Posts Tagged ‘ostensibly formerly stunted (and on fire)’

Antlered Aunt Lord at Performer

If the reports are to be believed, then AAL’s Jesse Stinnard is either a bizarre genius that Athens has been hiding for the past decade, or an equally bizarre manifestation of said genius’s cosmic brain waves. Er, where was I? Oh yes, the new vinyl release by this “band” from Athens. Well, let’s not bury the lead any further: it’s a friggin’ winner.

Melodic, oddly dark and inviting, and at times invitingly grating (yep, that makes sense), the record is an amalgam of tracks culled from (if we believe what we’re told) hundreds of songs in Stinnard’s crazy backlog. There are so many damn songs it’s hard to tell where you are at any given time in the tracklist, but that’s kinda what’s bat-shit awesomesauce about the journey. Records aren’t typically made that way (usually for good reason), but the experimentation is oddly enveloping in a fuzzed-out acid-trip sorta way.

Nominally, it’s a shoegaze-meets-noisepop-meets-punk album. Well, sorta. If inexplicable Pavement-esque stabbings at warbling rock n roll float your boat, this is gonna give you an instant pants-tent.

It’s hard to say too much more about the record. It’s weird. It’s fun. It’s catchy (seriously) and it doesn’t seem to take much for granted when it comes to standard songwriting formats. We dig eccentric shit like this. Can’t wait to hear the rest of the backlog, Jesse.

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Antlered Aunt Lord at Immersive Atlanta

Let’s set aside the video for a moment because it really is ancillary to the discussion that needs to be had, which is, namely, if you’re any sort of fan of oddball garage pop, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you’re not listening to Antlered Aunt Lord, aka Athens artist Jesse Stinnard (also of Tunabunny). His frazzled, fuzz-heavy anthems carry with them shades of Dinosaur Jr. and Guided By Voices, both masters of grainy fidelity rock with an air of quirky transcendence. I’m not quite prepared to place Stinnard in that rarefied company, but suffice it to say the two tracks presented here, taken from his latest LP, Ostensibly Formerly Stunted (and on fire), are both cut from that same gloriously off-kilter cloth.

As for the video, well, it kind of speaks for itself. Depending on your take, director Ted Kuhn’s work is either fabulously surreal or almost militantly weird. For three and a half minutes the viewer is presented with upside-down footage of a man (Stinnard?) dressed in a red Teletubbies suit (Po!), walking and emphatically waving across a verdant park. That pretty much all that happens until “Questions From Our Publicist” begins to fade out and the video cuts to a closing shot of the empty Teletubbies suit atop a garbage can. I suppose it’s possible to psychoanalyze the video as some sort of meditation on discarding your past and forgoing nostalgia, but whatever. For me, this one is all about the music, and it sounds damn fine.

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Antlered Aunt Lord at Pop! Stereo

The oddly named Antlered Aunt Lord is as shambolic and weird as their name might imply.  Led by the one and only member, Jesse Stinnard, AAL is a crazy chaotic mess of a solo project.    Stinnard is a hap hazard artist who cranks out songs as if doing so was as involuntary as breathing.  I’m not sure if he’s really all that good overall but he occasionally hits a sweet spot and comes up with something that perks your ears up.

Stinnard’s solo effort, Ostensibly Formerly Stunted, is as loosely put together as his musical ideas.  Consisting of 19 tracks much of this record comes from a backlog of songs AAL had laying around and it kind of sounds like it.  Ostensibly Formerly Stunted runs together as if it were his stream of consciousness let loose in a recording studio.  As a result the album is truly all over the place musically and covers more genres of indie than I could count.  Guitars are wrangled, drums broken, voices strained and through it all Ostensibly Formerly Stunted is as lo-fi as lo-fi can be.  I’m not sure if my tolerance level for all this messiness is high enough for repeated listens, but there are some special moments on this slab.   For example, the second Stinnard finds a keyboard magical things happen songs worth hearing ooze out of the record.

Ostensibly Formerly Stunted isn’t necessarily a bad record from a songwriting standpoint (Stinnard has some great ideas) it just pivots from production qualities faster than sub genres.  And while the production is lacking AAL has some tunes worthy of listening to and given $10 and a DAT recorder they might make for a nice sounding record.  Unfortunately, this entire record is so all over the place that it tested my sanity a bit too much.  If you like crazy lo-fi/no-fi pop off of Adderall you’ll absolutely flip a wig for this but if you enjoy hearing things in a somewhat structured manner…you’ll lose your mind.  Antlered Aunt Lord’s Ostensibly Formerly Stunted sounds like a demo committed to vinyl and I’m not sure that’s a good thing.

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Antlered Aunt Lord at Das Klienicum

es kann schon sein und es ist ok, dass man noch nie von jesse stinnard gehört hat. er ist der kopf vonantlered aunt lord. einer band, die nun erstmals veröffentlicht hat, obwohl es sie/ihn bereits geraume zeit gibt. dank happy happy birthday to me records gelangen die kruden soundabenteuer endlich ans licht der welt. zuvor machte sich stinnard einen namen in athens als wahrlich exzentrischen burschen, den man schon mal als dauergast in 24h restaurants antraf, wo er berge von büchern abarbeitete. stinnard ist autodidakt, der es aber immerhin zum tourdrummer von tunabunny gebracht hat. die luden ihn ein, als ihr hauptamtlicher fellzerstörer kurz vor der abfahrt ausstieg. die bekanntschaft beruhte damals lediglich darauf, dass stinnard die band fragte, ob er ihre konzerte aufzeichnen dürfe. nicht weniger ulkig ist seine bühnenaktivität. die definiert sich durch entblößende gleichgültigkeit, stinnard dreht dem publikum den rücken zu und schreit richtung bühnenabgang ins mikro.
antlered aunt lord entzücken durch eine musik, die nicht zu fassen ist, weil sie einem sekündlichen wandsel unterworfen ist. wir müssen uns mit popfetzen auseinandersetzen, die im kern süffig auf melodie aus sind, they might be giants lassen grüssen, aber an den rändern zerfasern. wir erleben harmoniegesänge und stringentes pauken und trompeten. wir erleben narreteien, deren grinsemasken uns ängstigen. da brennen die gitarren und des sängers geschrei fegt durch mark und bein. gekonnt angelt uns die band aber auch bei diesen heißen eisen. während man das glühende metall aus den händen wirft, wird längst die nächste runde geschmiedet und uns übergeben. die pixies sind hier nicht weit. vieles klingt, als wäre es just im moment erdacht, eine hohe flexibilität der mitstreiter wäre unabdingbare voraussetzung. antlered aunt lord sind letztlich eine mischung aus vielerlei einzelteilen, die man zu kennen glaubt. am ende ist diese band, ist dieser typ einzigartig. ich liebe diese art von überraschung(en).
der langspieler wurde “ostensibly formerly stunted (and on fire)” getauft, enthält neunzehn tracks und ist auf 200 stück limitiert. erhältlich ist er im hhbtm shop.

 

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Antlered Auntlord at Raised By Gypsies

One of the things which struck me about this sound right away, listening to it from the moment I pressed play, was that Antlered Aunt Lord reminds me a lot of the band Dynamite Hack.   I’m not sure whatever happened to Dynamite Hack and, no, I’m not going to look it up though I believe they’ve probably long since broke up after they got some recognition with that one rap song they covered.   I actually really enjoyed their entire album though and remember how back in the days of NCA I was able to get one of my friends in another state into a sold out Weezer show because Dynamite Hack was opening and I somehow got their press kit from a major label at the time.   But yes, that Dynamite Hack album has stayed with me all these years and while hearing it in here might be considered a bad thing to some I’m not going to be like, “Oh, they’re ripping off Dynamite Hack” because as far as I know (and am concerned) Dynamite Hack just had that one album and aren’t really in my *current* list but *past* list so to hear a current band that channels them is nothing but a plus.   (Watch, I’ll find out these two bands are linked somehow)

There are always these little ways that bands can impress me and win me over and it sometimes can seem odd, but just these little things sometimes do help.   Aside from thinking of Antlered Aunt Lord as “that band who sounds like Dynamite Hack”, I also began to relate them with one of their lyrics which gets stuck in my head.    On the song “Questions From Our Publicist”, which happens to be in the second slot, they sing about how they are going to send something to someone (I would assume their publicist) in unmarked packages.   Those two words- “unmarked packages”- are sung over and over and in such a way that it gets stuck in my head.    It’s somewhat easy to have words that rhyme get stuck in your head or something out of the normal song-writing experience, but for me having the words “unmarked packages” stuck in your head (because it’s not that they sing it but *how* they sing it) is quite the accomplishment in the way that you can hear people sing along phrases and lyrics that you just never thought they would ever sing along with because it doesn’t seem or feel catchy.    So taking those non-traditional words or phrases and turning them into pop in some way is something that I will always appreciate and it is not easy to do.

When you dive deeper into this record (because there are 19 tracks and I’ve thus far only really focused on the first two) you’ll hear music ranging from They Might Be Giants to twee to New Order, Depeche Mode, Marilyn Manson, Knight Rider, distorted thrash, whistling and even some Modest Mouse.    So it’s really not like listening to the same song over and over as there is a bit of diversity on here, but the songs still remain the same general rock genre so as not to stray too far away and feel like a compliation.    The song “Yr RIght” is the distorted thrash type of one and the title of it also serves as the only lyrics, put on repeat, and so that’s just one example of how these songs can vary.   In a lot of ways, in terms of album structure (but not really musically) it reminds me of something Local H would do because it’s not afraid to push any sort of boundaries but yet still stays connected.

Antlered Aunt Lord has created what began for me as an easy way to remember who they are (They sound like Dynamite Hack right off and have the song about “unmarked packages”), but throughout the record they show you why you should stick around and listen to the whole thing on repeat as many times as you can.   It’s almost as if Antlered Aunt Lord was able to plant this seed inside your head or a bug of some type which had you hooked from the start, so no matter how many times it takes you to get into this record you’re going to listen to it that many times and then some.    While I do believe musicians and computer programmers both share a love of math I don’t fully believe any of them have gotten together yet and discovered the way to code a song so that it would infect a listener as a virus would a computer, but the fact that Antlered Aunt Lord has done this on their own just makes it that much more worthy of you taking the time to be affected by it.

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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 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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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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