Friday, April 9, 2010

A 2nd Opinion with Travis Kostell

Recently my friend Travis from high school and I found each other online. He inspired me with the most amazing mix tapes and films in the tiny upstate town I grew up in. He moved sometime around freshman year and just had a whole world of music I had never heard of. In the days without the internet, it's hard to believe I know, but we had to make mixes for each other and borrow cassettes of anything that wasn't on the radio. I don't think I even knew who Frank Zappa was until I met Travis, from there it went into the
Church of the Subgenius and a cult scare fiasco banning 'Bob' in the hallways to watching Eraserhead at his house. On top of it, he was an amazing musician who pretty much inspired me to get a 4-track and start a new band every weekend.
Everyone has a friend like Travis, so I sent him some singles I've been thinking about recently and we talked on the phone about them.

This week we got to the GGreen single from Out of Order Records, then Cave bears on Feeding Tube Records and finally Fuck Montreal on Stumparumper.

Download it here

Travis has a bunch of his own music up on his blog: Choice Grinds, I think they should be seven inches.....check it out.


  1. Thanks for the nice words in your post. I'm glad I was able to bring something new to town when I moved there. You were just as much of an inspiration, especially in terms of maintaining your independence in small town America.

    Listening to the cast I noticed I stutter and pause too much. I think I forgot it was being recorded at points. It was a lot of fun doing this and I look forward to future sessions.

  2. Travis,
    I know what you mean, I always think I sound like an idiot, but then again it's just a conversation, we're not the morning zoo show. I should have had some sound effects and laugh tracks.

  3. how bout that weather huh? yuk yuk yuk. TGIF... back to you Jason.

  4. Exactly...I always wanted an excuse to use the David Lee Roth Soundboard.

  5. japanther5:04 PM

    o u (;

    I haven't listened yet, but i'll add em in in my head. I'll play it now.

  6. japanther5:30 PM

    That post GGreen discussion about noise / lo-fi / no-fi or whatever, was great. I've just had this same type of conversation too. But I think the shit-fi sound CAN be cliche if it's not reeled in by a layer of beauty. Well not cliche, but like a cop-out. I really think this is done best on tracks like The Hunches "Pinwheel Spins". Check out that song, I'm sure it's been pirated somewhere.

    For Cave Bears song, here is what I related to. Being in 8th grade and dropping acid for the first time. I thought I could play guitar for a minute, but looking back, I'm sure I sounded even worse than this. It's endearing, like Dildo Vomit, or Three Brain, or The Frogs,but way more amature. Actually, this REALLY sounds like Human Skab, the 8year old kid that blew people away with his homemade 'rock album'. I agree with Travis, it would blow me away to see it at a store or something, but... i don't know. Love that 'Trout Mask Replica' album btw... This is the part of the conversation that becomes most natural. Right before the Fuck Montreal bit.

    This song smells like divorce though. There is no way they can be fully satisfied with that kind of raw emotion coming over. Unless they are like in therapy or something. Honestly, as much as I like the weirdo noisey lofi they hone, it's easy to hear the song's loveliness poring through. I'd like to hear them polish it up, and let the melodies speak for themselves.

    Ok Jason, I totally heard you drinking some booze when Travis said "...Kim Gordon..." you turkey!

    Didn't Cave Bear's myspace say they played their first show in a cave (i think with no audience)? That could be lots of bands though.

    Anyway, that was my stream-of-consciousness commentary. I'd like to hear more of you turkeys.

  7. "Ok Jason, I totally heard you drinking some booze when Travis said "...Kim Gordon..." you turkey!"

    ha yeah what was that single malt?, old grandad??, wild turkey??!

  8. Japanther,
    Nice commentary...we'll definitely be doing more of this in the future.
    Of course I was drinking! That's a given on the podcast.
    The Hunches are great! Have to get more from these guys thanks for pointing it out. I think with any of this heavily textured-fi is the bottom line it's always the songwriting, at the end of the day it doesn't matter how it was recorded...for better or worse it aligns you with a certain type of sound you have to be aware of, and of course it's easy to hear if you write a great song or not. If it's something you'll be going back to listen to.
    A human skab reference! Just picked that up from Family Vineyard, just as good as I remember. Seriously that kid was amazing...but then I start thinking about the Charlie McAlister question...
    I think Fuck Montreal has that kind of room to grow ahead of them...there's enough going on there, grounded in catchy melodies that it would work in fuzzy demo form or cleaned up.
    I think the Cave Bears have a lot of mythology no one is ever going to figure out.
    Thanks man, there's more to come.

  9. Travis,
    That's the good thing about the podcast, no one can see what I'm drinking...