”Graphic times, Dead again, Redemption

Oct 23, 2007 at 5:02 pm

The Photographic
The Photographic
Jamey See Tai and Chad Blevins haven’t forgotten about you. They were just waiting for the right moment to drop in and say hello. Again.

As The Photographic, the two Louisvillians weave together instrumental ambience via See Tai’s looped guitars with Blevins’ pulsating drum work.

They’ve finally found a home for their debut record, Pictures of a Changing World, in Santa Cruz, Calif.-based label Galaxia. The not-quite-underground label, begun in 1993, was once home to such bands as Brightback Morning Light and The Black Heart Procession (which featured onetime Metroschifter drummer Mario Rubalcaba).

Pictures, slated for a January release, is two years in the making. But calling The Photo’s break a hiatus wouldn’t be accurate. During recording and mixing, Blevins graduated from Indiana University Southeast, and the duo traveled to San Francisco to play a showcase with current Galaxia artists.

Nevertheless, tonight’s show with Ever Records’ Norwegian group Undomskulen at the Pour Haus (1481 S. Shelby St., 637-9611) will be like old home week, or a less awkward reunion. Undomskulen plays a free in-store at ear X-tacy (5134 Bardstown Road, 452-1799) at 5 p.m.

“We could’ve put it out sooner,” See Tai says, but Pictures features several songs the band had already played around town, and they didn’t want fans feeling burned out on their set.
See Tai’s brother Jesse still runs the film projections seen at past local shows, but there aren’t any additional players.

Expect some deviation in the live show tonight: “We go places that we didn’t go on the album. You just have all that extra noise in the room, and we sometimes try to blend different pieces of different songs together.”
In the future, See Tai all but said he’d like to change the band’s modus operandi a bit, possibly by adding vocals. “I’m definitely not solidified with (just) instrumentals. A lot of things have changed in what I do now.”
Doors open at 9 p.m.

Monday, Oct. 29

Dead Child
Dead Child
If anyone can put together a record under high-stress situations, it’s Dead Child. The group is heading into Downtown Recording next month to record its debut full-length, tentatively called Attack, due out spring on Chicago’s Touch & Go Records.

Brad Wood, who produced Veruca Salt, is running the session, and while this might seem like a mismatch, look at it from Dave Pajo’s perspective.

“I personally was curious to hear what we would sound like with a person who wasn’t totally familiar with metal bands, but would be able to apply some of his production techniques,” he tells LEO.

“I didn’t want to take the full on punk-rock route and just blaze through some songs. It’s sort of an experiment to try to record with Brad.”

You can expect less hard rock and even more metal attitude on this new batch, says guitarist Michael McMahan. “Before, we were just trying to get our bearings, and we’re kind of figuring out more how the band works now. It seems cooler for all of us. We’re more into it.”

And if the audience isn’t, well … “Nobody knows what they’re talking about anyway,” jokes drummer Tony Bailey.

On Monday night, you can celebrate metal and Halloween early when the Child opens for Tokyo noise-metal outfit Melt Banana at Headliners (1386 Lexington Road, 584-8088). Doors open at 9, and the cost is $8. Dead Child plays again at Uncle Pleasant’s (2126 S. Preston St., 634-4147) with Columbus, Ohio’s Dead Sea on Friday, Nov. 2. That show is $6 and starts at 10 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 25
Ex-but-recently-reunited-with-Flaw singer Chris Volz should admit he’s spoiled rotten.
For his two-week New York recording session, which birthed his first solo effort Redemption, Volz’s label Rock Ridge Music (also home to Ike Reilly Assassination) roped in Johnny Pisano, who backed Marky Ramone, Matt Chiarvarelle (Warren Zevon) and Chris Vitali, the bass player for Orange 9mm.
No wonder it went so fast.

“They were people who I was connected with through the label, that the label offered and I would say yes or no to,” Volz says. “Everything ran smooth. People stayed as long as they needed to. It was comfortable.”

Redemption’s songs have been playing themselves in Volz’s dome since his days in Flaw, the local group that was signed to Universal Records, then unceremoniously dropped in 2004 for low record sales. Volz went onto help found Five.Bolt.Main, which broke up because some members couldn’t tour due to lucrative day jobs.
“Rock Ridge was poised and ready to start with the solo project. It was perfect timing,” he says. “Several of the songs are ideas that I’ve been working on; ideas that I’ve had in my head, that I didn’t think necessarily fit Flaw, but I knew I wanted to release them in some capacity someday.”

For this tour, Volz has been exploring in varying degrees acoustic treatments on his work, a strategy that has opened doors outside of traditional rock radio, but also expanded his audience.

“I wanted to be able to show people that there’s a lot of different sides to me musically, that I can still write a heavy groove song that’s got some strong poignant melodies,” he says, “but I can also write a piano ballad that’s got an orchestra behind it. These shows that we’re doing now, I’ll get the 14-year-old kid but also the 50-year-old married couple.”

He’s more relaxed at Rock Ridge, which didn’t give him a huge monetary advance up front and, to start, only signed him for one album, so he says he starts making money on his CDs quicker. Before the sessions were over, though, Rock Ridge was on-board for album No. 2.

“I would much rather continue a relationship that’s like Rock Ridge. You really don’t get much of a chance on a major label. They funnel a ton of money into the band immediately; you’re going way into debt. That pigeonholes you into selling a lot of records fast, and if you don’t, you’re dropped.”

As for Flaw, Volz said he’ll add his parts when the band finishes preliminary work on a follow-up to 2004’s Endangered Species in Nashville. “I know that Flaw’s still got a couple records in them.”

Volz takes the stage at Headliners Thursday night. The all-ages show is $6. Doors at 7 p.m.

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