Spy Music Fest: PC Worship and Guardian Alien talk
“It could have been worse. He could have requested a bad song.”
Starting June 29, label Northern Spy is throwing its second annual Spy Music Festival, a 16-day music marathon in New York that features the likes of Rhys Chatham, Loren Connors, Thurston Moore, Arthur Doyle, Magik Markers, Jason Lescalleet, Diamond Terrifier, and many more. For the next several features, we’ll be posting interviews of artists playing at the fest, conducted by other artists playing at the fest. (Read the previous interview, between Starring and Skeletons, here.)
It was only a matter of time before one of these “interviews” got weird. And that time is now, with this conversation between Justin Frye (PC Worship), Greg Fox (Guardian Alien, GDFX), and unexpected guest Dan Rineer (Florida, DJ Magic Medicine Dan). Rather than talk about PC Worship’s crunchy Toxic Love album or Guardian Alien’s forthcoming Thrill Jockey release, See the World Given to a One Love Entity (due July 24), the boys discuss diplomas, pizza, and getting chased by cops. Enter their world below.
Guardian Alien, who is touring with Starring in August, plays Spy Music Fest July 6 at Death By Audio with Colin L. Orchestra, Bird Names, and K Salvatore. PC Worship plays the following day, July 7 at 285 Kent, with Starring, Dustin Wong + Dan Friel, and White Out + Charles Gayle. If you’re lucky, you might spot Dan Rineer in the crowd at one or both of these shows.
Greg: Yeah, the Green Dean.
D (to Justin): You’ve got that yellow Dean…
G: Do you still have that yellow guitar?
J: Fuck yeah, dude.
G: The Dimebag?
J: Fuck yeah.
D: [laughs] The Dimebag Darrel edition?
J: The nut broke so the E string is… one string lower.
G: Do you have any guitars that aren’t broken, man?
J: [pauses] … No.
D: You gotta get that Rickenbacker.
J: [My mom] has a Rickenbacker lying around.
G: Really? Yeah, just get that one and fuck that one up, too.
J: Well, she said she’d give it to me when I graduated college, but I never got a diploma… So she’s holding out on it till I get my diploma.
G: Does she ask you about it? “Justin, when are you gonna get your diploma?”
J: Dude, I called and left the school a message last week but they never got back to me.
G: So you graduated, you just don’t have your diploma. Why don’t you have your diploma?
J: I don’t know man, do you have your diploma?
G: My mom has it, I think. I gave it to my mom.
D: Diplomas are for moms.
J: It’s like a receipt, to hang on the wall.
G: I did it! I did it for you, mom.
J: [looking at a pamphlet on greg’s table] What’s going on here, dude?
G: The, uh… what is that…? Oh yeah. The “Universal Healing Tao” … I went to a workshop, last weekend. With this guy, Mantak Chia, he’s like a… teacher. Qi Gong, that kind of thing.
J: You learn anything?
G: I learned a little bit. Ultimately it wasn’t for me, but I wouldn’t have found that out if I didn’t go.
J: [reading the pamphlet] Did you “open the wind gates”?
G: Nope. Didn’t do that.
J: “Relieve tangles and tension from small intestine”?
G: Not specifically. But I don’t think I have a lot of tangles and tension to begin with.
J: Did you “massage your sacral and brachial plexus”?
G: We did do that, yeah.
J: Wait, you went to Thailand?
G: Nah, the guy lives in Thailand and he has a school there where you can go. They do darkness retreats. So you can go to this spot and there’s no light for a week, basically. After a certain amount of time, your brain, like, starts producing extra melatonin because you’re not getting any UV light… And then after producing a consistent extra amount of melatonin, the brain then starts producing a naturally occurring DMT relative and it pumps into your, you know… brain.
J: It’s like the fish at the bottom of the ocean that have to produce their own light.
G: Basically, you start doing that.
G: Seeing with other eyes… Seeing out of other pores.
J: [laughs, to Dan] That lady earlier, who was illuminating?
G: You met somebody who was illuminating?
J: Uhh… We were trying to smoke weed on the beach and and the parks guard was looming around.
D: She was just staring at us. I think she was being lazy.
G: She didn’t want to come over?
D: Well, I would have just jumped in the ocean anyway.
G: Swim away when the cops are after you… You think they’ll get the boat?
J: Dude, I’ve seen that happen before. One time when I was in high school, and we were drinking on the beach, cops came and ransacked the beach party, me and a friend ran away together, and everyone kinda spread out… One of the guys and his girlfriend ran and jumped in the ocean, and the cops chased them into the water. My best friend at the time lost his sandal there and got tackled and arrested by a cop when he went back for it. We ended up getting chased by a cop and running into some abandoned beach house, and a kid who was running with us ended up breaking his arm when he jumped through a bush. We just stayed upstairs watching the cops run around downstairs, and eventually some girls came and saved us.
D: Sort of a happy ending…
J: When we were driving away we saw him getting handcuffed and put on the police car.
That’s the problem with having corner stores right on your block… there’s that point every morning where you’re like, ‘Do I gotta change to go get coffee right now? Do I have to put a shirt on to go outside?’
G: What are we talking about?
J: It all comes back to the mother. The mother ship.
G: The mother ship. The mother ship… [pause]
[Greg DJ’d a show earlier in the evening at his house (the Outpost) and had one of the performers scold him for ruining the entire evening by playing a funk track after the last performance. It comes up in conversation.]
G: So, what would have been the right music to put on after that set?
J: I don’t know if anything was the right music.
G: Maybe there should have been no music.
J: I felt pretty good about that; yeah, maybe no music.
G: Maybe no music. Maybe a Skip LaPlante CD?
J: Sometimes no music is the only way to go.
G: But when you’re DJing, you’re supposed to play music, you know?
D: It’s a job.
G: Getting paid to do it. Paid in something. Paid in… virtue. Or beer.
D: Paid in title.
G: Paid in a listing.
G: I’m getting my brand out there. My DJ brand.
D: Somebody’s not buying it.
G: I know. I gotta work on it. Somebody’s not buying what I’m selling.
D: That’s OK.
G: You can’t win ‘em all. Not everybody is gonna be a fan.
D: It could have been worse. He could have requested a bad song.
G: I dunno … Then if I played it he would have been happy. I would have made him happy.
D: What if it was, like, House Of Pain or something?
[now up on Greg’s roof]
D: Whoa, the Freedom Tower.
G: We were thinking it would be cool to play movies up here.
J: We should have a Robocop marathon up here.
G: I would do that. Robocop marathon.
J: [looking out] Look at all the satellites they have on their roof… like 10 satellites.
D: What are satellites even for now? Just TV?
J: Deep-dish, dude. Direct line to the deep-dish.
D: Straight to the soul. Main vein. Deep-dish.
G: Just gotta pass it on. Pass it all around.
D: What, you don’t have a dish? You need a dish? I got 20.
J: Don’t be sitting around like a sucker watching basic cable. Get a dish.
D: Get an Xbox
G: Suck a dish.
D: This is a nice, quiet street.
G: It is.
J: I kinda want to move back out to Ridgewood someday.
G: You should move back out here.
J: Myrtle Broadway is getting kinda haggard these days, man. This morning was insane.
D: We just got bombarded by a bunch of crust kids out of nowhere. All of a sudden they were marching down the road. They’re there to stay. Insurgents.
G: I should set up some lawn chairs up here or something.
D: Get some papasans up here.
J: Papa Johns?
G: Just hook up that deep-dish, man
D: Get in touch with your deep-dish.
J: You know when you go to the bank and they have that tube…
G: Do that with pizza.
J: Hook up a pizza tube up here.
G: It shows up in HD, man… High Dish. High Dishfinishion…
G: Its tempting, when there’s a show at your house, to just wear pajamas, you know?
D: Yeah, and just lurk around.
G: I’m basically doing that right now. Almost. No PJ pants, but…
J: That’s the problem with having corner stores right on your block… There’s that point every morning where you’re like, “Do I gotta change to go get coffee right now? Do I have to put a shirt on to go outside?”
D: That’s why I never completely put my shoes on. All my shoes are fucked up from using them as slippers.
G: Mhmm. Chillin’ all the time.
D: Chillin’ a little too hard… I got a little heavy on the chill lately.
G: I’ve been chillin’ a little too hard… I gotta not chill.
D: You should put some bars up here and get some hammocks.
J: Hammocks and wind chimes.
G: Some exercise gear too, maybe.
J: On July 3 I’m actually going to a chime-making party, making a bunch of chimes for a project I’m doing… I made this chime piece for a dance performance [the dance piece is actually a performance project by Alaina Stamatis] using all these internet chime samples… You can sample chimes on the internet before you buy ‘em. I made a 10-minute collage piece of sample chimes. But they want to do it with real chimes now.
D: Upgrade… Or is that a downgrade? A download?
G: Download some chimes.
J: Just download some chimes.