Posts Tagged ‘Matt Mondanile’

Sightings: Ducktails, “Apple Walk” Video

Monday, July 26th, 2010

For those of us who often find ourselves watching videos on music websites such as this one, the “beachy” video is nothing new. I’ve even visited the trope once or twice in my own work. Images of sand, sea, and sun just seem to fit so well with the lo-fi bittersweet nostalgia of Ducktails. And the track “Applewalk” evokes a late-night jam around a bonfire, so it is no surprise that Ducktails went the “beachy route” for this particular video.

But there is something a little different about this one, and it has a lot to do with the figure of Ducktails’ Matt Mondanile in the video. When we first see him, he is walking down a path — presumably towards the beach — playing guitar and wearing a long-sleeved sweater. In other sequences — Matt Mondanile standing on a rock surrounded by water, Matt Mondanile playing guitar in an abandoned building — his attire becomes a bit more appropriate, but his attitude toward his surroundings remains equally blasé.

There is a certain amount of humor in this. When something is funny in such subtle strokes, I feel the need abandon my post structuralist inclinations and start wondering about the intent of the author. It certainly seems like Mondanile is in on the joke here. This is supported by the fact that his current Myspace picture is a still from this video of him playing guitar on a rock, with an image of Free Willy superimposed above his head. It is also supported by the presence of the long-haired beach bum character at the end of the video. Unlike Mondanile, this fellow seems to really fit with the environment of the beach. Judging from the structure that he is sitting under, he seems — literally — to be at home there. He and Mondanile are happy to see each other, but they don’t seem to be from the same world.

Perhaps the sentiment here is that although we can all agree that the beach is a wonderful place and indulge in a certain amount of nostalgia regarding nature, those of us who are trying to succeed in an urban space and struggling with “real world” concerns will always be a little bit removed from natural environments such as the one portrayed in this video. Unless we are willing to grow our hair out and build a hut on the beach, there will always be a feeling of distance. That being said, could this be the “beachy” video to end all “beachy” videos? We shall see…

Underwater Visitations Sunday Brunch Takeover #2/Episode 10: The Woodsman Episode

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Heat can be pretty psychoactive. I have suffered through enough late summer DIY shows in this city to know that it can make you feel drunk when you are dry, induce dizziness, lightheadedness, blurred vision, tunnel vision — and, on rare occasions, even predator vision. It can dull your experience of the most bad-ass jam you’ve heard all year while heightening its impression in memory. I am actually pretty glad that I missed Woodsman‘s set at Monster Island Basement in Brooklyn last Friday because it don’t think I would have survived to tell the story. When they swung by Newtown Radio last Sunday, the station was probably just as cramped, but the free-standing air-conditioner wheezing dutifully in the corner lowered the temperature to a level that was pleasantly hallucinogenic. Each color and each sound was more saturated than usual, each beat went straight to the temple. Maybe it’s just that Woodsman is so percussion-heavy, but I couldn’t help feeling like was trapped inside my favorite Can video — minus the long and stringy hair.

“Underwater Visitations Episode #10: The Woodsman Episode

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Download the entire episode here

Playlist after the jump.

Sightings: A Fundamental Experiment Benefit LP

Friday, June 11th, 2010

I haven’t seen JMW in years, but I will always remember him as the formidable skateboarder, line-cook extraordinare, cosmic guitar shredder, and all around big-hearted bro with whom I had the pleasure of sharing a rickety duplex for a short time back in Western Mass. Late last fall, JMW took a bad fall from a three-story building in San Francisco. Though he survived to tell the story, life after the accident has meant countless broken bones, months of recurring surgeries, and thousands and thousands of dollars in medical expenses that he will be potentially be paying off for the rest of his life. Now JMW has always had a very tight group of loving and equally big-hearted friends, and I was extremely touched to receive an email this week from M. Erikson — another former roommate, and the other half of Sudden Oak — about a limited run benefit L.P. that he put out this week to help take some of the edge off. Named after a tome by French spiritual surrealist René Daumal, A Fundamental Experiment is ten-track compilation of Neil Young covers by a group of artists in JMW’s extended friend circle, including Matt Mondanile of Real Estate/Ducktails, Sun Araw, Julian Lynch, The Laurentide Ice Sheet, and several other talented folks hailing from both coasts of this wide land. Somehow I have no doubt that the Father of Grunge himself would approve. Submissions by Julian Lynch and Matt Mondanile below.

1) Julian Lynch – Sedan Delivery
2) Metal Rouge – Helpless
3) Sam Goldberg – Transformer Man
4) Swanox – Thrasher
5) Sun Araw – Barstool Blues

1) Stag Hare – Cortez the Killer
2) Laurentide Ice Sheet – Southern Man
3) Trevor Healy – Round and Round
4) Avocet – Expecting to Fly
5) Matt Mondanile – Look Out For My Love

Julian Lynch, “Sedan Delivery”

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Matt Mondanile, “Look Out For My Love”

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Edition of 300. Pick up a copy and learn more about the project via the Fundamental Experiment blog.

Julian Lynch, Orange You Glad, Olde English Spelling Bee

Monday, April 6th, 2009

orangeyouglad452[1]Is there something in the water in Ridgewood, New Jersey, or does the Garden State just happen to be coughing up a lot of blissed-out psychedelia these days? Like childhood neighbor and long-time collaborator Matt Mondanile (Ducktails, Predator Vision, Real Estate), Julian Lynch has been churning out more quality homegrown recordings than we have time to digest. His sound, a one-man patchwork of vocals, wah wah guitar, bass, drums, and kitschy synth effects, carries the happy-go-lucky quality synonymous with recent Ridgewood output into the territory of the singer-songwriter.


Predator Vision, II, Future Sounds/Abandon Ship, 2008

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

Matt Mondanile and his co-conspirators are certainly working a lot of bikinis in a twist these days, blowing up the blogosphere as the DIY forerunners of a new “beach pop” phenomenon. The hype surrounding Ducktails and Real Estate is well deserved, but dwelling too much on the “drinking a pina colada in black Ray-Bans and an unbuttoned Hawaiian shirt” aesthetic undermines their breadth and talent as musicians.


Ducktails s/t 7”, Breaking World Records, September 2008

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

This month, Breaking World Records releases a limited edition 7 inch by Ducktails, a.k.a. Brooklyn-based musician Matt Mondanile, marking the onset of fall with a prayer for eternal summer. Though he proudly identifies suburban New Jersey as his heart’s true home, Mondanile’s sound is equally the product of four years on the Western Massachussetts noise scene, a prolonged stay in an immigrant neighborhood in Berlin and a thriving re-issue culture that brings psychedelic and world music gems back from the dead.