Welcome to “ONE TRACK MINDS” with Erika Rae Owen from Band Bombshell and Chris Knauf, Board member of the Des Moines Music Coalition. Each week, Erika and Chris take turns selecting a song of their choice, listen to it together for the first time, and document their reactions, thoughts and witty banter via instant messenger.
This week, Chris chose “Soft Machine” from Wolves in the Attic.
Listen along while you read their commentary:
Chris: OK…before we begin…A HUGE congratulations and bittersweet wave goodbye to you.
Erika: Thank you I’m still not excited about moving. I love Des
Moines too much.
Chris: As you leave DSM for the corporate offices of Fast Company in NYC, may you come back often, live there fully, and hopefully Meredith will buy the magazine out sometime and move you back here.
Erika: Haha! That would be an ideal situation. Thank you. But I’ll still
be around in spirit! You aren’t getting rid of me that easy.
Chris: There are a lot of bands right now with ferocious wildness
animals in their name.
Erika: This song kind of reminds me of Weezer in the beginning with that guitar riff. And ferocious. I like that descriptor.
Chris: I should know more about this band than I do, but everything I heard definitely has an early Weezer era feel.
Erika: They’re a cool band! A bunch of cool dudes (mostly with beards) groovin’.
Chris: Seen them live?
Erika: Yup! A few times.
Chris: Did you swoon?
Erika: A little bit.
Chris: Beards seem to be the big thing right now. I’m waiting for peach fuzz to come back en vogue. I’ll totally clean up when that happens.
Erika: Weird you should mention that…I’ve been seeing a lot of peach fuzz lately!
Chris: There’s hope.
Erika: It’s that scruffy thang. Girls must dig it or something.
It just hurts my face. Scruffy peach fuzz rock. That’s what genre this is.
Chris: I like the heavy guitars…but I kind of would like to hear more vocals.
Erika: The vocals have an ’80s feel, kind of. Or am I totally off base?
Chris: The opening lines…maybe a little Pixies in there?
Erika: Yes! That’s a good call.
Chris: I would be the worst ever at songwriting.
Erika: Me, too. All of my songs would rhyme.
Chris: I can barely write this column, much less a song, so I credit any wolf…or pack of wolves…who are up to the task.
Erika: We should make a band and only perform haikus. But each of our songs have to be at least three minutes long.
Chris: Would we just be repeating it over and over? Or just incorporate a lot of drum solos?
Chris: I’ll say something about this song no post-punk band wants to hear from a white 30-something Dad – I’m tapping my feet right now.
Erika: I bet they’d welcome the gesture!
Chris: I think the more I play it the more I like…but I keep wanting to hear more lyrics.
Erika: Yeah–their other songs are a little more lyric heavy.
Chris: Maybe the beard is just muzzling the vocals in this song?
Erika: That’s got to be it.
Erika: The beginning reminds me of that song Helicopter by Bloc Party.
Chris: YES!!! Nailed it.That’s exactly it. They were in Omaha last night. I didn’t go and I hate myself for it.
Erika: Really?! Why not?
Chris: Heavy restrictions on 5 year olds in bars.
Erika: Ohhhh. Yeah, that’s a thing.
Chris: We listened to the Nutcracker Suite on vinyl instead. Apparently Christmas isn’t just some seasonal holiday with my daughter. And apparently I now know how to pliet.
Erika: Did she show you how? She’s a ballerina.
Chris: She is. Recital on Saturday. At Urbandale High School. (Shameless plug)
Erika: Exciting! Good luck to her!
Chris: So…scale of 1-5 wolf packs…how many?
Erika: 4.7. I love this song.
Chris: I give it a solid 4.2. A non-committal…solid…decimal pointed 4.2
Erika: Haha. Solid.
Chris: Its definitely different than what we’ve heard before and maybe the best blend of purity and production. If that makes any sense.
Erika: I’d agree with that. We’ve either had some strong jam band-y stuff or soft indie coffee house rock. This is both.
Chris: Do you know when they play next?
Erika: I don’t… They just had a show at The Mews with The Locals last week.
Chris: I’ll look it up and slyly mix the details into this chat string as if we knew the specifics. (According to the band’s website…nothing booked in the coming months.)
Erika: Sounds good! I just checked Facebook and they don’t have anything recent listed.
Chris: If its not on Facebook does it even exist in real life?
Erika: Nope. Everything is on Facebook.
Chris: I wish the answer to that was yes
Erika: Haha…you knew it wouldn’t be.