Scott Zuniga is an emerging songwriter who has just released his first demo recordings—a small set of impressive, mature indie/folk compositions. But Scott has been involved with music internationally for years as a director and producer, among other roles. We were lucky to catch this talented neophyte to learn about his runaway successful kickstarter campaign for the new album, how the Loch Ness monster helped him come back from a difficult period, what it’s like to direct a music video for an Arabic rap star, and how having a Scottish mom can influence your dreams.
Garrett Gibbons describes himself as a visual storyteller. He’s actually an autodidact jack of all trades in the direction and production of film of all kinds. According to his bio, he has worked with clients from Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Island Def Jam Motown Music Group, and musicians from around the world. He has also worked with LDS musicians Colby Miller and Alma Sanjo. Garrett lent us some time to answer a few questions about Seattle-based Indie hip hop, the blending of dance, video, and music, and of course, Justin Bieber.
We had an excellent field of candidates this year: Many of the big LDS players had new albums out and we saw some old linescratchers friends come back from the dead. Without further ado, our results, based on a popular vote:
Are Mormons responsible for saving Morrissey’s solo career? Kind of. Maybe. One might be.
Everybody wants to burn up down the geezer, but nobody wants to see what they have done.
Amazing song, and it also features the best Arnold Friberg musical reference in recent memory (the flowerpot line.)
Fine, he considers himself religious but non-denominational (no longer LDS). And fine, this is a cover. And fine, he’s an actor*. But it makes the cut because A. This was a performance at a Mormon ward talent show. B. Gosling’s got the moves C. Gosling’s got the haircut. D. Gosling’s got the pants. Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em.
*He actually does have a band but it’s indulgent celebrity rock band stuff so it can safely be ignored.
I’m pretty sure that Mormon continues to be distinctly uncool, and I’m quite sure that goofy t-shirts aren’t helping. But 2012 was obviously a big year for the church what with the Romneys and the Harry Reids and the Hunstmans and the Imagine Dragons and the Neon Trees and the Manti Teos and Brandon Flowerses and all. Unfortunately, Linescratchers was mostly asleep this year. Help us wake up by nominating your favorite 2012 musical releases featuring one or more LDS person for the Linescratchers 2012 awards. Nominate by replying to this post, posting a comment on facebook, tweeting with hashtag #scratchies2012, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Linescratchers has been sleeping, but low is the band that never sleep and Alan Sparhawk is the shark of the music world. If he stops writing and performing, he dies.
Alan Sparhawk collaborated with violinist Gaelynn Lea in a new band called Murder of Crows. They’re selling a download of their first EP, Imperfecta, for however much you’d like to pay (including $0) here. (Handmade CD version is available here.) Watch their segment on PBS show The Playlist here.
Low has announced that their new album, The Invisible Way, will be released in March (I’m not linking the album trailer because it’s ridiculous, perhaps as a comment on how ridiculous a trailer for an album is as a concept.) Jeff Tweedy from Wilco invited the band to his Chicago studio to record the record and he also took the producer’s helm.
In the meantime, the band has released their second pay-what-you-want digital EP, Plays Nice Places. It’s a collection of live tracks from their recent tour with Death Cab for Cutie. I can never forgive Ben Gibbard for slaughtering This Charming Man*, but it’s interesting to hear him take the vocals for “Words.” Download it using the widget on the right side of the page here.
Low was also featured in an episode of BYUtv’s surprisingly good new series, Audio-Files. Watch the whole 30 minute episode free here.
The Retribution Gospel Choir also remains active and will release their new album, 3, on Chaperone Records this January. “Q: How do you follow-up a four-song 7”? A: With a two-song full-length.” Sounds like they’re going to attempt replicating the live RGC experience this time. I’ve been lucky enough to see them once in DC and once in Santa Cruz, CA. If you haven’t seen them live yet, brace yourself. Prolific jazzy, Wilco-y guitarist Nels Cline joins on one song (half the album?)
*If you want to cover the Smiths, you bring your A game. You do not change the lyrics. Gibbard’s egregious offense:
This man said
that someone so handsome should care.”
This man said
that someone so handsome should care.”
No, a hundred times no. If there is one word that could ruin that song, he found it.
Check out our new experimental radio station on last.fm* by clicking this sentence. I’m pretty excited by how it has turned out. For my trial run tonight, these were the first ten tracks:
Arthur is also the founder and honcho here at Linescratchers. He sat down to talk with us about the desperation that bore his new album, why anyone should care that he’s Mormon, and how Eastern Orthodox Christianity has influenced his work.
Odes has a unique creation story. Can you describe the contributions from all the people involved and how it came together?
Well, there are a couple creation stories for Odes. The first is that the project was initially created to help me repair my car. Long story short, my wife and I were driving down to Charlotte, NC, with our very small baby, for a grad school interview, when our car broke down in the middle of Tennessee. We were then completely taken advantage of by an unscrupulous tow/mechanic guy and depleted our savings completely. We didn’t know how we were going to pay bills that month. So I decided that maybe I should just get a bunch of my recorded demos into some kind of presentable form on a Bandcamp account and sell them to raise money for our bills. I had been particularly inspired by a collection of ancient Christian hymns called the Odes of Solomon and a few of my songs were strongly influenced by those hymns. However, due to my pathetic need to pay the bills, a bunch of family and friends pre-ordered the album, enough that our immediate need was fulfilled. Since the matter wasn’t urgent anymore, I decided to create an album out of the material that was truly worthy of being called an album. Around 10 months later, Odes was finished.
A few of my musical contacts I’ve made through Linescratchers helped along the way. Ian Fowles (from The Aquabats!) volunteered to play lead guitar on some songs, and he can be heard in “Don’t Wake Me Now” and “Last Song.” Davey Morrison Dillard asked me to write a song to be featured in his upcoming film adaptation of the play WWJD? and that was “Don’t Wake Me Now.” Adam Kaiser of the Neighbors almost played drums but moved out of his city last-minute and couldn’t do it. I got a friend of a friend, Jared Palick, who plays drums in Portland, to play drums on “Last Song.” My sister sang harmonies on “Gabriel,” and my brother sang harmonies on everything and played drums on all the other songs, so it was really a collective effort from a lot of friends.
Lastly, Young Sim has invited me to list my album under his Feel Good Music Coalition label which I happily did. I love that guy and take every opportunity to work with him that I can.
Vol. 1 No. 14, Week of May 30, 2011
This week: Low get raw, Donny Osmond impromptu guest-vocals with Fictionist, The JaneDear girls up for an award, Colby Miller’s new album out NOW, the 5 Browns and Yo Gabba Gabba touring (separately), New Roxy Rawson song, Neon Trees, American Hollow, and Donny and Marie!
Vol. 1 No. 13, Week of May 23, 2011
This week: Brandon Flowers goes Gene Simmons, Nothing good ever comes of disobedience except international fame and glory, Gladys Knight on making a living in a casino, Neon Trees buy-in while Fictionist eschew corporate label, festival, and magazine, plus updates on the JaneDear girls, Maroon 5, and much (a little) more!
Vol. 1 No. 12, Week of May 16, 2011
This week: The Neon Trees meet David Letterman, We sneak some Mormons into the National Jukebox, Fictionist nearly punches Paramore’s producer in the face, Colby Miller gears up with a new band, a new show, and a new album, and more!