michael hayden – guitar
mario quintero – guitar / vocals
kristy hayden – keyboard / vocals
sarah quintero – bass / vocals
anthony (pork chop) dixon – drums
released 13 November 2012
produced by mario quintero / aaron harris / michael hayden
engineered by mario quintero at black box studios / san diego
mixed by aaron harris at vista sound / los angeles
mastered by james plotkin
album art by kristy hayden
photography by michael klayman / san diego
“Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, ‘and what is the use of a book,’ thought Alice, ‘without pictures or conversation?’
So she was considering in her own mind (as well as she could, for the hot day made her feel very sleepy and stupid), whether the pleasure of making a daisy-chain would be worth the trouble of getting up and picking the daisies, when suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran close by her.
There was nothing so very remarkable in that; nor did Alice think it so very much out of the way to hear the Rabbit say to itself, ‘Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be late!’ (when she thought it over afterwards, it occurred to her that she ought to have wondered at this, but at the time it all seemed quite natural); but when the Rabbit actually took a watch out of its waistcoat-pocket, and looked at it, and then hurried on, Alice started to her feet, for it flashed across her mind that she had never before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket, or a watch to take out of it, and burning with curiosity, she ran across the field after it, and fortunately was just in time to see it pop down a large rabbit-hole under the hedge.
In another moment down went Alice after it, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again.”
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll, 1865
With the release of ‘So Long Lonely Ghost,’ San Diego’s Sleep Lady takes us on a wondrous adventure down the rabbit hole, delivering eight magically delicious tracks that are heavy and dense one minute, delicate and quiet the next. At its core, this is a heavy rock record that sounds best when spewing from your speakers at blazing volume. Your first taste of its strength comes at the 2 minute 40 second mark of the opening song ‘Billions and Billions’ when the drums kick in and confidently anchor the thickly-layered guitars and electronics. I really love how deep and rich this song sounds – it’s obvious that the band spent a lot of time working to get the perfect balance from the recording (expertly engineered by Sleep Lady guitarist, Mario Quintero, at AudioMQ).
‘There Are No Happy Accidents’ begins with a reach back to the rural psychedelia of the early Amp records, hazy and mellow. But then a music-box transition soon leads the song into a trudging Sleep Lady sonic assault, setting the stage for the nine minute epic, ‘Drugged by the Sun.’ I’m not sure why (maybe it’s because I’m writing this while in-flight, jet-lagged and exhausted, having just finished reading Clive Barker’s short novel ‘The Adventures of Mr. Maximillian Bacchus and His Travelling Circus’ before this current roadtrip), but this song reminds me of the circus that would pull in to town late at night in the summer of our youth, and set up in the parking lot of the local fire department. Of course, the site of this spectacle excites the children, but the grown-ups look at the rickety construction with reserved concern. Ride at your own risk; the smart folks stick with the games and the fun house. The quiet moments of ‘Drugged’ still have an underlying edge and sweet creepiness, and the heaviness cuts through you like the metallic squeals of the racing coaster.
‘Weak Chin’ is the record’s meat grinder – slow motion sawing guitars over layered electronics and a churning rhythm. A dark, psychedelic, sludge-metal theme to a 70′s biker/slasher film. I really enjoy this song.
And then we get ‘Someone’s Gotta Win’ – a homage to the great indie-rock roadtrip songs of the mid-90s. I hear the best of Sonic Youth, Lilies, Stereolab, Underground Lovers, Kinski, Tsunami – summer songs, perfect for afternoons spent throwing the Frisbee, drinking beer, record shopping, and hanging out with friends. This one is definitely different than the first four songs on the record, but that’s one of the things I like most about Sleep Lady – they’re not afraid to keep the listener engaged with dramatic changes in style. Always interesting, and always something new to discover in each song.
I can’t really say that I have a favorite track on the record. Each song is so uniquely different that one day I prefer the heaviness of ‘Weak Chin,’ and the next day, I’m dancing around the room with my daughters while ‘Someone’s Gotta Win’ is cranking. But there’s something about ‘I Wanted To Be A Penguin Forever’ that really hits home for me. Maybe it’s the fact that the song perfectly blends post-rock, Bristol UK psych/space/rock, and 90s shoegaze – the three styles that have consumed me for the last 20+ years. Everything works on this track – dreamy vocals, heavy swirling guitars, and wonderfully melodic keyboards. The essence of the Sleep Lady sound.
As a prelude to the final song on the record, the band treats us to a fantastic acoustic composition that is clean, light, and so nice. ‘Night Moves’ gives the listener a chance to take a break from the complexity and heaviness of the other tracks. Looping and layered acoustics are the highlight here – a lovely melody that allows the guitar work to shine.
The final track, ‘These Fucking Worms,’ is a beast. Anchored by the now-familiar Sleep Lady rhythms, the guitars chime and weave, and slowly build to a churning climax. It’s heavy and tight, right up to the end, taking you to the cliff’s edge and leaving you there to catch your breath.
I’ve enjoyed Sleep Lady’s music since first hearing 2010′s ‘Fighting For The Year’. Their sound is unique and always interesting – intelligent music that will appeal to listeners who have an appreciation for the music that seeded this scene, and who are looking for a perfectly dynamic post-rock record that sounds great both on quiet nights and rowdy days. This one is definitely high on my 2012 favorite releases list.
” ‘Oh, I’ve had such a curious dream!’ said Alice, and she told her sister, as well as she could remember them, all these strange Adventures of hers that you have just been reading about; and when she had finished, her sister kissed her, and said, ‘It was a curious dream, dear, certainly: but now run in to your tea; it’s getting late.’ So Alice got up and ran off, thinking while she ran, as well she might, what a wonderful dream it had been.”
This playlist was compiled while Jen and I were enjoying a recent roadtrip to Chicago for a wedding. Everything about the weekend was perfect – great friends, gorgeous weather, and a really wonderful celebration. No, none of these songs made it into the rotation during the reception, but Jack (the groom) made sure that there was plenty of other great music throughout the evening.
As we explored the city, I couldn’t help but think about how the mood of this playlist so perfectly fit the incredible architecture and amazing public art that’s on display throughout the downtown area. I just wish that we had more time to explore. If you go, be sure to visit Hot Doug’s, The Sausage Superstore and Encased Meat Emporium – I guarantee that it will be the best hot dog you will ever eat.
Please support the bands by buying their records and going to their shows. All of these releases are available to download and/or purchase online. Click on each band name for more info.
Damascus – Ambition -00:00-
Caspian – Crawlspace -05:43-
Crash of Rhinos – Big Sea -12:20-
Bats – Andrew Wiles -19:37-
Lights at Sea – The War Came Home -25:20-
Overhead, the Albatross – Pigonometry -30:46-
My Education – Oars -35:45-
Lavinia – Windmills -41:19-
Ten Past Seven – Orientation -46:20-
Set and Setting – Trails -53:55-
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be re-posting several of my favorite 6forty collections. ‘The Extension’ was born in October 2010, and has been on heavy rotation in the home office ever since it first went live on the site. Six epic instrumentals – 60 minutes of excellent music. I hope that you enjoy this collection as much as I do. All of these releases are available to download and/or purchase online. Click on each band name for more info.
This collection has been archived. Send me an email if you are interested in hearing it (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Sunlight Ascending – Out Of This Place II -00:00-
Years of Rice and Salt – Plankton -5:21-
Johnnytwentythree – Fall Of Swords -13:30-
Stubborn Tiny Lights vs Clustering Darkness Forever OK – Riverrun -28:35-
Our Last Hope Lost Hope – Sosjo 1 -37:05-
Oriin – We Will Rebuild -49:50-
I’ve been listening to a lot of great old vinyl lately, and really wanted you to enjoy it along with me, so I compiled a playlist that featured many of the bands that were on heavy rotation on my radio show in the late 80s / early 90s. I found a setlist from a Sunday afternoon show (March 1991), and only had to make minor changes (a few of the songs from the original list were from records that lived only in the radio station stacks). The end result, 640.046 ‘the nearly man,’ really turned out great. Unlike many of the other 6forty collections, these records are going to be much harder to find. So please let me know if you are interested in hearing more from any of the bands featured here. Although now that we have the Internet, I guess there are very few records that are truly unobtainable, especially with sites like Discogs. I’ll never forget the thrill of flipping through a stack of vinyl and finding that one rare item. For me, some of my best finds were from the Philadelphia Record Exchange – gems from IPR, Factory, 4AD, Sweatbox, Creation, and more.
I’ll be curious to hear what you think of ‘the nearly man.’ Since I started the 6forty project, it seems that collections of older music tend to be streamed much less than those featuring primarily new releases. Not sure why. There are 20 great songs here, and there’s still so much more yet to come. I would really appreciate knowing your opinions – do you enjoy an occasional collection from the archives? I’m definitely going to continue making them, so I hope you’re going to hang in there with me. I haven’t even touched my Legendary Pink Dots (and family) collection yet – that alone is over 50 records! Feel free to post your thoughts here, or over on the FaceBook/Twitter pages, or via email.
Ear Trumpet – The Nearly Man -0:00-
Big Black – Bad Penny -4:17-
Big Black – L Dopa -7:20-
Sonic Youth – Inhuman -9:11-
Ethyl Meatplow – Car -13:05-
Psychick TV – In The Starlit Mire -15:32-
Steaming Coils – Forth Family -21:04-
Waldo The Dog Faced Boy – Worship Him -23:55-
Butthole Surfers – Perry -26:17-
Minimal Man – Loneliness -29:47-
Sink Manhattan – Autocratic / Unsung -33:26-
Dust Devils – The Freeze Whistle -39:25-
Kilgore Trout – Wayzgoose -42:31-
A.C. Temple – Mincemeat -45:32-
Reptilicus – Snakes -49:31-
Hovercraft – Epoxy -53:20-
Coil – The Anal Staircase -58:25-
Virgin Prunes – We Love Deirdre / Rhetoric -62:23-