Earle’s two bits on an 8-bit marvel
Welcome to our music picks, where once a week we talk to an Austin musician and find out what’s been burning up his or her CD player, turntable or iPod lately. Looking for a good musical recommendation? Take some advice from someone in the local music trenches who knows his or her stuff. Recommendations can be local, national or international, new or old. They need to fit only two criteria: 1) the musician in question needs to have just discovered them, and 2) it has to be fantastic.
This week: We grab a recommendation from Geoff Earle, one-third of electronica funk trio Freshmillions, one of the most recent additions to Austin’s imminently healthy dance scene. Freshmillions pile live rock instrumentation on samples ranging from the Spinners to the iconic theme music from 8-bit NES classic “Castlevania.” The band opens today for like-minded dance duo Auto Body at the ND at 501 Studios. Doors open at 9 p.m. and the show is $12.
Earle recommends: The four-song demo debut EP from Austin noise rock duo Zorch, downloadable from that band’s website, and especially opening song “Zut Alore!”
Earle says: “That is such an epic jam. It’s so awesome. Since we’re kind of electronic we get people telling us a lot ‘Oh yeah, this band is kind of electronic and kind of awesome and you should play with them.’ And when people say that we usually check that band out. But that particular band, the first time hearing them was like ‘Oh, we have to play with this band more than anybody else.’ It’s two dudes, one with a really ridiculous circle of keyboards and one with a drum set. The 8-bit thing is something I was into for a long time, but I believe there are bands who do it because it’s just a popular, trendy style. I usually get (expletive) for this, but one of my prime examples of that is Crystal Castles. I honestly don’t think that band is very good at all, but they happened to be in on the 8-bit thing. I felt like there were a lot of bands that were doing that but weren’t very good, but hearing Zorch’s synthesizers along with a live drummer who was really good at drumming, it was like ‘Whoa, somebody with some chops.’ Plus at the end of ‘Zut Alore!’ there’s lyrics about reptilian conspiracy theories. I kind of have a fetish about conspiracy theories — about the more outlandish ones and how hilarious they are. I was into that at the time, and then right at the end they start singing about reptilian aliens and I was like, ‘Awesome. These are obviously dudes I should be hanging with.’”
Geoff Earle, center, with Freshmillions band members Cody Skinner, left, and Dan Skarbek, thinks highly of Zorch’s electronics-and-drums ‘Zut Alore!’