Tuesday, October 25, 2011

FunFunFun Fest Nite Preview: Memoryhouse Interview

You should know by now that we have less than 2 weeks before Auditorium Shores is over-run by the coolest people on the planet for FunFunFun Fest 6.0. You should already have your tickets by now, which means you are also entitled to enjoy all of the after-show activities. That's right, for those of you living under a rock, all of the FunFunFun Fest Nites shows have been rolled into the ticket price for the festival itself. That means you don't have to pay a cover for the after-shows and if you don't have a Fx3 ticket, then you can't go to the show. Sorry Charlie. On the plus side, if you have a ticket for an individual day of the festival, you can get into the after-shows for that particular day. If, you're doing a little mental math right now, you're probably realizing that there are way more festival attendees than there are spaces in the after-show clubs. So, you'll have to focus on the show you most want to see because club hopping will, most likely, be unfeasible.

I want to draw your attention to a, particularly awesome, after-show on Saturday night, curated by a, particularly awesome, blog. Of course I'm referring to, our neighbor to the North, Gorilla Vs. Bear. They are hosting a party at Empire Automotive that promises to be fantastic. The line-up is amazing and the venue is newly converted. It was literally an automotive shop and it is now a music venue. Oh Austin, you so crazy!

Memoryhouse - Quiet America video via YouTube

I had the chance to interview, the wonderful, Memoryhouse, who will be playing at Empire Automotive on Saturday night. They are not playing the festival itself but their musical aesthetic fits in perfectly with the overall oeuvre of FunFunFun Fest, exemplifying how the Nites shows are, truly, an extension of the festival itself. Their latest EP, out now, is called The Years and it is absolutely beautiful.

Memoryhouse has a very cinematic sound. Are you inspired by film? If so, what films?

We are definitely inspired by film. Denise is a film major in school so we inevitably end up playing with a lot of film references when we're working on music. I think Denise would probably want me to use Sunrise as an example of a film that's inspired our work. On the whole, we really like films of the Silent Era, so we can come up with our own soundtracks to them.

What was your first powerful musical memory? A song, a video, a musical family member, anything that left a lasting musical impression.

Probably Vince Guaraldi's score to "A Charlie Brown Christmas". I think I was four; I vividly recall reacting to the music (a mix of jazz and boogie woogie) as something beyond the compositions themselves. It transformed into something somewhat dark, and moody. It definitely left an impression, I still listen to that record quite a bit.

Who are your musical role models, sound-wise or career-wise?

That's a good question, I don't think I've ever really thought about it. Sound-wise, I always liked how those mid-80s U2 albums would gracefully balance ambient abstraction with monster-sized hooks. Career-wise, it's hard to say, I guess Brian Eno? Not because of the catalog of excellent music, but moreso due to the fact that he's seemingly never satisfied until he's tried everything. I admire that.

If you could collaborate with anyone living or dead, who would you choose and why?

Hmm, maybe Prokofiev. Or perhaps Van Dyke Parks. I really like what Van Dyke Parks did with the arrangements on Joanna Newsom's "Ys." It sounds like Joanna is in one room playing harp, and Van Dyke Parks is conducting an orchestra in another room down the hall, creating a peculiar sense of disconnect that somehow manages to coalesce perfectly. I'd like to do that with Prokofiev.

What did you want to be when you grew up? Did you always know music was in your future?

I guess I wanted to be a writer; music still provides me an outlet for that so I'm reasonably contented.

What can Austin expect from a live Memoryhouse show? 2 people? Full band? Live strings?

We'll be performing as a three piece for this tour. There will be lots of guitar, and really great live drumming. Denise plays bass, synths, and guitar, often in the same song, while somehow managing to sing, so it's always fun to swee how she pulls that off.