News updates for Antlered Aunt Lord

Antlered Auntlord, Bunnygrunt, and Try the Pie at Jersey Beat

Antlered Aunt Lord

This has me excited! Why? Back in the late 70s and into the 80s, there was some incredible music being made. There was a veritable explosion of diversity and experimentalism in musical styles in the wake of the disillusionment with arena rock and disco. Punk and hardcore won the day, in the underground, before evolving into somewhat more conventional grunge, pop punk, and indie-pop, but there was that brief, wonderful period where you could buy all sorts of records from bands playing weird, quirky sorts of stuff. And now you can again. Antlered Aunt Lord, the name used for Tunabunny drummer Jesse Stinnard’s solo work, has released an album so different from anything else coming out these days. Reportedly, the nineteen tracks here come from a vast library of recordings Stinnard has stashed away, and it seems that these represent his musical sketchbook, if you will. Some of the tracks are nearly fully realized, if a bit lo-fi in the recording department, while others seem to be ideas that are merely outlines with a promise of what might come if ever filled in. What comes through very clearly, though, is Stinnard’s exuberance; he is very obviously passionate and joyful about his music, and it shows in the recordings. The album opens with “Events of the Future,” itself opening with some noise and guitar doodling and tuning, before bursting into a keyboard driven garage-rock track, with undertones of doo-wop and hints of Spanish bullfights. The birds are singing along on this one, literally. You can hear them quite loudly in the mix. “Abandoned Car” has an awesome minimalist melodic line, super lo-fi recording, and nerdy vocals that you can barely make out. “Monopilot” is an out-and-out psych-folk-rock track that sounds like something out of the late 60s, while “The Beezwax” is a cool, simple nerd-pop track. “Epa” is humorous, with its loping rhythm and non-stop “boom-chick-a-boom” repeating over an over underneath the lead vocals. “Yr Right” is noisy, manic track that sounds like it could be an early pop punk track, heavy on the punk, but super distorted. “Sigil To Noise” may be my favorite track on the album, with angularities that belie the melodic nature, and a throbbing undercurrent that keeps propelling the track forward. The trick is the substantial silence that makes you think the track has ended, but then it bursts back for a powerful conclusion. “Hi Beam Hi Priest (Blinker Fluid) is just plain awesome in its new wave lo-fi pop-ness, with loud/quiet sections and tons of synth. The closer, “Save The Very Best,” is aptly named – because you save the very best for last, natch. It’s a drunken Cajun Irish reel of some kind from an alternate universe that lurches and staggers through to its uncertain conclusion. A few of these tracks have also been made into music videos, which are available on youtube and are just as creative as the music. Recommended!

Bunnygrunt

OK, folks, if you’re going to put out vinyl records, there’s a critical piece of information you need to include on the label: the speed at which to play the record. This is especially true if the speed is not the “standard” for the size of the record. This 12” album is to be played at 45RPM, not 33. That said, once I found the right speed, I found some pretty damn good lo-fi music that varies from indie-pop to punk to art-pop. Each side has four tracks, and the musical quality improves as the record progresses. The opener is a short, throwaway track that’s pretty much all instrumental, while “Just Like Old Times” is a pretty indie-pop track, as is “Open My Eyes,” though the latter is a little harder around the edges. “Chunt Bump” is the long epic track of the album, and it’s got a cool prog-rock feel to it, especially toward the end, when the strings come in, and it gets a retro 70s feel. The B-side opens with “The Book That I Wrote,” which also has a bit of a retro 70s psych rock feel, while “I Quit, Mr. White” is a nice Replacements-like track. “Frankie Is A Killer” is a full-on proto-punk track that could have come right out of the mid-70s, and the closer, “Still Chooglin’ (After),” is also proto-punk. I like the raw honest feel of these tracks – there’s no pretense here. I just wish the recording quality had been a little better, because these are good songs.

Try the Pie

Try The Pie is the work of Bean Tupou, a Bay Area musician who is deeply involved in the DIY music community. “Rest” is Tupou’s second full-length album as Try The Pie, and consists of a collection of early recordings made in the period of 2006-2008. Acoustic guitar and vocals, including overdubbed harmonies are featured on these lo-fi home recordings, plus occasional ukulele or percussion instruments. As a result, it certainly sounds more like song sketches and demos than a fully realized album, but I think that was the point. As a look into Tupou’s creative mind, it works. You hear all of the ideas, seemingly as they’re forming, and all of the mistakes, too. Tupou has a pretty enough voice, and the songs are sweet and melodic, but they aren’t groundbreaking or revelatory. As a person with a relatively short career (though certainly busy with a number of other projects), I question whether the world needs to have this sort of release right now. I mean, Try The Pie’s debut LP only came out this past spring. I think I would rather hear a regular studio album of fully formed songs that have been honed through live shows. Save the song sketchbook for several years from now, assuming you’ve toured extensively and developed some sort of following.

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Antlered Aunt Lord at Beautiful Freaks

It is Friday and we’re in Rob’s room, so we’re drinking. “Is this my wine?” “It’s the bottle with the bird on it (if it’s not the whisky).” And we’re playing all the classics (our own classics), to the disapprovement of some of those present who then leave for a cigarette. Other times we play Jenga and read manic poems by Ginsberg out loud to disturb the players. Inevitably we’ll start loudly discussing why this band is better than that similar sounding band, or why this artist is part of this or that genre. As if it matters. In my mind, these nights are chaotic moments of friendship. Accidental stories. But I’m sure anyone sober walking in would just hear a pointless discussion about music and the same songs every time.

Antlered Aunt Lord – the moniker of Jesse Stinnard – reminds me of all that. I played it that Friday but we didn’t really listen, although Rob did tell me they don’t sound like Neutral Milk Hotel at all. But they do (c’mon, that guitar in the opening track! the last bit of ‘Monopilot’!). It’s the way the beauty seems to be purely accidental, as if these people never set out to write beautiful songs, they were just strumming guitars and trying to sing and by a cosmic coincidence, something that exceeds the sum of the parts came into existence.

And sometimes these people truly sound like they’re drunk. It’s not just the messy playing, the messy singing. There is also the violence and unpredictability. ‘An Impersonal Appeal’ suddenly turns dark and heavy. ‘Monopilot’ goes from pretty harmonies to desperate mumbling. You’ve got the jolly “boom chicka boom” in ‘Epa’, but also the threatening whistling in ‘Don’t Ever Have to Wait’. There is no way to predict from the previous song what the next one’s gonna sound like. But everything’s said and sung as if it’s something Stinnard just blurts out because it had to be said. The accidental kick in the heat of the moment.

And if it reminds me of one thing it reminds me of so many things. ‘Questions From Our Publicist’ sounds like Guided by Voices. Actually, there is a lot of Guided by Voices on Ostensibly Formerly Stunted (and on fire). And not just because, just like GbV, Stinnard’s songs are mostly closer to one than two minutes long and often sound completely unfinished. It’s because they are clearly the losers of this story. Otherwise they wouldn’t scream, they wouldn’t sound so raw. But the world’s at fault, the world is unjust, and if that’s so then what else can be done except futile nothings and writing songs?

Ostensibly Formerly Stunted invites a kind of existentialism. Is there any sense in all this? Is there a point. There has to be, right? But why a song like ‘Classic Nu New Uncomfortable Dumblebee Dub’ or ‘Pray for Glam’? Aren’t these just the ramblings of an insane or insanely drunk mind? It is madness to be angry at the world for being unjust. But sometimes we are mad. And then we will need Antlered Aunt Lord.

 

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Antlered Aunt Lord at Whisperin and Hollerin

Yes the album title and band name are both mouthfuls and kind of give you an idea of where this is coming from, the outer fringes of Athens Georgia and the outre mind of Jesse Stinnard who is apparently an Athens legend in someone else’s lunch time just not his own.

Side 1 of the vinyl I’m listening to it on opens with Events Of The Future it’s full of odd noises and almost buried vocals and is really short. It gives way to Questions From Our Publicist that has a very cool chorus about unmarked packages it’s cool and trippy and a bit like Pavement at their best.

Abandoned Car should really be called entombed in odd weird music car like Daniel Johnston on the wrong meds. Mono Pilot is sort of skewed 60’s power pop gone awry and is pretty cool with it. An Impersonal Appeal is a shout in the dark dystopia of a brain that has become a bit 1/2 Japanese meets R.Stevie Moore and got confused.

The Beeswax is like Eugene Chadbourne on Re-fried beans!! Munsonfly is a twisted march to another Dimension just not this one. EPA is a folk song for the Boom Chuka Boom generation and well they need it.

Evil Dream Too Slow is a Shockabilly Japanese style pop drama gone too slow but not static or stoic. Pray For Glam goes all Kraftwerk meets Tuxedomoon in a closet where they dance and try to put on make-up at the same time. Side one closes with Yr Right a full on thrashing scream of acquiescence clatter fest.

Side two opens with I Don’t Ever Have To Wait for the vacuum cleaner in my head to abate and this song doesn’t either not even when the whistling begins. Sigil To Noise has some very cool stereo effects that work better on Vinyl than download don’t know why but they sound better on 2 speakers than 5.1 speakers and it sounds like Wire meets the Pixies and has a great false ending perfect for catching DJ’s out.


Never Sleep Again might bleed you dry as the insomnia sets in. Classic Nu New Uncomfortable Bumblebee Dub is naive dub exploration that crams a lot of ideas into a track like all good dub tunes ought to it also tips a small nod towards Pylon.

Sciatica is more accurately Schizoid brain pummeler for late night driving through a bad neighbourhood vibe to it. Throwback Bikes starts slow and quiet asking what you have to do to qualify for social security and as the song builds the interview unfolds and mania increases.

Hi-Beam Hi-Priest (Blinker Fluid) is caught in the headlights sparse electronica like Telex with buried vocals that break out into manicured noise and back again like it was recorded through the walls rather than in the room. Side two and the album close with Save The Very Best which is like Miss Murgatroid on acid with some very odd parping noises.

Antlered Auntlord might just about break out of Athens if Jesse Stinnard can be bothered to spread his legend far and wide. Find out more at www.hhbtm.com

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Antlered Aunt Lord at Fanzine

Sometimes I wish The F-Z had a comments section. I miss the anger and the threats I used to get back at the old place. When someone says they’re going to kick your ass because you don’t like Julia Holter, that’s when you know you’ve made a difference. Anyway, this month is, aside from the Grimes debacle, mostly posi-vibes as far as the eye can see. Maybe this month’s inbox will be filled with love threats instead of death threats.

I went to see Ed Schraeder’s Music Beat this month. Of course this is Athens, where shows never start on time, and so even though it was a weeknight ES’sMB didn’t go on until 12:30am and neither I nor the person I was with have a life right now that allows us to stay up til 2 in the morning on a weeknight w/o facing Serious Consequences. But even though we had to split, we still got our money’s worth b/c one of the opening bands was this thing called The Gurgle Twins that sounded like a cross between those ‘Phish Shreds’ videos you see on YouTube, and Capt. Beefheart, which is to say that they sounded very excellent indeed. It was freaky and fun and totally unexpected and it made my week. It might be the best new thing I’ll hear all month and should serve as a reminder to all of us that the world is full of strangeness like a rich painting and sometimes the only way to find it is to leave your house. Because while the grid delivers a lot to us these days, it rarely delivers surprises.

That said, so much astonishingly great music came out last month that we should all be grateful to still be alive to hear it. If only we would listen.

All albums scored on the binary scale because zeros and ones are how your mom tells you she loves you. And just so we’re clear, these are albums that came out in November.

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Antlered Aunt Lord at Big Takeover

As Antlered Aunt Lord, Tunabunnydrummer, Jesse Stinnard, serves up his solo debut of odd, incongruent lo-fi recordings that somehow make sense as an album.

Ostensibly Formerly Stunted (and on fire)exists as the audio diary of one who sees the world entirely through their own goggles. Shades of the gritty 1990s Los Angeles Poop Alley Studios sound merge with traces of slop pop pioneers Crayon. Fuzzy synths shoot laser beams over jangly guitars, while snotty indie rock vocals give way to Beach Boys harmonies. Sounds emerge and become something else, taking the songs into unexpected territories without ever losing their catchy charm. It’s Robert Pollard doing Talking Heads while on an earlyDevo trip.

Apparently Antlered Aunt Lord has a backlog of several hundred songs. Let’s hope this is only volume one.

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Antlered Auntlord at Innocent Words

TEN: For the past two years, each Friday, Innocent Words has put the spotlight on up and coming artists/bands with 10 questions we like to call IW10. The tradition continues…

Hometown:
Athens, Georgia via Huddleston, Virginia

Members and instruments:
Hands: picks and sticks
Feet: boots and flats,
Fingers: rings and fingernails
Head: ponder box

Short bio (in your own words):
You’ve come upon an abandoned house in the woods. In the frigid winter wind you hear the strains of music coming from the house. Parts of a song you swear you have heard before, maybe a little too loud, definitely out of tune. Though all the doors are locked you find a broken window you can just slip in without cutting yourself on the broken glass. The house is empty, except for
Whatever nature has let in, debris, leaves, mice. The sounds get louder as you approach the entrance of an upstairs room. You open the door.

What is your favorite hometown spot (restaurant, bar, coffee house, etc.) that you visit when you return home from tour?
Our basement, Wintry records, bizarro wuxtry

What is Your Funniest or Worst Tour Story?
Tour Story 4: Coming Out of Their Shells


What THREE things are a must have when you go on tour or play a show?

A vehicle, cash, booked shows (though this can be optional as needed)

What is your most cherished album by another artist?
Divine – 12″ collection

If you had to record an EP of covers, which FIVE songs/artist would make the cut?
Nancy Sinatra “These boots are made for walking”
Kylie Minogue “Can’t get you out of my head”
Liz Phair “Never said”
Breeders “Saints”
Cyndi Lauper – that song from “The Goonies”

What Are Your Future plans?
First Act: More music, more albums, tours, inevitable backlash. Second Act: Decent into drugs and alcohol. Third Act: Unexpected comeback, elder statesmanship, gardening, gardening, gardening, and then death.

Where Can We Hear Your Music?
At shows, Soundcloud, Youtube, and my house.
https://soundcloud.com/antlered-aunt-lord
https://www.facebook.com/AntleredAuntLord/?fref=ts

 

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Try the Pie, Antlered Auntlord, SPC ECO at Examiner

Try the Pie

Try The Pie is Bean Tupou’s labor of love. With the highly regarded Domestication under her belt Tupou has released – Rest – a collection of songs from 2005 – 2008. The 13 self-recorded tracks allow listeners to partake in Tupou’s music at the embryonic level. The tunes are stripped down to just her voice and a guitar as she sings about things that are on her mind. The songs on Rest weave in and out of relationship issues, love and living life with Tupou using hot days, trains and bunkbeds as metaphors. The raw sound lends to the frailty of this collection of songs. They are imperfect just like life. Tupou’s voice is at the forefront of this album baring its naked soul for all to judge and it is her wispy vocals that give each track its strength. Try The Pie demonstrates that a catchy melody and strong lyrics make a great song. Big productions have their place, luckily for listeners it is not on this record.

Antlered Aunt Lord

The debut record from Antlered Aunt Lord – Ostensibly Formerly Stunted (and On Fire) – is a wild trip through the mind of Jesse Stinnard (Tunnabunny). The record suffers from multiple personality disorder as Stinnard gives us songs that range from brilliance to what the hell was that. The tracks “Monopilot” and “Questions From Our Publicist” utilize catchy pop melodies and jangly guitars allowing Stinnard’s vocals to flow freely over this incredible soundscape into listener’s ears. Stinnard refuses to be safe and many times wanders into an area that walks the thin line between noise and music. A wall of noise rushes from the speakers on “Abandoned Car”, “Classic Nu New Uncomfortable Bumblebee Dub” is a weird jazz infused tune and “Sciatica” is a chunky punk infused track the rattles the brain. It is this inconsistency in Antlered Aunt Lord’s tunes that makes this different and worth listening to. With each listen something different is discovered as Stinnard mixes a plethora of instruments, sounds and noises throughout the album. The 19 songs keep listeners wondering what comes next as they progress through each track. Ostensibly Formerly Stunted (and On Fire) draws comparisons to the eclectic albums by Robert Pollard (Guided By Voices). There is no set pattern nor plan to the music it is just there to enjoy.

SPC ECO 

Consisting of Rose Berlin, Dean Garcia and a group of collaborators that could take all day to list make up SPC ECO. In 2015 SPC ECO released Dark Matter, a collection of esoteric music built around haunting melodies, synthesized sounds and Berlin’s soothing vocals. Listeners are sucked into SPC ECO’s soundscape on a journey that seems to slow down time. Songs such as “Creep In The Shadows”, “Under My Skin” and “Breathe” are beautiful demonstrations in music showing how delicate it can be. With “The Whole World Shines” and “Let It Always Be” things get a bit more experimental. The music has an edge but Berlin’s vocals keep it from careening out of control. Dark Matter is an album that requires a bit of investment from the listeners. The traditional song structure is not there but Berlin’s & Garcia’s ability to stray from the musical norm is what makes this worth the listen.

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Antlered Aunt Lord at Backseat Mafia

Sometime Tunabunny drummer Jesse Stinnard has recently released his first record under his Antlered Aunt Lord moniker. Titled Ostensibly Formerly Stunted and released on the HHBTM label, it’s a mixture of his own lo-fi and very much DIY recordings that Stinnard culled from a bank of almost 200.

His reputation (locally) as something of eccentric transports itself through the recordings of Antlered Aunt Lord, which at points seems to lean towards grunge/US alt-rock such as Sugar, but then veer towards The Beach Boys (check the harmonies on Monopilot), the next thing, this eclectic mix of electric folk and Pavement and Guided by Voices and, well, just about everything in between. The rough hue of the recording (more evident on some tracks than others) only adds to the charm as they somehow hold together as a whole.

Despite all of its frayed edge messiness, Ostensibly Formerly Stunted is more than enjoyable because of Stinnard’s quirky nature, his lyrical content, and his skillful handling of melody (damn, he can write a catchy tune) The only downside is that (as with a lot of these recordings) some of the songs are little more than ideas- Munsonfly and EPA are good examples. Enjoyable as they are, they could have been so much more.

When he gets it right though, the results are worth it. The brilliant Krautrock Motorik of Pray for Glam is brilliant, and Questions from our Publicist, apart from having a brilliant title, hints at 90s slacker rock, and is deliciously catchy. There’s some fantastic Pixies-esque loud/quiet interplay, with a liberal dose of synths in Hi Beam Hi Priest, and the weird Fall-like Sciatica is great.

With some 180 songs still in the vault, this could be the start of something big.

 

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Antlered Aunt Lord at Songs Smiths

Click through for the playlist!

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Antlered Aunt Lord at Big Takeover

As Antlered Aunt Lord, Tunabunny drummer, Jesse Stinnard, serves up his solo debut of odd, incongruent lo-fi recordings that somehow make sense as an album.

Ostensibly Formerly Stunted (and on fire)exists as the audio diary of one who sees the world entirely through their own goggles. Shades of the gritty 1990s Los Angeles Poop Alley Studios sound merge with traces of slop pop pioneers Crayon. Fuzzy synths shoot laser beams over jangly guitars, while snotty indie rock vocals give way to Beach Boys harmonies. Sounds emerge and become something else, taking the songs into unexpected territories without ever losing their catchy charm. It’s Robert Pollard doing Talking Heads while on an earlyDevo trip.

Apparently Antlered Aunt Lord has a backlog of several hundred songs. Let’s hope this is only volume one.

[Link]