MEDICINE: OFFICIAL AUSTIN PSYCH FEST 2014 INTERVIEW

27 Mar

Revolt of the Apes’ interview with Medicineis up now at the official Austin Psych Fest 2014 website. Read the entire interview there, and look for the complete text to show up here in the very near future. Here’s an excerpt:

Can you recall the first time you consciously felt “healed” by the act of listening to a specific band or a specific album? What was it about that music that impacted you so greatly at that time? Has your overall impression of this music – either in general or of its “healing” capabilities in particular – evolved over the years?

Ah, I see what you’ve done there. I would say that I love and respect music in and of itself too much to look to it for any sort of practical use. Certainly music can be used for both good and bad, therapy and torture. Do either truly honor the most high and mysterious of all art forms ? My taste may have evolved over time, but I’ve never stopped loving any music that I’ve ever loved.

What is an aspect of making music in 2014 that you perhaps take for granted today, but would have been nearly unimaginable for you during the earliest days of Medicine? How do you think this change has benefited you? What is one aspect of making music that you would love to accomplish, but seems to continue to elude you still to this day?

The computer and all of its digital elasticity, of course. Which has benefited us tremendously. We no longer need to spend 50 grand to make an album like we used to have to do back in the 90′s. I’ve been fortunate enough to get to do a huge amount of different things with music and to follow nearly every whim I’ve ever had. I just always want to get better at it.

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Revolt of the Apes is pleased, stoked and chuffed to support Austin Psych Fest 2014 through a series of interviews with many of the artists involved, answering the kind of ridiculous questions you’ve come to know and – maybe – love. Many more coming soon.

BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE: OFFICIAL AUSTIN PSYCH FEST 2014 INTERVIEW

25 Mar

Revolt of the Apes’ interview with the Brian Jonestown Massacre is up now at the official Austin Psych Fest 2014 website. It’s hard to express just how incredible it feels to be able to type the previous sentence – we’ve been listening to the BJM for about twenty years now, and remain just as intrigued as the day we first heard them. Our BJM pin never, ever leaves our jacket lapel.

Read the entire interview here, and look for the complete text to show up here in the very near future. Here’s an excerpt:

What is your earliest musical memory, or perhaps, the first time you can remember being personally moved by music in a way that had a long-term impact on you and your life? Do you believe that you were destined to live a musical life? If not making music with the Brian Jonestown Massacre, have you ever considered what the focus of your life would then be?

My mom use to play music around the house and my baby sitter would as well. My older sister even loved and had great taste in music. Various family members would send gifts of money for holidays and birthdays and by the time I was two and a half, I had my own Mickey Mouse record player in my room, I take it because it was unnerving for a toddler to be using my mom’s stereo. I was born in 1967 and she was in her early twenties, so she had an awesome collection of some great records of that era, including the great middle period of The Beatles. I took most of the good stuff to my room and would play Simon and Garfunkel until i slept. My actual love of music grew from that kind of stuff, and buying albums with my mom, to stealing my older sisters’ albums as punk and new wave came about.

I had no idea I could actually play music in a band or anything until I was a teenager with my friends. I really felt like the punk people were idiots and that was empowering to me; I mean, when you watch someone like Paul McCartney play something perfect on TV or jimmy page or whatever, there’s nothing they do or did that shows you as a child you can ever do it, because you can’t – they’re unique … but the garage and folk thing is something else. Music by the people for the people and I was inspired by and built on that, I think.

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Revolt of the Apes is pleased, stoked and chuffed to support Austin Psych Fest 2014 through a series of interviews with many of the artists involved, answering the kind of ridiculous questions you’ve come to know and – maybe – love. Many more coming soon.

BAND OF THE WEEK: WOODSMAN

23 Mar

Which planet did Woodsman descend from, fully-formed and possessed of such halcyon harmony? Though we’ve been told repeatedly that the answer is Earth, we’re not prepared to believe such an easy solution, certainly not after hearing their recently released third album.

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Conversely, if Woodsman sounded any more natural and organic on said album, we would declare the album to be nothing less than the perfect and unexpected merging of fuzz pedals and photosynthesis. Emerging from such well-cultivated sonic ground, the album feels strongly rooted below the surface, resulting in a beautiful blossoming, an uncategorizable unfolding.

The question of Woodsman being of terrestrial or extraterrestrial origin is unlikely to be answered any time soon. Certainly the album’s song titles – “In the End, Remember When?,” “Healthy Life,” “Rune” – offer no firm evidence either way, and the band’s focus on instrumental invocations leaves us no lyrical content to interpret. And while the band claims to be Denver-born and Brooklyn-based, is there even a second of this album’s note-perfect thirty-seven and one-half minutes that sounds anything at all like the work of a band that made the conscious choice to move away from Colorado?

After repeated listenings, we were at one point content to declare this Woodsman album to be the result of telluric current, plugged in to the electrical charge running through the earth and seas, yet flowing in a general direction toward the Sun, toward a more stellar sphere.

And this still may very well be the case. Upon further reflection – or more accurately, upon further repeat listenings of the album’s ultimate track, the blazingly brilliant “Teleseparation” – we’re finding it unnecessary to determine the origin of Woodsman, whether galactic or grounded. It’s both and it’s neither, and it’s completely undeniable. What holds “Teleseparation” securely is the sort of container (maybe not exactly Can, maybe not exactly a “Box of Rain,” but holding much) that can hold anything, with room for everything. It’s a microcosm of Woodsman’s sound, writ large: the use of space, both one-hundred thousand light years away and right in front of your hands. Use two ears and listen forever.

Woodsman’s self-titled third album is available from Firetalk Records. It’s brilliant. 

“When the Light of the Endless was drawn in the form of a straight line in the Void… it was not drawn and extended immediately downwards, indeed it extended slowly — that is to say, at first the Line of Light began to extend and at the very start of its extension in the secret of the Line it was drawn and shaped into a wheel, perfectly circular all around.”

- Philip Berg, “The Kabbalah: A Study of the Ten Luminous Emanations from Rabbi Isaac Luria with the Commentaries Sufficient for the Beginner, Vol. II”

BAND OF THE WEEK: MOON COVEN

16 Mar

“Welcome to the land where the brainwashed rule the dust,” goes the first line of Moon Coven’s first album, the hypnotic “Amanita Kingdom,” acting as an appropriate if arcane introduction to the band’s shape and sound. For listeners on the quest for a more vivid than vicious realm of mushroom-fueled riffs, amplification and ice-cold lunar hymns … thy kingdom come.

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Could it be that we’ve been at least slightly brainwashed by the efforts put forth by the rulers of this kingdom, the heretofore unknown group of Sabbath-summoning Swedes who built this “Amanita Kingdom”? Without question. However one defines the magick born of Malmö that runs through the collective veins of Moon Coven, it’s clear that we’ve been full-on mesmerized over the course of many, many dozens of spins, over the course of waking up for days in a row with the album’s heavy, hummable and heavily hummable melodic moments bouncing freely through our brain, before any light even enters our eyes.

Of course, what we consider a dream could just as easily be seen as a nightmare, depending on the visions one sees when the light of the sun bends and breaks across the face of the Moon Coven. They say one ape’s trash is another ape’s treasure, and your willingness to scale the castle walls of “Amanita Kingdom” may vary. Moon Coven seem to travel in an orbit of the middle way, perhaps too heavy for daintiest devotees of Donovan, perhaps not heavy enough for those whose sole aim is to ascend the “Dopethrone.” This merging of differences seems to reveal itself even in the album’s cover, beauty in a Baphomet pose. Despite this – or, perhaps more accurately, because of this – we find “Amanita Kingdom” to be a perfectly satisfying sonic prayer, Moon Coven divine deliverers of doom. Long may they reign.

Amanita Kingdom” by Moon Coven is out now from Transubstans Records. Granite House Records has vinyl copies in the U.S.

“You must remember, too, that the experience is safe (at the very worst, you will end up the same person who who entered the experience), and that all of the dangers which you have feared are unnecessary productions of your mind. Whether you experience heaven or hell, remember that it is your mind which creates them. Avoid grasping the one or fleeing the other. Avoid imposing the ego game on the experience.”

- “The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead,” by Timothy Leary, Ralph Metzner, and Richard Alpert (Citadel Press, 1964).

BAND OF THE WEEK: NEGRA BRANCA

9 Mar

Listen: It very well may be that there’s nothing we can do, say or write to compel you to listen to Negra Branca, to turn off your mind, relax and float down, up and all-around the everlasting stream.

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The point is not to compel. There probably is no point. And if by chance there is a point, we don’t know how to show it. Because we don’t know much about Negra Branca, except that it is the project of Marlene Ribeiro, long-time member of the essentially member-less, barrier-less Gnod, our love for whom is longstanding and immense, whom, not coincidentally, honor a free-form approach to both membership and sound and, not coincidentally, stand as our human-enough physical representation of our alien concept of music that we hear as exceptional and inspiring. Which is to say that Gnod is fucking awesome.

Coincidentally, it’s no coincidence that the debut Negra Branca release is likewise exceptional and inspiring. And really fucking cool, too. But there’s no point in pointing that out. You can just listen – at dawn, at noon, the moon hanging low, the moon hanging high. Good friends, we mean to say that the sounds we hear on this Negra Branca album exist outside of time. Put it on repeat, and repeat as needed. This is perfect.

Negra Branca’s debut release is available from Tesla Tapes, along with a healthy heaping helping of other zany sounds.

“The Landscape is a space of possibilities. It has geography and topography with hills, valleys, flat plains, deep trenches, mountains and mountain passes. But unlike an ordinary landscape, it isn’t three-dimensional. The landscape has hundreds, maybe thousands of dimensions.”

- Leonard Susskind, “The Cosmic Landscape: String Theory and the Illusion of Intelligent Design”

“ADMIT IT”: WE LOVE FAR-OUT FANGTOOTH

6 Mar

It’s difficult to believe that more than a year and a half has passed since we properly praised Far-Out Fangtooth on this ridiculous website. It’s even more difficult to believe that we failed to officially put down any words of praise about “Borrowed Time,” the spectacular album they released late in 2013 (although we have blathered on about our love for the album on Twitter regularly since its release).

Sometimes there’s simply not enough time in the day, week, month or year to write about all of the great music we’re fortunate enough to hear.

But as it relates to Far-Out Fangtooth, we’re prepared to rectify the situation right now: “Borrowed Time” is not one of our favorite records of 2013. “Borrowed Time” is not one of our favorite records of 2014. “Borrowed Time” is truly revealing itself to be one of our favorite albums of all-time. Like, ever. And we’re old. In more ways than one, we are living on “Borrowed Time.”

Below is a new video for “Admit It,” one of nine far-out songs that appear on “Borrowed Time.”

Far-Out Fangtooth are heading out on tour now, and will also be a part of the appropriately massive annual SXSW “Levitation” party, produced by our friends at Austin Psych Fest. Dig it.

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“Open your eyes and let’s see time from a different angle! When you see your life from the broad view of time, you see that your life is not something separate from time— your life is time.” – Dogen Zenji

KADAVAR: OFFICIAL AUSTIN PSYCH FEST 2014 INTERVIEW

3 Mar

Revolt of the Apes’ interview with Kadavaris up now at the official Austin Psych Fest 2014 website. This band has probably forgotten more great riffs than many bands record in their lifetime; their second album, “Abra Kadavar,” is an absolute monster and highly recommended.

Read the entire interview here, and look for the complete text to show up here in the very near future. Here’s an excerpt:

Are all three members of Kadavar from Germany originally? How would you characterize your adolescence in Germany? How much ­ or perhaps, how little ­do you that think where you grew up influenced not only your interest in music but in the type of music you’ve come to play in Kadavar?

Our bass player is from France, but Lupus and I are German. My adolescence … I think I grew up pretty late. On the one hand, my mother had a record collection which could have been the reason, but especially within the last years my interest for older rock strongly developed and become an inspiration, not only music and sound-wise, but also from the production side. When I listen to music, I love when I can hear the musicians character – the way they play their instruments. But aside from The Beatles and a few other acts, my mother’s music wasn’t my growing up soundtrack. I listened to punk and hardcore music. I come from a small town in western Germany where you could go to shows and also play music. Everybody had a band when I was fourteen. You could express a lot with just a few chords. That was good to start. Even if I’d say I didn’t have a clue how to make music back then, this is an important part of my life as a musician.

We ask this in part to learn more about Kadavar, but also because Germany is one of only a few countries that can, by name alone, evoke a certain kind of sound, with what is commonly called ‘krautrock,’ or perhaps more pleasingly, ‘kosmische’ or even ‘Deutsche Elektronische Musik’. Was this type of music important to you in your personal musical evolution, even though Kadavar’s sound is much more riff-centric? Is there anything exciting or compelling to you about the current state of musical affairs in Germany?

T: Krautrock has definitely been important and influential for us as a band since the beginning. At one point you’ll come across that chapter of German music and it will soak in if you are interested in the history of music and sound. I think we are in a way looking for something cosmic in our music, but we choose very simple and straight ideas as basic elements of our music and play them in a real rock context. When we are just messing around in the studio, we are often sounding like an evil version of Neu! and Guru Guru. The repetitive elements in bands like them made me listen to beats in a different way, for example. It can teach you to really dig deep into something entirely simple. And that’s something I am always looking for when we write songs. Elements that won’t get boring if you repeat them over and over, even if we don’t do it exactly like that in a finished song.

Germany’s musical landscape is weird. Everything mainstream or successful is REALLY bad; I don’t even want to talk about it. At SXSW last year, the Germans just put some pictures of our fucking president on a flip-chart in the exhibition hall to promote the music of our country because there probably just wasn’t anything better to show. But 90% of the music consumers in Germany seem to want exactly that. The kind of rock music relating more to psych, art or krautrock is still there, or there again, but more as an underground phenomenon. Berlin is a good city for these genres and there’s a growing amount of bands. You know The Blue Angel Lounge probably as they’ve played Psych Fest, but also Mystical Communication Service or Suns of Thyme are Berlin-based bands I follow with interest.

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Revolt of the Apes is pleased, stoked and chuffed to support Austin Psych Fest 2014 through a series of interviews with many of the artists involved, answering the kind of ridiculous questions you’ve come to know and – maybe – love. Many more coming soon.

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