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Where Is My Mind? Arc In Round's Jeff Zeigler & Mikele Edwards

- by Q.D. Tran

Tonight we will be at Johnny Brenda’s with WKDU, Golden Ages, Tadoma and the Pink Skull DJs to help celebrate the release of Arc In Round’s newest EP Diagonal Fields (you can check out our review of it here). It’s been a while since we’ve heard new material from our local noise-pop/shoegaze crew, and we are very happy that there will be more to come with plans of a new full length and touring already set for 2011. We had a chance to catch up with the always busy Jeff Zeigler and Mikele Edwards so check out where their minds are below.

The Deli: You’ve said that the name Arc In Round came from the title of a Disco Inferno song. What does the phrase “arc in round” mean to you?

JZ: The name “Arc In Round” was initially for a sort of improvisational outlet that myself, Ian Fraser and a few different rotating Philly musicians used for some shows, and I grew attached to it in a way that I was already attached to the music and aesthetic of Disco Inferno as a band. I think the name is less of anything literally relating to the imagery or some sort of obtuse meaning than it is a reminder to challenge ourselves in a way that they did as a band.

TD: Was it difficult to come up with a new band name or was it easy? What were some of the strangest names that made the list?

JZ: We basically went from Relay to Arc In Round. I’m sure we came up with some offensive or totally ridiculous fake names, just joking around, but we already knew that we liked the new name better than Relay from the get-go. Band names are generally pretty rough. I remember really liking “Malevolent Nuzzler” for awhile, which was on this list of names and associated codes for different levels of a video game or something that some kid had dropped on the street and I had found. Obviously we weren’t really considering changing our name to that, though perhaps we should’ve.

TD: What percentage of your time do you spend working on your own material in comparison to others?

JZ: Totally depends. More time is usually spent on other bands, in general, than it is on our material, but it varies depending upon how much we have going on. I’ve blocked out weeks straight at times to finish our stuff, and will probably be focusing less on recording others pretty soon while we push these releases and begin touring. It’s hard to strike a balance, stay in the minds of other bands as an option for recording, and stay afloat financially when bouncing back and forth between the two so much. There’s nothing all that predictable about my business.

TD: We already know that you must enjoy spending time in the studio. How does it feel to perform your songs in front of a live audience?

JZ: There was definitely a point at which it was weird to go from the controlled environment of the studio to the stage, mostly when I was in Relay, because I didn’t always think we were properly representing the recordings live, and I would get really bugged out before shows sometimes. But the more you do it, the more comfortable it becomes, and our band is the best it,s ever been right now. I totally prefer the looseness of playing live in a lot of ways, and I think that has informed our recording more so than vice-versa at this point.

TD: Would you rather spend more time touring or in the studio?

JZ: I like both, but there’s a pretty high burnout factor sitting in a van for hours on end, day in and day out, just like there is sitting in a studio for long periods of time. Definitely both have a lot of pluses and minuses.

TD: Any plans to tour in the near future?

Mikele Edwards: We're planning on touring with SOARS in March, and continuing to tour throughout next year in support of our releases.

TD: Has there been any artist(s) that you’ve worked with who inspired you to write more of your own music?

JZ: There have been a lot of them. Actually, I’d say most of the people I work with are really inspiring. Everyone’s got their own way of working, and it’s hard to not pick up some inspiration from helping really talented people ply their craft. That’s sort of vague as a statement, but I don’t think I could do what I do if it wasn’t artistically inspiring in one way or another.

TD: Is there a title yet for your upcoming LP in the spring?

ME: It will be self-titled.

TD: Though you haven’t had trouble getting studio work lately, do you think the popularity of home recordings will be the demise of the larger, more professional studios?

JZ: I think the market for larger, major-label driven studios has fallen as the budgets that fund those records have dropped off. The number of projects that can afford 2k/day studios is way smaller for sure. I have mixed feelings about it, having worked in some of those studios, I would absolutely hate for historic, amazing spaces like Sunset Sound to disappear, but I’m more than happy to see some of the colder vibe-less behemoths drop off. I’m a huge proponent of home recording, and really appreciate the quirky unique nature of both records made at home (for better or worse) and smaller, more unique “cottage industry” studios. I don’t think a laptop and a USB microphone are going to destroy the studio world. If anything, a lot of it is self-induced.

TD: If you didn’t pursue music as your career, what would you do for work?

JZ: Got me. Maybe teach? It’s entirely possible that I won’t be doing this in five years. Who knows? I really want to spend more time, if I ever have it, working on video and sound installation art and building recording gear and instruments. I don’t know if any of that is a “career” though, besides teaching.

TD: We all know that the music biz is a tough place to succeed. If you had the ability to, what would you change to make it better?

JZ: Maybe make the biz folks a little less risk-averse and beholden to Pitchfork and the flavor of the month mentality. I’d like to see things get a little less single-driven too, but it’s really just the world we live in at this point. The resurgence of vinyl is comforting in that regard, but I think things are pretty much forever changed.

TD: What song takes you to your “happy place”?

JZ: Right now - Daily Life: “Mindless Power”, OMD: “2nd Thought”, PIL: “Poptones”, Camberwell Now: “Working Nights”. EPMD: “You Gots to Chill”.

ME: I go through phases of what puts me in a good mood. I get obsessed with a few songs or whole albums and listen to them nonstop until I'm totally sick of them. In the past few months, I've had these albums on heavy rotation: Lush "Split", MBV "Ecstasy & Wine", Lætitia Sadier "The Trip". One song that always puts me in a good mood is "Chances" by Rafter.

TD: What mainstream pop song is your guilty pleasure?

JZ: It’s a lame answer, but I mostly listen to NPR when I’m listening to the radio. Does “the Political Junkie” on Talk of the Nation count?

TD: Your studio is near Chinatown. What’s your favorite restaurant to grab a bite and take a break from work at?

JZ & ME: Chinatown is probably our favorite part of Philly. Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle House is awesome. Other favorites include Rangoon, Xe Lua, Dim Sum Garden (Soup Dumplings!), Singapore, Sakura, Ray's Cafe for coffee.

TD: What’s your favorite thing to get at the deli?

ME: Depends on which deli - like at a sort of shitty one, I'd probably get a tuna fish sandwich (it's hard to screw up). Otherwise, there's hopefully a panini on the menu. I'd much rather go to a diner and get a grilled cheese. Again, not easy to mess up. And I can always go for a bag of chips and a pickle.

JZ: Vegetarian Chicken Salad hoagie, “dry, with everything” at the Palm Tree Market is my jam.

(Photo by Kristie Lee Krause)

 

 

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Arc In Round
Diagonal Fields

 

 
 
 




Check Out Footage of Mister Heavenly w/Mike Cera!

The internet was all abuzz yesterday with the news that Mike Cera joined Mister Heavenly on stage in Seattle as their bassist. Well, it looks like that wasn’t just a one-and-done thing. Check out footage below of Cera once again joining the indie supergroup in Portland, OR at The Crystal Ballroom (which is a sweet venue that has a spring-loaded dance floor). We’re pretty psyched! Shit sounds badass with Honus Honus and Nick Diamonds trading off on vocals. Enjoy! - The Deli Staff
 

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Night Train Hosting Prowler CD Release Party at KFN Dec. 2

Night Train, the super hip event at Kung Fu Necktie that features hot dance tracks and some of the city's best bands, will no longer be happening very soon. However, you can't say it's not going out with a bang. Just when you were wondering what's happening with Prowler, they're returning with a brand new album entitled Wooly Mammoth, which they will celebrate at Night Train tonight. If Isaac Brock fronted LCD Soundsystem, you might have something like Prowler, who are ready to impress with their funky, polyrhythmic beats, post-punk guitar, and delirious vocal delivery. And of course, DJs Ian St. Laurent and Wolf.fang will be present so count that on the list of reasons to dance to the point of passing out. Fans of indie-dance-funk-punk and cheap drinks…rejoice. Fans of insomnia, there'll be just one more Night Train after this. So get there while you still can! Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front Street, 11pm, Free, 21+ - Joe Poteracki
 
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The Deli's December CD of the Month: Prism Eyes - Reading Rainbow

With the surging start of “Wasting Time”, Prism Eyes’ opener is awash with jangly riffs, catchy drums, and crisp cymbals. Lo-fi lovebirds Rob Garcia and Sarah Everton croon out a synchronized chorus in crystallized calm optimism. Evocative of acceptance or some form of humble wisdom, “Wasting Time” feels therapeutic, falling somewhere between the extremes of apathy and melodrama. It’s honest, to the point but sweet. Its lack of lyrical complication leaves each line cohesive to its backbeat and harmonized brilliance. The smoothed-out feel of Prism Eyes begins with the duo’s first track. Easily detected by Mystical Participation diehards or devotees, Reading Rainbow’s latest plays less rough around the edges in comparison to their debut without altering the band’s penchant for washed out pop. Polished yet still lo-fi, Garcia and Everton’s efforts remain sincere, just enhanced and more refined. “White Noise” slightly heightens the album’s tempo with a pinch of dissonance through garage meets surf pop riffs. Vocals settle above chords and drumbeats, leaving listeners to lose themselves in the band’s layers of fuzzed out sound. “Animals Take Control of Me” brings to mind buzz bands like Beach Fossils or Surfer Blood. Slow, steady and mellow, the album’s fourth track eases in gradually, hitting its peak towards the 2-minute mark by way of stunningly fashioned vocals, specifically on Everton’s part. Ending with ah-ah-ahs, “Animals Take Control of Me” gives way to “Underground” and its upbeat brisk duration. The overt romance of “Let’s Dream Tonight” is sugary sweet and (thankfully) easy to stomach due to the saving grace of its honesty. Brave enough to showcase their feelings without a stitch of irony, Reading Rainbow is straightforward without apology. The piece-by-piece start of “Must Be Dreaming” feels fresh with purpose and an easily danceable backbeat while the jangly pop of “Always On My Mind” instantly charms. “Cut In Two” rocks harder than its preceding tracks with driving riffs and a solid gritty tempo. Closing with the album’s title-track followed by “To My Gemini”, Reading Rainbow’s sophomore effort is vibrant and full of charm. You can purchase Prism Eyes via Hozac Records.
 
Below is their new video for “Always on My Mind” by Amanda Finn, which was inspired by 60’s new wave French films ala Jean Luc Goddard. Also check out their interview with Elle Magazine here. Haha - what fashionistas!
 
- Dianca Potts
 

READING RAINBOW "Always on My Mind" from Amanda Finn

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New Track from Party Photographers - “Children Of Men”

Party Photographers just posted a new track from their upcoming 7” currently scheduled to be release on vinyl in January via Ian Records. It will feature the songs “Children Of Men” (which you can check out below) and “Negative Space”. Enjoy! - The Deli Staff
 

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