Author Archives: Kevin J Elliott

Countdown to Terrastock: Interview with Oneida

I’m pretty psyched to see Oneida. I’ve loved this band since I first laid my ears upon Come On Everybody Let’s Rock. Within there’s a song about cocaine that’s “profound.” But that was a while ago, and in the past decade Oneida has flown under the underground, doing exactly what they feel like doing. And doing Terrastock is something they should’ve been doing a long time ago. That decade has produced albums like the monolithic double LP Each One Teach One and their opus, The Wedding (a record made with industrial-sized, player-piano cylinders). To say they’ve been underappreciated is premature, just wait until your kids get a hold of these albums. Needless to say, the main attraction of Terrastock, besides a Simply Saucer reunion, is getting to finally see four of my head heroes in action (though they swear they played Bernies at one point). I caught up with Fat Bobby before some very prestigious shows in NYC.

Do you ever feel like you’ve reached a threshold of “epicness”? Like it’s getting harder and harder to top what you did last time?

Your question assumes a certain level of premeditation that just is not there in the creation of our music.

I remember a time when you were searching for a real harpsichord. Did you ever find it? What are you looking for these days?

Ha! You have an excellent memory. We did NOT find the harpsichord we wanted at the time we wanted it….and then, lo and behold, we stopped stressing, moved on, and recently an electric harpsichord (in terrible shape) has come into our lives. A classic example of chilling the fuck out and letting the universe have its way with you.

Not to dwell on Oneida’s past, but how did you get the idea to record The Wedding with giant music box cylinders? Did the process ever overshadow the recording of the songs? Were you happy with the results? Are we ever going to hear the raw tape from those sessions, the once promised “dub” version? Continue reading

Countdown to Terrastock Seven

Long before the internets cracked open the portal that lent instant accessibility to just about every nook and cranny of the underground there was such a thing as printed media – the ‘zine if you will. Back then it took weeks, sometimes months, to painstakingly compile interviews, retrieve records from the source, get photos, and paste it all down to templates that were then xeroxed and stapled and disseminated to mailboxes of those who had the patience, discriminate taste, a couple bucks, and ample time to digest it all.

Since 1998 editor Phil McMullen, publisher Nick Saloman (of Bevis Frond), and artist Iker Spozio, set out to unite all psychedelic heads under the umbrella of Ptolemic Terrascope, an “illustrated occasional” or ornately crafted ‘zine that has introduced the world to such diverse artists as the Olivia Tremor Control and the Acid Mother’s Temple, given detailed lectures on the essentials of Krautrock and British Folk, and basically guided inquiring minds towards the bygone renaissance and increasingly growing community of left-field artists and musicians. The effort and scope of each issue was such that the back catalog has become rarely found collector treasure (as each one was not only chocked full of obscuro reviews and expansive interviews, but also came with an accompanying disc of equally out-there music). Though as times have changed so has the frequency of Terrascope publications, and just last year, the magazine’s headquarters (from the English countryside to Oakland, CA). One thing has remained constant, that’s the annual Terrastock Festival – a weekend designed to enlighten with live performances from a curated laundry list of Terrascope faithful from all over the globe.

Now in its seventh year, the fest shows no signs of slowing down. This year promises to be one of the best of the bunch featuring performances by Brooklyn kraut-popsters, Oneida, Norwegian heavyweights, Motorpsycho, leader of the Acid Mother’s Temple, Makato Kawabata, and reformed Canadian proto-punks, Simply Saucer. And as a bonus it’s being held in Louisville, Kentucky, a measly three-hour drive from central Ohio, from Thursday June 19th-22nd. Full details can be found here, though the schedule is being tweaked daily.

Be warned though. As mentioned on their website:

“Terrastock is not an indie-rock A&R feeding frenzy. Bands and artists are there at the personal invitation of the organisers because we love their music and they love the way we do things. It’s simply about the music, and about the whole Terrastock spirit. If you’ve ever been to a Terrastock, you’ll know what we mean…”

In the coming weeks Donewaiting will become a resource for anyone who’s planning on attending (or those abroad who wish they could attend) with interviews with the bands, schedule updates, and maybe even a Louisville recommendation or two. Stay Tuned.

Wye Oak – If Children

MP3: Warning
MP3: I Don’t Feel Young

Formerly known as Monarch, Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack, now named after the Maryland state tree, Wye Oak project the hallmarks of a band too meticulous and maybe even a bit overproduced — long nights, double takes, excessive overdubs, might have sucked some energy from what might translate live. In the style of the trad-Merge, off-kilter, dual sex subgenre (see Butterglory, the Rosebuds, She and Him) If Children, the group’s debut is as varied as leaves from the tree. As we wait with baited breath for the next installment of My Bloody Valentine there’s still time to throw your own Loveless replicate into the ring and Stack shows submits his love letter. Well, at least on “Warning,” a full-on fit of buzzing and massaging waves of guitar fuzz, pure sonic navel gazing.

Coming from Maryland, disbelief is suspended and the mess is that bit of the Dixie seeped over the border. I hear harbor and fog, salty inlets forged by the sea rather than swampland and twang. Sure the duo is guilty of staying up late night with Palace LPs (the barren-soul whimper is a constant) but these songs are more shanty – swaying, low-ended, benders more reminiscent of the Breeders and Come and Scrawl (‘specially when Wasner takes the commanding lead, not just using her the voice as wispy instrument) on the double bummer of “Family Glue” and “Orchard Fair” – these are not death ballads. Hope is prevalent; it’s just wobbling in intoxication.

Stack is a trained songwriter and great at the finger picking (an epilogue to Bon Iver?), which makes his band’s eclectic choice of ideas even the more strange. Pleasantly surprised is the apt descriptor here, as most of If Children doesn’t follow a blueprint, it goes from feeling to feeling. It’s certainly not groundbreaking stuff. Songs like the ballooning mini-epic “I Don’t Feel Young” though, tend to stun more often than not — always a stinging and spacey subversion from slightly similar precious and sensitive albums that battle with mediocrity. In here there’s a beating heart.

Official SXSW Spew: Day Four


A common theme to this week’s festivities? Ask “MY HEAD.” This video, like my wrist the day before, is ideal representation of the week that was.

Go to World of Wumme to see how it all turned out.

Official SXSW Spew: Day Three


I’ll let my wrist do all the talking. Confusion is a virtue in Tejas.

For another exhaustive dispatch from the trenches go to World of Wumme.

Official SXSW Spew: Day Two


Is this a sign of the apocalypse?

A more detailed report of what’s going on in this picture can be found on World of Wumme.

Official SXSW Spew: Day One


Surprise of the Day >>>> The Kills (pictured)

What a fest. It never ceases to get me giggling with pleasure. We must first pour a bit of malt liquor on the curb for the dearly departed Chip Midnight and then report on the day that was…..

Go to World of Wumme for the full dispatch.

SXSW Recommendation: The CDR Showcase


Allow me a few moments to show some Columbus love. I realize this here SXSW blog is being read by hundreds of millions of SXSW attendees, but it’s necessary for y’all to know that this week in Austin it will be hard to spit without hitting a member of the Washington Beach clique….and the largest concentration of those bands will be playing the second annual Columbus Discount Recording showcase. Last year the label was stuck with the bad luck of playing a place that more resembled South Beach than the skanky dives they’re used to, this year however, they’ve been assigned Lambert’s Patio (a new venue with a prime location and prime BBQ) and the stock couldn’t be higher thanks to vinyl collector scum the world around.

So they say what happens in Texas stays in Tejas (for months on end), that fabled proverb fits no band better than the Unholy Two, who make their SXSW debut this year. The Unholy Two revel in mythology. Is Chris Lutzko a neo-con? Did he support NAFTA from the beginning? Could he be accused of fear mongering? If you clicked yes to all of the above, you’re 100% delusional like myself. The trio should have a 7″ for sale at this event, a document that will no doubt have you at the free clinic for a herpes test (a document which I haven’t gotten yet?), regardless there are two strains running through their sound — pure cum-rock, pure fuck-you gimmick — the mind of a man.

The CDR showcase is also a time of remembrance, or to simply say “dude I wasn’t there, I had no idea,” as Tommy Jay, hot on the heels of the re-issue of his brilliant lost masterpiece Tall Tales of Trauma, will be playing alongside his confidant, and equally legendary, Mike “Rep” Hummel. These are the guys who will probably elbow their way to the front of any performance Roky Erickson might make in the next few days. Psych is not just a word, but a way of life.

I could go on and on — about how the Guinea Worms should’a been playing the fest way back when Mark E. Smith had teeth, how Necropolis could out angle any post-punk group in the tri-state area, how Night of Pleasure is now composed of two public school teachers, and the oncoming storm that El Jesus de Magico presents. I only know one thing, I’m starting my SXSW adventure swilling free PBR and having my mind fucked by the Magic Jesus’ mind fuck (at high noon, at the day show sponsored by this here site). Beware.

SXSW Recommendation: Sissy Wish


Last year I had the pleasure of interviewing Norway’s Marit Larsen, also known as the country’s top-selling recording artist (at least in her own country), stateside you might know her best as one half of M2M (yeah, you probably don’t know her). What I came away with most was the reserved nature of Norway compared to the bright, twee, pop coming from cultural rival Sweden.

Also from the humble coastal city of Bergen, Norway, Sissy Wish (not sure if the name refers to the girl or the band yet), craft an unassuming little kaleidoscope of sing-a-long pop, the kind that might get confused with the usual candy of eclectic female fronted folk (per ipod commercials). Beauties Never Die has yet to be released domestically, so it’s whimsical first single “Float” has more than flown under the radar. Maybe that’s why they’re headed on their virgin North American tour, which includes at least 3 (by my count) shows in Austin. Sunshine and sweetness are two things that define the SXSW experience, for fans of the Cardigans, Beck, and the Postal Service (with a bit more edge and sincerity), Sissy Wish are blessed with both.

Here’s a video for the enchanting “Float”.

SXSW Recommendation: FM3


FM3 is China’s hottest rock band. Christian Virant and Zhang Jian have pioneered the country’s electronic scene (what little scene there is) since 1999. According to their bio the duo is:

“Known for dedicating prime space for “live” aspects within their work, FM3 produces mysterious, meditative and minimalist soundscapes, while subtly adding elements of Chinese folk tradition into a universe abundant in micro-sounds and synthetic glitches.”

All I know is they invented the Buddha Machine, and mine has become a constant companion for two years running. I’m not quite sure of their appearances in the states so far, but their show at SXSW is the first time I’ve ever heard of them playing within two thousand miles of my home.

More about the Buddha Machine on World of Wumme.