Group Picture Vol. 7

by Making New Enemies

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Jake Lee - Bleeding Gum Murphy’s Jake Lee makes his triumphant return to Group Picture after a two year absence and the treasure is worth the wait! Jake blesses us with his characteristic upbeat opener set to clear headed and introspective lyrics. He even manages to throw in an almost spanish sounding acoustic guitar lead? Welcome back Jake!
Little Cousin - The classic yet elusive duo of Walter and Milk come back with this strange and smooth track about burning ponies? Not really sure what to say about this one but I love Milk’s beats even when they are simple and jazzy like this and Walter’s experimenting with some new styles so props to trying I guess. I overheard you talking about me I was standing underneath the balcony too scared to move and you to find me standing in the christmas light I overheard you chatting about me can’t say it sucked cant say I was happy sort of hidden in vice and lost in thought like a dad sneaking out behind the garage And I understand what you mean, you said I’m jinxed as can be and unhealthily obsessed with the trivial things that I’m a broken down robot, glitching and slow my vision switching between black and white and sepia tones but... (come as you are and carry on as you were, lovely go on ahead I’ll be close behind out of view but...) I don't have a choice I gotta carry this weight the whole way I’m tied to ancient superstition i got a lot of gods to obey (i gotta carry this weight the whole way) you know its totally unnatural Turn burning barns into burning ponies and i can’t get away from it I won’t even touch you if you pray for it im not a leper but a close equivalent when i day there’ll be a day for it meant for navel gazing with no tongue to savor it I don't have a choice I gotta carry this weight the whole way I’m tied to ancient superstition i got a lot of gods to obey (i gotta carry this weight the whole way) you know its totally unnatural
Weston Bookhouse - Weston is back with this calming and catchy piece about reflecting on his life and love while driving a country road. His voice is clean and clear, the shaker is fast and steady, and that outro when he sings both up and down the octave is probably the catchiest bit I’ve ever heard him write. I got the chills the first, second, and third time I heard this song. Rumor has it he is going to record the next album in 2018 in Walter’s garage! It got real hard to focus, my dreams weren’t making sense A hodgepodge of familiar flashes of gibberish The winter time was gridlock, my summer started in the Keys I knew it on Duval and Southard, she was not for me So I sought out freshwater bodies, rose prior to dawn Traveled light and frequent, finished orphaned songs Sketched the road to Winnemucca, and I took a piss in the desert wind Clad in grubby garments faint on sun-kissed skin So may your head be present wherever your heart beats presently I wish you the space for appreciation, patience for moderation, Conviction to endure a Northwest winter’s woes, Boldness to leave your home, and surely, an essence ever young.
Slaughter Beach, Dog - A Group Picture staple at this point, and the songwriter behind my favorite album of the year, Jake Ewald seems to be able to pump out heartfelt songs like a pathos machine, and of course this tune is no different. The arrangements of this song are fun and interesting and I love his love for slide guitar.
Milk Flud - Who? Ya the beat seems pretty chill but honestlyI don’t understand the motorbike metaphor at all. Is this guy ok? Who is Max? Was that a lyric about a german shepherd in a muzzle? The thing I love about MNE is that they give a platform to the little guys like this Flud character.
Chain - Tiny 01:25
Chain - Woah! Chain is a Portland band that I’ve seen play live before but this is my first time hearing a recording and woah! The music and production are so unique and Teal’s voice is like candy. I can’t wait to hear more from them and I really hope they stick around the mne world for a little while so their creativity can rub off on me a little.
Cool American - Cool American is probably Portland’s coolest band. Their cynical wit and fuzzy charm leaves every listener intrigued and wishing they lived in Portland to have a beer with them. I’m really glad they came back to GP cause I want to be associated with them when they blow up.
Sour Guy - Well this has to be the absolute best song ever written about a grad student grading papers. While this might seem like a simple acoustic song, it’s really impressive the way Kris Schobert can clearly express the frustration of spending a whole day grading papers of kids who did not at all learn the subject matter (physics!) that he so passionately tried to teach to them. Love you, Kris. I would love to take your class and I wouldn’t be on my phone! Authors note: Written while mentally fried after grading hundreds of exams most students did poorly on. As their teacher, you tried your best to make the material clear and exciting for your students. But after this draining day, you realize you simply didn’t get through to them. Four hundred final exams, Espresso, purple pen in my hand. This ain’t glamorous, The desert road ahead of us. Flippin’ through piles of stress. Slashin’ through desperate attempts. Someone drew me a smiley face, I wrote the zero then turned the page… Gradin’ all day, Gradin’ all day, Gradin’ all day, Come on, come on. Gradin’ all day. You see for me, every equation is a puzzle piece. And I Hate to see you try to mash ‘em all together just to get up and leave. Maybe it's me… I tried to pass on my passion, but it wasn’t received. And it stings real deep to know you’ll walk away with a sour taste for the beauty you may never see, And it was up to me. Gradin’ all day, Gradin’ all day. I explained it to you more than four times, But you were looking down where your phone hides. Come on, come on. Gradin’ all day, Gradin’ all day.
Banned From Japan - Earl from Banned From Japan is a sweet and genuine valley rat who has admittedly never listened to any bands besides NOFX. And, Earl, that is ok with us! This punk gem not only slaps but makes me want to delete my social media and live a more wholesome life. Welcome to MNE and Group Picture, Banned From Japan! I’m afraid to turn my t.v. off It makes me feel less alone I know that isn’t punk But what if I told you That I still use a flip phone Don’t get confused I’m just like you I’m online Notifications feel so nice They validate my life So let’s take a group picture and post it La La La La La La La Follow, Worship, Me I’ve been in love before Or maybe just obsessed I turn my phone on silent while I’m waiting for a text Impatiently depressed and yes that’s me again I’m so extra Insecure so I’ll text ya Nothing important just give a reply And make me feel alive Can we make this official and and post it La La La La La La La Follow, Worship, Me Follow, Worship, You Follow, Worship, Me Follow, Worship, Me Follow, Worship, You Follow, Worship, Me And I’m scared That I’m never gonna get to wear a KXLU sweater and I swear That I thought this was real, and I thought I could feel worth for a while But now I just don’t know Cause I’m going home alone I’m gonna stay up all night looking at my phone I’m searching, for nothing
Alex Maddox - Our childhood friend with the voice that screams major label shoe-in is currently gearing up to ditch his job and live in a van traveling around Europe, surfing and following spiritual gurus. Perhaps Houston Graves is the person he felt he was turning into. Perhaps I am totally wrong. But I am right in saying this song is equally easy on the ears as it is introspective and I feel blessed to have Alex in my life and on Group Picture since its early days.
Benjamin Ward - It was a hard year for certain people in our music community. There were several deaths and Benny experienced one directly on his Hemingway tour. With that in mind, this song is absolutely heart breaking and cathartic. Usually known for dark metaphors and understated lyrics, Benny comes softly with candid words and a direct message - “I’m just glad I had you in my life / And I will carry you and the things you do until I die.” Beautiful, Benny.
Isabel Zacharias - So I was at Russell’s house meeting his new roommate Isabel for the first time this fall and we sang Wilco and Mountain Goats songs together. Then she played this song and I was floored. I told her about Group Picture and said she had to be on it. Now I am so grateful I had some caffeine that morning and had the gumption to be so forward because now I get to enjoy her poetic lyrics and soulful tune whenever I want. she’s the woman and you knew it an entertainer with a brand new set of teeth called her her highness, lent her 25 cents call you baby if you make me still stole Kurt’s Corolla every Friday told everybody she’s rehearsing Guys and Dolls bought you Arizona® tea drove all the way to Springfield to set sun over the train yard slow dancing in parked cars said how do you feel she’s a leading lady peach I mean, she was her and she knew what that’s worth still a woman you could laugh at swinging around singing Say a Little Prayer For You you look like a freak, she said I thought you were asleep she was hopeless and you loved it you remind me of an old thing when being happy didn’t make me feel ashamed do you like to dance are you as strange as I am you could really disappoint me tell me baby, where’s your woman you’d look better with a girl to fix your hair did you go and lose her or did you never mean to choose her you’ll never die for nothing you were someone to me every time you say you say I'm sorry but it never leaves your head when you wake up and you wonder at your body in your bed there are mornings that you love her and there’s mornings that you don't there are some small things about her that you’ll never really know and you remember in the shower fucking laughing at the gore of the flicker of the thought that she could slip and hit the floor and you’re just just so so tired of just wanting more more more and her shampoo crushed persimmons and you miss her and you know what for but she’s not yours
The Sal Show - Sal from Animal City! Finally a funny track on Group Picture this year! But if you follow the lyrics, they actually convey a pretty ridiculous distant concept - a bad kid magician? - and it does not only make sense but its funny! Kudos to Sal if he ever reads this. The dude can write a tune.
Jeremy Murphy - The guy in Riled and Chain, Jeremy wowed the world with his “cranberries in the cosmos” song last year and now he has topped himself! This song is weird and cool! I would say more but Jeremy and I made a bet over a game of pool and he lost and he actually owes me a personal song. So I will hold my tongue until I hear that tune!
Dakota Loesch - The other mastermind behind Animal City and Lemp Lungs, Dakota is becoming a staple of group picture and that makes me feel blessed. This year he brings us a poetic Americana tune that makes me feel three things 1. honestly kinda sexy (must be that beat and the deep bass?) 2. Kinda melancholy! (not sure why) and 3. Dakota can we party together??? i am punching the ghost of my father i have landed in mud i am drinking a toast with my mother i am spiking the punch i am tearing the chandelier down to eye-level no one here gives a fuck zoomie’s getting the band back together, my brother you owe me twenty bucks when the band breaks-up again and we all gotta go home i hope it’s you i’m hanging with at the end of my rope smoking a smoke with my brother there’s nothing else to smoke i am going for broke with my lover there’s nowhere else to go i am swearing i left all our dope in your peacoat no one has any drugs zoomie’s getting the band back together tomorrow tonight, we’re getting drunk when the band breaks-up again and we all gotta go home i hope it’s you i’m hanging with at the end of my rope when the band breaks-up again it’s the end of all we know i hope you drive me a hard bargain and right off of the road when the band breaks-up again
Emo Dreamboat - Ben Ward of Hemingway collabs with Milk and damn this song is a true emo pop song! Ben’s voice sounds soothing and dark and Milk’s beat is moody and intricate. Is this a collab that is gunna last or is this a one off Group Picture track? I really hope they do the album cause Ben can float over a beat like an experienced rapper and we all know Milk is capable of endless beats.
Byronius Punk - Ian Farmer, the dark horse of Modern Baseball, has always had a knack for songwriting and a great voice but it was hidden behind his role as “humble bassist” in the band. His track this year comes under the new moniker Byronius Punk and makes me want to stare out the window on a gray and snowy east coast day and just fall asleep on my desktop until summer arrives.
Grimy Baby - Naka G, from Weston Bookhouse and a past touring member of Walter Etc., keeps the slop tradition of MNE alive with this smokey bluesy gem. Probably recording everything in his bedroom in Santa Cruz, Naka sings about a “sleepless luxury” but honestly Naka if this how you function without sleep then I think you’re doing fine homie.
Chase Hoyt - Usually known for guitar shredding in Ubu Roi or Chaz and the Minions of Chaz, Chase takes a new disco styled approach with his contribution to this year’s comp. A disco song would usually seem annoying but this song sounds like Ozzy or Alice Cooper made a lo-fi disco song and that is obviously awesome. Also, note the shredding that still takes place and put some headphones and listen to those bass lines!
Humphrey Orlando - Our whiskey drinking story teller Humphrey is a classic mne and Group Picture stable. He claims he wrote this song in 5 minutes but he manages to squeeze as much soul as anyone feels in a lifetime into this scrappy minute and a half gem.
Melancholy Quinoa - The infamous rap group featuring Alex Crawford, Kyle B Hart, Ben Ward, Your Homie D, and Milk Flud, made their debut last year with a song about hot boxing a jungle gym. Well, they are back blending the Emo Dreamboat’s smooth vox, Crawford’s crass lyrics about masturbating, Kyle singing for the first time, and Milk’s trap tendencies. Honestly, this slaps!!!
Daddy Collin - The figurehead behind Snow Roller and voted Portland’s “Easiest Guy to Fall in Love With” is back this year under a solo moniker. Does this mean a solo career is in the works? Snow Roller released “XXL”, one of my fav albums of the year, this summer and Collin seems to still be climbing to his peak. I got the chills when he sings “i hope you still consider me a friend”. I do, Collin, I do.
Peanut Butter Cups - Aaron Kovacs from Lauren Records does this lo-fi project that pretty much only exists on Group Picture and I really think he needs to make a full album! His songs are fuzzy, lovely, and sad and make me feel something. Please Peanut Butter Cups, give us the full candy bar!
Walter Etc. - This one is just Walter alone, singing about being on a boat or something. Honestly, it sounds like all his other songs and I can’t relate to his love of the open sea, but hey this tune is kinda catchy! Inching my way up the starboard side i want to sit on the bow of the great sally ride be alone with the ocean well after midnight there’s gotta be some magic in that then I think what if i slip in the pitch black beneath no one would notice I was missing til the morning I would spend my night dying in the womb of the sea and there’s something I love about that I’m watching meteors shower while dolphins splashing green Must be the bioluminescence or the Dramamine And no jerk back on earth would believe what I’ve seen so that renders this a secret moment for me It feels like I've been waiting all my life just to get to the bow of the great Sally Ride its like I really did slip and I actually died tell me is this not what heaven looks like? no stress, no mess, just sit on the ground and play chess no, this feels oddly right i must have been a pirate in a past life or a rat on the deck I miss you to bits and I love you to death but there’s no wifi, no service, and I think I deserve this communication with the void is ancient and worthless but this could be my church this could be my purpose and there’s something to be said about that….


released December 25, 2017


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Making New Enemies Ventura, California

Art Collective / Utopian Cult / Soul Posse

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