Tuesday, December 14, 2010
The Space Between Things (SCQ's Year-End Questionnaire Part IV)
Even if the carcass of Myspace was pecked clean this year, I’m grateful to the once-dominant social media construct for introducing SCQ to Chris Hobson of The Space Between Things. Quite the insightful chap, Hobson admits his recent self-titled album may have opened the floodgates to a more prolific 2011. Also, his answer to SCQ’s third question is pretty damn tough to beat.
SCQ: Every list-lover's favorite question: what are your top albums of 2010? Feel free to include any older yet worthy records you discovered this year.
CH: I’m always late discovering things, someone mentioned Richard Buckner in a tweet or blog and I got pretty hooked on Impasse his melodies are guttural and it’s got these incredible layers in there. Mo Tucker and Sun City Girls did a thing together called Paris 1942 which is raw as hell from like the 80s. My buddy Pete from Hits & Misses turned me onto The Replacements bootlegs. But more recently I would say: Grant Hart - Hot Wax (all things Grant Hart did are amazing) Tobin Sprout’s new LP is heartfelt, and I always have various Robert Pollard projects on rotation. There’s so much new music out there I haven’t even scratched the surface and there’s just not enough time. It’s kind of paralyzing actually.
SCQ: What were you listening to a lot of while recording your excellent [self-titled]?
CH: I really appreciate sixties production techniques panning, double tracking, Elliott Smith double tracked most of his vocals and guitar I borrow a lot from that, Phil Spector’s percussion gives me a ton of ideas it was so clear and upfront, also the distortion and noise of My Bloody Valentine, Bevis Frond, Guided By Voices and the Velvets I dig, but I can’t really crank my amps when I record because the girl next door gets totally pissed off. I end up recording a lot of things quietly either really late at night or really early in the morning. Rick White inspires me with his whispery voice especially the early Eric’s Trip tapes, plus his early Elevator albums they're all so raw.
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..."?
CH: I’m a first time gardener and had a small garden in my yard this past summer where I grew tomatoes and green peppers, the green peppers didn’t turn out so well but the tomatoes were amazing. Anyway my dad turned 60 this year and I threw a party in the yard with all his friends. When he arrived I’ll never forget, he walked over and picked a big ripe tomato off the vine and ate it like an apple. It made me proud as hell.
SCQ: Effect and Cause: Following a hectic two weeks away plus an eight hour drive, I arrived home at 9pm exhausted. Still, my plan to sample just the opening track before bed was thrown out once I'd heard 'Solitary Man'. Two full spins of your LP later, I finally found some rest. Okay, your turn: confess a true tale that inspired one of the songs on [self-titled].
CH: I met my girlfriend at work and right when I took the job, before we were actually dating, we had to travel for this project. She wanted to hike mountains and do all this stuff when we arrived and I didn’t really know her that well so it seemed like she was into team building exercises or something. So right before we left I told her I was solitary. I’m kind of a loner so it’s the truth, but she thought I was a total introvert freak or something and got worried because we had to spend several days together with clients and had to do all this work. Anyway we’re still together today and I’m still solitary so I guess she’s cool with it.
SCQ: If all the reasonable and implausible ideas in your head came to fruition in 2011, what would they be?
CH: I’d like to release a bunch of my friends' albums on my 84 Records label however everyone is so busy these days that it’s taking kind of forever but it'll happen. I’d like to put out more TSBT because so little of it actually gets heard. I’d also like to get a band together and do this live, I was in two other bands Glittering Prizes and Volcano in 09’ and never actually got around to my own music. I also need to be less hard on myself edit less and release more music, I’m a real song scrooge when it comes to releasing what I actually think is good enough for people’s ears. Short answer: expect more TSBT and friends in 2011.