ALEATORY #9: Do Make Say Think

Since the 1998 release of their self-titled debut, Do Make Say Think have been a key member of Constellation Records' stable. On a label that is also home to such acts as A Silver Mt. Zion, godspeed you! black emperor, and Sandro Perri (Polmo Polpo, Glissandro 70), it takes a special sort of band to stand out among all the rest of the incredible talent Constellation has signed.

Do Make Say Think
is that sort of band.

Combining the post-rock of their labelmates with elements of jazz, touches of electronics, and above all, incredible technical prowess, DMST was able to pull more emotion out of their instrumental rock than bands with tomes of lyrics. So what did they do? On last year's fantastic You, You're a History of Rust (firmly in Davecat's top five albums of 2007), they added vocals to two of the tracks, including absolutely transcendent disc-closer "In Mind," and proved they can grow in ways no one had imagined.

Taking a break from blowing minds long enough to be the subject of our ninth Aleatory is guitarist Justin Small, who, like all Canadians (if current trends are any indication), has more than one band, also drumming for hardcore soul group (and Constellation-signees) Lullabye Arkestra. He's not as great as I say he is.


13. Favorite Shakespearean play?

Ugggg... I hate Shakespeare. In fact I hate theatre. Really, I'm sorry but it's true. I appreciate the effort that goes into acting on stage but, I don't know why. I just don't get on with actors.

16. Favorite campfire story?

I'm gonna be sitting next to a campfire tomorrow. Yea!
I'll probably talk a lot of shit because I'll be hammered.
I'll re-tell the story of the bird that recently got caught in my bedroom and survived slamming into every wall, escaping my cat, and me hitting it with a broom (by accident, I was trying to guide it out and smacked it on the head. I felt awful)
p.s. the story gets louder each time I tell it.

21. Favorite album(s) from the past year?

I work at a record store, so it's favorite album of the week.
This week
DEATH BREATH's Let It Stink. It's the dude from Hellacopters and Entombed doing old school black metal in [the] vein of Venom and Celtic Frost. It's awesome and all the songs are about zombies!
So it's not death metal it's un-dead metal!!!
There are too many good records to mention. Get away from your fucking computer and visit and support your local record store. It's fun.

25. Favorite historical figure?

Tommy Douglas
He's the reason we have health care in Canada.

33. What's something you could teach anyone in an hour or less?

How to build a campfire. I love doing it and I do it well.

41. If you could go anywhere in the universe, where would it be?

Actually, the sun is shining and I'm inside writing on a computer. I want to be at Ronnie's Patio. That's a bar in the Kensington Market area of Toronto.

48. Biggest moment of triumph?

Marrying Kat Taylor.

51. What are you currently obsessed with?

I don't want to be but it seems I can't help myself. Damn delicious beer.
Also riding my bike. I have a sweet ride.

55. You're curating a festival. If you could choose any two bands to open for you, who would they be?

Good one.
A re-united Talk Talk, Laughing Stock era.
And this one man band from France called Andre Duracell
Check out this Lightning Bolt cover:

62. Your favorite song that you've done so far?

The song Kat walked down the aisle to.
And we just wrote an awesome Lullabye Arkestra jam called 'get nervous'

63. Band/artist you're secretly envious of?

Silver Mount Zion. Have you seen them live??? Holy shit.

66. Worst song you've heard recently?

I cannot stand Joanna Newsom. Sorry. In fact that whole scene of 'pretty-girl-singing-like-a-10 year old' bugs the shit out of me. Can't stand it.

67. Do you reach any kind of personal catharsis when it comes to songwriting/performing?

Yes, of course.
You have to. In order for you to complete a song your heart must be open to it. Otherwise you are just pretending to play music. You are acting music.

68. Favorite interview you've ever been a part of (aside from this one, obviously)?

This one is going swimmingly. So let's not talk about past loves and ruin the moment. o.k.?

78. Your life has been reduced to a bumper sticker: what does it say?

"If you cannot move your body, your soul cannot be saved"
Or one of those Jesus fish holding a beer.

84. Most disappointing concert you ever attended?

Palace Brothers way back in '96 (?) at Lee's Palace. In Toronto.
I was soooooo into Palace at the time. And apparently Will Oldham had fired his band before arriving and instead of doing it solo hired these new-rock assholes to back him. Total disaster.

86. With Radiohead's In Rainbows release and Nine Inch Nails doing boffo business with his online releases, do you see yourself ever doing some alternative kind of release for any of your future projects?

Just as long as there's also a vinyl release as well. I just got a new needle for my turn table and music has never sounded better.

88. What's your deepest source for musical inspiration?

Love and fear.

89. You just died. I'm sorry. Fortunately, your will states that you want very specific music to be played at your funeral. What did you choose?

"Highway to the Danger Zone" by Kenny Loggins. From the Top Gun soundtrack.

95. Do you ever read your own reviews?

I'm really not as great as everybody says I am.


ALEATORY #8: Titles

... and in step the indie-rockers. With a laid-back style the mixes both backwoods rock drawl with indie quirkiness, guitarist Brad Amorosio began working as Titles after his previous Connecticut college rock act bailed out. Soon, with the help of drummer John Miller, a fleshed-out sound emerged, and as of later this year, a new album as well. Brad sits down with Globecat to take part in its eigth Aleatory ...


1. Favorite word?

I don't know. [Editor's Note: That's actually three words.]

5. Favorite piece of equipment?

1960 Gretsch Clipper.

14. Favorite sound?


26. Favorite badass?

Daniel Day-Lewis in Gangs of New York.

45. What's the best lie you've ever told?

Probably something on a job interview.

53. So far in your career, what's been your biggest regret?

No regrets.

54. So far in your career, what's been your proudest accomplishment?

Putting out our last record.

60. What's the worst show you've ever played? What would you have done different?

They are all OK. Even the worst ones have some value.

63. Band/artist you're secretly envious of?

It would be fun to float on the crowd in an inflatable bubble.

65. Ever see yourself penning the score/soundtrack to a TV show or film?

Not anytime soon.

76. Dream collaboration?

When is that Dangerhorse record coming out?

82. Current pop song that you would file under "guilty pleasure"?

I liked that Jessica Simpson song with the roller rink video ["A Public Affair"].

89. You just died. I'm sorry. Fortunately, your will states that you want very specific music to be played at your funeral. What did you choose?

"Hello Goodbye"

90. Sexiest thing about you?

Post nasal drip.

91. Which single album should be in everybody's home?

The first Huey Lewis and the News record.

97. Your label wants to do a music video for a song off your album, and have inexplicably procured $1,000,000 as a budget, then decide that you'd best direct the visual accompaniment to your own music. What song do you choose, and what will your video look like?

We'd probably do something with animatronic dinosaurs.

99. Licensing your music out to companies for TV ads: good or bad?

Depends what the ad is for. Car insurance? Hamburgers? Sure, what the hell.


Visit Titles' website.


ALEATORY #7: Mark Romanek

You may have heard of Mark Romanek.

Mark spends his time directing music videos. Some of the videos he has directed include Nine Inch Nails' "Closer" and "The Perfect Drug", Fiona Apple's "Criminal", Lenny Kravitz's "Are You Gonna Go My Way", Janet/Michael Jackson's "Scream", Johnny Cash's "Hurt", and Jay-Z's "99 Problems", just to name a few. He also directed the incredible paranoia-thriller One Hour Photo starring Robin Williams, along with some of the revolutionary iPod TV spots. He's won everything from Grammy Awards to VMA's, and now sits down to partake in the seventh Globecat Aleatory. Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado: the inimitiable Mark Romanek.


1. Favorite word?

I've always liked the word: nuance. I also like the words: perhaps, affinity, translucence, tangential, hierophant, and taupe. I also love to say the name "Miroslav Ondricek."

4. Favorite person to have worked with?

I found it thrilling to work with Johnny Cash, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, and David Bowie. My experience with Robin Williams on One Hour Photo was really great too.

6. Favorite visual artist?/Favorite work of visual art?

Pablo Picasso/Various paintings from his "Rose Period."

7. Favorite composer?

Bob Dylan. Tom Waits. Paul Simon. Stevie Wonder. Erik Satie. Ludwig Van Beethoven. J.S. Bach.

11. Favorite music video?

Wax "Southern California" by Spike Jonze. Also: Iggy Pop "Home" by David Fincher, Björk "All is Full of Love" by Chris Cunningham, [and] Björk "Isobel" by Michel Gondry.

19. Favorite foreign film?

Fellini's 8 ½, Truffaut's 400 Blows, Polanski's The Tenant, Tarkovsky's The Sacrifice, Bergman's Persona, Dreyer's Passion of Joan of Arc.

21. Favorite album(s) from the past year?

Bon Iver -- For Emma, Forever Ago, Coconut Records -- Nighttiming, Radiohead -- In Rainbows

23. Favorite natural oddity?

The human orgasm, bio-luminesence, Aurora Borealis, rainbows, fireflies, hummingbirds, transparent fish (In that order.)

28. What instrument would you most like to learn to play?

Acoustic guitar. To my great shame, I never learned. (I took a lesson when I was nine and was discouraged by a teacher who said I had no aptitude. I later found out I was a lefty. That guy was a dumb asshole.)

32. Best thing you learned this week/month?

I learned to get the fuck out of the way.

33. What's something you could teach anyone in an hour or less?

I suppose I could teach someone how to use a 35mm still film camera.

42. What's an image that haunts you to this day?

When I was five years old, I was very eager for the next day to come, because it was my birthday or Christmas or something. The idea of having to wait all night long for the next day to come was unbearable to me. So, that evening, sitting in my bed, I closed my eyes and wished with all my might that when I opened them, it would be morning. And it worked! (I swear to God.) It was morning in the blink of an eye! I thought the world was magic and that I had magical powers. (I guess, I must''ve closed my eyes and fallen asleep without realizing, and I actually opened my eyes about ten hours later.)

44. Something you've heard, know is false, but wish were true with all your heart?

I have an opposite example. I heard something that's probably true and wish with all my heart that it wasn't. Someone who actually knows J.D. Salinger said that he's stipulated in his will that when he dies all his unpublished manuscripts are to be destroyed. I think this would be a cultural tragedy of unimaginable proportions.

54. So far in your career, what's been your proudest accomplishment?

I guess, One Hour Photo. That, and a handful of my music-videos.

I would say that I'm proud to be involved with all the Apple iPod silhouette TV spots, because I do think it's a really great product, and the ads are sort of iconic . They are defining an aspect of the era. (I should note that the silhouette idea itself is not mine, of course. I just help execute them.)

66. Worst song you've heard recently?

If it was "worst" I almost certainly would've changed the station before I could discover the title. I have a low tolerance for insincere, synthetic crap.

76. Dream collaboration?

I'd love to work with: Tom Waits, Thom Yorke, Leonard Cohen, Björk.

85. What's the biggest mistake you've made that you inadvertently learned a great lesson from?

Isn't any "biggest" mistake inevitably an enormous learning experience? I think any mistakes that big would be too humiliating for me to discuss in this forum.

89. You just died. I'm sorry. Fortunately, your will states that you want very specific music to be played at your funeral. What did you choose?

Erik Satie's "Gnossienes #5." (No question about it.)

90. Sexiest thing about you?

My talent for gracefully deflecting embarrassing questions.

96. The one thing that no one knows about you (yet)?

I can be pretty funny, once you get to know me. (Just not so much in this questionnaire.)


Visit Mark's official website.


OFF THE RECORDS: The Anniversary

As we post this -- our first Off the Records segment, detailing reflections and behind-the-scenes goings-ons here at Globecat -- we will officially have garnered out 666th hit, making our site officially endorsed by Satan, who, of course, is a long-standing propriator and supporter of rock and roll in general (we kid, naturally). Yet this blog is not about garnering thumbs-up from the underworld; it is -- and always will be -- about connecting musicians to listeners, with as little buffers in-between. We are on the cusp of celebrating our first month active as a site, and already we have published three interviews, six Aleatories, and have so many amazing artists lined up for future interviews it almost borders on ridiculous.

Yet our initial success wouldn't have been possible without a few things: Anncat's incredible logo, Bencat's sleek, efficient design, and especially without the interview that got this site off to its fantastic start -- Will Stratton's. It was that humble folkie's honest start that gave Globecat the leg-up it needed, all before we wound up talking to Harvey Danger, indie-icon Phil Elvrum, emerging pop hero Gotye, Japanese psych-rockers Ghost, French electro-rapper Yelle, indie-rock giants Maritime, former Clem Snide frontman Eef Barzelay, sample-heavy party-starters The Go! Team, and -- shortly after this post -- iconic music video director Mark Romanek.

Needless to say, we just want to thank our loyal readers for your support, Jay Hathaway for your incredible blog posts, and all those forum gurus and PR agents that link our work on a regular basis. We're still stunned by all that we've accomplished in the first month ... let's just see what happens in the next 11. :-)


ALEATORY #6: The Go! Team

Ian Parton could very well get a job as a professional juggler. Afterall, the founder and mastermind behind the U.K.'s party-starting sample-happy The Go! Team somehow finds a way to weave dozens of samples, tons of live instruments, and a genuine sense of fun all together on TG!T's albums, all without seemingly breaking a sweat. Already his band has produced a rising indie star (female rapper Ninja, who can be heard on the excellent Simian Mobile Disco single "It's the Beat"), a near-classic debut album (2004's Thunder, Lightning, Strike), and an equally-ecstatic crowd-pleasing follow-up (2007's Proof of Youth), all while leaving a trail of dropped jaws in the wake of the band's outrageous and exciting live shows. Amidst all this Technicolor insanity, however, Ian found time to sit down and become part of the sixth Globecat Aleatory, revealing dark family secrets (game shows!), incredible childhood boardgames (Assassin!), and how the dirtiest joke he knows is about two decades past its relevance (but is still fantastically funny).
2. Favorite board game?

I'm not really a board game fan but when I was a kid, me and my brother designed our own board game called "Assassin" where you had to kill the president.

7. Favorite composer?

Phillip Glass.

9. Favorite song to start (or end) a mixtape with?

"Groovin' with Mr. Bloe" by Mr. Bloe.

12. Favorite band when you were in high school?
I'm ashamed to say I had a Simple Minds period in school but that turned into the Wedding Present, then the Pixies.

13. Favorite Shakespearean play?

Gawd knows -- maybe Othello.

19. Favorite foreign film?

À bout de souffle

20. Favorite new band?

Ult Cult.

28. What instrument would you most like to learn to play?
The trumpet.

33. What's something you could teach anyone in an hour or less?

34. What's the best joke you heard recently?

The only joke I know is the one about Michael Jackson's favourite song being "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" -- it must date from the 80's cos that's when he had the chimp.

43. What's the road ahead look like?
As long as there is the occassional little chef I'll be happy.
44. Something you've heard, know is false, but wish were true with all your heart?
Music can change the world.
51. What are you currently obsessed with?
Melody and the US office.
61. What's the best advice you could give to a young, upstart band?
Don't think about getting signed just think about create/making music that noone else is making.
73. Are there any songs that you're working on right now?
I work on little ideas rather than whole songs and kinda hoarde them away and whittle them down to the greatest hits. So I have the usual stash of ideas squrrelled away at the mo.
75. Very first song that you ever wrote?
First song I recorded in a proper studio I called "Assembly" 'cos it sounded like it was performed by kids in a school assembly -- it had recorders and glockenspeils in it so not much has changed.
92. Which venue are you dying to play but have not yet had the chance to?
I'd like to play Brixton Academy but I think we've missed our chance now.
96. The one thing that no one knows about you (yet)?
My family auditioned for Family Fortunes.
Photo taken by Jamie Beeden.


ALEATORY #5: Eef Barzelay

When Clem Snide covered Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful" for the EP of the same name, few would expect that such a bloated power ballad could be done as an effective song that was as earnest as it was forceful. Yet Eef Barzelay is one to always upset expectations, his backwoods indie-ballads always peppered with sharp pop culture observations that intertwine with his ever-present heartbreak (just listen to his solo track "The Ballad of Bitter Honey" to hear the best song ever written about a rap video girl's tormented life). With Lose Big, Eef's second solo album (third if you count his Rocket Science soundtrack), the former Clem Snide frontman shows that constant touring has only made his skills sharper, and that few acoustic balladeers are as witty, cunning, or genuinely affecting as Eef Barzelay, the subject of Globecat's fifth Aleatory.


2. Favorite board game?


3. Favorite key to write in?


8. Favorite author?/Favorite book?

The Bible
by God.

11. Favorite music video?

Madonna -- Papa Don't Preach

23. Favorite natural oddity?

My heart.

24. Favorite historical time period?

The time between the wars.

25. Favorite historical figure?


29. Who do you wish more people were listening to?


35. What's the best place you've randomly discovered while on tour?

Miss Tracy's Study Butte Cafe near Big Bend, TX.

39. What's something you could probably beat anyone you know at?

Grinding my teeth.

44. Something you've heard, know is false, but wish were true with all your heart?

That there is god.

50. What's your religious tradition or background?

Raised by Jewish atheists.

57. Most rock star thing you've ever done?

Playboy radio.

62. Your favorite song that you've done so far?

"Collapse" [from] End of Love [by] Clem Snide

65. Ever see yourself penning the score/soundtrack to a TV show or film?

Done and done.

70. What is a personal belief you hold that you would fight for to the death?

Freedom of thought.

76. Dream collaboration?

Little Jimmy Scott.

79. Best concert you've ever been to?

Little Jimmy Scott at Birdland, New Years Eve 2001.

84. Most disappointing concert you ever attended?

Whitesnake, Meadowlands 1986.

86. With Radiohead's In Rainbows release and Nine Inch Nails doing boffo business with his online releases, do you see yourself ever doing some alterative kind of release for any of your future projects?

Pay it forward, yo.



When Maritime formed from the ashes of seminal emo-rock darlings The Promise Ring, people weren't sure exactly to expect, especially with the addition of Dismemberment Plan bassist Eric Axelson. Their first album, Glass Floor, was drubbed in some circles for being too lightweight, but, really, it was drubbed because everyone thought it was going to sound like the Dismemberment Ring. Songs like the gorgeous "Window is the Door" and the poppy "Someone Has to Die" showed there were far more important things going on than just aiming for that six-string sweet spot. Their 2006 disc We, The Vehicles was more immediate and striking, and by the time that Axelson left, lead singer/guitarist Davey Von Bohlen and drummer Dan Didier went in an even further guitar-rock direction, resulting in 2007's fantastic Heresy & the Hotel Choir.

Sitting down with Evcat, Von Bohlen and Didier do a great tag team interview, discussing their dual legacies, ignoring expectations, and regretting that darned Tony Hawk video game.


>>To be quite blunt, I think you guys had one incredibly difficult hurdle to overcome when you first started out: there was just too much anticipatory hype surronding the idea of a Promise Ring + Dismemberment Plan sound, which, of course Glass Floor was about as far from as you could imagine with its wistful acoustic indie-pop. How did this effect you as a band?

Davey: Not really at all. For whatever reason, we always expect to get panned for everything we ever do, and always have. Every bit of criticism and ego-stroking seems to fall somewhere outside the group and we just keep doing the same thing. Seems to me, to take public opinion and let it influence you isn't authentic.

>>Of course you now have three full-lengths under your belt, and Heresy wound up rocking much, much harder. How has the gradual electric-guitar pileup changed your live shows?

Dan: Well, our live shows now have a lot more energy than our first couple tours when we were playing Glass Floor stuff. Not that we didn't play the Glass Floor stuff without energy, its just that the latter songs were written with the idea of playing them live in mind, whereas with Glass Floor we just put whatever we wanted into the songs without any forethought of playing those songs live (i.e. layering every song with strings, piano, horns, etc.). So the transition from studio to live for the early songs was pretty tough. So when we started writing We, the Vehicles it was a conscience decision to keep the instrumentation a lot simpler. So, I guess to us, simpler instrumentation equals rock.

>>I look back on the Aidos EP and your tons of B-sides and unreleased tracks: what goes into the process of deciding what goes on an album for you guys?

Davey: We just pick the good songs. Actually, that's true: when we reach that stage, it is always pretty obvious which songs are definitely in and which group are definitely out ... The group on the fence tends to reveal themselves during recording, where songs grow and fall apart one last time. They pretty much sort themselves out.

>>It feels like We, the Vehicles was very much designed as the disc to break conventions that Glass Door set up, proving your ambition was more than just lo-fi acoustic strummings. What went into that disc that was so different? Now that you've firmly established yourself as an indie-guitar act, what's next?

Dan: The biggest difference with the writing of We, The Vehicles was that Eric Axelson was in the writing process from the start. With Glass Floor, the songs started with just Davey and I and we didn't get Eric involved until later in the writing process. We also didn't rely on ProTools as much. We started in the studio with us playing the songs and only went to the computer when the songs were mostly fleshed out. Heresy was the same way, but this time with Justin Klug and Dan Hinz. Well, we are just starting the writing process for the next record, so its too early to tell what it may sound like.

>>Do you still feel bound to the Promise Ring legacy at all, or does Maritime mark a completely new phase in your life?

Davey: In as much as I was part of it, and it me ... yea. I don't think of songs with legacies or expectations. I think of them as individual statements and I am just really happy to still be creating and interacting with them.

>>Lastly, in your career thus far, what's been your biggest regret and, conversely, what's been your proudest accomplishment?

Dan: My biggest regret, honestly, is that while I was in The Promise Ring I didn't learn a craft or something while we were living off the band. Instead I got really good at the Tony Hawk video games. But, as far as an accomplishment, I guess I am just happy to still be able to do this. Being able to travel and tour (albeit a lot less now with all of our family responsibilities) and write songs with guys I highly respect for such long time. Its something to be proud of.