Look Into the Light Light Light Light …
Furniture Records refinishes an Oneida classic.
By Audra Schroeder,
12:08PM, Fri. Feb. 23, 2007
If you're like me, your last interaction with a cassette involved P.M. Dawn's single “I’d Die Without You” and an overheated dashboard, so you may be reluctant to dare cross paths with such an antiquated form of recorded music ever again. Everyone knows we'll all soon have iPods the size of contact lenses.
Furniture Records, the Austin/Chicago bastion of loud, lewd, and totally crude (and whose revolving-door band policy has birthed Tuxedo Killers, Daniel Francis Doyle, Awesome Cool Dudes, and When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth, among others), has started a singles club which entails you listen to and appreciate a cassette.
Wait, come back! It's totally worth it. Each tape in the club (there will be six tapes in all, released every other month in 2007, all with cover designs by different artists) features varying versions of the same song: Oneida's drone masterpiece "Sheets of Easter," the 15-minute rifftastic opener from their 2002 album, Each One Teach One. The club, dubbed Sheets of Easter Everywhere, features covers by locals Dick Price; Assacre; Oh, Beast!; and Jana Hunter, as well as Jagjaguwar's Parts & Labor and the awesome Coke Dares. Recorded with all the charm of cassettes, Parts & Labor’s version, recorded by Oneida’s Hanoi Jane, is truest to the original, albeit slowed down. Assacre’s electro-wizzzard power-violence version is mind-altering, Oh, Beast! clocks in at 35 seconds with typically Oh, Beast!-y panache. But the Coke Dares might be the best, and they saved it for last.
Furniture/Dinos head Jesse Hodges explains how this all came together: "We were drinking and some ideas came up. We wanted to do a tape release. We wanted to do a singles club. I remembered Nate [Cross of Awesome Cool Dudes/Dinos] talking to me about a time he saw Oneida do 'Sheets of Easter' and how much it blew him away, because it was basically just repetition. It clicked, and I said let's combine all those ideas into one. By getting a shitload of bands to cover this notoriously repetitious song we were sort of making the idea more grand … plus 'Sheets' is the fucking jam!"
Hodges explains "Bananafana," the equally mammoth closer on When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth's debut, Snacks, was heavily influenced by the song and that the band was a little spooked initially by the project.
"But they said, 'Do it, do it, do it,'" he continues. "I also just thought it was the most retarded idea we ever came up with and therefore we had to waste all our money and time on it."
The Furniture crew will be re-upholstering SXSW in the form of another backyard day party on Friday, March 16, this year's tentative lineup including spacey experimental Australian Ian Wadley, Chicago dream-pill poppers Mittens on Strings, Insane Clown Posse-meets-Throbbing Gristle act Hearts of Darknesses, Mommy Dearest-meets-Yoko Ono queen Dynasty Handbag, stoned foxes Citay, featuring Tim Green of the Fucking Champs, and more. 12-7pm, 1009 E. 44th St.
If last year's party didn't scare you away, it's very much worth it and doesn't involve going anywhere near Sixth Street. Also catch When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth, Awesome Cool Dudes, Marnie Stern, the Apes, and more at Hole in the Wall's day show, Thursday, March 15.