Sound & Vision with Anthony LaMarca aka The Building

All Things New is the hypnotising new track from Anthony LaMarca – aka The Building. The War on Drugs’ guitarist put his upcoming record together following his diagnosis with Multiple Myeloma, and the struggle only adds to the deeply emotive, raw songs.

His third album, PETRA, which is named after his beloved German Shepherd and who appears in the video above, is out this Friday – 11th October on Concord Records. These are his Sound & Vision picks:

Maybe my all-time favourite book:

Trout Fishing In America by Richard Brautigan

My friend, Andrew Carlson (who plays bass live with The Building), first gave me this book. I immediately loved everything about it; his humuor, his simple irreverent writing style, the way the phrase Trout Fishing In America is used to represent and name so many things. It becomes its own vernacular. I find I’m usually drawn to creative works that have an element of that; of creating a world that they live in. Or living in the character of an idea rather than explaining the idea. Between this and Steinbeck’s East of Eden you can probably learn all there is to know about me, aesthetically.

Here’s the last three albums I bought:

Adrianne Lenker – abysskiss

I’ve been listening to this album a lot recently- probably more than any other. I’m a really big fan of her as a songwriter and guitar player. I also just love the mood of this album. It’s really clear and sparse without feeling too gentle or precious. I think it resonates with me because it achieves a certain silence that I love in music; like Nick Drake’s Pink Moon or the Velvet Underground’s self titled LP. It’s music that comes out of silence rather than music that exists without regard to silence…if that makes sense…? It also is a great album for this time of year; changing seasons.

The Jimmy Giuffre 3 – Music for people, birds, butterflies, & mosquitoes

This is not my favourite Jimmy Giuffre album by any means, but anytime I see one that I don’t have, I buy it. His records haven’t been too widely reissued for some reason; and he made a ton of them. His music was pretty important for me because he was the first jazz artist I saw that took a more minimalist approach. He was a big part of the “third stream” movement (music falling between classical and jazz) although his music stylistically tended more towards folk. I guess he’s another one of those artists that made his music with silence.

Aaron Neville – Make Me Strong

This is a compilation of singles spanning from ‘1968 – mid ‘70s’ as the liner notes point out. As with Jimmy Giuffre, I almost always pick up stuff from Aaron Neville when I see it, especially this era of stuff. This was a weird time for him. It was after his first hit in ’67 with Tell It Like It Is, but before he became a true pop star in the 80s. The Neville Brothers are such a deep part of American music, and I don’t think Aaron gets enough credit as one of the all-time greatest vocalists. Maybe partly because the time during which his voice was at it’s peak (late ‘80s – 90’s) wasn’t exactly a time of great production choices. So those recordings sound pretty dated in a pretty “adult-contemporary” way. But the bottom line is vocally no one is in the same field. He has such a singular voice, but it also has such a gentleness of spirit to it, even at it’s nastiest.

A song I love:

The Cars – Just What I Needed

Since Ric Ocasek just died, I’ve been obviously digging back into The Cars’ albums. I’ve always thought of this song as the perfect pop song (I guess The Cars were specialists in making perfect pop songs). I don’t feel like I have anything special to say about it. It’s cool. It’s catchy. It’s The Cars version of I Want To Hold Your Hand. Familiar, but with a couple unexpected little turns. This is also music that I wish I would make. I would love to start a new wave band. I might some day…

My favourite film:

Devo – In The Beginning Was The End: The Truth About De-Evolution

This short film was made in 1976 in Akron, Ohio; which is pretty mind blowing if you watch the movie. Because I’m from this part of the country (Youngstown, Ohio) I have a special interest in the music from here. Devo are a big part of that not only because of geography, but also because they were such early punk pioneers. Obviously, New York City was the epicenter of this scene, but the origins and the precursors to what became more popular in 1977 was happening for years elsewhere as well. The early early Devo stuff (like this film and the recordings they made before their first proper LP) are so inspiring to me because they are so forward thinking. It’s a good reminder that you can push boundaries and be as out as you want without the validation of a big city.

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