Anton Franc EP

Anton Franc EP

What do you want?

An assorted party of people ask me some variation of this question. And honestly, I don’t know. What do I want?

It isn’t just my reflexive cop-out response to questions I don’t know the answer to–here, the ‘I don’t know’ is geniune. It’s a mixture of nightmares and dreams and doubts and cocksuredness. It has an implication of something, some thing. I’m not one who has a particular need for things so my what is something greater than an inanimate object. I would love for there to be more wealth for the 99% and less hoarding by the 1%. I would love to be able to tell a crush I like them. Moreover, that I could hope that the one I like, likes me, too. And that I find a job, which I enjoy and don’t feel like I’m wasting precious moments of life away on. But I’m not sure those are complete answers to the question. What do you want?

And with or without an answer, life beats on like waves against the shoreline. The waves will come closer and they will retreat to be closer to the abyss. They will always be there in some form, regardless of time or your presence. I think that’s what we want in love. I’ve always thought of love as a reciprocated expression of feelings–but as the last song on this EP played on, it got me to thinking (at about the time those very lyrics come through) about how life is defined in some sense by the very isolation of love. It’s a testament to life to have love beat on despite that isolation, temporary or eternal. If it is love, it will always be there like the tidal waves.

You can be like me and move to the mountains and pretend that the tides don’t affect you. But at some level, you know that running away from your failures doesn’t answer any questions. You want to believe that everything will work out–that’s what you’re taught. If you work hard, that you do everything right…it’s supposed to work out. For every ten thousand boys, one will become the soccer player. The rest in young age will realize that not all dreams come true, will start settling, will start letting go of their dreams. The struggle is finding the things we want, that we will cling to. I suspect those things are the answer to the overarching question of what do you want? If only, it were so easy. Being a kid allows for uncompromising ideals. Growing up in some ways is providing the order to which your principles are to be compromised (here’s where I think I’m a bit of an outsider, I refuse to yield to something I don’t want, which is one of my favorite things about myself; because of my stubbornness I really won’t cave to any pressure or settle for something less if I think it’s important; there’s good and bad times for this to manifest). If something troubles me, I just sort of internalize and try to move on.

But sometimes you just want to let it all out. And sometimes, when I’m alone, I contemplate it. I guess I should explain what has unleashed this wandering walkabout of my mind.

I’ve been listening Anton Franc’s self-titled debut EP. Anton Franc is the Australian duo of Jamie Kuzich and Josh Bowyers. The EP starts with Oh Darling, a Beatlesque first song. It’s a little whimsical, glossing over what I think is the loss of a relationship with a little twist at the end. The EP transitions to Letting Go, which was the first song I heard by Anton Franc and a song I was obsessing over for awhile. Fittingly, as the song that hooked me, it was born out of a failed fishing adventure. The earnestness and simple honesty float over an arrangement that I would describe as dream folk, resulting in a stunning track. The middle track of the EP is Jessy. If I knew classic rock better, I would compare it to an Iggy Pop or Lou Reed sounding song (I think, if I knew rock better). Then comes Lady of the Night. It’s simple, yet there’s a dystopic element about it; something that is charming and disturbing at the same time. Finally, my personal favorite Memo closes out the EP. It sends chills down my spine every time I listen. I’ll forgive Anton Franc for hitting a little too close to home with this track because it is amazing. Take the 4:33 to listen, and see if you put up it there with Holocene, Glowing Mouth, I Don’t Want Love, and Civilian as one of the best of the year like I do. Simply, Memo might be the defining song of 2011 for me.

For much of this post, I’ve wrote in a sort of parallel mode, about the interplay of the music and my thoughts instead of simply the music. It is the highest compliment I can pay to any song or record that it forms an association with my life beyond simply liking the music. Rick and Ilsa will always have Paris. I will always have this moment soundtracked by this EP. Through all the heartbreak, failure, and isolation, I wouldn’t trade this moment. I don’t know if anyone outside of Josh, Jamie, and their loved ones will assign such value to their debut, but I can’t help feel it came here at the right time. I recommend it and hold it in the highest regard.

The Anton Franc EP will be released November 7th. You will be able to purchase it at iTunes and Bandcamp among other places. You can enjoy Letting Go and Memo below. You can and should visit their websites ( / and like them on Facebook.

Going back to that initial question one last time: What do you want? The question remains unanswered except in one regard…

To everyone I’ve ever loved, I hope you’re dancing to the beats

Anton Franc by Anton Franc


Happy Monday and Happy Halloween!

Last week, I asked my friends for album suggestions. Someone introduced me to the London based trio Is Tropical, who happen to perform with their faces veiled. One of their killer tracks, entitled Zombies, seems so very fitting for today. The lo-fi dance stylings of this track will surely enhance your Halloween festivities.

Until next Monday… dance dance dance!!! (to Is Tropical).

Catchya later tricks!


11 – Zombies by roberval

Wayne Shorter – Witch Hunt

In honor of the upcoming holiday this Monday, I thought I’d highlight something a little peculiar (spooky?). Besides its titular connection to the ubiquitous late October character, “Witch Hunt” has some interestingly eerie musical elements. I know compared some of the other music I’ve written about here, Wayne Shorter’s “Witch Hunt” is fairly “regular” post-bop. It has a straight-ahead arrangement, features traditional jazz timbres, and isn’t overtly dissonant. In 2011, this is not too experimental. However, in 1964, when Wayne Shorter’s quintet recorded Speak No Evil – the album that opens with “Witch Hunt,” – they were known primarily for playing Coltrane-esque modal jazz. Speak No Evil was actually a major stylistic departure for the group; it marks a move towards harmonic hard bop, with more expressive, simpler playing.

Furthermore, while most Western harmony (jazz or otherwise) is based on stacked thirds, “Witch Hunt” emphasizes the traditionally dissonant interval of the fourth in its melody and harmony. The fourths give the melody and Shorter’s solo unexpected angular and otherworldly qualities. Herbie Hancock’s comping expresses the darker qualities of these complex harmonic structures as well. Underneath all that, Elvin Jones and Ron Carter provide a dynamic canvas for the other musicians. And Freddie Hubbard’s solid trumpet lines cannot be ignored.

To get the complete effect, turn your headphones up and your lights down. Enjoy Wayne Shorter’s “Witch Hunt.”

Wayne Shorter – Witch Hunt

Fruit Bats – You’re Too Weird

Fruit Bats

What do you get when you mix the Bee Gees with Flight of the Conchords? Fruit Bats, apparently. Not the Halloweeny kind, but the band from Chicago. With super high-pitched vocals and acoustic guitars, the Fruit Bats really know how to write the catchy throwback-style songs Bret and Jemaine might’ve written while sitting on their twin beds, staring awkwardly into each other’s eyes, channeling the Gibbs brothers. And I mean that as a compliment.

Fruit Bats can also get a little rockin’, and a little folky–a good combination, if you ask me. But my first impression of the band, the song “You’re Too Weird,” was more spot-on than I realized. If you want to take this song seriously, you should maybe just listen to the audio first. Then watch the music video. Brilliant. Because no guy that sings as high as Eric D. Johnson (also of The Shins) should take themselves too seriously, and Johnson most definitely does not.