Julian Lynch on his new album Lines, the recording/performing dichotomy, and different ways an artist can make use of an influence.
Julian Lynch is a composer and performer from Madison, WI. Currently working on a dual concentration Ph.D. in anthropology and ethnomusicology at the University of Wisconsin, Lynch has released a handful of albums while still in school, including 2010’s mysterious and meandering Mare as well as the more focused, driving Terra (2011), both out on New Jersey’s Underwater Peoples label. His next album is called Lines and is slated for a March 23 release date.
As a denizen of a quasi-legendary Ridgewood, NJ high school music scene that spawned such successful groups as Titus Andronicus, Real Estate, and the Vivian Girls, Lynch still holds close ties with that cadre of musicians and songwriters; he often shares bills and band members with these bands and their offshoots. At the same time, where many of today’s popular groups with North jersey roots share a musical lingua franca of pop song structure and good-time party-dance rhythms, Lynch’s sound eschews these references to achieve an altogether different type of memorability—melodies that sneak up on you when you might least expect them and play on idioms from five centuries ago as opposed to five decades. BOMB caught up with Lynch to discuss balancing school and music, the recording/performing dichotomy, and different ways an artist can make use of an influence.
Andrew Aylward How was your first week of school?
Julian Lynch It actually hasn’t started yet but I’ve just been taking care of odds and ends before it begins next week.
AA So you’re doing anthropology and ethnomusicology for your PhD, right?
JL Yep, that’s right.
AA I didn’t you know you could do that. Is that like double majoring except for seven years?
JL Yeah, it’s basically like that. It’s called a joint PhD and it just took some fine-tuning with getting coursework requirements done for both departments. It’s been going pretty smoothly. I guess you could think of it like double majoring for a Phd.
Mike Donovan discusses analog nostalgia, living in the garage, and Wot, his first post-Sic Alps solo album.
Mike Donovan is a musician from San Francisco. His band Sic Alps recently called it quits after roughly a decade, though their legacy can’t help but live on. That legacy consists of five albums and almost three times as many 7” EPs of sometimes-scorching, sometimes-sweet garage rock released on such labels as Woodsist, Siltbreeze, and Drag City. Indeed, the lo-fi movement that rode its own wave through alternative music shoals of 2000 and beyond was forged by the likes of Donovan, along with Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees, Kelley Stoltz, Tim Presley of White Fence, and the Fresh & Onlys.
But now Donovan is set to release a solo album. Wot sees release on October 15 via Drag City. The sound field has been cleared, the overdubs and instrumentation have been paired down, and what’s left is a man, his acoustic guitar, and his songs. Not too much else. Donovan talks here about transitioning to solo mode, living in a garage, and why the Internet makes you seem more interesting than you actually might be.