Music

The Marches - "Living Language Is Killing" (premiere)

Photo: Simon Cardoza

The found-sound funk of the Marches returns after a six-year hiatus, premiering a complex, entertaining video ahead of the band's new release.

Not a lot of people know of the Marches, but the select people that know of Richard Conti's found-instrument experiment know that as he compiles his songs one single take at a time, he eventually turns simple, funky melodies into something that sounds both old-school and modern at the same time, his albums walking a fine line between the familiar and the new, creating for a visceral, exciting listening experience.

Indeed, the Marches' 2008 full-length, 4.a.m. Is the New Midnight and the covers-driven Director of Photography EP in 2010 helped establish Conti as a reliable savant of styles both old and new, his hammering horn-attack cover of Adele's "Cold Shoulder" bringing actual adrenaline to the original while original works like the too-funky "Bad Touch" could very well have been masterminded by the kind folks at Daptone Records. (Full disclosure: The Marches even contributed a song to this writer's own free compilation album Good With Words, adapting a cover song which then lead off the Director of Photography EP.)

Yet after some six years since the Marches last release, intervened by Conti adding a variety of instruments to albums like Historian's 2015 effort Current, Conti is back and in fine form, with the long-awaited sophomore album from his brainchild, I Shall Stand Like David Until Death Makes Me Marble. To celebrate the occasion, we have the premiere of the group's brand-new video "Living Language is Killing":

When asked about the song, Conti tells PopMatters that "There is so much musically going on with [it]. It has some of the most crazy and innovative sax solos I have ever put to recording. And they encompass a history of genres. One jets away with a fast tempo almost straight-ahead style. A later melodic solo channels an '80s vibe. Finally there are a couple others I put through crazy pedal effects; people ask what the instrument is, if it is even some sort of weird synth but it is all sax. I have never heard that done with sax before so it might be nice if it pushed some sort of boundary. I reversed a full horn section at one point too which takes a cue from Souxsie and the Banshees' 'Peek-A-Boo'.

"Lyrically I am very proud of it as well," he continues. "It deals with people I know in LA and elsewhere that are so creatively unique, with such great ability; I would like to see them all successful. But that finish line of achievement remains presently elusive. Lines like 'so less than what we are' refer to that. 'Gallows complexion' is a Shakespeare quote.

 

As for the music video itself, Conti notes that "The video itself started out with me trying to be lazy. I thought, 'I know a lot of creative people in LA that have taken time-lapse photography of the city, or interesting video of the city, or something to that effect on camera. I can just ask all of them for footage, assemble it together and make an homage to the city and the people in it.' Which I did. Then I realized, 'Oh, I need the actual people that made the music in the video too.'

"So I worked with Justine Fillingham to shoot the band. My friend Mayburn has a mural by the artist Septerhed in his backyard and I always wanted to shoot in front of there. When meeting with Justine and her husband Brendan (whose vocal harmonies can be heard in the song) the idea came up to have a static shot against the mural, with each instrument separated so we can punch in and out images of everybody at different times or all at the same time. It was a fun effect. Then I took all this footage and started editing it all together. It took months. I think it looks striking with all the slomo, live shots, moon timelapse, Los Angeles captures, punching in and out, etc. I'm glad it's finally done! I am very glad and thankful to Amy Darling whose great shots of the city added depth to the video and Brian Knudson whose time-lapse photography was so moody and interesting."

Music


Books


Film


Recent
Books

How the Template for Modern Combat Journalism Developed

The superbly researched Journalism and the Russo-Japanese War tells readers how Japan pioneered modern techniques of propaganda and censorship in the Russo-Japanese War.

Film

From Horrifying Comedy to Darkly Funny Horror: Bob Clark Films

What if I told you that the director of one of the most heartwarming and beloved Christmas movies of all time is the same director as probably the most terrifying and disturbing yuletide horror films of all time?

Music

The 50 Best Songs of 2007

Journey back 13 years to a stellar year for Rihanna, M.I.A., Arcade Fire, and Kanye West. From hip-hop to indie rock and everywhere in between, PopMatters picks the best 50 songs of 2007.

Music

'Modern' Is the Pinnacle of Post-Comeback Buzzcocks' Records

Presented as part of the new Buzzcocks' box-set, Sell You Everything, Modern showed a band that wasn't interested in just repeating itself or playing to nostalgia.

Music

​Nearly 50 and Nearly Unplugged: 'ChangesNowBowie' Is a Glimpse Into a Brilliant Mind

Nine tracks, recorded by the BBC in 1996 show David Bowie in a relaxed and playful mood. ChangesNowBowie is a glimpse into a brilliant mind.

Music

Reaching for the Sky: An Interview with Singer-Songwriter Bruce Sudano

How did Bruce Sudano become a superhero? PopMatters has the answer as Sudano celebrates the release of Spirals and reflects on his career from Brooklyn Dreams to Broadway.

Music

Inventions Conjure Mystery and Hope with the Intensely Creative 'Continuous Portrait'

Instrumental duo Matthew Robert Cooper (Eluvium) and Mark T. Smith (Explosions in the Sky) release their first album in five years as Inventions. Continuous Portrait is both sonically thrilling and oddly soothing.

Music

Esperanza Spalding and Fred Hersch Are 'Live at the Village Vanguard' to Raise Money for Musicians

Esperanza Spalding and Fred Hersch release a live recording from a 2018 show to raise money for a good cause: other jazz musicians.

Music

Lady Gaga's 'Chromatica' Hides Its True Intentions Behind Dancefloor Exuberance

Lady Gaga's Chromatica is the most lively and consistent record she's made since Born This Way, embracing everything great about her dance-pop early days and giving it a fresh twist.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Street Art As Sprayed Solidarity: Global Corona Graffiti

COVID-19-related street art functions as a vehicle for political critique and social engagement. It offers a form of global solidarity in a time of crisis.

Music

Gretchen Peters Honors Mickey Newbury With "The Sailor" and New Album (premiere + interview)

Gretchen Peters' latest album, The Night You Wrote That Song: The Songs of Mickey Newbury, celebrates one of American songwriting's most underappreciated artists. Hear Peters' new single "The Sailor" as she talks about her latest project.

Music

Okkyung Lee Goes From Classical to Noise on the Stellar 'Yeo-Neun'

Cellist Okkyung Lee walks a fine line between classical and noise on the splendid, minimalist excursion Yeo-Neun.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.