I first came across Alessi, and her subworld of child-like fantasy and sincere kindness, through her fascinating zine, the Brain Bulletin. Since then I have learned that she also has talents in music making. Through a voice as delicate as the guitar she softly plucks and picks, and songwriting that massages the imagination, she creates a world all her own, one worth a vacation to. She stopped by the Porch to chat about such things as her new album, “Notes from the Tree House,” out on March 30th, Dr. Seuss, and London, her hometown.
MP3: Alessi – The Horse
Posted in Interviews, Johnny Disaster
Tagged Alessi, Alessi's Ark, brain bulletin, folk, Interview, London, Notes from the Tree House, singer, songwriter, sxsw, thunder power
Photographer Grant Hamilton captures the most simple aspects of our daily lives in the most spectacular ways. His bold, clean Polaroids are invigorating in their raw energy and simplicity, making Grant one of my favorite photographers ever. So, I was super excited when he agreed to a chat on the Porch. Click the link for his kind words and more of his spectacular art!
I recently had a cybersitdown with the amazing illustrator Julia Sonmi Heglund. She is an incredibly talented lady who draws magical creatures and super psychedelic doodles while residing in Madison, Wisconsin. You can find several of her rad tshirt designs at Threadless. Besides drawing, making, and thrifting Julia also creates music with her boyfriend under the moniker Sonmi. She had many good things to say.
I had a chance to talk with the lovely Jana Hunter recently for an article I was working on. You can read the piece here, but I saved some extra tidbits for the Porch.
First, some MP3s:
Jana Hunter – “Farm, Ca.”
Jana Hunter – “Babies”
The Porch: What kinds of things inspire you?
Jana Hunter: Really, other people’s music inspires me a lot. Also, new equipment. You know when you get a new piece of equipment and you spend hours and weeks playing with it. Pretty much any really inspiring work, not just music. And major life events too.
Is it a coincidence that James Jackson Toth (formerly Wooden Wand) and I both have AOL email accounts? Is it a coincidence that his favorite Sun City Girls’ album is titled Torch of the Mystics? Is it a coincidence that his favorite album of his is Second Attention, which just so happens to be my favorite as well. I think not, these are no mere coincidences, his presence on our Porch was predestined by fate. When we chatted via cell-phones, James was somewhere between Buffalo, New York and Bloomington, Indiana, touring for his new album Waiting In Vain, out now on Rykodisc. In Toth’s own words, Waiting In Vain is “kind of about temptation and redemption, and the varying ways you can view these things.” He told me he was not wearing his seat belt, and yes he was driving while talking on his cell-phone. More importantly James does not wear his seat belt on the highway of life, traffic laws are like your mother’s precautions, and you alas are not your own mother.
Posted in Interviews, Johnny Disaster
Tagged Deerhoof, Interview, James Jackson Toth, Neil Young, Silver Jews, Tennessee, Vetiver, Waiting In Vain, Wilco, Wooden Wand
Credit: Mattie Stafford
I’m not going to go into how hard it was for Caroline of Chairlift to time her jump onto our porch from her chair lift, let’s just rejoice in the fact that she did get here safely. Things have been looking up for the Brooklyn-based band as of late. Their debut album, Does You Inspire You, is out now on iTunes, and will be released through Kanine Records on October 28th in a more physical form. Chairlift has just finished up touring with underground garbled psych legend, Ariel Pink, as part of his “Thanks Mom I’m Dead” North American tour. In the future, October to be exact, Chairlift will be touring with fellow Brooklyn renters and 80s outerspacers, Yeasayer. But, for a collection of fleeting moments, Caroline graced us with herself on our humble little porch, giving insight into the band, talking about Brooklyn land, and staying away from Planet Tan.
Henryk Fantazos is a wonder. His story is as unlikely as his paintings are good. My first encounter with his work was the “Face of the South” collection, which is the focus of this article, and from which all of the works displayed here come from. These paintings move with the fluidity of the Mississippi and sway with the cotton fields of Georgia. Even submerged in the murky bayous of Louisiana, his paintings still shine with a light of fantasy that is most unique. Below is an interview with Mr. Fantazos which covers such subjects as a blushing peach, wal-mart shoppers, and of course his singular take on the intrinsic beauty of the South.
I met with my dear friend and fellow Denton dweller Sarah Jaffe a few nights ago on the precipice of her quaint Texas tour triggered by the release of her EP “Even Born Again.” Sarah is above all else an engaging person, who also happens to write folksy rebellious anthems, juxtaposed by her angelic vocal chords. There is a certain redeeming air to many of her songs, such as the title track “Even Born Again.” I seemed to have stumped her when I asked her what her best experience has been while performing. She paused for awhile and finally said that she did not think it had happened yet. Sarah knows that her best days are yet to come, and her silent optimism has a tendency to infect her followers as well. Sarah rested comfortably in her bed while I typed on the floor the following conversation.