Monday, September 29, 2008

The Statler Bros. in the DBA studio

With all these pedals laying around, you'd figure there'd be at least one noise band in the house. Well there wasn't for a long time until Joe Kelly and his long-standing friend (and occasional bandmate) John Vitale were watching some DVDs of the Johnny Cash show and decided to start an updated version of the Statler Brothers. They each borrowed a Total Sonic Annihilation pedal and started chaining some of the house pedals into some loops. I heard them tinkering around with some bossa-nova drum machines for a couple of weeks before they decided to go organic and get a real live drummer in the name of David Andrew Moore. David is a drummer, percussionist, composer & educator- not exactly the usual riff-raff for this neck of the woods.
In what should follow in a long succession of MP3s documenting the life and time of the DBA studio players, I'd like to present you with the first Statler Bros. tracks- all recorded live in 1 take! 2 beers max!
---alt/option click to save

Sunday, September 28, 2008

GENESIS: Part Duex- Return of The Revenge

... so they all moved over to the South side of Williamsburg, the nice and sunny side. They needed more roommates to help pay the rent so they invited Joe Jurewicz and George Wilson from the indie-pop band Dirty On Purpose along for the ride. The new loft was one large barren space and construction costs were skyrocketing. To cover the building material trips to Home Depot, the five dudes began throwing parties in the house. Many cool bands like Vaz & Knife Skills played on the floor that eventually became a practice space. Joe Jurewicz manned a sewing machine table to collect the cover charge. A month of late nights spent listening to the classic rock station while building cinder block walls finally produced a second floor and a practice space, which Mahi Mahi (see last pic) played on top of. A few more parties were thrown to help raise money for the material that would become the walls of their bedrooms. A make shift ping pong table was made from a 4'x8' piece of particle board and matches ensued. Joe Kelly moved out and began recording the demos that would become the 1st Coin Under Tongue songs. A parade of new roommates began calling the "Dude Ranch" their home, including Aaron Pfannebecker who would go on to start the band Sisters with Matt Conboy, who moved into the same building. Matt and Jason Amos expanded the Death By Audio space by taking over the two adjoining lofts and turing them into a living space and a show space. A shit load of shows have been thrown in the Death By Audio show space, from noise to comedy. Assholes continued to break the sink every other show. Todd P got in a fight with vandals outside. Cops busted Coin Under Tongue's album release party. Jason Amos went to jail drunk. A Place To Bury Strangers played a benefit for the loft's cat, Hammer, who was hit by a car- the show was filmed by Pitchfork. All the hip NYC mags kept printing the DBA address and vice cops kept shining their flashlights inside. Joe Kelly fell through the ceiling and into a Tony Conrad performance. A sewer pipe busted and spilled raw sewage into 2 of the bedrooms- everyone got sick. Matt Conboy and Ollie kept making the pedals. Trent Reznor and other famous dudes bought some. Neckbeard Telecaster began making the practice space smell like bong/locker room. Then Matt and Jason Amos decided to start a label to keep up with all this and here we are.


Oliver Ackermann was living in Fredericksburg, Virginia in January 2003. His band at the time, Skywave, played up and down the east coast, finding time in between shows to run his own practice space commune for himself and other local bands. On the strength of his first original design, the Total Sonic Annihilation guitar pedal, Ollie began to sketch the blueprints that would lead to a his own line of pedals named Death By Audio. One of the towns in Virginia that Skywave often frequented was Norfolk. One of the people that came to every show was Joe Kelly. Joe was throwing rock dance parties at a Filipino sailor's club called "The Seaman's Club" and later known simply as "Cruzers". Joe began booking shows there, a few which featured Skywave. Joe and Ollie wanted to move to New York City to pursue more happiness. In March of 2003, they marched into NYC. They found a loft space in Brooklyn that they should not have been legally living in. Times were rough- friends got mugged and beat down, dead pitbulls were found in garbage bags outside their front door, next door neighbor weed dealers screamed like burning witches as they were beat to within inches of their life by bigger, badder drug dealers. Blood poured out from under that neighbor's door and then there was a knock at Joe and Ollie's front door. They silently ate pizza. Justin Avery, from Joe's old band Cobraspa, moved into the loft and he and Ollie began A Place To Bury Strangers. Ollie taught Joe how to build his guitar pedals so Joe started selling his at local stores like Main Drag Music. They also gave pedals to their favorite musicians, like Liars and Xiu Xiu. Neighbors banged on walls and threatened the two for the racket they were making with all their rock and roll toys. They built a loft from disassembled MTV sets that a friend had done PA work for. Ollie's van was constantly assualted by anonymous assholes. Tires slashed, mirrors broken, Radio Shack speakers stolen (really!? Realistic!? what could you possibly get for that? like $2!?). They disassembled the entire loft and moved it downstairs to avoid noise complaints. Justin left Brooklyn for Wisconsin and Greg Wilson (future Coin Under Tongue drummer) moved in. Joe and Greg did mushrooms and Greg passed out and busted his face open. Joe Dj'd every club in NYC and built his own set-up in the loft. He built guitar pedals and listened to records most of the time while getting paid $12/hr to work in at a screen printing company full time. Parents with small children moved into building so Ollie found a new location for the DBA crew: way down South Williamsburg.

Studies Show, Some People Love Coin Under Tongue; Area Man dissapproves

We threw some Coin Under Tongue records in the mail to see if they would eventually pop up on the internet. Amazingly, these records reached their destinations and the fingers hit the keyboards and the screens displayed the pixels. from JULIAN COPE'S HEAD HERITAGE site: "Two vinyl releases have caught my attention this month, the first being the debut 12” EP by post-everything teen rockers Coin Under Tongue, whose six-track rides an electrifying third rail power trip something like the Scars doing ‘Killing an Arab’-period Cure AND attempting Zeppelin riffola in an overly Undertones-like exuberant post At The Drive-In stylee. I don’t mean there’s any buddy Feargal Sharkey among the band’s ranks, just a pure and unadulterated youth vision that rarely gets heard today, except in a gauchely manufactured and archly-corporate manner. Those of you who remember the Washdown’s excellent album a coupla years back will most serpently wanna grab a copy. Locate this sucker at" from DELUSIONS OF ADEQUACY (thank you Jennifer Patton!) "Describing Coin Under Tongue isn't easy. While most firmly rooted in post-punk, the band slips through styles like a chameleon. There's plenty of noise and garage rock, but there's definitely a 70's Southern rock tinge dancing along with hardcore and something surprisingly booty shaking rears its ugly little head from time to time. Ultimately, I don't know what to call Coin Under Tongue, but I surely love it. The members of Coin Under Tongue are part of Death By Audio, a Brooklyn, NY guitar effects pedal manufacturer, music venue, and studio space. Coin Under Tongue/Hussies at Bay was recorded in the collective's self-built studio. Not much information is available about the band itself, they (gasp!) don't have a website and it seems they only started playing shows fairly recently. This release is available on 12" vinyl or CD - and if you have access to a record player you should do yourself the favor of checking out the vinyl, despite that fact that this review shows the cover from the CD. When "Coin Under Tongue" begins you immediately get a nice deep groove reminiscent of many 70's bands, but the crunchy chords and screamy vocals bring the song hurtling through the decades to the present. Although the band have been described elsewhere as a "heavier, Southern Nirvana" they are more Kyuss to my ears, at least from this first track. "This Flag is a Scythe" gives the drums center stage alongside a guitar riff that could have been plucked from a 50's surf or rockabilly band. Coin Under Tongue doesn't stay mired in retro sounds though, this song is something wholly original. "The New Lore" has a more New Wave feel, but also makes me wonder if any member of this band ever spent time in a hardcore band. "Last Rites" has an underlying current of chaos. The song is borderline schitzo - not fractured enough to be pure noise and not cohesive or bouncy enough to be dance rock, but charged up enough to make the hair on the back of your neck stand at attention. "High Until We Die" sounds like a buzzsaw was recorded in the background for extra effect. This track is spastic and bone crushing, but I know in my neck of the woods the Philly head bob would be full on. The last pair of songs on Coin Under Tongue/Hussies at Bay - "Roll Child" and "Shaven Clean" - couldn't be more different. "Roll Child" is where I hear the easiest comparison to a group like Nirvana, but that 50's or 60's feel peeks through as well. "Shaven Clean" starts off with some nice, fuzzy guitar and great drumming. This song is dance music for the punk/hardcore set. A great beat, plenty of swagger, and enough edge that not an ounce of cheese can be detected. Coin Under Tongue is a lot of fun. I can see many confused audiences of aging scenesters being downright confused by this band while they wait for the headliner to come on, but I guess that's half the fun. Clearly all those years in the scene aren't doing you any good. If post-punk, spazzy, not-quite-noise sounds appealing there is a lot to love about this album. Don't miss it." from BLUESBUNNY (in Glasgow!): "It's 2008 and yet bands still release their music on vinyl. Why? Because it sounds better (we hope) and watching that 12" slab on vinyl spinning around is a reward in itself. It looks like they think that way in Brooklyn, NY with this release by Coin Under Tongue. They must be an underground band as they don't even have a website. They do have some songs though. Coin Under Tongue is the kind of shady name that would fit a death metal band quite well and the self titled opening track did indicate that particular musical genre. Power chords and screaming vocals, you know the sort of thing. You know you should hate it and you actually do until the clock strikes midnight. "This Flag is a Scythe" was, in contrast, a much subtler affair with some distinctly pleasing guitar riffs that could trace their heritage all the way back to Tom Verlaine. That's the thing here - many bands have the self same influences but there is something a bit unsettling here. It is difficult to quantify but Coin Under Tongue seem to wander way too close to the edge and then come all the way back in to safety. There are bits and pieces in there like percussion and odd guitar riffs that just jump in to the mix and then vanish. "High until We Die", in particular, seemed schizophrenic as it sounds like three songs are trying to fight their way to the surface. Funnily enough, I was listening to some old Josef K singles the other day and it had the same sense of underlying sense of darkness and confusion. It isn't the eighties now, of course, so the posturing of that time is not present to balance things out making the result all the more disturbing. Rounding things off is a splendid part post punk, part garage, part chainsaw, neighbour annoying musical grenade. It goes by the name of "Shaven Clean". Makes you want to ride a Harley off into the sunset. This album turned out to be sterling stuff. It may not be the most inventive collection of songs that the Bluesbunny has heard but it is never boring and the discordant approach the band take grows on you and incites your curiosity to find out more about them. Worth tracking down? Reckon so. By the way, in the interest of science, the vinyl and CD versions were compared and the vinyl was better. Told you."

SISTERS 1st Tape for Sale Page

Sisters Self-Titled [cassette tape] PS, US Brought to you by ultra-noiseniks A Place To Bury Strangers, who have started their own label to showcase the freaking sonics of their peers. What sort of audio megatonnage does the Loudest Band in NYC sign to their imprint? DBA describes it thusly: 2 NEW KIDS EX NEW SCHOOL PLAYING WICKED BAD ASS BREAK BEATS WITH GOOD HOOKS AND NOT MUCH HONKY TONK. MATT CONBOY AND AARON PFANNEBACKER KICK OUT 7 SONGS OF MINDBENDEDNESS. RECORDED BY OLIVER ACKERMANN AT DBA. DeathByAudio-001 CASS $6.00 Beginning in 2006 under the name "Surprise Stranger", Aaron Pfannebecker & Matt Conboy spontaneously gigged at random lofts, parties, and hallways unannounced. After changes names, they shyly took to small stages across America in 2007, including a SXSW appearance. They are two piece from Brooklyn, New York using keyboards shot through effect pedals, drum tracks through cassette players, live drums, guitars and vocals to create fragmented pop songs. Crooked guitar sounds and melody, keyboard pop mixed with a touch of noise in an attempt to break from traditional song structures is essentially what happens. Here's a review from the Glasgow site, Blues Bunny: "Apparently there is a music collective in Brooklyn, New York called Death by Music and they release some offbeat albums by the likes of this band, Sisters. In some ways, this album is like a history of nineties music with the ghosts of New Order and Husker Du getting exorcised once more. It is not the first time that these sprits have been raised from the dead but there is some strange kind of voodoo at work this time. These songs grab you and slap you around in a rather aggressive manner. Guitars get pumped well in overdrive. The drums teeter about on the edge of the precipice named out of control. That is perhaps the defining quality here. "Accolades", for example, starts pretty conventionally then just spawns a mosh pit out of nowhere. It's a big, brash sound and you can smell the sweat of a hundred guys slamming madly into each other. The post punk joys of "Street Cars" caused our ears to perk right up followed by an overwhelming urge to turn the volume up to the max and if you want to hear a guitar used as an offensive weapon then try "In The Mood". It's ragged, it isn't hi-fi but it is real. In fact, Bluesbunny doubts if these guys have ever seen a sequencer or a sampler and we'll happily take emotion over perfection any day. To further compound their madness, Sisters supplied the review copy as a cassette and a green cassette at that. A cassette seemed particularly appropriate. So did playing it loud. Available from Death by Audio Records." FOR SALE AT THE TOP RIGHT OF THIS BLOG!

The 1st COIN UNDER TONGUE Record Sale Page

Coin Under Tongue - Coin Under Tongue/Hussies At Bay 12" Self-Titled US Brought to you by ultra-noiseniks A Place To Bury Strangers, who have started their own label to showcase the freaking sonics of their peers. What sort of audio megatonnage does the Loudest Band in NYC sign to their imprint? DBA says: A WHOLE LIFETIME IN THE MAKING, THIS TITULATING AUDIO STUNTWORK WILL BLOW YOUR HEAD. POP THESE SONGS AND GET EMO WITH THE BAND. HEAVY LIKE A BAG OF WEIGHTS. LIGHT ON THE RASTA. FULL THROTTLE THROATS GALORE. SOMEBODY DIED SOMEWHERE ON THIS RECORD- VERY RARE! RECORDED BY CUT AT DBA IN AMERICA. 450 PRESSED & INSERTED IN HAND SCREEN PRINTED SLEEVES (COLORS WILL VARY)
  • DeathByAudio-002 LP
  • A- 1. Coin Under Tongue
  • 2. This Flag Is A Scythe
  • 3. The New Lore
  • 4. Last Rites
  • B-1. High Until We Die
  • 2. Roll Child
  • 3. Shaven Clean
$13.00 (w/free MP3 album download)- after purchase from Paypal, please click "RETURN TO SITE" to receive download. FOR SALE ON THE TOP RIGHT OF THIS BLOG!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

We Did It Cause We Knew It Would Happen

The first time you hear music, you know it- music is tranforming. From our cell phones that we use everyday to our grocery stores we use every other week, no other time has it been so important to listen. Therefor, we at Death By Audio spend all the man/woman power we can into researching and developing just the right music for the right times. The internet has brought the power to the people so we make the music to power those people that run this industry - it's a win/win situation! And we've been doing this since day one, the same way great companies of the past have succeded- by looking to the future. If we don't meet metatrends in a half hour or less, the music pizza is on our face, not yours, because you, as a customer, are always right when you give us money.

Our deep rooted ties to the music industry are intertwined with the wires of the music community like some tangled pubic word problem you can't figure out, so don't - let us think about it. Old business are consolidating into bigger conglomorates that are morphing to meet the needs of yesterday's niche markets. Who wants that!? Death by Audio Records has the profit margins to meet today's ever expanding vision quest, you can tell by taking one look at our legal size papers. As long as air is vibrating, we'll be there to capture it.

Jimi Henderson - Death By Audio Marketing

(this pic is from the rare CUT press CD featuring a pic from the audience from their Roseland Ballroom show & an extremely rare high school pic of TOM CRUISE! - Not for sale here, sorry, YIKES!)

CONTACT for Death By Audio Records is
Sorry, but I do not have anything to do with booking shows at the Death By Audio space. For that, you should get in touch with these guys: