Ibanez Artcore AFS75 BK-12-01 thinline hollowbody. Sounds amazing through the Boss Metal Zone M-2 box. Rare version WITHOUT the fake Bigsby bullshit rockabilly nonsense attachment…
Cort solid-top small-bodied (but not a parlor-sized) acoustic.
Epiphone double-cutaway TV-Yellow Japanese-made Les Paul w/ P90’s. Set-neck rarity and possibly part of Epi’s “Elitist” line in the 90’s, but this info is extremely hard to confirm.
Squier Jaguar “vintage modified” bass with single humbucker and active EQ’s.
Pen Rollings is one of the more, shall we say, SPECIAL guitar players that has ever traversed the rock/metal underground. Read him being interviewed by another on-the-level dude, Jordan Mamone.
This is total coincidence, but Mr. Mamone was behind the first time I was ever interviewed. You can read that by going HERE. Oh, it should be noted that I don’t share some of the opinions stated by the me-of-over-a-decade-ago, and that this interview was published some time after we decided to put The Cimarron Weekend to bed. It was conducted when Dave and I were still fooling ourselves into believing another issue was possible…
CHECK OUT THE FIRST TIME I WAS INTERVIEWED FOR A PUBLICATION….
[DISCLAIMER: SOME OF THE OPINIONS AND ATTITUDES AND CLAIMS MADE BELOW ARE NOT THOSE OF ANDREW EARLES CIRCA 2012]
Andrew and David, The Cimarron Weekend‘s Acerbic
Tuesday, May 15,2001
What’s wrong with today’s independent rock and its attendant subcultures?
Andy Earles: The mentality that fuels the crowds of dipshits that flock to see a band like Phish or Korn is the exact same one that dominates a performance by Tortoise, Olivia Tremor Control, Tristeza, the Promise Ring, Macha and many other little darlings of baseness–it’s just different clothes. The fans of the critics’ faves don’t think for themselves–if they did, what comes out of their mouths might be interesting, what lives in their book and record collections might actually be surprising, and their respective senses of humor might stray from the cringe-inducing. The real problem with underground music and the people who write about it boils down to one important factor: no sense of humor. There are so many publications that think that they can coast along gobbling up cred because they cover obscure music. Well, nine out of 10 of them aren’t worth a shit because there is no humor. Wow, you have a shit-hot record collection and you are letting the world know about the uberhip bands that you are into–too bad you can’t write your way out of a wet sack. Comedy is the most important weapon in the war against mediocrity, and it is the greatest medium of all time, because great comedy with staying power–so very rare–is powerful, powerful, medicine.
AE: My method of writing? You don’t want to listen to someone blabber on in the style that I write, do you? It’s easier read than heard. I just write about what I would want to see in a publication. Everywhere you turn someone is writing book-report style, informative reviews of something. I just have a hard time doing that when I am doing it for free. The Cimarron Weekend allows me a forum to do whatever I want. I just want to entertain, which I think that I can effectively do until my writing devolves into the ramblings of a diaper-soiling nut.
Dave Dunlap: I think that some of the problematic aspects of indie rock are evident in your very question. First there is a requisite amount of b.s. in any group of humans over, say, two people. When you multiply that by, what, tens, and add into the mix that you are dealing with a demographic of ahistorical, insecure, mostly white kids prone to dealing with ennui via leaking disposable income, I think that the answer to why it is fucked up is obvious. Another element is this talk of the different subcultures. There is an absurd amount of balkanization for such a small group of people. Crusties, garage-rock greasers, heavy-metal elitists and noiseniks. I believe that exaggerated eclecticism is essential to remaining alive as a lover of music. Did I answer the question?
DD: Sorry I got so Cotton Mathers on you. As far as our acidity, I am caustic about everything that I truly love. Just ask my wife–please. Like Andy said, it’s about having a sense of humor and not taking anything too seriously. I can say that music and drugs have saved my life, but I can still make fun of them for chrissakes. I’m also getting on a bit in age and running well past husky. What can I say? I’m defensive. I also have an alarmingly shrinking attention span. I can no longer stomach bland writing. Get on with it already! I need that over-the-top, Jerry Bruckheimer-production-of-a-volcano-of-semen-style–with a dash of heart and soupçon of wit, of course.
AE: Same as above, just on a larger level, I guess. I don’t dislike something because it is mainstream, I dislike something because I find it awful, no matter how wide the audience.
DD: This statement isn’t completely true, but I try not to make such a distinction between independent and mainstream culture. Obviously money ruins everything, but at least half of my fave albums from last year were on a major label. Sure I like to support the wee folk, but sometimes I feel like I missed out on the extravagant arena-rock world. Really it is just the idea of arena rock. In reality, I am sure that I would have been irritated by the stoned idiots at the ELP Tarkus show as much as I am by emo kids. I strayed from the question again, didn’t I?
AE: Everyone is too lazy or stupid to seek out challenging music, so they eat up whatever their friends are into, whatever the people that they want to fuck are into, whatever some critic hack is into, etc. It’s just a mainstream cookie-cutter state of mind made small enough to accommodate large-scale indie rock. It’s not my fault that people don’t take the time to seek out unheard music. That’s intuition against laziness–guess who will win in the end? I have nothing to do with other people’s tastes, except that it usually makes for a big, fat easy target.
DD: I’m not entirely sure about why critics sploosh over such sapless shit. It seems that the real crazy people I know with oodles of personality–or drugs–don’t have the discipline to write or the desire to be critics in the first place. There is something inherently bookish about trying to be a music critic. Sure, there are exceptions. Some in fact are macho and defensive about it, espousing nothing but black metal, free jazz or noise.
You’ve also got the whole kneejerk Chuck Eddy/Metal Mike Saunders thing going on over at the Village Voice. They think it’s real cute to endorse flavor-of-the-nanosecond teen pop groups–M2M, A-Teens, B*Witched, etc. I suppose that they are now dead inside and just tired of all the rock-scene bullshit. But I think that it is thinly veiled pederasty. I don’t know about you, but I would get written up at work if I had a Vitamin C or Mandy Moore screensaver on my computer.
AE: My obvious one is [Richard] Meltzer, whom I still find entertaining. I have never been able to relate to Aesthetics, but I loved Gulcher, and the recent collection proves that he has always been able to pen some priceless nonsense. Little-known late-70s/early-80s Creem guy Rick Johnson was brilliant–he was the guy who was supposed to replace Bangs. [Bangs’] Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung was one of the first books that I ever spent money on, but I used to be quite the shoplifter, so I’m not quite sure when that was. I’ve only been writing about music for around four years, but I’ve been reading that stuff since my teens. Forced Exposure was the first forum that caused me to actually see a difference between careerist music journalism and worthwhile rock writing.
Two notable books that I shoplifted in high school were Christgau’s Record Guide: The ’80s and The Trouser Press Record Guide, the one that came out in ’91 or ’92. I would often act as though I was leaving for school, only to go sit in the woods behind our depressing apartment complex and read this garbage all day long. Tosches, Chistgau and Marcus should never really be mentioned in the same breath as the above, they are simply old whores possessing what ultimately equals very bad taste.
I can’t really go into my disdain for people who focus on roots-oriented journalism; I’d be here for days. It’s just so fucking easy, and people eat it up with a fervor that only cultured yuppies and former punk rockers can display. I am admittedly soulless and couldn’t give three shits about reading a book on some unknown “crazy” rockabilly act, or some real-deal bluesman. If you shut your eyes, the real deal sounds very similar to the not-so-real, graying-ponytail deal that plays at your neighborhood bar and grill.
DD: Pauline Kael is a big influence. I love her stuff–rarely agree with her, but that is hardly the point. She legitimized the integration of subjectivity into art criticism. I still harbor a crush on her, and would even rub her corns if she would like. Issue #5, our first grownup issue–or as Andy likes to phrase it, “Our balls finally dropped”–came out in 1998 and was all about Creem. There was the interview with Memphis’ own Robot Hull, who of course had been one of Lester Bangs’ multifarious crumbsnatchers. I discovered Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung while in rehab in 1991. I definitely agree that the various cults of personality revolving around Bangs, Meltzer and Tosches have gotten reeeeaaal annoying, but at the time, reading their stuff was a real revelation.
AE: I started the publication in early ’97 as a free four-to-eight page staple job. I just mailed them around and handed them out to people who turned them into paper airplanes in order to spice up local shows. Dave signed on for #3 and by #5, which was the first laid-out issue with an actual cover price, the two of us were splitting the magazine down the middle.
DD: Essentially, it started out with the esthetic of an interoffice memo. A smart-ass note passed in class in perpetual danger of being snatched up by the teacher. No images whatsoever. Fake headlines on the front. Eye candy only for visual diabetics. Sparse shit. Andy, a product of our city school system and a college dropout, thought that people should read more.
AE: The first two, which I did by myself, would have flown under Dave’s radar. He was busy trying to woo classy dormroom-dwellers with nitrous oxide tanks and Peter Gabriel’s Passion. Oh, and the Red House Painters, too.
AE: I was made privy to the material by an unnamed source that thankfully agreed to let me turn it into a 7-inch. I plan to make the leap and turn Failed Pilot into a website with a mission. There will be detailed descriptions of the ridiculous outsider music and absurd sound files that I have collected, and people can pay 10 bucks to have me burn an entire CD-R to their specifications–any combination. I’m afraid that I can’t disclose the exact nature of how I obtained the music. It was, and will be, used without the artists’ consent, you know, in the tradition of the first Killed by Death [punk] compilations. True to the statement on the cover of the record, it is found music, and to a certain extent, the artists made it available to the public in their own little way. Failed Pilot is riding the hot MP3 wave, except backwards. Killed by Absurdity Vol. 1 is the first documented account of pirated MP3s being transferred to an analog format for your enjoyment. I want to clarify that I did not use any popular software to obtain the music–it was actually scouted out in tedious and thorough fashion. Vol. 2 will feature an entire side of a lisping, new-age Christian four-track abuser. That’s the only clue that you get.
DD: Again, that is what we listened to growing up. My first show sans parents was Cobra, Jimi Jamison’s band, opening up for Quiet Riot. It’s powerful and fun. The imagery is incessantly hilarious.
AE: Cocaine is the funniest drug, and that’s that. I don’t find it to be a very fun experience, I’m more of a prescription-painkiller type of guy–those serve me the same way that cocaine serves others, I think. Not to say that I haven’t had a good time or two on blow, but I am usually offered it for free at inopportune times. Coming down from coke makes me crazy, and I sure as hell can’t deal with it while I’m standing around some shitty club, surrounded by people who make me nervous anyway, waiting for some band to go on, etc. I’m an extremely tightly wound person to begin with, so if I am to do drugs, I prefer pills.
DD: Blow. Again, it is wonderful imagery. It is the emblematic drug for that over-the-top excess. I love the stuff. Think about the incredible art that has been created under the influence of blow. Pills are fun and all, but only the white stuff truly makes you feel like you are partying! Instant bacchanalia, just add booger sugar. You have to moderate and space it out. Can’t do it too much for too long. Your nose bleeds all over the dinner table at your in-laws’ and you feel like a refugee from a bad Bret Easton Ellis novella.