Thursday, June 15, 2006


Most Americans between the ages of 15 and 60 have probably had some kind of direct or indirect experience with LSD, acid, and/or other kinds of psychedelic drugs during their lifetimes. A few people seem to love them enough to partake regularly, and often claim that they are a cure for many of the world's (and their own) problems. These people are called hippies, UNT students on academic probation, and Timothy Leary. Other people try them once, have an incredibly bad experience, and don't touch any of them again. Others don't ever try these drugs (even though they kind of want to) because they are afraid, which is a probably a shame in most cases. And then there are people that never have the desire and/or means to tune in and drop out at all, and hence never do. This is probably for the best in most cases. However, the majority of people fall somewhere in between these categories, or have at the very least had a relationship with a person or persons (including fictional characters) that have taken these drugs and lived to tell typically corny tales about religious experiences, visuals and the "oneness of all the creatures on the earth." The point is, even if a majority of Americans never have and never will touch a psychedelic drug, everyone seems to have enough familiarity with what they do to at least imagine what it might be like to take one. Put simply, they have been a part of the collective American psyche since the baby boomers took over, and it seems to have as much to do with culture as it does with chemicals.

The thing thing that you always hear about psychedelics is that they come and go in waves of euphoria and fear, often taking users to the heights of heaven before dropping them down to the gates of hell at a moment's notice. Beauty, enlightenment, mind expansion, fear (and loathing), paranoia, and destruction are all supposedly lurking in the back of one's mind during these experiences, and they all take turns running the show at different points in time. This is this kind of exciting push/pull relationship that Mom's music captures quite well, and I have no idea whether they take drugs or not.

This would normally be the stage in the post where I tell you about the guys in the band, what they do, how they make their music, etc. But my information requests from Mom didn't produce many of these details, so I'll instead give you a little taste of what they told me about their interests:

* Sculptor Andy Goldsworthy click
* Music Boxes click
* Wind Chimes click
* Womb Noises click
* Making what they call "sky music" click

They also live together and record their music at home, but thats about all I know. And while this lack of information can be a little frustrating, listening to their songs reveals how little any of the Behind the Music factoids matter to them. And after a few listens, the band's bio probably won't matter much to you either. Mom's instrumental songs seem to thrive somewhere in this psychedelic realm of twisting emotions and changing states of mind, but their tense and purposeful electronic components separate the music from anything that would normally be labeled "psychedelic." Clean, quiet acoustic guitars playing pretty notes fade in and out throughout the tracks, allowing bits of noise, feedback and glitchy blips to build up, break down and destroy themselves before starting anew in a different and slightly altered place, without ever getting too far away from where they started. The songs are all about contrast, at once beautiful and unnerving, ethereal and precise, they come and go in unexpected waves that combine the synthetic electro noise and organic acoustics in a way that produces tension while remaining completely seamless. They are joyous and sad, destructive and gentle, and yet somehow make complete sense as a cohesive whole. This might sound like a lot of bullshit to you, but I bet if you listen, you'll discover some of the introverted beauty of these songs and the range of emotions that they inspire. You'll also discover, much like I did, that you don't have to give two shits about mushrooms or hippies to appreciate the, um, trip that these songs will take you on. God I hate those baby boomers.

"We Know" MP3 (grab this one first)

" the sound of joy" MP3

Mom plays tonight at J&Js for free.


Anonymous skulkie said...

i love andy goldsworthy!!

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sounds incredibly boring and self-indulgent. i'm in!

11:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am incredibly inlove with bruce blay.

5:11 PM  
Blogger Sam Machkovech said...

Surprised that nobody had anything nice to say about these guys. Pretty cool, certainly worth listening for anyone who is a recent fan of groups like the Books. I wonder how they'd translate live, though?

10:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mom, another great new Denton band. Prime candidates to play Strategies of Beatuy Vol. 2.

1:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Mom, another great new Denton band. Prime candidates to play Strategies of Beatuy Vol. 2. "


10:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yah, the first SOB was really terrible wasnt it? ...dork ;)

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The kids in Denton all want to matter so bad, all these new bands that sound like their influences, while their influences don't even sound like it anymore... And for the most part, they are high and mighty and think they invented the wheel. So now a band comes along on myspace, the play two shows at a pizza place with another band that plays 6 times a week, and already they are prospects To play at the big new fancy noisefolk festival, volume 2, even though the first one hasn’t even happened yet. So if all of the bands that watch each other at house shows are all playing on the same night, who is goona be on here talking shit? When weshotjr coined the phrase “new weird denton” it went straight to these 18 year olds heads. No albums. No tours. No skills other than copying the easiest parts of other bands. Nothing except the metallica records that they hide in their closet. The ones they were all listening to 3 years ago.
Drone, freefolk, noise, post-whatever... Fucking parrots. Relax, guys. It’s not a fucking race or a contest. Your one drop in a bucket. Denton has diaper fulls of shit more groundbreaking than yours rotting at the bottom of the landfill.

2:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And as bitchy as that post sounds, I still mean to say that a lot of the bands are really good, it's just that sometimes the members talk a little loudly while they are in public, if you catch my drift. Which of course is followed up with gladhanding and backslapping.

3:38 PM  
Blogger Paulbur said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:34 PM  
Blogger Paulbur said...

I'm glad that all the people who posted anonymous did so, because it'd probably be embarrassing to speak like them. If your going to claim something about a band, do it correctly. Proper grammar, correct facts, and intelligence are very important when trying to make a powerful point about a band.

"So now a band comes along on myspace, the play two shows at a pizza place with another band that plays 6 times a week, and already they are prospects To play at the big new fancy noisefolk festival, volume 2, even though the first one hasn’t even happened yet."

First, they've played one show at a pizza place, and two at rubber gloves.
Second, a band has to start somewhere right?

5:36 PM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

which bands are you talking about exactly? And where do you have to play in order to be worthy of attention? Fucking Darkside Lounge or Doublewide or something?

5:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, no, no... I think the pizza gig is a good gig. The tone of my first post is regretable. Who cares. It has more to do with scenster rah rah youth group bullshit. Don't let one poor speller on a blog keep you from the superstar that you are. CLearly the genius that is new weird denton doesn't need the opinions of a fan who u's'e's' p.u@nktchewation wrong. shine on you crazy diamond. i go to the gigs. don't worry about it.

6:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

two faced careerist punks are two faced careerist punks, no matter how undercover you think your uniform is.

6:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeez, same guy again here. I even like the band MOM... so no bigg deal. I wouldn't be able to dog out of this hole if i wanted to, so carry on...

6:24 PM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:00 PM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

I agree, gladhanding and scenester cheerleading sucks. Those are two of the reasons why we started this blog... we saw too much of that shit in dallas and not enough talent to back it up. I don't know enough about the social scene in denton to be able to say whether I think Denton is the same or not, but I do think that the newer crop of bands in Denton are some of the best we've got going in north texas right now.

7:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess that's sorta the point... You mention the new crop in hyperbole, but having admitted yourself that you are new to the music scene, and the fact that these bands are all really new and isolated and some actually really cocky... There seems to be a little shit don't stink thing going on that discounts the art and hard work of a lot of other bands that are not as "fresh", but still great. There is a certain lack of humility and acknowledment of the current crop of bands that have opened doors to the mainstream and blogging press...
Now, fuck some asskissing, and there's no need for empty worship (I know my point is lost forever), I simply mean acting towards the greater good that has been building to this point for the last several years in Denton. When Fra Pandolf moved in to town, they were accepted into the scene wholeheartedly because they were (are) rad, new weird denton, old played out denton, current undiscovered denton, all of it be damned. Some of these bands just chant from the lexicon of cool, versus, I don't know, trying something besides networking. I wish this computer could pick up my tone, because I'm really not trying to be a dick know it all... I lover a few of these bands. I just hope they don't burn too many bridges and/or burn out too soon. It's as pure as it is corrupt, it's as shallow as it is deep, and it's as political as it is artsy.

Oh, whatever.
Sorry to ruin the mom thread.
I know this all sounds stupid.
after all, Kill yr idols, right?

9:05 PM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

Like I said, I have no idea whether or not what you say is true regarding these denton bands, so I really don't have a response, except to say that I like most of the SOB bands musically, and I like Mom musically, and thats all I really have to go by.

10:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right on. I'll be at SOB. This all went pretty wrong. I just want to see it all work out.

10:42 PM  

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