Monkey Session: Skeletons and the Kings of All Cities
The latest in an on going series of invitational recording sessions, our Monkey Session with Brooklyn's "Skeletons and Kings of All Cities" was all that we could have hoped it would be and more. Matt Mehlan, Tony Lowe, Jason McMahon, and Jonathon Leland are the core of the group and the totality of the touring "Skeletons" band for this springtime jaunt, which brought them our way. The tour is promoting their newly released album "Lucas". Their publicity photo shows 15 or so gentlemen leisurely sprawling about some room. The band's process seems to owe a lot to the offerings of friends and part time collaborators. Their recordings are textural and thick. Seeing the band perform live in Charlottesville, at the Bridge Progressive Arts space, and then hosting them, for a live studio session allowed for experiencing the band stripped down to its skeletal structure.
Skeletons and the Kings of All Cities - Monkey Session (11.9 MiB, 1,467 hits)
As a quartet the Skeletons are just as striking and impressive, albeit with a more succinct and direct presentation. The excellence of their musicianship shines through and four distinct voices are heard. The band's love for R & B, free jazz, ethnic jams, and noise all comes together in the structure of a pop song. This idea sounds ridiculous but it works for the Skeletons and gives them a sound unlike anyone else, unstuck, fr
ee and forward moving. Inviting the "Skeletons" for a day in our studio resulted in some serious jams being captured in our studio and a chance to sit down them them in a meadow and contemplate their music.
The tracks laid down out at Monkeyclaus are frantic, kaleidoscopic, driving, and jangly. They are comprised of staccato stereo guitars, diminished jazz chords, Mingus-esque bass throbbing, kraut-ish drums, chutes and ladders, head bobbing euphoria, an awesomely trashy cymbal, oiled gears meshing, free horn howling, and stream of consciousness vocal meanderings. This is lanky
rock, the sped up lullaby, some spastic elastic, controlled experimentalism, raging full on, channeling Beefhart, mocking the ice cream man in Brooklyn, dancing with "the Dead", and boarding Sun Ra's starship through the escape hatch.
Please explore and enjoy our presentation of the "Skeletons and Kings of All Cities Monkeysession". You will find the whole unedited interview from the back field, an NPR styled audio collage with a blend of studio tracks, interview and some ambient soundtrack augmentation, sourced from an analog recording of the Skeletons show in Charlottesville the night prior to the session. Also listen to one fresh new "Skeletons" song which is so fresh that it is raw and that it is fresher than the fresh new jams on their fresh new album Lucas. The new "Skeletons" record "Lucas" is now available from Ghostly/Shinkoyo Records, and it is damn good. Stay tuned and spread the word.
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Studio Recordings Engineered by Abel Okugawa
Words and interview by Matthew Clark
Audio Collage by Abel Okugawa and Matthew Clark
Music all by Skeletons and the Kings of All Cities