The Echo Presents
Chris Cohen, Fort Jams
1822 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, California, 90026
This event is 18 and over
Dent May writes and records homemade pop music in Mississippi, where he was born in 1985. He began songwriting at age 12. The following year, he started a band called Flood, who covered Creed and 311 and sold homemade cassettes to classmates. In high school, heavily influenced by Elvis Costello and The Cars, Dent fronted a power-pop band called The Rockwells. Feeling like an outsider in Mississippi, he retreated to the Internet, where he spent his time soaking in pop music and culture from around the globe.
After dropping out of NYU film school, Dent founded Oxford, Mississippi’s self-proclaimed “infotainment cult” Cats Purring. Since then, his musical endeavors have included a debut LP of ukulele tunes on Paw Tracks, dance recordings under the Dent Sweat moniker, and a mysterious unfinished psych-country rock opera called Cowboy Maloney’s Electric City. He throws notorious DIY shows at his home, a former Boys & Girls club now deemed the Cats Purring Dude Ranch.
Recent singles on Forest Family and Paw Tracks have found Dent abandoning the ukulele in favor of cosmic synths, funky guitars, analog drum machines, loopy bass lines, and massive vocal harmonies. He played all the instruments on his new album “Do Things, which was recorded at the Dude Ranch and in a friend’s rural cabin by a cotton field. He has described the album as “Pet Sounds for the Smirnoff Ice generation” and “a wedding reception band on acid” via his Twitter account. “Do Things” will be released by Paw Tracks on 6/12/2012.
Chris Cohen is a 37-year-old native of Los Angeles currently residing in the farmlands of Vermont. He is the child of a former music business executive and a former Broadway actress. His résumé of prior musical projects is a long one: as a contributing member of The Curtains, Cryptacize, Deerhoof, and Natural Dreamers, he released 10 full-length albums between 2002 and 2008. Along the way, Cohen was also a touring player with White Magic, Cass McCombs, Haunted Graffiti and Danielson, among others, for stints both short and long. All of this has culminated in his first release under his own name, and his first for Captured Tracks, Overgrown Path.
A singing drummer who writes psychedelic pop music, Cohen also records his own bass, Casio MT65, piano, and guitar. Tracks like "Caller No. 99″ and "Monad" follow idiosyncratic forms, but are still melodic in an unconventional and homegrown way — like the best of Robert Wyatt, Mayo Thompson, Syd Barrett, and Jerry Garcia. Overgrown Path unfolds its delicate and unexpected arrangements around Cohen's relaxed baritone, unhurriedly revealing the detailed world wrapped up in each song.
It's an album of sounds that will stick in your mind — if you happen to hear "Optimist High" wafting through an open window in your neighborhood this summer, you'll think you've rediscovered an old favorite.
Long Beach newcomer Fort Jams sees a debut 7″ released from new label Plastic Jurassic (run by our boys Francisco The Man). The two tracks meander effortlessly through affecting indie-rock and Beatley bedroom pop, with multi-instrumentalist Joel Bond at the helm. Here’s my favorite:
Sounding a bit like the late great Elliott Smith, whose death happened just a little less than ten years ago now, Bond shines through similarly unnerving vocal melodies, the sort that Smith played with so well, stretching his voice to strange and often unexpected places. As a soloist Bond is in full control, evident in his inventive percussion and the open structure of the song. He pulls elements in and out with the confidence of a master composer, or at the very least akin to his fellow tinkering contemporaries like Youth Lagoon, Young Man and Yellow Ostrich (y-based alliteration unintentional). - I Guess I'm Floating