q and also a :: ARMS
Todd of ARMS (ex-Harlem Shakes) sent us these answers to our questions in this next installment of q and also a.
q: What is the last song you (really) heard?
a: The last song that gave me that sustained “holy shit” feeling was a song called “Into Ruin” by Bongripper. Over the last year or so I’ve become completely fascinated by metalâ€”primarily but not exclusively of the doom and sludge varietiesâ€”and Chicago quartet Bongripper’s Miserable is one of my favorite albums of the stuff. It’s a slow-moving, 30-minute body massage of instrumental noise and I was transfixed the first time I heard it. The aesthetics of this stuff is hilariousâ€”the occult weed-worship iconography, the swirly typographyâ€”but the music is pure patience and minimalism, played at excruciating volume. Couldn’t recommend this more highly.
q: What is the first album you remember purchasing?
a: Oh, that would be Aerosmith‘s Get a Grip, on tape, from Brookline, Massachusetts’ dearly departed Nuggets in 1994. I still maintain that Aerosmith’s post-drugs pop-rock output will outlive their bloozey 70s material.
ed. note: counterpoint…
q: Is there an album you wished you knew about when you were younger?
a: I came across a vinyl copy of Paul Simon‘s Still Crazy After All These Years not too long ago and realized I had never actually heard it in its entirety. What a perfect collection of tunes! There isn’t a bad song on there, and they all go to these cosmic tonal places with such sweet lyrical specificity. “All that winter we shared a cold / drank all the orange juice that we could hold” is one of my favorites.
q: What is the last album you purchased?
a: I just ordered the vinyl of William Tyler‘s new album Modern Country. The guy is a bona-fide genius and poet of the acoustic guitar. It’s instrumental, guitar-based country music with light psychedelic touches and I am psyched for that one to come in the mail.
q: What is your favorite artist/band to see live?
a: I’ve only seen them a handful of times, but Radiohead is still hands-down my favorite live band. They breath such improbable life into their songsâ€”especially the more computer-based, unearthly onesâ€”and they never fail to totally blow my fucking mind onstage. You realize what exquisite musicians those dudes are.
q: What is your favorite artist/band to listen to recorded (i.e. not live)?
a: That’s a hard one. But I guess pretty much any era of Brian Eno, or any artist he produced. It’s all got such a distinctive sonic imprint, and his methodologies are fascinating and have such humor and warmth. The pop stuff, (especially) the ambient records, his contemporary stuff… I love it all. I even named my cat Brian Eno.
q: What piece(s) of culture are you really really excited about right now?
a: I’m really into this naive and awesome cable access show filmed in my hometown in the ’90s:
q: Anything we should know about your latest project (whatever that might be)?
a: My third full-length record just came out on June 3rd! When I started work on the third record, I realized that I finally felt ready to employ the time-honored “iconic plural noun” naming approach of Rumours, Animals, or Heroesâ€”and so I came up with Patterns. The title refers to behavioral patterns, patterns in nature, patterns in pop music; the songs are about acknowledging those things, finding the fragile humanity and humor in those idiosyncratic, quasi-universal truths. There’s a big stylistic range on the album, tooâ€”guitar-y rock songs, whispery acoustic country tunes, ambient instrumentals, shoegazey electronic bits, some falsetto R&Bâ€”but the songs are more honest for it, in their way. It’s wilder and louder and softer and, I think, more vulnerable than anything I’ve done before.
Here is the music video for Stellar…
And here is a stream of Patterns…