Wrong Side of 7am
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Saturday Looks Good To Me interviews with Tweed and closes the night at the Northsix.
During the CMJ festival, Tweed met up with Polyvinyl's Saturday Looks Good To Me for an interview. Early on in the evening, before they took stage, Tim and I took it to the streets, interviewing the band on a sidewalk by the Northsix, the lights of Manhattan off in the distance. Fred asked that we not take pictures outside but rather capture the band's live performance. Their set ended with "When the Party Ends," closing out the venue for the night somewhere around 2:00am.
Fred's solo delivery and improvised lyrics nearly brought tears to my eyes. It's true. He was switching back and forth between the two microphone stands as he rattled off autobiographical rhymes about the band's CMJ experience last year, cheating girlfriends, negative income, rising rent, and whatever else crossed his mind in that instant. For a moment there, I forgot myself.
After the show, I had a few minutes alone with Fred, driving behind the band's van over to their friend's loft. We made some small talk. I got the impression he had things on his mind. When we got to the loft he stayed behind while I walked with the rest of the band to Kellog's Diner. It was seriously late. By the time I went to sleep, it was the wrong side of 7am.
Saturday Looks Good To Me is Betty Barnes (vocals), Elliott Bergman (saxophone, wind instruments, percussion), Scott DeRoche (bass), Steve Middlekauff (drums, percussion), Scott Selwood (electric piano, organ), Fred Thomas (vocals, guitars)
First of all, what brought you guys to Polyvinyl Records? Because, Fred, you had your own label, right?
FRED: Yes, I had my own label. It was very small. The purpose of it was not to put out records but just to be a hobby or a craft. You know, more of a fun thing to do. Eventually, we put one of our records out on this label, which worked out well, but we wanted to expand. Polyvinyl was one of the labels--one of about 3 or 4 labels--that were interested. Certainly, they were the most...familial, the most "punk rock," and so we ultimately went with them.
So, how did you guys fall in love with the "lo-fi sound," the melodies and the aesthetics? I know, Fred, in the past, you've mentioned your friend's band, Teach Me Tiger. Can you tell us a bit about that?
FRED: Chris Puccini, a friend of mine from Teach Me Tiger, was recording his stuff onto four-track, making this really crazy reverbed-out like, total rip-offs of these 50's and 60's production styles---like a really cool rip-off thing. I felt like I was good enough. I could rip-off this thing too, and in so doing, basically discovered this really cool style of music--like Echo-Plex, Wall of Sound, Phil Spector type stuff.
What do the rest of you guys think about that style, that sound? Steve, you said you'd joined the band just a year ago...
SCOTT S: Yeah, I came from California, and we were basically listening to that like, sun-bleached lo-fi rock stuff for a long time--stuff like Pavement, more West coast stuff.
FRED: What we do is by no means amazing. It's just a ton of reverb.
How about the changing lineup in t
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