Drugdealer

Can this trip be real?

This is the foundation for The End of Comedy, the debut album by Drugdealer, a new project conceived and conducted by Michael Collins (formerly of Run DMT, Salvia Plath), who guides a group of Angelenos through a whimsical world informed by Jean Baudrillard, social media perception, Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westernvistas and Collins’s endless travels.

At the forefront of The End of Comedy is Collins’ AOR auteurship. It’s a vignette of a record, as lucid and lysergic, as it is organic – featuring homespun explorations of Carol King esque piano ballads, Bacharach-ian orchestration, the psych folk of Ultimate Spinach and Hendrickson Road House and even New York City subway jazz.

Throughout The End of Comedy, Collins eschews the spotlight, in favour letting the ensemble shine. There are collaborations with Ariel Pink (”Easy to Forget”), Danny James (“My Life)” and Natalie Mering (Weyes Blood), who brings Laurel Canyon balladry to the table on “Fictional Pictures.” Not to mention a bona fide who’s who of Collins’s mates, including members of Regal Degal, Holy Shit!, Sheer Agony, The Mild High Club, Mr. Twin Sister, The Memories, and pals from Mac DeMarco’s band, who contribute essential bits and pieces that create the foundations of The End of Comedy.

With that cast, it makes sense that Collins recorded the album over several years, all over North America in places like the Glenn Cabin in Vancouver, the Telegraph House in Oakland, the Drones club in Montreal, Ariel Pink’s house in LA, Baltimore’s infamous Copycat Building, and Mac DeMarco’s house in Rockaway Beach. All the people and places are essential to The End of Comedy, an absurdist collection of songs that plays like a short film in which Collins journeys far and wide, popping in to various abodes, embracing mates old and new, and casting a spell on them.

While the 11 song, 32 minute album is a collaborative statement, it’s far from a mixtape or a genre experiment — it’s a concept record about the absurdities of modern life, our relationship with the 7.125 billion people on Earth, and how humour can heal wounds and open up new doors of perception, perhaps best exemplified in“Fictional Pictures,” when Mering sings “I’m in love with laughter.” It’s clear that Collins is 100% in love with laughter, yet despite his prankster leanings, there are moments when he winks with words — each wink cuts through the mundanity of everyday life and hints that maybe, just maybe, we aren’t living in end times.

Jackson MacIntosh

Jackson MacIntosh will be an alien figure to most, but his resume pinpoints him as near the epicenter of the recent explosion in fantastic pop music currently being forged in the city of Montreal and exported the world over. He spent 2016 deploying funky, percolating bass lines on the road for indie pop outfit TOPS. He recorded and engineered the last two albums for labelmate Homeshake at his now-defunct home Montreal studio and venue, Drones Club. He has collaborated with cherished LA weirdo Drugdealer as well as Montreal’s Bernardino Femminielli, all in addition to fronting the masterfully hooky power pop band Sheer Agony. Such is the man’s work ethic that, when catching up with MacIntosh, the question that inevitably springs to your lips is: so what are you working on next?

And so it is that Sinderlyn is proud to introduce listeners to My Dark Side, the debut solo album from Jackson MacIntosh. Recorded over three years and two break-ups, My Dark Side is as confessional as it is casual: a collection of songs that oozed out of necessity.

Launder is the post-punk/shoegaze project of singer-guitarist John Cudlip, a Dana Point native who, after moving to Los Angeles, was introduced to Jackson Phillips of Day Wave. Not long after, the pair began work on Launder’s debut EP, “Pink Cloud,” out March 9. Working out of Phillips’ home studio in Echo Park, the EP took shape with the help of French singer-songwriter Soko, who lends her vocals to four of the five tracks, and guitarist Zachary Cole Smith of DIIV, who takes the lead on two. The debut single is the dreamy “Fade,” whose beautifully detuned melancholy suggests Cudlip is not fading at all, but just getting started.

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