The fourth ruthlessly deep installment of SLC FUNK. Held at the legendary Burt's Tiki Lounge in Salt Lake City. *Unedited recording, mistakes and all... Best paired with a shot of your favorite spirit and Hi-Fi volume set to '11'.
To say Salt Lake based NOW-ID had a busy summer ...would be an understatement.
The fledgling dance/design co. of which I am a board member staged NOWHERE at Libby Gardner Concert Hall in Salt Lake City in July and was nominated for three CityWeekly awards for best choreography, dance and multimedia production. NOWHERE featured artists from all over the country as well as Denmark and Iceland and ran for two successful nights.
REVIEWS FOR 'NOWHERE':
"NOWHERE was, quite simply, superb! No one in SLC has had the courage, persistence or level of insanity required to pull off something like this. You have absolutely created a standard for dance and multi media."
"Tonight's performance of Nowhere was at once exhilarating, refreshing and thought-provoking. NOW-ID hatched from its fragile shell and developed into a mature masterpiece in front of my eyes this evening. I commend you and all of the fabulous performers tonight on a passionate artful deliverance, and I thank you for infusing SLC (and me) with a strong dose of much needed art and culture!"
"Unbelievably beautiful and moving!"
In August NOW-ID conducted a residency at Tanner Dance for a week and then hosted/directed and curated 'Space As Collaborator'
– their first Summer Intensive for Designers, Dancers and Choreographers where, in Five days, they managed to produce 11 pieces by 24 artists and had three showings for the public. Participants came from Portland, Chicago, Allentown, Wichita, NYC, California, Vancouver and Utah. Each worked collaboratively in five spaces for two days and then were switched around, given a new theme, a new team, a new space and another 48 hours to solve and present their work. Amazing creativity emerged from this experience unlike any other.
Director Charlotte Boye-Christensen travels to Miami and Singapore to complete two residencies.
Let's talk "Two Nations" etymology.
It was something a friend came up with years ago. When I was writing the lyrics for the track Paint By Numbers I sang the line "Two Nations will play with fire" It was an improv line. That's how I tend to write, recording nonsense words then listen back to see if anything interesting emerged. I liked the line and remembered that a friend had tossed that name around as a band name years prior. I recognized that's where it came from. I liked the dichotomy of it. My producing partner Nate Pyfer and I did the majority of the album late at night after hours. Sometimes the name made me think of our styles and backgrounds colliding to make a record that sounds different than if we had gone it alone. Other times I thought it reflected the people represented in the lyrics that were struggling to get along despite having huge differences.
Tell us about the other band members and their/your history together.
Years ago I recorded an EP for Nate's old band Code Hero. We've been close ever since. I played some guitar for that project when he needed me and he returned the favor and played keyboards in a previous project of mine called Location Location. Over the last few years Nate has become a great producer. He's worked with The Moth and The Flame, Polytype, Mideau, Parlor Hawk, Fictionist, Sego, and others. He's also co-written several tracks for Kaskade. Last year I wanted to record some drums and self-produce a new album. I was talking to him about options and he really wanted to get involved. The rest is history. Aaron Anderson (Fictionist) laid down the drum parts. He's fantastic. He's got great instincts. He played a song in one take after hearing it for the first time. Nate invited guitarist Devin Powell down to the studio to contribute some great guitar parts. He's fronts a project called Showgun and the Clay Pigeons. Nate is involved in producing that as well. I play guitar sometimes for it. We're all helping out one another.
How is this different from your other projects?
It's more mellow.
Who are your inspirations and intention for the current sound?
I don't know if I had any specific intentions for the record. I have a lot of demos recorded on my computer. I think I just had a grouping of 5 or 6 that I thought would be cool to build on. A few tracks are 3 or 4 years old when I was listening a lot to Kaputt by Destoyer. I was feeling a Fleetwood Mac kind of melancholy.
One of the things I think sets you apart in my mind is the thoughtful choice of instruments and electronic bits. How did you go about implementing guitars vs. drum machines and keyboards into the writing and mixing?
You can mimic nostalgic eras from the past with keyboards. I like that. Guitars are just put where they normally go. Sometimes guitar parts get muted later if you're trying to make space.
Marcus, when I first met you your sound was more in lines with, for lack of a better term, alt-country or folk-ish rock. Then you became much more interested in electronic-leaning music. But if I'm correct you still play around with non-electronic sounds. Describe your relationship to genre and how it influences both your songwriting and creative direction.
I never think about genre. This becomes a problem when you need to categorize your music on sound cloud or iTunes. I've always listened to different genres. And I'm probably missing out on some that I haven't given the time. I think as a music maker you just use the tools that are in front of you. Early on it was guitars for me. My interest in electronic music has probably been more about how vast synths and computers are as music creation tools. I bought Reason 1 when it first came out around 2001. It was the first time I could make a complete song on my computer.
What happened to Location Location and what have you been focused on in the interim? How does Two Nations compare and differ from your previous project?
Location Location just stopped I suppose. I stopped booking shows. Maybe If I find some inspiring demos that sound like that I will put it on the internet. I dunno. Nate likes to think that Two Nations bridges the gap between the folkish rock stuff I used to do and Location Location. I don't think that macro about it. In comparing Two Nations to Location Location, the tempos are slower, the drums were played manually, the synths are moodier. As far as the songwriting goes I don't know that it's that different. Hopefully I've gotten better as a songwriter. It's all about taste though. I don't think the songs I write are for everybody. I don't write songs to please people. I just write songs when I feel like singing, and I record them. That becomes a demo.
What did you learn from your experience with Location Location, which saw some great success? What was it like being involved in things like SXSW and L.A.-based industry circles? Did you enjoy that scene? What's your overall takeaway about "making it"? How do you define success as a musician these days?
I learned that it's hard to get people to watch you play at the Viper Room. It's exciting when you find yourself in those circles. You never now what might happen. I've seen bands who are ready for success meet the right people and those people seem to know how to break a band. I suppose that bands that have "made it" know a lot of things that I don't. I just want to play these songs for people and enjoy doing it. I guess the trick is getting the songs in as many ears as possible. I'm still trying to figure out how to do that. As far as success goes I think that can vary. If you can tour and make money and have a life that sounds like success to me.
Do you prefer to collaborate with others or work as a solo artist? Or, describe the pros and cons of both endeavors.
I love collaborating. I think the results are usually better. I haven't been able to write songs with others at the same time in the same room though. The collaborating I do is like here's a recording of words and melodies over chords, change whatever you want. Then we might build the track up together or they might do it without me. You've got to be open if you're working with other people.
What's on the horizon for you guys?
We are booking shows and working on new music. We also have a track that we wrote and produced with Kaskade that will be released on his forthcoming album 'AUTOMATIC' this fall.
Hear Two Nations play with Kaskade Friday, Sept 4th, 7:30 PM at Downtown Provo's Rooftop Concert Series. Follow, listen and buy Two Nations self titled album at www.twonationsmusic.com.
TED GEISEL, better known as Dr. Seuss, wrote and helped design this eccentric fantasy about a young boy named Bart (Tommy Rettig) who, like most young boys, doesn't enjoy his piano lessons with the mean-spirited Dr. Terwilliker (Hans Conried). He figures his time would be better spent playing baseball with his friends or helping his grown-up buddy Arthur Zabladowski (Peter Lind Hayes), a plumber. One night, while fast asleep, Bart has a long and remarkable dream in which he's trapped in the kingdom of the fearsome Dr. T, who has enslaved hundreds of little boys, forcing them to practice on the world's largest piano until they drop. With the help of a friendly plumber, Bart plans a revolt that will topple Dr. T's evil empire once and for all. The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T also features several songs for which Geisel contributed lyrics. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
Salt Lake musician/designer/sculptor Stephen Kesler has been growing his Tusk business over the past few years creating lifelike land and sea creatures for museums, zoos and aquariums. Hunters of endangered species should think about placing these in their homes. Follow him on Instagram and see more at www.tusklife.com.
Can't wait to eat drink and par-tay at MALL no. 2 #foodcourt this Friday at UMOCA. TUNICA STUDIO from Brooklyn are throwing a Pool Party! Sahn Helmets and Tokyo Bike are others are bringing conceptual retail weirdness to the second iteration of Gary Vlasic's wonderful MALL.
Follow @mall_______ for visuals. Exhibit and Food Court info at http://shop-at-mall.com
I'm immensely proud of my husband Mark Hofeling's production design work on Disney's "Descendants" which premiered last weekend to 12.8 Million viewers (and topped iTunes). Mark is quite the polymath... whether it's anything design related, politics, sculpting, writing or cat herding... you name it, he can make it. And he's a master of his craft with 50 films, (20 for the mouse alone) under his belt. It is strange that someone who started out in low budget horror would be the king of choreographed musicals for young people, but there it is. I am biased of course... but Salt Lake City, UT should feel lucky to call him their own.
The V&R guys have my admiration this season sending conceptual paintings down the runway.
Wow. Just... so incredibly tasteless.
From Equality Utah:
We have had significant victories this year, including marriage equality and non-discrimination. What is abundantly clear, is that we are now living in a queer new world. Join us for the 14th Annual Equality Utah Allies Dinner: Queer New World featuring special guest Tyler Glenn of Neon Trees.
On October 3, we will have an opportunity to celebrate our achievements while preparing for the work ahead. Tickets and tables are available now: http://equalityutah.org/allies