By Antony Benedetti
of Escaltor Hill
Before I begin revealing the secrets of my musical past and present, I'll say a few general words regarding our residency this month at Casey's. We'll be there every Saturday. The Lonely Wild will be joining us this weekend, which personally, I am looking forward to. The World Record will be rocking out the following weekend, and we'll close up shop with none other than The Far West (also looking forward to these). It's going to be a fun month, but also a busy one for us. We'll be traversing into the studio first thing in August to record another record (and sell some extremely sentimental personal belongings and some less than necessary organs to help subsidize the cost). So wish us luck! Now without further ado--or at least much more ado--Five songs from my past and present that I would like to share with you.
5. Mr. Bungle - Goodbye Sober Day
The Album California was given to me as a gift by my eldest brother (I have three) as I was mid-way through my high-school experience. As someone who was always looking for something "different" to listen to (I use quotes because I have not quite uncovered the standards for normality when it comes to listening to music. I just knew I didn't like most of what my peers were listening to) this was the perfect gift. This song in particular had a little bit of everything, blending genres, interesting melodies, rhythmic patterns; it almost made my head explode, it didn't though. If you have time and you haven't heard it before, I highly recommend giving the whole album a listen.
This was an early grade school discovery for me. A brother's friend introduced me to this band and I couldn't get enough. I own easily over ten Melvins albums and back when I had AOL my screen name was MELVINSRK. Needless to say (although I'm about to) when King Buzzo came to my place of business I was pretty happy. I typically don't get star struck. After all, we live in LA and it's incredibly uncool. Still, I had a few questions for him. When I told him that I respected how they had created and maintained a musical integrity he said to me quite frankly, "Well, Dale and I thought that we had pretty good taste, so, if we liked it, we figured other people would like it." There it was, the simple pure ingredient for honest music.
3. Jonathan Richman- Corner Store
Speaking of honest music, it doesn't get any more genuine than Jonathan Richman. This is my favorite of his songs, and the theme is one that I often revisit in Escalator Hill's music.
2. Gene Pitney - (The man who shot) Liberty Valance
I remember asking my parents to play this record over and over to me as a wee lad. A three minute song with a key change in the middle and some nicely orchestrated violin... sounds all too familiar. Perhaps this is where Escalator Hill's true beginning was planted, watered, and grown.
1. The Brother's Comatose - Pie For Breakfast
Something that I think a lot of musicians can identify with is the difficulty of balancing your band relationship (let's face it, that's what it is) with your other important relationships in your life, especially if you're actively touring, are married and have a child. I think this is a great tune and I find a certain irony in the fact that the troubles and heartache that come from being away on the road is met with the creation of yet another song, which in turn can do more of the same. (And check out their amazingly excellent red Chevy tour van. -ed.)
Escalator Hill plays every Saturday in July at Casey's Irish Pub 613 South Grand Ave., downtown Los Angeles. Playing in support: Auditorium on July 7, The Lonely Wild July 14, The World Record July 21, and The Far West on July 28, no cover, 21+.