Young Widows {We are a POWER TRIO!!!

+Sixes x 2 , Reviews, …

Heavens Russian Circles Maps and Atlases The North Atlantic

Contents: 2006-2007

07 Sixes: Labels 14 Suicide Squeeze 10th Anniversary 15 Young Widows 17 The North Atlantic 22 Maps & Atlases 24 Heavens 26 Sixes: Photographers 40 Russian Circles 44 Reviews

On the Cover: Louisville, KY’s Young Widows. Photo: Ryan Russell Above Photo: Russian Circles. Photo: Will Hough
Correspond: P.O. Box 2076 • Maple Grove, MN 55311


Darren Walters

What album or band really turned you on or got you interested in music? Music was always playing in my house, but it was always AM radio because this is what my Mom listened to all day. It was Rush that really turned me on to music in a bigger way. They were one of the first bands I heard that were not lite AM fare. At this point I was already like 11-12, so I was just missed the boat on a lot of 70's stuff that was happening while I was growing up. Rush just made the right impact at the right time and that changed the whole world for me. What made you want to start a record label? I thought that I could never really make it in a band, so I figured I would just apply myself behind the scenes a la Rick Rubin style. What do you think is the biggest problem facing record labels today? There is too many of them! And way too many bands to boot. What do you think is the most important aspect to consider before releasing a band’s album? How much work is the label and the artist willing to put into making the album a success. What has been your top selling or most popular release? Jets To Brazil "Orange Rhyming dictionary" What was one mistake that you made with the label that you haven't made again? Releasing cassettes. Jade Tree only released one, the Four Walls Falling record. After that we learned our lesson.


Mike Park
What album or band really turned you on or got you interested in music? 7 SECONDS. They were kind of local to me as RENO is just a few hours east of the San Francisco Bay Area. It's a band that I had on cassette whilst riding the skateboard with the big ol' SONY WALKMAN attached to the pants. What made you want to start a record label? It was done out of necessity. At the time I started playing music in the late 80's, there were very few people of color involved in any sect of popular or underground rock based music and guess what, 20 years later, there still is very little representation. But growing up on the idea of putting out your own records in the same direction as Dischord gave me the inspiration to follow suit. What do you think is the biggest problem facing record labels today? They just care about numbers. Sell Sell Sell. $$$ major label, indie label. It's all the same. You get caught up in the numbers game and you're screwed. That'll be your drive. Bigger and bigger and bigger. No contention with where you are. What do you think is the most important aspect to consider before releasing a band’s album? Are these people credible? Do they understand the philosophy of punk? Make sure they don't wear make up. What has been your top selling or most popular release? Alkaline Trio by a landslide. They are the best band to work with. Truly understand my goal as a label and have made the process of being in the music business quite enjoyable. What was one mistake that you made with the label that you haven't made again? Working with a band that only wanted to use me as a stepping stone to reach fame. It won't happen again.


Robb Nansel
What album or band really turned you on or got you interested in music? The Replacements. They were the most influential band to me growing up. What made you want to start a record label? Having a bunch of talented friends that nobody was paying attention to. I wanted other people to appreciate the music my friends were making as much as I did. What do you think is the biggest problem facing record labels today? Getting our records to stand out in an overly saturated industry. Due to the low barrier of entry into being a band, there is more music than ever out there for people to explore. Trying to get any one band to stand out compared to all the others (many of them with huge marketing budgets) is not an easy task. What do you think is the most important aspect to consider before releasing a band’s album? Do you like the record? Equally as important would be, 'do you like the people'? What has been your top selling or most popular release? Bright Eyes - “I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning”. What was one mistake that you made with the label that you haven't made again? How presumptuous of you...


Ezra Caraeff
What album or band really turned you on or got you interested in music? "Watercourse" by Boilermaker. They were from the same small hometown as me, and I as a high school kid who thought all people in bands were rock stars, they were the band who helped knock down that wall between performer and fan. Still to this day, they're one of my favorite bands. What made you want to start a record label? A tax refund check and suburban teenage boredom. I wish it was a grand calling or something, but I just wanted to find a way I could spend my refund money as fast and recklessly as possible, putting out records worked perfectly. What do you think is the biggest problem facing record labels today? Well, there are a lot. Mostly it's that as a small, one-employee, label, I am constantly competing with significantly larger Indies and corporate-owned majors for press, radio attention, store space, tours, etc. What do you think is the most important aspect to consider before releasing a band’s album? Will they break-up 3 months after the record comes out? If not, will they break-up 6 months after the record comes out? Plus they need to tour, a lot. What has been your top selling or most popular release? The Velvet Teen's "Out of the Fierce Parade" was been our best seller to date. Hopefully their new album, "Cum Laude" due out July 25th (nice plug!) will sell more. What was one mistake that you made with the label that you haven't made again? Oh man, there are so many. This label exists on a foundation of terrible mistakes. I guess it would be to trust my instinct when it comes to new bands that I fear will break-up.


Slim Moon

What album or band really turned you on or got you interested in music? The 10-5-60 EP by the Long Ryders What made you want to start a record label? Originally to put out spoken word records, switched to music to put out Unwound records. What do you think is the biggest problem facing record labels today? Depends on the label. What do you think is the most important aspect to consider before releasing a band’s album? Is it a good fit with us. What has been your top selling or most popular release? Elliott Smith "Either/Or" What was one mistake that you made with the label that you haven't made again? Licensing a record to Domino.


Erik Aucoin
What album or band really turned you on or got you interested in music? Frodus - A We Washed Our Weapons In The Sea. I was a freshman in college and was kinda into punk and hardcore already but this album blew my mind. I knew at that point I wanted to be in the music industry. PS at this point we've released albums by 3 ex members of Frodus...Nathan Burke is in the Out_Circuit, Brahm and Night Is Invisible who each have albums on lujo, Shelby Cinca is in Frantic Mantis, and Jim Cooper is in Baby Teeth. What made you want to start a record label? You know it actually all started out of a joke. I went to a show in Lafayette Louisiana that My Spacecoaster was playing. At that show the band was saying how they needed to get signed. I jokingly said "I'll sign you." A few months later I saw them again and they asked "So you want to put out our ep?" I agreed to it, went home got some money together and put it out. I also started emailing some musical heroes of mine (guys from Raft of Dead Monkeys, Frodus, Blood Brothers, etc) and got a few more released under my belt. It all kind of snowballed from there. What do you think is the biggest problem facing record labels today? I guess its got to be funding and finding an audience. I've seen so many labels start up and die out in the five years I've been doing this.


What do you think is the most important aspect to consider before releasing a band’s album? There dedication to it. If the band isn't touring, and promoting themselves it becomes really difficult to sell their record. What has been your top selling or most popular release? Fall of Troy -Self Titled. We just actually sold the rights to Equal Vision. What was one mistake that you made with the label that you haven't made again? At one point early in Lujo’s life we joined a well meaning non profit corporation. Lujo in effect became the record label branch of the corporation. We (the owners of Lujo) couldn’t make decisions on our own for a while and other people had a say. Some decisions were made in ways we would not have made (about budgets and so forth) and when the non profit quickly dissolved we had to clean up the mess. Since then we’ve strived to remain 100% independent and self sufficient.


10th Anniversary Shows
June 29- July 1st 2006 Neumos Seattle, Washington
Photos courtesy of Suicide Squeeze Records

Left Column
Top to Bottom:

Right Column
Top to Bottom:

Chin Up Chin Up Crystal Skulls Russian Circles Spencer (Hella)

Headphones Mike, Colin, Bekah Zach Hill (Hella)


Was it a shock when Steve announced he was leaving Breather Resist or was it planned out? Actually, Steve kind of got kicked out, but I like to say that we parted ways. We had just grown apart and our friendships weren't the same as they were when we started.

Why’d you decide change the name from Breather Resist to Young Widows? How have you tried to distance Young Widows from Breather Resist? It was the only name available that we all could agree on. We thought of about 20 names and they were all kind of lame or taken. A friend of mine, Kelley Cox, suggested Young Widows and it instantly stuck. We haven't tried to distance the the bands. We just kept on doing what we do. It was really natural. When Steve left the band, you announced that you wouldn’t be playing any material written by him, which is a noble move. Why did you decide not to play his material? Because those are his songs just as much as they are our songs. They are about his life and feeling. It would not be appropriate to sing a song about Steve dealing with his mother's death. We did re-work the song “Stained Sheets” from our seven inch and changed the name to “Glad He Ate Her”, but that wasn't released on CD and there was only 1000 copies. How has the lyrical content changed from BR’s “Charmer” to Young Widow’s “Settle Down City”? The lyrical content has changed a lot because Steve is no longer writing the lyrics, he is not in the band. Now, they are more socially political and maybe a little more straight forward. When they used to be more about particular emotions or situations Steve had felt or been through. Evan, you took over vocal duties with Young Widows. How has that been going and have you had any struggles with it on stage? I really enjoy singing. It makes me feel more attached to the music. Performing has been going great and there no real struggles. I might forget a line here and there, but I also sometime forget guitar parts as well. That's something I love about the live music, is hearing the fuck up and the flaws. It makes everything more real and less rehearsed.


Did you even have to look for a new label after Breather Resist broke up? Was Jade Tree the obvious choice to put out “Settle Down City”? We tried to get on Death Row Records, but they said we weren't tough enough. So then we sent out demos to Jade Tree and a few of them liked it. I really was so broken hearted that we couldn't be apart of the Death Row Family, that we would have been on any label that semienjoyed what we were doing. Can you explain the artwork for “Settle Down City”? Who came up with that idea? It was a very last minute kind of thing. I had this idea for a fold and a city skyline kind of thing, but it just looked lame and over done. I ask my friend Derek Snodgrass if we could use one of his drawing. He agreed. I gave him $100 and told him which I liked best. Derek is an amazing artist and he does tattooing for a living at Temple Tattoo in Oakland, California, but he is originally from Louisville. I thought it was pretty offensive and kind had an early punk look to it. I was and still am sick of seeing all these records that all look the same. I know you got into punk rock through skateboarding. Do you still skate? Does living near the Louisville skatepark ever tempt you to go skate? I haven't skated in a few months. Kentucky summers are so brutal! Not like a bad metal band, but the humidity just sucks the life out of me. I try to stay AC’d as much as possible. Besides only having to split the money 3 ways now, what are some benefits of being a 3 piece than a 4 piece? We are a POWER TRIO!!!



After going on hiatus, what made everyone decide to get back together? Was it your intention to always restart the band after the hiatus? Do you think you’d be the same band if you hadn't gone on hiatus? It would have been ludicrous on our part to think that we would never get back together after I went away for art school. We built this thing that is our band together and saw some amazing places, people and bands along the way. I think that when you have invested so much time into something like this, the idea of giving it up seems absurd. Even with distance, it just seemed like we had to keep going. I guess I understand when bands get burnout, but I just get more and more excited about creating within The North Atlantic and really seeing where we can make a contribution to music, and maybe even culture at large. How did the first reunion show go? Were the crowds bigger than before your hiatus? The crowds were maybe slightly larger, but only by a few new faces here and there. When I left for school, things were going really well with the band. It was definitely bittersweet to end on such a good note. Our last show in town was completely amazing, we were totally consumed in the crowd, friends had to keep

reassembling my pedals and the microphone every two minutes because they just kept getting unplugged or knocked around by people, it was just a mass of bodies on top of one another. People were screaming the lyrics to our songs almost louder than the PA, it was a once in a lifetime experience, very humbling, very touching. It was complete chaos that somehow functioned, very organic with a life of its own. Why did you decide to re-release “Wires in the Walls” instead of record a new album? How many copies were released of the original “Wires in the Walls”? Is there any difference between the 2 versions? Well, in short, it is an amazing album. The band put so much time and work into it, along with Jason Clark and Ben Moore, it seemed a shame to have only a couple thousand out in the world. Also we were able to add things to the original that we had planned on doing in the first place, but had run out of time and money to do. It is re-mixed and re-mastered, and it sounds incredible. There are definitely new sounds in the new version.


Even though “Wire in the Walls” was recorded a few years ago, it still has a feeling that it was recorded recently. Why do you think that is? I think maybe that because we never confined ourselves to a specific style, or genre, it lends the songs a certain timeless quality. Hopefully the songs offer up a lot of musical directions and ideas to follow and expand upon, hopefully it still resonates as vital. It is the hope with any creation that it evolves as its context shifts. How did the deal with WPO come about? The brother of one of the WPO guys came to our show and dug it, so he sent our CD along, and then we started talking, etc. I have to say, that we are very pleased to be working with WPO, you hear so many horror stories with labels, but everyone involved is amazing and uncompromisingly supportive. You shot a music video for “Bottom of This Town”, do you plan on doing more videos for songs on “Wires in the Walls”? We are very pleased with the job Ryan Rentaria and his crew at Nightshop Films did with the video. They guy is like McGuyver, he took two nights of film and a shoestring budget and made art with it. We shot a video for “Scientist Girl” with Simon Chan of Artificial Army (Mars Volta, Thursday, Coheed and Cambria, the Locust, Kill Me Tomorrow) so keep an eye out for that, as he does amazing work as well. You are quoted as saying “We are more excited about our music now than we ever have been....” What makes it exciting? What isn't exciting about it? We are working on a ton of new material, playing in front of new people, touring full-time, traveling, meeting new bands. The new music we are working on is growing and expanding and making me rethink the way I structure songs. I find it very exciting when your process ends up teaching you to think in new ways. Are you currently working on new material? Yes, we have a ton of raw material.

How is touring a big part of the band? Playing live is what a band does. If you don't play out, then it is a recording project, which is fine. But for me, the music is not complete until it is executed live, with an audience. Live, there are so many possibilities and the sound is dynamic, not frozen as data on a disc or a hard drive. The music is about that live moment, and I like to spend as much time as I can in that moment. I think it shows that we love to play live when we play. I have never understood bands that stand around like potted plants when they play. When you first started touring as a band, gas prices were lower than they are today. How have the higher gas prices affected touring? How do you think the higher gas prices have affect independent bands in general? I think that, in general it is obviously hard on everyone who has to drive, but I think that a sad effect of the higher gas prices will be less bands being able to maintain on the road. It is going to be harder and harder for bands to start out touring for the first time. When we started touring we could fill our gas tank for 50 dollars, we didn’t always make that much at a show, but you could survive. I think it would be a hell of a lot harder doing that kind of DIY, just starting out touring now. It will be sad if the only bands that are able to afford to tour are bands that either already have somewhat of a name, or bands with label backing. I think that touring is a great experience and it would be sad for it to only be possible for a few. After reading through the lyrics, I noticed that a lot of the themes are repeated throughout the album. Was it your intention to do so? Yes, the songs are meant to reference each other, interrelate and forge new meanings and understandings. There are certain musical aspects that are shared between songs as well. It was not an act of laziness, it was intentional, I have plenty of lyrics, more than I know what to do with, but I wanted the entire album to tell a story and for the songs to build off of one another.


In an interview I read, you said that the music scene in Michigan is remarkably tight. Have you experienced that same type of community in other regions? Of course, there are amazing scenes all over, and I am sure many more that I haven't seen. We have little pockets of amazing creative communities all over that we feel at home in. The great thing about touring is that our "scene" is spread out over a huge distances, not confined to our own hometown. I think that it is good in that it gives us a more diverse pool of influences and support and it comes from a natural affinity rather than geographic constraints. The references to the music scene in Michigan definitely reference a different time, however (1998-2000, or thereabouts). What do each of you have a college degree in and do you plan on going into those fields when your done playing music? What keeps you playing music? Do you think going to college and getting an education is important? I have a degree in Fine Art from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Jason Richards has a degree in Anthropology from The University of San Diego, and my brother Cullen is finishing up his PHD in Comparative Politics at University of California San Diego. I don't really think about what I am going to do after music, mainly because I plan on playing music for the rest of my life, and because I try and remain focused on the present moment. I play music because I have been in love with it my entire life. The North Atlantic have a strong D.I.Y. work ethic, do you think that new bands these days lack a lot of that do it yourself attitude? Some do, some don't. I think, in general, it is getting to be less of a statement or ideology as it used to be. This may be from the development of a less politicized musical community or a confusion of what constitutes DIY in a climate of rapid dissemination of information through the internet and a complication of subculture identity in the face of cultural globalization. I guess that as an ideology, as with all ideologies, it becomes problematic, a hindrance that becomes more important than the music

itself. DIY isn't banner to wave, it is just logical: doing the best with what you have on hand. But, in general, I think that if kids are waiting for someone to come along and do the hard work for them, well then, I hope they have a comfortable seat because they'll be waiting forever. Fuck gimmicks, fuck styles, fuck hype, because in the end, if your music doesn't deliver all the money in the world isn’t going to help. The members of the band seem to be passionate about a number of topics. I’d like to get your opinions on: -Musical/Art Education in Schools Education in the United States is criminally undervalued, under funded, and suffers from extremely flawed pedagogy. The music and art programs in most schools, with few exceptions, are a complete joke, plenty of people try and work toward building good programs, but it doesn’t bring in funding, so they get completely sidelined, but what do you expect from a nation of puritan war mongers: beauty and compassion get buried to build an empire. -Current Government / War Like anyone needs me to say this, this war is completely ridiculous, and the idea of us “winning” the war on terror is a sad delusion. We may as well wage a war against fog, or Puff the Magic Dragon. More precisely, it’s impossible to wage war against a technology, which is what a strategic and tactical doctrine is, ultimately. There is a reason why people use guerrilla warfare against massively "powerful" military powers such as the United States: it's effective, and it will continue to be part of the military repertoire as long as it’s effective. It just sucks that we have crazy religious zealots on both sides ready to kill one another over the differences in their stupid little ideological minutiae of their relatively similar, and outdated belief systems.You have all of these people who think they are living in a modern world, but it is really the fucking dark ages, no one bothered to actually take out the trash of history and tradition. We aren't enlightened, we are lost, we don't know how to define ourselves outside of the turgid labyrinth of history.


-Religion The Religious Right can go fuck off and die. I am not going to talk about this, if people want to be willfully ignorant their entire life than that is just sad. Religion is a culturally derived, end of story, it isn't some objective truth, I am sorry but it is time to take off the training wheels. -The U.S. Society I just want so much more for everyone, I just want so much more for existence. People need to turn the TV off, shut down the computer for a little while and take a little time to take an active role in their own lives. I think trying to live each day as if it were your last is not bad way to look at it. I don't mean in some Mountain Dew commercial, para-sailing over an active volcano kind of way, but in the sense that we ask ourselves why it is we do the things we do. Why do we work at our jobs? Why do we define your gender? Why do we go to church? Why does the government work the way it does? Why do we pay for food? What is prejudice? Why is there poverty? I think the

world would be a lot better off, if we all spent less time producing, and more time thinking and questioning our realities. What is next for The North Atlantic? Do you have any tours planned for the fall/winter? Lots and lots of touring. We are going out for a five week Midwest/East coast tour, beginning in September, with Wax On Radio from Chicago. We are extremely excited about this, they are a great band and we are hungry to play out. We definitely plan on being on the road through December, so come on out and see us, I promise a good time.


Each member of the band is from a different state, how did you all come together to form Maps and Atlases? We all met while attending school here in Chicago, but all of our families (except Shiraz) relocated to the Midwest sometime before college. One great aspect of this is that we all have family and people who we know spread out all over the place when we are on tour. For the most part we’ve done the most touring where my family lives, which has allowed me to visit people who I wouldn’t otherwise see. Why did you decide to self-release your album? Did any labels express interest in releasing it? Are you looking for a label? From the beginning we all agreed that it was more important to do things our own way and I think that we have always felt a little skeptical of being affiliated with any label that we didn’t completely trust and respect. I think for a lot of bands it is tempting to jump into things and we talked to some very friendly people who had good intentions, but I am not sure that we were really what they wanted and vice versa Interview With and I am glad that we were able Dave to realize that early on.

Since your a band without a label, what do you do to fund tours and recording? We set up our tours on our own, using money we make playing other shows. As far as recording goes, Shiraz is kind enough to do the work for free and since we recorded the majority of it in our own space the cost was very low. How long did it take to write and record “Trees, Swallows, and Houses”? Had you been playing the songs a lot before recording to keep the studio time to a minimum? We recorded the record in a relatively short amount of time. One day for drums, a couple of days for everything else and that was it. We wrote it over the period of a couple of months and played the songs quite a bit live before we started recording. Studio time wasn’t really an issue, but being able to play a part naturally and smoothly always has a better result when recording and we wanted to capture a some of the live qualities of the music.


What were the benefits of engineering your own record? We were able to do things exactly the way we wanted to and spend the time necessary to get tones and do it in a comfortable environment without worrying about eating up money or anything like that. I had a lot of fun doing it, usually recording feels very formal and official to me, but this was enjoyable and we were allowed to just try whatever we wanted. How many copies of “Trees, Swallows, and Houses” were pressed? How has the response been? Are they only being sold at shows? We pressed a thousand and the response has been great, we are getting ready to press another thousand. Most of the records were sold at shows, but we also have them available online. Maps and Atlases sound is unlike anything I've heard in quite some time. What influences your music? We all sort of initially bonded over music that was very technical and I think that is definitely where we got our start, but we all also love folk music, R&B and more experimental music. Often times music that has very technical elements to it is interesting at a cerebral level and I just wanted to have that, but try to give it a soul also. I think that we sort of just try to maintain a balance between those things and to try to portray the elements that we like about all of the music in a new way. How are the songs written and what influences the lyrics? Most of the time the song begins as a very basic song to establish a melody and structure and we sort of abstract the parts from there. You've played shows with bands in your same genre and with bands out of your genre. Do you think its important to play shows with different bands to reach different audiences? I definitely think that it is important to play with bands outside of a particular genre, not only to reach different audiences, but just to keep things interesting on all sides. What's next for Maps and Atlases, touring, recording...? We would really like to continue touring as much as possible and we are also writing a lot right now so we are trying to find a good balance that would allow us to finish up a lot of the songs that we have been neglecting this summer by touring a lot. We are already laying down some rough versions of things, but will definitely be doing some serious recording in a couple months as well.


Interview with Matt Skiba & Josiah Steinbrick


Another night with your head in the oven // Simmering like a heat wave over you // Sweat drops hiss at the bottom // Blood droplets cook like glue
“Another Night” - Heavens, Patent Pending


You and Josiah have known each other for quite some time. When did you two meet and when did you begin working on this project? Matt: We met in Chicago about 5 years ago at

a show. Joe was in town recording a record and mutual friends introduced us. I was living in SF and moved to LA in 2003. Joe and his wife were renting a house in Hollywood and needed a roommate. I moved in with them and shortly thereafter we began writing songs together.

You two funded this project your selves. Was it costly? Was there anything that you did to keep the cost to a minimum? Josiah: We did the album at our friend's studio. This gave us time to work on it at all hours and at a generously discounted price. We borrowed money from Matt's friend Mike Park to fund all the initial costs. Is there any difference when writing lyrics for Heavens compared to writing lyrics for Alkaline Trio? Matt: Until recently, I would do most of the Alkaline Trio writing on my own where with Heavens, I wrote almost entirely to someone else's ideas. That's been the biggest difference and the thing that has made this project fun and new for me. How long did it take to write and record "Patent Pending"? Were the 11 songs for "Patent Pending" the only ones written? Matt: The record was written and recorded over the span of 2.5 years. We worked on it when we could and thanks to Ben Lovett we were able to make our schedules work. As for the songs, those are it. Everything we wrote together we recorded. There were some initial song ideas that never came to fruition, but for the most part you're hearing everything. How was the writing and recording process compared to doing an Alkaline Trio album? Matt: Doing the Heavens record was quite different because we didn't allocate time frames for writing or recording. The entire operation came together over a long stretch of time - we were in no rush because we didn't have a deadline. With a trio record we usually create deadlines for ourselves. I'd assume that with every Alkaline Trio album you do, you want the new one to outdo the previous one. With Heavens, did you feel less pressure, since there are no previous recordings to outdo?

Matt: Yes. Heavens was really fun and easy for me. Alkaline Trio's creative process has been a bit more complicated. Although Trio records are a ton of fun to create, it’s not always easy. You have a long-standing relationship with Vagrant Records. Why did you approach Epitaph to release the Heavens album? Matt: We had initially agreed to do the record with Vagrant. We went in there and struck a deal but when the lawyers got to talking the deal seemed to change and get way more complex than we wanted. Brett Gurewitz is a friend and someone I have a lot of respect for as a businessman and an artist. He was very enthusiastic about the prospect of putting out the Heavens record on Epitaph and made us an offer we couldn't refuse. Great label with great people what more can you ask for? Will you be touring in support of "Patent Pending"? Will you be bring a full band or will it just be you two? Josiah: Yes, we play our first show in England on the 15th of October. We have a few more UK dates, then we do the west coast and the north east into Chicago. We have four other people joining us for the live show.




What got you interested in photography? I had a crush on a lady that worked in a bookstore. I used to sneak out of the café I was working in and pretend to browse through books so I could look at her. One day I found Nan Goldin's "Ballad of Sexual Dependency". I kinda forgot about the woman after that. What is your earliest memory of photography? Some dude at the Foto Mat telling my parents that some pictures I had taken on a camping trip were pretty sweet. They got them blown up real big. I was pretty proud of myself. Didn't pick up a camera for another 8 years. I'm a slow grower. Do you have any formal training in photography or are you self taught? Mostly self taught. Learned most of what I know from assisting. Thank you Billy Phelps and Marina Chavez. Do you use film or digital? Why? Both. Just got my first digital SLR. When a magazine is only gonna pay you 150 bucks to shoot a bunch of photos, it’s gonna cost me 300 to do it on film. What is the secret to getting "the shot"? Patience and a shitload of luck. Unless your Henri Cartier-Bresson. He had a separate brain in his finger. What is the hardest thing about being a photographer? Pimping yourself.


Dan Monick p: Chrissy Piper


What got you interested in photography? My high school photography class was a start, but I was inspired by the works of Michael Wilson and Erik Keldsen. I see in visuals, so it is important to me to create what I was seeing in my head. Photography gives me that opportunity. What is your earliest memory of photography? My dad used to take his 110 camera everywhere. I thought it was such an odd camera but was fascinated by it at the same time. Then I borrowed it to enter a contest when I was 9. It was pretty awesome. Do you have any formal training in photography or are you self taught? A little of both. I went to school for a couple years strictly taking art classes and then spent a lot of time on my own in the darkroom and working with my best friend Erik on weird shoots.

Do you use film or digital? Why? I use film because I am printer. I prefer to have the option of being able to go into the darkroom. For me, photography is just as much the shoot as it is th darkroom. Being able to create a physical object to pass on is important to me. What is the secret to getting "the shot"? I'm not sure there really is. There have been plenty of shoots where "the shot" never actualizes and th shoot is scrapped, but there are things you can do to improve your chances of creating something you are happy with. Finding a good location, working with someone that you are comfortable with and working on your own composition. What is the hardest thing about being a photographer? Promoting yourself .


Sleater Kinney


What got you interested in photography? I got interested in photography by a guy named Pat Graham. He was from a suburb of Milwaukee, where I grew up. He shot a lot of stuff for Dischord, Simple Machines, etc. Seeing his shots made me realize that I could get a camera and have fun shooting the things/places I was seeing on tour. I still consider Pat as a great inspiration. What is your earliest memory of photography? I recall my dad using a Polaroid when I was about 4 or so, and thinking it was so neat to see it develop before your eyes. The over-saturated colors really stood out in my mind. Do you have any formal training in photography or are you self taught? I have no formal training whatsoever. I have lots of friends who are photographers, and who are blessed with a lot of patience. I ask tons of questions. I also read lots of books. Do you use film or digital? Why? I shoot digitally now. I occasionally pull out my 35mm camera for just walking around shots. My medium format camera broke, and I never got around to fixing it. I really like being able to see the shot right away. It's more cost effective when you're working a shoot with a very limited

budget. I also think it's a great way to learn new tricks-by being able to see the shot immediately, you can try the same shot with different F-stops,shutter speed or lighting and figure out what works for you. I'm not saying I have a problem with film - I just prefer to work digitally. What is the secret to getting "the shot"? I don't think there's a secret, really. I shoot enough to cover my bases, and try to get into the moment with the subject, whether it's a studio set up, or portraits, or a live show setting. If you're paying attention, and have an idea of what you want in your head, you just need to wait for your moment, and hit it. Of course, there are a million times where something just happens right in front of you and you just get lucky. I guess it's just all about being as ready as possible. What is the hardest thing about being a photographer? I think the hardest thing about being a photographer is keeping up with the gear which can be super expensive, and also getting your name/work out there. It's a lot of work to set up the shoots, get into the shows or whatever, and to get the shots, process them, get them sent out. It takes a long time to even get to that point.




What got you interested in photography? I don't really remember. Just liked it. What is your earliest memory of photography? Learning black and white darkroom techniques in high school. Do you have any formal training in photography or are you self taught? High School / Self taught. Do you use film or digital? Why? Digital. Instant gratification. What is the secret to getting "the shot"? Being in the right spot, timing, lighting. What is the hardest thing about being a photographer? Trying not to get in peoples way when I'm shooting concerts.


Minus the Bear


What got you interested in photography? I took a class in high school, loved the black and white darkroom immediately. I started shooting friends' shows and decided to figure out how to do it for a living. I didn't really get started until I moved to Seattle in late 1997. What is your earliest memory of photography? My dad is an Aerospace Engineer and would travel the world often, he would return home with rolls of film. He would load the slide trays full of photos, and my older brother and I would sit and hear of these places we didn't really knew whether they existed. Do you have any formal training in photography or are you self taught? I took a few classes in college, then dropped out after two years. After that, it was trial and error. I'm always learning. Do you use film or digital? Why? I prefer film but shoot a lot of digital these days due to tight deadlines and lower budgets. Magazines know they don't have to cover film/processing expenses anymore. And I need to eat. What is the secret to getting "the shot"? Being patient with your finger ready. If you're incredibly observant, you can see someone get comfortable, let their wall down, and it might be for only a second. What is the hardest thing about being a photographer? Aside from the continuous struggle with money, it's the fact that you care so much about what you shoot, that it becomes highs and lows. It's incredibly difficult, impossibly really, to let things go. I think when you mix business with what gets you out of bed in the morning, it can subject you to possible heartbreak. But I wouldn't want to do anything else.


Robin Laananen


What got you interested in photography? In college I was really getting burned out on my computer science degree and really wanted to take some art classes since I was always really into art, but had put it aside for quite awhile. I always had an interest in photography, but never even owned a camera. So I signed up for some classes and bought a camera immediately. What is your earliest memory of photography? It's hard to really remember a specific early memory, but the thing that really got me interested in my teenage years was a lot of band photography, and most specifically the Glen E. Friedman books. Those definitely sold me on doing what I do. Do you have any formal training in photography or are you self taught? I took a total of 3 college classes, which taught me some basics. But most things I really had to learn on my own with a long period of trial and error. You have to waste a lot of film to really figure out some techniques.

Do you use film or digital? Why? I'm still a film diehard. For a variety of reasons, but mostly these two: 1) I really like having a physical negative. I don't really trust computers to not lose my data (I was a computer science major in college) or for me to accidentally delete original files. I take a lot of comfort in having boxes of prints and negatives that I can always go back to. 2) I am unable to afford the initial investment of a few thousand dollars for a really nice digital SLR. I have a $150 film camera that keeps getting me great shots over the years. What is the secret to getting "the shot"? By not being afraid to get up close. Be polite and try not to get in anyone's way, but standing at a distance doesn't usually get those great shots. What is the hardest thing about being a photographer? Paying for it. And convincing your friends to let you take their picture over and over again.





Interview with Mike Sullivan Photos by Will Hough

I’ve heard from a few people that they don’t like instrumental music because they find it boring since there is no vocals to sing along to. How do you draw the audience in and keep them interested throughout each song? I think keeping an audience’s attention has less to do with vocals and more with a band putting on an engaging live performance. I think any good band, vocals or not, should make a lasting connection with the audience. Most of the bands we listen to are not the type you sing along to, so we never thought too much about making up for any lack of catchy vocals by implementing other devices to attract attention. As long as the songs carry melodic themes, people seem to not miss the presence of a vocalist. During live shows, is there any between song banter or do you play the songs straight through? Do you even have mics on stage? We prefer not to say anything between songs. Typically we’ll create transitions from one song to the next to give the set a more cohesive feel. Without having mics onstage, the audience is less likely to expect vocals. If we had a mic we would end up embarrassing ourselves. A lot of bands use their music to convey political or emotional messages through the vocals. What is Russian Circles trying to convey with its music? We aren’t trying to convey any topical message whatsoever. We are more interested in portraying emotion and feeling. I think music can be more powerful if interpretation is left up the listener. Sometimes it can be easier to identify with an emotional state rather than a specific incident described by lyrics. Is writing instrumental music more difficult to write because of its length and complexity? Writing without a traditional vocalist allows each song more freedom to go in any direction without worrying about returning to a specific verse or chorus. I much prefer a writing process that builds on on ideas and themes and the freedom to explore alternate routes. At times it can be very frustrating to maintain the fluidity of a song, so many ideas get abandoned or put on the back burner and another more suitable part is added.


Describe your writing process? How long does it take to write one song? What influences your song writing? Usually we’ll start by exploring a few ideas on guitar and then gradually start piecing together other ideas and eventually decide the direction of a song. Part of the process is knowing when to step forward and step back in the mix. Its important to listen to what one another is playing and then find your appropriate level to compliment the other instruments. Writing can take anywhere from two weeks to as long as several months. The more aggressive/faster songs are much easier to write than long dynamic pieces. Writing can be the most rewarding and also the most frustrating part of being in a band. It seems instrumental music is getting more recognition lately, why do you think that is? I think its a shame that many instrumental bands from the last decade have not gotten the credit they deserve. For example, I think bands like The Fucking Champs, Trans Am, Tristeza, Pele, Ghosts and Vodka, Dianogah, Turing Machine, and Oxes are absolutely amazing bands that are way more relevant and innovative than many of the more recent instrumental bands. One reason instrumental music is getting more popular can be attributed to the fusion of metal and instrumental music, which is starting to forge a new genre within itself, but unfortunately many of these bands are beginning to sound dangerously similar to one another. I think its important that melody and build/release dynamics stay at the forefront of instrumental music.


Many instrumental bands write obscenely long song titles, something that Dakota/Dakota did. Why no long humorous song titles on “Enter”? Not having lyrics allows bands more freedom with song titles, for better or for worse. Humorous song titles no longer appeal to me because the songs in this band have more of emotional connection than Dakota/Dakota songs. I feel like it would be disrespectful to the songs to have a long-winded mildly funny title. I’d rather someone tell me they like a song for its musical content, instead of it’s title. Dakota/Dakota was simply 3 friends getting drunk and playing the music that came most natural to us. Perhaps the lack of booze keeps the titles more traditional. Russian Circles song titles are more personal, whether it be a an inside joke or acknowledging various aspects of our lives. How have you tried to distance Russian Circles from past bands? When we started this band, all three of us looked at our previous bands and discussed what we liked and didn’t like and we did the same thing with bands we were influenced by. We made a strong point to dumb the songs down and take a less-is-more approach to the song writing process. Quickly we learned that the simpler the part, the easier it is to integrate other instruments and rhythms. Textured interplay among the instruments is valued more than technical performances. I read that, after a show someone asked you if you were the roadies for the headliners of that show, can you explain more about that? Have you had any other experiences like that or are people pretty receptive to what your doing? We were playing a SXSW Alternative Press party last year and most of the crowd was very young and was obviously there to see better looking, flashier bands with screaming/singing vocals. We were definitely the odd man out at that show. Some people thought we were The Chariot performing without a singer and some girl thought we were Thursday roadies sound checking with Tool songs. Either way it was pretty amusing. Definitely the youngest and most confused crowd we’ve played for.


Guitar One magazine did an article on you in a recent issue. How did that come about? Our publicist, Dave Lewis, at Riot Act hooked that up. I grew up reading Guitar magazines so I was pretty excited to do the interview. We’ve also done interviews for Guitar Player, and an upcoming Guitar World article. When I was younger I loved discovering unfamiliar bands through guitar magazines. There is an previously unreleased song “Upper Ninety” on the Suicide Squeeze Comp, are you currently writing new material? How was it playing the Suicide Squeeze 10 year anniversary show? We recorded two songs for a Suicide Squeeze 7” that was released last month. In addition to ‘Upper Ninety’, the B-side is a completely different version of the title track to our full length, ‘Enter’. We went through three different versions of that song before setting on the version that made it onto the album. We thought it would be a great opportunity to show the transformations a song may go through during a writing process. What are your plans for the rest of 2006, more tours, writing,...? We head out with Daughters for a three week tour in September and then we go out with Minus the Bear, P.O.S., and the Velvet Teen for a six week tour that begins in early October. After that we take a break from touring and finally get to start writing again.


All City Affairs “Bees” All City Affairs is the solo endeavor of Baby Teeth’s Peter Andreadis, and like Baby Teeth, Peter mixes many genres into one disc. Influences of jazz, rock funk, plus others can be heard on this disc. (Lujo Records) Archaeology “Chant Chant Camp” I hesitated to listen to Archaeology’s new album, due to the album’s artwork. The design reminded me of some white dudes doing bad hip-hop, mainly because the Archaeology name and rest of the text is in a graffiti-ish type font. I hadn’t planned on listening to this CD, but after I had imported it into Itunes, I accidentally double clicked on one of the songs and it started playing. What had played though, caught my ear enough to make me want to listen to the album over and over. Archaeology blend indie, math rock, progressive, plus many different styles so effortlessly it’s amazing. Definitely a band worth checking out. (Thug Factory) Aspen It Is “Release Me From the Weights of Gravity” Aspen It Is took the good parts of early Saves the Day and melded it with the hooks of The All-American Rejects to produce a good upbeat pop punk album. Any fans of the aforementioned bands would enjoy this. (Peirmont Records) Baby Teeth “The Simp” Baby Teeth are the champions of not taking themselves seriously, but still maintain sounding good. Who else can combine disco violins, rock, and Billy Joel influenced piano gems into one disc? (Lujo Records) Ben Davis/Des Ark Split “Battle of the Beards” This release was originally supposed to be a split between Ben Davis and the Rosebuds, but the Rosebuds couldn’t do it

for some reason. The first 5 tracks on this album go to Ben Davis, and they are a mixture of Pinback subdued indie and Mark Mallman’s piano driven pop. Des Ark has the next 5 tracks and are similar to what they have done in the past. A couple of the songs have acoustic guitars and the other tracks are full on rocker. The last 2 tracks are collaborative efforts, and sound similar as they both have strings and are mostly sung by Amy of Des Ark. Both artists do great jobs on this release and I’m eager to see what they do with next full lengths. (Lovitt Records)

Des Ark Blood Brothers “Young Machetes” If you want your brain to totally shut down and make the most easy things, like backing into a parking space, impossible, then listen to the new Blood Brothers joint. On the way to work one day, I was listening this to at a high volume, and when it came to back into my parking spot, I didn’t have enough mental capacity to do so until I turned off the CD. What you can expect from “Young Machetes” is the typical Blood Brothers approach, scream, thrash, repeat. Pretty similar to their Previous “Crimes” but longer. (V2) Che Arthur “Iron” “Iron” is the new solo album from ex Atombombpocketknife guitarist Che Arthur. The sound of the album instantly reminded me of Foo Fighters and Nirvana, but with a more punk feel. Overall the CD is pretty good. If you liked his previous album, you’d be into this one too. (Sickroom Records)

Baby Teeth


Chin Up Chin Up “This Harness Can’t Ride Anything” The release of “This Harness Can’t Ride Anything” marks a one of many firsts for the band. This is their first release after the death of Chris Saathoff, their original bassist. It’s the first release with their new bassist, Jesse Woghin of Narrator. And it is their first release on the Suicide Squeeze label. The sound on this album reminds me of that Rusted Root song, “Send Me on My Way”. It’s easy on the ears and it’s a great long drive album. (Suicide Squeeze) Coho “Things Change” “Things Change” starts out with a slow whispery song, but then barges into the genuine indie rocker “I Will Disappear”. This pattern of slow/soft to loud/fast continues throughout the album. You can’t deny this Seattle musicians skills, but you have to be in the right mood to sit through the sludge before getting to the good parts. If there was one song on this album that I would suggest, it would be “Mahatma Denver”. It starts off slow, then half way through, explodes into it’s sound, suggesting influences from Cursive’s “Ugly Organ”. (Lujo Records) Copeland “Eat, Sleep, Repeat” It seems to me that the band discovered Radiohead’s “OK Computer” before writing, and were so enthralled with it, that they decided to emulate Radiohead’s sound on tracks “Where’s My Head” and “Careful Now”. The other 9 tracks are similar to something Jimmy Eat World would do. They do show some originality on “Love Affair”. The first half of the song is a slow piano driven ballad, but then turns into a jazzy trumpet and drum number. It’s a nice little ending. (The Militia Group)

full length. With the backing of Lujo they went in and recorded 10 original indie rock ditties with a slight feeling of Starflyer 59. Some of the lyrics are bland like “she stole my heart like a million bucks // she stole my heart like an armored truck”. Sure it makes sense but lacks in the intelligence department. “Some Midnight Kissin’” is a strong debut and it shows some promise of things to come. (Lujo Records)

The Dark Romantics Dead Voices on Air “From Labrador to Madagascar” Q: What’s better than listening to noisy ambient industrial influenced music? A: Not listening to it. There are many artists that do this style of music that’s dark, slow and quiet, and sure I appreciate your “art” but I don’t see a need to listen to this while sober and not depressed. (Invisible Records) December's Architects “,Apiary Ennui And Curiosas. The Brew Shakes” The long awaited release of December's Architects’ final recording is finally here. This album fucking owns. It’s a shame that this band has been broken up for years now and that it took so long to get this album released. It is the perfect blend of bands like Cap’n Jazz, Joan of Arc, The Promise Ring, and Braid. It has a very indie Chicago sound like the previous bands mentioned. Get your hands on this, because it has a limited pressing, so they won’t be around forever. (Say & Stay Said) The Drugstore Cowboys “Chapter 3006” The Drugstore Cowboys take influences from everyone from Botch to Britney Spears, and are described as a electrohardcore-hip-hop-pop-thrash collective. If that sounds weird to you, then they have done their jobs. It’s rumored that they have

Copeland The Dark Romantics “Some Midnight Kissin’” After sending some demos to their friend, Jason Martin of Starflyer 59, Martin agreed to produce and record the band’s


one hell of a live show and if the sound of this album is any indication, then you know it’s true. (Lujo Records)

The Good Mornings “S/T” Lansing, Michigan’s The Good Mornings self titled debut features atmospheric indie sung by the buttery voice of Carmen Paradise and some impressive guitar work from Jason Lantrip. Both artists are members of the space rock band Calliope. (Thick Records) Happy Together Compilation Various Artists The idea behind this is quite cool. Lujo Label owners, Eric and Jocelyn, met through the label a few years ago, and got to know each other and then fell in love. They recently got married and as a gift to all those in attendance they gave away this Happy Together compilation. What do you do when you have to order 500 CDs from the pressing plant, but only have 200 guests? You give the extras to the press and sell them on the website. Now this isn’t any ordinary compilation with songs you’ve heard before. All the songs on the album were specifically wrote for this compilation or are covers. The bands are mostly Lujo bands but there a some outsiders like Hanalei. (Lujo Records) Hair: Chicago Punk Cuts - Various Artists Thick Records have once again put together a comp with some of the best Chicago bands. Great music from Holy Roman Empire, The Killing Tree, Allister, Horace Pinker, and more. (Thick Records) Heavens “Patent Pending” What electronic pop duo features an indie icon from a long running popular group, and an electronic beat maker who is semi well known? I’m not talking Postal Service, but the new project from Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba and Jonah Steinbrick from Fminus. While Heavens and the Postal Service have many exterior similarities, it’s the music that sets them apart. Ben Gibbard’s lyrics are complete opposites to Matt Skiba’s dark violent tones. For example, the opening line of “Another Night”: “Another night with your head in the oven // Simmering like a heat wave over you // Sweat drops hiss at the bottom // Blood droplets cook like glue”. Sure the lyrics are dark, but the danceable beats make it a great combination. (Epitaph)

Drugstore Cowboys The End of The World “You’re Making It Come Alive” I think you have to be in the right situation to truly appreciate some music. Take for instance The End of the World’s new album. I think I’ve “listened” to this 3 or 4 times but never remembered or got it. Then one day at work I put it on and it clicked with me. “You’re Making It Come Alive” shares sounds with The Jim Yoshii Pile-Up, but a little faster and less gloomy. (Flameshovel) Ferocious Eagle “The Sea Anemone Inside of Me is Mighty” Ferocious Eagle is a two guitar and drums band from Portland, Oregon. Their new album is a mixture of angular art rock and half shouted vocals. Think BARR making babies with Hella and you’re getting close. (54°40 or Fight) Form of Rocket “Men” Form of Rocket's latest release "Men" is full of angular guitars squelches and tongue and cheek lyrics, similar to Minneapolis' STNNNG. At nearly an hour long, with songs titles like, "Teapot Dome, Bitch" "You'd Look Cute In The Trunk Of My Car" and "Dogfucker", "Men" keeps you entertained throughout the entire album. (Sickroom Records) Four Star Alarm “S/T” This 5-song EP from Four Star Alarm is quite an impressive blend of original post punk and pop punk. If the strong song writing and guitar work on this EP continue onto their eventual full length, then it will be worth the wait. (Thick Records)


Jill Cunniff “City Beach” Jill Cunniff, formerly of Luscious Jackson, has hereby ruined eating orange popsicles with the release of her new solo album “City Beach”. The opening track “Lazy Girls”, is a summer-y blend of infectious beats and loops with sugary female vocals that whispery say “eating orange popsicles” in the chorus. So now, whenever I eat an orange popsicle I will think of this song. Couldn’t she have chosen a different flavor like grape or cherry or the flavor that no one likes, root beer? “City Beach” is a welcome half ray of sunshine for us city dwellers or landlocked individuals tucked away for the winter. At least two of these songs could easily be played on the radio and have the kind of one hit charm as Len’s “Steal My Sunshine” or “All Star” by Smashmouth. (The Militia Group) Lakes “Photographs” Lakes is the new project from Former Watashi Wa member, Seth Roberts. This 5song indie rock debut features guest vocals of MxPx and Copeland frontmen, Mike Herrera and Aaron Marsh. (The Militia Group) Love Me Destroyer “The Things Around Us Burn” Love Me Destroyer walk the line of melodic hardcore and 80’s hair metal, and they do it seamlessly. It’s ind of a mix of Spitalfield and Skid Row. The closing track is a sweet guitar ballad similar to Slaughter. Make Believe “Of Course” Almost a year to the day of their debut full length, Make Believe is back again with a better album than their debut. All of the credit usually goes to eccentric front man Tim Kinsella, but a job well done goes out to Sam Zurick, Bobby Burg, and Nate Kinsella for playing the hell out of their instruments. “Of Course” is the closet any of Tim’s music has gotten to Cap’n Jazz. This album would be great for those people who couldn’t get into Joan of Arc or Owls, but respect Tim’s musicianship. (Flameshovel) Minus The Bear “Interpretationes Del Oso” I’m on the fence about this Minus the Bear album being a good idea or a bad one. I

mean “Menos el Oso” was a good album in its own right, so why remix it. But on the other hand, the remixes were done by musicians like P.O.S., Alias, and J. Clark of The Blood Brothers. Some of the remixes are good and some aren’t. The opening track “Drilling” remixed by P.O.S. is the best. It would have been nice if “Interpretationes Del Oso” had the same track sequence as “Menos el Oso”. (Suicide Squeeze) Motion Commotion “S/T” The 4-piece band of accomplished musicians play the standard instruments, but also throw in clarinets, violins, and accordions, because they can. This self-titled indie rock EP is slightly impressive, but shows promise of for future recordings. (Peirmont Records) Nakatomi Plaza “Unsettled” For an album that was mastered six times, took 3+ years to finish, and almost broke the band up, you’d think that this album would sound a little bit better. “Unsettled” is quite good, but there is one aspect that I just can’t stand. The screaming vocals. Nakatomi Plaza has good vocalists, both male and female, but when the guy screams, it sounds like a chainsaw sawing through cats. Luckily the majority of the screaming is isolated to track two, but makes slight appearances throughout the album. The instrumentation is quite good also, but at some parts it sounds like the guitarist is trying too hard to get that riff and it comes off as cheesy. If I were you, I’d give this album a listen and make your own opinion about it. (Red Leader Records)

Nakatomi Plaza


New London Fire “I Sing the Body Holographic” “I Sing the Body Holographic” has songs about a man in love with a prostitute, but she won’t stop whoring herself for him, a song about a serial killer that strikes every year on Valentine’s Day, a song about two ghosts trying to find each other in the after life, plus other songs. The lyrics may be dark, but when they are sung against the pulsing danceable beats that the New London Fire produces, it works completely well. Each song sounds different than each other, but as a whole it creates a cohesive piece of music that doesn’t disappoint. (Eyeball Records) The New Trust “Dark is the Path Which Lies Before Us” It’s hard to explain how good The New Trust is. The drums and opening bassline of the album opener “A Spoiled Surprise, A Cheap Reveal” will get stuck in your head for days. The Velvet Teen member Josh Staples is in charge of vocals and bass and his wife sings back up on some parts. This album will surely be high on the list for best albums of 2007. (Slowdance) One Night Band “Way Back Home” A ska band is a rare sight in these days filled with horrible rock and emo. One Night Band is a ska band from Canada, with rotating male and female vocals. They play a subdued reggae two tone version of ska, with plenty of horn solos, uppicking and organs. “Way Back Home” may not be the best ska album, but with the rarity of ska releases, it will do the trick. (Stomp Records) Owen “At Home With” You pretty much know what you’re getting into when you pick up an Owen release. You’ve got Mike Kinsella on the guitar

playing his soul out. While “At Home With” tracks are all of quality, some people might like his previous album “I Do Perceive” better. “At Home With” does feature a nice cover of the Velvet Underground’s “Femme Fatale”. (Polyvinyl Records) Pinebender “Working Nine to Wolf” I know Pinebender is a well respected band, but some songs on this album I could certainly do without. Like the thirteen minute opener “Parade of Horribles”, by the six minute mark, I’m begging it to be over. Luckily there is a skip button, which brings us to the better, shorter, less epic tracks like “She Destroys the Light”, “Mask Tree”, and “Polly Grey”. (Lovitt Records) Portastatic “Bright Ideas” Mac McCaughan has done it again. He has written another perfect pop album that is up to par with his previous release “Bright Ideas”. “Sour Shores” and “I'm In Love (With Arthur Dove)” are examples of the lighthearted song writing while tracks like “Getting Saved” and “Like a Pearl” show a more serious personal side. I shouldn’t have to tell you to go out and buy this, because you should already have it. (Merge) Protokoll “S/T” Protokoll’s self titled EP has a sound influenced by British guitar pop bands of the 80’s as well as New York post-punk and No Wave from the same era. They blend synthpop melodies with a rocking rhythm section that will keep your body moving. “Risen” is the stand out song on the album. Four of the five songs are over 5 minutes so you can listen to it over and over again and never get sick of it. (I Heart Comix) Shanna Kiel “Orphan” Shanna was in the midwestern punk band Sullen, but left St. Louis for the glitz of Hollywood, CA.“Orphan” is loud and gritty, with similarities to Courtney Love’s band Hole. (Thick Records)



Speakerfire “Audio Alchemy” If you’re looking for unoriginal, poorly written rock, then look no further than Speakerfire. The majority of this album is comprised of the same rock (i.e. Nickelback, etc...) that pollutes the top 40 radio stations. A couple of tracks on this album are salvageable, but who wants to wade through 30 feet of shit for fool’s gold. (Peirmont Records) Stylex “Tight Scrapes” Ohio’s Stylex blends together the sounds of two other well known bands from the big O, Devo and Brainiac. “Tight Scrapes” will have you dancing until your heart stops, because each song is energizing and will make you want to do nothing but listen to it. (Pretend Records) The Subjects “With the Ease Grace, Precision, and Cleverness of Human Beings” The Subjects are a teacher/student 4 piece that plays a Strokes-esque style of music but more lo-fi. The whole album is good. Great and inventive guitar work and fun pop songs. (Pretty Activity Records) Tahiti 80 “Fosbury” “Fosbury” is a perfect blend of classic 60’s and 70’s pop, disco and a bit a French flair. “Big Day” the album’s opener will make you feel that you’ve jumped into a scene from Saturday Night Fever. “Here Comes” infectious chorus will have you singing along, and then the rest of the day because it will be stuck in your head. The U.S. version of this album is packaged with a bonus EP that has covers of “Happy Together” by the Turtles and “Give it Away” by The Chilites. (The Militia Group)

The Tiny “Starring: Someone Like You” The Tiny’s sophomore album sounds like 3 Bjorks singing in a choir, while a backing orchestra of toy instruments clinks and clambers along. The majority of the songs start off slow with piano accompaniments, and then never speed up. (Eyeball Records) Titles “S/T” The Titles full length debut is 12 songs of slow indie with slight bluesy bar band guitars. It’s a good album, but nothing on it stands out as memorable or noteworthy. (Welcome Home Records) Your Black Star “Sound from the Ground” The songs on Your Black Stars’ “Sound from the Ground” have a different sound from one another, but they all have the same cohesive feel. The songs sound textured and atmospheric. “Strings” is by far the best and most original track on the album. (Wonka Vision)

Tahiti 80

Photo Credits: Cover: Ryan Russell Pg 4-5: Will Hough Pg 14: Suicide Squeeze Records Pg 16: Ryan Russell Pg 17: Unknown Pg 18: Unknown - Press Photo Pg 21: Unknown - Press Photo Pg 23: Unknown Pg 24: Unknown - Press Photo Pg 29: Chrissy Piper Pg 31: Megan Holmes Pg 33: Mark Dawursk Pg 35: Will Hough Pg 37: Provided by Robin Pg 39: Adam Bubolz Pgs 40-43: Will Hough Pg 44: Unknown - Press Photo Pg 45: Unknown - Press Photo Pg 46: Unknown - Press Photo Pg 47: Unknown - Press Photo Pg 48: Joe Wigdahl Pg 49: Unknown - Press Photo



The Plastic Constellations Crusades LP

Yellow Swans & Devillock split 7”

Signal To Trust Golden Armour CD


COMING SOON Mirah & ft(The Shadow Government)