Ten Questions with Deerhoof; Conor Oberst’s ‘Ruminations’ out Oct. 14; Sam Evian Creek debut Sept. 30…
by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com
San Francisco experimental rock band Deerhoof are known as much for their live shows as their quirky, jittery, inventive music. On stage the four-piece is an explosion of music that fuses rock, jazz, prog and noise into one throbbing, powerful sound. Frontwoman/basist Satomi Matsuzaki is a wound-up rock ‘n’ roll cheerleader, jumping and kicking and chirping in a language that sounds like a fusion of Japanese and English. It is, indeed, a sight to behold.
While the band’s idiosyncratic art-tortured albums can be a challenge to navigate, their latest, The Magic (2016, Polyvinyl) comes as close as they’ve ever dared to something resembling traditional rock. Nestled among the Eno-esque rhythms are some of the best holy-shit power-chord riffs I’ve heard from a rock band since Superchunk. Over the course of 15 tracks, the band can go from high-energy Sonic Youth grind (“Dispossessor”) to throbbing, blue-light art lounge (a cover of “I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire”). The Magic is a career high-water mark.
With the band returns to The Waiting Room Thursday, Aug. 4, I caught up with Satomi Matsuzaki with a Ten Questions survey. Here you go:
1. What is your favorite album?
Satomi Matsuzaki: The Magic by Deerhoof
2. What is your least favorite song?
“Hotel California” by Eagles
3. What do you enjoy most about being in a band?
Making music with Deerhoof.
4. What do you hate about being in a band?
Long flights when we go on tour.
5. What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?’
Barley tea and dried squid.
6. In what city or town do you love top perform?
Everywhere we go.
7. What city or town did you have your worst gig (and why)?
If there was any, I already erased that memory from my brain. I wanna stay positive and keep going forward. I learn from mistakes and just move on.
8. How do you pay your bills?
Usually bank wire through my phone bill payment app.
9. What one profession other than music would you like to attempt; what one profession would you absolutely hate to do?
My profession is music and I prefer not to do other work. I won’t hate any job though if I decide to do whatever to live.
10. What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?
I have been there before. It’s located in the middle of USA and The Waiting Room is a great venue! They have a laundromat in backstage and that helps me a lot on tour!
Deerhoof plays with Blank Spell and Thick Paint Thursday, Aug. 4, at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. Showtime is 9 p.m., tickets are $15. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.com.
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How did you spend last winter? If you’re like me, you wasted those cold January days watching TV and wishing for spring to return.
Conor Oberst spent his winter writing a new album called Ruminations, which drops Oct. 14 on Nonesuch Records.
Said Oberst about his winter in Omaha last year: “I wasn’t expecting to write a record. I honestly wasn’t expecting to do much of anything. Winter in Omaha can have a paralyzing effect on a person but in this case it worked in my favor. I was just staying up late every night playing piano and watching the snow pile up outside the window. Next thing I knew I had burned through all the firewood in the garage and had more than enough songs for a record. I recorded them quick to get them down but then it just felt right to leave them alone.”
Over the span of 48 hours, Oberst recorded Runinations at ARC Studios with engineer Ben Brodin. According to Oberst’s publicist, the tracks don’t have the multi-layered instrumentation of the most recent Bright Eyes and solo albums: This is Oberst alone with his guitar, piano and harmonica; a sort of throw-back to his earliest recordings, but with modern lyrics.
Pre-orders are under way at the Nonesuch website. The tour kicks off in Grand Island Aug. 18. and some locals are opening some dates, such as MiWi La Lupa, Anna McClellan, and on Nov. 23 Simon Joyner will open when Oberst plays solo at Carnagie Hall in NYC. That should be a show for the ages.
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Saddle Creek Records also announced today that the debut release by newest roster addition Sam Evian, entitled Premium, will drop Sept 30. Sam Evian is Brooklyn’s Sam Owens of band Celestial Shore. You read about his signing in Lazy-i here.
According to the publicist, the album’s nine songs “reflect the casual, relaxed atmosphere Sam created for himself at Brooklyn’s Figure 8 Studio.” Among the players on Premium are Austin Vaughn on drums (Here We Go Magic, Luke Temple), Brian Betancourt on bass (Hospitality, Here We Go Magic, Luke Temple), Michael Coleman on keys (Figure 8’s studio manager), Dan Iead on pedal steel (Cass McCombs), vocalists Cassandra Jenkins and Hannah Cohen, Shahzad Ismaily, Eddie Barbash (the saxophonist on the Colbert show) and Steve Marion (aka Delicate Steve).
Pre-orders are, of course, under way at Saddle Creek’s online store.
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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.
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