Sleeping Bag’s new video for “Chillin’” a standout track from their most recent album “Deep Sleep”, is filled with Day-Glo colors and a Merry Pranksters like aesthetic that seems to belie the grungy atmosphere of the song itself. Look closer though, and the connection begins to take shape. A smiling hippy flashes the peace sign amidst a field of stumps extensive enough to bring the Lorax to his knees, while a giant thumbs up with hair like Jaco Pastorius sticks its own thumb in the air underneath angry clouds dumping oil on a dreary looking city.
It’s clear things are not what they seem, but are Sleeping Bag the ones “chillin’” in the face of destruction, or are they pointing the finger outward at the willfully ignorant among us? Maybe they’re just real stoned. You decide.
When: Wed. June 4th
Where: Joyful Noise Recordings
Who else: Yip Deceiver, Oreo Jones
I arrived late, per usual, just catching “Thanks, we’re Yip Deceiver” before the in-between-sets music faded in and the first band began breaking down their equipment. I quickly found a familiar face, asking what I had missed, if I could bum a cigarette to kill some time before the next set, and grabbed a beer. I wandered downstairs and outside into a circle of mostly unknown attendees. It was a pretty low key crowd. Everyone seemed to be prepared for what was about to happen when Yonatan Gat performed, making short remarks, like “This is about to be insane” and “He goes so hard, man”.
I had met him the previous day as I was fulfilling my intern duties, scanning Twitter for posts about Kishi Bashi, and watching the latest Lil Bub video (for research) when he and his bandmates came in to pick up some records for their tour. He was nice and fairly quiet, the way someone is when they enter a room of people they don’t know yet. So, my expectation for his live performance was wavering on totally crazy or pretty lax. You can never tell with the quiet ones.
What he gave me and the rest of wednesday’s crowd was something bordering complete perfection and total mind control. From the get go, the performance was electric. Yonatan set me in a trance with his guitar, which was jazzy, but totally punk at the same time, and then suddenly, a snap from the drums would send the entire set into a whirlwind of riffs and improvised drum beats.
Most impressive were these improvisations, involving crowd participation, chanting, and at one point, Yonatan just de-tuning his guitar in the most sonically pleasing way I’ve ever experienced. The band was fully immersed in the room, shuffling around, turning on and off lights at certain parts in the set, entering the crowd, really having total control over the room, which was an exact reflection for all three of their talents. When a song began to get too fast or too involved for me to follow, they kept it together, testifying to their solidity as a trio.
After their set, I had to leave; not because I was so overwhelmed that I couldn’t possibly take any more rock’n’roll (though a little true), but because I promised to get drunk with some friends elsewhere. I left thinking about how the quiet ones are the most surprising.
Busman’s Holiday just released their album “A Long Goodbye” this week! Watch them on our friend Mike Adams’ show. With a special appearance by our designer and all-around awesome gentleman David Woodruff. Enjoy!
Hold on to yr butts… guitar aficionado Victor Villarreal will be touring the UK next week with This Town Needs Guns! You may know Victor from his unspeakably inventive work with Cap’n Jazz, Owls, and Joan of Arc. If you happen to be lucky enough to be in the area, do not miss your chance to see the mastermind at work.
Here are the dates (all shows w/ This Town Needs Guns):
THU NOV 28 – Southampton, UK @ Avondale House
FRI NOV 29 – Bristol, UK @ The Exchange
SAT NOV 30 – Liverpool, UK @ The Kazimier
SUN DEC 01 – Preston, UK @ The Mad Ferret
MON DEC 02 – Leicester, UK @ The Firebug
TUE DEC 03 – Dublin, Ireland @ The Workman’s Club
WED DEC 04 – Belfast, UK @ Voodoo
THU DEC 05 – Glasgow, UK @ Audio
FRI DEC 06 – Edinburgh, UK @ Sneaky Pete’s
SAT DEC 07 – Newcastle, UK @ The Cluney
SUN DEC 08 – Leeds, UK @ Wharf Chambers
MON DEC 09 – Manchester, UK @ Night & Day Cafe
TUE DEC 10 – Sheffield, UK @ The Harley
WED DEC 11 – Norwich, UK @ Epic Studios
THU DEC 12 – Oxford, UK @ The Cellar
FRI DEC 13 – Brighton, UK @ Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar
SAT DEC 14 – London, UK @ Birthday’s
Check out this video of Victor playing at the Beat Kitchen in Chicago:
The first piece on my record, Tonight You Look Like A Spider, entitled, “Opening Suite”, is comprised of five compositions and has a running time of nearly 11 minutes.
My girlfriend, Ellen Philips, had the great concept of soliciting five directors to come up with visual ideas for the five compositions.
I didn’t tell the directors who the other directors were.
I told them they had carte blanche creatively and they didn’t have to tell me what their ideas were.
I promised that I would neither censor nor edit their creations whatsoever.
If they wanted me to be in the video, I consented.
I’ve been friends with Tim Rutili for years. We both resided in Chicago when Tim was in the band Red Red Meat and later Califone. Tim has done a substantial amount of film soundtracks, and wrote and directed the feature film All My Friends Are Funeral Singers.
Label mate, Adam Harding and I have had a relatively short friendship, but it’s been a continual blast. He’s the creator of the musical entity, Dumb Numbers, and has directed several videos including one that I star in. I directed one for him as well.
Jennifer (Jen) Lynch is an extremely gifted moviemaker. Our recent friendship has blossomed from an abundance of creative gushing and fun-having. Outside of her film directing, she wrote the classic book The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer.
Todd Adam Philips is best known for his musical career with Bullet LaVolta, Juliana Hatfield, Model/Actress and The Lemonheads but has always had an incredible sense for visuals and is an outstanding film editor. I’m proud to call him one of my very closest friends.
Because of the way “Opening Suite” is arranged and very specifically orchestrated, the five directors’ visions work in ensemble much like an Exquisite Corpse.
My name is David Yow.
Editor’s note: the DVD for Opening Suite comes with a CD of Mr. Yow’s full album, and is available for $10 HERE