This is the second installment of posts I am doing with my friends to promote my Kickstarter project. The idea is stolen from Jerry Seinfeld (Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee). Instead, I am riding bikes and drinking with my friends, talking about records. Enjoy, and if feeling supportive, please take a peak at my new record here »
MOBGB E02: Eric and Erica
Eric Kuhn and I met many years ago, maybe 7, when he joined Built for the Sea. Ever since, we keep uncovering these really strange things we have in common. We have bonded over our musical favorites (Superchunk, Melvins, Tortoise), sang songs from the Little Shop of Horrors soundtrack in a tour van, wrote music for Coke commercials, bragged about how cool our dads are for hours and have been taken for $80 by a sneaky Dutch train employee. Suffice to say, we go way back. I can say that he is one of my favorite people to play music with, always open to strange ideas. And it doesn’t hurt that music just flows from the kid like a first language. Anyone who has seen Silian Rail needs no further explanation.
Erica, I met about two years ago at a show. She is the type of person you hope to run into at shows, cause she always has this mischievous smile and something hilarious to say. I have had the great pleasure of doing some coincidental-midweek grocery shopping with her, and we have also collaborated on a Knife cover song (yet to be finished). If you know her, you know she is constantly making art, painting, singing, crafting, but the cleanliness of her room pays the price for it.
They play together in a band called, wait for it….Ted and Cindy. No, hold on, that’s not right, it’s Eric and Erica. You just can’t deny the charm of this band. You kinda always end up smiling through their whole set. Erica plays that rectangle shaped guitar thing with buttons, I can never remember what it’s called, I have been told several times, but she plays it and sings light and beautiful while Eric tinkers on a piano and triggers some boat rockers (mellow beats), although, my favorite show of theirs was when the drum machine was turned up super loud, and was shaking the whole room. I am a sucker for that. And I like their lyrics; simple, sweet, classic, fitting perfectly with the music.
Ohhhh, and they happen to arrive straight from a recording session with Thao Nguyen at Tiny Telephone. Now THAT is some rockstar bullshit.
Ye Old Hut, Rockridge. How can I characterize the positive qualities of this bar? Maybe let’s just leave it at “it’s the only place nearby that wasn’t packed.”
These guys are on the move, headed to North Carolina, so they are bikeless for the time being. Eric rode my Surly Long Haul Trucker that goes by the name of “Black Bart.” Erica rode my lady’s white and baby blue 1980s Nishiki that she calls “Calliope.”
I saw a dingy old mini can of grapefruit juice behind the bar and I couldn’t resist! I went with a greyhound, Eric with a Lagunitas IPA, and Erica with a Whiskey Sour.
Eric has released two Silian Rail full length 12″s, one split 7″ with Silian Rail and By Sunlight, and one 7″ with his band from the old days, TNTP (the meaning of this acronym was ever-changing). He also appears on some Michael Musika and Sean Hayes albums. Erica has not yet had the pleasure, but looks forward to the possibility of the next Eric and Erica release being a 7″.
Favorite Classic Records in their collections
Eric: Rolling Stones Let it Bleed, Prince How come U don’t call me anymore/1999 (2 song 7″)
Erica: Melanie Sofka Gather Me
Favorite Contemporary Records in their collections
Eric: D’Angelo Voodoo
Erica: Assateague Good Morning Blues (and I happen to know she has a soft spot for the Dixie Chicks)
Eric and Erica on records
Man, we starting talking about records and couldn’t really stop except to notice the extreme randomness of the jukebox. Nino Palidino, Macklemore, Journey. We all agree that Thrift Shop is a great song, no matter how overplayed it is.
Eric starts off with a really interesting comment regarding his fascination with vinyl. “I have always loved the visual component of a record, how it’s something you can actually see, you hold it up to the light and the music corresponds to the grooves cut into the thing.” This comment resonates with me because I always look at grooves in records. Tiny shallow grooves for mellow parts, big fat grooves for loud parts, like a little map to the album. The science was explained to me once, and it’s fascinating, but I won’t bore you with it here.
“There is a perceptible difference to the sound, vinyl smooths out the rough edges of music.” Eric is referring to the inherent natural compression found in the analogue format. When thinking about that, my inner-engineer-nerd wants to stand up and shout Hallelujah! But I hold it together.
Erica brings up the truth that, as a band, when someone comes up to you after a show to ask if you have any records for sale, you know they are going to listen. “Because listening to records demands a certain level of devotion and participation from the listener.”
I mean, making music is not all about someone “listening,” we all agree on that, just making it is pretty damn fulfilling, but it brings great joy to know that someone appreciates your music enough to buy a record. Find me a musician that will argue with that.
Big thanks to my good friends Eric Kuhn and Erica Fink! If this post has got you feeling warm and fuzzy about vinyl, please support the newest Parks and Records vinyl release, Identical Homes, Hydrophelia, below: