Sade Sundays: Variations on a Religious Experience
October 18, 2009
Written by Sade Sundays
By: Michael Tapscott
Sade Sundayâ€™s sat cold with a lingering spirit, an unnamed and undefined amorphous blob that cried out, â€œyou have a commitment here fellows!â€ So, I met with Josh, on a Wednesday, in his bedroom. As we rotated seats between his couch and his bed to play tracks of our own choosing that the other person could care less about, I thought to myself, â€œthis shall not do.â€
Josh and I met in Indiana University, our musical sophistication lies in those backwaters where we weaned each other on and off the new indie torrents and enjoyed the wellspring of musical activity in our own backyard: Secretly Canadian, Jagjaguwar, the Impossible Shapes, Justin Vollmar, John Wilkes Booze, Elephant Micah, Drekka and Songs: Ohia. Seeing this sort of damn-the-torpedoes-art happening around us as young men was a revelation. But like Sade Sundayâ€™s wandering ghost, Bloomingtonâ€™s first wave became its last wave. SC/Jag hit the big time, some bands broke up, artists turned to increasingly more personal works to become less â€œpublicâ€ artists, some folks left, and of course, most significantly for Josh and I, we left.
The artistic culmination of this time period for me rests in the various ambiguities of Indianapolisâ€™ Marmoset, who continue to fade away despite Neil Youngâ€™s best advice. Marmoset is a travesty and train wreck of a band and one of Secretly Canadianâ€™s earliest signees and the deliverer of Indianaâ€™s one true masterpiece with Record in Red. That album came out in 2001 and the band stood poised to be great, able to storm the castle of Guided by Voices for the scepter of Midwest psychedelic pop. The band was fronted by Jorma Whittiker, a beautiful and unsightly man, a Syd Barrett for Indiana, the kind of a guy who will steal your last dollar and make you smile about it.
Marmoset was all potential and no payoff in the end though, as Jorma would write later a glorious millstone around his and all of Indianaâ€™s neck. Tea Tornado, Marmosetâ€™s second record since its comeback after a seven-year layoff, finds the band existing well beyond its born on date. Jormaâ€™s writing can still light fires (witness â€œGretchenâ€ or â€œYou, Blueberry Muffinâ€), but his presence here seems as a favor to the other band members and Tea Tornadoâ€™s very existence seems as a goodwill gift to the bandâ€™s former glory. Similar waters that Josh and I bathe in as we now veer perilously close to an existence as the Bay Bridged good-deed-for-the-month from our former pose of brilliant disappointment. I would much rather be the brilliant disappointment.
Should Sade Sundayâ€™s have chose to disappear at this point we would not have been missed, maybe lamented and rewarded late praise by close friends and remote viewers, but forgotten. Josh and I decided to give it one last push, another Wednesday, and what stood before us we now know was one long night, chili and cheese fries, bowling and bathroom breaks, Black Russian nightcaps and belly aches. It was a revitalizing experience.
I realized life must be left to the tortoise, to the loneliness and longevity of the long distance runner. Jim Oâ€™Rourke has existed in many terms, all his own, singer-songwriter, master producer (tending to Wilco and Joana Newsomâ€™s best records), minimalist composer, Sonic Youth member, but he never seems hung up on his own past transgressions. We must realize that every past experience is not just over but it is complete shit. Donâ€™t respect the past, burn it with a white flame and remember only its mistakes.
Thus the new Oâ€™Rourke record, Visitor, exists. Itâ€™s one long, gathering storm instrumental, significant at the time of hearing and a little trite after digesting. I appreciate it and file it away, I remember that I like minimalist Jim better, and singer-songwriter Jim more, but they are part of a future Jim yet to be revealed. I no longer fear the destruction of our works and see now we can only exist as Oâ€™Rourke does tending the white hot flame of destruction ourselves, building on our failures and minimizing our accomplishments.
By: Joshua Rampage
It all started when a crazy lady attempted to force her way into Mikeâ€™s car at the North Berkeley BART station. From a safe distance, I made eye contact and mouthed, â€œshould I just go?â€ and aimed my thumb back at the train. After a few handfuls of words were exchanged between them, she went and rejoined her friends and I got in the car. Mike then explained that she is an acquaintance of his wife. Indeed.
Le Loup – “Grow”
From their sophomore release, Family, Le Loup channels Phil Spector and places even layers of organic instruments and voices that donâ€™t seem so purely-earthy in their eventual bark-based, electron-laced sound-collage. I liked this one in particular. They play Bottom of the Hill on October 27th.
Beers, chili, and cheese fries took us to where we needed to be nutritionally. With a wink and a smile, Mike convinced the waiter to add cheese to my fries (Last we were there, the waiter looked at me like Iâ€™d asked to lob tennis balls into his ceiling fan when I made the same request). After growing tired of watching me eat my chili with no sign of his, Mike basically grabbed the waiter by the apron and said CHILI (pointing to where his chili should have been) and BEER (to where his almost-empty glass sat). That pretty much did it. The waiter returned much, much later with the enthusiasm of an ass cheek and Mike’s chili.
Arthur Hamidi – “Diamond”
SF-based Arthur Hamidi aka Dj Spinnerty aka Dan Finnerty is a Bay Area Producer/Dj that has been sneaking behind the decks longer than you have. On Diamond, He cops the Beach Boys â€œBusy Doinâ€™ Nothinâ€™â€ and from there takes it south to Wonkyland where Flying Lotus, Samiyam, and WARP Records are alive and well. If anything, Iâ€™d like to hear him scoot the beat just a little further this way or that, and really staple his name to this uncharted map of electronic topography.
Cue: BOWLING. Mike got the lane and shoes, and I sauntered into the bar to grab a pitcher of beer. Three customers at the counter were discussing Marvel comic book characters – or so it seemed. One of them exclaimed, “I’ve never heard of the Incredible Hulk!” and I thought, “what shape was the rock youâ€™ve been living under?”. Turns out they were talking about invented shots of liquor. What happened next is almost inconceivable, but I found myself saying, “well, I’ve never heard of that Incredible Hulk”. Bystanders, boozers, and bartender all stared at me while I paid for the pitcher. As we bowled, I noticed a player next to us with an arm cast that ran from his wrist to elbow. At that moment, it was extremely difficult to comprehend that anyone could take the game more seriously than I do.
wAgAwAgA â€“ “Huautla”
wAgAwAgA aka Sam Osborn, is a UK-based producer who got his shit together and decided to create idiosyncratic dubstep. It reminds me of a Burial who hasnâ€™t had to sit through so many rainy London days; instead, he waits in the dark, simmering in subterranean nights spent in sweaty, bass-heavy underground clubs. I havenâ€™t stopped listening.
After deciding on a nightcap, we headed to the Missouri Lounge. Mike winked at me for what must have been the 29th time that night and ordered us a couple of White Russians. Fresh out of half-and-half, we drank Black Russians instead. Fairly boozy. The best thing about the place was an outside area that I can only compare to Zeitgeist, except light-years less obnoxious with a wait staff that doesn’t scream at you for minding your own goddamn business. We sipped our drinks unmolested, casually casing the place for people we might have recognized from the bowling alley. We left the lounge as Jel was starting his dj set while plaid-shirted dudebros smoked grass outside.
Mayer Hawthorne â€“ “Maybe So, Maybe No”
Mayer Hawthorne asked Peanut Butter Wolfâ€™s label, Stones Throw, to release his first single on a heart-shaped record. They did. Unable to deny a single Motown bone in his body, he composes songs that are a fine listen on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Or any other time youâ€™re feeling like maybe getting down a little bit.
PS: There was a radio station back in Chicago that would do â€œSHOUT-OUTSâ€ where you could call up and say hey to your boo or congratulate a buddy on his new Camero. That said, SHOUT OUT! to GKR. GKR aka Grown Kids Radio is like if VOLTRON was a real group of dudes that come together to fight evil music. Based in SF, they produce podcasts, create/announce events, and champion talent from around the globe, with a particular focus on the Bay Area. Lots of breaks, lots of bangers. They will be starting a new monthly every 3rd Tuesday at Eve in SOMA.
About Sade Sundays: A profundity has never slipped past the lips of a man who lives a life of quiet desperation. He has time for no such subtleties. So basically, Joshua and Michael have time on their hands. They spend it together one Sunday a month, dispensing boozy wisdom and violent, undefended revelries. You may listen, but you may also render their words as a call of the wild, a spear from St. George into the side of the dragon beast, or a meaningless squabble. Contact us: Sade.Sundays@thebaybridged.com