2015

2015 was a consistent year for Invisible Library!  We put out several projects including my favorite album this year, CANTALOUPER – REPRODUCTION.  Brandon Brains and kidDEAD dropped their long awaited masterpiece of sadness, brainDEAD – CRTN DTH EP.  kidDEAD also put out Truth Bombs (kidDEADcult) with guitar savant Chris Surratt.  Central Illinois legends HUSHPAD dropped a single as a pre-cursor to their album Hellas.  Spoken Nerd remained prolific this year with the vinyl release of We are probably going to make it in this world after all, Cult ‘a’ Cola Classics vol. 2 on cassette with 24-7 and the Failing is FUN EP.

 

CANTALOUPER – REPRODUCTION

This album opens with a song about loosing your virginity in a parking lot and trying but failing to recreate that experience.  Reproduction takes you on a journey of deep thinking and self realization all the while tickling you like some sort of demented Beach Boys record from another dimension.  On one hand singer Levi Dolan sounds like he may be the saddest guy who’s ever lived, on the other hand he sounds as if he’s conquering the world as he wails through choruses as if he’s just figured it all out.

 

CESCHI – Broken Bone Ballads
BBB is an album full of the best song on the album.  Ceschi’s raps are full of hope and inspiration but never really stray away from the melancholy and reality of life.  In a world of naively positive rap that might as well say that everything will work itself out if you vibe to this, Ceschi’s music is the most refreshing because of it’s honesty.  Here’s a quote that sums that up, “While conscious rappers sample I have a dream, I discuss life with Latin Kings.  Wondering what freedom means in a cell with junkies detoxing”.  I have turned quite a few of my non hip hop friendly friends on to this record and have seen them moved by it.

 

GOBLIN – REBIRTH
It’s a really special thing to see a band like Goblin continue to make amazing music in 2015.  This Italian band of prog rockers have been making music since 1972 and have since produced the soundtracks to some amazing horror classics including Dario Argento’s Suspiria.  Rebirth has a bit more of a live sound which is portrayed the best on Book of Skulls.  I would love to see this band play live.

 

MEW – +-
+- is a very different album then what I’m used to from MEW.  Don’t get me wrong, This album sounds like MEW through and through but seems to take a more experimental and electronic angle.  Listening to it almost sounds like a solo album as opposed to a band effort which lends to the discovery of new sounds and vibes.  I listened to this album non-stop for a week when I got it.

 

LOW – Ones and Sixes
Ones and Sixes is a real gem.  I have always loved Drums and Guns and this album moves me in the same way.  It has a very big sound and holds true to strong melodies between the 2 vocalists. The production outright amazing which will keep my eyes on BJ Burton.  This is the type of album that you will want to listen to at a loud volume because it will bump like a hip hop record!

 

DREADPOOL PARKER
Great Drugadelic hip hop from New Jersey!  RAY STRIFE, DREADY MERCURY and WADE WILSON form the trio known as DREADPOOL PARKER.  Songs about comics, drugs and the good life make a great hip hop album to vibe to.

 

DISASTERPEACE – IT FOLLOWS SOUNDTRACK
Big Fat 80’s synth.  Feels like Nightmare on Elm Street sounds like falling in love.

 

JOEY THE JERK – CATCH ME IF YOU CAN
This is the best Christian Hip Hop album I’ve heard in years. Joey is a co-founder of one of the best hip supergroups in history. the legendary LA SYMPHONY.  This album is a rap album about faith, Virtue and God.  Usually this means that it’s a well intended album but overall isn’t in the same league as everything else you’re listening to.  That’s not the case at all with Catch me if you Can.  This album stands next to Ceschi’s Broken Bone Ballads as my favorite hip hop albums of the year.

 

SUFJAN STEVENS – CARRIE and LOWELL
Simplicity.  Just a really pretty folk album.  I recommend giving it a chance.

 

VINYL CAPE – RITUAL ABUSE
DOOM RAP out of the Northeast.  This is my favorite project from Portland, Maine’s BRZOWSKI. It’s nice to BRZO on a dark no nonsense vibe.  This album include features from F. Virtue, Swordplay and more.

 

OUT OF PLACE – UNTITLED
Nashville legend, 24-7 released his newest project under his tenured moniker, Out of Place.  Untitled is chopped full of sample based beats and features from Spoken Nerd, kidDEAD. Kapsole, Bobby Exodus and more.  Untitled is a really fun album and has kept my head nodding throughout 2015.
EP’S

 

COUNTERFEIT MONEY MACHINE – DONALD RUMP
Big Buzzing Beats by Juan Cosby with Cincinasti’s best MC’s Killing the tracks!

 

DAN SMITH – STILL LIFE
Still Life is a really thoughtful collection of new songs from Listener’s frontman, Dan Smith.

 

RACHEL HADEN – The LUCCI PARADE
Instense ambient ballads from Rachel Haden.  Overwhelming beauty is present in every song on this album.  More people should hear this music.

Nashville Scene Write Up

http://www.nashvillescene.com/nashville/spoken-nerd-w-the-gnar-wave-rangers-private-lives-and-seth-moore/Event?oid=5024496

 

Spoken Nerd w/The Gnar Wave Rangers, Private Lives & Seth Moore

When: Fri., April 24, 9:30 p.m.
Price: $5

If there is one thing I’ve learned in my tenure at this fine paper, it is this: Spoken Nerd is a nexus of weird. He is a magnet for off-kilter, off-color, odd-vant-garde artists and musicians, and I couldn’t possibly love him any more for it. Take, for instance, Chicago’s Gnar Wave Rangers, whose bizarre non sequitur party anthem “Gucci Water Balloons” has been lodged in my wigdome for days on end. It is such a weird song, and it would not have drifted into my cloistered little life it weren’t for the big homie Spoken Nerd. Maybe it’s because his music itself inhabits such a strange place — somewhere between twee indie, art folk and backpack rap — that Nerd is able to cultivate such an out-there but adorable vibe. Nerd is joined by outsider folkie Seth Moore and the mysterious garage outfit Private Lives. SEAN L. MALONEY

2014 was amazing part 1

I have a short list of fun and fulfilling records I have been listening to this past year. There are many more notable mentions, but we don’t have all the time in the world do we?

David Bazan’s Monthly: Volume 1 release is really great and continues to show his versatility as time goes on. If you’re looking for Pedro the Lion lyrics with Headphones beats, look no further.

Then you have Weezer’s Everything Will Be Alright in the End. Fun record, Fun guys. 1990’s, here we come.

68’s In Humor and Sadness returns Josh Scogin, from Norma Jean and The Chariot, to rock n roll. If you loved hardcore or loud rock n roll this is the record for you.

The Raw Boys self titled release is fun and energetic. Reminds me of Clutch and late 70s noise bands. Check it out here. http://therawboys.bandcamp.com/

Spoken Nerd’s WE ARE PROBABLY GOING TO MAKE IT IN THIS WORLD AFTER ALL is probably the best release I’ve heard this year. Nathan Conrad’s style has evolved from hip hop to a much broader mix of styles ranging from pop to shoegaze. So much fun; so little time.

Looking for Straight Hip Hop. Look no further than kidDEAD’s Rap and Destroy. Lyrics like, “It keeps the peace, but it keeps me beat,” are fun and reminiscent of past times.

2014 was busy for legend Ryan Adams who had multiple releases, and it was all great! He put out a self titled record and an EP that is sure to please.

Promos released as well:

  • 2014: Jacksonville/I Keep Running/Walkedypants (Limited Edition 7″)
  • 2014: Vampires” (7″)
  • 2014: Do You Laugh When You Lie?” (7″)

 

I am really excited about Cantalouper’s record coming soon as well.

Til next time,

Cheers!

 

Mr Nasti Interview!

Mr.-Nasti
You opened up your own restaurant as well as a bar.  Do you ever worry that your customers might not want to buy food from someone named Mr Nasti?
This is a major concern of my mother’s. I suppose it’s possible that some would be put off by the name, but I don’t really want to hang out with those highfalutin types anyway. For the record, NASTI is a combination of my middle and last names, and the name MR NASTI has become the name of a specific band rather than a nickname.
I really like your newest album Truth Sound.  Working with Maximum Ames has obviously fared you well.  I’ve also liked your work with House Pride.  Could you talk a little bit about HP and where it stands right now?
Thank you! Maximum Ames Records has been incredible to work with. I got a lot of enjoyment out of running House Pride Records for several years and it’s been a very special part of my life. Although the label has been largely inactive over the last few years, it will always exist as long as I’m alive, and I’m planning some releases for 2015. It will always be a small, DIY thing, and I’m very okay with that.
I was at one of your shows a while back and you employed the use of a toilet paper machine.  Do you ever get nervous that people are going think that you poop a lot when they see you with all of that toilet paper?
That is an interesting jump in logic that I’d have never considered if not for you. Thank you for that. People may think that, and they may be right – I will choose to leave it artistically open-ended. I do have a machine for propelling toilet paper. For years, the longest roll of toilet paper you could find was 1000 sheets. I’m very excited to announce that they’ve recently started making rolls that are 1250 sheets! Technology is amazing.
Truth Sound seems to have a spiritual theme.  Is this based on a revelation or is it a product of personal growth?
 
A bit of both. Music is my spirituality, and the creation thereof is my religious ritual. This album was a revelation for me, and it catalogs three years of my life. Truth Sound is a time capsule and a hymnal, and it is the best piece of art I’ve created to date.
 
What’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever done?
 
I’ve never done anything dumb.
 
What albums are your currently excited about listening to at the moment?
 
Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of Bob Dylan, Black Sabbath, Kate Bush, Leonard Cohen, Toxic Teeth, Kurt Vile, War On Drugs, Sun Kil Moon, Spoken Nerd, The Smiths, Husker Du, and The Replacements. I think Fall is the best time to listen to music.
 
What are some of your favorite tour experiences?
 
I’ll never forget waking up hungover in a van on the edge of the grand canyon, stepping out and seeing it’s undeniable glory for the first time. Every night on tour is a weird and unique memory of some kind, and it’s those little bits of humanity that make life so special and bittersweet.
 
Here’s a list of one liners:
 
Apples or Oranges?Peas

 
Favorite Ice Cream?
Pistachio
 
Freddy or Jason?
 
Freddy (based solely on style)
 
Deep dish or thin crust?Depends on the weather

 
 
What’s next for Mr Nasti?
 
Next year I’ll be releasing a new album called Death Rattle on cassette tape, then I’m doing a split with Toxic Teeth, and after that the future is wide open. I like to leave a space for impulsive creativity. I have an art installation in my head that I’d like to build, and I want to get into animation and puppetry. Also, I’m planning to release a self-published collection of Iowa poetry and photography.
Thanks for the opportunity buddy! Love you man!
 “Check out Mr Nasti’s other band Children of Spy!!!”  https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/bike-ride-single/id935042807
Article by Nathan Conrad

THE SIMPSONS and SPOKEN NERD’S SKELE-TOUR

THE SIMPSONS and SPOKEN NERD’S SKELE-TOUR
by Nathan Conrad

I’ve always loved The Simpsons.  When I was just a kid I used to see them on the Tracy Ullman show and I just couldn’t get enough of them.  One of my favorite episodes is one called ‘When Flanders failed’, which aired on the third season. On this episode Ned Flanders quits his day job and opens a store called The Leftorium, a store that caters to the left handed populous.  Things don’t go so well for Ned in this new endeavor and Homer seems to delight in his neighbor’s failure until he sees that the store is going out of business and has a change of heart.  Homer then calls everyone he knows, spreading the word about the store and consequently saves the day.  This episode demonstrates a fine point of capitalism as the community comes together and supports a local citizen’s business above and beyond as he faces trial.  I recently faced an interesting situation and experienced one of those beautiful embraces of capitalism.

     I have always been critical of “crowd funding” methods as a music industry practice but on my last tour I was faced with a situation that was out of my control that made me rethink my criticisms of this practice.  In the middle of my tour in Iowa City my van came to a halt in a parking lot and wouldn’t start.  I trouble shot, called AAA, canceled a show and faced a 1200 dollar mechanic’s bill.  Thankfully I had enough money to cover it but that bill would wipe out everything I had.  My reaction was to put up my back catalogue on my bandcamp page on a pay what you want basis. I  posted my story on facebook advertising the sale and was amazed at the support that I received and was able to confidently complete the tour without insecurity.  This not only helped me financially but also awakened me to the fact that there are a lot of folks out there that love me and believe in what I am doing.  On top of all this, while I was stranded in Iowa City for 3 days I got to spend time with some of the most awesome human beings.  Particularly my new friend Jay Schleidt, who housed me during this crisis and kept me full of food, art and inspiration which made what would be a real bad time an actual highlight of my tour.  Here’s a link to Jay’s website:  http://www.lation.org/jayschleidt/
     If you made it out to a show, told someone about my music, bought a cd, fed me breakfast, let me sleep on your couch or supported me in any way, thank you.  You have fueled this art that I make and care about and I will continue to fuel others along this journey.  I’m looking forward to seeing many more of you throughout the next couple of seasons as I plan more tours.  Shoot me a msg and let me know when you’d like to hang out in your town!

Gathering of the Dudes

Nathan Conrad-

Back in 2012 I set out to do a tour with one of my favorite bands, Children of Spy.  At the time I didn’t know the frontman, Nicholas Naioti very well but I always caught a pretty good vibe from him.  When we were planning the tour Nicholas said something to me that I didn’t really take very seriously at the time but will now stick with me for the rest of my life.  He said, “Nathan, I want this tour to be the best time of our lives.  I mean it.  I don’t want just a great tour.  I seriously want us to look back on this and remember at as possibly the best time of our lives”.  The tour went above and beyond my expectations as I had a real blast on the road with 3 of my new best friends.  We forged a real bond and friendship that year and I am proud to know Nicholas and everyone involved with House Pride Records.  Soon after the tour Nicholas moved away and ended up in Fairfield, Iowa where he opened his own restaurant and venue.  Being the revolutionary that he is, Nicholas started a music festival called Gathering of the Dudes.  Last year it was in Fairfield and this year it will be on the outskirts of Columbia, MO at THE DOME.  The festival is full of bands that have created a unique bond of friendship that bless this festival as not only an expression of art but a reunion of sorts.

     Invisible Library will be representing at the gathering with Cantalouper, Spoken Nerd, Mr Nasti and Children of Spy.  Many other favorites will be there such as The Gardenheads, Seth Moore, Dub Nub, Knife Death and Sunset Maintenance to name a few.
     When we were on tour we shot this video and to this day any time I feel down from a bad day at work or whatnot watching it makes me feel better.

Interview with Ceschi

Ceschi

You may not have heard of Ceschi Ramos but your favorite rapper most likely knows all about him.  If you ever have the chance to see Ceschi live you may say that it is the best rap show that you’ve been to in a long time and you may say that it is also the best folk rock show that you’ve been to lately as well.  Ceschi’s music is diverse and is a standout even amongst his contemporaries like Sole, Myka 9, Awol One, Ecid, ect.  We had the opportunity to sit down with The Boss himself for this interview.  We hope you enjoy!
IL: Your newest album Forgotten Forever isn’t available on I Tunes.  There’s a rumor that’s floating around that the reason why is Fake Four dropped you from the label.  Is that true?
CR: Although I will neither confirm nor deny these allegations, Fake Four has become far too mainstream for me. They grew to have THREE employees and make a profit of close to 500 dollars per year. I’m just too DIY for that capitalist shit. You feel me? I mean you could claim that I work for the label and own it but…yeah….fuck that major label shit….it’s oppressive

IL: I notice that you are not fat anymore.  Are you on the paleo diet?
CR: No. What i did was actually time travel back to prehistoric times, lost 40 pounds and then flew back to 2014 where I eat all types of creams again. It’s a good way to get around the whole working out thang.

IL: Who is your favorite big bearded fat rapper from Nashville, TN?

CR: c’mon man – don’t call KidDead fat or bearded

IL: I’ve been listening to a lot of Beach Boys lately on my drives down to our local lake.  I notice some similarities in your music.  Would you say that you were a big influence on them?  You seem to shout out Brian Wilson in some of your work.  Are you dissing him for copying you?

CR:  Well we used to do LSD with Charles Manson, then surf with Dennis. I was in tip top shape back in the 60s. Brian hired me as his life coach. Some say that I wrote Heroes and Villains back then. Others say Brian Wilson invented hip hop. I’m not saying he’s a biter or nothing but…..

IL:  You are noted to be a vegetarian.  Would you eat a bowl of Hamburger meat with bacon for a million dollars?

CR:  That’s the ultimate question huh? It’s a tough one. My instinct is to say no, But a million dollars is probably worth 48 hours of vomiting and diarrhea.

IL: Do you get your haircut at Supercuts?

CR:  I used to! I always got the same shitty haircut at super cuts which accentuated my egg head. now I go to the Puerto Rican spot – Rays in east haven. I like hearing them talk emotionally about Boricua rap & they shave you with straight razor.

IL:  Are you excited about any summer blockbusters?

CR:  I’ve wanted to see XMen but nobody wants to go with me. I think it’s already gone from the theaters now.

IL: When we were on that WORLD TOUR we went to see Pain and Gain. What a great film, do you now own the DVD?

CR: It won the Oscar for best director & best supporting actor (the rock) that year. Yes I remember it well. Unfortunately I only own the BLU RAY MUFUCKA!

IL: If you were a character on Breaking Bad who would you be?

CR: Walt Jr. – I’m always ready to cry

IL:  Remember that time that I came to visit you and you were sick and I drank that Jalapeno Margarita after you?

CR:  Was that in Waterbury? Yeah.  shouts to the dirty water!

IL: How long were you sick after that?

CR: If i recall – It was a 24 hour burst of pure fire from the ol culo & mouth. Spitting that hot lava. Pretty brutal.

IL: Here’s a series of one liners:

IL:  Country or Western?

CR:  Western

IL: Thick or Thin Crust Pizza?

CR:  Thin

IL:  Vomiting or Diarrhea?
Diarrhea

IL:  Walt or Jessie?
CR:  Walt
IL: How did you come up with the title for your album ‘I hate San Francisco False?

CR:  A lot of people make the mistake and call it that. It’s actually “they hate Francisco false”. My middle name is Francisco and its basically a character based on who I was at that time. Loosely.

IL:  If you were to die tonight what would you leave your friends here at Invisible Library in your will?

CR:  To my friends at Invisible Library – I leave you a vile of my tears, my favorite espresso cup from France & 2 small biscotti.

Being a Big Guy Isn’t All That Bad  – Spoken Nerd Featuring Ceschi

Audiofeed Festival

If you have ever flirted with Christian Influenced music you have probably heard of Cornerstone.  Cornerstone was a Carnival of much of what is right in Christian Pop Culture.  I’ve had the opportunity of going 3 times and I always had a blast.  From coffee shop style stages to an amazing lake to swim in this festival provided a real good time for the Church at large to come and have a real deal hoe-down.  2012 was a sad year for many of us as the festival came to end.

In 2012 we were invited to play a Cornerstone pre-party with a lot our friends.  It was a hog roast in ‘Mama Linda’s’ back yard.  Imagine about 200 people eating barbecue and watching bands like The Skies Revolt, Children of Spy, Listener, Hushpad, Spoken Nerd, The Homeless Gospel Choir and many more!!!  It was a pretty amazing experience to say the least.  Mama Linda said that she was going to continue with the hog roast even if there wasn’t a Cornerstone in 2013.  She did!!!

In 2013 a new festival rose from the ashes from that group of friends, Audiofeed.  It was hosted on the fairgrounds in Champaign, IL.  This time around it’s like the Hog Roasts but even bigger and just as full of friends and quality acts.  This time around there was Sean Michel, The Choir, Lauryn Peacock, Cantalouper, Dead Artist Syndrome and some of the same bands from 2012.  The thing that impressed me the most about this festival was the freshness in the air and the feeling of a genesis of something awesome.
We are stoked to be a part of the lineup this year with 5 acts from our roster on the fest.  Cantalouper, Spoken Nerd, kidDEAD, Hushpad and Mr. Nasti will all be playing sets at Audiofeed this year.  This year we will be playing with the likes of Sick/Sea, The Illogical Spoon, Peter Furler, Steve Taylor, The Saudades, Beards, ’68, Flatfoot 56, Propaganda and so many more.  My suggestion to you is to go ahead and save your fireworks for August 17th (my birthday), pack up your bags and camping gear and make a weekend out of this festival. If you can, get there on Wednesday night for The Saudades.