Skyscraper Magazine » These Are A Few of My Favorite Things: Quintron
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By Quintron April 26, 2011

RADIO AIRWAVES: I pretty much have some radio babbling in the background all the time… sometimes two stations at once. Radio just makes me feel alive and interconnected with my fellow humans, because it has this ethereal glowing hum and I love knowing what I am hearing is happening right now. Ah, and the sound of “in between stations” or shortwave tuning is one of the most romantic sounds in the whole world. We don’t do CD players or anything on tour; it’s all radio, all the time, and it’s awesome because we are always finding these weird local stations, playing regional music we would never find on our own. If there is no good station, we just listen to static at low volume. I gotta say, the South is the BEST for strange local radio – except Texas is horrible, for some reason. Oh, but actually in Lubbock they have this great station that plays really obscure rockabilly and hour long blocks of Buddy Holly because he was born there. Lafayette has two or three killer Zydeco stations, and New Orleans has some amazing AM radio programs: late night live gospel broadcasts, lunatic fringe doomsday preachers, super-conservative Karate instructors who think they know about politics, radio for the blind, et cetera. I’m definitely not an NPR guy; I like super local AM radio much better. My absolute favorite is this show called The Food Show, which is all about wine and fine dining around town. Listening to that makes me feel rich.  Yea, I fucking love the radio. Don’t let Clear Channel take it over people! They will immediately make your radio stations sound like a beige cardboard disco box. “We want the airwaves baby!!”

GIRLS: Can there ever be too many songs written about girls? Pretty much all of my best friends are girls… or complicated cave men. Do I really need to tell you, women are beautiful geniuses in a way men cannot even come close to? Some guys aim to please their dude friends with their music (metal-heads), and that’s cool, but I am absolutely cashing my checks at the lady department. Girls respond honestly to music and art and aren’t scared to dance. Girls, girls, girls!

A FINE GLASS OF BEER: Try as I might, I just cannot tell the difference between a good wine and a crappy wine. Crappy is $80 at a restaurant for one you saw at the corner store for $10. The solution (other than listening to The Food Show instead of going to fancy restaurants) is to drink a fine glass of beer instead! Everyone – except German garage rock tourists who insist Pabst Blue Ribbon is actually good – knows the difference between good beer and crappy beer. Oh yeah, and beer has alcohol in it and alcohol is quite crucial to my creative process. You work and work all day and then you wanna change the channel and see how your work looks thru a different lens. TA-DA: beer! I actually do this thing called “club testing” when I am making a record, which goes like this:

1. Finish recording a rough draft of a song at around 1am.
2. Go to a local bar where good buddy is DJing or local bar where good buddy is bartending.
3. Drink fine glass of beer, like Guinness or Duval (I hear Belgium is beer heaven).
4. Insist that good buddy play new Quintron track in public right now!
5. Wake up the next day and fix whatever was so obviously missing in said recording.

Seriously, everyone says play your mixes in a car or on a boombox or whatever, but I say go drink a fine glass of beer and play your mix in a crowded room right in the middle of whatever the DJ/jukebox is doing at that moment and you will instantly know what parts are too long, what voice is too loud, what is too bright, too dull, et cetera. So, um, a fine glass of beer can actually help you make good decisions and can also be good for you because it makes you happy and fun to be around. Ten or 12 fine glasses of beer can lead to very bad decisions and becoming un-fun to be around.

CRIME FICTION: Ok. I am super, super into this guy called James Hadley Chase right now. He was a British writer who set most of his books in a fictional Florida town called Paradise City. It’s hilarious because its all southern goth Florida settings, but he still says stuff like “que” and “lavatory” and he marks time Euro style (21:00  hours, et cetera). Ha ha…wrong! But Chase is an amazing character writer and he goes as deep and dark as Jim Thompson or Charles Willeford (my all-time favorite). Brutal, dark, hopeless stuff. Crime fiction never gets old to me. There are seemingly endless combinations of degenerate characters and messed up situations to enthrall my juvenile imagination. When your world sucks, read about some murderous Cuban restaurant owner with a nympho daughter who is being stalked by a slightly crazy Korean War vet with a deep seeded hatred for hippies. Depression be gone!

THE WORKS OF ANTONIO GAUDI: Perfection. Never has mankind come so close to creating what mother nature does in her sleep. Supernatural, impossible, and totally inspiring. Did you know he never had sex? If you cannot go visit his buildings in person, the best way to experience Gaudi’s brilliance is to check out this amazing film, Antonio Gaudi (1984), by Japanese director Hiroshi Teshigahara. It is basically a slow visual ode to the architecture with no talking, just minimal string music. Good times.

BRITISH COMEDY: I don’t know what it is exactly, but I am completely addicted to great British comedy, especially TV! I don’t find most comedy films all that compelling or funny for some reason. Maybe because television shows are created relatively quickly on a much lower budget they can be allowed to have this anarchic level of chaos. Television is trash and everyone knows the good stuff is always hidden in the trash! The Young Ones from the 1980s is just straight up punk rock television. Shit does not even make sense sometimes. They ended one episode with a giant sandwich falling thru the ceiling and crushing them all – for no reason. I think the real reason I am so attracted to this stuff is because I love what British writers do with words. They have such a deep command of the language, they can just do these beautiful surreal things with it – going all the way back to Oscar Wilde and beyond. They can just make shit up, words that don’t even exist, but somehow you know exactly what they are talking about. My current favorite is actually kinda old; it’s called Snuff Box – dark comic surrealism at its very best! Oh, actually there is an American guy (Rich Fulcher) in that one… so, uh… we don’t totally suck. I don’t know how this stuff affects what I do, but it must because I watch it over and over the way other people listen to records.

BROKEN ELECTRONICS: I derive great inspiration and mental relaxation from opening up a broken hunk of equipment and trying to fix it. There is something very satisfying about taking another designer’s work and making it whole again. Old electronics are the best. You can literally see the fingerprints in there, like a mystical braille time machine. I have always thought of analog electronics as being similar to organic plant matter. There is natural floral beauty to raw analog circuitry. The Drum Buddy is kind of patterned after decaying or “leaky” circuitry like this. New stuff imitating broken stuff: now that’s reverse engineering.

Quintron – organist, one-man band, inventor of the Drum Buddy, partner to puppeteer and performance artist Miss Pussycat – should need no introduction. His most recent album, Sucre Du Sauvage, written and recorded live during an early 2010 residency at NOMA (New Orleans Museum of Art), was released earlier this month on Goner Records.

Photo Courtesy: Quintron

Visit: Quintron and Miss Pussycat | Goner
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