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Put Some Morning Sexy Sex on

Put Some Morning Sexy Sex on

  • Door COS
  • Release 2-2-2010
  • Muziekgenre Rock
  • Media-indeling CD
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Prijs: € 11,80

Product notities

The Settlers, or Cosmo Alpern, is a band that isn't ashamed to share what goes on behind closed doors. Originally a two-piece, Alpern recorded The Settlers' first two albums, Things Have Changed and Nation Time! With then partner Ciele Gladstein, even as their partnership was falling apart. Vitriol never sounded so good. On "Just Friends," Alpern sings joyously, "We're not married, that's not the way our story ends." It should be no surprise that the liner notes claim, "these songs were inspired by real people." Ithaca is a town with a great deal of musical talent; but if I had to nominate one as a genius, it would be Cosmo Alpern. He manages to capture universal experiences through a vision that is uniquely his. Ithaca is above all a small town, where one must come to terms with the fact that your neighbor may not only become your wife but your ex-lover as well. Alpern manages to harness the intimacy of lo-fi in the service of depicting claustrophobia, desperation, and despair. When I spoke to Alpern recently at No Radio Records, he explained that there are different ways of finding inspiration. "Rather than being narrowly focused on one thing, [I can] draw on experiences of raising a kid, being in a really tight domestic partnership, letting all of that infuse the work." He continued, "I mean, it's really good to have some technical skill, but I think the real skill I have that will always continue serving me is being able to hear quiet kinds of inspirations. You know, you might not notice, as you're driving along, that you may be humming a little tune. And if you don't notice it, then that's all it ever is. But if you notice it, and you accept it, and you nurture it along, then it becomes something bigger." He considers songwriting and performing a form of self-medication. "There's this book by Oliver Sacks called Musicophilia, and he writes that music is the last thing that people forget long after the rest of their minds are gone. Songwriting is not about originality, so much as capturing little simple melodies. They sound like everything else but they really do something for you." Recently, Alpern has been performing with Willie B of Tzar and the Johnny Dowd Band and Walt Lorenzut of Wingnut and Hubcap. This Saturday at the Chapter House, The Settlers will open for Lorenzut's new band, The Cave Dudes. I wouldn't be surprised to hear The Settlers move completely out of the lo-fi mold. His most recent recording, an upbeat version of "Smoke the Tires" contains a horn sample, a beat-box, and a ska interlude (don't be afraid: it manages to sound like the best Beck track ever). Alpern's gleeful spoken introduction: "Dear guitar: I love you so much! Thanks for sticking with me all this time; forget about all of those other people!" The following is our complete interview with Alpern. He'll take the stage with the rest of The Settlers on Saturday, December 1. Luke Fenchel: Are the Settlers colonizers or are you all just resigned? When I listen to you, I think of your name as referring to "Range Life"... COS Alpern: There's some ambiguity. That's the ticking time bomb for that word; but once you have a name, and people coalesce around it I stick with it. LF: SM sings a song called "Range Life" and he sings "if I could settle down, then I would settle down," both calm down and also live a country life. Alpern: Came out of Brooklyn, and I was watching the gentrification, and I was thinking that artists have a colonizing influence in the urban setting. I toyed around with the idea of being "the settler" but there's no perfect for me. Where I came from, the genuine comfort of it. A friend of mine had a condemned house that didn't have running water, or a toilet, and I used to go in there. I was going to drive out to California and then drive back; and right on the edge of town I realized I didn't want to be in this car, and so I asked them to let me out, and they let me out on the side of the road, and I walked back to the condemned house. And it had all of these Venetian blinds and no electricity, and it sounded similar to this, you know, and it's settled. You go in and there's the same dust in the windowsill that has been here for 30 years. LF: Have you been back there? Alpern: It was demolished. By the Ithaca Neighborhood Housing. LF: Wow, because they do ostensibly good stuff. Alpern: Yeah, there's irony everywhere. LF: So you spent some time in Brooklyn. Did you grow up here? Alpern: We had a house in Danby. A funky house, Jersey Hill, out on Jersey Hill road. I was born there; my dad lives nearby. My mom is in Florida. The house was passed down to me. I've lived other places as well: lived in Austin, lived in Boston. West coast: San Francisco, Portland. I have a lot of fond memories of Oberlin, OH, where I went to college for a year. And after I was kicked out I stayed and worked in a pizza store. I applied to Oberlin because I had a crush on a girl that was applying there, and it was the only place I got in. It's like, when I listened to Guided By Voices, who are from Dayton, that Oberlin experience is the backdrop for all of that. We had had a kid, and that was three or four really intense years. Not really working, and spending so much time together. And I had managed to write some songs during that time. And she wanted to play the drums. And at that point I didn't really have a concept of anything going anywhere. I had some songs I played a couple of times at the ABC, but that was the first experience of when something picks up a life of it's own. LF: When did you start playing music? Alpern: I started playing music when I graduated from high school, in 1993. And did a year in college, and when I was in Austin in 1995 I decided to write a song. I think the thing about self-discipline, the best way to get better at doing something is to stop doing it, so there's been a lot of that. LF: Certainly the time when your son was born; during that period? Alpern: Well, it's just different ways of finding inspiration, rather than being narrowly focused on one thing. Drawing on experiences of raising a kid, being in a really tight domestic partnership, letting that infuse the work. It's been really steady for the last four years. Things have been coming to me. I was afraid of time slipping away from me. And I really pushed myself into practicing many hours a day; like battling against time. And that lasted for about three years; and I started to feel pretty strange and disconnected, and it was really hard to stop doing that. I mean, it's really good to have some technical skill, but I think the real skill that I have that will always continue serving me is being able to hear quiet kinds of inspirations. You know, you can not notice, as you're driving along, you may be humming a little tune, and if you don't notice it, that's all it ever is. But if you notice it, and you accept it, and you nurture it along, then it becomes something bigger. LF: When you say, what comes to mind, in your liner notes, "inspired by real people." Alpern: Yeah, really just get a melody and grab the most meaningful around, whether it's your neighbor talking about being afraid of her husband, or whatever. And then once you start writing a song, then every time I play it I have the privilege of dreaming again. That's how I self-medicate. LF: I can think of worse ways to self-medicate. Alpern: There's this book called Musicophilia, and music is the last thing that people forget. And it's just little catchy jingles. You know, songwriting is not about originality, so much as capturing those little simple melodies. They sound like everything else but they really do something for you. That's what I mean by self-medication. I mean, I've been through some trauma, and I need that. I'm not going to work on creating a song, but I'm just going to sing a song on a walk for a half an hour, to heal my damaged brain. LF: Is that how you approach live shows? To help out with people's souls? Alpern: I guess I'm an opportunist. A song also has to be fun to play it over and over, to want to sing it to people. That's what people need when they go to a show. I like being able to put on a complete show; not having the spell broken. LF: Is it difficult to do now that you don't have as talented a drummer as Ciele. Alpern: [Grinning] Yeah it is. I'm working with Willie B now. He's great, he's a busy man. But we can do that. We're very close. It was hard when I realized that there are a million guitarists and only four drummers. LF: And for a vocalist? Alpern: It's hard. You know, plenty of songs that I have are women characters. That's how they occur to me in dreams. So it's a hard time to do this on my own. LF: Well, your line up now seems to be a band that can go pretty far. Alpern: I think so. We can rock. I asked my brother and his girlfriend afterwards, do you think that when asked what type of music I play, I can say "rock." LF: Can you tell me about how the recording process is going? Alpern: Well, I don't know if I want to go into specifics, but I am going to be recording an album this winter. I have a title, it's a long title. LF: Okay. Alpern: I was hoping it would come up naturally. Like I would say, something like "there's not enough self-respect to go around...but there ought to be." There ought to be enough self-respect to go around. LF: So we would be chatting about Willie B, or Johnny Dowd, and you would say that. Alpern: And then somehow we would have been dangling the idea. And then later, you would ask whether I have a title for the album. And I would say, hey! Remember that thing I said? LF: Right. Well, that's a great title. What's the "suck"-because you mention it in your album... Alpern: Well, boredom, or not exactly. Well it's not boredom, as much as it is existence. There's an anxious aspect to my boredom. LF: Is that the suck? Alpern: I think the suck is just being married and not having enough friends. Being isolated. It is another war that you get sent off to. And it is about finding your way back. LF: That's hard. Alpern: You know, yeah. And there were a few moments that were really hard. One was when we were recording; just in the studio. And I think it just dawned on us that this wasn't working. And it all came crashing down, for her. There were a few moments like that, when things came crashing down. And I don't know if I should get into the other ones...but I was just doing my thing as The Settlers, and she said that she wanted to play drums. LF: Will you be collaborating more with Willie B and Walt? Or will you be bringing your material to them to play? Alpern: Well, "Smoke the Tires," you brought up a good point where it can have two elements: a simple stripped-down approach and another produced one. But I'm really open and receptive and hungry for other people's approach to production of a song. Their input makes it exciting. There's a lot to it. LF: It's hard to be a part of a band. Alpern: Yeah, you know I always wanted a band leader who could whip me into line. Like, "do this," or whatever. And I never have found that. My attention wanders. But I have a friend Eamon McCarthy. He just put out an album called What Now, and we used to play a lot and have a great time. But we could never play the same thing twice; or I could never play the same thing twice. And I don't know if I could do that for somebody else's songs. But having real input keeps things fresh. LF: What music do you listen to? Do you listen to stuff that sounds like your music or other stuff? Alpern: I listen to a lot of music actually. Whatever's lying around. I've covered George Jones-"Just Because." And I was inspired by Aretha Franklin; we used to listen to her as teenagers.

Details

Kunstenaar: COS
Titel: Put Some Morning Sexy Sex on
Genre: Rock
Releasedatum: 2-2-2010
Label: CD Baby
Media-indeling: CD
UPC: 616895059926

Credits

  • Artist(s)
    COS