Monday, September 21, 2009

Figurants - Unauthorized Demo 2009


Yes, that title is appropriate. I had no permission at all whatsoever to post this record on here. But you know, try and stop me I guess.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Figurants is a new band featuring various members of Black Thirteen, Telenovela etc. To be specific the band is:

Simon Sharp - lead vocals
Zach Smola - guitar
Joe McNeill - bass
Wesley Rose - drums
Stephanie Clayton - everything else

So for any of you Telenovela fans out there wondering what Z&S have been up to, this is it. So what this Demo is is just a recording of one of their practices last week. I only have it because for weeks I have been begging various members of the band to bootleg a practice just so I could what the music sounded like at all. So they finally did it and when I received the file it was almost inaudible, so to really listen to it I brought it into pro tools and did some mastering. Then I thought I ought to make it worth my effort and just put it up so other people could hear it as well. So here it is.

As far as like a description or review I'm not entirely sure what to say. I guess I could tell you it is certainly NOT noise or improv or jazz or ambient or any of the other things that I typically put up on this blog. This doesn't mean it is without interest to me. In fact it's a really interesting record and I think one that shows what an enormous amount of potential this group has. We've obviously heard plenty of polished music from Z&S over the years so their combined powers don't come as a surprise, especially not to anyone who frequented Telenovela live shows which were always more loose and rockin' than the recordings suggested and more in line with what this demo shows us. I'll go on a limb and say that both Wesley Rose and Joe McNeill are in top form as musicians. I've known them both for quite a while and I am very pleased with what I am hearing, especially since each are playing secondary instruments (they are both typically guitarists) that I've only ever heard them play in very loose Blackthirteen jams. So it's cool to have these two pairs basically meeting in the middle as far as style in concerned and uniting to create the groundwork for what is the best use of Simon Sharp's vocals to date. Listening to this record it's a bit embarrassing that a band like this wasn't formed sooner given Simon's availability and talent.

I can only imagine what they must be like live, supposedly there is a video out there somewhere which is heading my way and will certainly be posted when I can. So everyone check this out and if you live in or around the Atlanta area keep your eyes open for their shows.

Download it here

Post Script: I wrote this entry before I had made this album cover. I don't know what to say about it... insert yr own joke about how I make everything look like either Jandek or Black Metal...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

This new thing I'm doing

So Joe McNeill recently visited me in Los Angeles and encouraged me update this blog more, even if I didn't have music posts every time. He blew my mind by saying that he just liked to read whatever was going on and didn't mind there not always being music. I guess I just needed one person to say that to get me going. So starting today I will write occasionally about other things, though probably still music and try to keep this thing going while I try to get back on track with standard album posts.

I hope that all makes sense.

Joe also brought me a rough copy of his new band's demo and at least one song from that will be posted soon. I also hope to bring you some sort of something from the other band Joe is playing in these days, which also features just about everyone else on this blog namely: Simon Sharp, Wesley Rose, Zach Smola and Stephanie Clayton. They are I believe called Figurants and they just played what i hear is a very successful first show in Atlanta, hopefully more to come soon.

Out here music is different, or well, I should say that Los Angeles hasn't really impressed me yet. Okay that's not true either. I've seen some amazing shows here because basically any band that is touring will come to Los Angeles. So there are dozens of shows to see all the time which is awesome. But all of these bands come from somewhere else to play here, I'm hard-pressed to name ten bands in Los Angeles that I care about at all... I'm scratching my head and John Wiese and Chris Schlarb are all I'm coming up with. Now granted those are two of my favorite dudes but in a city this big there ought to be tons of bands, right?

To be fair this is the home of hair metal and a lot of dumb hippy rock stuff and gangsta rap so what should I have been expecting...

Okay okay Pocahaunted is out here as well.

Really though I'm sure there is plenty of music for me to love I just have to find it. I mean Schlarb is in Long Beach anyway which is the second largest city in LA and I've never even been there so clearly much of the city and its music scene is still to be explored. But I guess it just goes to show the pro/con type situation with cities and music: in a place like Atlanta there may only be one cool show every month and so you can feel totally connected very easily and inexpensively and you are allowed to complain all of the time because it will never get any better and you can always wish you lived in a better city etc. Or you can live in Los Angeles and not know where to go or what to do and miss all of the shows except for the few amazing ones you actually hear about and can afford to go to (John Wiese Burning Star Core and bunch of other dudes for five dollars!) and still complain that there must be all of this cool stuff happening, only you don't know about it.

Eeeeeeee. this seems boring. In other news:

-Jessica is finishing an amazing new album called Gathered Souls, the future of which is still unknown, any suggestions?

-Her Cassette will be released soon on Thor's Rubber Hammer, details when I have them.

-She is also playing on my new album which will go up whenever I finish it (2025 anyone?)

-Jon Lynn's Uncolved Mysteries' new album is possibly days away from completion and it features Jessica and I guesting on one song each, a wistful nod to those days of yore when we had nothing better to do than to constantly play free shows in Savannah. The album is amazing and I'll let you know where to find it when I am told such things.

So anyway, I'm going to end this now. I hope it wasn't too boring. I'll try and put up real music next time.