Slide 1
Guest Playlist #06: Matt Bower of Wizards Tell Lies

By Steve Dewhurst

“When I started buying films on VHS, I would record the sound onto tape so I could take the film with me on journeys.”

Pete Swanson
Enough Dark Intensity: An Interview with Jimmy Lacy of SiP

By Jason Cabaniss

"I like the idea of “cocktail music.” Something intentionally light and pleasant. I’m always trying to write music that communicates some type of positive mood and when I’m playing, trying to focus my energy there"

Slide 2
Clean is Dirty: An Interview with Flowertown

By Lindsay Oxford

The birth of San Francisco’s Flowertown makes for a good story: longtime Bay Area scene compatriots Karina Gill (Cindy) and Mike Ramos (Tony Jay) compose a song together for an upcoming show in later winter 2020, and the day before they’re slated to play it, the world stopped.

Slide 3
Needles and Pins: Derek Piotr's Journey to the Heart of Britain's Folklands

By Steve Dewhurst

“Yorkshire is not so dissimilar to my home in the Northeast of America,” Derek Piotr tells me from York, the latest stop on his great British journey. “Connecticut is part of New England, so that makes sense.”

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Stream: ONO – “Mercy”

ONO’s “Mercy” is dense. It’s a conversation where several people are speaking over one another but are all getting at the same feeling. There’s a drum machine beat that sounds like a series of salvos, but so many hyperactive layers pile on top that it’s easy to forget about the continuous fire underneath. According to the credits for the Kongo/Mercy EP, there are as many as nine people playing. travis, the most prominent vocalist, delivers proclamations like “wrath ensures prosperity without obligation” and “the god of my father is a vengeful god” but also gives room for other voices to cross in the maelstrom: ghostly and dissonant “ahh”s, shrieks, a rapped partial verse in the final half-minute. My favourite moment comes about two minutes in, when the noise recedes just enough for someone to throw in a casual “sup.”

That the musicians can all work up this level of agitation while letting each person be heard is a testament to the ethics embedded in the music. ONO’s opposition to America’s capitalist and racist structures is audible not just in travis’s words, or even in the group’s confrontational sound, but also in the way each band member looks out for the others. ONO wields great collective power, but no member is subordinate to the polyphony. No one is getting stepped over or left behind.

The Kongo/Mercy EP is available digitally and as a one-sided 12” from Whited Sepulchre.