Over the past few weeks I’ve been going through the process of putting together a live band for the Tycho show coming up on July 9th here in San Francisco. Those of you who’ve been to my past shows will know that I usually play solo and the focus is on the visuals and some light synth work. But this recent break from playing live (been working on the new album) has given me a chance to re-evaluate what I want the performances to be about and it’s also afforded me some time to put into developing the whole thing a little more. The visuals will still be a central element of the show, but I also want to try and bring some of the instrumentation to the forefront as well.
This upcoming set at Mezzanine will be my first show back in a while — and one of only a few I’ll be playing this summer as I wrap up the album — so I wanted it to be something special. I’ve been working with some other musicians on the new material so it sort of made sense to try and incorporate them into the live stuff. I spent the past couple weeks deconstructing a lot of the songs and working them into live versions that sort of bridge the gap between electronic and traditional instrumentation and have been rehearsing with the band at Ira Skinner’s studio in Sacramento. Zac Brown (frequent collaborator and guitarist for Dusty Brown) will be handling bass duties while Matt McCord will be on drums. I’ll be on some guitars and synth and Dusty and Jessica Brown will be joining us for a couple songs as well. We’ve got a few more practices but things are sounding really good and I’m excited to bring it all to life on the 9th. Hope to see you there.
“The birth of a new color exists”. Well I’m intrigued; I’ve always wanted to see a new color. This video gives you a little behind the scenes look at the Pantone color factory. Be prepared for a number of tasty shots of ink and paper. The video is “to celebrate the release of The Plus Series, the next generation of the classic Pantone Matching System” and was produced by Base.
What would be really cool is if a color was invented that actually *looked* new. Sure they have ‘invented’ lots of new colors, but to the average person, it’s all the same stuffs: green, blue, pink, etc. You show 99/100 people a new Pantone color and they will look puzzled if you tell them it didn’t exist before. What I want to see is a new color that literally doesn’t exist yet. The kind of thing that is so new your mind cannot even comprehend what it would look like because by definition it is impossible. Something outside the spectrum of visible light. Until then, I don’t want to hear about these “new” colors. A little trippy I know, but when the Pantone guy said they invented new colors I got excited.
This is a 30 second preview of each song on the upcoming School Of Seven Bells album called Disconnect From Desire. The album will be available July 13th, i’ll be posting full songs on the blog whenever I get them. The graphic above is a collection of icons that are being used for the record, each song on the album has its own icon which is pretty nice especially if you buy their merch piece which include a deck of tarot cards with each icon is on a different card, sounds like a tasty deluxe edition.
ISO50: Your new album Maniac Meat has some balls to it, i’m definitely a fan. What made you go gradually harsher and expand your sound from previous albums and projects? TOBACCO: That’s been in there for awhile, but i used to care about not freaking people out too badly. i think sometime last year while i was on tour with black moth, i realized i was tired of all the safe music i had written for that band, and how much fun i could be having just letting all the wild shit out instead of suppressing it.
ISO50: I remember when I heard your project Black Moth Super Rainbow for the first time at the Ghostly office years ago and “I Think It Is Beautiful That You Are 256 Colors Too” came on I knew I was going to enjoy the record, is this a sound that you’ve wanted to make since you were younger? any nostalgia tied to it? if so is there a story you can share? TOBACCO: I feel now like all that old stuff was all i could do at the time. so i can’t say i was ever striving to make music like that, but more like that music was striving for something more. i made that song so long ago that the only real memory i have of it was it was my first or 2nd song completely made on a sampler. that was definitely a fun time.
ISO50: I always wanted to let you know that you have great track names (Sweatmother, Hairy Candy, New Juices From The Hot Tub Freaks, etc) compared to most musicians, anyone help you with those? how do they come about? TOBACCO: Especially with this record, i came up with most of them while running to the songs at the gym or around my neighborhood. i’m usually just trying to describe the way they sound to me, rather than what they might be about – which is usually nothing too concrete to begin with.
ISO50: How did the Beck collab happen? since you went so big is there another artist you’d want to work with in the future? TOBACCO: We asked and beck was awesome enough to say yes. it all just happened through email. you know it’s hard to say now because all 2 people on my list have been checked off, but i think at this point it would be awesome to start a band with someone like beck or aesop and really get in there and see what we could do. i’m remaking someone’s record this summer and that’ll end up being the biggest collaborative effort i’ve ever been involved with, so i’m pretty invested in that. it’s someone i never would have predicted working with, and that kind of stuff can be even crazier because it twists you in ways you weren’t expecting to go.
ISO50: For Maniac Meat, do you have a full band live? hows that setup? do you bring any synths with you? TOBACCO: It’s always 2 of us, sometimes 3. it can be anything from a weird dj/vj show to a minimal band with a sequenced beat, depending on who’s there. on the september tour, we’re gonna try something new and have more people involved for a few songs. we do bring 1 synth around with us.
ISO50: Who does your album covers? TOBACCO: I’ve done all the album covers. for me, that’s just as important as what’s inside.
ISO50: Something your fans might not know about you? TOBACCO: I don’t like most of the music i get lumped in with. if you give me your cd and tell me it’s all vocoder and synths, i might not listen to it, but if you tell me you sound like Scott Weiland I might be down!
ISO50: Dream gig (location, mood, show opener or closer)? TOBACCO: I dream of the day live shows become all digital like everything else, and we can stay at home, and just be projected like a hologram or something.
ISO50: Do you collect anything? TOBACCO: Madballs. there are only like 12 of them, so if you space it out, it’s the most eco thing you can get into collecting.
ISO50: Favorite new band you’ve heard? TOBACCO: He’s not a band, but Serengeti is the man
ISO50: If you weren’t working with music, where would you work? TOBACCO: Any pizza shop
ISO50: Share a childhood memory that might relate to your music? TOBACCO: Baby stinky was a gross baby puppet that this f*ckjob at the flea market was selling, and i wasn’t allowed to have it because it was too sick. for all these years, i put it up on a pedestal of being the ultimate taboo toy that i could never have because it was way too disturbing for my family back in 1992. i finally found an original one a few years back at a costume store and it was definitely gross, but more awesome-gross than disturbing-gross. and that’s because it was from that time. i think that kind of describes some of my musical ideas, or my album covers. yesterday’s sick shit that becomes today’s art. or something like art.
Stumbled upon a handful of really great posters by Ross Gunter, a London based designer. The posters were designed for Bridging the Gap, a club night and blog in London. My favorites of this set were the 1st and 3rd because of the clear showcase of grid as well as the sheer visual stimulation in each.
Today I find IDM being picked up where it left off but it can’t be called IDM ever again. Either way I can see indie rockers, pitchfork and many blogs loving this “new” sound.
Someone kindly suggested Com Truise the other day in a comment, man this stuff is soo soo good, instrumentally its super tasty like biting into a 7 layer cake made completely out of honey in slow motion.
This Emeralds track is epic and beautiful, I should of also posted its album cover, the under saturated VHS screenshot like photo is pretty nice.
When I first heard this Gold Panda intro I immediate thought it would draw the Passion Pit crowd but that reference is something that is more relevant to hip teens today. For the long time electronic fans that I think that will enjoy this are the ones that loved early Four Tet magically working with The Field, the samples have a happy tone plus there is more diversity in the back and forth the song offers in the sequencing.
JDSY’s track Lighter has hints of beauty sprinkled all thru the song, the backing for the intro are these shakey breathes, his singing might be the best from a post IDM’er plus the subject he’s singing about isn’t just stuff that makes people want to party but he actually has some substance , and the melody is made up of just oddball sounds that he puts to work and makes them sound great.
One of the things that turns me away from products is when they are slapped with something saying it’s “environmentally friendly” or “green” when its not. If cutting down trees and mining the soils for ore is environmentally friendly then this PC by Design Hara, is exactly that. I get that you could recycle this but do people really buy products (namely electronics) just because they can be recycled?
My initial thought about this PC was of course the design. It fits into the mid-century category by the materials choice. The option of Italian Cypress wood, Canadian Rose wood or even sheep leather really give this the computer it’s substance. The keyboard and even USB drive also really add to it. Maybe next we’ll see a wood-framed monitor. But as cool as this is and as much as I love the mid-century design aesthetic, I would probably only use this as a decoration (enter Mac vs PC debate).
I don’t know quite how to describe Feric Feng. His site describes his work as a “surreal blend of the natural and mechanical” — which is an apt description, if only lacking in deserved adjectives of praise. ‘Gorgeous’, ‘innovative’ and maybe ‘spell-binding’ would be my additions. For me his renderings conjure aspects of the work of Si Scott. Something about the complexity and super minute detail. Such detail that most people probably don’t even perceive the intricacies of the work; rather it just looks “complicated” until you look further and realize how much consideration and attention each element has been given. I have my eye on a few of his prints.