Friday, July 18, 2014

Fork Hassle Advance Report, Part 5: Final Installment, Part 2: "Mostly Doomed"

We end here. Our minds were puzzled. Ears were dead. Thanks to Jeff Komara for helping us through the last few acts. Some of the recordings during this time period were barely understandable. M Dodds and I were firing different thoughts in varying directions, sometimes hitting, sometimes missing. A journey into darkness? Well, it ends with blue jeans and incest.

Sharon Van Etten
[I’m again headed to the bathroom]
MD: “Can I get you anything while I’m up? Water? Beer? Jager?”
BM: “I’ll have a beer. Think about Sharon Van Etten while you’re in there.”
MD: “Sharing Van Eton?”

Sun Kil Moon
BM: “Alright, we’re coming to Sun Kil Moon, which is one of my favorite bands on the planet.”
MD: “Oh is it? Well let’s see how this turns out.”
BM: “Do you know nothing about him, are you not into it?”
MD: “I do not. I know nothing.”
BM “This and Slint, this would be one of the main reasons I would want to go to Forecastle.”
MD: “Do you have one I should listen to?”
BM: “’Carry Me Ohio’ is good.”
MD: “Is it about the Ohio river?”
BM: “I don’t know.”
[there is a fair amount of emphatic swearing while I try to get the computer to play the track. It eventually does. I talk over it lamenting the gulf between me and people who actually know anything about how computers work] 
MD: “I’m fine with it [the song].”
BM: “One of the things with him is that he’s been on 4AD since the 80’s... This is my guy.”
MD: “This could kind of rule.”
[We some how get into me talking some trash on Paul McCartney, and how I think Weird Al is slightly less silly than McCartney]
BM: “I’m saying as far as going to this festival, this is one of the selling points for me, but I could not pay the money to deal with the other bands that we’ve looked at in order to get to this guy.”
MD: “This song is working on me more the longer it goes on.”
[Something happens]
BM: “Shit! What happened?”
MD: “Nothing.”



BM: “What do you think about Flume?”
MD: “What do I think about Flume?”


MD: “I went and saw Slint when they played at the Brown Theater.”
BM: “I’ve never gotten to see them.”
MD: “It was great. Look, I’ll tell you about the first time I heard their record.”
BM: “Spiderland?”
MD: “Yeah, I’m gonna get another beer. Sorry all my stories involve my friend Tony [a lot of my stories have involved my long time and recently deceased friend Tony, as they tend to do when I’ve been drinking], but so we both bought Spiderland at the same time. And I went home and put it on right before I went to sleep, and the next day I was talking to Tony and was like “Man, that record was cool, but there weren’t any drums on it.” and he proceeded to make a lot of fun of me… I had apparently fallen asleep before the record even started and dreamed I heard a whole different record… despite the drums being like the main thing.”

[We retire to the kitchen to get more to drink]

JJ Grey and Mofro

BM: “Call Komara. Use the life-line.”
MD: “I’m gonna have to, I don’t have any idea what a JJ Grey and the Mofro is.”
[I call our friend Jeff Komara, who I had arranged to call prior to this affair. He would serve as a “life-line”, so named after a gimmick on the disgraced television show “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?”]
JK: “Hello.”
MD: “Hey.”
JK: “What’s up?”
MD: “Not much.”
BM: “A lot.”
MD: “I mean, a lot.”
JK: “Ok…”
MD: “We’re here recording an interview about Forecastle. We need your input on JJ Grey… what is this? JJ Grey and the Mofro.”
JK: “I liked them better when they were formerly billed as just Mofro.”
BM: “Are you serious? Do you know about this band?”
JK: “No, I’m on their Wikipedia page right now.”
[From here it devolves into what amounts to some terrible jokes that are entirely too awful to put in print]

BM: “Jeff, we need you to come over and pick us up.”
JK: “I’m afraid I can’t do that. It sounds like you guys probably need to be in for the night.”
BM: “Matt, what do you think about the Tune-Yards?”
MD: “Who?!”
BM: “The Tune-Yards”
BM: “He’s just staring at the floor, not saying anything.”

Trampled By Turtles

JK: “Oh, that’s Matt’s favorite.”
BM: “What do you think about this?”
MD: “Alright. I’m just gonna go on and say [expletives deleted]. Oh, we’ve still got Komara on the space phone. What do you think about that there, man?”
 [BM gets me to swear a lot more and to renounce my family’s European heritage]
JK: “It’s just…”
MD: “Look man, you ain’t gotta be diplomatic right now, because nothing matters.”

Jenny Lewis
BM: “’She began her career in ‘98’”
JK: “Well, you are what you love.”
BM: “What we’re discovering here is that a lot of these bands are adult contemporary, but when I say that Matt doesn’t know what I mean.”
MD: “No, I know what you mean, I’m just incredulous that anyone would choose that as a way of life.”

Jason Isbell
BM: “I can’t work the computer!”
MD: “I’m sorry that you can’t.”

MD: “Are we ever gonna get through this, or is it just doomed?
BM: “I think it’s definitely doomed.”

[At this point we give up and listen to the John Spencer Blues Explosion for a while. We make a half-hearted attempt at listening to a few of the remaining acts, but mostly quietly.]

Nickel Creek

MD: “I think they’re gonna sell a lot of blue jeans.”
[There’s also a long confusing story about a time when I was a teenager at the mall and a guy came out of the Grizzly Creek store and threatened me, presumably because I had been laughing at his cowboy costume]

Dwight Yoakam
MD: “I think I like that dude. Is he the one that had the song about dating the sister?”

the end.
thanks to M Dodds for doing all the editing.

Fork Hassle Advance Report, Part 4: Final Installment, Part 1

This is the beginning of the end of our preview of Forecastle Fest bands. Reality began to sway, and M Dodds and I struggled to stay on task. Tangents began to rule. Life changed. Tears were shed. Beer was spilled. Mudslides were shared. Hearts were broken. This is part one. This is part two. This is part three.


MD:  “We gotta see some Reignwolf, baby. Maybe this will rule”
[We play a track]
MD: “Huh, he’s yelling stuff in the background. Maybe this is a blues song?”
[Some bluesy vocals begin]
MD: “Oh. No…’ve got [this picture of] this guy leaping in the air…he’s just leaping… what note do you think he played?”
BM: “That’s a good jump.”

Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks
MD: “Did you ever see that band Attic Ted?”
BM: “Uh-uh.”
[We read the description]
BM: “I’m kind of into this. Do they have music?”
MD: “They have a video.”
[We play the video] 

BM: “I do like his [Avey Tare’s] list of influences here.. .Arthur Lee’s Love, Misfits, The Cramps…”
MD: “Oh, you like the Misfits? You know who else liked The Misfits? Metallica. You see how they turned out.”
[A lengthy discussion ensues about the intense disappointment we both felt at seeing the video premiere of “Enter Sandman,” and the dark period that followed when we tried to convince ourselves for a couple of days that Metallica’s black album wasn’t  awful. The phrase “a textbook example of convincing yourself to live a lie” is used to describe this time. We eventually return our attention to the Slasher Flicks video.]
MD: “This is kind of giving me some hope for this band, I hope this is what it sounds like. I feel like maybe someone made a booking mistake booking them. “

The Soul Rebels
MD: “You ever listen to Dexy’s Midnight Runners? They’re first record- Calling All The….I can’t remember the name of the record. It’s something... Soul Rebels.  [Note: It’s called Searching For The Young Soul Rebels] So what I’m getting at here is that I’m hoping this is a Dexy’s Midnight Runners cover band.”
[We pull up the band photo and description]

MD: “Nope. Alright, these guys have horns, they’re a brass band. I liked Mucca Pazza a lot? These guys look kind of serious.”
BM: “They have a song called ‘Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This.”
MD: “Oh, so they’re gonna play covers in the style of ‘Brass Band’. Let’s hear some of this.”
[We listen to some of that]
MD: “I don’t mind people doing covers in the style of ‘Brass Band’, but I don’t know that I wanna listen to it for like 40 minutes. Although, maybe they’ll get weird somewhere in the middle.”
BM: “Well hopefully they’ll do this and then they’ll also play something else.”
MD: “Yeah, I don’t know, if they just play cover songs in the style of a brass band, I’d you’ll probably think its novel, if you don’t have any novelty in your life.”

Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors
BM: “Now don’t forget, you have your lifeline.”
MD: “Oh yeah that’s right, I haven’t called…”
BM: “Be sure to remember, you need to do that at some time. I don’t know, is Trampled By Turtles gonna be the time for that?”
MD: “I feel like I’m gonna need somebody’s hand to hold to get through that… Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors…. Man anytime it’s somebody and the somebodies… any time I see that…”
BM: “Wait, before you get started, you’ve got to read this. It beats wildly literate.”

MD: “’ Drew Holcomb, a Tennessee-born, duck-hunting, French-speaking, bourbon-drinking, 1st-edition-book-collecting, golf-playing Eagle Scout with a Masters degree in Divinity from Scotland's University of St. Andrews’ Jesus [expletive(s) deleted] Christ.”
[Brian laughs at my incredulousness.]
MD: “I’m just so…”
BM: “Sick of humans?”
MD: “Alright, let’s hear some of this….”
BM: “A song called ‘The Wine We Drink’”
MD: “‘The Wine We Drink.’ Of course. He’s super literate. So Literate.”
BM: “He’s like the Buckaroo Bonsai of music. He does everything.”
MD: “Man, Buckaroo Bonsai was an all right movie, right?!” 

MD: “You’ve watched Twin Peaks, right? You know the character James?”
BM: “Alright, look, it’s on my list of things to watch”
MD: “It’s okay. He looks a little like James leaving town. Let’s hear a little of this guy”
[We hear a little of that guy, but before it starts…]
MD: “You know what I heard for the first time the other day? Snoop Dogg’s ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’. Have you ever heard this? It’s pretty good.”
[The track continues to play while we talk about Drop It Like It’s Hot]
MD: “I don’t dislike this.”
BM: “Pelvis thrusting?”
MD: “Yeah, sure.”
BM: “That’s almost like a rating at this point”
[It would appear that Tourist is no longer scheduled to appear?]

Spanish Gold

MD: “Looks like there’s a heavyset guy in this band maybe. I’m into that.”
BM: “Does that change things for you?”
MD: “Shit yeah. Their band photo is kind of alright. I assume they’re not seriously into looking like this... This is a ridiculous photo…”
BM: “It’s got one of the My Morning Jacket guys in it, I knew we couldn’t go a festival without a My Morning Jacket guy somewhere”
MD: “Alright, let’s listen to a track”
[We listen to a track and end up comparing and contrasting My Morning Jacket and Pearl Jam for a while, then talking about Pearl Jam for a while, things get pretty confusing, as evidenced by the following]
MD: “…you know, Red Lobster also has Lobster Fest-  it’s already a thing.”
BM: “Yeah, but, I just like lobsters”
MD: “You like lobsters as… an animal? They’re not arachnids are they? What are they, what’s the name for… they’re not a…”
BM: “A fish?”
MD: “No, they’re definitely not a fish.”
BM: “They come from the sea…”

Charli XCX
MD: “Charli Ex-see-ex. Or are those Roman numerals? She probably hates it when people say it like that, but you shouldn’t call yourself that if you don’t want people to pronounce it like that.”
[We play a track, and render a first impression moments into it]
BM: “I’m into it”
MD: “I’m kind of already into it also.”
BM: “Let’s hear a verse and see what…”
[The verse starts]
Together: “Nope.”
MD: “I’m going to let you watch the rest of this while I get into some peeing.”
[BM listens in silence while I’m in the bathroom]
MD: “I’m not gonna say you should avoid this, I’m just gonna say you should maybe make sure someone call you like a third of the way through the first song so you can go do that and then come back to it and see what you think. Like especially if it’s kind of an upsetting phone call, like, if someone calls to say ‘I’m leaving you!’ or ‘You’re going to have to pay for your trash pickup from now on!’. And then come back to it.”

Nightmares On Wax
BM: “Are there any more mudslides left?”
MD: “Oh yeah.”
[I go to retrieve mudslides from the kitchen]

BM: “Nightmares on Wax”
MD: “You’ve heard their groundbreaking singles?”
BM: “Are you kidding?”
MD: “We’re gonna have to share this one [the “mudslide”]
[I tell BM the tale of why I know who Nightmares on Wax are, what little I know about them, and play him something I already have rather than anything on the website. The subject of music that’s appropriate for listening to during sexual intercourse comes up. I insist that the tape recorder be turned off while the rest of this discussion takes place. The recorder is paused. Eventually un-paused]
MD: “Alright, a little bit of off the record talk there. Look I’m gonna say go see Nightmares on Wax.”
BM: “What was the name of the one song? I’m gonna write it down..”

MD: “You ever heard of Lucius Tate? Prank calls?”
[I begin looking for them]
BM : “Come on, we’ve gotta get through…”
[I make a sound of pure scoffing]
MD: “Let’s just not even look at that band”
[I look some more for the Lucius Tate recordings and do not succeed]
MD: “Do you have any idea how to spell Lucius?”
[BM spells it out, I find it, and we spend a while listening to some prank phone calls, discussing prank calls, and finally (try to) return to the Lucius who’s playing Forecastle.]
BM: “So what do you think about Lucius?”
MD: “Oh Lucius? Lucius Tate?”
BM: “All right. Let’s move on…”

Claude Vonstroke
MD: “Is it Claude Von Stroke? Is that seriously what’s next?”
BM: “Yes.”
MD: “Awww, you’re kidding me. This guy’s gonna be a comedian. [Reading the description] ‘Claude Vonstroke does not scowl while he DJ’s….’ that’s good to know. Let’s just hear some”
[We hear some] 

MD: “I don’t hate this immediately.”
BM: “He’s remixing a lot of things”
MD: “It’s fine, a lot of things need remixing. They need to have cowbell put in on them. He’s got quite a watch”

Brett Dennen

BM: “This is your man, Brett Dennen.”
MD: “He looks like John Denver.”
BM: “He’s got five records out, one of them is called ‘Smoke and Mirrors’”
MD: “One of them’s called ‘Rocky Mountain High’”
BM: “’His music career began humbly around the camps of the Sierra Mountain range...” 

MD: “Oh did it? That’s shocking to me”
[We listen to a track]
BM: “You know, I can kind of get into it a little bit”
MD: “It’s all right. Is this gonna be a guy with a laptop, or is he gonna come with a group of people to perform this live?”
BM: “Do you think it sounds electronic?”
MD: “You know, it sounds fine, and… ‘fun’”
BM: [Laughter]

St. Lucia
[There’s 8-10 minutes of BM talking about the things he knows about South Africa, we get bummed out a bit, and then we listen to some St. Lucia and don’t really have anything to say about them. We seem to determine that they’re fiercely contemporary]

The Black Lips

MD: “Alright, look, I’ll go ahead and say I’ll arm wrestle any of these people”
[We listen to parts of a few tracks]
MD: “You know, this isn’t totally awful.”