Group Picture Vol. 8

by Making New Enemies

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1.
Last summer Kris Schobert (Sour Guy, Walter Etc. / Mitty core member, Ernie…) was admitted to the hospital… and then again… and then again…. I think he spent like a month total in the hospital. It was not chill. But when he got out, the whole experience gave him a bit of clarity and new perspective on his life and the decisions he has made thus far. I won’t speak any further for him, but Kris… hey, nice song! And your quality home recording production and continuation of the WMAHMO slop sound doesn’t not go unnoticed! This song made me tear up in a coffee shop the first time I heard it.
2.
Slaughter Beach, Dog are randomly GP staples by now but also one of my favorite bands and greatest friends. This song is a bit of a sound change for them, swapping mid tempo soft rock John K Sampson vibes for a theatrical late 60’s / 70’s sound that is a bit more light hearted than normal and I LOVE IT. It’s catchy, it makes me laugh, yet its so true. Glad to have these boys back this year.
3.
Portland’s dreamiest duo Teal & Jer (Chain, Riled, Loose, lots of projects) bring a quirky alt edge to our otherwise bland and boring comp. Without them, we’d just be us. I personally would like to hear more Teal solo work??? Teal???
4.
If you don’t fuck with Milk Flud then you can get out.
5.
Chase Hoyt (Ubu Roi, Feed, Chaz and the Minions of Chaz, The Rodeo…) is a GP fixture by now, and important asset to MNE because it’s his classic rock sensibilities that balance out the overload of folk / indie rock that we swim in. This song not only has a comically true message (health is the most important, i agree Chase) but the vibe, especially the chorus, has my head bobbing and me feeling like I’m on a grassy hillside at an outdoor concert in the 70’s, but also one glass of wine deep making homemade pizzas at an Air BNB with a girl I love, and that is a nice combo of feelings. “Let’s wrap it up / I’ve embarrassed us all enough”
6.
You hear that flawless acoustic finger picking? That masculine story telling voice that sounds somewhere between a suburban Bob Dylan and a cowboy singing to the emptiness of the high desert? Yup, its Russell Park AKA Dry Goods and FKA Weston Bookhouse coming at us with another folk masterpiece, but this year adding in some new elements we aren’t quite used to- namely some cruisey guitar solos! Rumor has it Dry Goods is in the studio recording a new album right now and I would not be bummed out if this song were on it.
7.
I just spent 3 weeks with Byronius Punk (Ian Farmer of Slaugher Beach, Dog / Modern Baseball) at his studio The Metal Shop in Philadelphia making a record with his beautiful mind and his new drum machine- so this song really hits home for me. I could write an essay on why this is the perfect Group Picture song- my three main points being - 1. It is a song about the act of creating. (“in everything that exists there lies a certain beauty / I want the world to know how much it all means to me”) which is exactly what Group Picture aims to celebrate. 2. It’s a song written and performed by someone who is usually more in the background of his bands (bassist / backup vox / recording engineer) but here has a platform to express his own individual style and skills, which is exactly what Group Picture wants to promote. 3. It has a Milk Flud name drop, which is a classic and classy GP / MNE move. Thank you Ian. You rule.
8.
Dante Elephante are Santa Barbara legends and their new album “Rare Attractions” shows them evolving their sound into more loungey and ethereal territory. I am so glad they have joined GP this year, because I see singer / songwriter Ruben almost every weekend when he DJ’s at The Tavern in Ventura and I drunkenly annoy him / vaguely fan boy out on him. Dante being on Group Picture is a sign that our friendship extends beyond Saturday nights at the Tavern. Also their album vibes hard. Check out Rare Attractions on Spotify.
9.
Petition for Aaron Kovacs (Peanut Butter cups, Lauren Records CEO, Winter Break and Summer Vacation drummer) to finally put out a full album? This catchy lo-fi pop rock is undeniably infectious. Fun fact: I’ve been hanging with this boy for almost 10 years and I’ve never heard him sing, but then he sends me these recordings and I’m like wtf your voice is so cool! If he makes a full album, MNE will put out the LP and still give him 100% of the digital income. That is how much I like Aaron’s style. "there’s a fly floating in my soup and i thought i needed you to myself, but i was wrong. that came out wrong. candle burning at both ends, i think that was the line from an early time. but i’m doing alright, i’ll see you online. there’s smudges on the window seal and if you look too close you’ll see that even cheap thrills cost too much money. yeah, i think it’s funny. sometimes i write lists of things like priorities and gods to see, but you got that. yeah, your phones got that. cause i’m feeling stale as hell like an open bag of chips left on the shelf. i’m feeling dried out, i’m feeling burnt out."
10.
I once wrote a song with the lyric “I’ll probably see her on tour but she won’t be on Group Picture this year.” I’m so glad I was wrong. Welcome to GP Anika Pyle! Anika (Katie Ellen, Chumped) plays raw emotional pop rock songs and this gem “Young Love” is just the tip of the iceberg. When her vocals max out at the end of the tune and you get a little bit of musical goosebumps, that is the feeling you get for a full 30 minutes of watching her play live. Anika, please come in and stay for a while!
11.
Ok ok enough of the soft emotional bullshit. Here’s a song about someone coming to kill me! It’s 100% true. If you’re reading this, help!!!
12.
Jake Lee (Bleeding Gums Murphy) strikes again with a lo-fi indie gem in which we hear Jake Lee reflect on his gaime from last year. Sounds like he made some interesting choices and is coming to terms with them? Or did I miss the mark, Jake? He is and always will be one of my favorite songwriters and his voice in this fuzz effect is not a bad look, I have to admit. The only way my life would be better is if Jake made a full album. Cheers homie.
13.
Technically, this is Babytooth’s official debut on Group Picture, but Portland, OR singer / songwriter Isabel Zacharias had a song on the comp last year that blew me away. It was her vocals and lyrics that hooked me then, and are still yanking me now. Now backed by a full band that gives dynamic range to her songs, it was still that first line “now you know you want a girl without a phone” that had me nodding “yup i love this”. Fingers crossed for Babytooth to become a GP staple. well now you know you want a girl without a phone you wanna a girl who says she already knows wanna girl who doesn't have to sing want a girl who's down with things hides her little animals & gets out of the way cleans her big refrigerator every single day why don't you just tell me what you want me to say and I will should've said you want a girl who fucks the rules you wanna girl who jumps right into the pool want a girl who could show up on time who will start the car and drive the beautiful day is stuck outside I've never waited this long at this light I don't always know the deal, alright but at least you could ask the question people who I used to be make sure that I'm okay I know if I blame them then it's still just me to blame don't you think I'm getting better every day just like you don't you believe that I do don't you ever believe that you're no one without my help on the phone, my mother says that when she's dead she wants to go where all her lost things went priceless like state quarters and barrettes just to feel their weight again
14.
Trashbike is Bread (Blowout, Walter etc., Donkey Lips) and his homie Ru playing the pedals. He told me he wrote this song while stumbling home from the Bye and Bye. Bread is like a sexy emo prince, can’t you hear it? This song rules and I really hope Trashbike is more than just a one and done GP band. I would listen to a few albums of soft songs like this, wouldn’t you?
15.
Welcome back to the Socal Valley punk rockers Banned From Japan! If you know that singer / songwriter Matthew Earle has been sober for a few years, this song is hilarious, simultaneously poking fun at vegan straight-edge and himself. The music rips and his vocals are catchy af. Fat Wreck Chords come and sign Banned From Japan asap! I’ll drink coffee till I’m nauseous And I’ll eat a box of chocolates, often Sitting on the toilet I’m in pain And I just quit smoking cigarettes Now I’m eating more and shitting less, stress I guess Has got me smokin smokin more than ever again Vegan straight edge Smokin cigarettes I break edge Almost every day yea Vegan straight edge A head of lettuce got more brains than me when I break edge My weight, it fluctuates, my diet’s inconsistent Inconsistently, calorie deficient I used to think occasional, constipation was normal Diarrhea sometimes too I came across a meme that said my symptoms were from eating meat So true Vegan straight edge Smokin cigarettes I break edge Almost every day yea Vegan straight edge A head of lettuce got more brains than me when I break edge At four in the morning, hand full shredded cheese Starring at my roommate’s ice cream Vegan straight edge Smokin cigarettes I break edge Almost every day yea Vegan straight edge A head of lettuce got more brains than me when I break edge
16.
Ok. This is a bit meta. Walter X (Michael Mahaffie and his WMAHMO / Walter Etc. hardcore chip tune cover project) covers an old Walter GP song as his own GP song. Pretty niche MNE content! This song, in this Lifetime-esque style, his vocals so clear but so gruff, those guitar harmonies, the creative intro and chip-tuney bridge…. this literally gives me chills and is so much better than the original. I encourage anyone reading this to go check out his own original music under the name Jump Cut. It sounds just like this but with Michael’s own songs, shedding the limitations of the musical simpleton Walter songs. Also, check out the full Walter X album on Spotify! What a talented dude…
17.
Curling released their MNE album “Definitely Band” this year and the musical arrangements / song structures absolutely floored me. Genkai Trip is a song that got left off the album, but lives on through GP! Singer / guitarist Bernie Gelman noted “There’s some pretty wacky guitar overdubs where Jojo and I each doubled some guitar parts while the other person was playing with the trem on the guitar, so you get this really weird detuning effect.” and yup that is Curling in a nutshell for you. Always excited to play around with gear and recording techniques that are way beyond my level. I think this is an extremely underrated band and highly encourage the world to check out Definitely Band on spotify!
18.
Ali? What the hell did you even make this song? It’s intriguing in the verses and then when the chorus busts out it sounds like if Dough Martsch were an up and coming artist in Portland in 2018. I actually had to text Ali to ask what these guitar sounds were and, if anyone is interested, he responded, “I compressed two guitars together through a virtual amp. And they’re both running through this sick pedal I got called the Data Corrupter.” For sure Ali! Thanks for a bad ass tune. it all tastes the same texture contrast die young live fast fake dust new rustic condos line the white man’s ghettos stay wrong head strong it’s over when the fat man says so take less, take lessons write about them on your wall then make up with your best friends they all wonder how you’re doing fake plants, thick milkshake drive around till it makes sense it takes of experience to this right how to stay lucid, don’t force it if it’s worth the fight i’m comin’ around to a new way of livin’ well by finding my way out of this self made hell chi val ry’s a lost art much like painting or deduction that nothing matters doesn’t even matter either fake friends line your doorway take a picture to look at later did not want to be there park your car to get a ticket force close your alarm clocks do the same to obligations take another health day they can get along without you take another sick day they are better off without you it takes of experience to this right how to stay lucid, don’t force it if it’s worth the fight i’m comin’ around to a new way of livin’ well by finding my way out of this self made hell
19.
I’ve been listening to a lot of Dakota’s music (solo, Animal City, Lemp Lungs) recently. I keep coming back to it, and its not a mystery. After hundreds of songs in his pocket, songs like “Don’t Solve My Mysteries” still sound musically and lyrically fresh, like Dakota has never had writer’s block in his life. When I listen to his music, I feel like it vicariously breaks down my own creative barriers. For instance when I first heard this song and he dropped the hook “just don’t solve all mysterious” I had that knee-jerk urge to ditch what I was doing and go write a poem or something. His will to create is just that contagious. Combine that with the Casio-keyboard bedroom drum machine vibe that I love so much about his songs like “The Basmati Rice” and you have a 10/10 GP banger. buy the hard candies, put them in a bowl you eat first the candies that you like the most you’re left with pineapple, pineapple, pineapple aw shit, so what the hell was the point of that? listen... don’t solve my mysteries, let a trick be a trick kid, i hung up my top-hat and the rabbit is sick you can steal my magic, you can peek up my sleeve just don’t solve all my mysteries and don’t smoke all my weed you drink first the blood from the cup of the host you drink next the blood from the cut above your nose you dive and dog-paddle, dog-paddle, dog-paddle goddamn, why didn’t you swim here in the first place? now, slow down... don’t solve my mysteries, can’t a trick be a trick? i done retired my suspenders, i got too old for this shit now, if you muster your magic just don’t huck your jokers at me don’t go solving my mysteries and don’t go smoking my weed you spend about three years in love with their ghost that’s one-thousand-plus days, that’s three birthdays both give baby a bottle, a bottle, a bottle well hell, it’s almost like you saw that coming now hold on, smart-ass... don’t solve my mysteries and forget my luck too i’ll have to hand you your buck back, abracadabra fuck you if you make up some magic, you might make a believer of me just don’t solve all my mysteries, don’t solve my mysteries and for my next trick? i’ll buy the hard candies
20.
Jerbear is Jeremy Murphy (Teal & Jer, Riled, so many) and he is the king of a few things: weird bad guitar tones, asymmetrical organic song structures, rad lyrics that I never understand, and a voice that is universally loved. He stole my heart with Cranberries in the Cosmos on a previous GP, but I think Nowhere Girl takes the cake. Jer- when do we get the full solo album? Please don’t fall into the category of GP lost wonders. You’re not too shabby at this music thing!
21.
I played drums in Hemingway at this time and I always vibed that Benny didn’t really like the way this song came out int he studio. I don’t get why? That vocal melody, soft sad and surfy guitar leads… it makes me wanna hold hands with a girl on Christmas Eve while walking down some bougie street looking at Christmas Lights. It sounds like a Starflyer 59 worship track and I love it for that. Benny, you made a mistake. This song should have made the album.
22.
I’ve heard Alex play this song when we get together to jam, and he always laughs it off as a Walter Mitty rip off song. But honestly, this is what I wish WMAHMO would write about if we made a folk punk record today. If you listen to this song knowing that Alex Maddox was a guy who quit his high paying job to travel Europe in his van, surfing and skating and working on farms, the lyrics to this song are way more than wanna-be Walter Mitty. The song depicts a transformation in his paradigm and is completely raw, authentic, and sincere. Alex inspires me to chase a wholesome life that is designed for and by myself, rather than the obvious and sterile template that is provided for us, and this song exemplifies that 1000%.
23.
We played with Uncle Uncle last year in Santa Barbara and I honestly think we should have opened for them. They are actually a good band, both live and recorded. Stylish, friendly, and comically laid back- they might be the quintessential Santa Barbara band. A semi-new band, Uncle Uncle is gaining momentum quickly, and I won’t be surprised when the day comes that Kevin and Dom big time me on State st. Til then, I’m just glad I get to claim that they were on a Group Picture.
24.
Ah, Humphrey. No, Humphrey accompanied by Toast. Two legends as old as MNE itself. What is there to say? I could listen to their wandering ballads til I fall into the Big Sleep, and still the melodies linger on…

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released December 25, 2018

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Making New Enemies Ventura, California

www.makingnewenemies.com

Art Collective / Utopian Cult / Soul Posse

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