Laughing City
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wilsmith
Vintage Newbie


Volume 3 is up http://www.strangeyellowpatterns.com/memories/624-memories-vol-3
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marshking
Sea Post King


This is awesome, guys. Not going to lie, reading these (especially Jamie's) make me so happy and emotional with nostalgia.

This band has really impacted us so much, and they continue to help me each and every day.

Reading these got me curious to look up my old account on here (holland, 2005) and I just cannot even believe I registered to LC nine years ago this past February.

Thank you Nora and Will for being such amazing fans and for continually supporting not only Eisley but also Eisley fans. I look forward to this series continuing!

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Either my account became inactive from posting inactivity or I just downright forgot my password.
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wilsmith
Vintage Newbie


You're very welcome. Hopefully we can get some more momentum & get stuff in placee for the spring tour.
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mikep0922
Lost at Forum


This is kind of random so I'm putting it here. I was in this coffee shop/record store today and they sell only vinyl and if you want to here anything they have, they'll bring it over and put it on the turntable. Well. I had noticed they had Currents, so when the barrista asked if there was anything I wanted to hear, I mentioned there was an Eisley album, and she went over to get it. She was looking under the I's and asked me if it was spelled like the Isley Brothers, so I went over the whole Moss Eisley thing with her, and to make a long story short, she played it and like her, nobody in the place had ever heard of Eisley, but everybody liked it, so there you go. Maybe some new fans!
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wilsmith
Vintage Newbie


Awesome. Now go back and do that like once or twice a week Wink
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wilsmith
Vintage Newbie


Welcome to Memories, where we look back at the music of Eisley from years gone by. Nostalgia is a wonderful thing, as is context, and Memories is an opportunity to indulge in both. Our first conversation is with Jamie whom some know as the Antrider. He has the distinction of being statistically the most active Eisley fan that I know of. It would be fair for me to credit him for encouraging me to be more active in the Eisley fan community, via a simple request for more activity amongst the fans. Sometimes the simplest requests are all that are needed to get an outpouring of action. Such a request, from the second most active Eisley fan that I know of is the reason this column even exists. All that said, itís only fitting that our first conversation in Memories be with Jamie, who has captured so many with his stunning photography of Eisley over the years.

How'd you first hear the early EP material and when did that take place?

I first heard the EP material shortly after discovering Eisley in Blender Magazine (of all places) in August of 2003. I went to Eisley's website fairly quickly, and I believe many of the mp3s were on there. The rest came from friends who had the EPs themselves.


How did it strike you, on its own, and in contrast to the material they had out at the time?

It was not far removed from Laughing City, though the production on that EP was much more slick in comparison. Telescope Eyes was the biggest change, but Over The Mountains was also notably different (and not just by its shortened name). On a side note, OTM from the Laughing City EP still gives me chills. However, the EP material certainly did sound demo-ish by the time Marvelous Things dropped a couple of months later.

Did their ages at the time they recorded the EPs color your perception of the material then, and does it now? If yes, how so?

Not terribly, except Stacy sounding so very young on Pretender. But even then, their weakest/most immature was still good radio. I do remember meeting Stacy for the first time, November 2003 outside of a venue in Houston. I think she was possibly not quite 15 yet? You'd never have guessed it by her composure or performance. (Bonus info: It was Chauntelle's birthday.) Considering that Sherri, Chauntelle and Jon were past 18, I didn't consider Eisley much of a kid band. They were very good, very fast. And I was impressed by that.

What jumped out at you the most when you first heard the EPs, what does now, if not that very same thing?

I haven't listened to the EP material in a long time. Let me try real quick ... It strikes me so much how the vocals on Mister Pine don't murder everything around them, something later producers just don't get about Eisley: They are not a vocal pop band Ė they are a rock band. The major label guys blast the vocals, make the rest of the music secondary and completely ruin part of Eisley's charm in the process. Eisley's sound is so sensitive, and it has a very small magical zone. Granted, when things are off, it's all still very good. But when everything is dialed into this tiny zone of balance, they are possibly one of the best bands in the world. There's my completely non-expert theory. But I digress ... It's remarkable how "thin" their voices sound now. They have grown so much as singers (and I'm sure the amazing production helps) and songwriters. Granted, for a while, their songwriting needed some of this youthful boldness. I believe they're getting back to this place, and it's great that they weren't destroyed by idiot industry robots.

The nostalgia factor on this stuff is killing me. It was already so fun to hear them play Blackened Crown back in 2003 or 2004 ... can you imagine the fun if they bust that thing out now? Only a few hundred people at most would get it, but good lord, we'd all die. As for how I reacted to it initially? I guess I mostly noted that you could hear their various influences a bit more clearly. It was very '90s inflected, but how was that avoidable? East Texas is always a bit behind, and the Internet was just seeping into life at that point. Before we got wired, we were at least a decade behind trends at all times.

Feel free to embellish any thoughts you'd like to share about EP 1 & 2, it's material.


I kid not when I say that this is the music that literally saved and changed my life. I was on my way to becoming a soulless robot. Something. I don't know what - it would have been a dark future. This music is the breath of God bringing light back into my life. This is the stuff people dream of living. I wasn't on the creative side, I wasn't the person on stage living a dream, but I am one of those who have been able to be on the ride and witness it closer than most. I've met hundreds of people, made so many of the best friends, gone all of the country, thought more creatively, felt more free, lived a more blessed and charmed life ... all because I decided to look up this band after reading that they were from Tyler.

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wilsmith
Vintage Newbie


Youíd be hard pressed to find two words in tandem that mean more to/ evoke more emotion among Eisley fans than Laughing City. Their reasons for feeling that way are going to vary wildly, and justifiably so. For some, itís the music of the Laughing City EP that makes them feel a certain way, for others it has very little to do with music. For some itís both. For a band who derived their name from Star Wars I think it would be appropriate to christen the Laughing City EP Eisleyís true Episode I. For all those who came across the band near the time of its release, this music truly was A New Hope.

Strange Yellow Patterns is very fortunate to have a friend and contributor in our very own Bill Gallentine, who some may know as Mr. Pine. His wicked sense of humor has always kept me on my toes, because itís coupled with an understated perceptiveness thatís finely tuned. That perceptiveness extends beyond humor as youíll soon discover.
~Wil


Wil: How'd you come to hear Laughing City and when did that take place?


Bill: It would have been right after Marvelous Things EP came out. That was the one I heard first, then I saw that they had an EP that came out before it. So I went and bought it.

Wil: Thatís exactly how I got into it. Marvelous Things video got me interested, and searching online brought me to Laughing City (LC EP). What jumped out at you when you heard Laughing City, & did the point in time in which you heard it influence your take on it?

Bill: Back when I heard it there was only the LC EP, the Marvelous Things EP and a fan site (not SYP or orangegoldandgreen.com ) that had the files up for EP1 and EP2. That was all we had. So it was not much music of theirs (what, 20 songs)? I remember loving it and not being able to get enough. Over The Mountains was my favorite track and Tree Tops being my least favorite. The EP flowed so well.

Wil: I love Over the Mountains, but I also love Tree Tops, the energy of that waltz and the melody captivated me enough to get me over being cut off from identifying with main refrain ďWhen I was a young girlÖĒ. I was an avid tree-climber as a kid though, so thereís that. Did the relative youth of the band influence your reaction to the music then? If so, how?

Bill: Most definitely. I mean they sang about stuff you would imagine someone being that young would sing about. Outside of Eisley, when a young teen sang songs for pop music, it was about love and it never made sense. They sang about things they couldn't possibly understand and here was Eisley, singing about being young, and being made fun of, or losing a loved one and it fit. It made sense; it seemed...real.

Wil: Their vulnerability seemed genuine. I guess thatís one of the perks of writing your own songs and not writing them with the ambition of being typical teenagers circa 2003 AD ( Avrilís Dominion). But I digress...

Time flies, and things have changed so much, and so little. Going back to the EP after 10 years, what strikes you the most about it now?



Bill: It's hard to say now. Out of the 5 tracks on it, 4 were either released in different versions before or after. Most of the non EP versions I consider better (I Wasn't Prepared is still up in the air).

I suppose what strikes me most is [that] this would be their first official release to the public. The previous EPs were more local cdr type deals. Laughing City had a distributor and you could buy them anywhere cds were sold. So it [felt]...new. Like anything could happen. And back then the world was open to them. It's hard to image the little girl who sings Over The Mountains, now sings Currents. Also, outside of the tracks that moved over to Room Noises, they don't play any live anymore.

Wil: Anything else you'd like to share about the Laughing City EP?

Bill: The artwork was amazing. Like always.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When Wil Smith isnít contributing to Laughing City heís pursuing his interests in music, journalism, and procrastination, in no particular order. Otherwise he's solving IT problems at his job site. In addition to those things he appreciates practical advice thatís so precise it seems clever like, ďMeasure twice, cut once.Ē His infrequent work can be found at playbackstl.com.

When Bill Gallentine isn't answering interview request it's probably because he is playing poker online. In between losing games and forgetting to turn in his assignments, he is working in the promotional products industry and pursuing his life goal of becoming a filmmaker. Outside of all that fun stuff he can be seen reviewing soda on his personal youtube page, www.youtube.com/billvado79 or on his films page www.youtube.com/100foldfilms

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wilsmith
Vintage Newbie


When it came time to recruit contributors, there was a Number 1 draft pick I had in mind. Most know him by the moniker The Man In The Moon, but for those who have checked out his music, he also goes by Michael Cheng, and a few others. Michael has been a reliable source of current events and breaking news for Eisley fans who frequent Laughing City for a couple of years. Heís a creative, honest and thoughtful person with some interesting perspectives on things. I was eager to get his reflections on the Marvelous Things EP, which was the introduction to Eisley for a large number of fans, myself (Wil) included.



Wil: When did you first hear the Marvelous Things EP? How did you discover it?


The Man In The Moon (TMITM): I first heard the Marvelous Things (ME) EP on amazon previews. I wanted to know how different the EP version of Memories sounded from the Room Noises version, but the quality on amazon wasn't really good. I later found both ME and Laughing City at a local used music store.

Wil: What were the first things the captured your attention when your first listened to the EP?

TMITM: The different arrangements of Memories and how the songs sounded smokier than Room Noises. I noticed some slight vocal differences and a different instrument at the end of the Marvelous Things song. I liked how it was more lo-fi than Room Noises and Combinations.

Wil:If you were to make a playlist of the music you would have been listening to back then, what else would you have put in a mix with Eisley?

TMITM: Probably PlayRadioPlay!, Bright Eyes, The Ting Tings, Radiohead, Senses Fail, and Breathe Carolina. Ha, minus the Ting Tings and Radiohead I was a dork.

Wil: It's been a decade since Marvelous Things came out, how does it feel listening to it as you have grown with the band?

TMITM: Well, I didn't hear it till about 08 or 09. It's interesting to see how they've grown with life experience, and it's remarkable that they had the boldness to write about fantastical things when the rest of the world would look down on that potentially. It's strange, many people strive to write music that's innocent and fantastical, when the makers of the music themselves aren't innocent by any means. Then, we have a band whose members are innocent at the time and it's not as appreciated.

Wil: As a special question specific to this EP, on a 7 point scale, how do you rate your level of embarrassment when they sing "Mermaid entwined shrubbery" while you're in mixed company? Apparently, per this clip ( http://youtu.be/WHO0F17QL38 ), it must have been a 6.5 for the band at one point.

TMITM: None whatsoever.

Wil: Is there anything you'd like to share about Marvelous Things I haven't asked you about?

TMITM: Concerning the last question, I was playing Room Noises at work years ago and several guys commented to me saying, "you're the most masculine guy I know." Meanwhile, I'm like, "yeah, I am."




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When The Man In The Moon isnít contributing to Laughing City heís contemplating dreams, being sleep deprived, synesthesia/ideathesia, music, art, photography, video work, spontaneous music and art projects, spirituality, philosophy, astronomy, chinese astrology, folklore. Cartoons, bells, random instruments, pens, watercolors, key based instruments, nature, bad haircuts (mostly punk rock mullets), these are a few of his favorite things. When asked for a quote, he shared two, "people tell me i'm smart, but everything i say is just common sense dressed up in pretty language." - me to my boss. "There is only one thing I dread: not to be worthy of my sufferings." -Dostoevski, Fyodor

https://www.facebook.com/ChengBand
http://www.flickr.com/photos/21069599@N03/

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FOR YOUR RATING PLEASURE:
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