Let the screenprinting commence….
The compilation is also forging ahead at full speed - The mastering process is all but finished, and individual album artwork for each band’s 7” single will be in by the end of the month, along with the initial press kit for Tennesthesia!
The Tennesthesia family of bands is keeping plenty busy and finding plenty to get excited about in the near future. Over this past weekend, Nashville’s Fly Golden Eagle released their new album, “Swagger”, in a rowdy outdoor block party that (as best we can remember) turned from a single performance into a 6-band bill as some of Nashville’s finest rock and garage acts took a break from socializing to play impromptu sets.
In addition to releasing a swaying, unabashedly feel-good record, Fly Golden Eagle announced that they have been chosen, with two other bands, to take part in an intensive residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts. Though the Centre is funding their tuition and living expenses during the residency, Fly Golden Eagle is raising support for transportation costs to and from Alberta.
Download “Swagger” in its entirety, dance a little, and consider donating to Fly Golden Eagle’s travel fund for Alberta.
For a number of years now, Chris Murray has been an uncontested post-jazz and freak-pop force of nature in the Nashville music scene, dashing out more releases under a number of monikers than most of us are accustomed to seeing from anyone. In spite of this, he manages to remain inexorably terse, witty, and scalpel-tongued as ever. Although his many side projects deserve significant mention (The Roving Scones, Hepatitties, Toadies 2?), his longest-running project is Square People.
Square People (occasionally introduced as Square People Jazz Maturity) casually tumbles through a blend of new jazz and noise pop, at times lolling and chaotic, at others, pointed and precise. The band has contributed two new tracks to the project, aptly and self-convincingly titled “I’m Not Lazy” and “I’m Not Nervous”.
As of this weekend, all bands participating in the Tennesthesia project have sent in their A-side and B-side tracks (B-side tracks? There is a reason) and licensing agreements. The compilation will be sent in for mastering at Nashville’s Bomb Shelter this week, which brings us to another significant announcement:
The production of Tennesthesia has been significantly expanded to include a limited-run 45RPM vinyl single for each band in the compilation, including two tracks. Each band will be able to market its 7-inch, as well as the compilation as a whole, which will be released as an ultra-limited hand-packaged box set of Vinyl 45s, and as a double-disc CD.
The process of creating each record will be hands-on from start to finish. Nashville’s United Record Pressing will produce the records. The sleeve artwork, collaborations between the Memetic Society and bands’ visual artists, will be screenprinted by hand, and the packaging will be crafted in the living room and porch that serve as the Society’s headquarters. The concepts, music, visuals, and the physical manifestation of each record are fruits of Tennessee’s cultural and intellectual landscape.
Following is an interview with Josh Bennett of the band Forest Magic.
1. State a brief history along with the current band line-up.
Forest Magic started out as an idea before any music was ever played. The concept grew and developed over about four months, and as the idea was spread, through means of thought bees and spoken word, people became interested. There were nine of us to begin with; members of previous bands and friends. The idea was more about creation of music than conventional songwriting. We became a living thing. I see Forest Magic not as a band so much, but more of a specific way to make music. We once likened our project to a plant that sends out pollen to start up somewhere new. A way to franchise out the band in a way. Two of those original nine members live in Boston, one in Seattle, and one in San Francisco. They are still encouraged to write and perform Forest Magic songs if they want. Eventually Allen Hartley, Allie Stafford, Joel White, Nicholas Turner, and myself became the core songwriters and performers of Forest Magic.
2. How does social commentary or personal experience play a role in the song writing process?
Our concept, at first, was more of a comment on society. It was about returning to Nature, shedding the heavy burden of living in a fast-paced world. We brought an element of fantasy in which we imagined we were from the future and that we dug up a bunch of instruments and tried to re-learn how to make music in the tradition of folk music, without the traditional sound of folk music. As time went on, we decided that the fantasy was only giving us parameters, though the central idea of our songs is still the same. We write about love and simple things and big things like outer space and transcendental things and floating in the air on ancient turtles that can fly.
3. In what city in Tennessee are you based?
Chattanooga (Joel now lives in San Francisco & I am about to move to Nashville)
4. How has the culture of Tennessee shaped the product and process of creating your music?
Maybe not so much the culture, but definitely the landscape. In East Tennessee, it is impossible to not be inspired by the Appalachian mountains in all of their glory. Though I see them everyday and they are the backdrop for our city, they are our horizon, they are never ignored or taken for granted. However, Chattanooga is a city that is small enough to retain a strong sense of community, and that definitely informs and incites in some way. Perhaps I’m not sure exactly how.
5. What is your favorite place or thing to do in tennessee?
Swimming in creeks and playing music.
6. Favorite venue to play at in your city?
JJ’s Bohemia for sure. We got our start there, and it’s a great venue. Although, Sluggo’s is also a great venue, but we haven’t played there yet.
7. Another tennessee band or musician that you think is creating innovative music?
BIG KITTY, see them if you can. I really like JEFF the Brotherhood too.
8. What is in the near or distant future for your band?
Forest Magic is in a state of hibernation at the moment. Joel, who plays drums, moved to California back in October of 2010. Since his departure, we decided to start on an additional project. It’s more of a recording project, we call it NECKLACE. We have only played a handful of shows. Also, I perform as a solo act under the name DOLPHIN MOUTH. <><>DM<><>. There are definitely similar elements running throughout all projects, but they are also drastically different. With Necklace, instead of trying to recruit another drummer, we decided to use machines and share the responsibility of keeping beats on a small, stand-up kit. We have tried to strip down some of the complexity that is present in Forest Magic songs. Forest Magic is and has always been an evolving project. I don’t really know when it will rise up out of its hibernation or where it will be. Perhaps it will be something that only a couple of us try to perpetuate, perhaps new folks will cultivate it. Only time will tell. I know that I will always write FM songs. Our debut release, IS ENERGY is available for free download as of now. I am trying to see if it is possible for us to get it released in a physical format. I am excited about the 7” release of Terrible Creatures and Explorin’ Explorin’. They have yet to be heard by really anyone.
9. Future of music or personal preference: vinyl/cassette /CD/ digital?
I like it all. At this point, the format is secondary. Honestly, I am looking forward to bands getting more creative with their releases. Theme-specific sculptures, apparel, jewelry… The possibilities are endless. Personally, vinyl is my favorite format to listen to though. CDs and cassette tapes are still nice too. The different formats are better for certain things. Vinyl is good for visiting with friends.
IS ENERGY by FOREST MAGIC
BACK WHEN PEOPLE AND TREES USED TO BE FRIENDS by ELK (Allen Hartley)
DOLPHINE by DOLPHIN MOUTH (Joshua Bennett)
B, B + Y by DOLPHIN MOUTH (Joshua Bennett)
Necklace (Allie Stafford, Allen Hartley, Nicholas Turner, and Joshua Bennett)
Dolphin Mouth (Joshua Bennett)
Elk (Allen Hartley)
Over the past week, we’ve begun surveying some new territory in Tennessee’s shifting cultural landscape. New visuals are in the works, for us and others, new bands are lending their musical valuables to the Tennesthesia compilation, and the Society is soon to become a clearinghouse for design and illustration, as well as music.
During the weekend, we met with our dear Nashville friends Fly Golden Eagle, Majestico and Action! (whose sensitive set in East Nashville gained them more than a few new fans). In addition, meetings with a local artist and illustrator, recently returned from a stint on the West Coast, led to the formation of a new branch of the Society: A full-service design and illustration agency is soon to be integrated with the label.
This week has also seen two new bands from the east and west sides, respectively, put in their bid to be a part of Tennesthesia - Knoxville’s Mountains of Moss and Memphis veterans The Oscars will both be contributing tracks to the album.