The latest issue is upon us you lucky people and this time around I've put together a Fruits de Mer special article with interviews with head honcho and all round fine fellow Keith Jones along with two of the labels finest, the brilliant Soft Heated Scientists and Greg Curvey from our beloved Luck Of Eden Hall...oh yes indeed.
Luck of Eden Hall is going to headline Crabstock USA, Fruits de Mer
Records festival of psychedelia on Friday April 11th in Hamden CT. The
show will also be sponsored by local radio station WPKN and we're
playing a great venue called Outer Space. There is no cash guarantee so
we're running this campaign to raise money to cover all our expenses
(i.e. Van, gas, lodging) and to help cover our share of the cost of
pressing 500 vinyl LPs of Victoria Moon. Our label in the Netherlands
will pay for half the cost this time and it's up to us to cover the
have a look at all of the groovy premiums we've put together for you
here, including CDs, vinyl LPs, digital downloads and unique one of a
Once again any help you can give to support this dream is greatly appreciated.
Curvey, Lofgren, Mendoza, Licka
have a single coming out on Fruits de Mer Records, another article due
out in Bucketfull of Brains magazine (UK), our Greatest Hits Vol. 1
album is sponsored by the Active Listener label in New Zealand and I've
finished the soundtrack for the first episode of the Moochie Kalala
Detectives Club TV show, starring Tim Kazurinsky (Saturday Night Live).
Centaur is a limited edition vinyl only release of classic Orgone Box tracks with new remixing and some re-recording to create a brand new listening experience that will just knock your socks off. If you love this legendary band then you will need this. If you don't know them then this is a classic place as any to start your adventure (And the brilliant two original CDs are available still from Minus Zero Records)
Sometimes, just sometime, a truly great album comes your way. Sugarbush Records has such an album for you. The ORGONE BOX LP "Centaur" has been in the pipeline for over a year and finally we are proud to announce that is is here. This masterpiece deserves to be called just that. Filled with amazingly well crafted Guitar Pop it draws from a musical tradition starting with THE BEATLES' SGT. PEPPER and kept alive by such luminaries as XTC, COTTON MATHER or THE WONDERMINTS. But, in my own humble opinion, this LP is as good if not better than the bands it will remind you of. Starting with the lysergic wash of jangling guitars and lush harmonies that is "ANAESTHESIA" it takes you to the brilliant "TICKET WITH NO RETURN" (The best Beatles track never written by Lennon?) and never lets up until both sides are over. This is a truly GREAT album and will rightly be quoted in future as one of the finest records to be immortalised on vinyl. If you buy one album this year. make it this one. You will love it.
Buy the ORGONE BOX "CENTAUR" vinyl LP for only £12.99 (+postage) by calling us on
01892 541 746 or emailing us via the "contact" link http://www.sugarbushrecords.com/p/contact-us.html. We take cards, cheques or paypal. Else you can also go to our eBay store now!
Goodbye to Analog is the third conceptual album in the band’s growing catalog. The premise originated with the thought that maybe Snow White was perfectly happy sleeping and uses this fairy tale as a jumping off point to tell the story of three addicts trying to make their way and uses drugs as a metaphor for everything that constrains us. The album was written as if it were the first act of a rock musical and comes with a companion “script“. A second act is likely at some point.
Work started on this record back in March of 2009 with massive research into musical theater, character sketches, story outlines, thematic brainstorming, musical brainstorming, and lots of other work that may or may not have been a complete waste of time. One old document describes the project as, “Snow White meets My Own Private Idaho meets Hansel and Gretel. One character was assigned Anarchy/Faith/Palestine. Another was assigned Peace/Atheist/Israel. There are lots of notes on parasites, specifically the wasp that can take over the brain of a cockroach. There was discussion about The Iceman Cometh and Death of a Salesman and Eugene Oneal’s idea that the things that keep us going are really just pipe-dreams. “There’s a limit to the guilt you can feel and the forgiveness and the pity you can take!” The sign outside of Goatfeathers was an inspiration, “Goatfeathers are the distractions, sidelines, and deflections that take a man’s attentions from his own business and keep him from getting ahead.” - Ellis Parker Butler 1918. The constant crutch of tomorrow. Nihlistic Zen. So drugs were used as a metaphor for everything that constrains us.
Musical ideas were explored, drawing from things like the requiem form, idée fixe, and menheim rocket… Musical theater was delved into – Porgy and Bess, The Pirates of Penzance, and of course Tommy, Hedwig, and Rent. There was an eagerness to land somewhere musically between 70′s crotch rock and The Boards of Canada.
But the biggest challenge was this. All of the songs had stand on their own as pop songs too.
Once we got that all of this nonsense out of our system, Angelo threw it all away and wrote the record. After fits and starts, long delays and short bursts of heavy lifting – the songs were pretty much done and demo’d by November 2011. By Christmas, Angelo had driven Tony to bail from the project – and I quote, “Dude, I can’t work with you anymore.” No blame there. But this threw all sorts of wrenches into the machine and caused lots more delays. Angelo enlisted the help of an incredible drummer he played in a jazz band with in high school named Beaver Bausch as well as scoring a couple of tracks from Stephen Russ from The Fire Tonight. Then Heidi bailed on cello – which was kind of okay since there had been an incident over learning a cover of Always on My Mind which had already relegated cello to “ten percent” on the new record. This, combined with Angelo being sick of having to write cello parts just to write them led to Ang only writing cello parts where they would accent – and ex-Treadmill-cellist Katie Hamilton was brought in to record cello for Treadmill for the first time since Only This in 1996.
With Mr. Mike Mills as the lone survivor on bass, Angelo felt it was okay to bring in some other guest players like John Furr (Buck Stanley, Blightobody, The Tantrums), Jesse James (The Fire Tonight), and John Hennessey. And Kenny McWilliam’s added some killer guitar parts as well.
Finally – 3 years after work started- Goodbye to Analog was completed. Thank freaking God.
The Short Version:
The goal is to make a Treadmill album every couple of years until the day I die. I love the idea of creating music with a community behind me, with the end goal simply being the creation itself. We've made 3 records this way so far (download them for free here). I need your help to keep doing this!
The Long Version:
I realize that people are sick and tired of Kickstarter and crowd-funding in general. But I believe that giving music away for free and paying for its creation in some way other than selling it makes for better, more pure, more honest music. Unfortunately there are some obvious problems with this business model!
No money raised through this campaign will be used for anything other than the next record. Recording, mixing, mastering, art, graphics, packaging, online distribution costs... and that's it. Not one cent goes into anyone's pocket. Ever. That goes for income outside of this campaign too - shows (if we ever play live again), merch, iTunes sales... it all goes into the pot. If by a miracle we get pledges of over our goal, we'll use that for more time in a real studio - which would rule. Rinse, repeat... until the day I die.
We've gotten very good at making high quality records for cheap. "I Belong to Me" cost $13,000 in '07 and I thought that was cheap as hell (especially compared to the 85k we [they] blew on Only This in 97). The last two albums have come in between 5 and 6 grand. We do not waste a penny, but we truly need about 5k to make a decent record that sounds as good as it needs to sound to be worth making. And the more resources we have, the more we can do. Truth.
Because we need the money before the record comes out so we can pay for everything, this is the plan. If you pledge, you'll have access to the stream here at Patreon. I'll keep you up to date on songwriting and progress for the next project. When I have all of the songs for the next project written and demo'd - I'll release those demos as the content that will trigger the pledges to actually go through so that we then use the cash to make the record which we'll give it to you as soon as it's ready to go.
You only actually pay when we're ready to record the record, which is only going to happen every couple of years - so pledge with that in mind! And you can cancel at any time. I need 270 people at $18.88 to make this happen. (Or 1 at $4,888.88.) That seems completely impossible. I don't know 270 people! Pledge boldly. Pledge recklessly. Pledge knowing that you're only going to actually pay what you pledge every 2 years or so!
On my end - I swear to the Lord above that I will work my ass off to make you the most interesting and best record I possibly can... every couple of years... until the day I die.
And man - use those little privacy invading icons at the top there too. Sharing is caring and that is some powerful stuff. It really REALLY helps.
Thank you ~ Angelo
Art Into Dust’s favourite gravitas pop prince Jeff Litman returns with a beautiful new song Nothing available as with the previous post Outside song Debutante as a play what you wish download over at his Bandcamp page. This time though Nothing heralds the start of a monthly delivery of new songs so we considered it was time to once more catch up with this impossibly talented man and have him update us on what’s been going down since last we spoke. What’s going on Jeff?
Wanted to let you know that I have a new single. It is called Nothing. I wrote it during the blackout that followed Hurricane Sandy in New York, when I had nothing to do but wander the streets and read by candlelight in my dark apartment for four days (perhaps you'll be able to smell the stink on me after four days without a hot shower if you listen closely enough!). The song doesn't specifically deal with the storm, but the general malaise of the moment surely crept in. This is will be the first of several singles I'm planning to release on the first Thursday of every month for as long as I can keep it up. The releases will range from fully produced new songs like this one (and next month's) to acoustic versions of old songs, live tracks, an ep, videos remixes, etc, etc. The point is something will come out on the first Thursday of every month.
Since Outside's release, I've been doing the regular thing…playing shows, playing with other artists around NYC, a bit of touring. The problem seemed to me that with all the new music flooding the market these days, after an initial push of promotion for the record--it seemed to disappear rather quickly. Also, only a few tunes on the record seemed to get much attention.
Personally, I love the album format, have always listened to whole albums, and wish it were still the case that they were viable mediums for getting music out as an independent artist--but for a number of reasons, I decided the steady stream of singles was the best option for me. First of all, my primary goal is to keep building an audience. Putting out singles on a regular basis, keeps the new stuff coming over an extended period of time, and has the potential to gain momentum. An album is a one time event that can't be replicated more than every couple of years. I heard Thom Yorke say in an interview it was like a "pebble dropping in a stream." Here today and gone tomorrow, which is why you have to keep the stuff coming! '
Which brings me to another reason I'm doing the singles thing…albums are expensive to make if you want to make them well. For all the talk about how costs are down and you can do it in your bedroom, blah, blah, blah…it still costs a lot of money for an individual, self-financed artist. You have to rent SOME studio time, you need to either buy gear and know how to use it, or hire someone who does….promotion can cost money if you want to go down that road. Releasing singles can spread that cost out over time, and be a lot more sustainable over the long term.
And lastly, it just seems to be the way people are listening to music these days. It wouldn't do any good to try to change listening habits. Big-time, established artists of a certain kind still have an audience for their albums---Wilco, Radiohead, Elvis Costello all come to mind--but for newer, independent artists, new listeners just aren't willing to roll the dice on an hour of music. But, they might be willing to check out a single. And if they like it, you can build to the point where people want to hear a full album down the road. That's the hope anyway! Besides, I'm happiest when I'm making music. Not relentlessly pushing an album release. More music, less promo seems like an ideal plan to me. My previous single Debutante was my first overtly political song. I
wrote it immediately after watching Paul Ryan give his horrendous speech
at the Republican National Convention. It is from the point of view of
his corporate and political handlers as they shove the charismatic
young politician onto the stage to whip the mob into a frenzy of
paranoid self-delusion, imploring him to dismiss the truth and any
semblance of altruism--all in the service of protecting the political
and economic comfort that they have grown accustomed to.
Another thing that I'm doing now is self-producing…I always had a hand in the production of my music, but now I'm building the arrangements, instrumentation, etc on my own. This is partly for financial reasons, but it also reflects my desire to get these songs as close to the picture I have in my head as I can. I've also been working a lot on my recording/engineering/mixing chops, so after recording basics at my buddy Nathan Rosenberg's place in Brooklyn I've been able to do a lot of the recording and editing of these tracks at home--sending them off to my dude in Minneapolis, Andy Thompson to polish up the mix.
Everybody knows the music business is a mess right now, and it is harder then ever to break through, but the goal for me has never been stardom or fame…I just want to be able to put music out for the people that dig my stuff, and hopefully grow that group of people bit by bit with each release. I'm incredibly grateful that I get to do this.
Your support has really been so valuable since the very beginning of my career, Mick. Huge thanks to you and all your readers!
Victoria Moon, the latest album from the brilliant The Luck Of Eden Hall rises triumphantly into the music skies and finds the Chicago Psychpop masters continuing to be at the height of their abundant creative talents. Beautifully play, sung, written and produced it’s a wonderland of musical adventure in melody and sound that’s guaranteed to blow your mind, fill your ears with joy from start to finish and will effortlessly lodge itself in a lot of good folk's albums of the year lists. The great thing about the Edens is they obviously love creating their masterful blend of great songs served up in a full ravishing spectrum soup of kaleidoscopic detail and layers just as much as we love listening to it so each new release is going to be everything you could wish for and always a little bit more. But all you on the ball Luckheads out there don’t need me to tell you this since you’ll already have grabbed yourself either one of the, as ever, strictly limited edition, beautifully packaged physical copies or purchased just the music itself from their Bandcamp site.
Ironically even though the actual CD’s have “instant collectors items that will be going for silly money on ebay by this time next year” stamped all over them, I very much doubt that any one wise enough to buy a copy of Victoria Moon will ever let it leave their collections, other than in their wills or as part of a badly contested divorce settlement. With half already pre-ordered the rest ain’t going to be around for long so I suggest you rush over there and catch this treasure while you can. Meantime you can get the complete lowdown on the band via my Bucketfull of Brains interview in the latest issue. And here at Art Into dust we are proud to deliver up an exclusive track by track guide of this most glorious of releases with the Ringmasters of Eden Hall, Gregory Curvey and Mark Lofgren. So sit back, pour yourself a well deserved cup of tea and enjoy my friends.
Sassafras Overcoat Curvey: I had wanted to do a photo shoot wearing my 100 year old coats for a couple of years, but couldn't get all of the pieces and players aligned while there was snow on the ground until last Winter. Mark and I decided to film a video at the same time and add some interest by hiring a couple burlesque girls to get naked in the snow. Our friend Lee Klawans agreed to photograph us and knew a couple girls, so to make a long story short, we shot a music video without knowing what song we were going to use, which inspired me to write Sassafras Overcoat. I play everything on that track except for Mark's fabulous bass part
Queen Of The Stars Curvey: This song was originally going to be included on Alligators Eat Gumdrops but our publicist suggested that I cut it, so I did. It's been reworked a little for Victoria Moon. I added guitar riffs throughout the song and a sequencer part during the bridge. The storyline was inspired one Summer day when my daughter was playing in her kiddie pool with a few colorful balls. I play everything on the track.
Victoria Moon Curvey: Another one left over from the Alligators Eat Gumdrops brood. It was originally titled Under Victoria. The lyrics weren't inspired by anything in particular, I was just trying to paint a picture. I think the true inspiration happened in the middle eight when I decided to scrap my guitar solo and play with some reel to reel tapes my Father-in-law gave me and then I over dubbed a track from an old album of Rumi poetry from my LP collection. It was a very happy accident. Carlos plays the drum kit, Mark plays bass and I cover the guitar parts and sing on this one.
The Collapse Of Suzy Star Lofgren: I read an article about how stars can collapse into black holes and how it all relates to theories about our universe expanding and collapsing. Understanding about half of it (in college I filled out my science credits with a cool class called "Bizarre Astronomy"), I wrote a song equating the rise and fall of a semi-famous actress to that of a Suzy Star (which, as far as I can gather, is a star collapsing into a black hole). I played bass, acoustic guitar, keyboard and sang, Greg played the rest.
Zap Curvey: Zap was written years ago, right after my Par Crone solo project was released but never recorded. I changed the lyric a little for this version. The guitar riff was inspired by my Echoplex and the sounds in the middle eight freak out are created by a toy laser gun with great analog sounds that can be modulated. I used a Theremin that was built by Moog during the final chorus. Carlos plays drums, Mark plays bass and I play the rest.
Sitting Bull Curvey: One of my favorite childhood memories is of my Grandfather showing me his Native American arrowhead collection and I've always been fascinated by the sequence of European history and the American wild west. The industrial revolution and the demise of the Native American tribes. They were the last of the real human beings. Hunter gatherers. The verses are all inspired from lines in speeches given by Native American leaders. The ending includes Jim playing the Mellotron over a recording I made while riding on an old carrousel at a museum in Michigan this Summer. Mark plays bass, Jim plays Mellotron and I play everything else on the track.
Drunk Like Shakespeare On Love Lofgren: This one I had a little fun with, loosely based on running into an old friend who has lost his way in mid life. I'm trying to capture a crazy phase of life filled with drunken adventures, trips to London and to midnight palm readers, falling in love with someone you barely know…youth, fleeting youth! I played bass and sang, Carlos played drums, Greg played guitar and keys.
Dandy Horse Curvey: I was trying to find inspiration for the lyrics and came across an article on the old high wheeler bicycles. The great names they were given like Penny Farthing and French Bone Shaker did the trick. It took several takes to get the final vocal arrangement and I employed my Pro One sequencer during the grand finale. Jim plays Mellotron and I play everything else on this track.
Super Phantasmal Heroine Curvey: I had heard a story on NPR about how popular the drug heroin was becoming with suburban school kids because it was cheep and easy to get. It kind of blew my mind. I've always been straight edge myself and say to each his own, but I don't think its wise to mess with anything that's highly addictive and can kill you. Personally I think the only drug you should use that involves a needle is vinyl records. That's the track. Mark played bass and I play everything else on this one. Cracked Alice Curvey: I was sitting in our family room where my daughter keeps a lot of her toys. We had set up a huge play city using all of her blocks and I was inspired to write the lyrics for this song. I like the Sir Real and his Avant Guard lines but I wouldn't be surprised if someone hasn't thought of that before. I have a great music video idea for this one that I hope we'll have time to accomplish. Mark plays bass and I cover the rest the instruments.
Blood On My Feet Curvey: One morning I went down into my studio, plugged in and this song came out. I was having difficulty coming up with a good story idea so I handed it off to Mark and he finished the lyrics. I used my Echoplex on the guitar and vocal tracks and you can hear it's classic regeneration sound in the right channel. Jim plays Mellotron, Mark plays bass and I cover the rest.
She's Your Anodyne Lofgren: I think an anodyne is an archaic opiate remedy used to sooth pain in the 19th century. It's a song about feeling anxious and depressed and trying to calm down in an complex and possibly insane world by reconnecting with friends and family. I played bass and sang. Carlos played drums and Greg played guitar and keys.
The Horrible Pill Book Curvey: This was the first song I wrote after we finished the Alligators Eat Gumdrops album. It's one of my wife's favorites along with Queen Of The Stars and I've put both tracks on the record for her. I like the lyrics which are kind of in an Evil Woman 70's witchy vein and I used a tape machine during the chorus to slow down my voice and make me sound different. I play everything on this track.
Okeedokes the latest Bucketfull is out now with the Groovies on the cover and lots of as ever good reading inside. This time round I've been down the rabbit hole and come back with some psychedelic greatness in the form of interviews with England's very own wonder wizard Beaulieu Porch and the US of A's legendary psychpop masters The Luck Of Eden Hall for your delight and amazement. (I actually went to see the Edens down at the Borderline in London a couple of weeks back and they were sublime in their brilliance.)
L.A. songwriter and musician Adam Daniel’s 1999 album Blue Pop went straight into a lot of knowledgeable folk’s best of lists upon it’s realise in 1999 and rightly so. A beautifully crafted and masterful slice of mature, harmony laden, guitar fuelled pop majesty Blue Pop was bursting with infectious hooks, graceful melody lines and gravitas substance that heralded a major new talent on the musical map. I interviewed him for Bucketfull at the time so check that out for some background. http://artintodust.blogspot.co.uk/2008/03/adam-daniel.html
The welcome news that now finally the excellent Mr. Daniel was about to release his long anticipated follow up to the by now legendary Blue Pop, titled Pop, Baby! set hearts racing in all true music lovers across the globe. Recorded over the last two years entirely by the man in his own home studio set up, Pop, Baby! has been well worth the long wait being everything you might hope for from the man and more. It doesn’t take many plays before realising that not only is this brilliant album a worthy follow up to the classic Blue Pop but in fact it is a greater creative endeavour than even that mighty affair. The opening twin salvo’s of the exuberant “Summer’s Coming” and the majestic harmonic dream “In And Out Of Love” are perfect power pop gems that capture your mind and heart with effortless ease and serve to set the stage for the eclectic musical treasures to follow. Ironically Adam had never even heard the term power pop until the gushing reviews of his debut and indeed he is so much more that that, right up there with the likes of Jason Falkner and Jeff Litman in terms of originality, craftsmanship and inventive abilities. Pop, Baby! is an adventure for the ears, beautifully produced and played with real passion through out. A musical master class of natural abundant talent put to good use, built around emotionally intelligent song writing of maturity and depth that rewards with each fresh listen. I cannot recommend your immediate purchase of this sensational album enough.
Adam has been kind enough to give us the lowdown on its creation and his thoughts on the thirteen songs contained within its silver grooves. So sit back and enjoy. Over to Adam.
Alright, where to begin… My bio says Pop, Baby is a mashup of Elton John piano, glam rock guitars, Beach Boys vocal stacks, and new wave synth candy. All my favorite things. That pretty much sums it up, except to say that I wrote, arranged, produced, performed, recorded, mixed, and mastered the album on my laptop, and I found that experience both crazy making and deeply satisfying. In fact, I highly recommend it to any insomniac masochists reading this blog. Here's a track-by-track rundown of the album:
Summer's Coming: The main riff started as a TV cue, but I dug it so much I didn't turn it in. It sat a couple years until I finally wrote the vocal melody, chorus, and topped it off with a nice sex and drugs lyric.
In and Out of Love: My definitive statement on male romantic ambivalence, set to a groove. A reviewer just called it "…the golden mean between Paul McCartney and Elton John…" and I couldn't be more delighted.
Regret Shuffle: The riff came in a jam session with some buddies, then, like "Summer's Coming," sat awhile before I was inspired to turn it into a song after a first date that ended in a friend hug instead of, well, you know...
Your Gravity: I went off music for awhile and got into crazy science stuff. This lyric is a play on Einstein's Theory of General Relativity. Nerd alert.
Invisible: A trip hop gospel track written and produced by a power pop loving agnostic Jew. End vocal by Laura Drew, the best singer you've never heard of.
Quantum Love: More nerdy science lyric play, with an 80's hair metal homage at the top of the last chorus. It took forever to get the pitch shifted echo in the 2nd verse to sound right. Details.
Long Cold Winter: This track was actually recorded for Blue Pop and left off the album. It's been rewritten and re-recorded three times since. Finally got it right when I added piano and tubular bells. Everything's better with tubular bells.
Lullaby: People are surprised to discover this song actually pre-dates my daughter. It's probably the most musical theatre-y thing I've done. The Beach Boys vocal stack middle section may be my favorite part of the album.
Dream Out Loud: A song about a stripper, released as a single in 2009. It was produced kinda '70's rock then, like Rare Earth. I pulled it offline and reproduced it power pop style for the album. Went a little wah crazy with the solo...
Sailing Ships: My bid for U2/Coldplay arena hero status, and the biggest, most epic production on the record. Lighters up!
Dying in Slow Motion: Another song that started as a TV cue. The piano riff was guitar, and the celesta was piano. And again, I liked it too much not to turn it into a proper song.
These Shy Things: Written on acoustic guitar, then transformed into a more meditative synth-y thing to make it fit better with the sound of the album. One of my favorite lyrics I've written. A guy thing.
Hold On: The only song I've ever written to myself. Being a professional creative gets rough. But then songs like this come and save the day, making all the anxiety, insecurity, and insanity worth it. Amen.
"I see in the near future a crisis approaching. It unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. The money powers preys upon the nation in times of peace and conspires against it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than a monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy. It denounces, as public enemies, all who question its methods or throw light upon its crimes. I have two great enemies, the Southern Army in front of me & the financial institutions at the rear, the latter is my greatest foe. Corporations have been enthroned, and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in the hands of a few, and the Republic is destroyed." -Abraham Lincoln, (letter to William Elkins, Nov 21, 1864)