united states of america + new COS + plush may 26th

Cool Thing: The United States of America

Nope, not the country, but the *band*. Yep, in 1967 a psychedelic rock band called “The United States of America” was formed and recorded one album released in 1968 to sate the growing thirst for underground experimental rock n roll that was being fed by early Velvet Underground, Franz Zappa and Love. The album was a commentary on the country (The United States of America commenting on The United States of America!) but what drew us in when we first heard it was the mix of old song styles (some music hall, vaudeville) with some hard core fuzzed out ROCK with crazy jabs of sonic experimentalism (sounds like a lot of early Moog in there, too). The female lead vocals (by Dorothy Moskowitz) could be winsome or badass with shades of Grace Slick. Here’s my favorite example, with the groovy title “Garden of Earthly Delights”. Indeed!

New Chamber of Sounds

Jamie and I bought a house. Which means we moved out of the bunker-cum-recording studio with the funky staircase. Which luckily was immortalized by Rocky Yosek’s portrait of us here:

The old Chamber of Sounds saw the evolution of The Modeens from LA to Tucson and was the birthplace of Jamie’s extremely cool and funky optical synthesizers. It was the spark of new projects (including Rockin’ Gourmet) and many a good time was had within its concrete walls. But it just wasn’t the right place for us to LIVE. The layout was great for hanging but not so much for two (loudly) creative people working from home. But it wasn’t until we found our new home that we finally got off the fence and moved again, hopefully the last time in a while!

One of the many things we love about our new place, aside from the ancient olive tree and two stone turtles in the backyard, is Jamie’s new studio, the new and improved Chamber of Sounds.

It’s painted orange and brown, with some funky modular dividers forming a boundary between the workshop/office where Jamie solders and drills his synth pedals and the band space. Now we have a dedicated music space that doesn’t share mojo with the kitchen, living room and dining room. Some new jams are birthing as we speak and we’ll have to see how this affects our recordings. It sounds great, so we’re looking forward to many more new sonic adventures! Here we are breakin’ her in (photo courtesy of Dani Hawley):

Next Show @ PLUSH May 26th

We took some time off to get settled – but we’ll be back with guitars a’blazin at PLUSH on Saturday May 26th! More details soon. If you’re worried about downtown construction – just get to 6th street and use the large PLUSH parking lot.

Til next time!