Sunday, December 30, 2012

Saturday, December 22, 2012

That's What You've Got To Not Worry About

(Burger Records & Tapes)

THE GO: FIESTA! Double album out on Burger Records Dec. 21, 2012

An Interview with Bobby Harlow

You could always say The Go sounded like some thing (or some one).

You could always say that one of the Detroit band’s songs had such-and-such qualities to it, a jangly 60’s-pop thing or a chugging garage-rock swagger… You could, if you wanted to whittle a band, any band of the billions, down to something more tangible, to quicken the deciphering of it, however unique.

“Oh, I get it, it kinda sounds like the Doors…” Or “oh, it’s like he’s blending old-school rap to techno, I get it…” “Oh, it’s like the Mumford & Sons, only better…” “Oh, right, I get it…”

I get it…

“If Paul McCartney, with those 18-year-olds tweeting in confusion about who he is when he performed the Grammys last year, if Paul puts out a new album tomorrow, who, then, should care?”

The Go singer/guitarist co-songwriter and co-producer Bobby Harlow crooks one frayed denim leg over the other, sneakers on shag, taking a break in his basement recording studio, as we discuss the death of the rock star, the haunting grasp of hero-worship and what could be some renaissance-esque spark struck in the exuberance and steady output of labels like Burger Records.

But more on that later…

Stream/Listen: Fiesta's lead single:

“Now, Paul (McCartney)’s just an icon. Or, like Elton John. At some point Elton John did come up with something like ‘The Tumbleweed Connection…’ But now, what is he…? We look at this generation, at the Grammys audience and judge someone for not knowing who John Lennon is…But, similarly, someone could look at me, Bobby, and judge me if I don’t know, say, The Mummies? What’s the difference though? It doesn’t matter.”

Post-Beatles, Post-Led Zeppelin, Post-MTV, Post-Napster, Post-Pitchfork, Post-Everything. Music still matters to the modern listener, but in what ways, if at all, do the creators of new music matter…

How is a band to operate now, in Internet-Music-World? When, all at once, everything and nothing seems to matter the most or not matter at all? Is there any trusty formula to follow any longer?

And so what if you sound like The Doors, or like Paul McCartney? What matters is what you’re saying with your music… (and distinguishing “what” you say with how you’re saying it).

Right? I’m thinking about this too much…

It seems to be the bedevilment of countless bands this past decade, many maddened by the lack of a roadmap, or maybe maddened by that freedom…

“You’re in your own world and it’s important to just be in your world and do what’s going to matter to you…” says Harlow.

This new-normal of Internet Music world, wherein/throughout you can enter and edify your own personal CBGBs, “your own world” erected as some digitized creative commons, a pressure-cooker feeding back inspiration from ever-connected-cliques of bands of the most shrewdly categorized sub-sub-genre. Freeing and over-stimulating all at once.

And sharing their sounds. Led Zeppelin and Elton John and Paul McCartney made millions off of these things, songs, songs that you now make in your living room and put up for free…Your own contribution to that terrific tradition known as rock n’ roll music. Freedom.

The Go, Harlow, with rhythm-guitarist/singer Jon Krautner, and drummer Mark Fellis) are not some new bandcamp-buzzer blipped across your latest blog. They’re coming on fifteen years together now, seemingly inspired-as-ever, but also wary and wise after a whirl through the Music Biz as it crumbled ten years ago under the tidal rise of the Internet.   

“There has always been ‘those few bands that stick,’” Harlow says, thinking of the perennial harkening to “icons.”

“But those big bands in the past, like Zeppelin, they had a number of circumstances that assured they rose above…”

Indeed, Robert Plant or Elton John never needed a kickstarter.  

But, Harlow says, sometimes there’s just “that thing…”

“There’s just some magic going on there, like with Jack White or Kurt Cobain.” Something in their voice or in their fresh, raw, visceral songwriting. “Everybody jumps on ‘that thing.’ But then, how did they record it? Does that matter?”

“…Was it really anything special?”

The Go found a way to forge something original for their latest album: Fiesta. Don’t think. Press record. Finish it tonight. And, no pun intended, Go with it.

Fiesta, the band’s 6th album, comes out on Burger Records, December 21st.

As singer/songwriter and producer Robert Harlow admits he can feel “Hyper-conscious of” the creative-act in the moments leading up to it. “But when I’m in the creative moment, at the very moment of creation? (I’m) not conscious, I’m un-conscious! That’s what you’ve got to not worry about…”

Thus, they approached Fiesta akin to an abstract expressionist painter’s caprice, guided entirely by intuition and instinct

Layers were set down through lightly-improvised / lightly-guided jamming; they’d try wandering into funkier, or somewhat psychedelic terrain, but then maybe try a tribal rock twist or flitting off into some heady prog-slogged detachment.

After that, they’d fit lyrics atop their mad mud-pies. They were careful, though, not to strangle-away a song’s potential with over-conceptualization.

“I think now, from this experience, I realize that everything shouldn’t be kept so precious,” said Harlow.

“Or at least …not looked-at as precious. Just make music.”

For those who need catching-up at this point:
Some of the Go’s formative moments came a dozen years ago during that fleeting love affair Detroit’s “garage” rock scenesters enjoyed with fickle (feckless?) national music journalists (during which they caught the ears of major labels such SubPop).

Call them savvy veterans but don’t call them jaded yet – Indeed, still quite down to earth, (and still continuing to work in basements).

“We may try different things,” Harlow said of their approach to songwriting and recording. “And, because we try maybe too many things that might mean that, if we do have a sound, then, well, I don’t know what it is…”

“Which,” he adds self-depreciatingly, “may be a fatal flaw. I probably still live in the same bubble-world that I always have when it comes to new music…”

That “bubble” sense is flourished by our basement setting, nestled away from the bustle of the city and assured that our phones are switched-off. The meditative peace of sound-proof walls emanates. Harlow’s recording set-up glows behind him on the table as he faces me, swiveled on his desk chair.

He remembers his early perspectives of the music “biz” – back in the late 90’s when The Go “broke-out” (or “got signed”). Back in those days he’d seen bands selling-off their principals and self-consciously modeling for appeal, for radio-friendly fare.

Compare that to now, (particularly with Harlow’s experience collaborating in a producing role with a grassroots cassette-centric Anaheim-based label Burger Records), and he now realizes that maybe the “fidelity” of recordings doesn’t matter as much anymore, as long as there’s “good vibes,” and as long as what’s captured is truly the voice of the songwriters.

Toward the end of 2012’s summer, the trio wrote and worked in their metro-Detroit recording space, aspiring to record: “whatever” …or “anything.”

“Let’s just show up and come up with it, together, on the spot,” says Harlow, succinctly summing up the goal of Fiesta. Not that they even had a goal, per se. Thirty-two demos cut together in a little more than a month’s time, spanning long weeknights of experimental sonic sculpting, with none of the tunes having been written in advance.

Speaking specifically as one molded by his recent experiences with Burger, operating from an encouraging, improvisational, if-it-works-it-works ethos, Harlow says it “…makes perfect sense to be putting this album out right now.”

Right now, this intrinsically open album that sounds seemingly to lift from everywhere, coming out now, during this time of a Internet-Music-world’s jolting kaleidoscopic wring, where the answer of how the music biz works or how to make it seems ever more futile or unsolvable…

“Think of the absurdity of just being a human being,” Harlow astonishingly scoffs. “The absurdity of being a light-being, in space, is so crazy that whatever we think we ought to be doing…we probably should just stop thinking and just do it.”

Unsolvable? Need a solution? Need a rhyme or reason or whatever to write a song and put it out? The only answer is a response. The only answer is action.

Just make music.

Now, the Go, said Harlow, starting up in the mid-late 90’s, the days known loosely as “post-grunge,” instilled them with a bit of a rebellious urge to kick back against all these brands, all these dressed-up delusions on the radio, to clear out white-noise confusion and reach back to more of a roots-rock style, dashed with a bit of obnoxious, unhinged punk leanings and hewn with a subdued screw-you-if-you-don’t-dig-this lo-fi fuzz.

“That was a feeling of: ‘We’re doing something that doesn’t give a shit against any of this…”

Scruffy fidelity and roots-reaching swagger aside, the band has consistently tried (again, without trying too hard) not to concern itself with how it sounded or what they sounded like. “It was good enough for us, so why wouldn’t it be good enough for everyone else? It sounded good. It was about sounding-good and about the atmosphere.”

And maybe that didn’t fit so well back then… (Particularly in the early 00’s, when the Garage Explosion extinguished discouragingly swiftly and the band would go on to have two of their records rejected or scrapped-into-muddled-Frankenstines, navigating zealous label-heads and dubious publicists). 

But still, that sense of everything-goes seems the norm, now.

“I love what’s going on out there,” Harlow subtly gestures a hand upward, implying the stupefying grandness of new-music’s-frontiers. “I feel like it really doesn’t matter as much what the quality of your recordings are…” (And we can name-drop a bit here, Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees, Ariel Pink, or Metz…or King Tuff or Iceage…)

“…as long as there’s good vibes on there. Which, is exciting and fun.”

Because who knows now? And what’s the difference, anyway? If Paul McCartney puts out an album, what’s the difference? What does that really mean to you, in your own world?

“If it sounds good to you, who knows, then, put it out.”

So you can try to say that Fiesta sounds like something… “You can,” Harlow nods, “you can try. We wear our influences on our sleeve. But for the first time, on this record, for both (Krautner) and I, we were ourselves. Our voices, the identities, were firmly in place. On (2007’s) Howl On The Haunted Beat You Ride, I felt singing as though I had something in my head, a style to suit a song, like an actor.”

Fiesta then, is less a revue of recognizable rock styles and more of a ricochet. A true blender.

“These are definitely our own voices. This record was entirely different from anything we’ve done.”

The group would get in a room and record, free of intent and relying upon instinct. Get the takes done and then pick a random tape. A random tape from a random day, a random session of their 32 experiments and only then determine how to approach. This meant, A.) that they were actually surprised to hear back what they’d pieced together, and B.) they’d then be refreshingly challenged to properly and purely complete the song, bring it to life.

“We’d get an idea…and then we’d commit to it.”

Talk about “roots.” They sang all the harmonies together into one mic, working with only four tracks and using pitch-pipes to tune their instruments. Guest musicians came in to flesh it out. Joey Mazzolla, another iconic Detroit rocker, added guitars with Justin Walker, himself more of the new-school of indie-psyche mutations. Then, the adaptable brass journeyman Rod Jones, brought in a funk-flaring saxophone.

“If I did anything, I would just encourage,” Harlow said of his producing-role. “There was no second-guessing anybody. We played whatever we wanted to play and we did that until we had 32 songs…Just being able to let-go… that was the exercise.”

“This album sounds…”

There’s this pregnant pause and it seems to last at least a minute even though I know it’s only nine seconds. But inside that pause I hear a roar of drums, a wail of guitars, a blinding whirl of bass – it is the sound of a wavy wobbly question mark.

“…I don’t know,” he says.

Better that way, right? To not be so conscious of it, of one’s sound? It goes back to over-thinking all this music nonsense. That can be unnerving. Just make music.

This one sounds like: I-don’t-know…

Let it be, then.

What Harlow does know, when it comes to Fiesta: “This one’s exciting.”

“The other ones were unnerving,” Harlow admits. And, by comparison to Fiesta, the other ones were contrived. “And when you do that, you know what you’re listening to. I know what I’m listening to…”

Just like everyone could always try to say that The Go sounded like such-and-such.

What it came down to, what it’s always been about in anarchic Internet Music world, was “Freedom.”

“Freedom,” Harlow breaths a hallowed sigh. “Everybody’s got their influences and their heroes. I’ve hero-worshipped rock stars since I was a kid.” He counts off:  Prince, Michael Jackson, Joe Strummer, Captain Beefheart. Such personalities. “Everybody’s got their heroes, but I think the harder you work at it and the more that you do, the more life experience you accumulate…”

“But, then, also having a conscious realization that you need to be doing something abstract, that it’s somehow gotta be abstract or that it’s gotta be the unconscious mind, uncensored emotions, conjured into music. And into writing and into whatever. And then, at that point, maybe there’s transformation.”

Intuition. Instinct. Unconscious creation. Transformation. Freeness…Freedom. Fiesta.

“…This one’s exciting.” 


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Friday, December 7, 2012

12 for 12: Dozen faves from 2012

I'm Tom Matich and here are some of my favorite albums/songs I liked this year.
For a Spotify playlist: Click here

Schoolboy Q  
Habits & Contradictions

If you like Kendrick Lamar, check out Schoolboy Q. Guest spots from Lamar plus A.S.A.P. Rocky. Killer beats. Sort of a Too $hort meets Eazy E vibe. Gangster pimp trick all the way. 

Information Retrieved

First new album from Rob Crow and Zach Smith since 2007. Beautifully composed, perhaps their most harmonic and focused offering yet.

Bombay Bicycyle Club  
A Different Kind of Fix

Mellow indie pop from across the pond. A pleasant surprise discovery I owe to Anne Delisi.

Kanye West featuring Big Sean, Pusha T & 2Chainz

For pretending like your economic sedan is an exotic Italian sports car this past summer.

Cat Power

Bitch on the edge. Or the bitch is back. Either way, stellar. Meow.

Matthew Dear

At times, this reminds me of Violator era Depeche Mode or the Detroit Techno Fest.
 "Temptation" is a masterpiece.

Twin Shadow
 "Five Seconds"

Cinematic soundtrack to hipster summer love or heartache.

George Michael
"Freedom! '90"

This song is not from 2012. But, it's brilliant and I was hooked on it this year. George Michael's voice is so versatile, the lyrics are completely open-ended. It's epic. Plus, you can dance to it.

Hot Chip
In Our Heads

Another solid album from Hot Chip, more straightforward and back to their roots, with emphasis on
songwriting meant to reach the masses (i.e. "Don't Deny your Heart").

Rufus Wainwright
"Out of the Game"

The best song Rufus has ever done. Thank you, Mark Ronson for maximizing this guy's potential. This song should've made Rufus as popular as Elton John was in the '70's. Alas.

 Bear In Heaven
 I Love You, It's Cool

My favorite fuzzy synthesizers and guitars record. Romantic sorta.

 Kendrick Lamar featuring Dr. Dre
"The Recipe"

The 2012 version of "California Love," I guess. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

"You can't get out of this mess so easy." A new Pinback track tells a tale

 Artwork from Pinback's new album

Story by Thomas Matich.

There is a mysterious fable here... not everything is at it appears..

It's usually a single song that gets you into a band. You hear it on the radio or one of your friends is playing it in the background.

The first song I heard from Pinback was "Fortress," the college radio hit from their 2004 album Summer in Abaddon. I was a freshman when I first heard that song in 2005 on an AOL Music Streaming service application I was randomly listening to, and the next week I played it during my radio hour back when I was a jockey at the school's station.

"Fortress" is the exemplary Pinback track, revolving around a hypnotic math-rock riff, Rob Crow's cozy blanket of vague vocals and a sprinkle of Beatles jerkiness. Since their self-titled debut in 1999, the duo of Crow and Zach Smith have casually released five albums that continue to expand upon their own unique, original sound. Each new album that appears every so often is refreshing, as Pinback isn't like any other band before or after their existence.  Puzzling lyrical harmonies mesh with calculated guitars and synthesized transmissions: I'm not sure anyone else could emulate Pinback's style...

Released this October, Information Retrieved, is the band's first new album in 5 years, and again, it contains another stand-out song that resonates...

"Denslow, You Idiot!" is a fiery track that appears towards the end of the record. A zippy, revolving riff is the backbone to a mysterious tale that sprints to a explosive hook:

"You can't get out of this mess so easy
You can't just draw anything and leave me
We won't go through every page apathetically
Denslow, you could never act more guilty."

When I interviewed Crow back in 2007 when the band was touring the Autumn of the Seraphs album, I did talk with him about the mysterious nature of his lyrics, to which he replied:

“Sometimes I’ll try to make it sound like I’m saying something I’m not really saying. I like the idea of giving two meanings to different things. Like, it's what you think it is and that’s what I sorta mean it is, in that sense."

It's in our nature to personalize songs, to assign a photographic memory to moments of our lives that are associated with a certain soundtrack. For me, "Denslow, You Idiot!" is my theme for this year, in which I've picked up the pieces after exiting a long-term relationship and am left to figure my life out in the twilight of my twenties: "You can't get out of this mess so easy," indeed... I have to confront it.
The song is potently hilarious and poignant, with a couple roaring choruses buttressed by head-spinning strings.

"Revising these texts is a brazen sin
This infraction just will not keep
You swallowed your own opium
While we lull our children to sleep"
The poetics are draped in cryptic messages. Crow could be singing about anything. At first I thought it had something to do with a relationship, but closer listening made me think maybe it was about the Wall Street crooks during the Financial Crisis. And who was this Denslow, anyway?

After consulting Google, my theory is Crow is singing about William Wallace Denslow, an American illustrator best known for working with L. Frank Baum on The Wizard of Oz.

"Arrogance flows from each page you're in
Detached and disposed were your thing
So you bought your own island
Built a castle and crowned yourself King"

According to Wikipedia, it appears that Baum and Denslow did have a financial dispute that ended their working relationship. Denslow amassed a fortune from keeping some copyrights and did actually purchase an island in Bermuda and anoint himself King Denslow I. 

Kinda like I've felt lately, Denslow moved on, and far away, that thing is for sure. To another world even.


Pinback plays The Bling Pig in Ann Arbor this Tuesday, November 20 in support of their terrific new album, Information Retrieved. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Why I Write About Music

“BLOOOOZE ex-SPLO-zhun!!!....Man of my nature always got the trip!

Jon Spencer… This guy, not even 6 ft tall, and what, he must be 50 by now, lightning in leather, this sleek slithery freaked-up sanctity... speckled with sweat, seems to see more than I can see; his mad, dark eyes piercing out towards far off quaking mountains back, way beyond the crowd, his head craning up at emerald sky-swirls far above our heads, beyond our sight yet, his heart-thumping with the kick-drum, he takes his left hand from the neck of his guitar and claws it out at us as he exerts:

"Don't got to wait till Halloween to scream and wail...”

And back into it. Wail. The music, it’s giving him visions. I’m seeing it too.

And he churns along again, down, around, and speared out forwards at the stage’s edge, with his guitar, he himself as much an instrument as much as the wood-strung scepter he wields; his cohorts, his brothers, his mutually entranced assemblers of this raucous reverie, this chaotic-chop up…align with him in a perfect tumble-ballet. Wail.

He lifts his right hand, the pick scrunched into his fist as he spits into the mic:

“I need something weird – I need something strange
Cuz I’m a mean bag o’ bones, don’t got to explain…”

Don’t got to explain…


I’m writing this blog post having just attended a concert by the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. It’s the weekend, it’s autumn, I’m in Detroit and I’m scooping out stringy-seed-guts from the Jack-o-lantern base of my skull in hopes to cook up some ruminative results to serve cockamamie theories, overly-brainy, highfalutin hypotheses as to why we…or least I …(still) write about music.

It’s disenchanting and disorienting and enthusing all at once to take stock of Music…in it’s hyper-democratic / instant-post state.

It’s creation, it’s creators, it’s listeners and its emission, its impact, its evocations… it’s use

I finally (finally) got around to reading Rip It Up and Start Again, a book on the post-punk movement from 78 – 84. Bands documented in this book embodied phoenixes from the initial wildfires of seminal punk; the pure, raw forms from the initial incarnations of the Clash, or the un-caged snarls of the provocative Pistols were soberly assessed as lacking… “Radical content…” was not merely enough…it demanded “radical form.”

Thus, post-punk band’s expansion, a blooming, opening up to disparate influences and the potentials that could be mined from other genres and the enticing experiment, then, of blending them together, bending them in new ways, and breaking whatever traditions that proved not fibrous enough to withstand this refreshing/constructive scrutiny…

New forms…A blend of forms… Radical forms.

It’s part of what Jon Spencer Blues Explosion pioneered and it’s why I found it so endearing, like some kind of 19th Nervous Eureka…to see my brother, a less-plugged-in-chap, only a moderate investor in this music crap and not entirely attuned to its potential for cultural fertilization…to see him, my brother, with his jaw on the floor and his eyes peeled back and his head shaking with disbelief…

…at this demonstration. Blues…but punk? Yes. Blues and punk. Blues and punk and some felicitously pissed-off honky-tonk shuffle. And funk. A weird, scuffed up funk thing. An explosion.

Blues Explosion.

Not that Spencer had anything to do with the post-punk movement. It’s just that I could re-experience the revelation through my brother’s own “first-time,” since he’d never seen this band no matter how long they’ve been playing or how long they’ve been touring, I could sense that he got it… The relevance of JSBX was its valiant/defiant scatter-sandwich-slam of styles and the dynamism therein displayed when such edgy eclecticism is installed into brains and bodies of players who believe in the impact, the use …of music.

It’s use to motivate. To inspire…

…but what though? Inspire-what?

That was the question that began author Simon Reynolds book, Rip It Up, that the face-planting fizzle of punk came about when the system-upsetters realized they couldn’t build much upon their initial inherently anarchic planks…or worse, they didn’t have the motivation to build anything back after their first “explosion.”

But I write about music because I can’t help seeing it as a story – a galactic-sized opera – where bands and songs and even noises are personified into characters with back-stories and complex, eruptive traits, ebbing, flowing, conversing, arguing, evolving, disputing, harmonizing…

What resonated most with me (and Rip It Up) was Reynold’s tacit question of: what’s it all lead-up to…what can all this music, all this action, all this progressive blending and bending and re-inventing…create …beyond ephemeral ecstasy.

How does the story end? Or, at least, when will a “next chapter” feel truly next, or new?

When can mere marvel turns to motivation…What do we want from music? I don’t know if I’m saying I want it to bring us peace or I want it to be able to build a community and to be the backbone of our social harmony, because then it just winds up feeling religious in a way and that leads to dogmatic zeal and then people start arguing again, judging, doubting.

I just know that I want more than just a cascade of blogs blurbing the latest single from a band that was stumbled upon through thrill-less chance by some surfer-snark-file-sharer spoiled by a sea supremely swamped with bandcamp-buoys.

When music criticism died –we lost qualification. You should like this because –muddled into a certain condescension like: Oh,…you haven’t heard of so-and-so’s yet?

And then Facebook gave us, us-all-too-trigger-happy-smart-phone grippers, the hollowly-exclamatory “Like” button and all went out the window.

But reading Rip, and seeing JSBX and the baffled grin on my brother’s face reminded me why I started writing about music in the first place.

It’s drama. It’s potential to inspire and to teach us… But maybe that’s reaching… Over-glorification.

We just knew that it felt good to be plugged into the dynamism together, to freak out and lose our shit…together, last night, at the edge of that stage. That MUSIC can do that to us humans.

And that brings me to the question, then, that Rip asks, that post-punk asked, that we all should be continually asking: That music can do this or that …to us, as listeners and players… What else, then, can it do?

What more can it do?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Before Us, Not Behind Us

Dear Whoever
You know who you are...
I told myself I'd write this a month ago. Pardon my tardiness. It's only happening just now.

What scrolls beneath this post is nothing more than a somewhat deluded, often enthusiastic, hot-brained, smart-mouthed, jitter-typed diary written in an attempt to be musical and just-barely-moving, if, possibly, profound.

It's one pair of ears, one healthy pink brain, one pair of eyes and poorly cushioned feet, feeling and hearing its way through what is (and what continues to be) the Detroit music scene. Or, at least, a few chunks of it.

This is the week celebrating America's Independence Day and there's no shortage of hyperbolic hallelujah and haranguing; there's lots of corporate money being spent on studio produced programming streaming on my store-bought television that's readymade to evoke feelings of anger or self-righteousness. That the Founding Fathers sweated it out in weather just a few degrees lower than our own carbon-cooked modern Earth, snug in pantaloons and waistcoats, no less, and unprivileged to electric air-conditioners, penning out the feasibility the boldest of acts: not just revolution, but the declaration of a right to establish our own government, is certainly commendable.

But, that has nothing to do with Detroit music (see: below). Still, though, its enough to get me wistful. Same for you? No? It's that same old slap up side the head asking what have we done? We don't even work on farms. We live by the (face)book and we lily-pad leap from one "event" to the next because it makes the drudgery of our "day-jobs" more tolerable. 

What we have done is establish a scene. We're strange allies, cordial and collaborative if still only barely acquainted. but the thing, the peaty patch of stages blooming amps and grounding feet-stomping singers and jumping shredders, has grown into a field, a forest, more life has sprouted, more water's streamed and the passion for local music is a healthy dark green of go-n-get-em-ness, yes yes yes this is the bees knees and I can't believe it's happening right here, right now, right in this weedy backyard.

It wasn't like this five years ago only in the sense that everyone wasn't technologically-blessed into a heightened cognizance of the scene. Networking happens fast, bands happen faster. New songs up from one band as another calls it a day. You feel it all. Whatever pops up becomes a headline-in-form-of-status-update. Sticky notes on the back of your brain so you can chat/query about it later at the bar, when you see the next new band, you ask about the last old band.

We do have this scene though, is what I'm saying. We have something. In some small, yes-deluded way, we are, or at least can be, united.

So it shouldn't be the old and what have we done, in this month's inevitable comparison of modern leaders to the lionized legendary diplomats and musket-gripped farmers of two and a half centuries prior (though it does beg the question of what our Founders would have to say about sleepwalking our way into a anxiety-wracking, corruption-culling scenario where our Banks are "too systemically important" to fail, but, again, that doesn't have to deal with Detroit music)...

No, this blog post trials off with a question, not some cliched refrain^.

What's the next step?

Scholars and writers and various whoever's always say that any Golden Age thrives in the youth of a community. The trick has been staying connected into a scene's idiosyncratic surges long enough to utilize the full potential of it's inspirational-radiation while rising above the demons of disillusionment often symptomatic to competitiveness, or jealousy.

Why are we doing this, ...writing songs and playing them to/for each other, over anything else...  

I hate ending on a question. But that leaves the possibility of this not being "the end..." -the last blog post. I'll come back on whenever-a-day for the answer.

In the meantime, it's somewhat fitting that I trail off into the image below - as it props a show that features four bands I've been writing about sporadically -for-as-long-as I've been writing this blog. Their progression is documented in dots throughout the streaming diary below... 

The Golden Age is before us, not behind us... 
-William Shakespeare

Friday, June 29, 2012

Go Back Where I Started From... (Blonde Album)

You know where I've been......where I was, where I am, where I'm going...

Soon enough, this album will be out and you'll be able to hear the nervy piano punches and dazzling double-track vocals harmonizing a haaaaaa-AHHH's over stutter-step percussion and teased along by wistful wispy vocals swaying through a sad/sweet melody.

The song's called "Just Friends" by a band called Lightning Love and it's on an album titled The Blonde Album and it won't be out for a just a little while, yet, (due August 28th)...

But if we've waited this long (3 ½ years since their last full-length, November Birthday), let's let the summer burn itself out and thus treat ourselves with a few final shots of sunshine from this Ypsi-trio, with their syrupy punches to the gut and hearts worn self-consciously on frayed sleeves.

Said-song above^ likely won't be a single, but you can stream this, in the meantime:Listen: Lightning Love - "Deadbeat"

photo: Chip Adams
In a time when I'm wondering just why the hell I still write on this blog, this album comes along and reignites something. It's simple, it strikes right to the core, the Id's guttural bite or soothed acclamation; this, this... is what your narrator was feeling, right then and there at the moment the word was written down onto a page that sat crumpled at the tip of a piano. No esoteric allegories or cliched poetical dressing-up, this is how it's seen, put to breezy, sashaying melodies and charged forth by strutting, slinky-slammed percussion. Guitar meets piano meets wispy, longing lullaby vocals. In- -out, two minutes, maybe three... the album stops, the melodies stay...and stay... Simple. Struck. 

There's no pedal-steel or theremin, no screaming, no feedback (well, not that much feedback). It's the personal pop album that the trio have been working towards, steadily...oh so steadily, for three-ish years now. It's not that it's nostalgic, so to speak. Not nostalgic on some -oh it's a throw-back to good old twee-pop-level or nostalgic on some -hey-look, weird man, weird, I wrote about this band four years ago on this same blog- but still, nostalgic in a way...
...that this music, ebullient pop music, with its inevitable sparks, makes one feel young again. Even if you aren't yet 30, the swirly-slide up-and-at-em-ness of these melodies takes you back...somewhere. 

Lightning Love - the Blonde Album - Aug 28 - Quite Scientific 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Where Was I Going With This...

Bright pastel letters in a bubbly font denoted the brand of soda that would fizz the first sentence of my obituary.

Oh, that my life should flash before my eyes at the gaping mouth grill of a behemoth semi-truck, story-and-a-half-high, engine like the voracious growling stomach of six satanic dogs, a doom tank and in a hurry…

I had the Walk symbol, but was frozen. The gears shifted, groaning like axed titanium timber as this boxy war slug lurched to turn right, the two of us meeting on oil-splattered blacktop.

America, you do not need this much Faygo.

A B-29 on wheels is turning on red, discontent to wait, it’s speeding forth for you, fire at its ass, through the crosswalk, clear traffic in the early morning, pre-rush-hour; it must sate the thirst for dyed liquid sugar.

I’m going to be run over by a beautiful (effectively-big) representation of where this country’s priorities are at – I’ll be flattened onto the avenue, right in with that sun-baked oil stain.

I wake up every morning and the screen keeps shuffling more headlines. If we feel angry-enough, singing along to the words of the pundits and the bloggers with our appropriately affixed scowls, furrowed brows and knowing tisks, scoffs and curdled exertions of disgust, then some strange chemical in our brain glows a soothing emerald green and spills all around our cerebellum, cooing us into feeling like our pissed-off-ness demonstrates our conviction.

But the headlines will keep scrolling and one side will keep pointing towards the other and the other right back in turn; if the world’s really going down (as water levels rise), if an apathetic majority’s acquiescence is climbing at the same rate of a devious minority’s reach of clamping control, if we’re all so much in a hurry…that we can’t be bothered with…all that weight…

Then the best I feel I can do, right now, is write…

...and aspire beyond the re-tweet...

more soon then

Monday, June 25, 2012

Phantasmagoria boggle Illy Mack

or vice-versa

photos: Raymon Grubb
Illy Mack and Phantasmagoria play board games

Steve swivels around suddenly in his computer chair to face Phantasmagoria and tells them that if he and Jen both died tomorrow …then Illy Mack’s new album could be released. 

They’re really the only ones’ holding it back at this point. And Jen’s losing patience, she just wants to get out and play live; sing live.

All four members of both bands are in Steve (Kendzorski)’s living room in Ferndale, talking about their new stuff around a coffee table cluttered with retro board games. Yahtzee, Boggle, Trouble, Sorry!

Jen David says the Illy Mack album is almost 75% done, but her bandmate, Kendzorski, says, well, its probably about only-maybe 70%
...and Chris Jarvis (of Phantasmagoria) says he feels like their progress-percentages seem to go down a peg or two every time he revisits their rehearsal space (i.e., the game-room, the mic-booth, the mixing board, it’s all here…)

The Living Room

As Illy Mack rap things up, Jarvis, along with his bandmate, Lianna Vanicelli, as Phantasmagoria, are done with their second full length album, Currents. Done-done. No more percentages, it comes out next week on Five Three Dial Tone. 

Kendzorski says that with Illy Mack's forthcoming album: the songs-themselves are done. (Last count surpassed 20 of them). Yes, all Illy's songs are “down,” recorded. But now comes the editing process: mixing, re-working, adding, re-adding, layering, overdubbing, scrapping…physical and verbal-scrapping between the two of them...

David, the guitarist/singing-half to Kenzorski’s bass/drum-half, worries that her bandmate is going to drive himself crazy with his ardent recording methods and exhaustive dissections. 

“Probably already has…” Jarvis shrugs. 

This musical-meet-up occurs on the last day of March 2011, as the clock ticked over at midnight and April's first early morning began, both groups were still abuzz from their recent Blowout sets, having shared a bill at the New Dodge wherein they covered each others songs.

This pair of musical duos stirred up notable buzz in Detroit’s music scene throughout last year (or two):

-Phantasmagoria compose computer-based ambient dance-pop,
-Illy Mack kick out a minimalist, blues-scuffed soul-rock.
----Both have new albums coming out this summer (one sooner than the other,) and it’s not the first “release” for either band.

Still, both consider these forthcoming works to be, on some level, their “actual first album,” as Vanicelli puts it.

Each band feels this will be like the actual first impression.


Each did make considerable first impressions through their live shows (Illy Mack debuted in 2010 and Phantasmagoria broke out in spring of 2011). There’s something intangibly alluring about boy-girl musical-pairs – with Phantasmagoria they strike something more mysterious, airier, while Illy Mack flared a more gregarious, even uproarious aura.

Each pairing similarly employs eclectic instrumentation, form saxophone to cabesa shakers to maracas and bongos... One might employ synthesizers, vocoders and laptops while the other’s got guitars, cinder-blocked bass drum and tuneful whistling. 

Phantasmagoria feed your head with layered, tripped-out dream-pop sensibilities while Illy Mack punches your gut with disarmingly heartfelt lo-fi blends of R&B and rock.

The young quartet (their ages add up to about 101, all together) are not just two sides of a coin musically, but personally: the boisterous David and “Kendzo” verbally leapfrog each other in serving oneupping snipes, sporadically knocking that taboo ceramic vase of etiquette and tact to the floor in their charming way of holding nothing back, while Jarvis and Vanicelli’s cooler, calmer diffidence is only augmented when they then compete against their louder counterparts in a bemusing game of Boggle.

Phantasmagoria is, beyond just being in a band together, an actual couple, whereas Illy Mack is not, -even if bittersweet bantering mimics that of an old married couple.

On the surface, they seem diverged to distant poles – analog to digital, madcap to meticulous, acoustical to synthetic, blues-based to techno-based. And yet, a tiny epiphany struck during their well-received bill shared at last March's Metro Times' Blowout, swapping respective cover songs:
...they found common-ground.

It’s in “the feel” of the song…


Jarvis talks about Phantasmagoria’s song-crafting process:

--Inherent to “making electronic music,” he starts  by creating a loop on the computer and then builds upon it, adding different elements atop: primarily melodies and from there, the program (Ableton Live) will always remember your song’s characteristics, key-changes, crescendos.

Whereas, for David, playing her parts back live on her guitar, in a studio or in Steve's living room requires “making yourself play it perfectly…”

“Not even 'play it perfectly',” Kendzo cuts in, “but ' it with the feel you want.' It’s not about being perfect but about emoting it the right way.”

Then it can be about going on instinct, David considers. “Pretty much none of my guitar solos are written,” she says, “its just noise that I make live.”

Kendzo scoffs dramatically and Jarvis coolly smiles, pondering aloud, “…is that line gonna go in the article?”

“Who the fuck are you?” Kendzo’s exclamation avalanches into a laugh, there's such guttural emphases slalomed upon "fuck" and "are" in that sentence. He's taken offense at how rock-star-ish of a quote it was...

After the quibbling quiets Kendzo comes back to recording-music-talk and he elaborates:
“Its just, us, when we’re live, you can feel the sweat hitting your face, sweat-from-Jen’s face-from-the-stage-hitting you …and that makes a big difference when you go to record.”

“Steve’s trying to ‘hone-in’ on something,” David pokes at his zealousness, an eyebrow cocked as she finger-quotes. “I’m trying to figure out just what it is, too.”

Interestingly, though, Jarvis says he makes some of his drums off-time on purpose. Kendzo, who works as a music teacher by day at the Schoolof Rock and Pop in Royal Oak, heard that curious intricacy right away when he listened back to a song from Jarvis’ laptop: “Yeah, that last song, 12 measures before the end, there’s a timbale just lilting behind.” He pinches his index and thumb, "...just off."

Jarvis has no idea why he slips those subtle marks emulating human error into his digital composition program but enjoys “the weird rhythm that it adds…”

“It’s not on-on, mechanically,” Kendzo says, “but…it feels good…because it’s not that off.”

Seated at his own computer, a desktop with imposing monitors that throb out bass-bulged, drum-heavy demos, Kendzo’s glasses don’t hide the bags under his eyes, admitting that when he gets locked into certain projects, particularly mixing an album, he tends to focus on nothing else. “We didn’t want to just document what we sound like live,” Kendzo said, “we wanted these songs to stand. But, there’s a lot of improvised moments that happen in an Illy Mack-set that need to be telegraphed when we put them onto an album. That’s the struggle, to keep things organic-sounding.”

The struggle might also be keeping it simple. “The Illy Mack drum set up is two drums, right?” Kendzo leads in, “in a way it’s simple. But, I miked the drums with 16 microphones.”

Vanicelli bursts in disbelieving chuckles while Jarvis prods “Were you reading the Kurt Cobain journals when you did this? That’s absurd…”

And David shrugs as though her point’s proven, “Steve’s insane.”

Kendzo says “If I’m gonna track 20 songs of drums right now, I don’t want every fucking song on this album to have the same drum set, or to sound like the same drums. I’m way over miked but I can pick and choose the best mics for each recording.” And, yes, currently, the Illy Mack album packs 20 potential tracks, though that will likely be pared down.

“We spent a lot more time perfecting minor details, “says Vanicelli of their album, Currents, “tweaking the order of the songs and the vibes they produced. I was constantly learning things about recording vocals and improving them.” Vanicelli, whose striking voice, soft and silvery, was so distinctive to Phantasmagoria’s bewitching, earthy-electro sound, said that she’d almost always gone with her “first take” before this record, deciding this time to endure “an annoying amount” of takes to achieve perfection.

That’s really what’s taken Phantasmagoria thirteen months, (and Illy Mack, for that matter, about just as long), to make these albums, both wanting, as Jarvis puts it, “to make the absolute best and truest album…”

Inevitably there’s a mix of pride in the new production, tailed by a weary anxiety to just get onto the next thing, already. “Personally,” David says, “this process makes me want to go back to my 4-track and never look at a protools-session again. Every time I record, I feel like I hate everything, but every time I play a show I remember how much I love music, and love Steve.” (Illy Mack) works because we belong on a stage together.”

David’s voice is just as formidable as Vanicelli’s, but deeper, more a ballady belt than a staticy lullaby; David’s got a subtly sweet, but smokier rasp. She says that over-thinking any song’s aspect needlessly builds obstacles for its fruition. Similarly for Jarvis and Vanicelli, they admit that their songs work best when they’re formed out of randomness. (They reiterate, as they had months ago, that their first album wasn’t even intended to be an album. It just sorta happened.).

So both bands, despite whatever divergences, particularly in sound (“We get billed together a lot,” Steve admits, “but we are SO different,”), they’ve got this common ground – going on feeling.

But they’re also representative of that the new millennials’ school of musical thinking – where genres blur – they’re open to trying almost anything, defying convention or built-in stigmas. 

All four are open, particularly, to cover songs. Illy Mack took on the Beatles, Stevie Wonder and even Eminem, while Phantasmagoria embodied Radiohead, Neutral Milk Hotel and, yes, Neil Young.

Then, at Blowout 2012, they covered each other. “People like to hear familiar songs from a band that sounds nothing like the original,” Vanicelli posits. “Plus, I love taking on another vocalist that I admire, it puts me inside of their head.”

Jarvis and Kendzo bond over rhythmic structuring – the same way Vanicelli and David can talk about vocals – only the dudes dork out way too deeply into the technicalities and their idiosyncratic thought processes, as they admit to the fun of “getting inside each other’s heads…”

Beyond that, Jarvis said it was just so weird hearing someone cover their song. 

Kendzo said it was like watching fireworks go off when you’re a kid. His enthusiasm swells into his finally revealing that he wants, someday soon, to make an App on his new iPhone for their bands: 

...the PhantasMack-App – something still amorphous that would ideally provide band updates, tour dates, stream songs, but he eventually expands it into applying it, potentially, to the entire indie-rock/electronica music scene in the city. Why not?

“Stop,” David says, “…not into it!”

“Fuck you, it’d be really fucking sweet,” Kendzo prods.

Phantasmagoria recently released a split 7” with Coyote Clean Up (both bands covering Nirvana songs). They'll release their album, Currents, with a concert on the kick-off night (Friday July 13) of the Pig & Whiskey Festival (at the Loving Touch in Ferndale) featuring Shigeto and Charles Trees

Illy Mack, meanwhile are finishing up their album and are also performing at the Pig & Whiskey -on Sunday - July 15 - along with The Electric Six, The Hard Lessons, Child Bite, K.I.D.S. and Dragon Wagon.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Jamaican Queens' Adam Pressley: Chattin' With Milo

It lives...
This ol' blog's back for a week or two.

So then - Jamaican Queens are a new OddPop trio featuring former members of Prussia and Rescue. They've got three shows under their each of their three belts (should they be wearing any) and can be seen, next, on June 30th, outside the Woodbridge Pub for the Merrick N' Trumbull Fest. 

JQ co-founder/guitarist/bassist/singer -Adam Pressley - chatted with me...two weeks back...

Adam Pressley:  -Hey homey
I am here for a while, ask away!

Jeff Milo:  -Oh, man!...where to start? How did this band get started -and- when!? How tied to the "end" of Prussia is it? How would you describe it's birth?

Adam Pressley:  -Ryan (Spencer) and I started (Jamaican Queens) about 3 or 4 months before Prussia broke up. At the time, we could tell the end was coming soon, and we were already getting excited about the prospect of being a 2-man musical-collaboration rather than a full band like Prussia.
The smaller the collaborative group, the smoother things go; in a creative sense and decision-making sense as well. So that was really attractive...
That didn't really answer your first question...

Jeff Milo:  -Not really, but no worries. So you and Ryan had this cooking, sorta, on the side, before putting an end to Prussia...

Adam Pressley: -You could say we actually "got started" when I first moved to Detroit and then I showed Ryan some of my rap beats and he bragged, "I wanna write to this; I can write to anything."
Heheh...and then we made Prussia Goes to the Disco (a limited "summer" mix-tape release out from August 2010)...with those same initial beats.

photo: Karpovthewreckedtrain

Jeff Milo:  -Beyond the smaller-collaborative-appeal, something seems to have clicked particularly between you and Ryan; in fact, Ryan Clancey (JQ drummer) described it as two halves of a music brain firing together. Did you guys click in anyway before, back when your two bands (Prussia and Ohtis) played together? What makes that work for you two?

Adam Pressley:  -I think Clancy is right in that we are opposites in a lot of ways, which probably makes us good collaborating partners. I feel like we both are big fans of what the other is doing, because I would never come up with the creative ideas Ryan does and vice-versa.
We never collaborated musically when I was in Ohtis, just with show swapping. Me hooking up Prussia shows in central Illinois and Ryan hooking up Ohtis shows in Detroit.

Jeff Milo:  -So this was born from your beat production and Ryan's lyrics...then the disco mixtape; so, what has Jamaican Queens become, song-wise/sound-wise? How would you describe...

Adam Pressley: -The biggest difference for me is that we honestly didn't plan on releasing the mixtape songs until the very end of creating it, whereas we went into the Jamaican Queens' songs knowing we were making music that would be released. It's a lot different creating music when you know people are going to hear it.

Jeff Milo: -That's a different writing experience then, because you risk over-thinking...

Adam Pressley: -Yeah totally, that can happen. But a writer needs to be able to take that into consideration when they write. There were definitely songs where we went through a few different "versions" and ended up deciding to keep the stripped-down version. Sonically, we found a more cohesive sound. It's still very electronic like the mixtape was, but I feel like it's more original.
Also, with the mixtape a negative thing that can come from the careless approach is that some of our ideas were half-baked and performances were poor.
The whole thing could've been professionally mixed to sound way better even to the ears of people who might dig the slacker element to that release.

 Jeff Milo: -What happened with Prussia, in the end? And, was being able to stretch your legs into different territory (like JQ) something you two needed? Was there a specific moment or song-you-worked on that you'd consider a formative moment for you two? where it came down to: okay, yes, we can do another band together - let's do this

Adam Pressley: - Prussia came to a close because every member except for Ryan and I was not able to continue making a sacrifice in their lifestyle to pursue music. There wasn't a specific moment or song where Ryan and I realized we were able to successfully create music together; I feel like we had learned that just from playing together in Prussia.

Jeff Milo: - Well, I meant something different as in JQ, maybe it wasn't so much of a turning-down-a-new-road as I presumed it to be

Adam Pressley: -Ohh. No, we just started doing it when we saw Prussia coming to an end.

Jeff Milo: -Turning down onto a new road when you see the one you're on's runnin out. Right. Does it, at all, though, distinguish itself in how you approach it - writer-wise, music-wise, production-wise?

Adam Pressley: -I remember texting Ryan whenPrussia felt like an impossible thing for numerous reasons and telling him: ""If it ever comes down to it, you and I can pump out albums as fast and high-quality as Sean Nicholas Savage, but with a work ethic to boot."" ...Sorry, I don't understand that last question

Jeff Milo: -...prodding at what it's like approaching a more electronic-based music as opposed to guitar-bass-drum - or if you've wound up tapping into more of your hip hop side for this and to how much of an extent?

Adam Pressley: -Hey, don't use that last thing I said about Sean Nicholas Savage for anything please. haha. it sounds like a diss. Oh-kay: Wellll...I couldn't even tell you how Prussia worked on music, honestly.  I got to hear the demos for Poor English and e-mail a few ideas from Illinois but they were ready to go into the studio when I showed up to join the band.
But the way Jamaican Queens approaches music is similar to my older band, Ohtis, in that: we craft the songs at home. Demos become sessions become masters.
And then we figure out how to play those recordings live (which has involved learning a lot of new live equipment for Jamaican Queens, which I'm stoked about!)

photo: Lo-fi Bri

Jeff Milo: -So, how would you describe these songs or the sound you've developed? something spacey? danceable? gnarly? punk? groovy?

Adam Pressley: -As far as the electronic and hip hop elements that are present in Jamaican Queens, but weren't present in Prussia or Ohtis...I've always made electronic music since I began playing guitar...and Ryan's always dug rap as far as I can tell.
I would describe it as
abrasive chamber hip hop
I would say bands that we ended up being similar to are:
Beta Band, Gorillaz...
Flaming Lips...
...but saying that makes us sound laaaame

Jeff Milo: -You guys producing this stuff in-house? How've you been recording and what's your live set up / live approach like? And, yeah, that whole: describe-how-you-sound question can be vague and exasperating, but its more just to put a taste in my and readers' brains...

Adam Pressley: -Yeah we recorded it all at my house and in Ryan's apartment in Southwest Detroit, the latter of which was sometimes a pain in the ass because Dark Red jam and practice a lot and they lived in the same building.
We perform with acoustic guitar, fuzz bass, acoustic and electronic drums, and a sampler.
Ryan and I did the Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr "Prussia" remix as well
and we did a remix for Fawn
...which included a sample of Thong Song by Sisqo and really MADE the remix, but their record label made us remove it. 

Jeff Milo: ...damn

Adam Pressley: -We really like remixing other people's songs. We're thinking about releasing a remix mixtape... 

Jeff Milo: -Jamaican Queens...Ryan's shown penchants for dub/reggae music in the past, so does that have any baring on what your name-DID-end up being? 

Adam Pressley: -We were just trying to brainstorm band names (we were almost called Community Crack Party), but then Ryan remembered calling himself Jamaican Queens once when he played a solo show. I have no idea how he came up with that band name, dude's crazy.
Probably something to do with his reggae love..

Jeff Milo: -Is this at all like prussia in terms of Ryan leading the way lyrics-wise? Do you ever dabble in lyrics? Or have written out words for past solo stuff or Ohtis stuff...How'd Clancey come into the picture? 

Adam Pressley: -Nope i never write lyrics, that is not my area at all and I am not interested in it. And Clancy came into the picture when we were trying to figure out who might be down to fill the role, and it turns out he is a dream to be in a band with.

Jeff Milo: -So how's it feel then to be in a new-ish band; does it feel at all like a fresh start? I'm just thinking of the exasperation leading up to/around the release of Poor English - in regards to your experience with the music industry - is this a band where you don't even wanna think about that stuff anymore - More of a just-doing-it kind of band - or do you have higher hopes or somewhat-big-plans?

Adam Pressley: -For me, it's best to not think about getting on a label, just causes anxiety. If it happens it happens. Luckily the music industry is at a point right now where if it doesn't happen, you can still find a large audience if you work hard enough and have a good enough product.
And yes we have big plans.
We are getting old and we're still sacrificing a whole lot to play music.
...old as in most people I went to high school with have kids and a career now
So that's all the reason to make this one count and learn from the bands we were in in the past.

Jeff Milo: -Right on. That's all I might bug you for, today, sir.
If any thoughts linger in your head about what this new music/these new songs, mean to you
...or how you feel about em

Adam Pressley: -Cool! If I think of anything, I'll let you know.

.....a few days later.....

Adam Pressley: -Hey, so, I was talking to Jen David (of Illy Mack) and we agreed that it'd be funny to just post this whole conversation -as-is- -on your blog and call it "Chattin with milo"....start a whole new interview style! And you can include everything even the Sean Nicholas Savage jab and then the part where I ask you not to print it...

Jeff Milo: -Well, let's catch up: How about those first three shows you've played? How does 'IT' (the music as rendered LIVE) feel and how do you feel participating, how's it flowing or how might you approach it differently the next time, if at all?

Adam Pressley: -I think the first three shows were great. We put a lot of work into rehearsing (like 2 or 3 months!) and I think we executed the songs efficiently because we nitpicked for so long. And the crowd reaction was beyond what I expected, I'm really grateful people dig it.
I think I'm ready to start focusing on making more music so no plans right now to rearrange.
I'm hosting a Karaokee thing right now, so I gotta go...

Jeff Milo: -Adam, I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to chat.

Adam Pressley: -Word! The feeling is mutual, Jeff