New-ish videos! Newer singles!! Newest label!!!
Okay, hopefully that got the exclamation points out of the way early and now we can gulp down our skinny margaritas. Previously we’d alluded to posting videos and then promptly did not. Go figure. So here are said videos that we made for choones offa Rotting Teeth In The Horse’s Mouth, our LP that came out only a few months ago (despite a few months feeling like at least 2000 light years).
We shot the “Vis-A-Vis” video with Rob Kassabian & DJ (of Chum Media) at the Golconda Skate Park over by the Brooklyn Navy Yard on a very cold Sunday morning in February. Bagels, donuts, coffee and our hats & coats kept us warm enough to sync our lips for a couple of hours. And it turns out that you can play guitar pretty well with winter gloves on! Also many thanks to the youth who were willing to hang and skate in front of the camera for donuts and hi-fives. (We took Amanda Palmer’s visionary business class late last year and have been stacking our money in tidy piles ever since.)
For “What Is Compassion?” we enlisted the masterful talents of Toronto’s top-shelf bucket banger, Mr. Hayden Menzies, to eyeball-slice a surreal and occasionally hilarious cut-up of stuff he shot on his phone. This video encourages a variety of emotional responses, many at the same time. Paul Clark, who drew and animated our “Alive in Shadows” video a few years ago made the titles for this. Also, buddy, what IS compassion?!
John von Pamer and his dutiful co-conspirator Max Burkeman convinced Jaws that he had to remove the very thing that kept his body from freezing in order to make the art that needed to be made on a sub-zero day in January. Thankfully Jaws loves art. He loves it more than his health. You will see this when watching the video for “It’s Mutual,” in which, donning only a hat and wisp of dignity, Jaws 1 and Jaws 2 battle it out on a muddy hill in lovely Prospect Park.
One of the delights of being in a band when the world is falling apart in slightly more abstract ways than this current moment is being able to travel and discover curious places. We get to meet new people and then return later and see those people again. And again. And then think of each other as friends. And we get to know about all the wonderful things they are doing in the places where they live and it makes our meager existence that much more tolerable. In Lyon, France those people are Remi and Celine and their kids and the whole crew at their Modern City headquarters. Celine makes stuff with her hands. All kinds of stuff. She draws, cuts linoleum, tears paper. And that’s just a Tuesday morning. Anyway, we asked her if she’d make a video for us, which is something she’d never done before. In her usual way she was up for the challenge and made this beautiful video for our song “Listening.”
The last video we made for the Rotting album is for the downbeat jammer “We’ve Been Disappearing.” I shot it all in Prospect Park just as quarantine was blanketing the city. My daily, masked strolls to clear my head and avoid the void were hour long, leafy promenades accompanied by an album in my headphones—Sunwatchers, FACS, Mark Hollis, Funkadelic. Side note: the outro on this has a bunch of eBow and cello tracks courtesy of our old pal Michael Hampton. It’s like he filtered those S.O.A. demos through Side 2 of The Family Way.
Almost every video we have gets a little fairy dust sprinkled on it by Nick Sewell, who you may know from his endeavors in, among several groups over the years, Biblical or Mount Cyanide, so the heartiest shouts in our healthiest indoor voices go to him. Thank you, as always and into the future, Nick!
Now, singles . . . not Cameron Crowe’s “exuberant romantic comedy” from 1992, nor the processed cheese product manufactured and sold by Kraft Foods, but the vinyl version that we all treasure in their special and illogically expensive-to-produce ways . . . we’ve got two new ones out in the wild. Yes, two.
The first one fell off the digital shelf in June and those songs, “Feel What You Feel” b/w “Access Egress”, will be in 7″ form this October on our own, newly formed record label, Peculiar Works. Why do bands start labels, you ask? While I can’t speak for the Beatles or Rolling Stones (though do love doing a Keith-interviewed-by-Terry-Gross impression), we have proven to ourselves that we know how to lose money, so why not upgrade to a bigger shovel? This debt-shaped grave won’t dig itself, chum!
And just last week the most excellent Mr. Al Crisafulli of Dromedary Records released two more songs of ours! These are individually lathe-cut 8″ pieces of clear plastic with artwork by Eli from Pittsburgh’s sporting and cavorting Gotobeds. We couldn’t be more delighted, though please do note that only 100 were made and when they are gone they are g-o-n-e like Greg Ginn.
That’s it for now, amigos. Until soon, we hope. Meantime don’t forget to floss . . .