Few bands mean more to us than Plastic Inevitables. At some point in our history as a band together, we played a show at placed called the Underground. That’s when we first started to run into these three great guys. They were just these three young dudes in high school that came to their shows well dressed and had primary colors decidedly taped all over their equipment. At one point they told us that the way we handled ourselves on-stage inspired them to let go and move around more when they played, which to us was probably one of the coolest things we’d ever heard as a band. As the years have passed, we’ve watch the three of them grow up, go to college and get dramatically good at writing and playing songs. The coolest thing we’ve gotten to see though is the three of them growing incredibly close with each other as friends. It’s a strange but we’ve always felt that bands being friends before being band mates is crucial to writing good music. We like to think that this philosophy we ascribe to has rubbed off a bit on them :)
But enough of my yapping, I could write all day about how awesome these guys are.
Back in December, Plastic Inevitables released their third album “Loon” on Best Friend Records and had a CD release party at Rohs St Cafe to celebrate. So, we headed out to the show to watch them rock out and decided to film a short video of one of their performances. What we came up with was this:
This video is of their September short song Pairasouls, which is an awesome song. It should make it’s way into an album soon…
- Corey Larrison
A lot has happened since the summer started. Tyler was away from home for a month, Chris had his first son, two of us went on a road trip to see Explosions in the Sky and I got a real person job teaching science to 9th graders at Milford High School. But before we let you all in on those wonderful details of our lives, we wanted to pick up with where we left off, the Crawford house show.
If you weren’t aware, we were presented with the interesting prospect of playing a stripped down house show for our good friends Ben Crawford and his family. If you’re interested in the story of how that came about, we have it well documented here.
Here’s a short performance of Gene from the show:
To us, the idea of the show was incredibly interesting; it availed us the rare opportunity of being able to answer questions about our music while forcing us into an uncomfortable situation, playing quiet enough to hear me sing without a microphone. Intentionally, we went into the show without a set list or any real rehearsal. We got together the day before to figure out how we could play quiet enough and left it at that. Our personal hope in all of this was that we’d be able to play our songs with sincerity, which is always our biggest battle.
Guy Picciotto of Fugazi once explained this struggle for sincerity well, “I want the sound to always be moving. When things start to get static, that’s when I get uncomfortable. Like what happened to hardcore, things get so ritualized they lose their power and aren’t dangerous anymore, they don’t excite or move people; they just become a tradition. For me it’s a life thing and if it’s going to be a life thing it’s got to be always moving forward.”
Neil Young has always expressed this same sentiment by asking the question “Has your band begun to rust?”
That’s what this show was for us, a de-ritualized performance to fight off the static; to shake of the rust.
The show went more than well. It was an intimate, impulsive performance that left us and our friends vulnerable and more able to empathize and be moved with each song. The best part of the night was watching the Crawford kids on the edge of their seats (rug) right up front singing every song with us. It was awesome; they asked questions and gave us incredible insight into the active mind of a kid listening to our songs.
In the end, this show has inspired us to seek out more ways to share our music with our listeners. To not just structure our performances in the context of: you come, you pay, you sit & you are entertained. It’s hard to figure out how exactly we’ll do this but it’s becoming more and more evident to us that it’s the next logical step in what we do. For the last three years we’ve learned how to be a band. Now it’s time for us to really figure out how to share that in the best way with others.
Last night we had the opportunity to support the Soil & the Sun on their current spring tour and I felt the need this afternoon to write at least a part of how I’ve been feeling about these guys.
But before I do, I need to make another mention. Another supporter for the night was an incredibly talented gentleman named Samuel Lockridge. We first crossed paths with this well-haired fellow a few years ago when a strange band called De La Cado from Lexington messaged us on myspace. The message read something like: we’re playing a show tonight at the Madfrog and all the bands ditched us … we know know one is coming to the show … wanna play? We said yes. And we agreed to play with suits on.
We decided a long time ago that we were going to play shows that we wanted to play, irregardless of whether or not it was a “smart move.” Because at the end of the day, we were friends and all we wanted to do was play our songs. It was sort of a tip of the hat to Ian Mackeye who always said that Fugazi was about being a band and engineering shows in a way that they and other people were comfortable with. Not to break into the right crowd; not to attract label attention; not to impress anyone. As a result, they had fun and loved what they were doing. There’s some great film of them playing for a handful of prison inmates in a big empty room. Those are the best shows, and this show we played at the Madfrog was one of ours.
The audience for that night was basically us, De La Cado, a strangely happy guy in dreads named Nate and his friend. The show was incredible. I remember being in the bathroom when De La Cado started playing and closing up shop to run out to the stage as fast as I could. They were angelic. Loud, epic melodies with the most amazing harmonies I had ever heard from a local band and there was Samuel, belting out those tones.
So that’s how we met Samuel Lockridge, along with a few other friends, and watching him sing by himself last night at Rohs was just as enamoring.
Ok, now, the Soil & the Sun.
Let me start with this, a few years back the Soil & the Sun were a two piece ensemble:
They have since then been blessed to grow in families and members and have become an all out American super-group:
Now that you’ve seen those two videos, I have this to say: the Soil & the Sun understand the creative spark. As a two piece their songs were intimate, well crafted and insatiably avant-garde. Not avant-garde in the he’s kicking a trash can for no reason sort of way, but rather the he’s looping hand swipes on an acoustic guitar and it sounds like a hundred carpenters sanding canoes. Fast forward to today and they’re intense, orchestrated and brilliant. But more importantly, they’re completely different. That’s what strikes me the most about these two manifestations of the band, that both are so genuinely creative, yet they’re in now way the same.
That’s the first thing I love about this group. I’ll share the second thing I love too. I love the reality of who they are; their ideals. This band travels in one conversion van together with two married couples (no more I don’t think, though actually I could be wrong) and a toddler. This screams reality to me. These aren’t a group of people revolting against responsibility, their personal convictions and their beliefs. This is a group of people that have firm ideals and have risen to the occasion to meet them. They’re a group of people that want to mature together and remain creative together. They’re real people.
It’s hard to express the depths to which I align with this sentiment, let alone what the sentiment is itself. I personally see the death of creativity in immaturity. When people refuse to mature out of a misplaced counterculture ideal, they miss out on being human. And I think our capacity to create comes out of our ability to be human. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a difference between never growing up and being misunderstood. Emerson said it best, “to be great is to be misunderstood,” and I’m all for being misunderstood (though you might not understand what I’m saying). I know that this is my own personal opinion, but I love the Soil & the Sun because I think that by choosing to be musicians and to mature and take on responsibility at what most of the world would consider young ages and impossible circumstances, they’re so human. They’re so real. And their songs emanate experience; themes of fidelity, faith and admitting their faults. Those convictions that a lot of people are afraid of or refuse to deal with and, in my opinion, miss out on a lot of what it means to be human. That’s why I love the Soil & the Sun, because they’re unafraid of growing as people and for it, they’re fairly misunderstood.
Having the opportunity to share a sanctuary with these musicians last night was an experience that we were incredibly fortunate to have had. We’re very thankful for everyone that came out and especially for Rohs Street Cafe for staying up so late with us on a Wednesday night to host the entire thing.
Long live the Soil & the Sun and New Mexican space music.
If you haven’t noticed, we’re releasing our second full length album Time & Eternity in eleven days at the 20th Century Theater. Facebook event here. And we’re pretty excited about it. So excited in fact, that I thought I would take a second to give you a little inside look on how Chris, Tyler and I are preparing for the show. First and foremost, 7 am practices:
We’ve been trying really hard to practice as much as we can before the album release show so we’ve been practicing multiple times a week in our cozy band space at a place we call Landshark. With our jobs and other interests, though, we’ve been primarily getting up early to get together and play. It’s been pretty awesome.
This morning it was so dark when we started practicing that we had to turn on all the lights in our band room. It was cool because we got to watch the sun come up while were playing and it honestly just felt great to be outside this morning.
In other news, we’ve recently gotten a giant shipment of all our CDs, which means three of us have significantly chilled out. It’s nerve racking not having your CDs in hand when your release party’s coming up, so getting them was a big relief. The arrive at our receiving facility/Corey’s parents house on Monday. Here’s a picture of the boxes if you haven’t already seen it. The cat was Corey’s mom’s idea.
Other than that, we just want all of you to know that you’re awesome. You’re the reason we can do what we do period. You guys are our supporters and with out you we wouldn’t be able to record songs and make albums. We’re incredible grateful that we know so many of you too. If you’re reading this blog right now, chances are you know us and have talked to us and have been a part of our lives in someway. If you haven’t, put it on your to do list to come say hi to us.
Oh yeah, and invite your friends: The Never Setting Suns Album Release Party