Monday, July 06, 2009

Arise, Inner Redneck!

During my tenure in Hamburg, I had two friends with whom I'd often debate dance culture - and when I say "debate", I'm not talking about gauging whether minimal's hit a wall. I'm talking about deciding if the whole enterprise is kinda jive... which, to be fair, was only my position and is an overstatement thereof. Honestly, we were just interested in picking each other's brains. They're two footloose British lads to whom raving is a birthright; I come from the zen-like oblivion of western Canada, where they filmed Unforgiven and mulleted alcoholics still cruise around with Iron Maiden in the cassette deck of their Chevy Novas. Marathon dance sessions set to a futurist throb and epilepsy-inducing light shows weren't part of the static when I was growing up; complementarily, neither of them had ever watched a band cover ZZ Top on a stage wreathed in chicken wire.

It's not that we don't get along - quite the contrary. We shared many of our favourite directors, writers, and comedians, and are all within an easy arm's-length of one another along the political spectrum. The degree to which we are generally alike makes our musical differences all the more baffling. For example, I think DJs rank just below Reno lounge singers in artistic bona fides, while they think dick-swinging riff-rock like Sir Lord Baltimore is music by & for higher simians only. And on an abstract level, we understand each other. We can read each other's coordinates on the cultural map, but we're still standing on opposite sides of an unbridgeable chasm. I was dumbstruck whenever they'd start bobbing reflexively to any repetitive rhythm, while they refused to believe that I (as someone who doesn't drink beer, uses polysyllabic words casually, and enjoys the films of Fellini & Wenders) am sincerely a sucker for the most meat-headed riffery and have a vaguely anti-intellectual hair-trigger bully reflex.

Well, refuse to believe if you like, friends, but I now offer unto you living proof of all my basest instincts: Breeds With Anything, a brand-new EP available for immediate download totally free, courtesy of the fine folks over at SVC Records.

Y'see, in the midst of writing & recording my next record, I began to amass hooks & lyrical snippets that fell outside the intended aesthetic aegis of the album. What these scraps had in common with each other, though, was a certain midwestern-male-aggro pigfuck musk - and as stray riffs, they weren't half-bad. So rather than consign them to moulder in my closet, I culled the best bits & reconstructed them into this six-song self-exorcism of my inner redneck.

(Perhaps it bears repeating: this does not constitute a new artistic trajectory. This is a detour into the territory occupied by Jon Spencer & Alex Chilton that I've always wanted, but never had an opportunity, to visit.)

So cancel your manicure, throw on an old flannel shirt, grow a moustache, and rock the fuck out. And yes, I'm serious, it's free.

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