Tuesday, May 31, 2005
Monday, May 30, 2005
"As one of the leading bands of the South Pas scene, explain your snubbing of the 'Decline and Fall of the South Pas Civilization' rock festival a few years ago."----First of all, Ian was there. I think he played, too. Secondly, the rest of us were too busy at our respective colleges, "getting smart," as Mark would say.
Sunday, May 29, 2005
Saturday, May 28, 2005
A theremin is an instrument that you can play without touching it. You control the pitch by moving your hand towards and away from an antenna. That's why you can do pitch bends. you can hear the theremin in action on The Beach Boys "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times" and "Good Vibrations."
It's sort of like a theremin, except with a keyboard. Apparently, it is easier to play than a theremin. Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood used it on several tracks on Kid A, most notably on "The National Anthem" and "Optimistic."
This homemade synthesizer is used on several Del Shannon songs, including "Runaway", one of the greatest songs ever written. Here's all you need to know about the song. And you can read about the musitron.
The musitron has the same function as other early synthesizers like the theremin (used mostly as a lead instrument), but has a sharper sound.
Alas, we do not have any of these cool instruments. We have tried to get Steven's keyboard to do cool things, like the octave bends on "You're Only Human (Do You Know What You're Doing)."
Friday, May 27, 2005
"First, the inevitable. What's your favorite color?"----Well, this one's easy. BLACK. As in "my dark lord the cube is blacker than the night sky."
"Which 60s person is your idol?"----JOHN LENNON, because he wrote some of the greatest songs ever. Like "This Boy" and "Help!"
"Others see you as..."----KINDA SCARY.
"You see yourself as..."----SMART. I'm a genius.
"When it comes to music, you like..."----I couldn't select The Tonics, so I had to go with ROCK AND ROLL.
"In High School, you were..."----The OUTCAST, of course.
"Which of these problems is the worst(to you personally)?"----I live on the fucking internet, so how do any of these problems affect me personally? I answered POVERTY, which is really less a problem and more a symptom of the greatest problem: capitalist greed. But I couldn't select that one.
"Fill in the blank: ________irritate you."----I couldn't say existence, so COPS it is. We had a song about cops. It's called "Narc."
"Which of these objects most appeals to you?"----It was between gun and guitar. I chose GUITAR.
"Pick a pattern:"----UNION JACK. It's a Sculpted Static/Kris song.
"When it comes to hair..."----"I PREFER SOME OUTLANDISH COLOR, SUCH AS PINK OR BLUE." Notice the hidden political message in there: pinko and blue (as in democrat blue).
"You'd most like to visit..."----LONDON, the site of Abbey Road studios.
"What are your thoughts concerning the current war in Iraq?"----It ANGERS me, especially knowing that some people taking the test would answer "I support it wholeheartedly."
You are a Mod. Yeah baby.
What kind of Sixties Person are you?
brought to you by Quizilla
OK. Well it could be worse. Today's album recommendation is from a band closely associated with mod culture. The Who Sell Out. I think it's better than Who's Next. More clever. And it has one of John Entwistle's best moments, "Silas Stingy." Bless his soul. Petra haden did an a cappella version of it. I heard some 30-second clips off Amazon. Interesting.
Thursday, May 26, 2005
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
"Can I be your friend on MySpace?"----Hmm... you want to befriend me? That means you can't possibly know me. That's from a Morrissey song.
"What happened to all the old posts?!!!"----They're still around. I'll soon set up an archive for the pre-May 14 posts.
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
MW: hey there, guy. been a while since we last talked
NP: WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY TO THE WORLD?
MW: i've got a question: does king lear's expectation of unconditional, uniquely intense love from his daughters indicate some kind of retardation in his development? namely, is he trapped for most of the play's action in an infantile pre-Oedipal state? if the world will answer that, we'll make a deal and i'll write songs full time. oh, and by the by, Sunday Night's second verse has the best lyrics i've ever written
NP: LET'S TALK ABOUT SUNDAY NIGHT, THIS NEW SONG OF YOURS. HOW DO YOU IMAGINE THE ARRANGEMENT? WHAT'S IT GOING TO SOUND LIKE?
MW: hmm. harmonization is what everything's about. i've been working on a rhythmically off-kilter interplay between the guitar and bass. so, you know, more glam rock. bowie & bolan remade R&B throughout the 70s. guess i want to try my hand at it
NP: SO YOU'RE TAKING ARABIC THIS SUMMER. IN AN EARLIER INTERVIEW, ARTA CALLED IT "BULL" AND SAID "as for arabic, as-salaam aleikum wa rahmatollah wa barakatoh." WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSE TO THAT?
MW: i doubt that's really arabic -- the kid's completely immersed in star wars right now, to the painful exclusion of all else. makes me think i should go see it. so i guess we're all sunny-side up
Monday, May 23, 2005
Sunday, May 22, 2005
I taste a liquor never brewed --
From Tankards scooped in Pearl --
Not all the Vats upon the Rhine
Yield such an Alcohol!
Inebriate of Air -- am I --
And Debauchee of Dew --
Reeling -- thro endless summer days --
From inns of Molten Blue --
When "Landlords" turn the drunken Bee
Out of the Foxglove's door --
When Butterflies -- renounce their "drams" --
I shall but drink the more!
Till Seraphs swing their snowy Hats --
And Saints -- to windows run --
To see the little Tippler
Leaning against the -- Sun --
Saturday, May 21, 2005
Friday, May 20, 2005
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Monday, May 16, 2005
"Why are you so arrogant?"----We are given one lifetime to change the world. Fame is how you can make the most of it. Aim any lower than fame, and you're probably not giving your art enough respect.
"But aren't you just going to sell out in order to get to the top? How would that rest with your conscience? And wouldn't that compromise the integrity of your art?"----No. Our art is by definition to communicate to the masses, enacting social change in the process. Try doing that out of a garage or in a small club. Frankly, I think people will be interested in what we have to say. Good, honest art doesn't have to be unintelligible, pretentious and badly arranged (i.e. much of indie rock). Our music will be catchy, the lyrics simple, but informed by actual thought and complex, reality-based feelings.
Sunday, May 15, 2005
IAN, WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN CHINA?
IA: Studying Art History, Language, Modern History, and Traveling. I have only been here 4 days, but so far the astro turf surrounding the hotel pools has been spectacular. It's really foggy all the time.
NP: HOW'S THE FOOD? MUSIC SCENE?
IA: The food might be the best part, but my first bite of my first dumpling had a metal shaving in it as a surprise for me. Traditional Chinese instruments abound, also I just got back from a night club in Xian called "1+1" and almost got in a fight with a crazy guy who kept touching the girls in my class. We danced to remixed Communist songs. I read that there are over 300 rock bands in Beijing, where I will be staying for over a month. Much more on that later.
NP: HAVE YOU SEEN THE GREAT WALL?
IA: We took a ski lift up to the wall, climbed around on it, and slid back down on a tobbaggan.
NP: UMM... I MEANT, PINK FLOYD'S "THE WALL"
IA: I've never seen it although I love psychedelic cartoons.
Friday, May 13, 2005
Rumors are that he is in China. If you are Ian or know what his summer plans are, please e-mail email@example.com.
"Will you be famous?"----That's a good word. Not only will it happen, but we *will* it to happen. I am certain that we will be famous simply because we have decided upon it. It's in the name of our EP: 'pop' go the tonics. That doesn't mean we'll sit back and let it happen to us. Frankly, there's a lot of room for improvement, but that's really tied to how much time we actually get to work on music.
Thursday, May 12, 2005
Steven built and mailed copies 16 and 17 for two of his housemates. "I want to know what they look like after going through the postal service."
"So you consider yourselves an indie pop band."----Not really. And I don't like where this is going.
"Are you influenced by other groups in your genre, such as The Shins or The Postal Service?"----They are not of our genre. We have changed the meaning of 'indie pop band.'
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
----True. The album will be released to meet the prince of darkness.
"Interesting. Is this album going to sound like Black Sabbath? We know that Mark was in a Black Sabbath tribute band before he joined Sculpted Static, and he is currently playing for a Davis-based classic rock cover band."----What the hell? Now you're just making shit up. What kind of journalist are you? Go listen to "Distance."
"What have you been putting on the Pop Go The Tonics EPs?"----Ah, a good question at last. The last few EPs have featured a cool 37c stamp of R. Buckminster Fuller (architect known for his geodesic domes), a 37c stamp of a snowy egret (a kind of heron), and a 23c stamp featuring Wilma Rudolph (triple Olympic champion).
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
----Because we slaughtered and ate the weasel? Well, why not?
"I heard that Steven is going to New York to pursue a career in publishing. How will that affect the band?"----It's all part of a grand scheme to install him in an editorial position with RollingStone and get us a feature-length article or two.
"Do you have stage names?"----What an odd question. Well, when we do get around to acquiring all that scaffolding, lighting, backdrops, speakers and shit, we'll probably call the whole assembly 'that multi-million-dollar setup better not collapse on us during a show.'
"So, who or what is Lucy?"----I'm kind of worried that you think Lucy could be a what. Talk about the objectification of women! She did trick me into something, though.
Monday, May 09, 2005
We finally mailed out copies 14 and 15 to paying customers in So Cal. Our goal is to get to 100. Remember, we expect most people to have downloaded our mp3s off the web site, so it's hard to tell how many copies of Pop Go The Tonics are floating around.
"Seriously, are we going to see a new album this summer?"----In a parallel universe, the answer would be yes.
"Um... sure. So, what does the new 'Alpha-Alpha' song sound like? And why the change in song title?" ----Well, if you must know... signs point to yes.
"Excuse me?" ----You heard me the first time.
"What's with this hostility? Don't you respect your fans?" ----Performatively speaking, I am entertaining them as we speak. Next question.
"Do you believe rock stars should take advantage of their position in society to promote social causes like Free Tibet, cancelling third world debt, and increasing awareness of depression?"----Concentrate and ask again.
Sunday, May 08, 2005
Over the last week or so, Mark wrote a new verse for "Alpha-Alpha," formerly known as "Alpha and Omega."
Where do we go from here? Ideally we should finish the new album this summer, but as usual our summer plans are scattering us all over the country again. Steven and Arta will have about 3 weeks at the beginning of summer to record.
Saturday, May 07, 2005
Friday, May 06, 2005
Thursday, May 05, 2005
THE TONICS AT STEBBINS HALL
The Tonics will be playing at Stebbins Hall's end-of-semester talent show this Saturday at 9PM! Stebbins (2527 Ridge Road, Berkeley) is a co-op on the north side of the Berkeley campus. It's also where Steven lives. To gain entry, you may have to say that you are Steven's guest.
What did the Beatles say when they were caught in a rockslide? (answer below)
DOWNLOAD OUR MUSIC!
If you haven't already, we invite you to download the Pop Go The Tonics EP from our website: http://www.popgothetonics.com/
Watch out for the Rolling Stones!
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
NP: DESCRIBE YOUR MUSICAL HISTORY.
JN: Me llamo, Juan. I played piano at the age of 5, quit at 9...but I still tickle the ivories from time to time...I've been playing guitar since I was 14...i am 22 so that makes that...wow 8 years? I play bass sometimes....drums sometimes...i started learning how to play the Koto (a Japanese lute instrument of some kind) when I was in high school and wish i pursued that longer...shrug...i like working the drum machine. I sing. I dance. I rap too, no bullshit mang.
NP: HOW DID YOU GET THIS GIG TO PLAY WITH THE TONICS?
JN: Bless Steven Chow's heart, he asked Project X: The Radiohead Tribute Collective to play with The Tonics...I was much obliged to do so. He is the facilitator of my Radiohead DeCal class which totally blows...i mean rocks.
NP: YOU ARE ARTA "HARD ROCKIN'" KHAKPOUR'S SUBSTITUTE. AS SUCH, YOU ARE PLAYING THE PARTS THAT HE PERSONALLY WROTE. WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY TO HIM?
JN: Hahaha, I think he's an extremely gifted musician. It wasn't easy figuring out his parts but I would say that they are indeed "hard rockin'," awesome riffage. I would like to meet you some day dude, you rock.
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
Monday, May 02, 2005
Sunday, May 01, 2005
Unfortunately, we do not have any copies of Sound Check. In fact, we cannibalized our leftover Sound Check jewel cases into Sunny Ash cases. But we don't have any more Sunny Ashes, either.
Those interested in our past should visit our old soundclick page.