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Aural States Fest II: Spotlights – Lands & Peoples, Jack Chick

Ed. Note: We’ll be running spotlights on all the artists playing our second anniversary show, Aural States Fest II, over the coming weeks. First up, Brandon talks with Caleb from Lands & Peoples, and I drop some fresh, raw demos from the newest act to be playing the fest: Jack Chick.

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MP3: Lands & Peoples – Awake

There’s little sense in me trying to sum up the sound of Lands & Peoples, other than to say that whenever they try their hand at something, the results are pretty fantastic. They can veer from Grizzly Bear-esque chamber pop with “Ukulele” and then shift gears to pulsing electronics and lush harmonies on “Awake,” all the while managing to sound like no other band out there.

We talked with the trio’s frontman, Caleb Moore, a lapsed blogger for this very site, about their possible upcoming LP, their ever-changing sound, and the wonderful ligature that is the ampersand.

AS: I read on your Tumblr that you were in the studio back in December, and that the result was either going to be an EP or LP. What did you decide?

CM: We are shooting for a full length LP, which will (we hope) be released by an “actual label,” and eventually (sexual favors) make it to vinyl. Also want to mention that in addition to the full length– we’re doing a 7″ split w/ our friends THIN HYMNS. They make amazing, beautiful music and they’re from Chicago.

AS: What’s it going to be called?

CM: We have to have a band seance before any big decisions such as that are made. No freaking clue!

AS: I’ve found it’s really impossible to pin you guys down to any one genre or aesthetic. How do you keep evolving your sound?

CM: We just can’t fucking help it– it’s good and bad for us. On one hand, we all have an immense appreciation for music that stays pretty tight in one aesthetic. I think that’s one way to really make an album an album. Wavves, Beirut, Nite Jewel, Washed Out, Beach House– they’re all different from one another, but have a VERY consistent sound on each album.

But also, we think diversity within a record/live performance can be really important and have a palate-cleansing type effect. So, for now it’s happening because we can’t control it, but one day maybe we will have a very specific sound? Seems hard to imagine for me.

AS: Maybe I didn’t poke around the right corners of the internet, but I didn’t see too many interviews with you guys. What’s your backstory? What inspires you guys, musically or otherwise?

CM: That’s a big question. Back story is that i made the L&P myspace to post some weirdo audio experiments that I’d been making w/ my computer, loop pedals, and stuff. Then i started writing songs– Amanda and I played for the first time in my old apartment in Charles Village above Donna’s. She sang harmonies on “Isabella” with me at a tender lil house show that I curated w/ buds of mine.

Beau was there that day too, visiting from NYC and playing a couple of his songs. Amanda and I kept playing, and I finally convinced Beau to move down here from NYC. Mostly because NYC sucks hard– errrr it can be a challenging place to live for anyone that’s not rich as fuck .. err.. Baltimore is cheaper.. shit. I don’t know. Point is, it worked out very well for him. We’ve all 3 been playing together since he moved down about a year ago, and we’re now toying with adding a bass player!! Whooohoooo!

AS: Your first EP was called &, and you make a point of punctuating your band name with an ampersand. Do you have a particular fondness for the ampersand? Why?

CM: Yes, I have a ‘&’ tattoo on my chest, the only one so far. They are just oh-so-pretty to me. Such a satisfying line to follow, and to draw. I got it w/ my friend Kate in order to seal our bond as super-friends forever, under the eyes of God, and the hairy tattoo artist that applied da ink.

AS: Who are you looking forward to seeing?

CM: EVERYONE. But, specifically I’m super pumped to see Height w/ Friends for the first time, whom my friend Mickey raps with. Also, True Womanhood and Dustin Wong both put on really great, interesting shows, and are nice dudez. The other people I’m actually very inexperienced with– so that will be fun to see a bunch of new Bmore music for the 1st time.


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01. MP3: Jack Chick – Why Don’t You Do Right
02. MP3: Jack Chick – Untitled

Jack Chick are a project that has been simmering and gestating for some time now. And I would’ve been none the wiser if not for my conversations with Jack Moore, El Suprimo head honcho and member of Mopar Mountain Daredevils (whose release in 2009 I highly recommend). While Mopar Mountain are on hold, Moore (keys) is joined by fellow Daredevil Derrick Hans (drums), and boyfriend-girlfriend duo Chrissy Howland from the Degenerettes (vocals, bass, keys) and studio whiz Rob Girardi (guitar).

With such a strong pedigree, it’s no surprise that their darkly swirling, experimental vision of psych is gripping. Their ever-evolving sound is remarkably atmospheric for being so weighty (check out some of their raw practice demos above). I can’t wait to see what surprises they have in store for their debut live performance at the fest.

Preview: Aural States Fest II @ Sonar Club Stage/the Talking Head (2010.01.30)

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  1. MP3: Pontiak – Suzerain from Sea Voids (2009)
  2. MP3: Vincent Black Shadow – Flash Roll from More Deeper (2008)
  3. MP3: Leprechaun Catering – Night In Amnesia from Kumquats, Lychees (2004)
  4. MP3: Caleb Stine – Two Mantras (Small Sur cover) from Baltimore Does Baltimore (2009)
  5. MP3: Benjy Ferree – Dog Killers! from Leaving the Nest (2006)
  6. MP3: Sick Sick Birds – Buildings from Heavy Manners (2009)
  7. MP3: Noble Lake – Ladies and Gentlemen from Heyday (2008)
  8. MP3: Height With Friends – Swiss Chard from Swiss Chard Vol. 1 (2009)
  9. MP3: Thrushes – Crystals from the forthcoming LP Night Falls (2010)
  10. MP3: True Womanhood – Magic Child from the Magic Child Single (2009)
  11. MP3: Lands & Peoples – Bad Habits

web Aural States Fest 2 new

Teaser image to the right, proper flyer art coming from Nolen Strals of Post Typography/Double Dagger fame.


Aural States announces line-up, details for Aural States Fest II

December 11 2009 – Baltimore, MD – Baltimore-based music website Aural States (auralstates.com) is proud to announce Aural States Fest II, our second anniversary blow-out at Sonar Club Stage & the Talking Head on Saturday January 30th in Baltimore, MD. This will likely be the final year for Aural States to be based in Baltimore, and hence, the final Aural States Fest.

The line-up for this year includes a wide variety of acts from Baltimore and DC, crossing generational and genre boundaries:

Pontiak (www.myspace.com/pontiak)

Leprechaun Catering (www.myspace.com/leprechauncatering)

Vincent Black Shadow (www.myspace.com/vbskicksoutthejams)

Sick Weapons (www.myspace.com/sickweapons)

Office of Future Plans (J Robbins of Jawbox | www.myspace.com/officeoffutureplans)

Caleb Stine (www.myspace.com/calebstine)

Benjy Ferree (www.myspace.com/benjyferree)

Sick Sick Birds (www.myspace.com/sicksickbirds)

Noble Lake (www.myspace.com/noblelake)

Dustin Wong (www.myspace.com/dustinclarence)

Height With Friends (www.myspace.com/height)

Thrushes (www.myspace.com/thrushes)

True Womanhood (www.myspace.com/truewomanhood)

Lands & Peoples (www.myspace.com/landsandpeoples)

Ami Dang (www.myspace.com/amritakd)

Liveshitbingepurge (Newagehillbilly, Decapitated Hed, and Pawly Walnutz | mt6records.com)

NARC (www.myspace.com/iamthenarc)

Stay tuned for additional line-up announcements in the coming weeks.

Like last year, early arrivals with ticket stubs will be rewarded with a limited-supply of generous grab-bags filled with CDs and merchandise from (mostly) local artists and businesses, including Atomic Books, Video Americain, Baltimore Jazz Alliance, Thrill Jockey, Natty Paint, and many more.

This year we are proud to team up with our younger regional cousin Bmore Musically Informed (bmoremusic.net) to present our festival as Night 2 of the “Blogtimore PWNS” weekend. Night 1 takes place Friday January 29th, when a combination of Aural States Fest alums (Arbouretum, Wye Oak, Sri Aurobindo) and fresh local talent (Weekends, the Violet Hour) will play the last show ever at the G-Spot.

Tickets for Night 1 are $10ADV/$12DOS and available through missiontix.com. Tickets for Night 2 are $15 and available through sonarbaltimore.com. A limited supply of 50 double-header tickets are available for a discounted rate of $20 through (sonarbaltimore.com and missiontix), and will guarantee access to both nights.

An Hour of Kindness: Episode 1 – Lands & Peoples

I’ve already extolled the virtues of Lands & Peoples’ recent, self-titled EP. Seems Miguel is on board too, as they round out the three bands featured in this month’s episode of An Hour of Kindness.

An Hour of Kindness- Episode 1- Lands and Peoples- Tumbling from Polygon Tree Productions on Vimeo.

An Hour of Kindness- Episode 1- Lands and Peoples- Heart of Gold from Polygon Tree Productions on Vimeo.

An Hour of Kindness- Episode 1- Lands and Peoples- Seaside from Polygon Tree Productions on Vimeo.

An Hour of Kindness- Episode 1- Lands and Peoples- White Words from Polygon Tree Productions on Vimeo.

Lands & Peoples – Tour Diary #2 – Chicago-bound

We’re driving on some backwoods highway through bum-fuck Indiana, damning our GPS’s guidance in return for a shorter, more scenic route, and we’ve been in so many Starbucks our sweat has taken on that caffinated, corporate-America aroma, but we washed that off in the lake we (no joke) bathed in yesterday, which was our first bathe-sesh on the tour. We’ve got 4 more shows before we make our way back to Baltimore for our last show. So far it’s been: A trailer deep in the Pennsylvania mountains, a cafe’ in Columbus, OH with a huge moon…like, extra-big, and a basement in Bloomington, IN. We’ve had to compete with the Deer-Dan-Age Round Robin show, twice already (damn those enticing Deacon people tunnels…it’s where all the kids wanna be) If they come ANYWHERE near you, you should definitely go see it, if only to get wasted and thrash around to No Age (so fun!!!).

We’re on our way to Chicago to play at the Ottoman Empire (2820 W. Lyndale St) and Unique Chique is gonna come out and play too!! Woohoo!!

Tonight is our last show with Secret Mountains and European Swans, which is pretty sad. We’ve had a fuggin’ amazing time. After tonight they are headed to Michigan for a couple of shows, Akron, OH, and Pittsburgh. These guys are the reason we’re on tour to begin with so, if you’ll be in these areas, check out they’re myspace for the specifics on these shows (myspace.com/secretmountains).

Alright, soldiering on down this curvy country road of cornstalks and abandoned barns, blanketed with little to no phone reception…CHICAGO HERE WE COME! We can’t wait to have your historic wind in our hair.


Lands & Peoples – Tour Diary #1 – Car Towed Already, Still in Baltimore

One of our long-hiatused A.S. writers, Caleb Moore, has embarked on his first tour with musical project Lands & Peoples.  He’ll be intermittently tour blogging until he comes back for the hometown show opening for Kurt Vile @ the Talking Head on Aug. 11.

lands and peoples

Hello my brothers and sisters. Today we embark on our first tour ever. A mixture of fringed nerves, excitement and blind jubilation. Right now I’m putting together a play list for the car-ride while I burn more copies of our EP to sell on the road. Last night Beau and Grace stayed up and helped sew the rest of our album sleeves together. They look so pro! We’re selling them for $5-7 on tour, still to be decided.

Ok, so musics thus far include:

  • Atlas Sound’s Micromix’s #20, #21
  • A Jen’s Lekman mixtape called “The Summer Never Ends” that I just found on Tumblr
  • Some new (to me), lo-fi electro pop projects: Neon Indian, Memory Cassette/Weird Tapes (same guy), and of course a vinyl rip of Nite Jewel (so good, don’t be a dummy)
  • Wye Oak’s The Knot, still haven’t given it a good listen, but I love those kids
  • Yacht – “Psychic City” — try to listen to that song only once, JUST TRY IT
  • A good mix of newschool fuzzy, garage rock n rolllss — Wavves, Flight, and the like
  • The triumvirate of mellowbliss: Grizzly Bear, Beach House, Deerhunter (I try to keep their music on my person at all times)

We will be sharing the wild open road with our new good friends the Secret Mountains and European Swans. Check them out, spread the love like butter on burnt toast. Tonight we make our first stop in Boiling Springs, PA at a house venue where we will be playing their backyard methinks. Will keep you kids updated when we can, trading off entries.

Much love, Caleb.