“Jump rope? I was like sixteen, maybe seventeen at the time? It was like ten thousand people watching,” admits “Rock Outfit” Circuit Des Yeux (a.k.a. Haley Fohr), explaining how she came into contact with alter ego, the cryptohistorical bard Jackie Lynn. For those following the trajectory, Jackie Lynn marks a new development in Fohr’s quest for transcendence—namely, the shedding of an externally-dictated reality for one filled with cocaine, electronically-tinged country music, and stardom. Thanks to Julia Dratel's official documentary on Jackie Lynn—which comes in the form of a montage of interviews, childhood sequences, eldritch Chicagoland wanderings, and the burial of a master tape in a nondescript wooded area—a bit of light is cast upon our mysterious heroine.
The Jackie Lynn story mirrors one more commonly etched in hip-hop—think of Daniel Dumile as MF Doom, Dennis Coles or Ghostface Killah as Tony Stark, Cassidy the Hustler vs. Cassidy the Problem—where an artist creates a character to flip the script, conquer trauma, or, at a minimum, try on a new part of themselves. Like those analogs in hip-hop, Jackie Lynn “took being a woman and made it into being a loaded gun,” according to a character named Ka_ina Sort in the documentary.And In 2016, a time when the dialogue on being alive under duress of a passive-aggressive patriarchal system is at its most resonant and reaching, who could fault someone for becoming that? Who wouldn't want to be taken seriously as an artist, as a weapon? I know, Miss Lynn, that it’s the threat of influence, and not the threat of violence, that makes you dangerous—you are a star. You’re a star, you’re a star, you’re a star. You’re a big, bright, shining star. That’s right.
Jackie Lynn is out now on Thrill Jockey. Jackie Lynn is also doing a string of live dates, listed after the jump.
It’s always impressive when a musician employs a full array of instruments and noisemakers—multiple guitars, bass, drums, percussion, voice, you name it—and yet their music still sounds ambient, effortless. In the case of psych-folk veteran Rafi Bookstaber’s latest LP, home-recorded in Asheville, NC over several years, and co-produced by Paul Grimes and M. Geddes Gengras, the summoned ambience recalls the album's titular season. It doesn’t take much effort to conjure a mental image of this music: the sun is giving off a particularly intense-but-deceptive light, days are getting a bit shorter, and kids are biking home for dinner before the first day of school. It’s an idyllic image that, nonetheless, Bookstaber distorts more than a notch with Eastern influences and degenerated tape hum, eventually depicting a summer that’s a bit more lush, spiritual, and untouched by human ubiquity than what we’re generally used to.
This article was initially published in AdHoc Issue 12. Pick up a copy of the zine for free at AdHoc shows and small businesses around Brooklyn. You can also order a copy here and download a PDF here. Illustration above by Sara Lautman.
You sink a my swan. Rolly a get a worst in. Maybe minus way far central poor forty duck a pin. —The Melvins, “Hooch,” 1993
Prince is dead. Bowie is dead. LOU is dead. Percy fucking Sledge is dead. Music fans won’t pay for anything any more besides monthly subscription services, and unless you’re a bald Swedish guy or your name begins with a J and ends with a Z, you don’t see a goddamn cent—let alone 5 decimal points of a cent. Festivals—the only opportunities for artists to play outside their hometowns without losing tons of money—are getting cancelled left and right. What the fuck are we going to do? No, really. What. The. Fuck. Are we going to do?
So far, the most important story in rock & roll in 2016 (besides everybody DYING) is that Steve Miller doesn’t give a fuck about the Black Keys, or anybody else. Well, that makes two of us, Steve. (Oh yeah, but Steve Albini says everything is going to be okay: he likes streaming music and thinks it’s great for musicians.) What the hell is going to happen? What the fuck are we going to do?!!
I called Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover from the Melvins to beg for advice. Maybe they can help you, too.
FRKWYS, RVNG Intl.'s series of album-length collaborations usually between an older artist and a younger artist, has batted right around 1.000 throughout its seven-year run. The latest installment in the series continues the streak, linking up two Californian synth geniuses—contemporary phenom Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith and Suzanne Ciani, an electronic music pioneer with decades of powerful work ranging from maximalist space disco to gorgeous new age. The result, Sunergy, tends toward the latter of those two strains, with both artists meditating on Buchla synthesizers; the album features two lengthy modular improvisations, the second of which, "Closed Circuit," is excerpted and placed atop a video of waves below. Though as minimal as one might expect, both pieces project a thrilling dynamism thanks to the bright melodies for which Ciani is known as well as the percussive blasts that appear so often on Smith's LP from earlier this year, EARS.
serpentwithfeet is the chosen moniker of Baltimore native Josiah Wise, who has has a hand in numerous musical and visual projects in New York's underground art scene in the past few years. Now, with the help from London-based producer The Haxan Cloak, the 27-year-old singer-songwriter shares his debut single via Tri Angle Records, "Flickering." Seamlessly interlocking R&B and classical elements, Wise creates an intimate space through sound reminiscent of UK singer Sampha as he layers hollow piano chords, vibrating bass and shimmering synth work. The track reveals itself as a desperate plea for connection as Wise repeatedly trembles,"I offer myself to you."
A project formed in the mid-'80s by Tori Kudo and Reiko Kudo in Japan, Maher Shalal Hash Baz has evolved and gone through a number of transformations with a consistently rotating cast of band members. Hello, New York, the group's first release since 2009, was created while the band was visiting New York City for a 30th anniversary performance in September 2014: OSR label founder Zach Phillips brought members of the band and an assortment of other musicians together to record during their stay. Hello, New Yorkis a wild melding of musical energy. Short interludes stitch together songs and blissfully passionate jam sessions. The ecstatic nature of playing music bleeds through these recordings; they exist as a document and also a carrier of feeling—a richly layered sonic experience.
While living off of meager meals and huddling together for warmth during a brutal winter, Brooklyn vets The So So Glos put together what little resources they had to build Market Hotel. They return to their beloved spot this Saturday with Big Ups, Honduras and Bueno and will be running a #FeedTheStreet food drive for local nonprofit, City Harvest. Be sure to bring canned food to donate at the show!
The band shared some memories with AdHoc as well as photos and music from the archives of their time at Market.
I remember living off dollar rice from the Chinese food store across the street and huddling together without heat or a shower in the dead of winter. We built a loft and laid 7 mattresses on top of a construction site and slept like that for a few months (before building walls). Setting up the market was rough & it was hard work, but the payoff has been well worth it. The original vision- an all inclusive, enormous community show space whose walls were seeping with nyc history. I'm glad to see it make a comeback while staying true to the original vision. I'm also grateful to be playing again- this time should be less work, more fun. - Alex Levine
I remember our first time walking up the stairs on the Broadway side with the landlord. It was me, Alex, Zach, and Joe Ahern. We hit the top landing and the landlord turned the lights on from the electrical box and we saw the triangle shape for the first time and a train went by and [it] felt like we had found our own ninja turtles hangout and knew this spot was the Market Hotel. - Ryan Levine
Check out their song named after the venue recorded back in '07 in Oakland, half a year before they officially founded it in March 2008.
Though associated with the Australian “dolewave” scene, a joke genre descriptor for artists like Dick Diver or Courtney Barnett that offer jangly guitars and relaxed melodies, Beef Jerk add a bit of jazz influence to the mix. While the band obviously benefits from serious pop songwriting chops, on “Soup of the Onion,” Millie Hall’s saxophone makes a welcome guest appearance, fluttering into the tail end of the track’s one-minute-and-change. Rather than overpower the song’s strong hook and gentle rhythm, Hall provides a flash of flavor, foregrounding Beef Jerk’s comical slice-of-life lyrics, relaying quick nothings of smoking, talking about girls, partying, and working at the fishery. I mean... its title is an ode to onion soup. What did you expect?
The recent massacre in Orlando was the most extreme use of violence against the L.G.B.T. community in U.S. history. Lashing out at a culture where L.G.B.T. people are more likely to be targets of hate crimes than any other minority group, the Olympia-based hardcore band G.L.O.S.S. have released Trans Day Of Revenge, their first new music since last January's debut demo. While the EP as a whole confronts a diverse range of issues (intersectional privilege, institutional violence, L.G.B.T. homelessness), the record's timing gives a voice to those who are fed up with a culture of fear and violence and disgusted by this country's failure to protect the rights of its citizens.
"We live / for nights like this / basements packed with burning kids / we scream / just to make sense of things / studs and leather / survivors' wings"
Jerry Paper is the internet experience brought to life by mastermind Lucas W. Nathan, who leans into charming absurdity under a genre he describes on his Bandcamp page as "11th dimension pop." Blending MIDI sounds with catchy keyboard hooks, the L.A.-based songwriter has been creating heartwarming, outlandish pop for years, and has garnered an abounding online fan base in the process.
Nathan dives into the further reaches of the realm of eccentricity with his latest record Toon Time Raw! and doesn't look back. Deviating from his more electronically centered pop with the help of BadBadNotGood, he grounds us in a kaleidoscopic, jazzy dissonance as he layers dozy keyboard over warm saxophone and roots songs in bossa nova rhythm (most notably in "Elastic Last Act"). Although the record seems to paint the primary colors of a simple, whimsical comic book, Nathan lyrically delves into heavier, complex existential issues. Toon Time Raw! is a strange and beautiful anomaly that requires an attentive ear and more than just one listen.