We are a record label, a video production company, a radio station, and now a blog. Join proprietors J Neo Marvin and Davis Jones as we muse about music, film, culture and politics, and keep you posted on the latest Ear Candle activities.
What an artful, playful, cohesive group. When I saw them the first time, I wanted to do what they do. But getting people together in a group and developing this kind of trust, fun, playfulness is a lot harder than you think. To endure the ups and downs that are part of creating something from nothing isn't easy folks. Its a rare collective that can tolerate all its members stretching themselves to absurdity and back and be really stoked about the journey. I need a group like this.
But I do have a party of two! And I cannot complain. J Neo and I have a lot of fun making music and doing the radio show. But we play all of the instruments and sing the vocals too, and its not possible to bring our multi-sound tracks to the stage. We are thinking about performing karaoke to our own ipod of sounds if we ever must. We do this sometimes at a salon at our favorite mountain retreat to the delight of our hosts! Only problem is that distributors won't sell records if we don't tour. How does one become heard without touring? Didn't Jandek do that? That is what I want. Just keep putting it out there, I guess. Thanks for reminding me of the joy of it all, Mekons! You guys rock!
Well, the Mekons themselves went through a period in the '90s where they gave up on touring after it got to be too much of a grind, and focused on weird little art projects like collaborations with Kathy Acker and Vito Acconci. Getting out of the standard rock format revived their creativity, and if they hadn't gone that route I doubt they'd be around today (in their present part-time form, which seems like a great way to approach a band in your old age and keep it fresh).
How does one become heard without touring? Didn't Jandek do that? That is what I want.That's it. I'm throwing out the guitar tuner.
i think the Mekes journey was also spurred by their scattershot relationships with labels. tough to keep touring when your label drops you mid-tour (and thinking back, that was the time I saw them that nearly turned me off them forever)looking forward to the doc though. You get any time in there J Neo?
You get any time in there J Neo?Don't think so. Unless I'm in an audience scene somewhere.Yeah, it's to our heroes' credit that they survived the curse of A&M. But even in the early Quarterstick days it seems like it was rough going for them. I recall being one of the only people on the whole planet who liked Retreat From Memphis. Thankfully Steve Goulding returned to the fold. Having the right drummer is essential.
One of the alltime greats and I know live in the city they were conceived, shame to put them on, it would cost a couple grand... :-(
Don't think small, Ian! First you get the Delta 5 to reform, then you put on a show with them opening for the Mekons AND the Gang Of Four!
First you get the Delta 5 to reform, then you put on a show with them opening for the Mekons AND the Gang Of Four!I think I just got a stiffy...
being one of the only people on the whole planet who liked Retreat From Memphis.You and me, I think we were the two.See, here's the thing. Based on a review in Rolling Stone, I managed to locate and purchase Rock n Roll. A&M or no, it was hard to find. And it BLEW ME AWAY. I haven't heard such a fine disc since London Calling. So I went to see them in a local club when they came through, and were 'like a laser beam' as Langford put it.So the next time they came through, I took my wife. It was on the Curse tour, and later I found out it was just after they had been dropped from their label. Yes, they sucked, and rightly so. so much that we left.So the next time they came through, I decided to give them one more chance, because RNR was soooo good. AND THEY WERE FRICKING AWESOME again. Yes, it was the Memphis tour. what it did teach me: don't take my wife to a Mekons show.Haven't looked back since then.
I've seen the Mekons somewhere between 10 and 15 times I think, and I've never seen a bad show. That must have been an anomaly that night, or I've been very lucky over the years. (Even when they were touring on records I was less fond of like Me, they've always been a transcendent delight live.) Sorry it happened to you and yours.I think it was on the Curse tour that X-tal opened for the Mekons at the Kennel Club in SF. The album wasn't anywhere to be found at the time, so I remember being knocked out by previously unheard material like "Wild And Blue" and "Lyric". I remember the band were a little more reticent than usual, but they were great anyway. It was the first time I saw Sarah on bass. (Hard to believe that, other than touring violinists, Sarah is actually the "New" member, having joined in the early 90s. The bass position was shared by Lu and Kevin Lycett all through the 80s.)Hmmmm, it must be about time for a new Mekons album about now. Wonder what they're working on. Wondering also if the King Tommy album will ever see the light of day, because it's freaking awesome. (Synth-pop with prominent banjos! The world needs this!)
Yup, Delta 5'll do that to you, Bx4.
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