Just before the latest round of protests erupted, Pavé released a single, “Gangsta Party Reloaded,” that actually had a more personal meaning than a political one. “I haven’t even been focused on it, given recent events,” he says.
The song is a reworking of “Gangsta Party,” a 2006 track by veteran Memphis rapper Yo Gotti. The record finds Pavé reworking and rhyming over the original beat — which was produced by Gotti’s and Pavé’s mutual collaborator, Carlos Broady. Both North Memphians, Pavé and Gotti met this past March at the South by Southwest music conference in Austin, introduced at an Apple Music party.
“It was 10 years on from when I was skipping school to go to his ‘Gangsta Party’ video shoot,” recalls Pavé. “A few weeks ago, I was going through some North Memphisstyle beats, and said I should actually rap on this. It’s a big connection and big lineage there.”
Since then, Pavé has moved on to his next single — one he says is a return to topical form — called “Best Believe.” It will come out in September, along with an accompanying video.
In the next couple of months, Pave will tour the South paired with New Orleans rapper Alfred Banks (“We’re calling it the River Kings tour since we’re both from cities on the Mississippi,” says Pave) before an October slot opening for Tech N9NE at the New Daisy Theatre.
Memphis no-wave band Lost Sounds is back — in a sense, at least. Sweet Knives, a group featuring three-fourths of the group’s lineup — guitarist/keyboardist Alicja Trout, drummer Rich Crook and guitarist John Garland — is set to play Saturday night at Rocket Science Audio, ahead of a new double 7-inch release and tour in August.
The missing member, of course, is the late Jay Lindsay, aka Jay Reatard, who died in 2010. Since his death, interest in Lost Sounds — which ran from 1999 to 2005 — has remained high. In 2011, Fat Possum put out a best-of compilation called “Blac Static,” while Goner Records released the rarities set “Lost Lost” last year, with both projects supervised by Trout.
In the process of sorting t hrough their old recordings and demos, Trout realized she was sitting on a cache of unreleased Lost Sounds songs she’d written. “For me, I felt like I was never gonna write songs in that style again,” Trout says. “For the last 10 years or so, I’ve been writing songs that are easier to sing and play and are more poppy. But it was interesting to get back into that (Lost Sounds) mindset, and it seemed like there were songs that had fallen by the wayside and maybe it was worth playing them again.”
She proposed the idea of getting together with her former bandmates Crook and Garland. “The guys were pretty psyched about it — especially Rich, because he wanted to play drums again, since he plays guitar in all his bands now,” says Trout. “In Lost Sounds, I used to sweat and be exhausted by the end of the show. When we got together, it still turned out to be that hard — we all had to refigure out to play these songs and survive it.”
The group made its live debut last year playing Gonerfest with bassist Johnny Valiant rounding out the lineup. “Johnny likes to say this is a ‘Lost Sounds reboot’ rather than a reunion — and that’s probably the best way to describe it,” Trout says. “Since Jay is no longer around, it didn’t seem right to try and call it Lost Sounds and redo his songs, get someone else to play them and sing them. So we decided we’d change the name.”
Sweet Knives recorded an EP’S worth of material this past winter. The selftitled record is being released by German label Red Lounge next month, just in time for a 10-day tour that will take the band through the Midwest and along the East Coast.
Trout isn’t committing just yet to making a Sweet Knives full-length follow-up. “It’s hard for us to make a full record and be a real band because we don’t live in the same city,” she says (while Garland is in Memphis, Crook resides in Middle Tennessee, and Valiant lives in Raleigh, North Carolina).
“Once we get through this tour, we’ll try and go overseas where Lost Sounds were always the most popular. If all that goes well, then we’ll take it from there. I want these songs to be heard again.”
Sweet Knives play Rocket Science Audio (Madison) on Saturday at 10 p.m. Overnight Lows will open. Cover is $7.
Lost Sounds reborn: The Sweet Knives. From left, Johnny Valiant, Rich Crook, Alicja Trout, and John Garland.