Friday, January 18, 2013

Don't Quit Your Day Job - Narco States' Michael McBlane-Meyer

By Damien Tank

One of the great appeals of truly independent music is that the artists are pretty much regular people. They just use their free time to write, rehearse, perform and record music instead of joining bowling teams or taking pottery classes. More often than not, original music doesn't fully finance their lives, so they keep jobs to pay the bills. Let's take some time to celebrate the musician at work.

Minneapolis band Narco States just made a 7" EP full of reverb, organs, and shouting. Obvious musical touchstones include psychedelia of The Stooges, 13th Floor Elevators and The Animals with a strong dose of 70's funk and soul and a psychobilly undercurrent. Their live performances are inspiring, with singer Michael McBlane-Meyer writhing on the stage, dropping his guitar for full-bodied maraca shakes and back again. I sent him a few questions about his other professional life.

Where do you work and what's your job title?
North Memorial Hospital in Minneapolis: Pathology Dept.

What do you actually do there?  
I am a Histotech. I work with human tissue in order to aid Pathologists in the diagnosis of diseases such as Cancer. I do a wide range of things from grossing in tissue, cutting tissue blocks, and staining the tissue elements with a variety of chemicals and dyes. I also sometimes assist in autopsies. Weigh organs, hold the brain bucket...normal every day things like that. 

What are your hours like?  
Usually 4am - 12:30pm. Doesn't everybody get up a 3am?

Have your coworkers heard Narco States? What do they think?They've heard it. It's not really their bag but they are supportive...for a bunch of middle aged women anyway. Although one co-worker told me the music was great except for the singer...she said the singer was terrible. I agreed and agreed we should replace him. I just didn't tell her I was the singer.
How does your job affect your availability to focus on Narco States?  
It makes me a party pooper during the week as I cannot practice late...but otherwise it's a "leave the job at the door" type career so I can concentrate on rocking and rolling. I also get most weekends off and it's easy to take time off for I can't complain about that at all.

How does your work inspire your music or lyrics? 
 I don't really think it does...If all I sang about was blood and gore or the fragility of life that may be true (although some of those elements might filter in). I think my music and lyrics are an existential expression of being human. I sing about fear, anger, contempt, humor and pop culture reverberations swirling together in my dimly lit brain...and normal every day things like that.

Narco States 7" Release Party 
Nomad World Pub
Friday January 25/ Doors at 9 PM

Mary Allen and the Percolators (12:30)
Narco States (11:30)
Liquor Beats Winter (10:45)
Fret Rattles (10:00)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Southside Desire's "Fast Hands" Video

Southside Desire vocalist Gloria Iacono directed the video for "Fast Hands" from her band's album Songs to Love and Die To. My favorite part is the puppet domestic squabble captured by an orbiting tracking shot. Very nice work, indeed.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Narco States! 7" EP!

Narco States have a finished product on their hands! Their debut 7" EP on Piñata is out now in stores and available on their Bandcamp page for digital download. Celebrate its release with them at The Nomad Pub on January 25th with Violent Shifters Mary Allen & The Percolators, Liquor Beats Winter and Fret Rattles! $5/ 9PM/ 21+.