Soft Fangs Wax Nostalgic with New Video for “Birthday”

Soft Fangs Wax Nostalgic with New Video for “Birthday” photo credit Joe Evers

“I’m old enough to die / I’m young enough to be alive,” sings Soft Fangs’ John Lutkevich on “Birthday,” released in March on his debut LP The Light. The track is mellow yet claustrophobic, and even unsettling at times. Its billowing synths and haunting guitar lines envelop the listener like damp insulation in the attic of an abandoned house. Echoing the song’s mood is a pensive video, which Lutkevich cobbled together from old family home videos. Most of the VHS sequences were left untouched, with Lutkevich noting that “specific cuts & edits... somehow went along to the music” already—an eerie “gift” from his long deceased grandfather, who filmed much of the video’s content. Mainly depicting Lutkevich as a young child, the video revels in the innocence and simplicity of bygone days. It closes with a festive panning shot of a carnival, a wistful and poignant reminder of the enviable wonder of a youth that can never be reclaimed.

The Light is out now on Exploding in Sound and Disposable America. Soft Fangs play Silent Barn, Brooklyn on October 2 with Shelf Life, Soccer Mommy, and The World All Around. See below for some November tour dates as well.

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The Story of P.S. Eliot: "We Never Thought About Being Anything More Than We Were"

The Story of P.S. Eliot: Illustration by Leesh Adamerovich

This issue appears in AdHoc Issue 14. You can pick up a copy at AdHoc shows around NYC. If you'd like to order a copy, you can do so here for a physical edition; you can download the PDF here. You can also find physical copies at the following locations in New York City:

Academy Records, Greenpoint
Artbook @ MoMA PS1, Long Island City
Cafe Grumpy, Greenpoint
Commend, Lower East Side
Coop 87, Greenpoint
LIC Corner Cafe, Long Island City
Little Skips, Bushwick
Printed Matter, Chelsea
Spoonbill & Sugartown, Williamsburg

*          *          *

Long before they broke out with their own projects, back in their Alabama hometown, Philadelphia-based twins Allison and Katie Crutchfield played in a fourpiece band called P.S. Eliot. The sisters—now known for their work with Swearin’ and Waxahatchee, respectively—had been making music together since middle school. In early 2008, just before P.S. Eliot went on tour to support their self-released debut EP, Katie wrote a blog post that seemed to sum up the band’s ethos: “We have the time and we have this sort of super-zealous, enthusiastic outlook on doing a lot with what we have right now, so why not?”

That excitement extended to the music they were making, which was raw, emotionally charged, and recorded in intense spurts. Newly formed and fresh on their instruments, the 19-year-old siblings embedded a message of strength and resistance in their music—one that would later expand to encompass their efforts for inclusion in, and reform of, spaces dominated by men. Conceived at a time when bands of their size rarely benefitted from the help of publicists, P.S. Eliot prioritized connecting with listeners through their shows and writing smart, aggressive lyrics that would resonate with audiences who valued respect and openness just as much as they did.

In the group’s four-year run from 2007 to 2011, they released two EPs, a powerful, wide-open pop album called Introverted Romance in Our Troubled Minds (2009), and an equally revered full-length called Sadie (2011). Today, those records show the seeds of the mature yet equally adventurous output the twins would go on to produce in their solo careers. Speaking on the phone in advance of P.S. Eliot’s reunion tour this fall—their first shows together in five years, with former guitarist Will Granger and bassist Katherine Simonetti—Allison and Katie couldn’t help pointing out how much the landscape of DIY has changed in the nine years since the band’s formation. In the following history of the group, they talk about the Birmingham, Alabama DIY scene where they got their start, building a grassroots following, and how P.S. Eliot was a feminist band at its core, even before they knew how urgently their efforts were needed.

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Weyes Blood Brings Humor and Twists to New Video

Weyes Blood Brings Humor and Twists to New Video

Explaining her newest music video for Weyes Blood, for the song "Do You Need My Love?" Natalie Mering states “this video is about accessing the inner beast, tapping into Dionysian impulses in a safe guided way with some time traveling entities.” Across the video’s seven-minute narrative, the nameless protagonist, played by a mustachioed Mering, checks into a hotel, bringing new ideas, desires, and chemicals into the surrounding community, including a sickass bear. Though humorous, the video is rich in cultural signifiers, nodding to both old world ritual and new world psychedelia. The video ends in a comedic twist, one that both proves endearing to the viewer and - perhaps more importantly - begs the question why doesn’t M. Night Shyamalan use baroque pop for his soundtracks? Frankly, it shouldn’t have taken us this long to ask.

Front Row Seat To Earth is out October 21 on Mexican Summer.

OSR Tapes Announces Its Final Batch Of Releases

OSR Tapes Announces Its Final Batch Of Releases

Since 2007, not-for-profit label OSR Tapes has graced us with a steady stream of releases by cult figures and DIY recluses. Now, label head Zach Phillips has announced that the 25-release batch that OSR is releasing in 2016 will be the label's last. Albums by OSR mainstays Chris Weisman, Hartley C. White, and Christina Schneider are given their due in the latest class, joined by works from Mega Bog, Brave Radar, Salt People, Grape Room, William Clay Austin, and more. At 77 releases in total (many of which were recorded by Phillips himself), OSR's output displays a bold commitment to musical outsiders who relish the atypical. Embracing a radical honesty both musically and in their production ethos, OSR Tapes comes to an end raging with as much originality and unpredictability as ever. 

The final batch of OSR releases is available to preview via the label's Bandcamp. For a complete list of OSR releases, visit their website

Bryce Hackford Reworks Ka Baird’s “See Sun Think Shadow”

Bryce Hackford Reworks Ka Baird’s “See Sun Think Shadow” Image by Camilla Padgitt-Coles

New York City-based vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Ka Baird (notably of free folk group Spires That in the Sunset Rise) has shared Bryce Hackford’s remix of “See Sun Think Shadow,” the title track off her 2015 LP. Hackford’s trajectory as a musician has been a diverse one, ranging from his early days delving into experimental guitar work to currently producing Moodymann-inspired house tracks. In his reworking of "See Sun Think Shadow," what was originally a gorgeous and sparse improvisational piano piece is now a melodic and hypnotizing minimal-techno-esque track. While the backbone of the composition remains rooted in a sample of Baird’s lush piano playing, Hackford adds atmospheric electronic elements and distorted percussion to craft a sonically enveloping piece of music.

See Sun Think Shadow is out now on Perfect Wave. Catch Ka Baird on her upcoming European solo tour with multimedia artist Camilla Padgitt-Coles—dates after the jump.

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Outer Space Present a Dreamy Excerpt from New Album Gemini Suite

Outer Space Present a Dreamy Excerpt from New Album Gemini Suite

Though the Cleveland-based astro-drone trio Emeralds deactivated in 2013, the kosmische spirit lives on, every now and then manifesting itself through the band members' numerous other projects. Outer Space is one of the most fertile ones, originally established by former Emerald John Elliott back in 2007 and currently operating as a duo with Andrew Veres. John revealed on the band's website that the music on Gemini Suite was composed a few years back as result of their friends' request for the sounds that would soothe the child and put it to sleep. So the duo came up with some of the dreamiest, clearest analog ambience that you might hear from any recent electronic music release. If it can put a baby to sleep, then it can probably make you lost in sound, too.

Gemini Suite is out November 11 on Amethyst Sunset.

Tredici Bacci Share Epic Single "Give Him The Gun"

Tredici Bacci Share Epic Single

Simon Hanes has built up quite the resume over the past five years. From attending the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music to being a founding member of the noise punk troupe Guerilla Toss, Hanes has an enviable creative pedigree. His main project these days, Tredici Bacci, curated by Hanes to include close friends and other classically trained musicians, is a 14-piece ensemble known for epic recordings. On “Give Him the Gun,” the first single off the forthcoming full-length Amore Per Tutti, the group continues to make music that defies easy classification. JG Thirwell of Foetus hops on guest vocal duties, supplying a seductively slurred drawl that creeps through bellowing horns and dramatic string arrangements. The track channels the trademark anxiety of post-punk and filters that through a spaghetti western lens, resulting in tunes that are immediately intriguing. Tredici Bacci is a collective that succeeds due to their ability to take significant inspirational cues from the past, all the while sounding refreshing and modern.

Amore Per Tutti is out November 11 on NNA Tapes. Tredici Bacci plays Market Hotel on November 12 with Amirtha Kidambi Elder Ones, and a collaborative set with Oneida and minimalism legend Rhys Chatham.

The Meltaways Share "Flight" Ahead Of A New 7"

The Meltaways Share J J Leaver

Following up with their first new music since dropping a self-titled EP in June, The Meltaways have shared "Flight", one of the four tracks from their upcoming self-titled 7" due out this fall. With "Flight", the trio deliver a no-nonsense, lightening-bolt of a song. Soaring guitar leads shine in the lo-fi production, and a driving drum beat ushers the track forward. The band sticks with a familiar loud-soft-loud structure but delivers the track's verses and hooks with an infectious abandon. The urgency and honesty of the performance brings the listener into the tracks's fight or flight mindset inherent in its fist-pumping grooves.  

The Meltaways' S/T 7" is out 10/1 on What's For Breakfast? Records. The Meltaways play The Silent Barn 10/15 with Told Slant, Sports & Yowler & Baby's All Right 10/11 with NOTS & The World. More tour dates after the jump. 

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Composer Carl Stone Makes Meditative Use of the Buchla on Latest Archival Release

Composer Carl Stone Makes Meditative Use of the Buchla on Latest Archival Release

The recent death of Don Buchla has sent many music lovers and synthesizer enthusiasts into their archives, pulling out whatever albums and CDs and digital files that could help find some way to clarify his singular genius in the world of electronic sound. Experimental label Unseen Worlds has trafficed in this realm of music for years, now releasing a set of pieces conceived and performed by American composer Carl Stone in the '70s and '80s. Stone had been a student at CalArts, studying under James Tenney and Morton Subotnick. The latter gentleman was a friend of Buchla's and commissioned one of his earliest synths, while also offering up a great deal of encouragement. So, he had access to one of the few Buchla 200 systems that were made and allowed his students to learn on it and write with it. Stone, who still writes and performs music today, used the Buchla 200 to create this meditative track that effectively utilizes long drones and overtones eked out of the many modules at his fingertips. The reedy tones that dominate the first few minutes capture your attention as the lower, more spacious sounds slowly take over. For as discordant as it sometimes feels, there's a calming quality to it like a singing bowl resonating in the room.

"Chao Praya" is on Electronic Music from the Seventies and Eighties, an upcoming 3xLP reissue being released via Unseen Worlds on September 30. 

AdHoc Issue 14 is Here

AdHoc Issue 14 is Here

In AdHoc Issue 14, we talk about origins. What was the music you loved as a child? Who were the artists you first tried to emulate? How have your taste, your ideas, and your communities changed over time? We spoke to two acts, both of whom got early starts playing music, about their artistic influences and development: outré pop icon Gary Wilson and P.S. Eliot's Allison and Katie Crutchfield. Aesthetically, the two don't have too much in common; Gary Wilson mixes lounge music with avant-garde composition, and Allison and Katie—now known for their work with Swearin' and Waxahatcheem respectively—veer towards punk rock. Still, both exemplify the ideal of striving to make the best art you can while staying true to the music and communities that helped form who you are.

If you'd like to order a copy, though, you can do so here for a physical edition; you can download the PDF here. You can also find physical copies at the following locations in New York City:

Academy Records, Greenpoint
Artbook @ MoMA PS1, Long Island City
Cafe Grumpy, Greenpoint
Commend, Lower East Side
Coop 87, Greenpoint
LIC Corner Cafe, Long Island City
Little Skips, Bushwick
Printed Matter, Chelsea
Spoonbill & Sugartown, Williamsburg

*          *          *

Leesh Adamerovich is a Brooklyn-based illustrator who enjoys collaborating with musicians. Her work is in uenced by ’70s music, animation, and quiet moments, and she drew the portraits in this issue.

Eric Copeland is an artist and musician who designed the color poster in this issue. His recent releases include the Black Bubblegum LP on DFA, the Brooklyn Banks LP on Palmetto, and a book, Pidgin Coup, published by Moon Hill Media.

Nick Corbo is an artist and member of the band LVL UP. He designed the front cover of the zine; that drawing—along with other drawings like it—is for sale at spiritwas.tumblr.com.

All designed by EyeBodega, this issue also features a full listing of upcoming AdHoc shows.