Interview with Long Walks on the Beach

Apr 1st, 2010 : by :: Tags: , , , ,

Long Walks on the Beach or Fritz to his friends, is a one man DIY solo project based here in DC.  His music sounds as if it should play as the credits roll during a mid-80′s John Hughes movie.  When he is not working his day job in broadcast journalism Fritz is spending hours perfecting the perfect vocal sound for his latest single.  Lucky for us, he was able to take a break from all that and chat with newdust on the phone about his music and the story behind Long Walks on the Beach. Newdust: Tell me about how this got started?  Short history?
LWOTB: Well this has always been a DIY/solo thing.  The project started after college with a simple 4 track and it just expanded from there.  Its great people (and blogs) are starting to pay attention.
ND: What sort of equipment do you use to get your sound?
LWOTB: I use a laptop (mac of course), sm57′s through an audio interface.  I mix it all right there, all in house.  It is really learn as you go.  I don’t really know what I am doing which is great because it makes every song like an experiment.
ND: What other DIY acts or movements do you look to for inspiration/innovation?
LWOTB: The no-fi/lo-fi, bedroom movement, garage rock whatever… is getting a lot of attention.  It is defined by limitations and it causes artists to push the envelope.  Locally, DC has a lot of great venues with a swath of scenes that move in out which is always refreshing.  To be honest I am inspired by a lot of local art.  New York/Brooklyn/Baltimore also influences DC and myself of course.   Overall it (DIY) is great because it makes the playing field even, the starting point is the same.
ND: There is a certain innocence in your music, was that something that happened organically or was it intentional?
LWOTB: The music is all about wrapping things in the “ideal”.  Which goes back to the name, Long Walks on the Beach.  The sound and subject matter are the same way.  It comes from a pure place in the heart.  I am not sure if innocence is the right word. Maybe acceptance?  To clarify, it’s definitely not a nod to being juvenile its a nod to the ideal.
ND: With that in mind can you tell me the story behind “Didn’t Want to Make Out” or “TRUE LOVE or bust”?
LWOTB: “TRUE LOVE or bust” is not a song about love its a song about life.  It is a meditation on the concept “capital L for Love.”  Though, you have to remember with a project like LWOTB its not supposed to be serious its supposed to be fun.
ND: Give me a couple of bands newdust readers have to check out?
LWOTB: P.S. I Love You… (no relation to the chick flick movie from 2007) I have been listening to a track called “Facelove” on repeat.  Something older… Bobby Rush anything from his catalouge Sue,Wearing it Out, What is Good for the Goose is Good for the Gander, and Gotta Have Money. He practically invented rap with James Brown.
ND: Future plans?
LWOTB: I work on new stuff a lot actually.  I write really fast but recording can take me a bit longer.  I have limitations due to the reality of DIY and my life in general.  I put out stuff when its done, and I get it out to my friends.  I like pop music and I like tunes that people enjoy and want to listen to.  One of my criteria when I am working on a track is that I think of my old friend from college… and I think “would she put this on her workout mix or not?”  If I have a recording I will let my friends listen to it and see what they think.
ND: That is a great criteria… so, just to follow up… when it comes to recording and writing you are completely collaborating with people around you artists and non-artists alike?
LWOTB: Absolutely… its never just me as an individual.  I don’t feel super protective of my stuff some blogs have asked me about that but the truth is I really love music and bringing people in and getting their opinions.

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Keep your eye on LWOTB, there will be more soon I promise. Enjoy “Didn’t Want to Make Out” and “TRUE LOVE or bust” below.

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Song: I Didn’t Want to Make Out.mp3

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Song: TRUE LOVE or bust.mp3
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One Wolf II :: Secret Of The Wolf

Mar 31st, 2010 : by :: Tags: , , , ,
One Wolf Secret Of The Wolf

One Wolf is Daniel Markham’s latest endeavor after leaving Lubbock, Texas’ Waiting To Derail. What I like about One Wolf is their mellowed-out 90s alt-rock sound. With influences ranging from Tears for Fears and New Order to Hank Williams and Whiskeytown, their sophomore release Secret of the Wolf combines the best of both genres. If you live here in the lone star state, you can catch One Wolf in El Paso on 4/13 at The Percolator w/ Deer Tick.

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Artist: One Wolf
Song: Backyard.mp3
Album: One Wolf II: Secret Of The Wolf

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Blithe Field – Beautiful Wave ’74

Mar 29th, 2010 : by :: Tags: , , ,
Blithe Field - Beautiful Wave '74
Blithe Field home photos

I can’t say enough about Spencer Radcliffe, aka Blithe Field, and I can’t stop listening to his latest collection of chill pop / dream pop goodness titled Beautiful Wave ’74. It reminds me of a much more raw and organic Tycho at times, which says a lot coming from one of Scott Hansen‘s biggest fan boys. But all in all it stands on its own two feet as a great amateur release, and one of my new personal favorites. Beautiful Wave ’74 is an album you’ve got to listen to from start to finish to fully appreciate, so show him some love and make your way over to the Blithe Field Bandcamp page and give it a listen. You can also support Messy Life Records directly by purchasing the handmade CD off the label’s site.

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Artist: Blithe Field
Album: Beautiful Wave ’74
Song: Bible School

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Song: Duck

Van She :: (Don’t Fear) The Reaper (Holy Ghost! Remix)

Mar 29th, 2010 : by :: Tags: , , ,
Van She Don't Fear The Reaper

I just got into Van She recently while working on my latest mixtape. They’ve been making noise in the blogosphere ever since their 2008 effort V with some awesome remixes. They covered everyone’s favorite Blue Oyster Cult song, “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” a while back. Here’s Holy Ghost!‘s remix…..It’s great!

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Artist: Van She
Song: (Don’t Fear) The Reaper (Holy Ghost! Remix).mp3

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The Ruby Suns and Toro y Moi – DC Show Review

Mar 28th, 2010 : by :: Tags: , , ,

Wednesday brought The Ruby Suns and Toro y Moi to The Black Cat Backstage.

My only previous experience with the Backstage having been a screamo mess which I peeked in on while at The Black Cat for non-concert purposes (but definitely for pinball purposes), I was interested to see how the whole thing would go… I was pretty impressed. I neglected to check out Toro y Moi (whose real name is Chaz and who almost smiled once during his set) before the show, largely because I was too busy continuing to be obsessed with the Fight Softly record that The Ruby Suns are out supporting. Having not heard a thing of his before, I enjoyed most of it. I have an inexplicable soft spot for solo musicians who loop instruments and, particularly, vocals for self-harmonizing and Chaz fits the bill more than nicely. (We were too far away for me to gawk nerdily at his gear setup, so I remain curious what he was using to pull it all off.) I was impressed with the breadth of genres he spanned. He stuck mostly in the synthy, head-bobby, steady rhythm pop neighborhood but ventured into hip-hop and casually into techno and then, to close hit set the odd choice of a strummy-strummy electric guitar song that most of the audience tuned out. Aside: A kind gentleman felt it necessary to, at one point–I believe the term is ‘back it up,’ right onto my exposed toes and then into my receptive arms. It was very cute. A breather at set break and a bourbon prefaced The Ruby Suns, who pretty much thrilled the hell out of me. Most of the set came off of Fight Softly, with which I have been mostly enthralled since it hit my speakers a few weeks ago. I recall specifically that we were treated to Mingus and Pike, Cranberry, Haunted House, Dusty FruitTwo Humans and, my personal favorite from the record, Closet Astrologer. Though it was Mingus and Pike that I sung to myself for my entire trip home. I questioned how the band would translate from the studio to the stage. Broken Social Scene makes sounds like The Ruby Suns do but with 410 more musicians. It works. It works nicely. The highly-layered, drum-centric songs went off largely without a hitch. The ping-ponging stereo samples at the start of Dusty Fruit pinged and ponged across the crowded room. The ascending oohs and aahs that form the backbone of Two Humans oohed and aahed in the same style that’s had me practicing my falsetto since I first heard the song. The Ruby Suns are a band who put on a thoroughly enjoyable show. Everything from the highly complex album is there. Every voice, every I-got-a-saw-and-hit-it-with-a-wisk sound. They sit on the edge of overdoing it. But just on the edge. That’s part of their magic. In a related fashion, I am absolutely loving that all the kids whose parents played them Graceland through their entire youth are now making music. It’s my favorite non-Jazz album of all time. And I get to hear its influence all over music these days. These guys definitely grew up on this album and Mr. Simon comes out in spades. It’s the choirs of backup singers; it’s the giant, bassy drums; it’s the hand claps, the use of vocals as more than a way to spit out some words; it’s the genre-in-a-blender mentality that is present in so much great music. The Ruby Suns haven’t created a Graceland-quality album, but that’s a pretty damn tall order. Do they make really good music and put on a kickass show? You bet. Head to see them and pick up the LP. It sounds fantastic.

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Artist: The Ruby Suns Album: Fight Softly Song: Cranberry.mp3 Post by Ryan (Not Bryan) Sims
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Electric Saturdays : Cut Copy, Junior Boys

Mar 27th, 2010 : by :: Tags: , , , , ,

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Artist: Cut Copy (remix by Chromeo)
Song: Future (Chromeo Remix).mp3
Album: Future

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Artist: Junior Boys
Song: Hazel.mp3
Album: Begone Dull Care
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Jake Troth :: Material Things Video

Mar 25th, 2010 : by :: Tags: ,

“Material Things” is the latest single by Jake Troth. It’s about the love of the world he grew up watching on television. The ridiculously expensive and lavish lives of those people he always wanted to be. It’s unbelievably catchy and will without a doubt be stuck in your head for the remainder of the day. Click here to buy it on iTunes.
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