Wednesday, September 22, 2010

TVD First Date | Film School

"Growing up, my family had an old stereo with a record player in our finished but little-used basement and, as a high-school kid, it was the perfect place for me to go listen to my parents’ old records, alone and undistracted. I would sit cross legged in front of the stereo and, with lyric sheets in hand, listen to the same few records over and over. I had singled out a particular few, absorbed their melodies, words and images; The Beatles’ “Abbey Road”, Laura Nyro with Labelle’s “Gonna Take a Miracle,” and Joni Mitchell’s “Ladies of the Canyon” (as well as a record of Mitchell doing all Bob Dylan covers.)

But my favorite was a somewhat obscure record by a 60’s era folk duo called “Lily and Maria.” What grabbed me about them were their unsettling harmonies and almost creepy psychedelic touches. It was my mom’s record—turns out it was reissued in 2008—and she didn’t remember much about them other than that they never made it very big. The picture on the album cover was of the two women resting their heads against one another and staring hauntingly into the camera. The image was overexposed and washed out, so much of their features remained indiscernible other than long, straight hair, and no makeup other than looong lashes. My mom would tell me “that was the style back then,” and I would get her to elaborate on stories about being a teen in the 60’s – like when her older sister, my aunt Bonnie, ran away and hitchhiked to Woodstock at 16.

There was no lyric sheet for the Lily & Maria album, and no Google search I could do to get more details, so the record remained a delicious bit of mystery which seemed to be my own personal revelation. Although I was discovering different kinds of music at that time, and while in my bedroom I would listen to Nirvana and Sonic Youth, I looked at the basement and its records as my sanctuary when I wanted to be alone and reflect. During those confusing and overwhelming years of being in high school, the basement was not only the perfect place for me to get lost in these old recordings, but also to play and write my own music on our old piano.

Now that I’m reflecting on Lily & Maria, I suppose the song “Time to Listen” on our new album must have been inspired partly by their aesthetic…"
—Lorelei Plotczyk (Bass)

"I didn't have an older brother or sister to guide my music taste as a kid so I had to turn to cues from classmates. This led to an "interesting" exploration in music in my youth. I was actually all over the map as a kid, but the first album I remember asking my mom to get for me was Iron Maiden's Number of the Beast.

It's comedic now to think about my 5'4" mom walking into a record store asking for Iron Maiden's Number of the Beast, which was probably written on her "to do" list. Moms are great, right? I have to actually write out the opening lyrics to Number of the Beast so anyone who isn't familiar with this song and album will get an idea of what's going on. This is read before the song begins in a demonic, frog-like voice:

Woe to You Oh Earth and Sea
For the Devil sends the beast with wrath
Because he knows the time is short
Let him who have understanding
Reckon the number of the beast
For it is a human number
Its number is six hundred and sixty six.

I mean, wtf? Music for kids, clearly! I also had the black light poster."
—Greg Bertens (Vocals)

Film School plays DC9 on 9/28 with Depreciation Guild.
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Film School - Heart Full of Pentagons (Mp3)
Approved for download!

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