LUNG x CONAN NEUTRON & THE SECRET FRIENDS: cello-grunge powerhouse joins forces with Melvins-affiliated rockers on electrifying new split LP; West Coast tour announced
“What’s in a name? Would ‘Kiss From a Rose’ by any other name sound so sweet?”Easy concept, kids. Two bands that are idiosyncratic and unique and are frequently related to the cultural dead end of “project” team up for a wild concept. THE MISSION: pick 3 song titlesEach band writes a song to the song title, without hearing or knowing anything about the other band’s work. The title inspires the music, the lyrics, the entire approach. Certainly things have a chance of getting interesting, yes? Anyway, what transpires is the results of this collaboration/challenge. Feast your ears upon it… if you dare!DANGEROUS NOMENCLATURE. —VINYL PRE-ORDER COMING SOON THROUGH LEARNING CURVE RECORDS, when we have a more realistic idea of the timeline when it might actually arrive. Thank all the Adele and Taylor Swift collector’s records for that. credits released February 4, 2022 The Erratic Retaliator StrategyMike – guitar, vocalsRon – bass, vocals — Conan Neutron & the Secret Friends:Conan Neutron – Vocals/GuitarsTony Ash – BassDale Crover – DrumsToshi Kasai – Backup Vocals, Keys, Synth Recorded and produced April 15th, 2021 and September 11th, 2021 by Toshi Kasai at Sound of Sirens NeutronFriends Heavy Industries, Worldwide.STILL ON TOP! —Artwork by Chris Williams – Plastic Flame Press (plasticflame.com)Mastered by Bob Weston, Chicago Mastering Service, January 2022Neutronfriends.com LCR-080-1 / SW030 Dangerous Nomenclature by Conan Neutron & The Secret Friends
Protons and Electrons Compilation by Conan Neutron & The Secret Friends Atom 12 (of 12!) of Protons and Electrons is up! Parade of Deceit / B/W Dale Crover Band – Sell Out.DOUBLE DOSE OF CROVER! As always free to listen to on bandcamp, you can buy digital for $2 and you can pre-order the vinyl if you feel so inclined (ships mid next month) This here, Parade of Deceit is a nervy lil’ number about outrage fatigue and general disgust with the Newstainment Industrial Complex, confirmation bias and political actions designed to exhaust, demoralize and infuriate. Don’t we all just love a parade? With a DOUBLE DOSE OF CROVER! Dale Crover Band, in their first released recording of the live unit (Dale Crover, Steven Mcdonald, Mindee Jorgenson, Toshi Kasai) , meanwhile… give you a delightful homage/medley sure to please fans WHO listen. That’s Protons and Electrons, folks.
Protons and Electrons Compilation by Conan Neutron & The Secret Friends Protons and Electrons Atom 11 is now up for listening and pre-order: It’s Conan Neutron & the Secret Friends (Conan Neutron, Tony Ash, Dale Crover) with The Vig, and Cartographer with Turnip, The Cloth Clown. I believe this is the first Cartographer release in 8 years. So there you go! Cartographer is very closely tied to the NeutronFriends mythos, by nature of Conan being bandmates with Ben and Chris in Replicator, and with Chris and Andre in Mount Vicious. Without Replicator (and to a lesser extant Mount Vicious), there would be no Conan Neutron & the Secret Friends in any capacity. Cartographer is burly, aggressive and uncompromising noise rock. While the band members don’t take anything too seriously, the music is serious as a heart attack. Pummeling drums, jagged guitar and bass that evokes pure sleaze and menace make a fully formed package of Noiserock(TM) delivery. I believe their song is about a birthday clown that wants to have sex with a young Ben Adrian’s mom. The Neutron Friends tune is an homage to a classic gambling term. The Vig (short for vigorish) is interest principal amount owed on a debt or loan, always at a usurious rate, with the idea being that the borrower never ends up paying down the principal and is indebted to the lender by just just covering the interest. The conceit of the song is applying those principles to psychic costs, but it probably works as a more dead on interpretation too. The EarthQuaker Devices Bit Commander, features prominently in the “proggy” chorus bit. While, I think the guitar sound in the verses are just straight into a cranked Bassman. Anyway, vinyl ships in September but you can listen to the tunes on bandcamp now.
Protons and Electrons Compilation by Conan Neutron & The Secret Friends Free to listen, $8 to pre-order vinyl, $2 to buy digital Conan Neutron & the Secret Friends is, as always, Conan Neutron on Vocals and guitar, Tony Ash on bass and Dale Crover on drums. This time we are joined by Sean Kirkpatrick of the pAperchAse and Nervous Curtains on synth, piano, keys, etc, and Josh Hensley of the rutabega on harmony vocals. It’s a lot more low key than a lot of our stuff and is directly written about the Amargosa Opera House and Hotel in Death Valley Junction California. There is a stunning documentary on it called Amargosa. Here’s what that link says:“In the ghost town of Death Valley Junction stands the Amargosa Opera House, where for the past 33 years former New York dancer and artist Marta Becket has performed her own ballets in the theater she spent seven years handpainting with stunning murals.” Yup. I (Conan) consider Marta Becket to be a personal inspiration and the Amargosa Opera House to be a paragon of DIY attitude and uncompromising vision. This song is meant to honor her achievements and memory, and to celebrate the idea that empty spaces are places to paint, what is possible. If you’ve ever seen Lost Highway, it’s the hotel at the end.It’s an incredible place in the middle of absolutely NOWHERE and Marta Becket was an American treasure. On the other side is the incredible Maple Stave, Chris does time as second guitar for us quite a bit and does a LOT of our art. Evan has sat in as well, on guitar and drums. They are a hell of a band. Let me just quote what Chris wrote about their song: “The short version: the Maple Stave split with Conan Neutron & the Secret Friends is out today. We recorded it in November with the great Nick Petersen, and it was mastered by the great Bob Weston. It is the first Maple Stave recording since 2006 (I believe) to include bass guitar.It is available for download here: The long version:Back in summer of 1998 things were weird for me. I had started listening to stuff like Polvo and June of 44, which skewed my songwriting, pushing it away from the more traditional likes of Sebadoh and Guided By Voices. It was also weird because I was about to start college, and I was scared to some degree. As far as a band went, I knew I’d start from scratch, and, with that, could do whatever.On August 5th 1998, I went to the Lizard & Snake (long, long gone Chapel Hill cafe/club), probably on the suggestion of a friend. The show I went to see featured two bands I knew nothing about. They were Bicentennial Quarters (local opener; about 20 years gone as of this writing) and U.S. Maple. Like hearing “Enemy Insects,” “My Black Ass” or “Of Information & Belief” for the first time in my car, on Jefferson Road, not long before, these bands blew me away. (note: I first heard “My Black Ass” in a friend’s car in an Amoco parking lot in Boone, NC somewhere in 97/98) I didn’t understand what was happening, but knew it was good. It gave me a much greater understanding of how much you could play with song structure, and though I’d say that I likely lean more toward traditional styles when writing, it broadened my horizons enough to understand that pushing things further than I had been was absolutely ok to do. I left that show and came up with the name Maple Stave as a nod of appreciation. I […]
Protons and Electrons Compilation by Conan Neutron & The Secret Friends Atom 9 of Conan Neutron and the Secret Friends’ “Protons and Electrons” split 7″ series is now streaming and available for order on Bandcamp. $8 for the 7″, plus shipping, $2 to buy digital, free to listen. This one is interesting because, like the first one, it features Mr. Tony Ash on bass on both sides. Cheap Sleaze is the name of the band, and this is their first official release. A hell ass rock/punk band. The Conan Neutron & the Secret Friends song is “Cop Knock”, as always it’s Conan Neutron on vocals and guitar, Tony Ash on bass, and Dale Crover on drums, Toshi Kasai producing and engineering. This song also features an awesome guitar lead courtesy of Rick Valentin of Poster Children and Thoughts Detecting Machines. CS offers up a 1-2 punch of “Freeze Queen” and “Troll Trap” recorded at Electrical Audio. artwork by the incredible Plastic Flame Press, as always.
Protons and Electrons Compilation by Conan Neutron & The Secret Friends Protons and Electrons Atom 8 is up to listen to and pre-order*Our song is Jilted Dragon, a song that may or not be about Smaug the dragon from the Hobbit, and may or may not be about one of Conan’s cats. Either way, it’s basically a heavy-ish surf song about the internal mindset and motivations of a frequently cranky creature. On the other side we have Turbo Lightning! One of the bands of the unsinkable Jeff Byron of old pals The Mae Shi. Conan and Jeff go way back, and both have had their ups and downs, both are still here and doing their thing as hard as they can and with aplomb and vigor. Aplomb! Vigor!In any case: side note, TL singer Dana is also the badass behind the harmony vocals in Quid Pro Quo. ok? Ok! (*not shipping until May though, so be aware!)
https://neutronfriends.bandcamp.com/album/protons-and-electrons-atom-7-armies-of-the-mind-the-god-eaters-cluster-fuck-shit-show Protons and Electrons: Atom 7 – Armies of the Mind / The God Eaters – Cluster Fuck Shit ShowAtom 7 is now available to stream online and for advance purchase. The God Eaters! The pride of Marquette, Michigan, hidden away in the upper peninsula. A powerful nervy band that aggressively follows their own compass and puts forth a righteous and uncompromising noise. Drummer Nick has filled in for neutronfriends many, many times, and guitar player Dylan has filled in on guitar as well. Fiendishly creative and productive, they are band that I hope has a long and storied career. Armies of the Mind is a song that’s basically two choruses. It gets in, does it’s thing, gets out. That’s the idea. Here’s what Jimmy of The Vega Bodegas and formerly of Future of the Left had to say about it. : ” I think this just became the greatest song of 2018 for me. Like Roky Erickson on a motorbike on fire & I’m hitching a ride with nothing but leather trousers on. Such a monster of a riff! “ Protons and Electrons Compilation by Conan Neutron & The Secret Friends
Rally, a simple one word name, but a hell of a band. They are both catchy but have some skronk and grind. Michael from Rally has been a NeutronFriends sideman on the guitar numerous times, drummer Dan not only ran Conan and Tony’s old label… but he has sat in with NeutronFriends on drums as well. I’m pretty sure this is their first release, looking forward to many more! Oh yeah, NeutronFriends side is about messianic figures that turn out to be total jerks. It happens. The badass leads at the end are all NeutronFriends live guitar player Erica Strout of Motherfucker. Protons and Electrons Compilation by Conan Neutron & The Secret Friends