Polyvinyl Records

From the “c’mon mood shft…shift back to good again” Dept:

I’m not sure what went wrong in my life, but I’ve always been highly entertained by the absurd. I’ve seen the Jim Rose Circus Sideshow twice. I’ve seen Pee Wee’s Big Adventure too! Anyhow…

I was already pretty excited to see the upcoming Of Montreal show in Milwaukee on March 17, but after seeing an article in Pitchfork recently about their performance in Las Vegas, I’m really excited. Heh.

According to Ian Foley, “They played gay and straight porn on a monitor in the back of the stage and [frontman Kevin] Barnes sang naked for at least a half-dozen songs.” Now, That’s Entertainment! The rest of the NSFW article and photos here.

Still don’t have their brilliant new album? Stream it here.


A brief bio of your label: Who started it? When? First band signed and/or first release?
The label was started by Matt and Darcie Lunsford while they were in high school. It started at a fanzine called Polyvinyl Press, which reviewed a lot of vinyl. It became a label when their friends in the band Braid asked them to release a 7″. The rest is history.

Where does your label call home? Describe your headquarters.
We call Champaign, IL home. Our headquarters are in an old department store building that was turned into office spaces. We are in downtown Champaign and have a pretty big office for being an indie label.

Your name? What are your primary duties for the label?

Seth Hubbard. Publicist plus I dabble in radio promo, video promo, event planning, licensing and A & R.

Download: of Montreal – “Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse”
Who are a few of the bands on your roster? Most recent signee.
of Montreal, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, Aloha, Headlights, The M’s, 31Knots, xbxrx, Joan of Arc.

What is the best method for an unsigned band to capture your attention?
Work really hard. Tour a lot and make good music.

Any upcoming release(s) you’d like to plug?
The of Montreal record came out Jan 23rd and it is the biggest release in label history. It is called Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?. Keep an eye out for it.

Dowloads: click here to visit the Polyvinyl Records downloads section.


31Knots | The Days and Nights of Everything Anywhere | March 6th
Download: “Man Become Me”

xbxrx | wars | April 10th
Download: “center where sight”

It’s a little too early to start talking about the best albums of 2007, but I can almost guarantee Of Montreal’s amazing Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? will wind up in many Top 10 lists. I can’t say enough about it, love every second of it! Pick yourself up a copy on the 23rd, it might take a while to grow on you, but unless your taste is sketchy, I guarantee you’ll fall in love with it.

From Pitchfork Media: And here, now, the Of Montreal video for “Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse”, in which a tall, lumpy sperm in blue eyeshadow creates children’s book scenes in front of a costumed audience. Or at least, that’s how to best describe the Athens group’s first video from their upcoming album Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? in one sentence.

Of Montreal’s Kevin Barnes, dressed in a skintight (and very revealing) white bodysuit, indulges in every glam performance fantasy: dance sequences, insane costumes, assassination attempts, and whatever else he and his pals can goofily re-enact on a modest auditorium stage. The video is shot on grainy tape, which gives it an on-the-fly, 200 Motels feel, almost like watching home footage of an elementary school play where every imaginary, chaotic scene is executed with giddy enthusiasm. It fits the breakneck pace of the song itself– especially when Barnes urges, “Come on, chemicals, come on!” while a bear dances in a cowboy hat.

The video was directed by The Brothers Chaps (aka Mike and Matt Chapman, the creators of Homestarrunner.com). According to the label, Matt and the band sketched out the concept for the video, although we have to believe that most of Barnes’ acting (i.e. thwarting the assassination attempt) are pure improv. And yet, its most surprising moment is how stingy Robin Hood is with his applause at the end. Give it up, Prince of Thieves!

“Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?”
Of Montreal — Polyvinyl Records
Release Date: 01|27|2007

With a name like Of Montreal, you’d assume they’re a Canadian band, from la belle province, right? And you’d be right.

Only you wouldn’t.

Maybe you’ve heard of them? Or, maybe you haven’t? The point is, you should have by now. They make great music. And they’ve been around for a few years. And they certainly have a following of the types of people who tell you about great bands before anyone else knows about them. Musical Insider Trading if you will. And, they come from Athens which is probably as known for producing great bands as the city of Montreal is for having hot, French speaking girls you can fall for, then split up with and make a band and music to cope through it.

But then, you’d be Kevin Barnes and your band would be Of Montreal. And the music you’d be making would be 60’s pop influenced bliss.

Of Montreal adds to their discography early in the new year, with their release, “Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?” due January 27 on Polyvinyl Records. And for those wise enough and pre-order the material now, (as mentioned already here by Kip like forever ago) will walk away with sweet-action bonuses. The vinyl is double 180 gram LP in a deluxe, triple-gatefold jacket with four bonus tracks. And, for pre-orders, you can get “Icons, Abstract Thee” EP with “Hissing Fauna”. Some sweetening of the pot so-to-speak… Get it early!

Now, to the album… I am not sure what I enjoy more: the song titles or the actual songs. In the end the music gets the nod. As well it should. Barnes’ writing is like an homage to all that is well and good about music. It plays like the musings of someone raised on the musical genius that came from the Brian Wilson studio era and fueled by a mainline I.V. of 60’s psychedelic pop music. My favourite has to be “Cato as a Pun” – it feels like another place and time. But, it segues right into the very sing-along-able “Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse” which I predict to be the hit. Come on chemicals… And the album just progresses through it’s journey to visit all your very familiar sites and sounds. Try and tell me “A Sentence of Sorts in Kongsvinger” doesn’t sound like the Bee Gees! I dare ya! There are all sorts of elements here to enjoy.

At any rate, the album start to finish is a worthy addition to your collection if you consider yourself a Fonzie in the indie hipster world. And you’re here reading this, so that’s already been established. Or… if you just like owning good albums that you can listen to over and over again. In either case, get it and thank me later.

I like them, therfore so should you!

Web locales:
Of Montreal official web site
Of Montreal on MySpace

Of Montreal is:
Dottie Alexander – Keyboards, Clarinet, Flute
Kevin Barnes – Vocals, Guitar, Piano
Nina Barnes – Bass
James Huggins – Drums, Samples

The release of the new of Montreal album Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? is just around the corner. Pre-orders ship on January 12th. The album will be in stores January 23rd.

The album art is some of the coolest I’ve seen. Thanks to You Ain’t No Picasso for the photo and the link so you can stream it before ordering it.

The vinyl version of Hissing Fauna is double 180-gram LP in a deluxe, triple-gatefold jacket w/ four bonus tracks.

As a bonus to online store customers we are releasing an exclusive CDEP Icons, Abstract Thee for mailorder only! (The EP will also be available from of Montreal on tour). Purchase the EP here.

For pre-orders, we are offering the Icons, Abstract Thee EP and Hissing Fauna together as a package for $15. Purchase the package here.

Philip Dickey and I have been exchanging e-mails for a while now. When I sent him a link to Rock Sellout, one of the first things that became evident was my love of Kurt Cobain and Nirvana…the story/article we had been working on shape shifted over the course of our next couple of exchanges. Here are the results:

If you were to cover one Nirvana song, which would you choose and why?

We covered Been A Son on our September tour…it’s half-punk rock and half-beatles. We don’t have any recordings, though.

Suppose you met someone who was unfamiliar with Nirvana…what 3 songs would you turn them on to?

A couple months ago I wanted someone to like Nirvana, so I wrote a huge paper and made a mix CD to go with it. I wish you could do stuff like that in school. It had a thesis and everything. I think I can remember the track list…

Negative Creep
About A Girl
Lounge Act
On A Plain
Molly’s Lips
Son Of A Gun
Serve The Servants
All Apologies
Radio Friendly Unit Shifter
Drain You (live in Italy..2 months before he died)

Courtney Love claims that one of the songs on ‘Nevermind’ was written about her? Which song do you think it is?

I have no idea. I mostly think about Tobi (his ex) when I hear Nevermind.

Philip snapped this photo of Kurt’s Mom’s house this past July

Why do you think people connected so much with Kurt?

Actually, I think that’s the whole problem…no one really connects with him. And then he sorta becomes a religious figure…you can adapt to your own ideas and that’s who he becomes. I think people want to connect with him because he sounds so angry and he was a badass. But he’s really just like every other person in the world who gets angry…anger is so internal and jumbled. His lyrics aren’t like journal entries…he gives you clues and you can try to figure things out. He was a character. That’s why I like thinking about him. Sorry, I know that’s a little incoherent.

Do you think Kurt Cobain wrote the album ‘Live Through This?’ Do you think the rumors that Nirvana recorded it in its entirety are true?

Another thing I’m really not sure about. Will (our guitarist) doesn’t think so.

Ever meet Kurt? Ever hear any stories from anyone who has?

Nope. We met a bunch of people on tour who knew him. Lori, the drummer from Babes in Toyland, had the coolest stories. We met her in Minnesota.

On XFM, a British radio station, in a 2006 countdown of the 140 best songs ever written, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” finished as number 1. What are your thoughts regarding this?

That song is so good on so many levels. To me, the coolest thing about it –and about a lot of Kurt’s writing—is that it doesn’t use any minor chords. It’s so angry, but it’s all happy chords. It would sound so pretty if an orchestra played it.

Truth or rumor: Before his death, Kurt disbanded Nirvana and was in the process of divorcing Courtney.

If they didn’t disband, it sure sounds like they were going to. I’d like to think that Kurt was going to take a break, get excited about something other than heroin, and then make new art. Oh, and dump Courtney.

Using a song title or lyric, what Nirvana reference would make a great band name?!

I’m awful at naming bands.

Download: Philip was also kind enough to send us a cover of Nirvana’s “On A Plain” performed by their guitarist Will’s cousin Grace Bentley.

Get it while you can by clicking here.

Two things in life are certain…death and taxes. One thing that has grown increasingly as certain: when a band’s music is heard on The OC, their stock is bound to rise. Such was the case for Springfield, MO’s Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin when their song “Oregon Girl” was played in a spring episode of the hit show.

Their debut album Broom was originally self-released in March 2005. A series of lo-fi mp3s posted on the band’s website was enough to initially draw attention to them. Soon after becoming darlings of the blogosphere and the OC exposure, the band signed to Polyvinyl Records. A re-mastered version of the album was released in October (the LP includes three bonus tracks not on the CD).

Broom isn’t going to change your life, but it will definitely make the time spent with it more enjoyable. The effort is solid from start to finish. Songs like the opener “Pangea” and everything that follows ooze
enough sappiness to warm the blackest of hearts. This is pure chewing satisfaction that doesn’t lose its flavor on the bedpost overnight, folks. Enough silliness.

While it’s hard to deny several of the comparisons I’ve seen made about the band’s sound (The Shins, Elliott Smith), I don’t feel obligated to add to the list. What’s important to mention is that this is a young band with more upside than down. Their focus seems more genuine than most their age. Success and fame isn’t at the forefront, they honestly seem to enjoy spending time together and perfecting their craft. I think that in itself speaks volumes about them. Time will tell if it’s all smoke and mirrors, but if I was a gamblin’ man, I’d lay money that they’ll be around much longer than the majority of the “flavor of the month” bands who are receiving media attention.

From the Someone Still Loves You Boris YeltsIncesticide Department: Philip Dickey was recently kind enough to answer a few questions, share a photo, and turn me on to some local talent…I’ll share that in the next day or so.


Download: “Oregon Girl”