Celebrating the release of the “Hiding Plastic Spiders” 7-inch EP via the Great Big/Pretty Ambitious Records, Jeffrey Bützer and the Bicycle Eaters play a set of cinematic, piano/accordion-driven tunes that evoke all sorts of imagery plucked from eras gone by. Earlier this week Bützer took some time out to talk about what he does.
Your new 7-inch has two covers …
Yeah, it is a little weird to do an alternate cover, but we had already decided on the whale thing. Then Guy Maddin said we could use some of his artwork, and I don’t know when we’re going to do another 7-inch, so we’re doing a limited one — something for fun.
How did you hook up with Guy Maddin?
I scored a film called Bird Catcher in 2006, which was directed by his assistant, C. Hefner. Guy saw it and liked some of the music, so I got his email address and we just started talking and have been friends via e-mail over the years. He’s cool, and he gives me good feedback on music.
You were on NPR this week and you mentioned that you like to think of your music as being somewhat modern. Tell me more; I’ve always gravitated toward the antique qualities of your music.
I think my music is nostalgic, but I’ve never gone for a retro sound. I use old instruments, but compositionally speaking, I look to Erik Satie a lot, and use simple melodies to evoke certain things, but I never think I’m writing old-sounding music — I don’t want to fall into that thing where people think it’s of a specific time and place. Like back when all of that swing stuff was going on and people were wearing pork pie hats and dressing like they’re from a certain era … There’s no longevity to that, so we’re not drawing from a specific thing. That said, a lot of things I do sound French and Spaghetti Western, and there are a lot of film references.
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"The sky is falling, nobody balling, they done gave back they guns/For some tickets to the playoffs, but the Hornets, they won/N***a, we slum, kept all the guns, I gotta protect my family..." - Big Boi, "Da Art of Storytellin' Part 2"
The death of Trayvon Martin has turned into a hot-button issue on so many levels: racial perception and stereotypes, self-defense, legal protection, gun rights, even the right to bear Skittles while wearing a hoodie. Atlanta's own Killer Mike tackled all of it from his impassioned perspective on Wednesday's episode of MTV's RapFix.
In the video above, he starts out explaining why he was angered by what he describes as Jesse Jackson's attempt to turn Martin's already loaded case into political posturing to advocate for tighter restrictions on assault rifles. But Martin was killed by a handgun, Mike points out, before dismissing it as another okey doke plan for black folk to rid themselves of guns at a time when they may need them most.
Back in the late-'80s/early-'90s, when the proliferation of crack (thanks, CIA!) and the upsurge in gun violence went hand-in-hand in hoods across America, gun buyback programs were all the rage. The idea, of course, was to get deadly weapons off the streets. But the running joke/conspiracy theory at the time was that the only people tricked into relinquishing their guns were law-abiding citizens who'd need them most to protect themselves from criminals armed-to-the-teeth - or, worse yet, your friendly "neighborhood watch" paddy roller.
Last week I caught up with the station's Program Director Maria Sotnikova to talk about the state of WREK in 2012, and what the annual fundraiser means to the station and everyone else who’s involved.
1. On October 1, 2011, WREK upgraded from broadcasting at 40,000 watts all the way up to a grand 100,000 watts.
2. Although yes, this is WREK’s annual fundraiser event, ultimately the station hosts the show each year for the love of the music. “If we break even, awesome. If not, well … we put on a really fun show.”
3. The lineup for this year’s WREKtacular show is a particularly strong one, which boasts an in-the-flesh cross-section of what WREK is all about. “When we plan concerts like this we always try to have different genres of music represented. It’s not just a rock show, and not just a noise show, but there's lots of diversity — good diversity, which is what you hear on WREK.”
>> Let's all watch Regina Spektor's dark and stormy new video for "All The Rowboats."
>> Young Mook and friends pile into a motel room for his new "Arch That Back" video.
>> Oh Na Na multi-tasker.
>> If you haven't, already, acquaint yourself with 70's Afrobeater Ebo Taylor.
>> The Raveonettes stop by Daytrotter.
>> Lady Gaga pessimist.
>> Thank you for the free mp3, Island Twins.
>> Rolling Stone fraps with Goldfrapp's Alison Goldfrapp.
>> Look, everyone. New music from Jennifer Lopez.
>> File under THE CLASSICS: When Biebs Prunk'ed My Cy and T-Swiffer.
The-Dream has been lighting up stages and Tweetdecks recently. But tweefing with the Weeknd was just a prelude to his new video, "Kill the Lights," the first single from the Atlanta-based R&B singer-songwriter's next label album, Love IV.
The PYT singing with him on "Kill the Lights" is his label signee Casha. And together they swag it out like Prince circa 1989. But he ripped a page straight from Tupac's Machavellian-inspired diary in his short-winded fued with the Weeknd, who didn't take kindly to The-Dream's onstage banter at S.O.B.'s in New York a couple of weeks ago, as reported in the NYTimes:
>> If you read only one American Idol recap today, this is the one you should maybe think about reading.
>> Oh Na Na is ella, ella, ella disappointed with your question, eh, eh, eh, eh.
>> KEXP gets a session from Grimes.
>> There will be a sequel to the Anvil! The Story of Anvil documentary.
>> The 18 Best Rapper Movies.
>> Let's all watch the [OFFICIAL VIDEO] for Dum Dum Girls' "Coming Down."
>> Speaking of dum dums, Dave Mustaine is still one.
>> Oh mama mia, mama mia, mama mia, let me go. Bismilah! No, we will not let you go.
>> Soundgarden have recorded their first new song in 15 years for The Avengers soundtrack.
>> Sonic Youther Lee Ranaldo made a video for "Angles."
>> Photographer Jung Kim is working on a book about Daniel Johnston.
Would you explain Warhol's screen test films?
Warhol made 472 of these films between 1964 and 1966. They are short, silent, black-and-white portraits. Before he was doing this he was doing photo booth portraits, which he called “stillies,” so this kind of grew out of that – it was the next step when he bought a Bolex and decided that he was moving into making film. He didn’t really know how to edit film I guess; he didn’t have to edit film. He’d just load a reel of film, which is about three minutes in length, and he would sit someone against a white background or a black background and just let the film roll and tell them to stare straight into the camera and do as little as possible. Then he would play these films back at a slower speed, at a silent film speed instead of the sound film speed, so they’re all kind of stretched out. So, they play back and they were just over four minutes each and that’s what kind of gives them a slightly spooky quality. If you slow down someone’s face you can kind of see things flicker across them that you really wouldn’t otherwise notice. The first part of our assignment was to pick 13 of these films.
The Atlanta Film Festival's on-going week of activities takes over the Goat Farm tonight (Thurs., March 29) with performances by a handful of bands from throughout the Southeast, along with a showcase of music videos and experimental shorts films.
Dubbed "the ATLFF12 Music Experience," TJ Blake (of Lyonnais), Easter Island, the Heavy Florist, Sexual Side Effects, Sealions, Grand Prize Winners from Last Year, Today the Moon, Tomorrow the Sun, the Harvey Kartel, and Cousin Dan are all part of a ho-hum lineup (ho-hum with the exception of TJ Blake and Cousin Dan, of course), along with theatrical performances by the Collective Project, Inc., and Tesla Coil from the MASS Collective.
Music videos being screened include:
Lovett - "Ghost Of Old Highways"
Lovett - "The Fear"
Little Tybee - "Boxcar Fair"
Naira - "Fly Hustle Fresh Grind"
The Orkids - "What Is It With Me?"
The Booze - "Wild One"
Dormtainment - "Straight Out of Dunwoody"
Reptar - "Rainbounce"
Heavy Florist - "Jeff Smith"
Today the Moon, Tomorrow the Sun - "We Were Wild"
The Sexual Side Effects - "All She'll Ever Hurt"
Sealions - "Golden"
Grand Prize Winners From Last Year - "Electric Blue"
Easter Island - "Hash"
Mastodon - "Deathbound"
Rebecca Loebe - "Bees and Zombees"
The Amory - "Burn The City Down"
... And for the experimental film portion of the night, Director Ron Cramer's Sixty in 60, Stacey Steers' Night Hunter, and a film by Micah Stansell will be shown as well.
$10. 6 p.m. The Goat Farm. 1200 Foster St.
At the age of 25, Mike Hadreas aka Perfume Genius moved back into his mom's house near Seattle with the stench of drugs still on his clothes. He then quietly made his first little known album, Learning, only to succumb to drugs once more. Two years have passed and now he's released Put Ur Back N 2 It, and put his back into it he has. Not only has he gathered his bearings during this interlude, he’s fallen in love with his boyfriend, gotten clean, and produced pop singer-songwriter ballads that touch on sexual abuse, prostitution, porn, addiction, gay sex — want me to keep going? Hadreas talked via phone about fan letters predating his “big gay album,” the thing that still embarrasses him, and why drinking sessions are no longer his thing.
Perfume Genius. With Parenthetical Girls. $10-$12. 8:30 p.m. Tonight (Thurs., March 29). The Earl, 488 Flat Shoals Ave. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com.
What's your favorite perfume — or cologne?
Mike Hadreas: Oh crap. I feel like I should have that one down! I guess I usually like musky smells that have leather or tobacco in them. Sort of manly smells.
So you moved back in with your momma a few years ago to get sober from a drug addiction. What propelled you to make that decision?
Oh, I mean it had been a long time coming. You think you can just drink beer, and be okay but I realized that it just wasn't going to be manageable and it was only going to get worse. And it did just get a lot worse. I had to change a whole lot more than I wanted to. You know, [I] had to go to rehab, stop hanging out with people that I really cared about but that maybe weren't the best to be around. I had to shift everything.
So I had heard a couple of songs off the album before it dropped, and when I got the press release that the album was called Put Ur Back N 2 It I thought I had you confused with a different artist. From the title you’d think you’d be hearing upbeat stuff or rap, but this album is really a collection of small mountains for ballads. You’ve talked about how the title track is about gay love and gay sex. Why did you decide to feature that song?
Still can't believe Epic Records signed these guys. But it makes me smile inside, as does their new video, released yestiddy, for "The Fever (Aye Aye)." Saul Williams told me Death Grips was on his iPod - along with Lil Wayne - when we spoke late last year. The avant-garde, noise rap crew from Sacramento (featuring Wavves drummer Zach Hill, Andy Morin, and Stefan Burnett) explained to Wired magazine earlier this month, after releasing the visual for "Get Got," why creativity trumps expensive a$$ equipment when shooting vidjos.
They always shoot on cheap Canon video cameras and they've never made a video that costs more than $20. It works, and they even manage to throw in a few Bad Brains references with a lighting strike to the capitol building's dome.
The work feels heavily influenced by GIF culture and equally glitchy internet visuals. The production is so far away from what we see every day from the plastic-looking DSLR video that Canon and Nikon has made so ubiquitous. Catching a new video from Death Grips becomes a refreshing reminder that motion and music can be represented together and still innovate without having to invest in a hi-def, cookie-cutter capture format.
Definitely not your average rap flick - or group. Epic releases Death Grips new album The Money Store on April 24.
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