q and also a :: Shop Talk
The members of Shop Talk: Jon Garcia (Queening), Alexander Perrelli (Pygmy Shrews) and Bernard Gann (Liturgy) 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?
bernard: Bio-loader by Paradise from the album La Zonea. It really works for my mood right now.
alexander: The last song I really heard was Perfect World by Uniform off the album Perfect World. In their various projects over the years, Ben and Berdan have been consistent sources of inspiration for me.
jon: I think the last song I really heard was Cocaine by Abner Jay. We were all in the van together on the way to Cleveland, and I had been pretty much ignoring the background music until that song came on. Abner has a way of commanding attention.
q: What is the first album you remember purchasing?
j: Well, the first album I bugged my Mom to get for me was Rolling Stones Hot Rocks on cassette. I was in the third grade if memory serves, and I’d just started taking some guitar lessons. Paint it Black was the first song I tried to learn. I couldn’t really play it, but I could kind of make my way through that sitar part on my little 3/4-size acoustic. I spent a lot of time with the cassette, and I’m sure I learned a lot by osmosis. I didn’t understand it’s context at all at the time, but that tape was a kind of gateway to early rock ‘n’ roll and the blues, and a precursor to the rootsier, rhythm-forward punk acts that would have a big impact on me later. Getting those rhythms in my body at a young age must’ve been pretty formative.
b: I used to listen to Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) by Brian Eno on a Fisher Price tape player. It was two shades of brown and about the size of a lunchbox. My Dad had dubbed the album onto a cassette for me when I was 7 at my request. There was a lot of music in the house when I was growing up, and none of it was contemporary pop music. The Eno album wasn’t something I purchased, but it was essentially the first choice I made that resulted in an acquisition. It was when I formed a preference. I remember walking around singing along to Fat Lady of Limbourgh and making up my own lyrics.
a: The first album I bought was Operation Ivy’s Energy. I grew up in San Francisco and caught the tail end of that scene. I remember walking into Amoeba Records on Haight Street and picking that up. It must’ve been about 1994, and at the time that record blasted my face off. In the 7th grade my friends and I started a band called the Sidekicks, and we entered that scene with relative ease. There was a band called the Secretions from Sacramento who were significantly older and took us under their wing. Over the next five years we played at 924 Gilman more times than I can remember, often with the Secretions, and every time we played there, as a young dude, I always felt connected to the history of the Bay Area punk scene… Which also blasted my face off.
q: Is there an album you wished you knew about when you were younger?
j: Los Angeles by X.
q: What is the last album that you purchased?
j: I picked up a copy of Court and Spark by Joni Mitchell at Reckless Records while we were in Chicago last week. I’m a huge Joni fan. Sometimes people laugh when I say that, but I mean it sincerely.
a: Ave Africa by Sunburst. I also purchased that at Reckless on this recent Shop Talk tour. They’re a group from Tanzania that was active in the 1970’s, and was highly recommended by the awesome folks at Reckless Records.
q: What is your favorite memory of experiencing music in a live setting?
j: Our record release show at Alphaville was pretty good.
b: Ellen Fullman performed at the Fisher Center at Bard College, and I was working as her assistant. She was playing the Long String Instrument, in which she suspends strings from the walls of the room. The room becomes a resonating chamber, and she walks between the strings with resin on her fingers. It sounds like heaven. I was supposed to be running a projector during her performance, but kept fucking up because I was too affected by the music.
a: I’ve had so many moments that I could point to as the most impactful experience of live music. I will mention my friend Josh Modney who is a violinist from New York. I’ve seen him perform in numerous ensembles since we met in 2013. When he plays it’s like hearing your favorite record for the first time, every time.
q: Anything we should know about your latest project (whatever that might be)?
j: We have a new song called Ramona that we’re all pretty excited about. It came together quickly, and just worked without a lot of analysis. It’s also kind of a new direction for me in terms of the writing.
b: I’m going to play some out-of-tune guitars with my friend Kenji Garland, if that means anything to ya. It’s called Halogens.
a: Currently I’m enrolled in the MFA program at CUNY Hunter, working on a series of pieces that involve sculptural renderings of analog film. I’m interested in the idea of film as the object, rather than the means to a print. It’ll blast your lens cap off.
Shop Talk’s new eponymous EP was released last month via Brainbox Records and recorded by Jonathan Schenke (Parquet Courts, Eaters).