Friday, December 23, 2011

Wicked Awesome Son Cats Press

The Son Cats "O'Dell/1971" seven inch raked in some solid press in 2011!

Word from our friends at Terrascope Rumbles is that "the A-side [is] a noisy guitar/psych romp sounding like the Strawberry Alarm Clock if they had ditched their keyboard player and turned everything up... with some mean guitar and weird Bolan-esque lyrics, fine stuff indeed and well worth a listen."

Son Cats also made Dying for Bad Music's end of the year Psych-Garage-Punk-Post-Country-Surf "Apes in Space" mix/podcast. So glad we bludgeoned all of those stellar categories in one fell swoop, and so proud to be among such fine company. This mix is one to remember, featuring tracks by awesome bands like Thee Oh Sees and Twerps.

On the other side of the lily pad, the fine chaps at the helm of Mad Mackerel in London swore that Son Cats got "prime slabs of 60s tinged, sleazy rock’n'roll voodoo designed to make the sweat run down the walls and the neighbours bang on the floor in despair." (My friends, that's why the Cats were born in a shed at the edge of a former WWII detainment camp in Montana. This band really is that loud.)

The "O'Dell/1971" 7" also drew in some attention from Spain, muchos gracias to the folks at Monasterio de Cultura, and from France, merci to the wonderful people at My Car is Full of Plums. I think the last line in French roughly translates as: "beautiful mouths to decorate the whole?" Cat breath! ("Tous les ingrédients de la réussite sont là : l'énergie du rock n' roll, la fougue du folk-blues psychédélique, la fièvre des années 60/70, et de belles gueules pour agrémenter le tout!")

Back in New York, the fine folks at Music Vagabond weighed in, saying, "When I first heard this split I wrote to the band and said it felt like 1970’s rock had come back and smacked me in the face. It’s a good smack, but it’s hard and you damn well whats hits you... Listening to these tracks is like jumping in a rock and roll time machine. Throw on some headphones and get ready to be beamed back to 1971. " Wowza. Bam!

Thanks an extra bucketful to Blah Blah Blah Science (who proudly gave us an 8.2 (out of 8.2, we presume)) and to Ashbees Fragments for giving our video for "O'Dell" an ample amount of play. BBBS said: "This video for “O'Dell” is totally challenging our current video of the year. If you love anything about garage we dare you to resist this song." Thanks a million. And thanks, also, to science.

To end on a high note (so high, it's only reachable by Mariah Carey,) the Cats received a warm welcome from Die Pop: "These cats (no pun intended) put out thick rock and roll waves that drown your brain in a hazy maple flavored smoke. The two tracks on this 7'', O'Dell and 1971, are packed with truck loads of pure energy. Without any post-production sort of static-magic, these two fill up a lot of dead air with primitive skin-pounds, wailing guitar riffs, and genuine vocals. Combining folk, 60s psychedelic garage, and pure rock and roll - SON CATS piss excellence."

And of course, we can't forget the epic Son Cats interview over at Sean EPIC. And as if that alone weren't enough, the brains and ears behind the 7inches blog gave the record such a thorough listening that it isn't even worth quoting or paraphrasing here. Just go read it.

Happy holidaze!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Cabinet of Natural Curiosities in the Hartford Examiner

Success! The roads are finally clear and tree-free in our part of New England. For those of you residing in other parts of the country (or other parts of the world,) the northeastern states suffered an unusually strong blizzard over Halloween weekend, leaving many without power for a week or more.

After eight days of reading by candlelight, it's a relief to return to the digital world and find this wonderful article and in-depth interview with Cabinet of Natural Curiosities in the Hartford Examiner. The Examiner's Vincent Bator talks with Cabinet's Jasmine Dreame Wagner about her newest album, "Blue Highways," the travels and inspiration behind her earlier records, "Searchlight Needles" and "Vineland," and her thoughts on home recording and the "lo-fi" aesthetic.

Cabinet of Natural Curiosities will be performing at Church of Boston on Saturday, November 19th as part of "Two Nights of Mayhem," an event curated by small press Black Ocean and Walter Sickert Presents. You can RSVP to the Facebook event over here. See you there!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Black Rabbits Cassette Compilation Now Available on Bandcamp

Our "Black Rabbits" compilation cassette has sold out twice - gone through two whole pressings! - and is now available as a download on Bandcamp. Perfect for car rides and hazy summer days spent lounging on the beach or in your backyard with your boombox, "Black Rabbits" features tracks by some of our very favorite artists, including Fletcher Johnson, Fort King, Johanna Kunin, June Madrona, Manipulator Alligator, Morgan Orion, Polka Dot Dot Dot, and Wooden Indian Burial Ground. We're donating all proceeds from digital downloads to the Alaska Conservation Foundation and the Food Bank for New York City. Check it out - you can stream it on your computer for free!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Shenandoah Davis, Prairie Empire, Skye Carrasco, Ami Saraiya, Lysbeth Guillorn, Cabinet of Natural Curiosities & MORE

Hello folks, two great shows coming up this week in New Haven, CT and Brooklyn, NY.

Monday, October 10th

Shenandoah Davis
Cabinet of Natural Curiosities
Prairie Empire
Lys Guillorn
@ Neverending Books
810 State Street
New Haven, CT
7 PM / All-ages

Friday, October 14th

Skye Carrasco
Cabinet of Natural Curiosities
Ami Saraiya
@ Sycamore Brooklyn
1118 Cortelyou Road
Brooklyn, NY 11218
8:30 PM / 21+

See you there, follow us here:

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Kaylee Preston in Tom Tom Magazine

Rabble Rabble is one the finest rock outfits coming out of Chicago these days and deep beneath the ecstatic chaos is the heroic drumming of Kaylee Preston. Jasmine Dreame Wagner of Son Cats takes some time to interview Kaylee about her love of John Bonham, her kit of choice, and her involvement in Girls Rock Chicago over at Tom Tom Magazine.

She's one to watch. Check it out.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Cabinet of Natural Curiosities "Blue Highways" Summer Tour 2011

Hello friends! Cabinet of Natural Curiosities will be touring the United States to celebrate the release of "Blue Highways," a new full-length record that has been a long time in the making. The record was recorded by Jasmine Dreame Wagner and Alex Reed Wilson on their Tascam cassette tape machines, mastered to vinyl by Roger Seibel at SAE Mastering, and hand-printed and letterpressed at Stumptown Printers in Portland, OR.

This record and its sleeve aren't just containers for music. Each piece has been handcrafted and assembled like a quilt. "Blue Highways" is a product of people and their hands, down to the smallest detail. We are even reluctant to release it digitally. The cover looks like a relic from a lost era and the LP sounds like a music box found in a dusty attic in the 1940s: dark, warm, and haunted.

This June, July, and August, Cabinet will be sharing shows with friends from near and far, including mini-tours with the great World History, Whitman, Fort King, Blaka Watra, Edwin R. Perry, and Reed Wilson & His Tree of Smoke.

There are still dates being booked, if you see a date marked TBA with a question mark and you might be able to help out, please be in touch!


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Arrington de Dionyso's Malaikat dan Singa, Girls in the Boy Scouts, Night of the Rabbit, & MORE @ Charter Oak Cultural Center, 5/14

TONIGHT! Saturday, May 14th!

Arrington de Dionyso's Malaikat dan Singa
Girls in the Boy Scouts
Night of the Rabbit
The New Object
Fairyland Express

@ Charter Oak Cultural Center
21 Charter Oak Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106
7:30 PM / All-ages
$6/$5 with a donation for Food Not Bombs

Come early! Stay late!

Arrington de Dionyso makes trans-utopian world music for a world that exists in fever dreams and hallucinations. Using performance and visual art, he traverses the nameless territories held between surrealist automatism, shamanic seance, and the folk imagery of rock and roll. Ecstasy vs. Madness.

De Dionyso's most recent project, Malaikat dan Singa, is a trance-punk outfit featuring bass clarinet, guitars, multiple drummers and his trademark wild vocals (multi-spectral harmonic throatsinging combined with grunts, yelps, and barks) -this time, all sung in Indonesian. Malaikat dan Singa translates as "Angels and Lions," and de Dionyso's Indonesian lyrics combine mythology and fantasy with haphazard translations of poet William Blake on the debut Malaikat album. The project, however, ultimately defies a clean translation. Malaikat dan Singa gains power by crossing boundaries -- both linguistic and psychic. On the one hand, the Indonesian language allows Dionyso to communicate on levels more deeply subliminal than those accessible in his native English. On the other, he hopes to reach his growing Indonesian audience with his eccentric brew of ecstatic lunacy and prophetic madness, clarified to perfection during his 15 year tour-of-duty with Olympia's OLD TIME RELIJUN.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Interview with Friedrich Kerksieck of Small Fires Press

If you aren't yet familiar with poet, book artist, and printmaker Friedrich Kerksieck and his press, Small Fires Press, you will be soon. Friedrich is the creator of Matchbook, a literary journal whose poems and stories come housed in the covers of vintage matchbooks. Friedrich has also published an impressive series of chapbooks and broadsides, hand-assembling each piece in his Memphis studio. (I have a poem in Matchbook No. 3, which poet and North American Review editor Vince Gotera posted in a review of Matchbook over here. Lots of love for this bookmaker everywhere!) Here's a glimpse inside his head.

Seven Questions with Friedrich Kerksieck of Small Fires Press

FA/FS: Matchbook is such an incredible project -- how did you come up with the idea for a tiny, paper book full of tiny, flammable writings?

FK: I got my initial punch of inspiration from a gallery talk that Walter Hamady (of The Perishable Press Limited) gave at the University of Northern Iowa in 2003. I’d already had an interest in starting something significant, but was a young little thing back then and wasn’t too sure how to get started. I didn’t know very much about the processes Hamady used at that time, but I was enchanted. That night I made a little blank journal in a Matchbook and that quickly developed into the magazine. I’ve discovered a whole slew of books and art in Matchbooks since then, but at the time for me it was a brand new undiscovered idea and the excitement of having that really pushed me to make the magazine. I was working as an intern for the North American Review and they did a lot to get me started. They ran a call for submissions free of charge and one of the designers working at the magazine, Sally Kueker, did most of the work on the layout of the first volume.

FA/FS: I love the vintage matchbook covers. Where do you find them? (Or is that a trade secret?)

FK: The answer is not so fun or secret. If you look for them you can find them.

FA/FS: How did you first get into printmaking and book arts?

FK: First by drawing a lot, then by making a bunch of collages, then posters, then magazines, then books, then really involved, complicated books.

FA/FS: Tell me about Feelings Using Wolves, the chapbook collaboration between Emily Kendal Frey and Zachary Schomburg. How did you come up with the design for the book? The colors are so brilliant -- how did you choose them?

FK: It started with the poems as it usually does for me – I look at them both in their form and content. Then I start playing around with a page size and font that shows off the poems before working towards a book structure. I borrowed the adhesive binding/non-adhesive cover structure from a book Terry Chouinard borrowed from another book artist I can’t remember the name of. I really love the way the elements attach the cover to the book so that it adds a pleasant heft without seeming clumsy. The initial sewing and spine lining is also the same structure for a hardcover case so it really made sense because it allowed for a greater versatility of structure with succinct steps. The colors for most of my books get chosen as I’m printing the images. Sometimes I have a picture or another book that I’m playing off of, but getting around to the colors is usually where I have the most fun printing after many a long hour of printing black ink on white pages. I’ve always shied away from orange so I figured it would be a good place to start with this book and I choose the rest of the hues to cue in with the cover.

FA/FS: Do you find yourself drawn to a specific palette? Do you have a favorite typeface and why (or why not?)

FK: I’m a sucker for really bright pink/reds and metallic colors for images. For type I usually like to go the traditional route of black black black ink – my favorite ink is Senefelder's Crayon Black Litho Ink. For typefaces I still have so much to learn and explore, but I use a lot of Eric Gill’s faces - I especially love Joanna and Perpetua. I’m also a sucker for Bernhard’s gothic faces.

FA/FS: If you could make a chapbook for any writer in the history of writing (yes, includes Sanskrit,) whose work would you choose to work with and why?
FK: Probably Jack Spicer. He’s one of my favorite all-time poets and it would also put me within shouting distance of Jess, one of my favorite all-time artists.

FA/FS: What projects does Small Fires Press have lined up for the future?

FK: I’m currently faced with the dilemma of being outside of academia – most of the books I’ve produced were all done behind the velvet ropes of my MFA at the University of Alabama. For the last couple of years I’ve been busy putting together a studio's-worth of equipment and now that I have most of what I want, I’ve been putting it to use as a freelance printer - mostly as a wedding invitation printer for the splendid Lucky Luxe.

Right now I’m putting together a chapbook that’s a collaboration about dinosaurs I wrote with BJ Love. It’s got really rad illustrations by Cherie Weaver and will show up via the Dusie Kollektiv. I’ve got an experimental book form I’m going to try out with it that I’m really excited about. After that, for Small Fires Press I’d like to continue to bust out issues of Matchbook a little less haphazardly and concentrate the near future on smaller endeavors. Short/small chapbooks, one-page books, and the like that I can spend a little less time on and afford to put lower price points on.

More information on Friedrich Kerksieck and Small Fires Press:

Friday, April 1, 2011

Cabinet of Natural Curiosities - "St. James Infirmary"

Here's a sneak peek at "St. James Infirmary" by Cabinet of Natural Curiosities, the first track on the band's upcoming LP/CD "Blue Highways." This version of the re-worked traditional was recorded by Alex and Jasmine on a Tascam 488 cassette 8-track. Alex's ebow channels the ghosts.

Jasmine Dreame Wagner: vocals, acoustic guitar, piano, toy piano.
Alex Wilson: vocals, electric guitar, drums.
Photograph by Alex Wilson.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Paleo, John Parson, Cabinet of Natural Curiosities, & Meghan Maguire Dahn @ Charter Oak Cultural Center, 4/26/11

Tuesday, April 26th

John Parson
Cabinet of Natural Curiosities
- with readings by Meghan Maguire Dahn

@ Charter Oak Cultural Center
21 Charter Oak Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106
All-ages / 8 PM / $5
$4 with a can of food for Food Not Bombs

"David Strackany, better known as Paleo to some, is riddlesome and caught in a straight-jacket of emotions and feelings, to a point where his head and soul must feel like they are resting at tens times their capacity levels, filled with eyes, vines and stray spider legs. It's a matter of backing up against a wall that's just been covered in the stickiest adhesive known to man, and with hands straight up in the air and legs spread as if one were being arrested and padded down at gunpoint, getting stuck there, for all of the elements to just peck away at you. While Paleo is free to roam about the country - something that he does more than anyone else I know - he is trapped with himself and like the image described above, he is at the mercy of everything that gets lobbed his way, anything that falls on him from out of the sky, everything that hunts him down, anything that's hungry, anything that's lonely as well and everything sad, glad and in-between." - // On his current tour, David/Paleo will be performing with a full band, including bassist and songwriter C.J. Boyd. Not to be missed.

John Parson
John Parson mostly plays acoustic guitar and sings words that fallow a melody over it. Lately he has been rather fond of the electric guitar and a 60's- era beat machine. John has shared the stage with Heirlooms, MT Bearington, Timbre, Jonny Rodgers, Goodnight Blue Moon, You Scream I Scream, String Theorie, and touring act Denison Witmer on a stop during fall 2010. He once opened (unknowingly) for Leftover Crack, he would say that was a very fun show (no crack was involved in this fun). Production is in final stages for a full-length album, due for release on Reel Tape Records in Spring 2011.

Cabinet of Natural Curiosities
Cabinet of Natural Curiosities sprouted roots in the froggy ponds of New England. After roaming the alleys of Brooklyn and the mountains of Montana, songwriter Jasmine Dreame Wagner returned to her home in the woods to record chilling lo-fi lullabies and country dream songs with slide guitarist and percussionist Alex Wilson. The result is Cabinet’s forthcoming LP/CD, “Blue Highways,” recorded on their Tascam 424 4-track and Tascam 488 8-track tape machines. Over the past five years, Cabinet has released two albums and an EP and has toured widely in various incarnations, sharing stages with Magnolia Electric Company, Alela Diane, Calvin Johnson, Tiny Vipers, Dan Deacon, LAKE, Liz Durrett, and many more. // "Cabinet of Natural Curiosities is a result of the indie-music world's ongoing experiment with folk: the music is cut apart, sending its pieces back to imagined woods, shires, and netherworlds, patiently drifting back in new configurations... Cabinet leader Jasmine Dreame Wagner has a feel for her influences' primal sweetness and creepiness." -The Onion A.V. Club

Meghan Maguire Dahn
Meghan Maguire Dahn writes mostly about things that can not be neatly contained: bodies that are opened up, illnesses that have indistinct edges, miniscule cells and massive forests. She published her first poem in Highlights magazine as an 8 year old. It had something to do with the mirror phase of an Arthurian night - she thinks - but she can't be sure, because no one kept a copy. Since then, she's been better at keeping file copies. In 2001, she was selected by the Beloit Poetry Journal for a special issue on poets under 25. She has since aged. She has a master's degree in literature from the University of Connecticut, where she directed the Poetic Journeys project. She is a contributing author to The Nervous Breakdown and she co-edits a journal of vintage and contemporary pulp. She is in the process of revising her first poetry manuscript on the hysteria patients of Paris's Salpêtrière hospital. When she's not writing, she works at Real Art Ways as Development Manager.

RSVP on the Facebook event page over here:

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sunspots, Ports of Spain & Cabinet of Natural Curiosities Form a Syzygy @ Stella Blues in New Haven, CT, on 3/20/11

Sunday, March 20th

Ports of Spain
Cabinet of Natural Curiosities

@ Stella Blues
204 Crown Street
New Haven, CT
8 PM / 21+

For one night only, Cabinet of Natural Curiosities will be performing as "SUPERMOON" in honor of the wickedly close perigee going down this weekend: the closest full moon we've experienced since 1992. Come celebrate the celestial intensity.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Son Cats @ 5 Star Bar, Los Angeles, 1/15/11

Video by Danny Bobbe of LA Font. Weedshirt 2'45". Check it.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Mountain Movers, The Loom, The Wailing Wall, The Postmodern Panic @ Charter Oak Cultural Center, 2/18/2011

Friday, February 18th

The Mountain Movers (New Haven)

The Loom (NYC)

The Wailing Wall (NYC)

The Postmodern Panic (Hartford/New Britain)

@ Charter Oak Cultural Center

21 Charter Oak Avenue, Hartford, CT

7:30 sharp / all-ages / $5 door

$4 w/ a canned good for Food Not Bombs

Please join us for an intimate evening of folk music at the Charter Oak Cultural Center in downtown Hartford on Friday, February 18th.

New Haven's Mountain Movers have just followed up the release of their LP, Apple Mountain, with a brand-new cassette on their label, Car Crash Avoiders, and I am very excited for them to share their music us.

The Loom are a 6-piece chamber-folk group from Brooklyn who are touring on a haunting new EP with their good friends The Wailing Wall, an indie folk duo from Brooklyn that will add a good dose of electronics to their acoustic guitars. Both are not to be missed.

Starting off the evening will be Rachel Adele Cabaniol and Karl Messerschmidt of String Theorie/Hot Pocket Mafia, performing in their new project The Postmodern Panic. It's Rachel and Karl's first acoustic show for this project, so let's say we're witnessing history here.

With luck, Hartford's 6 1/2 feet of snow will melt away under the warmth of this show.

More info:

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

An Evening of Folk & Classical Love Songs at La Paloma Sabanera

Warm up for Valentine's Day with an evening of love songs, traditional and non-traditional, in honor of Saint Valentine and the snowy shivers of February. Music & warmth brought to you by five of Hartford's biggest heartbreakers/menders.

Jesse Stanford of Heirlooms
Crystal Pascucci of The Sophisticates
Jasmine Dreame Wagner of Cabinet of Natural Curiosities
Tyler Bussey of Old Hannah
Mia Zucker of Petite Mal

Saturday, February 12th
@ La Paloma Sabanera
405 Capitol Avenue
Hartford, CT
7 PM cocoa / 7:30 music

Friday, January 28, 2011

Son Cats thank you! +photos

Son Cats tour was off the hook amazing!

Many thanks to everyone who made music with us, shared food and good times with us, who helped us on our way and gave us warm welcomes and places to sleep, including (but not limited to) Romy Mimi Ilano, Pat & the Little Red Lion, Quade & Schmieshmar Aggdornaut, Backwoods Baglady & Dreamgoatz, Zach Ledbetter & Sea of Horses, Miguel, Boufa Mike & everyone at The Lodge, Josh Redman & everyone at Biko Garage, Coastlines, Jason Lougow, Ramona Cordova, Danny Bobbe & Greg Katz & the LA Font crew, Bob Klonarides, Mitchell Sheldon & Backseat Bingo, Ramon & King Cat, The Gardeners, everyone at 5 Stars Bar, and FERNANDO! of course, Sean & Kyle Mabson & everyone at Pehrspace, Matt Gray & BYODeath, Shane O'Neill, Bene Tleilax, Melted Cassettes, Ryan Fuller of Fort King & Julian at The Standard Hotel, Skip Allums & The Shants, Cave Country, everyone at The Hemlock, Chris Stroffolino, Cenotaph, everyone at Copland, Andy Fix & The Hh, Northeast Northwest, Marmints, and our friends who carried us home.

Here's two pics that just came our way -- more, many more, to come:

Son Cats @ Pehrspace, Los Angeles, CA 1/17/2011

Photo by Sean Carnage

Son Cats @ Copland, Oakland, CA 1/19/2011

Photo by Jesyka Washburn


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Son Cats - "O'Dell" Video

Animation by Alex R. Wilson. Starring Alex R. Wilson, Jasmine D. Wagner, a lobster, a Ninja Turtle, an evil flower, bags of money, Clint Eastwood, Dock Ellis, and a baseball. Schazam!