to move, that’s just night to night. When we were doing the record, it was like Jack said, fun and pain; basically two sides of the same coin, where you’re like one or the other.
How would you describe Drowners in three words to someone who has never heard you before?
Matt: “I’d hit it.”
Jack: “Totally fucking awesome.”
Matt: Yeah, do that one.
What is your dream venue or city to play in?
Matt: I’m gonna sound biased in L.A., but this is only the second time in L.A. and I’ve fucking had a right laugh both times I’ve come here. There’s not like ideal size or whatever. I like playing in front of people who give a shit, because that’s not always the case. That’s my favorite thing. When people give a shit it makes us get hyped on it.
If you could have a tour with anyone, who would it be? Dead or alive.
Matt: On the top of my head, we did four gigs with Cage the Elephant and I’d want to do another tour with them that was longer. I only had four days of ultimate bliss and I’d like to have like, a month with it.
When you're not playing music, what are you usually up to?
Jack: Drawing or skating and walking around. Cuddling with puppies. Cuddling with puppies and watching Law and Order SVU.
What are your go-to tracks when DJing?
Matt: I want to preface this with like, we DJ a lot because we’re absolutely broke and we all need to make money. It’s a job and shit. I started DJing after I moved to New York because I'd sit and listen to Jack and some other people DJ. My favorite three to play I stole completely off Jack. Gun Club "Sex Beat," "Red Hot" by Billy Lee Riley, and "Train Kept A Rollin'" by the Johnny Burnette Trio.
Jack: I would agree with that as well.
Matt: ‘Cause I stole it off you!
Jack: “Love and Desperation" is creeping up on me. That’s a sexy song.
Matt: That is my new absolute favorite song! It’s the singer of Gun Club.
Jack: Jeffrey Lee Pierce.
Matt: It’s the best shit I’ve heard since “Stoned and Starving” by Parquet Courts.
This week for Music Monday we're doing something a little different. We have an EP premiere from I Break Horses!
It is finally warm here in Philly, which makes me feel super nostalgic and like I should be having my hair braided by a robin. Let's all blast "Hands Down" and lie in the grass together as we look at my favorite internet tidbits from the past week. —Katie
Zach Braff's Wish I Was Here Trailer
I think this is literally a shot for shot remake of Garden State. And I'm totally going to see it. Sad Dad movies give me the most feelings (no one talk about About Time around me unless you're prepared to canoe away on a waterfall of tears). Also, I wonder if Zach Braff knows that there are, in fact, other bands in the world that are not The Shins. DO YOU KNOW, ZACH?
Betty Who "Heartbreak Dream"
I am obsessed with Betty Who and I am obsessed with this video and if you aren't already listening to Slow Dancing, her newest EP, go do it now. It has the perfect summer songs to listen to when you are feeling infinite in your car. Plus, I love when people dance-jump while singing! And she does that so much in this video! If you aren't enchanted by that, you're a robot and I give up. : (
Girl Meets World
The first teaser trailer for Girl Meets World came out this week, and it's pretty much what one would expect from Disney. Crystal clear filming! Bright colors! Smiles! Even though the internet has been grumblin' about the Disney decision, let's just all remember that Boy Meets World was pretty over-the-top itself at times ("THIS IS A HUG, SHAWN!"), but like, it was endearing. Maybe I'm being overly nostalgic, but I have faith that this is gonna be good. DON'T LET ME DOWN, TOPANGA.
Katy Perry "Birthday (Lyric Video)"
Whoops, I love this.
This week is just a big ol' mish-mash of things that have caught my attention throughout the week. Luckily one of those things is a gigantic database of crazy folktales to keep you entertained for hours and hours. —Katie
Drake "Draft Day"
This has been the week of Drake. First, he shared "Draft Day" online, and then a couple days later he dropped "Days in the East." "Draft Day" samples Lauryn Hill's "Doo-Wop" so I'm on board.
Lana Del Rey "Meet Me In The Pale Moonlight"
Speaking of new tunes, a new Lana Del Rey song has leaked online just behind her announcement that "West Coast" is the title of her new single. "Meet Me In The Pale Moonlight" is no "Young and Beautiful" but it's still pretty good. (And Lana is just like, forever interesting to me for whatever reason, no matter what she does. Do your thing, girl.)
Cloud Nothings "I'm Not Part of Me"
This video has a teen slumber party setting goin' on and I like the halfhearted teen posters thrown up on the wall (like Harry Styles - classic) and the usage of the Ouija board. Not really sure of the plot otherwise (mysterious maybe-evil potion turns teen girls into maybe-evil...musicians?), but it's fun to watch and the song rules.
"Honey, I Want to Move to Mars"
There is literally nothing on this planet more unappealing to me than getting blasted off into space to another planet forever, but some people are totally into that and are actually still pumped about that Mars One mission. Jason Stanford, whose wife Sonia Van Meter was chosen as one of the 1,058 Mars finalists, wrote an interesting essay over on Texas Monthly about his feelings on his wife's decision to (possibly) jet off to Mars forever. He's surprisingly chill about it.
The Specialist's Hat
I was creepin' around on our freelancer Hazel's Tumblr this morning (hi Hazel) and one of the last things she posted was this spooky story titled The Specialist's Hat, so I read the whole thing and made myself late for work. Then I made myself even later because I started browsing this database of folktales she also linked to and they are great because they are horrifying and I'M NOT SURE WHAT LESSON I SHOULD BE LEARNING, especially in the tales where moms chop off their children's heads.
For the first music video in our UO Video Series for 2014, experimental noise-pop band Liars team up with wunderkind director Luis Cerveró on the song "Mess on a Mission" off Liars' new album Mess. Here, Cerveró and Liars’ lead singer Angus Andrew share their behind-the-scenes stories from the UO video shoot, as we celebrate three years of the UO Video Series. Read the full feature here.
If you take only one thing away from this week's Friday Download, then please let that thing be this website for Giggy, Lisa Vanderpump's balding pomeranian. The site is flush with new computer backgrounds for you. —Katie
Lady Gaga "G.U.Y."
Listen to me, I have no idea what is going on in this music video, but Lisa Vanderpump halfheartedly shaking a tambourine on the steps of a mansion is everything I never knew I wanted. And any video that lets Giggy the balding pup make an elegant and important cameo gets a gold star in my book.
The Julie Ruin "Just My Kind"
The Julie Ruin put out a new video for their song "Just My Kind." It's basically the exact opposite of Gaga's video but it's just as incredible. I want Kathleen Hanna to be my BFF. Is that so much to ask?
Future Islands Singles
I feel like I've been talking about Future Islands a lot recently (like the rest of the internet), and maybe I already said this somewhere else, but if you haven't listened to their newest album Singles yet, then click right on over to Stereogum to check it out. The site's accompanying review on the album is a good, quick read as well.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles trailer
"What the world needs is a giant, CGI crime-fighting turtle slamming slow motion into a Hummer on the side of a snow-covered mountain," is apparently something Michael Bay said at one point or another to a person who was too afraid to be like, "No, Michael. Close your sweet, sweet eyes and take a nap." So, I guess what I'm saying is enjoy this trailer for TMNT.
The Office Time Machine
I am obsessed with The Office, so seeing that someone spent like, a really, really long time compiling every single cultural reference ever made on the show makes me incredibly happy. Go watch them all by year here. I put the video for 1999 above because it contains one of my favorite references on the show: Michael's flawless usage of "NOSCRUB" in a Scrabble game.
For the latest installment of this column, I interviewed The Orwells and Criminal Hygiene when they made a stop in Los Angeles at the Troubadour this past weekend. The Orwells are a relatively young band based out of Chicago, Illinois, while Criminal Hygiene are based out of L.A. Both bands have deep roots in punk and garage, and have a clear goal to make rock and roll stand on its own again. See what the boys had to say below.
Interview and photos by Maddie Sensibile
Meeting up with one half of London-based Woman's Hour at the tail end of SXSW showed just how exhausting the whole experience can be, not only for the festival-goers, but for the bands in attendance as well. After a nonstop week of playing shows and shooting Instax pics for us at SXSW, singer Fiona and keyboardist Josh were totally wiped, but chatted amiably with us on their day off about the magic of breakfast tacos, their American debut and their killer Super 8 motel party. —Katie
At 11pm on a balmy Saturday in Austin, Texas during South by Southwest 2014, a line-up of misfits, music lovers and movers and shakers filed into the stately Scholz Saengerrunde Hall beer Garten downtown to witness a magical evening of sonic supremacy and free beer. DJs Dave P and Sammy Slice of Philadelphia’s legendary Making Time club night enlisted singer Autre Ne Veut and electronic whiz kid Matthew Dear to entertain the hundreds of party goers who RSVP’d on the Urban Outfitters website. There were strobe lights, smoke machines, disco balls and dirty dancing. The first AfterFest of the year gives a taste of what’s to come as AfterFest tours festivals across the country this summer…keep your eyes peeled for details of our next installment. Check out the full feature here.
Standing on a grassy knoll in the sunshine, surrounded by trees, day drinkers and taco trucks watching Future Islands play at the Pitchfork day party, was my highlight of SXSW. Fresh off their legendary Letterman performance, the band were in high spirits, burning through a 20-minute set that mixed old favorites like "Walking Through That Door," with a few tracks off their new album Singles. We gave the band a Fujifilm Instax Camera and film to chart their Austin tour and asked them to turn over their pictures for an intimate look at life on the road. —Natalie
As of yesterday, it's finally spring! You hear that? SPRING HAS SPRUNG! It's been warmer than 40 outside! The sun has been out! Life feels worth living again! Since we never want to think about winter ever again, here are some CHEERFUL SPRING TUNES! LET US REJOICE! (And let's ignore that it is supposed to snow again next week, because R.I.P. R.I.P. to my sanity if it does.) —Katie
Kishi Bashi "Philosophize In It! Chemicalize With It!"
Okay, this video sort of makes me feel like I'm in an Oreo commercial, but it mostly makes me feel like skipping through a sunny field with a flower crown on my head and a confetti gun. Happiest tune of 2014, TBH. Also, the song vaguely reminds me of "Send Me On My Way," and since "SMOMW" is literally the catchiest song ever written, this song is in good company.
tUnE-yArDs "Water Fountain"
Any song with a solid "WOO-HA!" in it automatically elevates it to feel-good status. (If you don't believe me, just ask Busta Rhymes.)
Neneh Cherry feat. Robyn "Out Of The Black"
The video for this one from Neneh Cherry and Robyn is like springtime in the '90s. If you're a totally chill, cool guy wearing totally cool Reebok hightops while walking your cool dog in the park, then this is the spring jam for you.
Flume "Space Cadet"
THIS VIDEO MAKES ME SMILE AS WIDE AS THE CHARACTERS ON FRAGGLE ROCK.
If you're more like Orin than you'd like to admit, then this is the angsty, party monster ballad for you to groove to this spring. And if angsty spring is what you're looking for, then may I recommend following up "Chandelier" with "Breakin' Dishes"? Blasting "Breakin' Dishes" from a convertible on a delightful spring day is definitely going to be included in the montage of my life, TBH.
After all that, you should be feeling as good as this alpaca (if not BETTER). Happy spring!
While down in Austin this past week, we caught up with Quilt, a Boston-based psychedelic-folk band comprised of Anna Rochinski, John Andrews, Shane Butler and Keven Lareau, and a band that we are now totally obsessed with (like totally cool, normal adults). We were lucky enough to catch their show twice, once at a bigger venue and a second time at a more intimate backyard gathering, and we were blown away each time. Even with a million shows going on and the general crushing nightmare of SXSW, the band was nice enough to shoot some pictures for us for an exclusive photo diary of their tour, which makes us feel like we're all very best friends now. —Katie
How did you guys get down to Austin?
Shane: We used to have a van but then we crashed it, so now we have a rental car. It's much smaller so we are very squished in the van now. [Editor's note: To help them offset the cost, Quilt has started a donation page to help them purchase a new tour van. Every little bit helps!]
Any rituals you do before going on stage?
John: I bring a skateboard on tour. I didn't on this one, but I usually skateboard around the city.
Anna: I try not to eat too much, because playing full sucks. When you're full and playing, you feel like a slug. Oh, and we sacrifice one baby goat [laughs]. Almost forgot!
This week we're doing our usual Friday Download, but in honor of SXSW, we've decided to put up videos from some of our favorite bands that have performed here. Here are some tunes from bands that have won us over this week (and have kept us on our feet and dancing, even when we just want to sleeeeep). —Katie
Temples "Keep In The Dark"
After seeing Temples live, we're definitely and forever in love with them. First of all, they sound just as incredible live as they do recorded. Second of all, the lead singer has beautiful curly hair and wore glitter around his eyes. (!!!) And third of all, half of the band had tiny little flare jeans on, so I'm sold. You've won me over, Temples, you li'l cuties, you.
Quilt "Tie Up The Tides"
Quilt is another band that totally won us over this week. On top of being an incredible live show, the band is also charming and genuinely funny, and weren't even phased when, at their last show, we interviewed them in a small equipment closet to block outside noise. Our interview with Quilt will be up early next week, so keep your eyes peeled. We love these guys.
Matrimony "Obey Your Guns"
We saw these guys from a rooftop over, but found ourselves dancing even just watching them on a screen. We're excited to see their new album!
Leverage Models "Sweep"
I'm not sure how to describe Leverage Models' sound, so I'll just call it "GOOD." Even "VERY GOOD." Everything I've heard from this band has been crazy catchy, and the band themselves are so full of energy that they're fun to watch. It's impossible not to dance when seeing these guys.
Future Islands "Seasons (Waiting On You)"
Just watch this video (SO MUCH EMOTION) and you'll understand our obsession with Future Islands.
(Top image via Mexican Summer)
Afterfest is almost upon us once again, and for the very first time we're throwing the party in Austin! We're excited to announce that we'll have an exclusive performance from Autre Ne Veut, as well as an exclusive DJ set from Matthew Dear. As always, Making Time's resident DJs Dave P. and Sammy Slice with be DJing throughout the night. Everything will be going down Saturday, March 15th, from 10PM-4AM at Scholz Saengerrunde Hall (1607 San Jacinto Blvd). Admittance is free with RSVP, but make sure to arrive early to guarantee entrance.
In order to amp you up for the big event, Dave P. & Sammy Slice have also put together a DJ mix featuring some of the very futuristic sounds that you just might be hearing on the big day. Check out the exclusive mix here. See you in Austin!