From now through the month of June, the Pride of Victoria, British Columbia — Frog Eyes — will be airing the well-read, raw psychedelia found on the band’s Dead Oceans debut, Paul’s Tomb: A Triumph, across this fine continent of ours. As anyone who has crossed paths with this musical beastie knows, Frog Eyes’ shows are primal, otherworldly and maybe as close to a pop music enema as many of us will ever get.
Tour dates HERE.
It’s fitting, then, that just as Frog Eyes hits the highway for tour that Carey Mercer take a moment to wax poetic on the city that the band calls home. His brilliant, heartfelt essay on Victoria, British Columbia for Aquarium Drunkard’s Off the Record series is something to behold. Mercer gives us the good, the bad and the ugly of Victoria, calling it a “city for the belly”:
My city is not a city for the mind, and not even a city for the body, but in fact it is a city for the belly.
Think of Falstaff: his coarse gut-tunic is stained with mussel juice and pernod, and he is crocked and delirious on some coriander-ed wheat ale, brewed just minutes from where he now holds court. His mouth spews local-lamb gristle and roasted turnip, and his sleeve is encrusted with the many translucent shells of spot prawn. And then he spies and smells a fresh platter of Chanterelles swimming in butter and duck fat. His tongue curls around his salted and greased cheeks: he is so laminated in oils and pates and jellies that he could easily eat himself. Blackberries stain his chin. Salmon bones hang like forgotten combs in his curled hair. He cannot possibly eat enough.
Wow, right? With that kind of high-lit writing prowess, many have wondered if a side career in letters is something Mercer has considered. But as Mercer told the Portland Mercury recently in a feature to preview Frog Eyes’ upcoming visit, his true place in this world — thank the rawk gawds — is on stage with mighty axe in hand:
Frog Eyes remains unique in Mercer’s ability to fit so many ideas—both lyrical and music—into his songs, which despite their strangeness are actually quite warm and welcoming. “I could become, like, a noise guy who gets paid to go play artist-run centers,” says Mercer of the alternatives to indie rock. “Maybe I could read a poem. But that doesn’t seem as appealing to me as playing in front of 30 awkward teenagers in Boise, Idaho.”
Well said, Mr. Mercer. See you out there.
Greetings from beautiful Bloomington, Indiana, U.S.A.!!
As any fans or casual followers of Vancouver’s media personality Nardwuar the Human Serviette can tell you, his interviews are nothing if not thick with awkwardness. From Jay Z to Julian Casablancas, Nardwuar’s very peculiar style of interviewing has perplexed, annoyed and intrigued. But none so far have been so calm as Frog Eyes’ Carey Mercer who joined Nardwuar via phone last week for a live-on-the-radio interview.
Carey’s Nardwuar interview is almost a meta-interview, cleverly toying with the banality of most interviews and dancing around any real discussion of Frog Eyes’ most excellent new longplayer Paul’s Tomb: A Triumph, which is now on shelves for your musical consumption. And throughout, Carey is inspiring in his patience and thoughtful replies.
That said, the whole interview can be quite delightful. We get lovely nuggets of information about British Columbia’s indie-rock history of which only musicians of that region may be aware. Also, at the tail end, we get to hear Carey and Nardwuar duet for the “Shave and Hair Cut” melody. Perfectly strange ending to a stranger interview.
Have a listen to Carey’s appearance on Nardwuar HERE.
In a few weeks, Frog Eyes will set off on a North American tour. Simply put, the Frog Eyes live experience is not to be missed. See the dates HERE.
The latest LP from Frog Eyes hits stores today! Click HERE to buy Paul’s Tomb: A Triumph on CD or LP. Here are some of the things reviewers have to say about the album:
“A furiously lobbed Molotov cocktail of well-read rock…Frog Eyes deliver the only noise acceptable: howling voices, waves of super-fuzz, swirling riffs that are always tantalisingly out of grasp. 8/10″ – NME
“Shattered fragments of classic psychedelia and the bits of Springsteen riffs that their countrymen Arcade Fire left behind. 3.5/5 Stars.” - SPIN
Three years in the making, Paul’s Tomb: A Triumph marks FROG EYES’ thunderous, frantic, fiery return. This is a slow-brewed masterpiece that is unmistakably Frog Eyes, a new album that was very much worth the wait. On this point we feel unassailable: Frog Eyes keeps getting better and better.
Starting today you can pre-order Paul’s Tomb: A Triumph and receive and instant download of the album to enjoy while you wait for the CD or LP to arrive at your door. Pre-order Paul’s Tomb: A Triumph HERE.
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