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Nara Denning (featuring Stoo Odom of The Graves Brothers Deluxe), Part II

16 January 2010

The Graves Brothers Deluxe were one of the first three rock bands I got into when I moved to the Bay Area, the only one not named after a front-man (in contrast to Kelley Stoltz and fellow Mississippi Exile, Hudson Bell), and the only one for which I jumped around in an ape suit, on our package shows for the now defunct Good Forks record label (before my accident).

Always one of the most danceable of the Bay Area bands, the band’s first release in 5 years, SAN MALO, and their first on Greece’s GREEN COOKIE records (an implicit commentary on the paucity of quality/viable Bay Area independent labels), has even tighter grooves, from the rhythm section of Marco Villalobos and Stoo Odom, while
stepping their “noise rock” jams up a notch; the glorious melodic cacophony of Willie The Mailman’s (ex-Residents ) sinuous and jagged guitar/saxophone lines recall Albert Ayler, as “backed” by the rhythm section of The Minutemen, if not Firehose). Perhaps it’s a result of 5 years of touring since 2005’s FILTER FEEDERS, or their work on the MAHIKARI album (Birdman 2008), with Japanese noise-rock legends SEIICHI YAMOMOTO and MAKOTO KAWABATA, but many of the tracks on SAN MALO have a much more expansive instrumentalization, while the words—never a central aspect to GBD—take even more of a backseat. Perhaps because GBD’s singer is first and foremost its bassist, the words are usually only important insofar as they call attention, often playfully, to the inadequacy of words, as on FILTER FEEDER’s “…And The Conversation Turned To Sex” or SAN MALO’s “Noisy Kind Of Nothing.”

At the same time, San Malo is the most melodic, and tuneful LP in the GBD’s catalogue—-not that melody was ever that important for GBD. But, with the addition of Allison Lovejoy on keyboards, many of the new GBD compositions are much more “college radio” friendly, without sacrificing anything about what makes them such an engaging live band. I recently sat down with Stoo Odom to talk about GBD and his work with Nara Denning. Here’s some videos.

“It came from the Id,”

Interview, with Stoo and Nara

And here’s the information about their San Francisco Release Party
Pirate Cat Radio co-presents: “San Malo” CD release party!
WINSTON TONG (ex-Tuxedomoon) & LX RUDIS
MARK MATOS & OS BEACHES+ original films by Winston Tong and Nara Denning

Wednesday January 20, 2010
8pm, $8, 21+
Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St., San Francisco, CA USA

GBDLX’s long-awaited 4th full-length album comes out next week! It’s (almost) a full-on rock opera about the village of St. Malo, Louisiana. The Asian-American experience began there in 1763 when Filipino indentured servants escaped Spanish galleons and founded the town in the remote swamps east of New Orleans. GBDLX retell the village’s isolation, struggles, and eventual destruction-by-hurricane through a post-Katrina, post-lumpia filter. Beautiful violent art by New Orleans institution Bunny Matthews graces the CD cover.

Headlining the show is legendary Tuxedomoon frontman WINSTON TONG, performing with LX RUDIS and members of the Graves Brothers Deluxe themselves! Porto Franco Records artists MARK MATOS & OS BEACHES open the show, and original films by Winston Tong and Nara Denning will punctuate the evening.

“San Malo” is brought to you by Greece’s GREEN COOKIE Records. It’s available in the USA through Super D Distribution ( and CDBaby (; in Europe through Clearspot (, Soundflat (, and Hands & Arms ( – and very soon through …

Thank you! More info: