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
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.