Two Songs From: The Garden

1. The Garden is a two person band, made up of identical twins Wyatt and Fletcher Shears of Orange County, California. 2. California Here We Go is their most recent single and was the first video of theirs that I watched. My first response was whaaaaat followed by watching a whole bunch of videos by other people and then going back to watching The Garden again because they were by far the most unusual and interesting. Also I was trying to figure out why they were wearing clown make-up. I still don’t know, though it is a recurring theme in their recent videos. 3. The Garden are very much a law unto themselves. Their universe is unique and partially closed; their genre – “vada vada” – is their own invention and more symbolic than descriptive. Even with the sound on and the lyrics mostly intelligible their videos are an experience akin to watching surrealist art movies in a noisy bar. 4. When not rocking out, they’re models. Interviews suggest they have a very low-key approach to high fashion, and, sometimes, to gender. 5. They were on Burger Records, at first, but are now on Epitaph. This is All Smiles Over … Continue reading

Luke De-Sciscio, Gossamer Rose

1. Luke DeSciscio is from Bath, England. Gossamer Rose is his debut LP. 2. His bandcamp lists his genre as “post-boatcore” which at first I thought might be related to yacht music. 3. As it turns out the “boat” in question was a coal barge from Manchester which he was living on for a while, on the Kennet and Avon canal, shuttling between Bath and Bristol. 4. The “-core” part is a reference to hardcore and post-hardcore, which he was listening to while making this record. The genre didn’t stick, but the suffix did. 5. The record grew out of his experiences on the boat. It is effectively the opposite of hardcore: there is no howling, screeching, or thrashing, just sweet guitar melodies and his sharp clear voice. 6. The thing that first hooked me on this record was the cover art. The splash of soft gold light playing against the muted rose-pink of the wall hits a very specific receptor that I can’t really explain other than to say I was distantly surprised there may be a ghost of a photographer in me yet, still in love with light, shadow, and the possibilities on the other side of the … Continue reading

Ray Wylie Hubbard: Grifter’s Hymnal

1. Who is Ray Wylie Hubbard? He’s Gandalf, if The Lord of The Rings had been written as a team effort by Warren Ellis and Charles Portis. 2. Once, very long ago, when I had only just begun to wander, I fetched up in a church in the center of London. There was music playing when I walked through the door, organ music, swelling and rolling and bouncing between the marble floors and pillars and filling up the soaring arches. I drifted around, muddled by jet-lag, enjoying the music and only vaguely paying attention to the people who were with me. Eventually the music stopped, and a small, gray-haired man emerged from behind the organ, and I realized a) he had been playing the whole time and b) I had been walking quietly so I didn’t disturb the angels that I had thought were there and c) it had not seemed the tiniest bit irregular to me, that an off-duty angel should have stopped in to a random church in central London to keep the organ in good tune. (I was really jet-lagged. About two hours later I would fall upon the only 7-11 in town like a hungry, homesick … Continue reading