Monday, December 13, 2010

Crocodiles (SCQ's Year-End Questionnaire Part V)

After a hype-heavy 2009, Crocodiles (Brandon Welchez and Charles Rowell) fought forward with the beautifully layered Sleep Forever and proved they could endure all of the blogger-backlash. At the close of another busy year, Welchez and Rowell still sound invigorated, listing off their favourite LPs of 2010 and looking forward to whatever comes next.

SCQ: Every list-lover's favourite question: what are your top albums of 2010? Feel free to include any older yet worthy records you discovered this year.

BW: I buy records with a near religious fervor, denying myself food and oftentimes finding myself behind in my bills. At the moment, all of my records are packed up in storage while I gradually move to San Francisco. To properly answer this question, I'd really need to flip through them to remember what all I got this year. Just off the top of my head (which I guess means they are most memorable to me) here is a list, in no order, of some of my favorite records this year:

Procedure Club - "Doomed Forever" LP
Dum Dum Girls - "I Will Be" LP
No Age - "Everything Inbetween" LP
Deerhunter - "Halcyon Digest" LP
Morrissey - "Bona Drag" (reissue) LP
Veronica Falls - "Beachy Head" 7"
Heavy Hawaii - "HH" EP
Tamaryn - "The Waves" LP
V/A - " Dancehall 2: The Rise Of Jamaican Dancehall Culture" LP
Neu! - Neu! 86 - LP
That's all I can think of for now...

CR: Heavy Hawaii - HH, Dum Dum Girls - I Will Be, Flight - Lead Riders, Woven Bones - Inbetween And Out, & Paul Weller - Wake Up The Nation

SCQ: What were you listening to a lot of while recording the impressive Sleep Forever?

BW: Tons of Monks, Scientist, Prince Jammy, Stereolab, ? And the Mysterians, Sex Pistols. We brought a portable turntable to the studio and a box of LPs. Those are the ones I remember listening to.

CR: Harmonia, Gary Lewis & the Playboys, King Tubby, The Seeds, Suicide.

SCQ: Be cocky for once in your life: what was the finest thing you did all year? That moment where you actually thought "shit, I nailed that..."?

BW: We played more high pressure shows this year than we ever have in our lives. We are in a weird mid-period as a band where we are still making new fans who have high expectations of us as a live band. We have also been around long enough to have made our nay-sayers even louder in their distaste for us and they continue to root for our failure. That being said, Primavera Festival in Spain was an opprotunity to play for both crowds and an even bigger amount of people who probably had no idea who we were. I was really nervous before we played, which is unusual for me. I got a grip though and I think we did a really good job for such a high pressure show. We were able to have fun and relax onstage and I thought we pulled off a good show.

CR: I really like the guitar solo on Hollow Hollow Eyes. I was blind drunk when I did it. I feel like they had to prop me up against the amp to record it.

SCQ: Effect and Cause: Before heading out for the weekend, I ensure my iPod is stacked with potential first-listens for the eventual bus-ride home. Nevertheless, every drunken journey throughout the month of October found me selecting 'Mirrors' and letting the whole disc flow from there. Okay, your turn: confess a true tale that inspired one of the songs on Sleep Forever.

BW: "Hollow Hollow Eyes" was written after visiting an out of town friend who had turned into a heroin addict since the last time I had seen him. We've seen friends go down that path before and it never ends happily, unfortunately.

CR: The song Billy Speed is a memorial to our best friend who passed away and originally the song was created on top of a Rufus Thomas (of Walking The Dog fame) sample, hip-hop style.

SCQ: If all the reasonable and implausible ideas in your head came to fruition in 2011, what would they be?

BW: We want to make a much better 3rd album than anything we've done before - we want to surprise ourselves. And hopefully see some places we haven't seen before - I'm looking at you, Japan and Latin America.

CR: Another album to be proud of.

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