Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Oscillating Fan Club Fan Club

Before last year, I did not really enjoy "rock/psychedelic/surf" music... Until I saw Oscillating Fan Club, that is. For the second time. The first time I saw them, they sounded a lot different, and they all seemed to be having a really bad time onstage. You could tell they were technically awesome musicians, but something was amiss. It could have been the horrible weather, it could have been that I had just played my first solo show ever and I was so amazing that they felt they couldn't live up to my awesomeness, it could have been the sound mix...

But since then, I have run into Oscillating Fan Club's members at various Detroit/Ferndale/Hamtramck bars, seen a few of their shows, and rubbed shoulders with them at parties. One thing you should know about Oscillating Fan Club: they do not like puns. Or so says the guitarist, Ray. This was said after I explained to the Jon the bassist that "Elle and the Fonts" was a play on words (or a malapropism) for "elephants." "I like elephants," says Pierce.

Pierce also likes ghosts. I am warned before I even take a seat on the back porch of the drummer, Rob's, house that Pierce is a little obsessed with ghosts. "And dinosaurs!" exclaims Jon. "A lot of our songs are about ghosts," says Pierce. "Yeah, all of the songs that you write, anyway," Ray counters.

But not all of the songs are about dinosaurs and ghosts. They actually have a song about Nuremburg. And by "song," I mean "showtune." Yes, they have a showtune about Nuremburg. And according Rob, singing it is a great way to freak out people in the elevator. I still have yet to test this out. I am not sure if they are talking about Nuremburg trials, Nurnberg the German city, or some dude in history that I have no recollection of from history classes. I did not want to ask them, though; we had more things to talk about, like the vinyl they are releasing on August 6th. Or is that August 2nd?

"It's August 2nd," says Ray.
"I'm dumb with dates," I say.
"Yeah, Ray is like an idiot savant with dates. He can, like, tell you what day of the week any day is. Like 'October 12th is a Tuesday!' Out of nowhere," Rob points out.
At this point, Ray takes out his phone. Apparently, he isn't an idiot savant; he just knows how to use the calendar in his phone.
"October 12th is a Sunday."

Elle: So, we played that show together at the Painted Lady. Was that, like, two and half years ago? That was one of the only shows I have ever been paid at. So, thanks, guys.
Rob: Yeah, The Painted Lady was really a get-rich-quick scheme.
Ray: Lot of pay in Detroit, a lot of money to be made.
Elle: Really?
Ray: Watch out for it.
Elle: Where at?
Pierce: The Glass show.
Ray: Yeah, at 6 o'clock in the morning. That's the way to make money.
Pierce: Actually, the Bohemian House.

*at this point, Ray, Pierce, and Rob discuss their press kit, and ponder if they had sent it to the people who do Dally in the Alley. Jon questions me about my band. We won't get into that here*

Elle: I should probably start asking you real questions.
All of them: Oh OK, *grumble grumble* nooooooo
Elle: Do you have any favourite local bands right now?
Pierce: Yes!!!
Elle: Besides yourselves.
Pierce: Oh.
Ray: It's just us. Can we say that?
Elle: Sure.
Ray: The greatest band in history.
Pierce: No.
Ray: Red China is great. Duende and Wildcatting.

Elle: Anyone that's not affiliated?
Ray: Wildcatting.
Rob: Zoos of Berlin!
Pierce: I like those Silver Ghosts. They are good.
Rob: Deastro.

Ray: We should get him to play the CD release show.
Robin: I can never get ahold of him.
Elle: Have you seen the full band?
Ray: Yeah they played at Blue Moon.
Pierce: I didn't know it was a band.
Ray: Yeah, they have a drummer, and then a bass player and guitarist.

Elle: Those guys were all in an emo band together from Sterling heights.
Ray: Oh god.
Someone: Emo sucks.
Jon: What is wrong with emo?

*this conversation becomes long and boring at this point because I am mostly talking about myself and how emo I am*

Elle: What is your definition of emo, Pierce?
Pierce: America.

Pierce: I have a cartoon strip I started. One of the characters is named Mayor Aristocratic Dog.
Elle: What is the strip called?
Pierce: Ghostropolis. I have it the car if you want to check it out.
Elle: Totally!
Ray: NO!
Jon: Come on!
Ray: Don't encourage him!

Elle: So on the topic of ghosts...
Pierce: We have some songs about ghosts.
Ray: Our first song ever, Baby Ghost Alarm Clock.
Pierce: We have a song now called Ancient Wind Ghost, and it should make the album.

Ray: Actually, none of those did.
Pierce: ...A bang up single!!!

Pierce has a song. He sings it at work. It goes something like this:
"I'm turning into a giraaaafe again."

Rob: These guys do a lot of showtunes. One of my favourite showtunes is "Ray's Zany Construction."
Ray: *sings the Ray's Zany Construction song*
Rob: And then there is that Nuremburg song...
Pierce: Yeah!

*Pierce and Ray sing*

Elle: When did you start recording this album?
Pierce: uhhh, 2004?
Rob: No, I thought we started recording some of the songs before that.
Ray: I think it was 2006, actually.
Jon: Was it 2006? I thought it was 2004...
Pierce: We have been recording this forever.
Elle: What is the name of the vinyl you are releasing?
Ray: Feverish Dreams As Told By dot dot dot.
Pierce: But not really the "dot dot dot" spelled out. Just three periods.

Elle: I get it. That is called an ellipses.
Pierce: I love the ellipses.
Rob: I use them all the time. At the end of every sentence.

Oscillating Fan Club will be releasing "Feverish Dreams As Told..." (according to their most recent Myspace bulletin) on August 2nd at The CAID in Detroit, MI with Zoos of Berlin. It will be released on VINYL. Let's hope for their sake they include a digital download, or this guy won't buy it. You really should come to the release show, and show some support. They have been working on this record forever. Or since 2004 or 2006.

Photo comparison time!

photos (ccw from upper left: J.Milo, Cafe du Monde flickr, unknown,

*fab* flickr, RDW, Elle, trevor.long flickr)

Thanks, Megan, for clearing that up for me!


Sarah said...

What a great conversation...though I am not suprised. Those guys are too funny, especially all together (or is it altogether?)

Jack won't stop meowing. I think he misses you.

And about that photo comparison...where did you find all those pictures? Your description of each is very unclear...can you explain again what/who each photo is? I may be a total idiot but the caption was confusing!!

miss you.

Megan said...

Hah! Oh Jesus.

BTW, it's "Feverish Dreams" not "Fever Streams" so you might want to fix that. :)

Elle said...

Dude. I am so deaf.

Elle said...

Sarah, I was crediting the photographers.

Those pictures are of Thurston Moore and Pierce.

I miss Jack.