The office received a really important letter today. (see above)
Every so often something like a message of profound inspiration comes into these ears and it’s a great reminder of what’s completely positive and out of control in our world. Letters are the best, and most of the time when Off Tempo gets a message, it’s an order for something we’ve published. Usually there isn’t a personality attached or any indication of why someone ordered works that Off Tempo has released. There’s nothing wrong with that, and no one is obliged to attach love letters to everything. (but it is greatly appreciated)
This one was particularly heartwarming with the final line, “You make me want to do more with my label! Have a rad day!”
Please, Ryan Birkner, do more with your label, and anything your heart desires.
Off Tempo has been a thing since 2007, and there is no way to truly know how it’s influenced others, but these are great little reminders of how all of the music documenting, publishing, and digital ephemera that we produce can be a positive force in the world.
We’ve been on a break. It’s been a long one, but there has been a different undisclosed project taken on since November. However, this whole documentation project hasn’t stopped. There’s been planning, development, and still, recording happening in the meantime. The planning is about how to best present the troves of live recordings to the world, still for free. There really is a lot of it, and a some weird stuff from 2007/08 that still hasn’t come out yet. Like, the Adrian Orange recording from the Tri-Cities in September 2007, sometime before Adrian started performing his AOK material, during the Adrian Orange & Her Band era. There is so much stuff. Most of it is audio.
Anyway, rest assure that things are still happening but it’s been in a long planning process, specifically a with new website that will serve as a concise archive, and hopefully a good resource for bands that people mostly forgot about, shows that were low in attendance and magical, and hearing people unknowingly speak into a microphone. Pure gold.
The plan is to have things finished in the fall. Off Tempo will also be resuming publishing works in some capacity but further details are to be revealed in due time. Ordering records and other wares from us will help these future works. (hint hint obviously plug plug)
Erin Birgy lives in Seattle, Washington and performs as lead guitarist and singer in Mega Bog. Last summer She Shreds sat down in a restroom with Birgy after a Portland show (the acoustics were better) to talk about guitar heroes, music origins, and moms and grandmas.
SS: Are there any guitarist you admired when you first started learning guitar? Someone you looked up to?
EB: I was so into Nirvana. I was just so deeply into Nirvana. I just wanted to be Kurt Cobain. I feel like I still want to be Kurt Cobain.
San Diego/Iceland native Just Another Snake Cult’s Thor Bogason is a musical genius. Having spent the past summer at home in San Diego, Bogason decided to create a set of six songs using an old Ensoniq SQ80 keyboard that had been stowed away in his parent’s garage. It’s really no surprise…
The results from Pitchfork People’s List were published today, and 88% of voters were male. (12% were female, there wasn’t an “other” option, fwiw.) Since I Am The Twelve Percent and I spend a lot of my time talking about and thinking about and writing about music, I wanted to ask a couple…
PROLOGUE—An experience with an Unconsciously Cool kid
You board the bright yellow bus, which is commissioned to take you to school. Your disposition is neutral as you’re simply waiting for the school day to wash over you as usual. The seats of the bus are filled with many kids just like you, and you’re desperately searching for an open seat. Alas, near the rear of the bus there is an open seat next to a kid wearing:
There’s a lot of bands/songs/etc that I’ve featured on mixes the past several months that I personally feel probably deserve a bit more attention than that, so I’m gonna be trying to play catch-up a little bit for the next week and push a few of my favorite new things right into your personal space.
One such thing would be the new record from Seattle’s Neighbors. ‘John In Babeland’—their second release (to my knowledge)—is a massively good record, and probably my favorite of the year so far. The twelve songs feel equal parts Velvet Underground (“Sepetember”), Guided By Voices (That outro on “Firework”), and everything else in-between, really. I’ve found a lot to love here and I keep sinking a little deeper into it every time. The melodic creativity and cleverly relatable lyrics on ‘John In Babeland’ create an entire record that has more memorable quirks and crannies than an english muffin. So yeah, listen to it.