STRFKR‘s latest album may have been inspired by the loss of a loved one, but it doesn’t show.
Written after the death of lead singer/mastermind Josh Hodges’ grandmother, Reptilians is more affirmation of life than eulogy, thanks to its highly danceable mix of layered synth melodies, energetic beats, and catchy hooks. For a sample of the album, check out the above video for “Bury Us Alive.”
The Portland trio plays the Casbah tonight; in anticipation of the show, Mr. Hodges provided us with his list of influences.
Poetic Memory: STRFKR
1. U.M.O.’s self-titled album: The most innovative and yet accessible collection of songs. It’s the Beatles meets Wu Tang.
2. The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga: I just read this while traveling in India, which completely affected my experience of the book and vice versa. This book is incredibly clever, funny, dark, and real.
3. This video by Rawnald Gregory Erickson II: In a world of consumerist advertising telling us all to be discontent and not quite happy with who and what we are, this is a breath of fresh air.
4. Everything Longmont Potion Castle: See video above. It’s hard for me to articulate the genius of this man’s brain, so I will just use some quotes from other sources: “It’s not aggressive, so people think they’re just honestly misunderstanding him. These people are disarmed byï»¿ his composure and tolerate some pretty bizarre shit.” The LA Record describes Longmont Potion Castle’s albums as unlike those that most people associate with prank telephone calls, citing that his demeanor is nothing at all like that of The Jerky Boys and Crank Yankers and is actually closer to that of the alternative comedian Neil Hamburger. The magazine goes on to cite some of the topics discussed and parties dialed in the artist’s calls: “peacock bowel, owl bowel, peacock meat, squid meat, gorilla ointment, Nugent, Orange Julius, biblioduwangus, woven bread, moving rope and cords into another state, pleated clothing, the Epiphone Dolphin, pumpkin brew, GG Allin, UPS, and opportunities to engender a coalition with the Vatican.” In a review from the Denver Westword, LPC’s recordings are described as advancing “absurdity as an art form.”
5. The Occupy movement: While we were on tour in Europe a German told me that they feel like it’s about damn time for something like this to happen in the US.
6. Alan Watts, as always: A huge influence on my — both in my creative and personal — life. There’s too much to say so I’ll leave it at that.
STRFKR on tour
01/09/12 – San Diego, CA – The Casbah
01/10/12 – Phoenix, AZ – The Crescent Ballroom
01/11/12 – Santa Fe, NM – VFW
01/13/12 – Dallas, TX – The Prophet Bar
01/14/12 – Austin, TX – The Mohawk
01/15/12 – Houston, TX – Fitzgerald’s
01/17/12 – New Orleans, LA – One Eyed Jacks
01/19/12 – Orlando, FL – Backbooth
01/20/12 – Miami, FL – Bardot