THE OCTAGON Warm Love and Cool Dreams Forever -- Kind Words
The new Octagon record Warm Love and Cool Dreams Forever has been making the rounds on some of our favorite music blogs. Below are just a couple of awesome snippits--if you're in the mood to take a gander at the Complete Collected Works of The Octagon Press Volley: January 2010 edition, please go here and scroll down a bit.
"Recommended to all who love kinda dark, kinda scuzzy, definitely melodic indie rock." Brooklyn Vegan
"Raw yet pervasively warm and wise, it’s the kind of record that reminds you just how poignant lo-fi indie rock can sound." Time Out NY
"It is with highest compliments that I describe opening track 'Suicide Kings' as like a lost tape from the Alien Lanes (1996) sessions"
Coke Machine Glow
"I'm fully subscribing to the new record by the Octagon, an LP with sixteen crunchy numbers like these, brambled, messy and sincere. Said the Gramophone
When the clock turned over from 2009, we sat down at our 'lil office white board and mapped out what we wanted to achieve in 2010. It turns out that more than making EPIC imaginary hits, and even more than calling our mothers at least once a week, we wanted to plaster the world in Serious Business stickers. Specifically, we want to plaster our listeners with our beloved logo. And so, we offer you this:
Things move quickly here at Serious Business and recently they've been moving faster than ever. This is good news. But sometimes we feel bad because using this News Page and our email newsletters alone we cannot keep you abreast of all pertinent goings on with the appropriate level of immediacy. So we found this website called the facebook. Have you heard of this? It is pretty awesome.
Enjoy the third annual free compilation of outstanding imaginary hits from Serious Business.
Even though we find ourselves weeks into 2010 we wanna make haste in giving you this third annual installment of a little compilation series we call The Year in Business. We've posted a little zip file for you to download free of charge. In this zip you'll find 10 songs. 2009 has been a year of furious music making and record preparing, most of which you'll be hearing in 2010. The numbers collected below reflect the fine business we've issued recently and much of the fine business that'll be emerging early in the new year. Treat yourself to something nice here:
1. SAADI - Bad City (Serious Business Remix)
from Bad City 12" EP [SBR42]
Boshra al Saadi's debut release is going to be a 12" EP on very deluxe white vinyl. The A side will consist of "Bad City" and then this Serious Business Remix of that track.
3. THE PAPARAZZI - The Rococo Tape
from Rococo [SBR40]
Erik Paparazzi's long lost psych-pop mini-opus will finally emerge this year. Allow your ears to be violated by this tiny slice of arty groovy pop. An instant fav!
4. THE OCTAGON - Suicide Kings
from Warm Love and Cool Dreams Forever [SBR41]
We're very lucky to have played a role in the creation of Warm Love and Cool Dreams Forever this year. It is a very special record filled with realest rawest most unironic, literate, and unflinching rock music for people who love rock music.
5. HIGGINS - What Don't You Want?
from Higgins / Andy From Denver - Split 7-inch [SBR31]
The Higgins / Andy From Denver (Marshmallow Coast) split 7" was a treat. Andy is an Elephant 6 legend who has played with the greats (Of Montreal, Neutral Milk Hotel, etc.) Word on the street is that Andy will be contributing some guitar to Higgins' forthcoming studio platter (the followup to Zs.
6. JACK AND THE PULPITS - Francypants
from Francypants [SBR38]
We continue our mission to introduce your ears to the timeless sounds on tapes lingering in magical boxes in Josh n Annie's apartment for almost 10 years.
7. ROCKETSHIP PARK - Spinning Globes
from forthcoming LP
The 2nd Rocketship Park record is coming in 2010 and you will be delighted. Here's an early glimpse of Jeff Lynn-ish majesty. Pop doesn't get sweeter!
8. BENJI COSSA - Annie Delia
from forthcoming LP
The was the first tune we recorded in 2009 for Benji's still underway next record. That's Travis on drums, Josh Kaufman on bass, gtr, keys, and Benji on singing, acoustic, songwriting and vision. Full disclosure: it's a song about his cat.
9. THE UNSACRED HEARTS - Fake Kisses from Ampeater Digital 7-inch
We've been doing The Year in Business since 2007 and every year there is an Unsacred Hearts song on there and it always says "from the forthcoming album The Honor Bar" but as of yet The Honor Bar has not materialized. We just haven't gotten around to putting the finishing touches on it. But thanks to Ben at Ampeater for demanding an Unsacred digi 7-inch for his site. "Fake Kisses" is a rockrockrock song that probably will be too loud to make it on the serene Honor Bar. That's Dave on the komuz, the national instrument of Kyrgyzstan.
10. THE TWO MAN GENTLEMEN BAND - Drip Dryin' (Reprise!) from Drip Dryin' with the Two Man Gentlemen Band [SBR35]
This lark in the studio became the album closer on January '09's Drip Drying with the Two Man Gentlemen Band. Andy Bean, the Councilman and Travis had a maximum R&B power trio in college where they played almost all the songs from Band of Gypsies.
--------------------------------- OTHER YEARS IN BUSINESS... 2008
Leading up to the release of the Bad City 12", Boshra Al Saadi (aka SAADI) will be taking over Pianos every remaining Sunday in January - 17th, 24th, 31st. If you're really into comedy and ladyporn (meaning porn for ladies, not porn of ladies), the 17th is a must-see joint event with Kong Magazine. In the meantime, enjoy 12 inches of white vinyl (digitally, of course) from SAADI. Doesn't the test pressing look delicious?
Serious Business Gets Mixed Up With WFMU's Wonderful Free Music Archive. Everybody Wins, Especially YOU!
What is the Free Music Archive? The Free Music Archive is an interactive library of high-quality, legal audio downloads. The Free Music Archive is directed by WFMU, the most renowned freeform radio station in America. Radio has always offered the public free access to new music. The Free Music Archive is a continuation of that purpose, designed for the age of the internet. Read more here.
This is right up our alley. When asked by WFMU to participate, we jumped at the opportunity. So far we've uploaded a few of our recent free EPs, but check back often for more free content from Serious Business. Definitely spend some time with the FMA. This is the type of thinking that keeps our world healthy. Enjoy excellent music.
Will Glass and Zachary Mexico met at boarding school in Massachusetts at the end of the twentieth century. They huddled together in dorm rooms, late at night, drinking from warm forties of St. Ides and handles of illegal Captain Morgan, listening to Motown, “Astral Weeks,” Guided by Voices, Dead Kennedys, and the Grateful Dead.
Time passed and life came calling. Will Glass went to Montreal and played with everyone in town, in the scene centered around Constellation Records and godspeed! you black emperor. Zachary Mexico moved to New York City and started a band, then got sick of the heavy post 9/11 vibes and moved to southwest China to open a bar.
In 2004, they returned to NYC and met up with bass player the Bunny. Over the next few years, they released two albums, “The Octagon” and “Nothing But Change,” played a bunch of shows, went on tour.
Then Mexico went back to China—where he still spends part of the year--to write his first book, “China Underground” (Soft Skull Press, 2009) which would later become a bestseller in Singapore. Glass went on the road as the touring drummer for the Dirty Projectors. The Bunny languished in Williamsburg, spending his days begging for money outside the Bedford Avenue L stop to support his gourmet sandwich habit.
And then in the dark winter days of February 2009, they all got back together and worked on a new batch of songs. Instead of going into a recording studio, the Octagon retreated to their dimly lit practice space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and, under the lo-fi recording expertise of drummer/producer/engineer Will Glass, spent three days laying down thirty tunes to analog cassette tape on two Tascam 4-track recorders.
They mixed the tracks down with Travis Harrison at Serious Business Records in lower Manhattan then sent along the results of the session to a few trusted friends. “We wanted to see if there were certain songs people really felt a connection to,” says Zachary Mexico. “When you’re the people writing the tunes, they are so close to you that it’s hard to tell what other people are going to dig.” With the input of this circle of colleagues, the band chose sixteen songs to make up “Warm Love and Cool Dreams Forever.” And the album sounds great: Mexico’s Fender Mustang is warm, Bunny’s bass full, and the superb jazz-inflected drumming of Will Glass sounds clean and crisp.
Mexico sings lead vocals on the tracks he wrote, and Glass on the tracks he wrote. But everyone’s singing at the same time, most of the time. The songs are concise bursts of energy – short and to the point, expressing singular musical and emotional ideas. The tunes are poppy, and the energy punky; the band blends their gift for penning simple, catchy melodies with a tendency towards noise and sonic/structural experimentation – the reinvention of the pop framework to make it something unmistakably their own.
The themes addressed on the record include: the pressures of getting older, the truth of eventually dying, the relationship between humans and nature, the beauty of life, the sadness of poverty and cruelty, the death of family, friends, and other loved ones, the perfection of the world, and that old standby, love.
1.5 Philadelphia, PA The Fire
1.6 Baltimore, MD Metro Gallery
1.7 Washington, DC Black Cat w/Capstan Shafts
1.8 Charlottesville, VA The Southern
1.9 Richmond, VA Plaza Bowl
1.10 Asheville, NC Bobo Gallery
1.11 Knoxville, TN Pilot Light
1.12 Nashville, TN The Basement
1.13 Little Rock, AR Whitewater Tavern
1.14 St. Louis, MO Antarctica
1.15 Champaign, IL Mike and Molly's
1.16 Chicago, IL Elbo Room
1.17 Cleveland, OH Beachland Tavern w/Rural Alberta Advantage
1.18 Columbus, OH Carabar
1.22 Brooklyn, NY Bruar Falls: album release party w/Hexa, Doug Gillard (GBV)