Super fun surf indie rock band The Sugar Hold (was forced to) made a deal with the Troy Chamber of Commerce following last night’s unbelievably exciting and entertaining (without so much as a hint of irony) set at Brown’s Brewing Company for the Bacchanalia fest.
“Basically we were told that we were making the, um, surrounding not quite as fun and less hardy partying local Troy arts, music and entertainment scene a bit um, paler by comparison?” explained lead singer/guitar player Mikey Baish. “We certainly didn’t start with the intention of being the most fun, entertaining, unstoppable good time had by everyone at all of our shows but we sort of can’t help it… we just make fun music that we love, we love what we’re doing and everyone can tell and they in turn love it so much they have such a good time and… it’s not our fault. We’d try to tone it down but honeslty, who would want to have LESS of a super rockin time?”
“We just can’t help it that we’re having so much damned fun up there these days unlike other groups and scenes from the past that we don’t really fit in with anymore.” chimes in drummer with variable yet always entertaining head and facial hair shining local personality John Olander (srsly dooders in like 20 bands, has 12 jobs and can be found anywhere a party with music is going on yet is ALWAYS partying and smiling). “I mean I used to play in a band called Che Guevara T-Shirt that, let’s face it, was just plain wrist-slitting metal. Which is not to say I didn’t enjoy it or any of the other groups around that still do that kind of stuff, but we are kind of heralding in a new era with groups like the Hold on Honeys, and earlier but still partying Haley Moley, Architrave, Haunted Cat — just too many to name (shouts Olander as he shoves a grinder into his mouth no doubt the first chance he’s had to eat in days) that are just plain unironically entertaining and joyous!”
“It kind of started when Haley Moley, Architrave and other bands led and or inspired by Paul and Jen Coleman’s indomitably positive, optimistic spirits changed the game by instead of making the kind of depressingly heavy industrial music of say Che Guevara T-Shirt or k. Sonin that made people leave, they played fun danceable but still in depth underground pop music that inspired all of us to stop being so ‘cool’ and pretending we were having such a crummy time and admit that we were having lots of fun and wanted the audience to have lots of fun too!”
“I think we just started experimenting with the idea that local independent music can just be a really great time” says bass player Matt Malone who was also in superdepressing suicide inspiring group Che Guevara T-Shirt at one point; “and then I guess we went too far. Because there are so many so much great but dark in depth groups that are around, the Troy Business Council has informed us there have been several formal complaints about how hard it is to get crowds in now that people can, instead, go to see the Sugar Hold and others that shimmer and shine and are unashamedly loved to party and have a good time! We didn’t realize it was such a novel concept, but it turns out that since the late seventies groups that earnestly and unashamedly have a great time haven’t really been featured in local scenes. And of course back in the early 90s with the advent of grunge it was literally made illegal to rock and party as hard and have as much of a good time as we’re doing now.”
Lead guitarist Dan Clark unfortunately did not comment because I’ve never met him IRL and I wouldn’t even deign to do any kind of impression whatsoever, however, everytime I’ve seen him play he does look like he’s having a great time and rocking out just like the rest of the band.
There’s still great fear however that even moving the Sugar Hold over exclusively to the party zone won’t stop what they’ve started. It turns out the germ of the idea that making great fun music with a bunch of your friends to entertain your other friends has taken deep roots in Troy and beyond.
The Sugar Hold was just one of the thousands of groups of terrific local musicians that played this weekend’s Troy Bacchanalia and changed the face and expectations of what an upstate end of summer festival could really do to reinvigorate, enliven, and even reinvent the core of what an upstate city is all about and the great things that come out of it!
This will be part 1 in our 67 part series on the Bacchanalia fest in Troy the Year of Our Lord 2022 and its lasting effects on the ecology, wildlife, and business climate of the city that Uncle Sam built dancing on his two left feet and the Capital District beyond…
Y’all don’t know shit about shit! So before the great and wise ancient scenester MC Think Noise here tells you about the greatest bar and venue that ever was or shall be, a little history lesson for you ungrateful ahistorical pretentious hipster twerps! i was once like you… hey shutup you in the back! You think I can’t hear you?! I know what you’re saying and YOU. DON’T. KNOW. SHIT. So listen up!
Now as a hardcore lefter than left of left Marxist, anti-Capitalist, anti-advertisement and anti-Fun self loathing petty-bourgeouis schpieler, I was flat out opposed to making this announcement. However;
I was told the name of the venue was gonna be ‘No Fun’. Course I’m an Iggy acolyte from way back in the day, I myself named the ‘No New York’ no wave comp, and am immune to irony in all its forms yet can appreciate it smarter than any of any of you!
They offered me free admission to all
And the final clincher for this old dog, a free sixer of my favorite, Nine Pin Cider from my current favorite Lark Street haunt Pint Sized. A couple of cans in and I didn’t even care when I remembered all the god damned super dark shows are free! To me and everyone else!
Seriously though. This is the coolest fucking news/surprise/secret I’ve ever been savvy too before any a you pricks! Now hand me another cider, and I’ll tell you about the coming of the ultimate bar/craft beer & cider/show space/diy art venue in downtown Troy; NO FUN!!!!!
So let me start off by saying a few words about the hero of the new place, Sir August Rosa:
If he’d been the master composer and heavy shredding guitarist behind legendary Albany collective rock/emo pop punk band Aficionado, Dayenu.
If he’d opened a basement location in Albany to sell local and regional craft beers, ciders, and more, Dayenu.
If he’d taken that basement location to the heart of Center Square on Lark Street, filled it with taps and hundreds of delicious choices, made a great space to hang out AND a great venue for great shows, Dayenu.
If he’d built upon that success with a second location in Saratoga on Broadway, Dayenu.
And if you don’t fuckin know what ‘Dayenu’ means, shit son, what are they teaching you in that dumbshit school you got goin to? That’s from the Bible son! And I didn’t even go to college and highschool too! And look where it got me! Shit I lost my place. Where was I?
Oh yeah,…. And now, when you think he can give the Capital District no more cool shit, he gives us “too much too soon” and asks too little (that was a Buster Poindexter reference if you didn’t know ya little ignoranimus that dunnit know shit… who’s Buster Poindexeter? SEriously?!!! New York Dolls frontman Buster.. ah forget it) Now where was I?
A new venue for Pint Sized in downtown Troy at 277 River Street where he’ll be bringing all the great craft brews to Troy where you can drink them in the bar or just pick up a growler or a case to enjoy at home. And a brand new awesome diy/performance and art space at 275 River Street right where it’s needed most, where all of us scene geeks and freaks, hipsters and art snobs, craft beer enthusiasts, and pretentious neck beard types can call our second home, called ‘No Fun’!
Most importantly, he’s partnering up with the likes of the super dudes from the Superdark collective; Shane Sanchez for his excellence in booking and promotions, and John Olander to build the coolest fucking sound system EVER while keeping it low key with a good sized stage and weird crazy art and media to decorate the coolest fucking hangpad EVER to make what we’re all expecting to be the best fucking club in downtown Troy or ANYWHERE EVER!!!!
August, who already owns and operates 2 cool as that fucking cider I done already finished cause I’m a no-good old drunk that feels too damned much nostalgia for the old days that were so fucking great that there’s no way the future can possibly compete unless it’s in the heart of downtown Troy and run by 3 of the coolest people around… shit I forgot where I was going with this…
Anyway, August told me personally that “People have always asked why we haven’t done a project in Troy. I’ve always wanted to bring Pint Sized to downtown and have looked at spaces on and around River Street as early as 2017. There is a lot going on in Troy and I never felt that a Pint Sized on its own would be enough with so many unique and innovative offerings to do in the area. The “No Fun” event space will be what really sets this project apart. I absolutely see a need for dedicated performance space in downtown. We look forward to being a part of Troy’s downtown scene.”
And you KNOW your ole dog Think Noise couldn’t agree more. As a longtime Troy scenester, I’ve seen plenty of awesome venues come and go. My favorite by far was 51 3rd Street (a venue that most of y’all are too young to have witnessed the awesome powers and influence of), a real cool and weird square hole in the wall pad where RPI professors, students, and scenesters from around the Capital District could go to see great local shit like Denim and Diamonds, Complicated Shirt and Struction as well as national up and coming experimental performing acts like Fat Worm of Error, Dan Deacon, noise music royalty like Emil Beaulieu, and so many other great things I could list off that we’d be here all night… And then of course there was the likes of Artie’s many venues the last one that evenutally became the River Street Pub run by Vince Pellicano where the Super dark boys found their original home base in Troy. And then of course there were the legendary clubs and concert venues like the Hudson Duster, EmPAc, Revolution Hall and so many other cool and not so cool places to see shows that shut down or were the wrong place or size for the hip experimental noise and indie rock art house performances that Troy is famous for or the fantastic outdoor shows at Rare Form that for the past year have given us a way to see so many great superdark shows even in the midst of the Covid pandemic…
But all that don’t mean shit, now that the setup, location, dedication, and fuckin yeah fucker spirits of everyone that’s gonna be working on the new Pint Sized location and ‘No Fun’ diy performance and art venue promises the beginning of a whole new era, a new paradigm, are you pickin up what Think Noise is puttin down?! If only they’d hire yours truly to be the house MC, they’d have it all!
And your ole pal and drinking buddy gone dry and back again cannot fucking wait until the doors open and we rush in! To the end of quarantining and watching home performances of all my favorite local bands and performers and the beginning of a brand new era of endless craft brews, original live bands, and a public space where everyones welcome to hang out bear witness and be inspired and share in the nirvana in Troy of music, art, and every great collaborative thing in the Capital District but also those geniuses that do all that AND make it all possible like August Rosa, Shane Sanchez and John Olander.
Do you remember Valentines? Upstate Artists Guild? Miss Mary’s art space?! These is all gonna just be distant memories that will only serve as footnotes to the story of the greatest venue ever begotten, NO FUN! Theys gonna be a mass exodus from Williamsburg, Green Point, Long Island City and all those other super concentrated hipsterdoms like Cleveland before Lester Bangs ruined it straight to the River Street area in downtown Troy once the Pint Size/No fun club opens up. And we gonna live upstairs and downstairs and next door, camp out on the front porch all lit up with kerosene and molly on planet k inside the in crowd out in the cold listening to the free music blasting over the whole fucking block and blowing us over into the gutters and crawl back to our beds so we can sleep enough to come back and do it all over again…
Have you ever heard of CBGB’s? The Limelight? Lollapalooza? Woodstock?!!!! All just small steps building up to the coolest venue and greatest performances that ever were or shall be, NO FUN!!
And now that you know some shit about some shit go forth and spread the word! (and of course if you want me to explain the legend of Brevator and how they made Daughters cry b/c they’d surpassed them in every way and Daughters got back at them by sabotaging their recording so no one’d ever know how fucking great they were I’m always around… hit me up man… I’ll probably be outside No Fun soon as it opens in like November maybe or I’ll just be hanging around there anyway…
I fell asleep listening to the rocking sounds of BattleaXXX’s new release ‘Adequate’, enjoying everything about it. I thought to myself, this is so fucking cool. I’ma listen to it tomorrow.
I soon awoke dripping with sweat, afraid of women everywhere. Taking back what is theirs. Seizing the monopoly on violence for themselves. Rounding up all the men and then sending them out to the desert to kill each other while they rule like Gazorpians!
I dreamt I had been dating one of the members of battleaXXX but, like the man jerk that I am, I dumped her for some stupid reason. She told me she was gonna kick my ass.
Haha! I ain’t scared of no woman! Bring it on.
Until, of course…
Martha Moscowitz, Brooke Degener and Megan Prokorym all showed up at my house, armed to the teeth! I threw a punch out of fear and before I knew it I was dismembered! Guitar shredding my face! Bass pounding my skull! Drums crushing my legs! Screaming in a bloody mess about how I wish I’d never messed with BattleaXXX! I wish I’d never done wrong to women! It was all my fault! I deserve this!
Now when I look at the innocent cover of their latest record, I drop it in fear and run for the hills!
They’re coming for us! All the young dudes, run for your lives!
Ok so we’re a little late this year. We’ve had a lot on our mind since, in case you hadn’t noticed, a lot’s been going on in the world besides local music. And while local music is always important and will always be OUR lifeblood, when the world shuts down and refuses to allow live music performances to take place… we get a bit depressed and unmotivated :(.
Luckily, the lack of live performances allowed many local groups to focus on recording and releasing new material! In this spirit, instead of doing our usual ‘worst local band of’, we decided to do a ‘worst local recording of 2020’! And there were so many to choose from… a list of all the great local recordings that made the list but not the top ten is available at the bottom! We recommend listening to not only the top 10 but every single one listed!!! There is so much great local music that’s released every year that we all miss just because we don’t hear about it, and we’re just trying to do our part to remedy that! Thanks for reading! Here’s the top 10:
Madeline Darby has been an integral part of the local scene and especially the Superdark collective for years now. As a member of Dominated Swine and Thinner Friends in addition to her solo releases, her contribution to the electronic noise music in the capital district local scene is enormous to say the least. And on her most recent release, Innovation, her mastery of the independent experimental electronic and darkwave genres are on full display. A very personal album full of vocals, despite the frequent use of monotone/rap, it’s evocative of the very individual intellectual and psychological struggles that Madeline Darby and the rest of us face on a daily basis. With Shane Michael/100 Psychic Dreams contributing mixing and Paul Coleman mastering, Madeline’s collaborative spirit and choice of the best of the best in the local scene’s recording industry is beyond reproach. But the wealth of knowledge of electronic recordings and forays into the tiniest corners of the extensive wealth of electronic genres is fully displayed by all the intriguing tracks contained in this twenty minute ep — you have to hear it to appreciate just how much space it covers!
We at Times Boredom have been huge fans of Scum Couch for awhile now (even editorially suggesting they be the best of last year). But we may be biased, since the kind of avant-garde experimental rocking noise music Mark O’Brien deals in is pretty much our favorite post subgenre. And this short collection of loud wailing noise rock is just magnifique! Calling to mind the noisey experimentation of a thousand barely heard touring artists (we think of our old but sadly defunct friends Ape Not Kill Ape), but also relating to post and noise rock heroes like Silver Daggers, Oxbow, and Health, this ep is a gateway drug to all things further left field than most likely anything you’ll ever hear on the radio (other than perhaps the Superdark Radio Show!). And it melds so many genres and advances in the genre’s influences so seamlessly it sounds as though O’Brien isn’t just pioneering but invented them all! Well done, as always!
This is what happens when you don’t respond to the surveys people!
So if that last entry was a little too noisey or far left of the dial for you, there’s no way you’re going to be able to stomach to this release from two members of Albany’s long running noise rock collective Che Guevara T-Shirt. Apparently both have been digging into far more noise over signal and random chance experimental recordings, though the sides of the coin that are on display here from the two sound artists are certainly very distinct from each other.
Olander’s side of the record is 5 songs of nothing but straight kazoo solos.
Sonin, on the other hand, appears to be utilizing feedback from various contact mics on acoustic instruments in the foreground and layers of amplifiers mic’d and feeding back into each other as background. Both lack obvious rhythm (though both are clearly rhythmic in their own unusually defined ways), traditional instrumentation, or vocals of any kind. Mixing and mastering by omnipresent behind the scenes star Paul Coleman and (on the Olander tracks) Carl Blackwood of local band Bendt lend these recordings balance and presence, but take away nothing of the intentional grit. Dark, foreboding seemingly random soundscapes lie in wait on this record to entertain, creep you out, and intriguingly describe a period in the lives of their creators.
The Superdark collective supergroup Thinner Friends is made up of Madeline Darby (Madeline Darby), Gary Ziroli (Mr. Cancelled), and Shane Sanchez (100 Psychic Dreams, Blood Blood Blood, Eternal Crimes, etc.). Dealing in energetic electronic postpunk, the group gained immediate attention and local love upon forming and playing their first show. Since then they’ve created a cadre of songs for this debut ep of fun, danceable tunes melding too many hip genres to list. If you’re familiar with other groups these three allstars have been involved in, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to hear their separate talents merged into one group that so naturally complements and completes both songs and instrumentation it sounds like they’ve always been together. Three to the third power of great tastes that taste great together!
A lot of different independent original music elements were brought together for this compilation, from groups associated with the Superdark collective in Saratoga and Troy, to Glens Falls No More Death Stars, eastern Massachusetts stars Leap the Dips, Albany allstars Gay Tastee Ex Machina, all the way down to groups that started in Albany and made their way to NYC and Ohio Never out of the Woods! There have been plenty of similar compilations over the years (like say from NYC to Albany, the screed comps, countless punk rock split 7 inches), but this one was formed out of the need for community resulting from the atomization and forced solitude of the pandemic. Compiler Keith Sonin (of local goatherders Che Guevara T-Shirt) worked with superpower duo the Colemans to solicit, bring together, and sequence songs made from the horror and loneliness brought on by the pandemic starting in Albany and spreading as far and wide as needed to convey the pluralistic reactions to the stay at home orders. ‘Intimidating’ near straight noise experimenters like Derpetuity, Arbitrary Labor, and dblgoer stand side by side with the somber yacht rock of the K.O.N.N. and Sava_D and the the lo-fi downbeat Stooges like tracks of Rey Cormac. Most of the artists are either locally famous or the pen names of locally famous group members and one off collaborators. But it’s all motivated by the same spirit of trying to make original independent songs to get ourselves and our friends through this time, and have something to remember it by.
We’ve been raving about Lone Phone Booth since we first saw them in a dank basement, and haven’t stopped screaming about how great their sophomore effort RE/Sound is since we first heard it (read more at here)! Such a tour de force of not only experimental found sound collages but classic indie rock melodies and guitar lines; we genuinely fear that Lone Phone Booth will relocate some day and leave our love behind. Because clearly they have the talent and the ability; even the recording of every last noise put into this record is crisp and clear when appropriate, fuzzy and lethargic when that’s called for. Clearly we’re not alone, as more and more fans are picking up on how terrific the efforts of Grace Annunziato keep getting better and better. We like to think that we here at Times Boredom enlightened at least a few cool kids to the great sounds of LPB; if we achieved even that, it has not all been in vain!
Albany underground legend Drew Benton (Complicated Shirt, TOUGH, Sesame Plexer) just seems to be getting better with every new group he puts together, every new album he makes. The undeniably epic ‘3rd Degree Moonburns’ proves that not only does Benton still have the chops to blow us away with his talent, but that his songwriting skills are not only still great but further developing with every new year. Influences like Magazine, Television, and Richard Hell still figure prominently in the sound, along with the glam of Bowie and Mick Ronson and T. Rex. The sharp, caustic wit that’s been evident throughout his career is here tempered with the wisdom of being able to view it from outside; the noisey punk screeches matured into a melange of sounds that come from everywhere; guitars, drums and bass, but now also horns, piano, and all kinds of Pet Sounds type instruments one would be hard pressed to identify individually. There are even ballads so beautiful and sombre they rival those of Tom Waits (we can’t wait until Rod Stewart covers a Haunted Cat song!). The history of popular music is being examined here, from Walls of Sound to glam-sludge and everywhere in between. Steeped in music theory and a talent for pop songwriting that is unrivaled in the local scene, Haunted Cat reaches (forgive us for the cliched terminology but it really does apply here) EPIC heights with this record. A FUCKING CLASSIC.
Those that know Steve Hammond know that he’s no stranger to unusually high productivity, but on his 2020 release he breaks pretty much every record we can think of. An album with over ninety minutes of music that keeps it interesting with the ‘small song’ format, no song is longer than 3 minutes, most are under two, and the ‘smallest’ comes in at 19 seconds! In addition to having 53 songs (fifty-fucking-three!!), the number of genres included in this small masterpiece exceeds even the number of songs. From the shoegaze of ‘Escaping Hell’, the post-hardcore of ‘cat skin suit’ and ‘dog rape whistle’, to genres times boredom doesn’t usually hear like southwestern instrumentals (guitararra), bossa nova (georgie bean), and even good old fashioned soul with ‘Wasting Away’. And we thought k. Sonin who was eclipsed by Asa Morris were productive! With about 40 albums featuring Steve’s love of all music willing to go anywhere style available on bandcamp alone, Hammond is a genre-bending songaholic never stopping always entertaining steel driving music man!
If you’ve read anything about Sky Furrows on Times Boredom before, you know we never run out of good things to say about them. We’ve been gushing about how terrific they are since they first time we saw them and were entranced by their early SST spoken word post-hardcore sound (we’re all big SST fans from back in the day, and although they combine influences from plenty of other hip underground genres that’s the one we love and celebrate most). And finally, we got to hear their recorded output in 2020 with their self titled new record. Best of all, we got a copy of the vinyl (read Ipolit’s review here)! The timing couldn’t have been better since we’ve been missing their fantastic live shows with all the famous and talented long and short term scenesters on and off stage, so the fact that their record came out mollified us no end being able to listen to it over and over again when we were missing them. Truly the Capital District has been blessed with the unique spoken word poetry of Karen Schoemer (herself an actual music journalist unlike any of us amateurs whatwhithin our nonsensin grammar and rocknroll vocab), the combination of Burnt Hills legends Eric Hardiman, Mike Griffin, and Phil Donnelly (all of whom are in plenty of other fascinatingly creative psychedelic tinged groups like Century Plants, Rambutan, Parashi, etc.), all coming together to give some of their best to truly one of the best albums to come out of the Capital District ever!
It’s no secret that there’s mutual love between local scene arms the Super Dark Collective, Times Boredom, and super talented power couple Jennifer and Paul Maher-Coleman (read TB’s interview here) and the many musical projects they spearhead and contribute to, but Architrave’s pandemic release proved once more why this specific group of theirs is as popular and worshipped as they are. Almost timeless in its influences and sounds, the record could be from the late seventies, the synth drenched mid eighties, or the Brooklyn hipster synth-pop renaissance of the early turn of the century. But unlike any nostalgic rehash, Architrave’s songs are purely original compositions based on a love of all their influences and an undeniably innovative resulting output. And of course this ain’t no synth-pop record; there’s a dark mystique and spirituality to this and all Maher-Coleman penned tunes that reveal a depth that, while undeniably catchy, comes from a well of human spirit that’s lived, loved, suffered, and come to terms with the meaningless complexity of life’s many unexpected twists and turns in a way that comes out as nothing short of great wisdom. And that’s not something you usually (if ever) hear in recorded rock, pop, and electronic music. Dark or cold wave would be an insulting term to apply to the brilliant tunes of ‘This Perfect Day’, given how superficial and naive so much of those genres turn out to be. This album represents a definitive maturity of sound crafted by a lifetime of electronic know-how and mastery of evocative melody to convey the personalities of its wise creators. This Perfect Day is not only a perfect record for the pandemic, but we keep spinning it well into the post-pandemic period, appreciating more of its complexity, integrity, and unerring honesty with every new listen. Everything that Jen and Paul Coleman are involved in is made better by their presence, but when their greatness is distilled to its essence in Architrave, something amazing and timeless has been released into a world made much better as a result of the beautiful and new colors it adds.
Honorable mentions (maybe in a particular order, maybe just randomly…): Dominated Swine – Songs of the Dominated Swine, Fine Grain – Cold Dead Eyes, Mount Mole – Flee Marker, Maggot Brain – Illumine, Ferriday – Everywhere you go, 100 Psychic dreams – variously releases, Apostrophe Beats – various releases, Brent Gorton – Quiet Time, Coupons – Up and Up, Aldebaran – Blue Lands, Bridge of Flowers – BIll + Ed, Laveda – What happens after?, Burnt Hills – Slip through time, Eraserheadz – Tales Not to Sleep, Various – Timmy Wiggins Come Home Soon Volume 1, Various – 2 dead hummingbirds presents, Machine REvival – Pulse Decay Time, Matthe D. Gantt – Diagnostics, Joe Taurone – Just Joe Vol. 1, The King of Nothing Nowhere – Her words my mouth, Rhakim Ali – Less is More, John Powhida International Airport – Single Feeling Randy, Pete Donnelly – Woke Bastard, Swamp Baby – Water Gods, Mike Hotter – Room to Land, Gay Tastee Ex Machina – Shook, Normanskillers – s/t
Don’t like our pics? Get involved in the survey for next year! E-mail email@example.com to let us know about your interest! Or better yet, send us an editorial all about your favorite band and why they should’ve won. If it’s grammatically correct, poignant, or funny enough we’ll publish it!
Ipolito, our resident biggest fan of local experimental indie noise project/”gay uncle core” performers Lone Phone Booth (though the rest of us are fans too!) sat down (on the internet) with Grace Annunziato of the group recently to talk about how the pandemic is affecting music, what their writing and recording process is like, and random stuff about, um, corn. Here’s what they came up with.
Ipolito Terentjia (IT): So how are you enjoying the pandemic so far?
Grace Annunziato (GA): ha; i talked a lot before the pandemic about how i wished everything would stop, or at least slow down; i have learned to be more careful what i wish for,there have been some great aspects that have come with it like introspection, focus on my meditation practices, and connecting more deeply with the earth and with my priorities. obviously none of that is worth the toll it has taken! my plans have been shaken up and i forget how to be around people. but i am lucky to have gotten through it relatively unscathed. & it has definitely changed my creative process lots.
IT: Have you been making more music as a result or has it prevented that?
GA: DEFINITELY less music. for months at the beginning it just seemed so silly to write a little song with a pandemic and civil rights movement in full swing. now it’s just harder to get the motivation, but i’ve been finding ways around that. i also love writing about places and experiences which are hard to come by in a pandemic.
IT: I know what you mean. I think a lot of local musicians are feeling that way. Do you live in the capital district?
GA: i do! i live in albany.
IT: How long have you lived here? I think I read something about one of your recordings being at St Rose. Did you go to school there?
GA: i moved here for college in 2016. yeah, i went to saint rose! I graduated May 2020. meaning i finished school virtually. i had planned some long form travel after graduation but wound up sticking around, which has been a blessing in disguise.
IT: Did you study music there?
GA: I studied music industry, so a combination of music tech, business, and performance. i mostly focused on the tech side. i love engineering and production work.
IT: I guess that means you learned a lot about recording. Can you tell us about your recording process and methods?
GA: i usually start with guitar parts, at least i have in the past. once i have the guitar and vocals down i’ll add other instruments. after that is the really fun part, adding samples and field recordings, synths, effects, etc. that part probably takes the most time.
lately though, i’ve been switching it up a little. usually now I’ll start with a sample or field recording and build on that sound; i try to make it the focal point rather than the background. Then I’ll layer guitar, vocals, keys, whatever, on top of that.
i have a little portable stereo recorder i’ve been bringing on hikes. that has been the basis for a lot of music recently. then i just add sounds that feel like they fit the time and place i recorded.
IT: Do you record at home or in a studio?
GA: both! the studio when i was at st rose, now just at home. i’d love to get back in the studio when i have something ready that could use a hi-fi recording.
RE/SOUND needed that clean studio sound! but for more ambient stuff like i’ve been into lately i honestly love the lofi sound of recording at home on my busy street.
IT: Switching to the business side since you said you also studied that, I assume you’ve been self releasing recordings thus far. Have you spoken with or been approached by any local or big record labels? Or do you always see yourself doing things the DIY way and releasing and promoting independently?
GA: i’ve worked with the angels at bee side cassettes and talked with five kill a bit too. i’ve never been approached by a bigger label, but i have been ignored by a few! hahah.
despite having studied it, the business side of things has always made me feel icky. promotion is not my thing. i would rather self release and have only a few people hear it than have a huge release that feels inauthentic.
IT: The ‘who are your major influences’ question is a tired old cliche that signals a lack of imagination on the part of the interviewer. Who are you major influences?
GA: Mirah has affected me since I was a kid. Frankie Cosmos and Girlpool and a lot of straight white emo bands helped me get started. William Basinski and other minimalist composers like Philip Glass, Emily Sprague. The trees that live on my street. And how the light moves around my apartment throughout the day!
Anyone who can combine noise and music, too- Ylayali, spirit of the beehive, the books, etc
IT: That’s a lot of stuff I’ve never heard of. I’ll have to do some background research and put the record buying on Times Boredom’s dime!
GA: sounds like a great plan!!!
IT: What genre, if any, would you say your music could be classified as?
for real, i don’t know how to answer that! somewhere in the alternative umbrella. for now i’ll go with gay uncle core.
IT: A lot of people are saying that indie rock, like rock music in general, has become stale and unexciting. So if you could save Courtney Barnett, Waxahatchee, or the band Real Estate, who would you let drown first and why?
GA: bye bye, real estate! i’ve covered waxahatchee and courtney barnett is the primordial ooze that my hairstyle was birthed from.
IT: So I’d like to ask you about live performances before I forget. Where have you played in the Capital District? Anywhere you’d like to play? Have you ever toured and/or are you planning to?
GA: i’ve played basements and living rooms all across the capital district! and i have done a small tour in the northeast US. next year i am moving into a van so i will sort of be touring all the time. i’d love to play in the southwest US just because it’s where i’d love to explore.
i would be ecstatic to play in any sweaty basement with my friends in it
IT: So several of the other writers here at Times Boredom wanted me to tell you how much they love your music and especially your latest album ‘RE/SOUND’. It plays around TB HQ pretty much non-stop. What we all most want to know most is, do you plan to stick around the Capital District? Can we hope to hear more from you and see live performances in the near and/or not to distant future?
GA: wow, i really appreciate that! seriously, it means a lot!! and it honestly depends on how COVID goes. i’ve been wanting to travel for a while. I hope to leave albany in the fall as long as everyone who wants a vaccine has one by then. hopefully i’ll be able to play a few shows in albany before that happens! but it seems so uncertain how the transition back into live music will go.
IT: We absolutely look forward to that and hope you’ll keep us in the loop! Thanks so much for taking the time to talk with us tonight Is there anything you’d like to add before we conclude? Maybe another local music artist you’d like to give a shout out to?
number two! my partner alex AKA soo do koo. one of the most inspiring artists i know, & in the midst of releasing a series of video collabs with local legend Derick Noetzel.
thanks for reaching out, and for chatting! much appreciated. can i ask you an interview question before we go?
IT: Sure thing. ask away
GA: what is your favorite vegetable and why???
IT: Hm. A fair question. Although technically corn breaks all the rules, one of things it is is a vegetable. So I’m gonna have to pick corn, since it was such a major achievement of the pre-Colombian American peoples. It’s basically the most scientifically advanced form of nutrition that can grow anywhere under almost any conditions
I fully believe that the import of corn from the Americas allowed all civilizations, in Europe, Asia, and Africa, to flourish in a way that allowed them to reflect much more on intellectual pursuits because it feeds so many so efficiently
While it may not be the healthiest kind of food, the technology, knowledge of farming, cultivation, hybridization, and the sheer audacity of taking something that grew only in very specific conditions in the wild yet was modified to make it spread across the entire planet mirrors humankind’s own journey into being the superdominant species on earth, for better or worse.
GA: that was beautiful. never have i thought so deeply into corn’s cultural impact; thank you.
IT: Oh, before I forget, Scott wanted me to specifically ask: “GOATS!!! GOATS GOATS GOATS GOATS GOATS!! THEY WILL TAKE OVER SOON, JUST LOOK IN THEIR EYES! FEAR THE GOOOAAATTTSSS!!!!”
GA: well said, Scott.
IT: Thanks again and I hope we have an excuse to speak again soon! Please keep making great music! We really love it!
GA: hahah they’re both good points & thank you so much! i really do appreciate all the kindness you all have shown me.