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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

In the Studio: US English

Posted By on Wed, Jul 28, 2010 at 1:15 PM

US English Who: The new band featuring Brea and James McAnally Where: Bookermusic With Whom: Brad Booker When: Now! What recording: "We are recording 3 EPs in serial format to comprise a full length," says James McAnally. "The first EP, What Frontier, will be released locally on September 3. The others will be released every three-four months over the next year." News! by US English

Sounds Like: "When we started US English, we intentionally set out to think about our music as a broader platform to explore ideas that interested us, whether those came from visual art, literature or online culture," says James McAnally. "Having been in bands in the past, we saw a disconnect in the way most musicians thought about their creative process, methods of release and live performances. Visual artists tend to think about a project from its inception to public release as a single statement: concept, materials, media, display space, artist statement and gallery installation all are a part of what comes to be seen as the "art." Musicians, on the other hand, tend to think in terms of pre-established boundaries: venues for live performance, jewel cases for production, record labels for promotion or whatever. We wanted our music to be able to be a part of the continuum of art, curating and creative event planning we were doing otherwise through our own art and at The Luminary.

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"We have tried to let those influences alter what we create, and in the process have created something very personal to us that we feel ties those disparate elements together," he continues. "The primary source material the songs deal with are the anxiety of looking to the future, whether due to economic collapses, technological transformations or apocalyptic theories, and weave in these elements to create a dense meditation on our contemporary landscape.

"It is hard for us to separate out our influences, but musically I think the primary influences that come through on the EP are Steve Reich, the Knife, John Adams operas such as Nixon in China, and TV on the Radio," he concludes. "Some of the other non-musical things that are prominent are some of William Kentridge's artwork, A Geography of Time, a book of contemporary clichés we have, old oil and car advertisements from the '50s and '60s and dozens of magazine and newspaper articles talking about the future of American economics, demographics and politics that seem to be omnipresent these days. We think it sounds like some combination of those elements."

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