The Lemon Twigs

It’s once a year or less, that I (JON ‘MOJO’ MILLS, Editor-In-Chief) get really excited about a new band. We get so much stuff sent to us, and to be honest most of it goes in one ear and out the other, however good. Jacco Gardner… White Denim… Jonathan Wilson… Temples… Father John Misty… and Foxygen (more on them in a minute) have been bands I personally have championed… and now comes the incredibly intricate music of two teenage New York brothers THE LEMON TWIGS… who were discovered by Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado. We’ll feature the band properly very soon, but for now here’s their own biog and new video. Enjoy! I hope you love them as much as me. Talent this immense is rarely seen and heard


The Lemon Twigs by Autumn de Wilde 4

Once or twice every generation, Long Island introduces the world to artists of such singular originality that they change the very nature of their art: Lou Reed; Jim Brown; Robert Mapplethorpe; Andy Kaufman. With their debut album for 4ADDo Hollywood, The Lemon Twigs have earned themselves a spot on that list. 

Fusing tightly constructed pop, sophisticated orchestration, and British invasion melodies into a 10song masterpiece, the D’Addario brothersBrian (19) and Michael (17)are whipping fans and critics alike into an utter frenzy.

Born into a musical family, Brian and Michael grew up on The Beach Boys and The Beatles, whose albums and films played constantly in their house. As toddlers, they were already harmonising on I Want To Hold Your Hand, and soon they were playing drums and mastering whatever instruments they could get their hands on. Ask about their childhood dreams and they’ll tell you that they never aspired to do anything but make music together. It shows. 

“Brian and Michael are two of the best musicians I’ve ever met,” says Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado, who discovered the duo via Twitter and produced the new album. “As teenagers, they work like studio vets. Brian can play anything you hand him  he played all the strings and horns on the record  and Michael is the most captivating drummer I’ve ever seen. There’s nothing they can’t do.” 

Rado proved to be the perfect foil for the wunderkinds, and the resulting album brings together everything from Brian Wilson and David Bowie to Queen and The Association. Their music can soar like a carnival calliope and then swiftly drop down to its knees in the hushed tones of a confessional booth. Their vocals move seamlessly from a cabaret croon to classic lalala harmonies. They mine inspiration seemingly from every era of rock, stitching it all together into a baroquepop quilt of many colours

It’s an ambitious approach, to say the least, but the album lives up to the hype. They forthcoming album Do Hollywood opens, appropriately enough, with I Wanna Prove To You, which parades out of the gate like a circus arriving into to town. “I wanna prove to you what I can do, Brian sings as he and his brother proceed to do just that. Bouncing piano and dense harmonies give way to shifting time signatures and mindbending arrangements.It’s the perfect introduction to The Lemon Twigs, and to Do Hollywood, which features the brothers alternating writing credits on each track and liberally swapping instruments, just as they do in their electrifying live performances (they tour with live members Megan Zeankowski on bass and Danny Ayala on keyboards).

Lead single These Words builds from a delicate whisper to a rock and roll roar, while How Lucky Am I?’ tugs at the heartstrings, and As Long As We’re Together calls to mind the memorable melodies of Big Star and TRex. Perhaps no song demonstrates their brotherly democracy better than Hi+Lo, the track unfolding in movements like something off of Abbey Road’s Side B medley with Michael singing and playing guitar, drums, and bass, and Brian adding horns and strings to flesh out the orchestral atmosphere.

“We were crafting these songs pretty intricately,” Brian says. “There’s a lot of care in the arrangements. They’re built to get at people who like nice pop songs. But they’re not empty. We put a lot of ourselves into it and the album has a lot of substance.” It was that substance that caught the attention of the iconic 4AD label and has already earned the banddates with other critical darlings like Foxygen and Car Seat Headrest. With high profile tours and their label debut on the horizon, it’s only a matter of time until the rest of the world discovers Long Island’s next great cultural contribution. Get ready to Do Hollywood. It’s time to meet The Lemon Twigs. 

Together with friends Megan Zeankowski (bass) and Danny Ayala (keyboards), Brian and Michael will take The Lemon Twigs on the road, and they will play Shindig!‘s hometown London in a few weeks! We’ll be there.

September 22nd – LONDON, 4AD Revue @ ICA (w/ Methyl Ethel and Pixx 

Do Hollywoood is released on 4AD on October 14th

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Pere Ubu – David Thomas: The Fixer

When PERE UBU emerged from the wreckage of Rocket From The Tombs to infect the industrial heartlands of mid-70s Ohio with their throbbing, squealing sonic architecture, few would have seriously considered their candidature for rock longevity a viable prospect. But David Thomas had other plans. He always does. “When we started, nobody liked us in Cleveland. We accepted that this was the natural order of things – that nobody would ever like us, much less HEAR us. So when that becomes your world-view then everything is very easy.” An A&R man’s worst nightmare (they stubbornly refused to be pigeonholed), the band have sculpted their own unique trajectory with singularly relentless conviction over these past 40 years. JOHNNIE JOHNSTONE learns about their highly awaited tour


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Thomas, along with the latest incarnation of Pere Ubu (he is the only remaining original member), is making the final preparations for The North American Coed Jail! Tour, where the current line up – one of the band’s strongest ever – will perform classic material from their “historical era” (1975-82). While that prospect may be a mouthwatering one to long term fans, it is not something you might expect from him. Thomas has taken great care to ensure Pere Ubu remains a constantly evolving entity, always moving forward, so for him this seems an uncharacteristically retrospective move. But then, possibly the only predictable thing about David Thomas is his unpredictability. He thinks about music in pretty much the same way as he does life and art. The great French film-maker Jean Renoir once explained the idiosyncrasies of human behaviour by noting that “in life, everyone has his reasons”. Thomas concurs: “I am not a playful guy when it comes to work – there’s always a reason. Orson Welles was asked why he made Anthony Perkins act in a certain way as Josef K. The critic  said ‘Kafka meant the character to be an innocent victim of the machinery.’ Welles responded, ‘No, he’s guilty – guilty as hell.’ ” Read more Pere Ubu – David Thomas: The Fixer

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Never Lift A Finger – Adam Green’s modern reinterpretation of No Wave

THOMAS PATTERSON talks with ADAM GREEN about Aladdin and its inspirations


Perhaps more than any other city, New York is renowned for its experimental and underground filmmaking, from the riotous celluloid outpourings of Jack Smith to the avant-garde creations of Shirley Clarke, Jonas Mekas and Stan Brakhage. And more often than not, where far-out filmmakers go, wild and wonderful music can be found – think Andy Warhol and his Velvet Underground, or Harry Smith, famed for his Anthologies Of American Folk Music, who spent years working on his masterwork Mahagonny from his room at The Chelsea Hotel.

The apex of this underground film and music interchange came with the No Wave scene of the late ’70s and early ’80s, when likeminded filmmakers and musicians came together on the lower East Side to spew forth a glorious alternative movement which has rarely been equaled. Celebrated filmmakers like Jim Jarmusch and Susan Seidelman emerged from the slums of NYC into the wider cinematic world, whilst notorious and outré shock merchants Nick Zedd, Richard Kern and Lydia Lunch – inspired by the works of Baltimore’s John Waters – spearheaded the Cinema of Transgression, No Wave’s snotty cousin. The soundtrack, meanwhile, was provided by the denizens of CBGBs and The Mudd Club, from Debbie Harry to James Chance and The Contortions to a fledgling Sonic Youth and beyond. Alas, rising rents and gentrification, coupled with mainstream success, sounded the death knell for the No Wave movement, and its anarchic spirit seemed forever lost.

Thankfully Adam Green, acclaimed singer-songwriter and one time member of anti-folk act The Moldy Peaches, is here to pick up the reins with his wild and wonderful new film Aladdin. A very lose reimagining of the panto tale, Aladdin is a colourful labour of love, self-financed for $250,000 in a Brooklyn warehouse, set in a papier mâché world with papier mâché props, inspired by the filmmakers like Robert Downey Sr, and Alejandro Jodorowsky. As Green says, “I guess Holy Mountain was one of my biggest influences. Jodorowsky, he’s probably my biggest inspiration of all.”

Aladdin also features a semi-all star cast that includes Natasha Lyonne, Penn Badgley, Devendra Banhart and Mr. Home Alone himself, Macaulay Culkin – according to Green, the man who acted as a satellite for other talent to jump in and help Green realise his unique vision. Read more Never Lift A Finger – Adam Green’s modern reinterpretation of No Wave

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LightDreams – 1981 Canadian Press Oddness

Islands In Space, the 1981 Canadian private press LP from LightDreams has just been reissued for the first time. Reviewed in the forthcoming Shindig! Issue #56 and achieving an elusive 5 star rating, the album is a hugely impressive sonic treat, all the more astonishing as it was recorded on such primitive equipment. LightDreams virtuoso, PAUL MARCANO, spoke to AUSTIN MATTHEWS about the album


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Shindig!: Was there a sense of trying to “paint a picture” with Islands In Space?

Paul Marcano: I come from a long genetic line of visual artists, but perhaps psychedelics helped in the cross-talk of “synaesthesia”, where my music and lyrics do tend to provoke visual elements. This is most evident in the work I’ve recently completed on a virtual reality visualisation of the album for the Oculus Rift (a VR headset). Read more LightDreams – 1981 Canadian Press Oddness

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