♫♪  The Royal Arctic Institute - “Russian Twists”

Look at that sexy layout by John Newcomer. Yes, we did a podcast together.

Dust off your travelogues, those well-used notebooks, grab a sharpened pencil and a map, and then throw all those things in the trash. Everything is digital these days, don’t you know? You plot courses on your phone’s map application. What are you, your parents?

You’re not your parents, and neither are The Royal Arctic Institute,1 although they’re older than you — but so am I, so let’s just leave it there and forget about it. Nobody’s “old” here — we can refer to TRAI as “old school” instead. One look at their CVs and you’ll get what I mean: John’s played with Roky Erickson, Gerard was in Phantom Tollbooth, and Lyle2 drummed for Das Damen (and was name-checked oh-so-hilariously in John Fine’s excellent book Your Band Sucks). That’s some Scene CredTM right there.

OK, maybe they are your parents.

Let’s all shut up about parents, because we’re hitting the road with “Russian Twists.” Here that, Mom and Dad? ROAD TRIP! Smell ya later.

That’s right, we’re popping this “cassingle” (again, your parents will know what those are) into the stereo of the old family station wagon and peeling the heck out to god knows where on this bright sunny morning. Windows are down, wind’s in our hair, and “Russian Twists” is our soundtrack, a jaunty instrumental post rock number propelling us forward as we’re entranced by the highway strip, crossing state line after state line, destination unknown.

The flip, “Maystadt Process (BKGD Audio DD&G Remix)” is a reimagining of “Maystadt Process” from TRAI’s debut The French Method. Here, Alap Momin (aka The Oktopus) of dälek gets his grubby paws all over it, perfecting it for the moment the sun goes down. We chill, but we do not fall asleep at the wheel. That’s what the coffee’s for.

Will this “cassingle,” available from the band’s Bandcamp page, lead to a new album sometime soon? Hopefully! And if it does, you heard it here first, direct from my crystal ball.

No, Mom, it’s MY crystal ball — I’m not using yours. God!


1. Fun fact: “The Royal Arctic Institute” is a His Dark Materials reference, in case you were born within the past decade. And chances are, if you’re reading this site, you were.

2. Full disclosure: I’ve done some writing for Lyle’s Bank Robber Music in the past.



Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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