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Listed: Man Forever + Dope Body

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Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists determined by our favorite artists. This week: Oneida drummer Kid Millions and Baltimore grunge band Dope Body.

Listed: Man Forever + Dope Body

Man Forever

Kid Millions, the drummer and multi-instrumentalist otherwise known as John Colpitts, is a mainstay of Brooklyn’s experimental rock scene. For nearly 15 years, he’s anchored the music of Oneida, flexing his muscles creatively and physically in a band whose marathon minimalist jams often surpass the 10-minute mark. In 2010, Kid Millions launched Man Forever, a project exploring new extremes in drum performance. The group’s epic live shows feature a rotating cast of up to six drummers, with participants including Yo La Tengo’s James McNew, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Brian Chase, Liturgy’s Greg Fox and the Ex Models’ Shahin Motia. On top of being a formidable show of physical endurance and technical precision, Man Forever’s epic, percussion-centric compositions are a deep exploration of the textures and surface noise that arise from the synthesis of dueling beats. Man Forever’s second album, Pansophical Cataract, dropped May 14 on Thrill Jockey Records. We caught up with Kid Millions for a rundown of some of the albums that inspire him to march to the beat of his own drum.

1. Lou Reed - Metal Machine Music: Live at the Berlin Opera House
This inspired me to make a noise record made by drums.

2. Steve Reich - Drumming
I took phasing from this (obviously).

3. Fela Kuti - Expensive Shit
It’s OK to have one song per LP side.

4. Krallice - Diotima
I was interested in getting some crazy sounds so I mixed the record at Colin Marston’s studio, Menegroth, the Thousand Caves. Krallice got me into black metal. It’s satisfying, black metal. There’s something very rich about those records. I’m not saying it’s the only satisfying black metal — it just hits me. I think it’s because there’s actual love coming from the stage and put into the music. It’s positive music.

5. Pelt - Empty Bell Ringing In the Sky
I’ve seen Pelt probably 15 times over the years maybe more — through their many different incarnations. At first I think I was skeptical — like some kind of Emperor’s New Clothes shit that I didn’t trust. But that was clearly about my limitations as a listener. I probably saw one of their final shows with Jack Rose at the Terrastock 7 festival. I took a lot from Pelt. The slow gestures and the meditation on the drone. I’m so thankful that I got to see so many of these shows even though I think Mike still doesn’t know my name. Now he’ll have to because he’s playing with me on this tour in C-Ville.

6. People of the North - Steep Formations
Bobby’s playing on the woodie influenced me to add some Ace Tone organ to Pansophical Cataract. He’s in Oneida and he’s on some serious shit that you all need to recognize.

7. Sightings - City of Straw
I worked with Richard Hoffman from Sightings because his technique in getting a wide palette of sounds out of the bass is so profound but he also plays hooks.

8. John Coltrane - Interstellar Space
fFor the first Man Forever multi-track drumming, I think I was trying to be Rashied Ali, multi-tracked. I worked with Rashied when I booked tours for the Knitting Factory in 1996. I didn’t really understand what was happening and why it would have been important for me to connect with him on a deeper level.

9. Kevin Drumm - Sheer Hellish Miasma
He broke open the possibilities of noise for me.

10. Wolf Eyes - Dread
Oneida played with Wolf Eyes in NYC in 1998, I think. We played the Good/Bad Art Collective off of Grand Street in South Williamsburg. I loved Wolf Eyes. Seeing them live was always a good time. Party noise music.
I was asked to list albums here — but it’s not really about albums. All of this list actually — hardly any of it was truly about these albums I’m listing here.
I’ve seen most of these bands live and I don’t really listen to these records. I don’t sit at home and listen to music like this. I’m not an auralnaut in this way. But this is Man Fo style stuff...

Dope Body

A real killer of a four-piece from Bodymore, Murderland. Were I Jason Whitlock writing for FOXSports, my inevitable The Wire comp for these bruisers would read thusly: Desperate to scream himself clean, frontman Andy Laumann is Reginald “Bubbles” Cousins. Quick and cunning, guitarist Zachary Utz (Laumann’s ole buddy from Mount Saint Joseph) would be Stringer Bell, then. Lovably obdurate drummer David Jacober has to be McNulty, so I guess that makes the department’s most recent hire, bassist John Jones, Bunk. Equal parts HxC tenacity-cum-LSD tomfoolery, their latest slab of pig-fracked wax. Natural History, is brought to you by J. Robbins’ Charm City studio — c/o the Drag City distro. Splitting their Listed 2+4+2+2 here, as H.L. Mencken wrote in The Sun, "follow the dope... and you’ll soon find a body."

1. Shellac - At Action Park
I first heard Shellac in my older friend’s attic bedroom back in 1999. Through expressing my interest in the grunge music, I was too young to actually enjoy when it was happening. I was instantly attracted to the raw and brutal tonality of the instrumentation and vocal delivery. Albini’s voice sounded like a pissed-off not-gonna-take-it-anymore outcast from Revenge of the Nerds. Filled with angst, yet it had a removed retrospective feel on the issues it was dealing with. The heavy riffing and intricate time signatures reminds me of a beautiful minimalist painting. The way they knew how use silence and intensity to create these scenes of disintegration. (Andrew)

2. The Sea and Cake - Oui
This band is able to take me out of any bad mood, or elevate a good mood to blissed-out proportions. The soft, upbeat songwriting along with fast rhythms and pop hooks create a beautiful landscape that is reminiscent of the moment in the morning between dreaming and consciousness. At times, there’s a slow groove and others a spastic techno backbeat. They know how the reel in the ephemeral. I was also very inspired by the use of electronic, symphonic and live instrumentation to build these full pop songs that never seemed overdone or overcrowded, the songs give you some space to feel alone amongst the chaos to elevate to a higher plane of bliss. (Andrew)

3. Harold Budd - The Pavilion of Dream
Maybe the only record I will never tire of. It’s like the most beautiful concept for a record I could imagine. All acoustic instrumentation (voices, strings, pianos, harps, sax, etc.) beautifully displayed and thoughtfully displayed as pure timbres. It’s like he stretched out the sonic palette to become this massive pastoral canvas of spacey earth tones. The sonic equivalent of an organic opium den. It makes me feel like I am getting pleasantly drunk and walking into the most fragrant wood shop. Its like getting lost in an audio labyrinth made of pillows and massive sheets of brilliant red tissue paper. I don’t know. It’s somehow better than dreaming. (Zachary)

4. Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin
When I listen to this record now, all I hear are the grooves. The riffs, the vocals, the drums and the bass are all subservient to the groove. For me, it’s the initiator of hip-hop or almost any kind of music you can move to. It’s like a jam album where everyone is riffing is in this oozey, drippy dance sex den. You can feel them just vibing way the fuck out into the abyss of rock and letting their bodies become molten goo piles underneath the ground swelling groove. It’s the kind of playing I always want to engage in when practicing/jamming in a basement or performing in a basement. It was a revelation for me to hear that taken into a studio and laid down. (Zachary)

5. The Beatles - The Beatles [White Album]
It was already established to me that the Beatles could write the best songs ever before I heard this record. But I wasn’t aware that they could just write average songs. Average in the sense that they didn’t seem to be minding the notion of catchy hits on this record. It was more a releasing catharsis. For me, the relaxation and absurdity yielded the most touching and lasting songs in their catalog ("Happiness is a Warm Gun," "Long, Long, Long"). It’s a extrinsically whimsical personal journal of ideas that usually get tossed out. They became humans. It’s like unyielding weirdo acoustic expression. I guess they could do whatever they wanted at that point in their career and that’s the place I am constantly striving to be as a songwriter. (Zachary)

6. Cluster - Soweisoso
I got into this record late in the game, but I feel as if it was the last big bookmark I can remember in my musical pursuits. I had never heard anything so calming, or ever realized music had the capacity to do so. It was like the audio equivalent of lavender oil. It became the ultimate sedative. I literally felt like I could melt away with this one. Since initially hearing it, I was told that the album was completely improvised and that revelation blew me even further. The simplest possible ingredients making the best possible stew. It’s like as close as anyone has come to Erik Satie since Satie himself. Such a warm attention paid to tones and melodies, it really hasn’t stopped inspiring me since I first heard it. Definitely the record I wish I had written. (Zachary)

7. Beach Boys - Pet Sounds
Pet Sounds is hands down, one of the best pop records of all time and it still sounds completely fresh to me every time I hear it. Maybe it’s because of the killer combination of unusual, orchestral instrumentation and brilliant, pop song writing by Brian Wilson and composer/lyricist, Tony Asher. Car horns, dogs barking, violins, vibraphones, bells, timpani, woodwinds, guitar, horns, organs and a pile of other instruments make this a insanely delicious, textural bed for Wilson and the other boys to lay down their harmonies in and melt souls. Or maybe it’s because of the supernatural, angelic quality of its densely layered vocal harmonies, blended gracefully with swells of echo and space. As a drummer, this album made me want to play, play just like an entire percussion ensemble, interweaving delicately its many voices with each other and leaving of space between hits. I get really stoked on this album, too, because it exemplifies how great the product of team work between lyricists, singers, a small orchestra and a great pop band can really be. (David)

8. Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin II
Go figure, the greatest rock band ever also had the greatest rock drummer ever. When I was 13, my father and I had a conversation about music, on the way to Delaware and "Whole Lotta Love" was on the radio. He turned it up, telling me that he used to have a drum set, which he sold the year I was born. In that moment, something clicked and I knew my destiny was with music. I felt I had been called upon by the powers that be, The Hammer of the Gods if you will, to play drums and create music. Every member of Zeppelin was extremely talented, but when I got into John Bonham, I realized where all of the other rock drumming I was hearing originated from. It was and forever will be Bonzo. Maybe more so than any of their albums, this one captures the amazing production of Jimmy Page along with Zepp’s untouchable, raw energy, classic, massive guitar riffs and heavy grooves under belting vocals by Robert Plant and it really should give rock bands something to strive for in the studio and on stage. Also, MOBY DICK! Duh. (David)

9. Chrome - Half Machine Lip Moves
This album does an amazing job of mutating all sorts of genres and attitudes down to a singular vibe that marches relentlessly for 36 minutes. Each part seamlessly morphs into the next by utilizing odd rhythms, classic guitar riffs and blown-out effects. Usually when phaser modulation is abused in this manner it drives me absolutely nuts, but for this album it sits perfectly. If anything it compliments the hog wild spaceship ride this album is. (John)

10. Neu! - Neu! 2
Neu! 2 is a favorite for the road. A nice reminder that repetition through rhythm and linear riffs can have amazing results. I love the trance inducing aspect that is often not available with other drum and guitar records. This is one album that brings in "rock" elements, but still is capable of transcending a staple genre and is willing to take you there… know what I mean? (John)

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