September 10, 2008

MUSIC & OTHER EPHEMERA - Hardly crappy

Crappy Nightmareville is, quite simply, the best band you’ve never heard of. Squarely in the middle of their second decade as a working band, next month they’ll release their latest 7-inch, Nautilus b/w Bionic Pet Sounds

P. Andrew Willis and Mike French first teamed up in 1993, recording in a basement fur vault. (Read it again, it’ll still be there, and it’s not quite as weird as your brain is telling you.)

This fur vault looked like a bank vault. “It had the big door with a locking wheel and everything,” Willis says, but it was virtually soundproof, so the duo could play well into the night.

“A lot of old, semi-destroyed instruments began accumulating in the space,” French says. “We had a 4-track (recorder) in there, and we started grabbing stuff and making noise.”

Quickly, they collaborated with a who’s-who of Louisville musicians. Two cassettes, a CD and one 7-inch later, Nautilus is the second in a four 7-inch series that will culminate in an album release. “We started talking … about this idea of a series of 7-inches,” French says. “Pretty much immediately we got this idea that the A-sides would be more compositionally focused, whereas the B-sides would be more experimental.”

Each single is to be of a different genre but will fit together thematically in album form. “Nautilus” is a sort of Stravinskian-waltz-processed-by-Bill-Laswell piece full of romantic clarinet, washes of guitar and sound effects, while “Bionic Pet Sounds” is a spare atmosphere of a dystopian industrial wasteland, the sound of waking in a post-nuclear environment and hearing dry winds blowing through a vacuum of life. Stark but hauntingly beautiful.


Damien McPherson has hijacked Mat Herron’s B-Sides column. He must be stopped!


LEO Music ’Cast

Young Widows talk about their new label, Temporary Residence, and their new album, Old Wounds.

Hear it at www.leoweekly.com or myspace.com/leoweekly