Thursday, April 15, 2010

An Apology And A Not-So-Brief Recap

To the ultra-minimal following of this blog, we are terribly sorry for the wait. Previous attempts at drafting a second post had been futil the say the least, plagued by confusion, apathy, wordiness and unitnentional obfuscation. In short, we were restricted by both some participants having too little to say, others too much, and so bogged down by a potent fusion of silence and B.S. So, let's get to it!

First, the newest crap. Autosuggestion, our main group, now has an as-of-yet rather minimal Bandcamp page with a new, free promo single! And believe us, there is more to come! Online copies of the Therapy Tapes, hi-fi EPs, some Exclamatories jams, Joe's "solo album", maybe even an honest-to-goodness LP...

But you have not idea what we're talking about. RECAP!!!


In the late fall and early winter of 2009, nearly nothing happened, in spite of our best intentions. Said intentions: To begin work on the Therapy Tapes, a series of (usually) free, home-recorded, hand-packaged CDs and miscellanea, each based musically or otherwise on a theme or concept, to be distributed in various unusual manners. Sometimes the theme would be a lark, at others a restriction or specified focus, such as the potential compositional and improvisational uses of long-repeating digital delay (Endless Happiness), a concept album inspired by graffiti (Bill Loves...), a remix of a discussion regarding an unfinished song ("Opus #1 In D"), and so forth. As for said means of distribution, each numbered "volume" would be "released" in some inherently odd way, be it by taping CDs to street signs, leaving a box on the floor of a record store, hocking them for small change on street corners, or simply leaving them on some kind of merchandise table at our performances. Whatever the case, the idea was a solid one, and probably worth pursuing, but unfortunately had to be shelved when our (collective) drummer, Joseph Dromboski, developed a curious tendon problem in his hand, preventing him from doing any but the simplest musical motions. Further hindering the project were vocalist/keyboardist/dis-organiser Julian Malerman's chronic jaw problems, which left him all but bedridden for long stretches of time. By the beginning of 2010, however, these all had subsided, and to some extent the project has resumed; the first Therapy Tape currently scheduled for release is the now infamous "Pre-Music" suite - a concept devised by the currently bandless Nightwalker Thomsen Cummings - of which more will be said later.

Involved in these recordings is a relative newcomer to our fold, a musical prodigy of sorts by the name of Randanno Tallini. We - and nearly all other sensible people - call him Randy. His primary instrument is viola (although he is reaonably skilled in many other things), which he played on an excellent take of "Night" with Autosuggestion at Cheltenham High School's 2010 Battle Of The Bands...

Which leads us to said event. Oh dear.

Due to various delays, said event was unfortunately fused with the annual Talent Show at the school, leading to the involvement of an officious, self-imprtant and asinine administrator we all privately refer to as Nurse Ratched, whose intial plan was to have the sets of all bands shortened to five minutes (?!?!) to "accomodate those entered in the Talent Show", who just happened to outnumber we bands about five-to-one... Fortunately, after some arm twisting from the recreations department, our lovely protagonist was coerced into supplying us all with ten minutes... Into which she factored set-up and equipment malfunction, leading to the last act (Autosuggestion, naturally, one of the two Nightwalker bands represented that night) having the sound for the last song cut before it started. Hence, animosity. Nonetheless, the show was quite well-received, leading to a brief buzz about the institution, along with some shared righteous indignation.

Now, you may ask, who were/are the other Nightwalker band? That would be The Exclamatories. Essentially the project of teenage bass deity and longtime Autosuggestion compadre Drew Hoenigke with guitarist Tom Edwardson, The Exclamatories were really encorporated into the fold when Joe - who had briefly played with Drew in (and defected with him from) one Eli Rosen's band - joined them as drummer after their first one left. They play a kind of spaced-out, psychedelic funk, focused heavily on modal and sometimes freeform improvisation. They too received many accolades following our last collective performance, despite serious gear and tuning problems during their second song.

Further regarding Joe: He is, without a doubt, one of the most prolific tunesmiths in our entire collective, working out melodies on 12-string guitar and piano. However, considering that most of his work has very little to do soundwise with either band he is currently working with (more Scott Spillaine than Slint or Parliament), he has decided to record - with production assistance from Julian - his own solo album, to which nearly every member of the collective will contribute. So far, results are promising.

As for Autosuggestion, aside from our aforementioned escapades, were are still searching for a definitive sound and image. As of late, the band has written songs that, even from "chorus" to "verse" sound like The Melvins, This Heat, Nick Drake, ESG, and a Mogwai tribute to Bela Bartok. As ever, confused. Even more confusing is the matter of future line-up(s): Both Jeffrey Williams (bass) and David Plotkin (rhythm guitar) are leaving for college by the end of the summer, leaving the remaining members (Dan [Joe's brother, guitarist/drummer], Joe, Julian, and Randy) in a pickle as to who could, at least in the short run, "fill their places" instrumentally and spiritually, seeing as both bring unique things to the band which no other person will, precisely. Where will this go? In light of these circumstances, as soon as Dan returns from school in Taiwan (see explanation on our wonderful Facebook page), the band plans to record as much written material as possible in the little time spared - more than possibly in a high-fidelity studio setting (!!!) - as well as scrape madly for potential gigs via their/our few connections.

So, all in all, much excitement over the last few months! More frequent updates coming. Adioats.