The Perm & The Skullet is a non-profit music blog devoted to bringing you music of all kinds.

Although we prefer that rustic, acoustic, unusual, whiskey soaked sound, we do like music of all styles and genres. If you have something you think we should listen to, by all mean, let us know.

All Links and MP3s are for sampling, evaluation, and introduction purposes only and are intended to provide exposure to said artist / film / site etc... If you like it, please go buy it.

Online, we recommend Insound, emusic or directly from the artist or their label. Locally, we recommend Schoolkids Records or Bull City Records.

Most Mp3 samples are only available for a limited time, usually a week or two. If there is something you missed, and it is currently unavailable or out of print, please let us know and we can see what we can do.

MP3s, Links, and Images can easily be taken down, so if you are the owner or their representation, and would like said link or file removed, just let us know and we'€™ll be happy to do so. You can E-mail me directly here for any questions or concerns or submissions.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Megafaun

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From the moment I heard the name of the North Carolina based Megafaun, I knew I was in for a backwoods treat. Sometimes, just by a name you can conjure up an idea, sometimes this disappoints, but in this case, Megafaun succeeds on all accounts.

This band and their cd Bury the Square was one of the reasons, for not only my hiatus, but for renewing my desire to just touch on music that touches me. I can't write about mindless pop that just passes by on other sites, but have an investment in what I'm hearing. When I heard Bury the Square the first time I was blown away. Enough so, that I had to stop what I was doing to re listen to the amazing music that is created by Brad Cook, Joe Westerlund, and Phil Cook.

It made me realize that I needed to stop and just listen. I feel like I'm a better person because of it and I owe that to Megafaun.

I know that I just put alot on them there, but music speaks differently to everyone and for me and that moment, it said stop and just listen...so I listened. Of course numerous albums, songs, musicians, artists were listened to during the past month, but only Bury the Square can say it caused it, and the track Where We Belong specifically.

Below is an interview with Brad Cook about the band, where they've been and where they are going. Also below is the track Lazy Suicide from Bury the Square...enjoy.

Interview with Brad Cook of Megafaun...

PS: I read somewhere that you moved to North Carolina in 2005 (same as me). Is that correct? Where did you move here from?

BC: Yeah! We came here from a college town in northwest Wisconsin called Eau Claire. It is roughly an hour and a half east of Minneapolis.


PS: Before Megafaun, you where in the band DeYarmond Edison. Tell me about DeYarmond Edison briefly and about the transformation into Megafaun?

BC: DeYarmond Edison was a band that was initially centered around the songwriting of Justin Vernon, a friend that we had all grown up with. My brother, Phil, also in Megafaun, and I had been performing with Justin for about three years prior to moving to North Carolina. We had two other drummers and then enlisted Joe with the move. We spent our first year here redefining our creative process and group dynamic, mainly through an outlet at the Bickett Gallery here in Raleigh. I think we really exhausted our possibilities within that time frame and felt like last August was a good time to move on. Part of that transition was that Phil, Joe and I really discovered a great working relationship during that time. Justin decided to pursue other interests (solo recordings and bands Ticonderoga and The Rosebuds) and we started writing songs together.


PS: Who writes most of the material?

BC: We all do, it is pretty collaborative. Someone usually brings in the majority of an idea and then we put it through the edit process, which for us has really been recording.


PS: I know how you sound to me, and it's stated above, but how would you describe your sound?

BC: I guess I would say we are folk reconstructionalists. We really subscribe to the idea of reconstructing folk songs and folk ideology. We have collectively and individually spent a lot of time studying pre war string bands and depression era folk, simultaneously immersed in 20th century avant-garde composers and a lot of 60’s free jazz. Finding that balance between improvisation and structure. I guess it sounds pretty common these days, but we really try to take it’s understanding serious beyond trend.


PS: Your music seems to be laden with folk and Appalachian influences.
Who/What are some of your / the bands influences?

BC: First and foremost, The Band. I can’t tell you what that group has done for us. We all grew up in Band households and the older we get, the more that takes effect. Older folks like Fred McDowell, Roscoe Holcomb, Reverend Gary Davis and James Booker from New Orleans have been huge. David Tudor, Morton Feldman, Anthony Braxton, Milford Graves, Albert Ayler and Xenakis from the classical/jazz school. Modern folks like Gastr Del Sol and the Akron/Family have been inspiring as well.


PS: Do you feel music should inspire the listener and/or the performer?
Do you think it can be transformational?

BC: God, yes. I don’t think I could tell you how important that is to us. We like pop music and what not, but I just prefer the energy of spontaneity and I love the auditory tradition of folk music. I love feeling like I am learning and involved and Inspired and that has happened to us many times! So it can happen. We try to search it out in artists/performers and we try to reflect that in our music as well.


PS: I want to say once again, if I haven't already that "Bury the
Square" is an outstanding album and tracks like "Where We Belong" are so amazing it's scary. How did you approach that song? It's over 11 minutes and just about in the middle, 5:28 in or so, it switches gears and becomes an intense, yet beautiful journey. I guess what I'm asking is tell me more about this song and how it came about.

BC: I actually wrote that particular piece about a week before DeYarmond Edison parted ways. It is lyrically and musically very much about that transitional process. We really tried to reflect the element of hope in change and moving forward.


PS: Just to lighten it back up a bit, can you name me a band or musician, past or present, who you flat-out love and think more people should be listening to. What's one of your all-time favorite recordings by this band/musician?

BC: Collections of Colonies of Bees. They are flat out incredible! Their last record came out on Polyvinyl, which is awfully surprising on an aesthetic level since they are a heavily improvisational electro-acoutstic quartet! The album is called Customer and it is just plain incredible. Their live show rivals any of the post-rock luminaries as well.


PS: As I was listening to the cd, when I got to Tired and Troubled, I was taken to a strange place. Where did I go?

BC: Joey’s brain! Joey wrote this song that was initially inspired by a cut from the Harry Smith anthology. He spent a lot of time finding the rhythmic identity of the song, than completely recontextualized it as a tape piece ala musique concrete.


PS: I know you just co-founded Burly Time Records with Grayson Currin. How is it running a label?

BC: I love it! It really taps into an energy that isn’t being consumed with trying to promote you own band, which after eight years, can be quite frustrating. Gray and I have very similar approach, yet our differences really keep us from getting lazy. We couldn’t be more excited about the two records we released and the feedback has been very positive!


PS: I think Grayson told me there was a limited run of "Bury the Square".
Will we have a full out re-release on Burly Time? Is there new material that we have to look forward too?

BC: Well, I kind of eluded to this in the last response, but I am reluctant about using Burly Time to release Megafaun at this time. Right now I can put all of my business/cheerleader energy into Bowerbirds and Horseback, which is really nice. Having to share that energy with Megafaun would feel unfair to everyone involved. We would love to find a home for Megafaun most definitely, but I want to keep the two separate for now. I would love to get our own thing going and retire to BTR! As for new material, we are well underway!


PS: What are you up to right now, music-wise? (Current or upcoming recordings, tours, projects, etc).

BC: Megafaun is putting together a fall tour at the moment, which we are really excited for! Joey and I are also doing the long distance recording thing with our other group, Emotional Joystick. EJ is the mastermind of a Minneapolis artist named Tom Wincek. We have been working with him for almost four years. His new record is heavily based on recontextualizing 70’s German minimalism. It is really fun and challenging material!


PS: And finally for some fun, if you could `redeem'' any piece of music,
what song do you feel needs redemption, whether it's by Megafaun or someone else?

BC: Man, good question. Probably a Phish song. We love 80’s Phish and not for irony’s sake!


PS: Thanks for taking the time to sit down with us and we wish you all
the success.

BC: Man, thank you!


Thanks again to Brad Cook for taking the time to talk with us. You can visit Megafaun online and make sure to check out Lazy Suicide below.

mp3
Lazy Suicide

posted by Matt Hayhurst @ 9:10 AM
21 comments

 

Monday, June 25, 2007

E - Bird Interview

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Tue Ebert, lead singer and founder of the Copenhagen band E Bird, took the time to sit down with us to talk about their latest effort. Below is a track from the release and mark my words, this is a band to watch. Enjoy.

PS: First off, let me say thanks for sitting down to talk with us about the band and your recent EP, Real Tigers Made of Paper. I know you already told me in the initial email, but how did E Bird form and where does the name of your band come from?

TE: Well, E Bird started out as a solo project. I had recorded some songs of mine, but didn't really know what to do with them. Shortly after I was invited to perform a show at a club in Copenhagen, and within a week I had to pull a band together. So we had to make the songs work and arrange them really fast, but I think that was a good thing.

PS: You are a relatively new band. How would you describe your sound and who are some of your key influences?

TE: I don't like the term indie, I guess, you could say, that it's been worn out, but still if I had to I would probably call the music a kind of indie folk. It's melodious but at the same time there are always elements that's trying to play "against" the melody and leave some sort of tension to the song, and I think it's that tension in music that excites me, combined with other things like the lyrics and melody, of course, but I don't like music that's to clean in the sound.


PS: What aspect of making music excites you the most right now?

TE: Right now I am in the process of writing new songs. That excites me, but of course it's not exciting all of the time. I guess I always like the feeling when you finish something, like recording or writing a new song, and you can move on to something new.


PS: Do you feel music should inspire the listener and/or the performer, or just be made as entertainment?

TE: I think music should be inspiring, challenging and entertaining. Music as merely entertainment doesn't interest me.


PS: What is the music scene like in Copenhagen, and how are you guys being received?


TE: I think there are a lot of good things happening right now. You see a lot of new bands and independent labels coming up and it seems like the possibilities to do things your own way, without a major label in your back, is getting much better. We are still quite unknown in Copenhagen. I am living in Berlin at the moment and we have just finished our first EP, and before that we had only played a few shows, so naturally we're still an upcoming band.


PS: How was the recording process for the REAL TIGERS MADE OF PAPER EP?


TE: Well, I think it was a good process, a bit tough, though. We have a small basement studio where we did all the recordings and mixing. We did everything our self and none us had done much recording before so we had to try a lot of things to see what worked and what didn't work. It was both exciting and tiring. But in the end, I am really happy about the final result and there is of course a great deal of freedom in doing everything yourself, which I really enjoy.


PS: Morten Bue did the mastering for the EP and I know he has produced Figurines' LP, "Skeleton" and has mastered such artists like Arab Strap and Junior Senior. How was it working with Morten Bue on the mastering of the EP?


TE: It was really cool. When you have spent so much time on something it's very difficult, almost impossible, to remain objective about it, so it's really nice to have someone seeing things from another point of view. Morten Bue was easy to work with and he is really good at what does.


PS: Name a band or musician, past or present, who you flat-out LOVE and think more people should be listening to. What's one of your all-time favorite recordings by this band/musician?

TE: At the moment I am listening to a lot of Canadian stuff, and especially the three bands Destroyer, Sunset Rubdown and Frog Eyes. They most definitely have something in common, but I also think that each one of them have something that makes them quite unique. They are still rather unknown here in Europe and I don't really know why, I mean, they're making pretty amazing music! Besides that I like a lot of the things Will Oldham has done, and especially the "I See A Darkness" LP.


PS: With an EP under your belt, what's next? What are you up to right now, music-wise? (Current or upcoming recordings, tours, projects, etc).

TE: At the moment we're not playing together, because I moved to Berlin after we finished the EP, while the rest of the band is still living in Copenhagen. Right now I am in the process of writing new songs, as I said before, but in the beginning of the fall I will return to Copenhagen and we'll play a couple of shows. Recently, a couple of small labels have shown some interest in the band. Hopefully, we'll be recording our debut album in the beginning of next year.

PS: Thanks for taking the time to sit down with us and we wish you all the success.

TE: My pleasure.

Thanks again to Tue for taking the time out to speak with us. Check them out online and enjoy an outstanding track from the Real Tigers Made of Paper EP.


mp3
Empty Avenues

posted by Matt Hayhurst @ 2:04 PM
12 comments

 

Woods

One month to the day of a month long vacation from here. Sometimes, and I hope some of you will understand, but sometimes, you get burnt out on music. What I mean by that is you are getting so much feed to you that sometimes you don't know what's good anymore and you don't listen to albums with the passion you once did. Hell, you're lucky to be able to listen to a full album period. With a full time job in tv production, a wife and home,... I never thought I would get to that point, but that's what happened. Almost forcing myself to come back with a slew of material only to be taking four steps back.

During this hiatus I had the time to sip some whiskey and listen to albums again. Listen to music that mattered to me, listen because I wanted to not because I had to or because I told someone I would. To be honest I thought I was going to walk away from here in the night, just call it quits, and enjoy my music, but after sitting down with music from Doug Wallin and Ralph Stanley, music from the Apps and south, modern marvels such as the ever inspiring Will Oldham and Mariee Sioux, and a whole cast of other characters, I've returned. Better, more refreshed, I don't know, but certainly more passionate about taking the time to write when I want. My suggestion is to rss the blog and when something new comes out, you'll know it. If you stopped reading that's fine, I enjoyed you reading in the first place, and I don't know the reason for writing this, cathartic I guess, but...

posted by Matt Hayhurst @ 1:39 PM
2 comments