Dead Rider (Todd Rittmann of U.S. Maple)

Dead Rider

Todd Rittmann, the driving force behind Dead Rider first came to my attention with the vastly underrated band US Maple, and their dif ficult yet rewarding first album Long Hair In 3 Stages, produced by Jim O'Rourke. Like a lot of records on Chicago label SKiN GRAFT, it featured some excellent creative packaging, in this case an aluminium sleeve with each one individually bent and hole punched. At the time I interviewed vocalist Al Johnson for my fanzine, who noted that the group inhaled so much aluminium dust that they no longer knew what was good. Although Johnson was being a little harsh on himself, there's no doubt that US Maple were criminally underlooked. Their work was staccato, syncopated, slanting off at all angles, with unusual time signatures that would finish as unexpectedly as they began. It was Trout Mask Replicaas played by Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon. Rittmann's new band Dead Rider has shown that his inventive guitar work, seconded only by the taut musicianship of The Jesus Lizard's Duane Denison can get into a groove, like Ciccone Youth to US Maple's Sonic Youth.

Deschtuco

From the ashes of Ten Eldritch Acres arose Deschtuco!! Although Ten Eldritch Acres only played a total of 3 gigs in the early aughts, a large amount of raw material was recorded to 4-track. Now with four members instead of two, and an actual drum set, Deschtuco has set about reworking old material with new material in order to create a blues based yet experimental rock and/or roll with a twist of country and quirky pop-rock.

The four members became friends through a mutual appreciation for a wide variety of music. The band members co-write the songs allowing every individual to bring their strengths to the final product. We also employ a rotating cast of auxiliary musicians, bringing additional textures and timbres to the stage. While blues based rock is our starting point, we do not limit ourselves to a genre and actively try to push the envelope. This is reflected in the name Deschtuco, which means "imagination to infinity."

Our influences would include but are not limited to the White Stripes, the Residents, Flaming Lips, Sonic Youth, the Pixies, the Velvet Underground, Ween, and Bob Log III.

Deschtuco has been together for over a year. They have been playing gigs in Tucson, Arizona and are looking to tour in summer 2012. They are currently recording their first album at Studio 42 in Tucson. Their first single is expected out in May and their first album is due out late 2012.

Deschtuco releases will be handled by Baby Gas Mask Records. Based in Tucson's vibrant music scene Baby Gas Mask Records is an independent Tucson label whose goal is to produce vinyl releases for bands and musicians who do not currently have an outlet for their creativity. It is a label devoted to the quality and craftsmanship of the vinyl format. Baby Gas Mask Records does promotion and merchandising for their artists.

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