Matt Pond PA

Fernando Cruz and Gordo Adame

Like the way the warm aroma of burning oak can spark memories reminiscent of  cold winter months, certain songs bookmark the beauty and mundane nature of our everyday lives. Be it your first cross country road trip with friends, or the certainty of heartache that inevitably finds its way into our existence, songs have a way of getting us through the sweetest, and hardest times, in our lives. This proves true more often than not years later, when a flash flood of memories is stirred by the grace of shuffle on your seemingly sentient iPod.

Matt Pond has written songs that would be perfect selections for your life’s soundtrack since the late 90′s. With the completion of their latest EP Spring Fools, a fall tour is in full swing, and St. Louis has been fortunate enough to earn a stop. This Monday October  24, 2011, Matt Pond PA will be at Cicero’s in the Loop. We had a chance to speak with him about music, movies, this tour, and the joys of getting lost. Continue Reading »

 

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Photos were taken by Dustin Winter on June 26th, 2010 at The Floating Laboratories in St. Louis, MO.

Standing directly behind Joseph Hess, arranged face-to-face with Mabel Suen, in the basement of Apop Records wasn’t good for my hearing. But even though I carried that blissful buzz of decibel crushing pleasure for a good while, by no stretch of the imagination was it anything but exhilarating. Their sound is rich, generous, and accessible: The explosive, positively volcanic, drums perfectly compliment the precise, geometric shreds of metallic string scraping against lipstick pick-ups with copious amounts of reverb. Their recent LP Sweet Dreams, Strange Animal is a perfect representation of the craft that’s implemented into their songwriting, and in no time you’ll be a Spelling Bee fan like I am. You’ll get many chances to see them this summer, the first of which will be April 8th with Zevious (PA) at the Schlafly Tap Room.
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We were absolutely sure that we put together an incredible shortlist of local artists we wanted to reach out to perform at our inaugural MOTH showcase at Old Rock House. Ironically, we were able to get the top 3 names, and one of those was the ubiquitous Teresajenee. I’d been introduced to her music by a write-up in the always-on-point Riverfront Times A to Z blog, and upon reading the description of the sound I bought her album The Ecklectic with no further deliberation. Now, in this economy, that doesn’t happen very often. She’s a unique artist that’s rooted in a genre that (as a majority) couldn’t be further removed from the principles on display in her music. She’s keeping that fire, that fearless sense of innovation and exploration, alive in her sound. And she’s not alone: she’s one of the many outstanding artists in Saint Louis (many of who are branded as being a member of The Force) who are re-calibrating our collective perception of 21st African-American music in the most fantastic way possible: But putting out progressive (and exceptional) product. We corresponded via e-mail, on the eve of her performance alongside Solange Knowles on January 21st, about writer’s block, The Ecklectic: Part Two, and touring. Continue Reading »

 

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Beth Bombara - Wish I Were You

Beth Bombara – Wish I Were You

by Lauren Curtright

Singer/songwriter Beth Bombara has achieved profound organic chemistry through her collaborative work with such artists as nationally touring Samantha Crain, the Midnight Shivers, and, not to be ignored, local gems Cassie Morgan and the Lonely Pine, producing a synchronized body of work which a friend described as evidence of either “years of experience, or an alignment with the stars”. Now, with her first full-length album release “Wish I Were You”, (produced with husband Kit Hamon and released on vinyl, no less) Beth showcases her personal achievements as a solo artist, welding signature folk stylings with regional influence. MOTH was pleased to speak with her in advance of her November 19th Album Release Show at Off Broadway about the experiences that contributed to her introspect as an artist, and what she has in store next. Continue Reading »

 

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photo by Lottie Bergstrom

HUMDRUM: THE SOUND

By Lauren Curtright

It seems that all the most appealing aspects of St. Louis’ music scene can be appropriately labeled bi-products of the unique interconnectedness that exists among its community of artists. No exception to this is HUMDRUM, a four-piece whose band members are no strangers to making music, but prove through their most recent collaboration that the quest for new sound with old friends can result in something truly unique. MOTH was pleased to sit down with them mid-production of their forthcoming second album to talk about band dynamics and finding their sound.
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Photo by Kate McGuire

While the typically noisy and constantly shifting New York City is putting its nose the the grindstone, the hushed vocal layers created by Julianna Barwick creep out joyously, forming a sort of soundtrack to life. This somewhat newly formed Brooklynite via Midwest woman has been able to forge a path completely her own, all while producing some of the best new music available. Julianna Barwick is a singular act who performs delicate and otherworldly hymns as layers of her own vocal work swirl high and low to create beautiful, transportive compositions. Barwick has always been singing in one fashion or another, but what she’s creating now using loops, pedals, and her own voice, is perhaps the most striking of all. Continue Reading »

 

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SOMETHING NEW: GOLD MOTEL

By Lauren Curtright

The beginning of my transition into an awareness of independent music happened around the age I was being taught to parallel park. Some things come easier than others, and in the fall of that year begins a succession of memories involving being chauffeured to the Loop by friends, fanning out handfuls of CD’s across the tops of Vintage Vinyl bins, and carefully trying to decide on which I’d spend my money. It just so happens that the first of those was So Sudden, the debut album of a quartet from Illinois – The Hush Sound. Now, nearly six years later, I can still remember the benchmark excitement that came with the discovery of that album and vocalist/piano player Greta Morgan’s voice. I was pleased to recently discover her latest musical venture, group Gold Motel.

We talked to Greta in advance of their Saint Louis debut at The Firebird June 17th. Continue Reading »

 

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Photo by Jason Stoff

Raw energy. Electricity. Blood. Sweat. Mojo. These were the elements used to forge what we now know as “Rock and Roll”. Knowing the storied musical history of our fair city, it’s surprising to see all of the different ways that successive generations of modern youth have evolved that original formula and used it to express their discontent, lust for life, or any other fleeting emotions incidental to youth. With the proliferation that’s possible because of technology, and the ever expanding genre database thats applied (or mis-) to music, it’s heartening to see a band like Flaming Death Trap get back-to-basics with what made rock music so initially exciting.  Does it still work? Their debut EP Drugs Alcohol Little Sister made the top selling charts at Vintage Vinyl.

We talked to Anthony Maurice about how growing up in a small town is inevitably a Midwestern songwriter’s muse, and why he was pleasantly surprised with our town’s reaction to his relatively new band.  Continue Reading »

 

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Mabel and Joseph of Wrong Division

Whether it’s supporting local music, or introducing new and exciting music to it’s listeners, member-supported community radio is truly the lifeblood of any independent music scene. It’s no secret that Saint Louis has one of the absolute best in KDHX (http://www.kdhx.org). They have their time slots filled to the brim with incredible songs and sounds, and regardless of what time you tune in you can find something to satisfy your musical cravings. Wrong Division is a perfect example: They use a late Thursday/early Friday slot from 1 to 3 a.m. to spin ” the best in progressive punk and experimental DIY rock including everything from methodical, melodic post-rock to erratic, noisy math” by their own description on their program page. We talked about how new bands can get their music featured on the radio, and also how playing “noisy math” at 3:30 in the morning can  invoke the rage of Stormin’ Norman.

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Photo by Ann K. Hubbard

As we enter this new decade, it is often hard to look past the looming darkness that seems to hover over our heads.  A country in recession, a seemingly endless stagnant nature regarding mainstream pop culture, and a lack of quality in almost everything can leave a person losing faith.  Thankfully there are certain individuals who have soul, have heart, and overall, a dedication to their craft.  St. Louis’ Phaseone aka Andrew Jernigan has seen and embraced the light over the years by producing a blend combining his love for dub-step bass, emotionally nursing synths, crisp-hop beats, and a whirlwind of whispers.
As an electronic producer, Phaseone has been able to create a buzz by self-releasing his own album Thanks But No Thanks, in addition to cutting stunning remixes of contemporary artists such as Animal Collective, Burial, and Bloc Party.  Dilla & Four Tet comparisons aside, Phaseone has created his own world of sound, exploring the true roots of bass and cascading synths.  Recently featured on the ATL RMX comp (Out Now on Adult Swim & Rockstar Games), Phaseone has exhibited his ability to cut his teeth with the big dogs of the game.  Fresh off the release of his latest mixtape, The Realest Shit I Ever Wrote, I was able to pick Jernigan’s brain and see what life is like in the light.  Continue Reading »