Greetings Earthlings -
As you all know, February 8 is the beginning of the Chinese New Year. As some of you know, 2016 is the Year of the MONKEY. That’s right, baby. THE MONKEY. How pleasant.
So let’s get it going, shall we?
To start with there is the February Album of the Month. Trees and Timber – Hello, My Name Is Love. Super fine Tacoma tunesters. Now there have been a couple recent lists of best Tacoma bands but T’n’T weren’t on ‘em. WHA??? Well, neither were The Sonics or Girl Trouble, so they at least have top notch company. However, it is still not right. So, to do our little part, we are going to feature them as our album of the month. I dig ‘em fully.
Put them on my Top Ten last year – said this:
6. Trees and Timber – Hello, My Name is Love
T&T is your basic somewhat modern Tacoma band. You know, Sonics leads to Girl Trouble leads to Trees and Timber. That sort of thing. They are primarily a guitar trio but there is actually a fair amount of keyboards tossed in on the disc. They have very catchy pop tunes that they rock up in a most satisfying way. When I saw them down at Slim’s Last Chance in Georgetown I was initially impressed by their raw groovin’ 1-2-3-4. The disc is comparatively poppier than live, but not to the point of being wimp rock (for you-know-whats). This band is super cool. I say buy this disc (on vinyl for the super-hip and CD for the lazy like me) and go see ‘em. You can do both and enjoy the full benefit of each! Damn.
But don’t take my word for it – dig in, listen, groove baby – and go see these guys, they play plenty, like the upcoming Beyond ThunderDome Volume Two: Party Feb 12! 5412 South Tacoma or March 19 at the Valley in T-Town with new GMR artists The Navins (their album drops in April).
You can also go see the intellectually disconcerting The OF that very same day while yer in Tacoma at O'Malley's Irish Pub 2403 6th Ave.
Well – we made up a really groovy sampler of releases from the last year or so, Monkey Business Mach II, with the cover based on the original 1986 Monkey Business LP cover disdained by Bruce Pavitt many years ago in an otherwise positive review. You can download it for FREE or pay whatever you like, even up to one million dollars. Of course we think you will be so pleased by the music you hear you will want to buy each and every album featured. After all, it’s the year of THE MONKEY!!!
More! New video and digital single (last part soon) for Fur For Fairies - 14th Night – pretty damn rockin’. Some people think it’s scary. Not me.
Working on getting the Queen Annes somewhat legendary third album – Released! (formerly Revenge!) out to you by May, but ya don’t know, it could be June.
In a moment of weakness toward the end of a recent Patti Smith concert at the Moore, I got an itch to make the third ICONS album this summer. Everyone in the band said yes. I don’t want to terrify you but it could happen.
Green Pajamas are working on a new album. It will be great. Jim of Seattle is holed away in his laboratory getting album number two kicked along.
Finally, next month we will be releasing the debut CD of Liquid Generation only 30 years after they recorded the stuff. It is rather smashing!
Hello, My Name is Love:
1. Wolf & Sheep
2. Electric Gypsy Lovechile
3. Good is in the Graveyard
4. Eskimo Sun
5. Stop Fucking It Up
6. Home Away From Home
7. Believe in Soon
8. Sentimental Mama
9. Little Bit of Sunshine
10. You're Too Good
11. Future History
12. Funny Farm
TD: What’s the basic T&T story? Grew up in Tacoma? All went to kindergarten together? Met in a bar in Alabama and decided to move to the City of Destiny for the Tacoma Renaissance?
Joe -- By 2011, Gwen and I had been together for about 6 years, and for Valentine's day I got her a Fender Mustang bass. She figured the thing out immediately, and was coming up with the best melodic bass lines I had ever heard! The bad I was in at the time was pretty much done, but we had a couple of free hours to record at Pacific Studios here in Tacoma. Gwen and I decided to bring something new instead of one of my old band's songs. I had a half-finished thing called Eskimo Sun, and Gwen helped me finish it. Her ideas made it 100 times better, so we wrote more, and more. We formed a band, and were playing shows by 2012.
In October of that year, we opened for Dick Rossetti. He had put us on the bill without hearing us as a favor to someone, and ended up surprised when we turned out to not be shitty. In fact, he booked a recording session at Earwig Studio and, along with Don Farwell, produced our first EP. But, by the end of those sessions we weren't on speaking terms with the drummer anymore. It worked out for us though, because we found Paul who's become like family to us, and fits our sound perfectly. That's when we really started to enjoy the whole band thing. We went back to Earwig by the end of 2013 and made the LP, which was so much better to record!
TD: In my review of your album for my Top 10 of 2015, I sort of referred to you as the progeny of The Sonics and Girl Trouble. Totally true or total load of crap?
Gwen -- Being born and raised on the South End of Tacoma, Girl Trouble definitely had a huge impact on me personally. I remember seeing them play for the first time on a summer day at Wright park when I was 13 or 14. It was obvious what a good time they were having and how much they loved each other. I wanted to be in band like that! We're prideful people here in Tacoma, and I think we have a special connection and appreciation of the great music that has come from our city over the decades. Being in the shadow of Seattle all these years, I think many of us have a slight inferiority complex. So we stick together and hold tight to our identity and lift our shining accomplishments high for all to see.
TD: What music do you guys like beside T & T? Do you have influences you are willing to cop to?
TT: Collectively, and in no particular order- we love The Beatles, the Kinks, The Beach Boys, Slade, Moby Grape, Cheap Trick, Wings, Abba, Queen, The Pixies, Otis Redding, Madonna, The Bee Gees, The Wailers, The Sonics, the Monkees, Bowie, T-Rex, and on and on and on.....If it's catchy and creative and it rocks, we probably like it. Bonus points if they use a real life drummer!
TD: Let’s pretend for minute you are the Beatles. Back then they liked to say stuff like George is the quite Beatle, Ringo is the lovable Beatle.
Please fill in the blanks.
Joe is the _________ Tree & Timber. Gwen is the ___________________ Tree & Timber. Paul is the ________________ Tree & Timber.
2. Good looking girl
3. Fun uncle
TD: When will we see T&T album 2? Is it likely to contain a 20-minute-plus Rock Operetta?
TT: It's in the works! We started recording with the ridiculously-handsome-super-genius Jeff Southard of Swoon Records, but we have a lot more work to do.
TD: Are there any other grand plans for the band of which we should be aware?
TT: Stay tuned for our upcoming clothing line, TT-Wear! And a new zine from Paul's fanclub: the Rybricketts
TD: And finally what is the significance of the name? A tribute to Screaming Trees? To the Justin Timberlake? To your backgrounds as loggers out in Aberdeen? For short, do you prefer to answer to Trees or simply Timber?
TT: Like the trees, humanity only values us in death, when we've ceased to have true productive value. Wait, what was the question again? Oh, the name....honestly, we were stumped trying to come up with a name, so we just started looking out the car window and naming stuff we saw. That's it.
Here's our original 2011 recording if that's of any interest!