Friday, August 5, 2011

Future: YALLapalooza

The past and present collide with the unknown August 12 for Columbia City Paper’s Future: YALLapalooza at Five Points Pub. (Formally known as The House.)  With Future: YALL artists Roomdance, Pan, Forces of a Street, and The Dirty Lowdown all sharing the stage, the event promises to breathe life into the post-modern concepts and sounds from this summer’s popular compilation album.  The first 70 to arrive for the show will receive a free special edition of the Future: YALL album featuring various collectible image inserts.  Additionally, The Dirty Lowdown will be donating all of their proceeds from the show to benefit the Hidden Wounds organization as part of their “TDL Cares” program.  In other words- come for the good cause, stay for the grand effect.


CCP: Roomdance has been described to me as “a dizzying array of ambient paranoia”.  Tracks like “Reticient Speaking” sound both inspired and wholly your own.  Who... or what are your influences?

RD: It’s hard to say exactly what influences me (not to sound lofty, only disorganized) ; I usually become obsessed with something and it makes its way into my music.  I get really into various music groups, artists - stuff like that becomes mixed with my own feelings/problems/experiences (what-ever they may be) and it comes out in the music.  I guess I’m just processing my human experience into music.

CCP: Your Future: YALL track is called “Walter Anderson”.  Is there any specific meaning behind this track title?

RD: Walter Anderson was an artist from New Orleans who moved to a part on Mississippi that I am deeply connected to.  He was active until his death the 1960’s.  He would sail out to islands off the coast of Mississippi and live in the woods to paint various animals.  It’s hard to explain what my obsession with him is, though it has to do with his pursuit of some sort of natural place in the order of things.  He did this through his art by processing the world through himself in order to understand it better.  I could go on for a while about Walter and my visceral connections to his world, but its nice to just let it be what it is - our Mississippian halcyon days.

CCP: Are you currently working on any new material?

RD: Yes always, I go crazy when I can’t play my keyboard.

CCP: After the shindig on August 12th, when can we expect to see you perform again?

RD: Well I’ve got prospects; October 7th perhaps, and also possible shows with no date yet, though that is in the works.  I try to play just enough; not too much because I wan’t to keep it mysterious.

CCP: Any advice to the Columbia music scene? 

We’re doing good; lets keep it up!  Though I will say that sometimes it feels like people have to become known elsewhere before they are accepted as a legitimate artist here in Columbia. With that said, this interview is evidence of that practice being disregarded;  people are starting like what’s going on here without being told it’s cool from some other outside sources; it’s encouraging!

You can currently find Roomdance on Facebook and later on this month via his page at the Post-Echo media label.


CCP: How would you characterize the music on your ambitious debut EP Post Rock is Not Dead?  What are your goals with this music?

P: Please listen to the album on headphones. it really is incredible. Somebody called us “Post Post Revival”. I like that term, whatever it means, but I think it’s fitting, because we are trying to do something that is different than the normal post-rock (and music in general) that you hear today. I honestly don’t know what we should be called, if anything it’s a genre that hasn’t been named yet, and we hope it catches on, like what Washed Out did when he essentially created chillwave. We want to uplift people, make them feel good about themselves, to show them that music can do that to you. All I can say is listen to Fang Island, before them we played metal, and we would not be nearly as good if we were playing metal.

CCP: Pan is an especially catchy and applicable band name.  Does it mean anything specifically?

P: Pan’s original inspiration was from Peter Pan and how “happy thoughts make you fly”. Over time we began to accept all things associated with the name. Pan also means “all”, and “bread” in Spanish, which might be the reason most of our Facebook fans are from Latin America.

CCP: Does Pan have plans to soon release any further material?  Where would you like to be this time next year?   

P: Yes, we plan to record a full-length album with our friends at Post-Echo (Justin Schmidt and Franklin Jones) that will be released before the year is out. I’m bold enough to say it could be out before the end of October. (cross your fingers)

CCP: Who are some of your strongest Post-Rock influences?

P: Fang Island, Explosions in the Sky and Piglet are the most comparable to us, and we love them very, very much. Fang Island is the primary influence, then we proceeded to find other bands in similar genres. Basically Fang Island changed our perception of listening to and creating music. If it wasn’t for them, as stated before, we would be playing metal. Other bands that influence us, and I’m not afraid to say it are Blink 182, Avett Brothers, Arcade Fire, Passion Pit, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Jerry Goldsmith, Tera Melos, and The Mountain Goats. Some post rock bands that I should mention as well are early Pelican and early This Will Destroy You.

CCP: Any advice to the Columbia music scene?

P: Put out a Facebook ad, and go see Tony Lee on Thursdays at Speak Easy, he is incredible. Also let’s get some better venues out there, looking forward to playing at the House august 12th. The stage looks awesome.

You can currently download Pan’s debut EP “Post Rock is Not Dead” at www.peterpan.bandcamp and later on this month via their page at the Post-Echo media label.


CCP: Where do you think music is going in the future?

FOAS: Music has already been so many places, it’s hard to imagine if there’s any place left for it to go. Now that music is available everywhere, I think the actual medium is going to have to change. To a certain extent it already has: people want things like vinyl and cassettes now along with mp3’s, and we’re seeing more box sets and art books, online music experiences, apps... people want more than recorded audio, and they’re experimenting with all types of ways to give their music more meaning. Music is becoming a lot more than just songs and bands, its almost like a glue that holds together all these different forms of art and types of products. I think that’s a good thing - we’re learning how to explore music with more than just our ears.

CCP: What does Forces of a Street mean, exactly?

FOAS: The term was originally from a piece of artwork from a long while back. The idea, both then and now, is that you get a lot of interesting energy when you combine people and machines. 100 years ago- cars speeding down a street was a pretty new thing, and it was a fairly intense thing for the average person to see and experience. Now we have things way crazier than that all around us, though we’re a bit more accustomed to it. That sense of awe and excitement about the things we’ve created and will create is a source of inspiration for us. We do our best to represent that type of experience with our music.

CCP: So would you say there is a technological aspect to your sound, or the things you’re writing about?

FOAS: Technology is something worth hearing. It’s definitely a recurring theme, but more in the sense of its relation to who we are and the way the world is - we try not to be too nerdy about it. Most artists or works that reflect on technology tend to cast advancement in a negative or scary light. So much out there is telling us to stay humble, not get lost in technology or the internet or what have you. We take the opposite view, which is that even if all this new stuff is scary, the smart thing to do is just to embrace it and push it forward. Don’t be afraid to get lost in it. We’ve incorporated a lot of electronic sounds, loops, and synthesizers into our songs - so I guess we do our part to get lost in the digital realm. It’s fun, and I think it helps craft the overall expression of our songs. We try not to be too conservative in our approach, and we’re always looking for new ways to branch out and try to bring something new to the table. Having electronic aspects in our music isn’t exactly groundbreaking, but it does give us a bigger set of tools with which to try something new.

CCP: What else are you doing to branch out? What’s next for Forces of a Street?

FOAS: Well the main thing for us has been to try and forge relationships with other bands in our area. One of the main reasons we put together the Future: YALL compilation ( was so that we could find something to work on with all these other great SC acts. We also are currently working on a comic book, DRIFT, which is debuting in serialized fashion at And now we’re planning a whole bunch of new recordings and videos under a new organization we’re setting up, Post Echo. We should be able to formally debut the beginning for that in the next month or two, beginning with Forces of a Street’s next full-length album

CCP: Any advice to the Columbia music scene?

FOAS: There’s strength in numbers. I think it’s important for artists to work together to maximize the attention they bring to shows, releases, etc. Eventually, artists need to get outside the city walls and start getting known in the region, and so far our efforts to do so have always gone better when we collaborated with other folks.

You can find Forces of a Street at and later this month via their page at the Post Echo media label. 


CCP: Out of the bands involved in Future: YALL, you guys are the seasoned veterans when it comes to the Columbia music scene.  How has your approach to writing and performing changed in those years?

TDL: To answer in a word, trust.  We have all been playing together for a while now, and our relationships, both musical and personal, have grown stronger as a result.  This gives our stage shows a huge boost of energy while allowing us a certain freedom that most musicians never get to experience. As for the writing- It is more collaborative than ever before.  Our fearless leader and frontman, Josh McGill, is still the main sources of our tunes, but because of the respect we’ve built for each other musically, we have started collective brainstorming sessions when new songs are introduced.  Also, with the bonds that have been established, bassist, Justin Marshall, is now comfortable enough to present some of his originals to the band, providing a third songwriter’s style and sound for The Dirty Lowdown.

CCP: In 2010, you released Dealin Sin and have since been involved in the festival circuit and featured on various radio broadcasts.  When we can we expect a followup LP?

TDL: Dealin’ Sin was a giant step for TDL, as well as a great learning experience.  We were able to see first hand the importance of using the studio almost as a sixth instrument.  We used to be so ready to hold the final product in our hands that we would rush through the recording process.  After the opportunities we were given as a result of patiently recording Dealin’ Sin, we have decided to pace ourselves on the sophomore release.  We have recorded three new tracks at Strawberry Skys Studios, including “Nothing,” which is featured on the Future: YALL compilation.  Currently we are in talks with a few companies with the hope of gaining some funding to complete the LP.  Regardless of who foots the bill we hope to release the follow up album in the next 6-12 months.

CCP: How important is it to give fans of The Dirty Lowdown a memorable live show?

TDL: Let me answer that by asking you this:   How important is bacon to a BLT?  The live show is the foundation of The Dirty Lowdown.  People go to a concert for an experience that allows them to escape their stresses for a while.  It is the job of the band to provide that experience.  TDL gets that, and we present the crowd (be it 200 or 10 fans) with a high energy, emotionally charged rock ‘n’ roll show every time we take the stage.  When we are up there, we remember what all the practice, composing, and the marketing is for: the chance to do what we love with and for people that we love.  It is that passion that turns an audience member into a fan.  After all, who goes back to a deli for more lettuce and tomato on toast?  We bring the bacon baby.

CCP: Can you tell us a little more about the Hidden Wounds charity you guys are involved with- and more specifically “TDL CARES?

TDL: TDL Cares is, as the band describes it, “the drummer’s baby.”  It is a program we started to give what we can back to the community that allows us the chance to do what we love.  TDL Cares selects a different charity/nonprofit every two months to support.  During those months, the selected group receives a portion of TDL’s profits from merchandise sales as well as their earnings from a particular concert.  Hidden Wounds has been chosen for the months of July and August.  Hidden Wounds- Columbia is a nonprofit organization that provides comfort and normality to military personnel suffering from combat stress injuries such as PTSD and TBI.  The counseling and long term support the group provides is currently not available through any government funded programs.  The Dirty Lowdown’s earnings from the Future YALLapalooza show will benefit this cause.

CCP: Any advice to the Columbia music scene? 

TDL: Well for starters, there are an awful lot of talented acts in Columbia right now.  So I would advise the general public to go check this music out while they have the chance to see it here in our own backyard.  To fellow musicians I say two things: It gets tough, and tiring and VERY expensive from time to time, but we all know its worth it once we hit that stage.  So keep it up.  Just remember the prophetic words of John Coltrane when he said to Miles Davis, “I think most animals would eat cereal provided the opportunity.”  Remember that and it’ll all work out.




August 12 at Five Points Pub 

(Formally known as The House)

The future is now, Columbia.  Embrace it. The doors open at 8.

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