Plush Gordon: Internet Box #1

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We’ve been working on this project for a while now. By “we,” I mean Plush Gordon. We’re calling the project an internet box because it sounds cooler than “web page with a bunch of free files you can download.” But that’s essentially what it is. And the files, if we may say so in all humility, are pretty cool.

First, there’s the music — a four-track EP titled Slow Drive Through a Strange World and handful of bonus tracks. My favorite track on the EP is called “Madrid.” It’s not about the Spanish city. It’s about a town in New Mexico. More or less.

And if you want to sing along, we’ve included illustrated lyrics. Fun fact: For some of the songs, there are more verses on the lyric sheet than in the recorded version. We can’t explain this fact. Things just worked out that way.

As if illustrated lyrics weren’t enough, we also provide some literature! Specifically, we’ve include a manifesto that spells out our artistic principles, a piece of autofiction that comes reasonably close to explaining how we recorded the EP, and a short story titled “Madrid,” which inspired the song of the same name.

Next, we have a video for the third song on the EP, “Red Door,” which blends animation and vintage stock footage to tell the story of a motorist who is struggling to find his way in the world as he slowly loses of his faculties.

And there’s the short film we shot. It’s called Milk Fudge. We filmed it over the course of five days as part of a competition, which we were fortunate enough to have won. Listen for the first song on the EP, “Silver Nissan,” playing in the background.

Finally, we have some art and the credits for the EP. We feel especially fortunate to have so many people working on the project — ten musicians and fourteen members of our studio team, all of whom make up what we lovingly think of as the Plush Gordon continuum.

It’s all free to download. You can pick and choose what you like. And we won’t even be offended if you don’t like any of it. We admit that we’re kind of an acquired taste. But if you do enjoy it — or you know someone who might enjoy it — please feel free to share the music and/or the following link with your friends: https://www.hungryhourmusic.com/slow-drive

Thanks for checking it out!

Field Report

Cover1Longtime readers of my blog may recall that I started recording electronic music with Android Invasion back in 2012. Recently, several events transpired that led me to return to that on-again-off-again project.

For one thing, I read a lot of books about filmmakers over the summer, and I started thinking about how I wanted to record music that had a cinematic feeling to it. In particular, reading about Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey led me to watch the film again, and some of the music on the soundtrack had a haunting feel that I liked. I also wanted to something esoteric in the vein of one of my longtime favorite directors, David Lynch.

Coincidentally, about midway through summer, I saw that a friend of mine from high school named Kevin Quinn was on Facebook, so I friended him and found out that he’s an amazing visual artist  now. His works focus largely on architecture, playing with color, light, and repetition in a style that’s reminiscent of Andy Warhol.  I thought his work was really cool and original, and it made me think about how much I like doing cool and original stuff with music.

I love writing and recording more traditional three-minute rock and pop songs, but I also want to do something that pushes boundaries a bit and is a little more “far out.” That’s why I decided to revive Android Invasion.

The music on the album is ambient — definitely in line with the kind of music Brian Eno pioneered on his Music for Airports album and others like it. It’s also fairly minimalist and hypnotic. You can certainly listen to it closely and pay attention to subtle shifts in tone and timbre, but it’s also extremely repetitive, so you can put it on in the background and not think about it at all. It’s great for meditation, for relaxing, and for lulling yourself to sleep. In fact, for some of the songs, my goal was to make it sound like you’re listening to a dream.

I also recommend Field Report to all of my friends who are teachers. You can listen to the tracks while you’re grading. They won’t distract you, and they might help to keep your blood pressure down!

In any case, I hope you enjoy it!

 

The Shoot (Part Three)

The dog keeps barking — or yipping, or maybe just squeaking at top volume —  as Miranda says she thought I’d just come in the back door like everyone else does. The dog’s name is Mocha, and my guess is that he weighs about five pounds. Mike, it turns out, is in the shower, and there’s an array of costumery laid out in their upstairs hallway.

By now, I’m consciously running all of my “normal human behavior” scripts in an effort to seem like I have my act together and don’t mind for a second that this isn’t the day I had planned. I say things like “Thanks for having me over!” and “Gee, I haven’t been here in a while!” Then I squat to pet the dog and say, “Aren’t you a cute dog!” And then I go out on a limb: “Do you mind if I use your bathroom?”

For a brief moment I wonder if I should have said “restroom” instead of “bathroom,” but the issue is mooted when Miranda yells, “Mike! Marc has to pee!”

And Mike yells “God, Miranda!” as my brain lurches toward imminent meltdown at the prospect of being ushered into the bathroom where Mike is showering.

“There is another bathroom, right?” I ask.

“You don’t want to use that one,” Miranda says. “It’s a mess.”

“Not a problem.”

“It’s okay,” Miranda says, banging on the bathroom door. “Hurry up in there! Marc has to pee!”

By now I’m halfway down the stairs in search of the other bathroom, which turns out to be fine, largely due to the fact that nobody is showering in it.

When I return, Miranda has an outfit of Mike’s clothes laid out for me and is talking about makeup. She wants to glam me up, she says. Silver lipstick, blue eye shadow.

“I, um,” I say. “You know, maybe just the…”

I point to a black blazer with red stripes.

Perhaps sensing my trepidation, Miranda relents on the issue of the makeup but insists that I wear a skinny red-and-black bow-tie.

“But I’m not wearing a collar,” I say. “Won’t that look funny?”

“No,” Miranda says as if to tell me to get over it. “It’ll look punk. Very eighties.”

At this point, Mike is still in the shower, so Miranda suggests that we go out and shoot some footage in a nearby cemetery.

Because, you know, why not?

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Me in Mike’s jacket and tie, posing with a self-portrait of Mike and a cityscape by Miranda.