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Duvet's Eye Candy: Blaze, Bling, And Kings; Wavves Make Summer Come Early...

What can I say about this vid? I love the band, I love their videos, and I love the fact that they have their own currency. Not to mention, they KILLED Noise Pop this weekend with tour mates Best Coast on the last date of the "Bestys Tour". Wavves has a ferocious sound like Mavericks on a BIG day live. Nathan Williams makes the girls swoon and the guys behave themselves in the pit, no small task at the sold out show. The waft of pot smoke as we entered San Francisco's Regency Ballroom was EPIC! Wavves also debuted a new song that points to this SoCal trio keeping their throne in 2011. On top of all that, they covered Black Flag and reminded everyone how much fun a good jolt of adrenaline can be at a RAWK show! This was a tight and focused group of slackers, who don't slack off on making great music.


There Is Nothing Wrong With Being In A Rush To Read The Now, Now Interview...

Now, Now are Brad Hale, Jess Abbott, & Cacie Dalager
We here at "What Duvet Said..." are always sniffing around the country to bring you the next great band, NOW! So it would make perfect sense to introduce those of you that don't know about Minneapolis' Now, Now...well, now! Long a hotbed of music, the Twin Cities has always had an eclectic mix of bands and artists. So it was no surprise to us that Now, Now (formerly performing under the name Now, Now Every Children) were keeping the flame lit for a city that has always produced gifted songwriters with a unique pop sensibility, delivered with an uncompromising indie rock ethos. This trio is out on the road in support of their latest EP Neighbors and will be performing in San Francisco at the venerable Slims on Monday February 28th. They will be opening for hellogoodbye and Jukebox the Ghost, but we don't anticipate them being openers for long. Already amassing a following in Europe they're sure to conquer the states. We strongly recommend seeing them NOW! Below is the interview with Now, Now's singer and guitarist Jess Abbott...

So if you could give me a bit of history on how Now, Now came together? Was this band inevitable?

Well two of us knew each other from high school, and that's where the project started. It went through a lot of stages until becoming more of a serious project a few years ago. Then about a year and a half ago we added a third member who moved out to Minnesota to join. There have been a couple line-up changes over the years but we feel like the three of us are the solid line up now.

Who were some of the artists that inspired you to make the music you do?

Brad and Cacie listened to a lot of Death Cab for Cutie in high school, and Jimmy Eat World. They also listened to movie soundtracks: Michael Andrews, Max Richter. Jess listened to a lot of American Football and Jon Brion.

I read that you recorded the Neighbors EP yourselves in your house. How was it recorded and how did you get such a HUGE sound (particularly the guitars)?

The EP was recorded in Brad's basement with a Korg digital recorder. We sent the tracks to our friend at Andrews Lane Recording to be mixed and mastered. He's mainly responsible for the full drum and guitar sounds on the record.

How do you view the differences between Neighbors and Cars?

Cars was recorded a few years ago and we had less time in the studio than we would have liked. Neighbors we recorded and produced ourselves and we had a lot of time to work on exactly how we wanted it to sound. Neighbors, is the first release for Now, Now as a trio.

There is a very dynamic quality to these songs where does that come from? Would you say that is a core part of Now, Now’s sound?

The three of us have very different writing styles; one of us writes pop structured parts, one writes guitar-based parts, and one of us is more lyric-based. When we all write together we end up with the dynamic quality you're referring to. How we all come together is definitely a core part of our sound.

The song “Jesus Camp” has a different feel than some of the other songs on the EP. It is definitely more electronic based. Is this a direction you see the band exploring more?

Our older stuff was primarily electronic based, and this is evident in “Jesus Camp”. With the addition of a new member, we find ourselves more exploring guitar work and syncing it with our electronic sounds.

Neighbors sounds like a “hit” to me…how conscious are you in your songwriting to create hooks (if at all) or writing “anthems”? There is such an “anthemic” (in the best sense of the word) quality to it, why do you think that is?

When we write we never have a goal of writing hooks or anthems. 

Could you tell me a bit about the lyrical themes you find interesting…I’m thinking a song like “Giants” where there seems to be some heavy imagery?

Anything that makes you feel something.

Jess Abbott on by Matthew Avignone
Could you tell me a bit about the music scene in Minneapolis these days, it has such a storied history of putting out so many great bands (from Husker Du/The Replacements/Prince/Soul Asylum/etc.)…What is it about that city that makes for such diverse and interesting music?

Minneapolis music has definitely changed a lot, but there's still a very diverse scene right now. There's a mixture of indie bands and hip-hop projects that are shaping the current scene.

What are some of the other bands coming out of the Midwest that you would say are ones to keep an eye out for?

Total Babe is a Minneapolis band that we're really into. Tarlton is awesome too, and We Are the Willows.

You have dates scheduled for SXSW, how important is it for a band to play festivals like this and who are you playing with there this year? How is 2011 shaping…touring plans, festivals on the horizons? Another full-length album in the works?

SXSW is definitely great for any band to play. It's such a huge event that so many people enjoy. This year we're playing a No Sleep showcase with most of the No Sleep roster that we're really excited for. 2011 is shaping up really well for us. We're about to finish up a tour with hellogoodbye, Gold Motel and Jukebox the Ghost, and we have a couple more tours coming up in the next two months. Right now we're planning to record our next full length in May.

“Ridiculous but Necessary Questions”

What is your favorite cheese? Brie!

Prince or Paul Westerberg? Prince!

Beverly Hills 90210 or Gossip Girl? Neither, Haha!

Instant Payoff or Delayed Gratification? Delayed gratification.

A month in the van with anyone (your pick)? Our kitten Sprout. We would pay money if she could tour with us.

link to photographer Matthew Avignone's site here.


In Addition To Yet Another Strong Release With His Latest “Tim Cohen’s Magic Trick”, It Wouldn’t Surprise Me If Tim Cohen Could Also Pull A Rabbit Out of His Hat….

Let’s be clear, being prolific isn’t always resultant in consistent and necessary art. Many artists throw a lot of shit at a wall in the hopes that something sticks. That is what makes Tim Cohen so exceptional, while you might expect some schizophrenic offerings from the leader of The Fresh & Onlys, given the sheer mass of work he releases - not only with that band but also as a solo artist - he is one of the most consistent and reliable songwriters in today’s music scene. His latest album, Tim Cohen’s Magic Trick, is a wonderful collection of subtle genre pastiche.  “Magic Trick” is still rooted in San Francisco’s psychedelic folk-rock tradition and, truth be told, these songs could stand with the best that scene has produced. When listening to this record I’m reminded of another gifted - if often overlooked – songwriter, Skip Spence. Like Spence there is an unlabored and effortless quality to Cohen’s recordings. As if he simply pulls melodies and phrases out of the legendary fog of his hometown. The album was recorded at his home but the quality would suggest a top name studio. He enlisted the help of bassist-keyboardist Alicia Vanden Huevel (Aislers Set), drummer James Kim (Kelley Stoltz), and Noelle Cahill, among others. The song “The Spirit’s Inside” is the closest on the album to Cohen’s more known band The Fresh & Onlys” Morricone-esque guitar driven psyche-pop. “New House in Heaven” has the backbone of a Stax recording and features some really lovely female backing vocals. In fact, the female presence on this album softens the haze and plays wonderfully against Cohen’s expressive baritone. A song like, “Don’t Give Up”, is a 50’s throwback complete with the requisite "ooohs and ahhhs". The smoky sheen of these songs seems to emanate from both kinds of “cigarettes". “Top on Tight” has a playful Syd Barrett nursery rhyme quality. At his heart Cohen is a crooner and he does just that on the songs, “Legerdemain” and “The Flower”, the former drifting off and down into a neo-psychedelic “rabbit hole”. ” On the song “I Looked Up”, which closes the album, all the elements that make this record such a unique and joyous creation coalesce. The folky strum of an acoustic guitar paired with the warm, rich overtones of the organ and swirling haunt of vocals give way to double-timed euphoria. Grace Slick once famously said at Woodstock, “Alright friends, you have seen the heavy groups, now you will see morning maniac music. Believe me, yeah. It's a new dawn. Good morning, people!" That is Tim Cohen’s Magic Trick encapsulated in a quote.  See Tim Cohen and the Magic Trick perform tonight, February 24th, at San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall as part of the ((folk YEAH!)) presents showcase along with Puro Instinct and Holy Shit.


Justin Townes Earle Proves to be “A Hard Dog to Keep Under the Porch” at the Great American Music Hall…

Camera phone cameras rule because that was all I by HFC
Justin Townes Earle undoubtedly strikes an immediate presence on stage at 6’ 5” tall, lean and boyishly handsome, with an easy charm and a devilish twinkle in his eyes. But what is also clear from seeing him play to a near sell-out crowd at San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall on Tuesday night, is that in addition to all that natural charisma, he is a serious songwriter on par with his more famous namesakes.  The near two-hour set drew from his entire three-album catalog, with a few well-chosen covers.  Performing alongside an electric fiddle player and upright bassist, this stripped-down approach to his songs put the focus on his expressive voice and keen lyrical sensibility. Songs like, “Slipin & Slidin”, “Hard Livin”, “Mama’s Eyes” and “Christchurch Woman” (dedicated to and inspired by the recently earthquake stricken New Zealand city) speak to an honesty and truth deep inside him. Some of these songs can make you feel things you don’t want to feel and might be a little bit afraid to sit with. What was truly remarkable to watch was how engaging and dynamic a performer he can be. Most performers won’t hold your stare or look beyond the crowd gathered before them, but Earle seems to want to make sure you understand what he’s singing about, that you get it. Like his father Steve Earle and godfather Townes Van Zandt (from whom he gets his middle name) he has the ability to distill feelings into the simplest of terms.

JTE tellin' you by HFC
At only 29 years old he has lived a hard life few of us can imagine, let alone identify with, a topic he doesn’t shy away from addressing on stage. The intros to his songs often contained biting remarks directed toward his father or explicit detailing of his battles with drugs and alcohol.  However, this was tempered by a sense of humor and humility about those very same things. He seems to have accumulated the wisdom of a man twice his age, a wisdom that is chronicled in his songs but often defied in his personal life. I don’t want to characterize his set as a purely reflectional, soul-searching experience. In fact, the set varied from the shuffle of “Ain’t Waitin” and “Move Over Mama” to the bluegrass trad-country of “They Killed John Henry”, “Wanderin”, and “Boy Keep Movin”. Earle played solo for a few songs, which included a “Houston blues” he relayed Townes Van Zandt deemed essential to any set. This song highlighted how gifted a guitar player he is, as he walked the stage lost in the beauty of the notes emanating from his six string.
Haunted by by RLC
 The set closed with truly imaginative re-workings of “Midnight at the Movies” and “Harlem River Blues”. These songs were well suited to the more stark arrangements inflecting the former with understated elegance and stripping away the latter to its gospel core. The encore featured a commanding rendition of Bruce Springsteen’s “Racing in the Streets” off Darkness on the Edge of Town. Like Springsteen, Earle writes songs that put you in situations that you aren’t brave enough to put yourself in, but through them you get a glimpse of what it might look like for you if you were. He closed the show with another incisive and enigmatic songwriter Paul Westerberg’s, “Can’t hardly Wait”. Earle had something of a hit with the song a couple years back. There is no doubt that Justin Townes Earle will one day have his songs covered with the same reverence as his father and godfather’s songs have inspired. Already at work writing new album Earle seems to be following the advice his grandmother gave him when she told him to, “Just keep going.”

STRFKR Brings a Little Death to the Dancefloor…Or, Reptilians is the Dream Realized!

Portland, Oregon’s Starfucker may have to fuck themselves after their third full-length entitled Reptilians drops March 8th on PolyvinylI say this because this album could very well elevate them into the upper echelon of today’s indie “stars”. Reptilians is a departure from 2009’s Jupiter in that it uses more traditional rock instrumentation to create their electro-disco carnival. Make no mistake this record is built for the dance floor. Produced by Jacob Portrait (Mint Chicks, The Dandy Warhols) at the Dandy Warhols' studio the Odditorium, finds Joshua Hodges (vocals, keyboards, guitar, drums), Ryan Biornstad (guitar, keyboard, vocals, turntables), Shawn Glassford (bass, keyboards, drums), and Keil Corcoran (drums, keyboards, vocals) creating a record that will make you want to dance but also make you listen to what you're dancing to. Standout tracks like "Mona Vegas" have a great groove with a subdued grace. "Millions" is more reminiscent of previous STRFKR jams, but not as "spazzy" as past efforts. "Quality Time" drives to a house beat with some nice melodic builds, while "Julius", the first single off Reptilians, has more of a straight-ahead dance-pop feel. I just don't remember STRFKR sounding this much like a band with instruments and not people with laptops.  This is a really strong effort from tops to tails!  I hear bits of the less grating aspects of Crystal Castles copulating with MGMT. The indie tastemakers at Pitchfork described STRFKR as being, "like a combination of Chromeo and ELO, indulging in theatrical silliness while conjuring sugary pop hooks... providing a kinetic, anything-can-happen energy." That is the sound of Reptilians in a nutshell. Front man Josh Hodges wrote most of the album, described as "happy music about death." A literary metaphor for orgasm is “the little death” and Starfucker has created an album worthy of a “little death”.


Noise Pop 18 Finding Its Local MOJO...Or, Hipsters Invade SF For The Best DAMN Music Festitval In The Country!

Dear readers Noise Pop Festival 18 is upon us in less than week and it is chock-full of the best and brightest from San Francisco and beyond!!  This year's festival will run from Tuesday February 22 through Sunday the 27th and signals the beginning of "festival season".  As an attendee of the very first Noise Pop show in 1993, one glorious night at SF's Kennel Club (now the Independent) with Bitchcraft, Carlos, Corduroy, The Mieces, Overwhelming Colorfast, and surprise guests The Fastbacks, I have watched the evolution of a "DIY" one-off show grow into a weeklong, citywide (and Oakland's Fox Theatre) musical playground. The early incarnations of this festival were focused primarily on celebrating the local music scene but soon grew to be the forebearer  for the ubiquitous proliferation of musical festivals all over the country. The festival in years past has had "industry panel discussions", film, art, and cultural components.  In fact, this year will mark the premiere of a documentary on Noise Pop itself entitled, "This is Noise Pop".  This year's festival seems to have gotten back to its core mission of highlighting local talent with some heavy-hitting national headliners. Yo La Tengo, Ben Gibbard, Dan Deacon, Best Coast, How To Dress Well, and indie legends Versus top bills at some of SF's best musical venues. Consider this post to be a supplement to the "What Duvet Said...About Music" podcast spotlighting Noise Pop.  Local acts that are sure to raise their profile after the festival and some of my personal picks are: The Stone Foxes, The Soft Moon, K Flay, Dominant Legs, Royal Baths, Grass Widow, and Young Prisms - to name too few of the amazing talent on display.  For a full look at the schedule and the various venues these performers can be seen at go here.  The original premise for Noise Pop focused primarily on bands that fit the festival namesake but over the years has come to represent the incredible diversity of the indie music scene.  Rather than breakdown each band with tired descriptors and well-worn labels like: post-apocalyptic, high-energy, sultry, experimental, seminal, lo-fi, intelligent, and my favorite, BUZZY!  Truth be told, all those words apply to this year's bill but I'll let you apply them to the bands of your choice.  I will simply, "show and not tell".  Below is some eye candy to get you in the mood from Noise Pop participants past and present...

Yes, that is Ron Jeremy and Overwhelming Colorfast RULED!!!!....

No video for this but worth listening to this band who played Noise Pop 1994 by the name of Tina Age 13.  If they came out today Pitchfork and the rest of the blogs would be fawning all over them.  Believe that!

Creeper Lagoon should have been HUGE!  Their album I Become Small and Go is a must for anyone who appreciates the spirit of "Noise Pop"...

Action Slacks made their Noise Pop debut in 1996...

Imperial Teen, great band, great festival and the last one to be almost exclusively local...

GBV make their first appearance in 1999 and the festival continues to grow, featuring more national acts.

In 2000 Earlimart plays the festival which expands to Chicago and includes panels and films...Members have since teamed-up with multi-time performer Jason Lytle of Grandaddy to form Admiral Radley.  Admiral Radley will headline the Bottom of the Hill on Wednesday the 23rd...

The White Stripes headline the Great American Music Hall in 2001...

Modest Mouse help celebrate the 10 year anniversary which also featured a set by John Doe (X) and Neko Case...

Cat Power plays in 2003...

Film School plays in '04 and also headlines and Cafe Du Nord on Thursday, February 24th this year...

Local favorite Kelley Stoltz has had a huge influence on many of the bands that want to sound like Brian Wilson...

Matt and Kim play in '07 in a festival that has now begun to feature comedy?

2008 brings in more "dance" indie rock like MSTRKRFT and Wale...

St. Vincent plays the festival in '09...

Best Coast was an opener last year and is co-headlining with Wavves at the Regency Theatre on Saturday night February 26th...

How To Dress Well is one of the more "buzzy" bands to headline this year's Noise Pop.  Their show with Dominant Legs at Cafe Du Nord is already sold-out...


The Soft Moon RAWK Hard At San Francisco's Milk Bar!!

The Soft Moon @ Milk Bar, SF 2/10/ by Sadie Mellerio

Let me begin by stating plainly and simply, The Soft Moon RAWK!  Now, that may fly in the face of many reviews that characterize Luis Vasquez and his music as, "bleak", "monolithic", "claustrophobic", and "obtuse".  While, these are accurate descriptors they tend to emphasize only the more darkened, atmospheric qualities of his music.  But, live, The Soft Moon are a muscular, propulsive, and cathartic force.  Further, they might even be described as eerily joyous betraying the Goth labels that so often are thrust upon them.  The capacity crowd gathered in the back room of San Francisco's Milk Bar was awash in buzzy glee last Thursday night.  The show was promoted by Nachtmusik and had the feel of a tight-knit scene ready to celebrate the coronation of a band and musician they held very dearly and knew would not be solely theirs for much longer.  After garnering the indie stamp of approval from Pitchfork, receiving high praise for last November's self-titled debut (released on Brooklyn's, Captured Tracks) and the recent announcement of a tour with Southern California Godheads Autolux, Luis Vasquez is poised to be thrust into blog-o-sphere's spin cycle of hype.

Luis by Sadie Mellerio

The crowd in attendance seemed eager to witness one of only a handful of live performances by the nascent assemble.  It's always a good sign and perhaps a little unnerving when the room begins to fill up just to watch you set up.  Another telling harbinger of "it-ness" is when the rim of the stage is walled off with photographers, which was the case at Milk.  From the opening plod of the programmed beats the audience's sway quickly gave way to - wait for it - DANCING!!  These people were there to party, dance and celebrate; not mope in place in reverential despondency through the black forests of their minds.  They clearly were taking their cues from Vasquez who proved to be a charismatic performer.  From the opening number he - along with fellow band mates Justin Anastasi (bass) and Damon Way (synths) -  seemed lost in their sonic creation.  Lights and visuals provided by Ron Robinson gave the performance the feel of a Warholian art-party.  The band took the throttle from the first song and really leaned into it.  Audience and band were feeding off each other completing a circitory loop, that was truly electric in every sense of the word.  The Soft Moon as a live entity produce the unifying quality of some of the best punk rock shows I've attended.  While Way and Anastasi were fairly cemented in place, Vasquez oscillated in between them twiddling various nobs on effects boxes, swaying with his guitar.  His vocals were more up front than on the record and his occasional yelps and screams cracked like a whip above the driving squall.  The mix from the stage was excellent but was a bit more muddy further back in the house.

Bassist Justin Anastasi of The Soft by Sadie Mellerio

It would be very easy with a genre of music that is often marked by cold detachment to simply allow visual elements, fog machines, and mood lighting to stand in for performance, but, Luis Vasquez is himself a compelling visual presence on stage.  He seems to have fun and relish the excitement his music generates.  He is an engaging, confident musician and artist that will only benefit from continued touring.  There was nothing precious or delicate in their approach to the live medium.  Songs like "Breathe the Fire" (captured below by myself from the show) and "Circles" are the perfect balance of yesterday's dark wave musical touchstones, like Joy Division or Suicide, combined with the of-the-minute studio experimentation of an artist that is not as easy to characterize as some would like.  Up next for The Soft Moon is a slot on Friday's Noise Pop Festival bill at the Cafe Du Nord.  There they will be joined by Wax Idols, The Black Ryder, and Tamryn.  Look for The Soft Moon and Luis Vasquez to continue to evolve his sound and songwriting into unexpected and different forms.  It is still a thrill to go to see live music and have your expectations challenged, your body conscripted to dance and your mind blown.  For more on The Soft Moon listen to "What Duvet Said...About Music" where Robert "Bob" Duvet sat down with Luis Vasquez for an entertaining and illuminating interview immediately following the above reviewed performance.  The podcast will be linked on this blog and available on iTunes here Wednesday, February 16th!!  Special thanks to Sadie Mellerio for the photographs that accompany this story and her work can be found here.

The Fog Rolls in on the Milk by Sadie Mellerio
Breathe the by Sadie Mellerio

Lost in by Sadie Mellerio
Video taken with my trusty FlipCam and unedited.  A little bit heavy on the bass but the energy and vibe are there...ENJOY!


Tristen, Nashville, and Unsolicited Advice From Robert "Bob" Duvet...PLUS, A WHOLE LOT OF EYE CANDY

As promised in this week's "What Duvet Said...About Music" Issue 18: "The Nashville Episode", we have links to all the topics discussed.  And, below is some "Eye Candy" to go along with "the BEST programmed music podcast on the internet".
Tristen's Charlatans at the Garden Gate
Our guest this week was Nashville singer-songwriter Tristen, who just celebrated the release of her first full-length album, Charlatans at the Garden Gate.  The album can be purchased here through American Myth Recordings.  The album's song-cycle is diverse and eclectic, while remaining true the this artist's unique vision.  We strongly recommend this record and be sure to look for Tristen who will be on tour throughout the remainder of 2011.  Below is some video taken with my trusty FlipCam, unedited, from her first ever performance in San Francisco.  The song was introduced as a "new song" so I am not sure of the title.  The set showcased leaner and more stripped down versions of the songs off her album.  Her band, The Ringers, were representative of the top-notch musicianship Nashville is known for.  None of the rich harmonies and compelling arrangements were sacrificed, but it was interesting to hear the songs delivered in more straight-ahead fashion.  Tristen is definitely not a "country" artist and much of the music played in the podcast illustrates how diverse a music scene "Music City" encompasses.

Many people ask me how I discover the new and emerging acts from various music scenes around the country and world?  Here are a few very good sources to keep tabs on what is going on in Nashville, TN currently.  I love to monitor the various weeklies in cities across the country and for Nashville it is, The Nashville Scene.  Another great source are the blogs and I came across two very good ones in researching this podcast, Nashville's Dead and The Vinyl District.  Still another source is local record labels from the town you are interested in, in this case Infinity Cat Recordings has an amazing stable of bands.  This label is home to JEFF the Brotherhood, Natural Child, Heavy Cream, and Daniel Pujol, to name a few.  Still another source, the links for the bands MySpace or Bandcamp sites will have other bands that they are friends with listed or flyers for upcoming shows.  Finally, check out the calendars for the clubs in town and see you is playing.  The Mercy Lounge and The Exit Inn are two standbys in Nashville.  The final finally, read these posts by yours truly: "Caitlin Does New York..."  and "These Bulls Are Heading...".  These are some of the various "rabbit holes" at your disposal to keep you in the loop of music scenes you might be interested in.  Enough with the tutorial!!  Below is some "Eye Candy" to sweeten your musical teeth!

Behavioral Experiments In Music: The Behavior Interview...

A band behaving boldly...
Brooklyn based trio Behavior is making music that not only satisfies the ears but also the intellect.  While other bands emerging out of this musical hub are buzzing in the usual blogs and running their flags up the indie flag pole, Behavior seem content to explore the same musical landscape much like a painter confronts a canvas.  Their approach to music and the music business is more in the tradition of early New York City artists like Talking Heads, Television, The Velvet Underground and Suicide.  Their exploration of "polyfidelic" recording and experimental approach to songwriting makes them one of the more interesting bands on the horizon.  "What Duvet Said..." conducted an interview with all three members, Bryce Hackford (vocals/guitars/synth/effects), Ian Campbell (bass), and Khira Jordan (drums) over email.  The result is a intriguing look at a musical group that is just as much at home in an art gallery as a Rock club.  By clicking on the title link or the band's name at top of article you can find Behavior's music via their Bandcamp site. 

So give a bit of background on the band.  How long have you all been together?  Other bands you were involved in, how you all met, etc.?

Ian: Bryce and I met on long island in high school through a local music scene. We met Khira two years ago shortly before forming the band. I have been playing in a succession of bands since junior high school, most extensively with a Brooklyn band called Bent Outta Shape.

What were some early influences?

Khira: Lol Tolhurst probably has a lot to do with the way I appreciate, listen to, and play percussion. Stephen Morris, too. I’ve always preferred the sort of style that is driving and decorative, but never excessive.

Ian: I think taste is quite varied within the band, for me thinking about other New York bands like the Talking Heads, Television or The Velvet Underground set precedents for what it could be like to be a band in the city, navigating through varied types of venues from house parties to art galleries and trying to make music that is appropriate and exciting in both.
In the New York Free Press interview you describe the band’s sound as “poli-fi”, could you expand on that a bit more?

Bryce: This idea of “poly-fidelity” developed out of experimental processes with recording equipment. The whole idea of pop is based on recordings, recordings of recordings... As with sampling, and the shifts in medium and the way older recordings are preserved, it naturally follows, that ideas of fidelity will all become compromised and incorporated into those that follow. It's essentially combination, center of the Venn.

Ian: It’s an exciting concept for me to appreciate the emotive potentials of high, low, clean, chaotic, recording qualities and exploit them all as a means of creating a richer and more complex sound.

How are the songs written (is there one songwriter or is it more collaborative)?

Khira:  We sort of “discover” our songs. They turn up everywhere: inside other songs, between songs on stage, during sessions of pure improvisation and adventure in the studio. A Behavior track, wherever it comes from, is always a snapshot of a moment when Bryce, Ian, and I looked at each other and said, “Eureka!”

Ian: All of our songs so far have developed out of free playing, stumbling across a rhythm or melody, repeating and constructing.

I found this to be an interesting quote with regards to your songs and maybe music more generally: “I like treating songs as found objects because we haven’t paid for anything,” says Campbell. “It’s such a small operation. I’m interested in the found object and thinking about songs as just things around you that are free to be taken. You can work them into your own conversations.”  Are you commenting on the songs as “pieces of art” or the way music gets distributed and reaches an audience, given the current climate of file sharing?

Ian: This quote was originally talking about distributing the music on cassette and public file sharing. All of our music both recorded and live includes appropriated sounds, some commercial music, some field recording, it is important to the way we use this material that there is an equalizing between these different types of found sound, an approach which has evolved from traditional ideas of authorship and ownership of sound.

Tell me a bit about how Lands End was recorded?  What label? Who produced it? Was there a sound in mind or record that guided the recording process?

BryceLands End was recorded at the loft where we have a studio. I do most of the engineering and producing, and our dialogue is a big part of how we achieve the mixes. As a result of the previous comment - that most music considered is recordings - it only follows that production would become a widespread and significantly appreciated art form - dance music, dub, electronic music, pop from 60's to present, etc. Recordings and performances should not mirror each other, but they do have a deep correspondence.

Khira: I think the three of us share similar tastes, so it’s not very surprising that we would end up making music we all grew up enjoying, like Joy Division and The Cure. But, with that said, we honestly never actually know what a song will sound like until we make it, so I wouldn’t say Lands End was “intended” to sound any particular way - other than just something we, for whatever reason, believe in and love.

Ian: This record was released on cassette by WHIP records and distributed freely on the internet. It was recorded and produced by Bryce in his studio with the advising and guidance of Khira and I. I think the biggest influence on us was, really, “us” and our previous release Beautiful Child. We covered two Fleetwood Mac songs. It was our first recording since kicking out our keyboardist Toshio Masuda. By trying to apply our new setup to these readymade songs we were able to explore our new freedoms and boundaries as a three piece. After that session we applied that new setup, including more group singing to fill out the sound, a more prominent and deliberate use of audio collage and a more structured approach to the songs, to our original material and that resulted in Lands End.

The production of Lands End, particularly the drum and “keyboard” sounds were reminiscent of early to mid 80’s synth sounds.  I hear shades of OMD, early Cure and Joy Division, but with more of a dreamy and expansive quality…less “pent up” for lack of a better description. Was that and influence or inspiration?

Bryce:  These artists have certainly had their effect on each of us to some extent, and we also share a lot of the same influence (Krautrock, Eno). We use some of the same devices, but we aren't trying to forge a new identity through synthesizers alone.

I also hear a bit of Animal Collective in your sound, maybe a bit more guitar driven, is that a fair comparison?

Bryce:  It is undeniable that Animal Collective and The Skaters have had a pervasive influence on contemporary music. I don't know any AC songs, but was blown away when we started to travel and every band around had a notable influence... There are certainly similarities but I get the sense they have pretty different aims. I think Person Pitch would be the standout for me.

Ian: I don’t actually hear that comparison that often, more often comparisons to the former question, it is certainly a fair comparison however I think out interests in sound and approach to being in a band seem to me to be quite different.

How important is it to have the music be danceable, if at all?

Bryce:  I always respond to dance music in a way that I want to respond to Behavior's music.

Khira: I wonder about that too. I think “intention” plays a very, very marginalized role in the way we make music. The fact that most of our songs teeter on the edge of dance music is not a coincidence, but it’s also not really a calculation. Either way, people always end up dancing at our shows, and we’re really into that.

Ian: It is important that our music be open enough that it is appropriate in a variety of settings. It is important that it can be danceable if the audience wants to dance. I think flexibility required to do this creates for me an exciting way for us to play the songs as a DJ would play them, syncopating with a variable surrounding.

How would you characterize the current state of music or the music scene?  It seems like it’s very competitive and “dog-eat-dog”?  What has your experience been like getting your music out there and playing live?

Ian: I don’t find it to be “dog-eat-dog” at all. There are lots of great bands, lots of excitement. The realities of how a band can support itself logistically and financially it seems is in flux from top to bottom in the industry, it can be discouraging, but in all my experience with bands faith in the music and the projects ability to survive and thrive is still in my mind.

Khira:  We’re pretty laidback when it comes to engaging with “the scene.” It can be incestuous and nepotistic, maybe even a bit monopolistic, but what artistic field isn’t? We just aren’t really involved in any of that. We’re ambitious but not cutthroat or obsessive. We do great shows, records, and collaborative projects, even though we may not be playing the game the way we’re supposed to.

Bryce:  Fuck all the haters. We are the best.

How is the “live” Behavior experience different from listening to your recording?  Are there things you are able to get across live that you can’t in the studio?

Ian: The experience of playing and recording are two vastly different performances, the idea is that they help each other, but for me hold vastly different sets of risk and reward. Live there is a tradition of rock and roll bands which our set up is most closely related, and that performance truly resembles that, however in our manipulation, distortion and layering of the sounds we are producing results in a sound more complicated and accounting for developments in pop music. Recording I think we fit way more closely into a contemporary model of home recording which is now the norm for even platinum selling records which is a huge departure from the tradition both in form and experience.

What live shows do you have coming up in support of Lands End?

Ian:  Friday, February 11th @ The Gutter (200 N. 14th, Brooklyn, NY)

Wednesday, February 23rd @ Volume2 Gallery (33 24th Pl., Venice, CA)

Khira:  We just finished up a couple great gigs at Santos Party House and the 92Y Tribeca, with plenty more New York shows planned for the 2011.

Any plans on touring?

Ian: Nothing certain.

Khira:  We’ll be on the west coast in February, and in Europe in the fall. More is always in the works.

Bryce:  We have been curated in a show at Vienna’s Kunsthalle, and are working on a surrounding European tour.

Where would you like to see Behavior be in the next couple of years?

Bryce:  Cover of Vogue.

Ian: There has been lots of talk of a European tour to coincide with some other artistic ventures next fall. We are all collaborating now on a play, a rendition of Shakespeare’s   The Tempest, and in some short films. I hope that the band continues to remain fluid enough to accommodate to the constant pressure of survival in New York City.

Khira:  We have plans to relocate across the Atlantic for a spell, so I’d definitely like to do that before 2012 rolls around.

If you guys could work with anyone who would they, he, or she be?

Bryce:  Nicki Minaj.

Ian: Werner Herzog.

Khira:  Jackie Wilson or Jay-Z.

“Ridiculous but Necessary Questions”
What is your favorite cheese?
Bryce:  Bleu.
Khira:  Fontina.
Ian:  Goat.

Thomas Dolby or Herbie Hancock?
Bryce:  Herb.
Khira:  Herbie.
Ian:  Herbie.

Beverley Hills 90210 or Gossip Girl?
Bryce:  Um, BH.
Khira:  Beverly Hills 90210. I’ve never seen the show, but it’s my hometown, so I’m compelled.
Ian:  90210.

The author whose work most resembles Behavior?
Bryce:  Conrad.
Khira:  Henry James.
Ian:  We don’t believe in authors.

A month in the van with anyone (your pick)?
Bryce:  Ciara.
Khira:  My best friend, I haven’t seen her in a really long time.
Ian:  Louis Armstrong.