Friday, November 26, 2010

Oscillating Fan Club - Album Release - 12/11

@ the Loving Touch in Ferndale

With Wildcatting (a loosely defined 'reunion...' that may or may not wind up as a performance by Bars of Gold).

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The Oscillating Fan Club - with Bellyache Records' 20th release. Preview songs here
On another classy episode of 'Dinner with the Oscillating Fan Club'


Pierce: “We’ve got a lot of gift horses…”

Milo: “I see…”

Pierce: “And, the cost is astronomical…that’s why we’re trying to get people to buy our gift-horses…”

Milo: “You’re talking about the vinyl records of George Washington’s Teeth, coming out next week?

Pierce: “No, I’m talking about horses. Horses that we’ve been keeping in Rob’s backyard.”

Ray: “We’ve kind of decided to get back together as a band just to launch our new stable.”

Pierce: “Yeah, we’re breeding horses. It’s a first…it’s man-horse…relations…”

Milo: “A man is involved in the breeding?”

Ray: “Mainly just Pierce…”

Pierce: “Allow me, later, to introduce you to my son, Horse Jr….”

John: (to Pierce) “I could see you having a horse. Seriously.”

Pierce: “A horse/man/boy… (mimics eerie mutant ninny sound)”

John: “…or a pony.”

Ray: “What if it was a horse, same shape, but it didn’t have the front legs, just the two back legs, that were human legs, and it would constantly be slumped forward grinding his face in the round and would have to walk backwards just so it wouldn’t be as painful…? This is what you came over for, right Jeff?”

Milo: (nods)

John: “I’m sure you had nothing better scheduled.”

The Oscillating Fan Club, after a shaky year that included a quasi-hiatus and considerably raised inter-band tensions, are, for lack of a more nuanced descriptor, “back together” and releasing their 2nd full length LP, - George Washington’s Teeth on Bellyache Records, this week, at the Loving Touch in Ferndale.

The band gathered (at their practice spot in drummer Robin Veresh and guitarist Pierce Reynolds’ residence) for an interview to discuss the tunes they recorded at Jim Diamond’s Ghetto Recorders through the late summer/early autumn of 2009. Singer/bassist John C. Fairweather chimed in with some sober and sane surmising of their year, while guitarist/singer Ray Thompson discussed the exploring of “extremes” – from rawer, more shambolic shreds to poppier, more delicate amblings. Reynolds embellished the potential flabbergasting absurdities sprouting upon each ellipsis…

Milo: “After you let these horses out into the wild, what next?”

Ray: “I don’t think we’re gonna release the horses. Just the album.”

Pierce: “They need to stay under ground for their entire life…they’ll never see sunlight.”

Rob: “Like mole horses?”

Pierce: “Dance! Dance, Mole Horse! (claps hands).”

Milo: “These horses probably aren’t very happy…”

Ray: “They have not voiced displeasure. Once we get them a healthy dose of Xanax.”

Pierce: “And, they also watch a lot of ‘Yo Gabba Gabba.’ It’s good for young horses.”

This devolves into their mad scheme to steal enough electricity for the television sets entertaining this army of underground horses (who, it later is revealed, are actually blind-folded) and then into their methods of covering up the smell wafting from mine shafts by cooking pungent blends of food, (food that may or may not have traces of dead horse and more Xanax mixed in…)

When I turn the tape recorder back on, John calmly, in a soothing singing voice, assures: “Everything was great…we’re all totally sane!”

Started in late 2004, the Oscillating Fan Club have blended sensibilities for 60’s Brit-Pop and British garage with inclinations toward gruff, kaleidoscoped experimentalism, sublime obscuro structures, and raucous/kinetic rock n roll. Reynolds’ tinnier, surf toned Fender glides gracefully with Fairweather’s steady bouncing bass, balancing with Thompson’s lower, snarling Rickenbacker and Robin’s tumbling drums’ formation of a more shambling, almost-off-the-rails propulsion. A spastic pop that marries surf rock to art rock.

2008’s Feverish Dreams, As Told By… that beautified the grime of frazzled psyche-pop with intricate production, eclectic instrumentation and sunshine bursts of twangy surf and head-swimming swarms of spaced-out atmospherics.

Ray: “(George Washington’s Teeth) is kind of all over the place. We have some regal songs. Some are regal. It’s a little more manic than the last album. This one feels a little more accentuated. These songs would have been a bit more ‘of the moment’ if we had put it out when we were ‘back in that moment,’ when we were still a band and then not a band and then a band again.”

Pierce: “We had some technical difficulties.”

Ray: “Let’s just say, these guys didn’t like me or the album. I drank and yelled and through bottles.”

Pierce: “Then we drank.”

Ray: “They drank together as I drank somewhere else and then we met again…”

Pierce: “And drank together, some more.”

Ray: “Then we played the Blowout…This all happened in early February, when we had our own blowout.”

Pierce: “The thing is, any time you do something for five years, that’s a certain milestone and you need to tell everybody involved in it that you hate them and not see them for a month.”

John: “And…simultaneously…(that you) love them.”

Ray: “You need to get it all out, so it’s cathartic. And then take an Epsom salt bath with everybody.”

They continue unpacking George Washington’s Teeth, which was recorded with much less instrumentation and culled songs that had more adrenaline and more of a lo-fi, blemish-baring grimace.

Ray: “This album is a little bit more bare. Songs are more mature, well, some of them.”

Pierce: “In the loosest sense, it’s a concept album.” (Rob shakes head, mouths the word ‘No.’)

Ray: “The album was written a year ago, before the title even happened!”

John: “It’s more than a concept album… Really, it’s about the early years, Washington’s early years, pre-revolution.”

Ray: “Most people don’t know that when we refer to George Washington’s Teeth, we’re talking about his original teeth, not the ivory. Post-baby-teeth, pre-ivory-teeth. His middle teeth.”

Pierce: “He always looks so stern in those paintings, post-ivory. It’ s because he has so much teeth pain.”

Ray: “T-Pain?”

Pierce: “(Washington) listened to a lot of T-Pain.”

Ray: “The album is based mostly on T-Pain.”

Pierce: “And colonial fruit-baskets.”

Milo: “What was it like being ‘a band apart?’”

John: “… Sad.”

Ray: “Well, Pierce was doing DevilFish, Rob was doing Scare Bear and I was doing Pigeon, so we each at least had an outlet. John had a desk job, so that’s where he got to release his full creative juices.”

Milo: “What brought you back together?”

Ray: “We were bored. Just kinda wanted to make music again.”

Rob: “I don’t think we ever really ended. I remember it just became awkward and not as fun.”

Ray: “There was no Yoko. We were still writing.”

They concluded that this album could be a “grower.” A “return-listen” kind of album.

Pierce: “I think we were going for a really strong, psychedelic pop leaning on the first record. Almost a Nuggets-style compilation and I feel like this album is a whole lot more of a varied mix-tape. It’s really exciting to get re-excited and rejuvenated about the band and realize that not only is the band doing it again, but we’ve got an even stronger, more exuberant collection. We’re actually releasing a 2nd record, on vinyl!”

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