March 25, 2017

NOISE POP 2017

*go fullscreen*

Thanks to the good folks at Noise Pop and Do The Bay, we got zero sleep for a week while covering over 10 shows. To best communicate this VIP experience, here is a curated capsule for you.

Note - what happens in the green room, stays in the green room.

😉

Included:

  • Thu, Feb 9th
    • Animal Collective (DJ SET) @ California Academy of Sciences
  • Tue, Feb 21st
    • An Evening With Dawes @ The Fillmore
  • Wed, Feb 22
    • Kelis @ 1015 Folsom
  • Thu, Feb 23
    • Badbadnotgood, Hodgy, London O’Connor @ The Fillmore
    • Moon Duo @ The Chapel
  • Fri, Feb 24
    • Hanni El Khatib, The Buttertones, The Molochs, Innovative Leisure DJs @ The Chapel
  • Sat, Feb 25
    • Vince Staples, Kilo Kush @ Fox Theater
    • MSTRKRFT @ Mezzanine
  • Mon, Feb 27
    • Ty Segall, Shannon and The Clams @ Fox Theater

Come with us next time, dude.

Noise Pop
Do The Bay

March 17, 2017

Forget boredom. Make fly shit.

Ironically, there is a growing trend going on right now to stay away from trends. Big brands are seen to be lame, sell-outs and what people seem to consider the worst; fake. Authenticity is what people are drawn to; simplicity, and being core. It seems like everyone is trying so hard to make it look like they aren’t trying. It’s hard to be truly authentic, to really hand make every product. But in Robina, just outside Queensland on the Gold Coast of Australia, Ashley and Dean Butt of Cort Jewellery are doing just that. Hand-making elegant, simple, and sturdy pieces of jewelry from their in-home workshop, which they don’t disclose the address of (no creepin'!). 

Cort started out of boredom. Ashley was working for a high-end jewelry company until she had enough. “I was working for this company full time for this company for three years, it was like diamonds and pearls and everything. I was just over it,” she explained. “Then Dean suggested that I start making my own and so I quit and then started working at a cafe and started learning jewelry from my uncle.” After a little more than a year of learning from her uncle, Dean set up an Instagram account and Cort Jewellery was born. Ashley chose the name Cort from her maiden last name.

At the start, Ashley was making rings just for her friends. “I was making really gothic kind of jewelry,” she laughs, “but then Dean wanted a signet ring with a ships wheel in it. I said ‘oh yeah sure, I’ll do that’ and then all his friends loved it and the whole signet ring thing started from there.”

Dean was there for moral support at the beginning. “I was painting houses at the time, a 'tradey' we call it over here, just working on different job sites. I wasn’t really interested at the time, it was more Ashley’s thing,” he said. Once he realized that it was something that she was really going to give a solid go at, he got involved, mostly just helping out with the business side of it. “For a long time that was as far as I went, I just helped her with the emails and stuff,” he said. “Then as we kept growing and growing, I kind of got forced into helping but then I started enjoying it, you know? Because it became our thing and of course anything your wife starts, you want to help out as much as you can.”

The two of them do every step of the ring making process in their workshop. From making the wax design to casting to the cutting of the silver, the soldering, the polishing, everything is under control in their home usually, while their new baby girl Isabel is sleeping. “We usually wake up around 5 [am] and have our coffee—go pull out our work, then I spend some time with Isabel then I get into the workroom. Then Dean is with her for a bit and then puts her back to bed and the joins me,” she explains. “When she is up we kind of swap out between the workroom. Then when she is asleep we are both in there. We try to start really early so we can have the afternoons with her.”

 

Cort’s style and pieces of jewelry speak for themselves, that’s the thing with authentic work—it doesn’t need to be explained. “We are kind of just trying to offer something that isn’t overly out there so to say and crazy, something that doesn’t get in the way. But something that also isn’t plain and boring, kind of that happy medium,” Dean stated. “We are trying to fill that gap that’s mainly with men’s jewelry, offering that sort of accessory that was missing. You see all these clothing and surf stores that just offer costume jewelry and stuff. There is never really stuff that I would want to wear. So that’s mainly what we make, stuff that we want to wear.”

Ash and Dean take pride in their work and make it can last. “When we design a ring, it’s forever. We don’t want it to go out of style next week or month or in a year, we want people to be able to wear them for years,” Ashley tells. “People will tell us that they have had a ring for two or three years and they want to get something to pair with it and I love that, that people are still wearing it years down.”

Cort doesn’t really have a plan about where they want to go but they want to see how far they can go. “Just to keep going, that’s the goal. We love it. Starting your business, you don’t even know what is going to happen next month,” Ashley says. “But at the end of the day, I just want to make jewelry and love working from home. Dean can do the rest.”

Find 'em here: Cort Jewellery

Follow 'em here: @cortjewellery

Written by: Grady Olson

March 11, 2017

SPACE BAT KILLER aka SEAN BERNHARDT

Welcome to our mini interview with Sean Bernhardt aka Space Bat Killer.

G. Greatest dead and/or living influence?
S. Thee Oh Sees

G. Favorite artist or style that’s totally different from yours?
S. Jason Woodside or Bryan Schnell

G. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
S. I’m trying to live more in the present.

G. Are you living/working by the seat of your pantaloons?
S. I pretend to be working half of the day, which I’m still trying to get used to, and I can be found sleeping way too many fucking hours..sleep, surf, sex…oh, and art!

G. How do you like to connect with locals when traveling?
S. I like to let them know I’m from Jersey. People don’t believe you when you tell them we get really good waves here.

G. What will be written on your tombstone?
S. Rest In Booty

G. Song stuck in your head?
S. Buzzcocks - Why Can’t I Touch It?

G .Last show you went to? Any shows you’re looking forward to?
S. Parquet Courts in Asbury park; seeing Allah Las next month for the first time and The Growlers for the 100th time.

G. Kill, Fuck, Marry:
S. Donald Trump, Brook Power, John Dwyer

February 10, 2017

Chat w/ Albert Hammond Jr.

It may seem as though the once city-living quintuple from New York, who we know as The Strokes, have been in and out of the limelight's immediacy. Not to say myself and my immediate camp included don't miss the intuitive and electrifying shows, because indeed we do. Unless you've been living on Mars, you would know that each member is engulfed in personal projects, which naturally are moving with the smooth speed of a zeppelin, not too high in the clouds that we can’t see what's going on, but just high enough above ground to where we feel like it's almost within reach. Their particular sound came at a time when gears were shifting and rock was embracing transition. It's no wonder their sound detonated an explosion of cool throughout the newborn cyberspace of complicated musical genres and the all too well-known god we kneel before as “the download” began to inherently stake its claim. Genres and timelines aside, it's difficult not to mention the roots of a band who influenced so many. No matter where you were or where you've been between 1998 and 2017, that cohesively fuzzy, melodic, knockout sound we know has unconsciously been maneuvering its way through the airwaves which has brought us here — with Albert Hammond Jr. and his fourth solo album that we've all been waiting for.

Circle back just a few months prior to the new year and you’ll find me and my crew trampling through The Observatory in Orange County at the annual Beach Goth festival.  Although we got a late start in our day, we managed to make it just in time for Hammond’s set. As the evening sun was settling in, Hammond made his way to the stage carrying that classic, white 1985 fender reissue we rarely see him without.  As expected, the set was incredibly tight and inspiring. Hammond and his crew, The Excuse, charged through their set, which consisted of songs from all three of his previous albums. They even managed to get in a few songs from a personal favorite of mine, Yours To Keep, his first solo album released back in 2006. From our view, you wouldn't have known the guys didn't even have a proper line check. I asked him how he felt about not having the opportunity to do a proper line check and how one deals with those sort of extremities, he candidly replied:

“You don't deal with it. It's really hard, but it's still fun. It just gives the show a different feel; it gives it a little more of an edge.”

The day after the festival, I met with Hammond for a sit down in West Hollywood. I arrived just prior to our 2:30 p.m. meeting at Erewhon Market. I was met by his contact from BB Gun Press who informed me that Hammond was getting lunch. Ten minutes later, Hammond sat down and we properly introduced ourselves. He was wearing a red shirt with a fitted, jet blue blazer, black skinny slacks and black Chucks. As he sat down, he seemed to be at ease; maybe because he was on the tail end of touring or maybe it was just the West Hollywood air — either way, the mood was relaxed.

albert-hammond-jr

William Lankford - Thanks for meeting with me — it's much appreciated. So, to get to it, how's the new album coming?

Albert Hammond Jr. - I've got six songs done and another seven that are just waiting for vocals from me.

WL - Where are you guys recording the album?

AH - At my house in upstate New York, where I also recorded my last two albums.

WL - Where are you currently living upstate?

AH - Eldred, which is in Bethel, New York. Well, ten minutes from Bethel where they held Woodstock. I got a drone for my birthday, here's the shot from above just to give you an idea (sorry kids, that picture was for Gross’ eyes only).

WL - How's the recording process? Do you feel like you find more solitude working up there?

AH - I mean, it's where I could afford ten acres. There's something magical about that spot. I would say going to the country could be magical or it could also be a nightmare.

WL - So, for this album, who are you working with?

AH - Well, we're still in the process — Gus Oberg produced it. We approached this album a little more raw. There's something really energetic about this record. Gus has been with me since my first album. We went to this studio, Loho, in the Lower East Side of New York, where he was the house engineer. I just don't remember not being friends with him. He's one of those people I just became best friends with so fast. We've been working together very closely. We push each other, which is the reason why I keep working with him. The work always feels really new and exciting. He wouldn't even begin to do it if he felt like we were just “making music.”

WL - So, when are you guys trying to drop this album?

AH - I’d like to do it by the end of April [2017]. I try to set goals for myself and meet them.

WL - How did you link up with this band, “The Excuse,” that you're currently playing with?

AH - Just organically. I mean they were with me on the last album. We became more and more of a band. Now we went in for the second time to work on our record, so it was different, you know; that's a hard thing to do — to open up and play or create with people.  It's not an easy thing to sit in a room and be that patient; things don't come out fast, and even if they do, you have to be able to serve it back.

WL - Talk with me a bit more about this album.

AH - It’s not really there yet. I mean, I'm in this weird time. I'm in this limbo where I know it’s happening, but… I mean this is what's happening. I feel like I got confused by music. There's a lot of keyboards and synths and stuff, and I'm just kind of tired of hearing what you think is rock or what indie rock has become. It's this weird sound to me that I don't fully understand, so I just want it to be something along the lines of people you want to hang out with; that feeling you have when you're growing up, and everything feels exciting and dangerous, but just unknown. Everything's a little sexual you know — it doesn't seem to be like that anymore. I just wanted a modern idea for a rock band. I'm going with how I feel in my gut. I felt like I've played rock 'n' roll, so I wanted to exude that.

WL - Let's go back to The Strokes — you guys were together for what, like fifteen or sixteen years — and then here you are now, working on yet another solo album. What's the cause?

AH - I'm just a different person. I don't even know who that person is!

WL - When I first moved to New York back in 2006, literally the first day, I picked up your first solo record, "In Transit."  With that said, I was enamored at how you transitioned into your own sound aside from “The Strokes.” I feel like you've discovered your own sound and your own voice.

AH - Thank you, I mean if anything, my voice on this record will definitely be something that people are excited about. I do honestly feel like fronting a band, singing in a band or writing songs for a band, especially with these guys from the EP to now — it feels established. The first record was very much like an album done in my living room, and you would listen to it on headphones or by yourself with a black light — stoned.  And the second album was just a debaucherously wonderful time and then everything from the EP on built to this. It'll make so much sense when you hear it!!

WL - 😂😂

AH - 😂😂

The remainder of the day, Hammond and his wife, and myself and friends, took to LACMA in circles. Hammond's willingness to express his love for music, art and all things fundamentally compelling is as humble and calm as his demeanor. For a musician who was involved with one of the most pronounced and influential bands to come out of New York in the late '90s and early 2000s, he remains as humble and hungry for artistic and musical expression as the day he started. Early in our conversation, Hammond harped on the curiosity with the discovery of sound and the unknown. His ideals couldn't be more accurate. Flash back to being a teenager, sitting in the back of your friend’s truck, drinking beer and listening to the first Strokes record, and just enjoying the music in the moment. Hammond has made it his life's work to refurbish that ideology.

We continue to listen.

Photos: Mike Anderson - @msa_photography

February 6, 2017

Floss your teeth & open your ears! Release party recap

We had a fucking release party, were you there?
It was off the hook:

1 punk band / CURSED GRAVES
1 modern jazz band to set the mood / BEYOND URANIUM
2 producers playing DJ sets / ARUMI & ANRAE
1 coffee shop / NOMAD COFFEE
3 shit tons of free beer tickets
8 goldfish
1 classic Mercedes for all to tag
1 taco truck
1 sick ass projection / BYRAN DEMERS

Video / Jordan Hwang