Musician and Austin-native, Andrew Stevens, talks about his six favorite songs right now and the first thing he puts on in the morning in this week’s Mixtape Monday. Stevens has been busy doing all of the record and tape ordering for Punctum Record shop and working toward open Studium, a collaborative gallery, event, and retail space in East Austin. Aside from being smack dab in the middle of the hottest art and music community in Austin, Stevens just released two records in August and you can check out his first show with his new band, Dark West, at Cheer Up Charlies on Tuesday, October 21st.
ONE // Moonface- Dreamland EP: miramba and sh*t-drums
This is likely my favorite 20 minute song ever. The only instruments are voice, marimba and programmed drums and the lyrics are pulled from Spencer Krug’s dream journals. Musically, it weaves in and out of a straight ahead mid-tempo rock song and through-composed marimba breakdowns in the “reich-ian” vein. My favorite breakdown is at minute 16. Lyrically, it is a literal transcription of dream journals, with all of the absurd emotional content and hidden analogies that we all have to untangle in our own dreams. My three favorite lines are:
‘I venture into a dreamland where I am playing a glass guitar, & there’s a
raver by the pear tree at the far end of the courtyard, by the well’
‘I’ll prove how much I love you with this handstand’
’the courtyard and cafe are black I am wearing 3 or 4 black coats it’s dark
on the stairs but it could be darker’
TWO // Symbol- Tracer
Symbol is Chris King's, from This Will Destroy You, ambient, drone synth thing that he does. The first time I heard this I knew I had found something inspirational. I listen to this record at night when I’m reading really intense fantasy novels and it elevates me to another plane of existence.
THREE // Serge Gainsbourg- Melody
One of my all time favorite albums is Beck’s ‘Sea Change.’ A friend recently tipped me off to his direct influence: Serge’s ‘Histoire de Melody Nelson.’ Once I heard it though, I realized it wasn’t a casual influence, it was blatant plagiarism, specifically on Beck’s song ‘Paper Tiger.’ I have no idea what Serge is talking about in French, but the call and response between the guitar and string section is some of the most beautiful and impressionistic playing I’ve ever heard. We have been listening to this a bunch at the Punctum Record shop.
FOUR // Bonnie Prince Billy and the Cairo Gang- With Cornstalks or Among Them/The Sounds are Always Begging (live from a basement)
The record ‘The Wonder Show of the World’ was a collaboration with Will Oldham and Emmett Kelly from the Cairo Gang, where Emmett wrote the music and Will wrote the lyrics. This is a live video of these two songs, but the recorded versions are also really beautiful. I like this video because it puts Emmett’s guitar playing on display and because watching Will Oldham pace around adds a visual element, like a caged animal, that obviously cant be captured on record. The harmonies on this record have always really blown me away, and Oldham’s dirty lyrics really sneak up on you in that beautiful, serene landscape.
FIVE // Little Beaver- Party Down Pt. 1
I really love this record. It’s overtly sexy, smooth, fun and feels more like a concept album or maybe a song cycle, than I would think mid 70’s funk songwriters would tend to resort to, especially considering that concept albums tend to be jokingly reserved for artists who value intellectual expression more than any other type. I love his singing, his guitar playing, the point when he’s singing AND playing guitar; I just love little beaver.
SIX // Daniel Bachman- Grey (Take One)
This album was recorded on a boom-box and is based on Robbie Basho’s ‘Esoteric Doctrine of Color & Mood for the 12 & 6 String Guitar,’ which assigns colors and moods to different open tunings on the guitar. It falls perfectly into the category of ‘medium-based separationist folk,’ which is what I tell people my favorite type of music is. It’s lo-fi, experimental, atmospheric and it disguises its pretension very effectively. Nine times out of ten, this is the first thing I put on when I get to the Punctum Records shop in the morning. It clears the cobwebs out of my mind and helps me reset my internal monologue so that I can face the day free of yesterdays trials.
PHOTO // Bryan Parker