Underwater Visitations Episode #4: The Big Troubles Episode

Live, Big Troubles kick up such a sandstorm that it’s hard to remember that the band began as a bedroom recording project — or, rather, two separate bedroom recording projects, two hermetic hearts that began beating as one when high school buds Alex Craig and Ian Drennan got together last summer and decided to start a band. When the duo rolled up to Newtown Radio last Thursday, the station — recently fitted with a deluxe leather couch and a fridge filled with junk food and sodas — felt homey enough to bring us back to the days when the guitar-playing and songwriting half of Big Troubles had yet to round out into a full rock line-up.

Alex and Ian played out of the same guitar amplifier, sung out of the same mic, and babbled away in the kind of half-English vernacular you probably remember sharing only a few times in your life with one or two very close friends. They couldn’t seem more like two peas in a pod — which is why I was slightly disconcerted when, following the set, Alex presented us with a hand-drawn Venn diagram designed to represent their friendship: two giant circles labeled “Alex” and “Ian,” with only a tiny sliver of overlap at the center. I can’t remember what they said the middle part represented, but I think it had something to do with food. Whatever the reality of the situation may be, I like to think of the Venn diagram as a nice metaphor for the way their instruments interact in the episode you hear below: two runaway orbs of screaming guitar noise, colliding here and there into the shape of a song. At times they overlap a little too much, sharpening into points of feedback — but that’s kind of where the magic begins.

For those of you who tuned in for the first hour of last week’s show and were a little freaked out to discover a rambling discussion between a man with a heavy French accent and a panel of small children, please be cautioned: we don’t know why or how, but Underwater Visitations was hacked! Luckily, we were able to rescue the true-blue episode from the Newtown Radio archives — including a first hour of jams by Ari Stern and yours truly, and a Big Troubles-spun spool of semi-mainstream ’80s gold, which we proudly did not decide to censor.

“Underwater Visitations Episode #4: The Big Troubles Episode”

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Download the entire episode here .

Playlist after the jump.

J. Barry – Midnight Cowboy Theme Song
Real Estate – Basement
Silver Jews – Send in the Clouds
The Byrds – I Knew I’d Want You
Frank Zappa – Filthy Habits
Tim Hecker – Palimpsest II (Excerpt)
Ariel Pink – Hobbies Galore
Deerhunter – Game of Diamonds
Brian Eno – The BIg Sky
Roches – Hammond Song
Galaxie 500 – Another Day
Pavement – Stop Breathing / (Jumpskip to) Unfair
Amon Düül II – Green Bubble Raincoated Man
Michael Bundt – Neon
Lester Brown – Feed Me Sea Weed
Public Image Ltd. – Flowers of Romance (Instrumental)
U.S. Girls – Lunar Life
Mutual Benefit – Night Bike
Pure Ecstasy – Alexandria
Popol Vuh – Aguiire II


Jim Ferraro – On Air (Excerpt)

Polvo – Enemy Insects
Big Country – Inwards
Prefab Sprout – Moving the River
The Lucy Show – Come Back To The Living
Simeon – Wizard Child
Aztec Camera – Jump (Loaded Version)
Headtime – Have You Heard
Devon Williams – Sufferer
St. Johnny – Scuba Diving
Guided By Voices – Surgical Focus
The Byrds – It’s No Use
Ariel Pink – Phoebus Palast
Yellow Magic Orchestra – Firecracker

For more of the Big Troubles experience, kindly check out their “Freudian Slips” 7 Inch on Blackburn Records and “Drastic and Difficult” 7 inch on Olde English Spelling Bee — not to mention the band’s debut l.p., which should be dropping from the OESB labs within a matter of weeks.

To find out what happened to Underwater Visitations Episode #3: The Lost Episode, and why it did not appear on this blog, please consult the very confusing AIM conversation recently published on the Underwater Peoples bog.

Words: Emilie Friedlander

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One Response to “Underwater Visitations Episode #4: The Big Troubles Episode”

  1. […] Another banger from Ari and Emelie! peep the Tracklist, download the whole thang from Visitation Rites! […]

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