<![CDATA[Melolagnia - Home]]>Wed, 02 Aug 2017 20:22:51 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Review of cloudlight's self titled EP]]>Wed, 02 Aug 2017 21:35:42 GMThttp://melolagnia.com/home/review-of-cloudlights-self-titled-ep
album artwork done by ryan wyrick
cloudlight's debut ep is a beautiful dreamscape of sounds. jessica fogle, aka jessica in the rainbow, has a siren like voice; like you'd imagine a mystic guide through a dark forest to have. she also plays the piano through out the album. bryan ralph adds melodious guitar and ukulele to the mix, and vocals reminiscent of brian ring of the duluth, mn band lion or gazelle. the newest addition to cloudlight is mackenzie carlson and he plays the electric mandolin - enough said. "the name is inspired by their time together in northern michigan, traveling around michigan’s pinky on a slightly overcast but otherwise lovely day." and after hearing their music i'd have to say it's definitely a fitting name. like viewing the light of a fresh sunrise beaming through the clouds as you're coming down from a psychedelic trip, cloudlight's whimsical sound gently carries you to your happy place with a newfound sense of clarity. the instruments sound raw and authentic, and they seem to weave effortlessly in front of, behind and alongside the vocals creating a powerful and dynamic wave of smooth sound. this ep is euphorically beautiful in an original way, exposing listeners to sounds that seem to inspire contentment and even comfort embracing and expressing your truest self. continue reading below to learn more about cloudlight from band members jessica and bryan.
cloudlight will be at speakez this evening at 8pm, event page here.
you can also preorder their album and receive two tracks here.

like them on facebook here.
stream some of their music here.

1. describe your collaboration process with your band mates:

jessica: i have very little experience with true collaboration (except in musicals/film). this is my first time in a band, really. so at the beginning, the process was very "write songs separately and then jam together." most of this first ep was created that way, in terms of writing. route twentytwo is the only one that was written collaboratively (i wrote a piano part, bry added words/vocals, then we edited a little together). but we're starting to explore writing together more, including on mac's progressions, and i've been loving it so far. as far as instrumentation, it's always been very collaborative and organic, everyone just sort of does their thing. i love it.

bryan: to be honest, it's different for each song. usually one of us will have an idea for a chord progression, then lyrics are improvised over the course of several days until a theme begins to stick out and then we will continue refining the instrumentation/effects/harmonies until we feel the song is complete. we also took a very d.i.y approach throughout the recording process, which lent us to shape a lot of the songs further still from a production standpoint.
2. what inspired you all to come together and create?

bryan: cloudlight stemmed from an opportunity for jess and myself to play at Lamp Light Music Festival in grand rapids, mi. the fest itself is a weekend long series of very personal house shows at multiple venues featuring music with an emphasis on just that, the music. this pin-drop silence allowed us to be more vulnerable and play songs that otherwise would never have seen the light of day, by playing together arose the ability to experiment with darker and more complex themes than we wrote individually. i wanted to go into more experimental guitar styles by way of effects, but doing this on my own felt somewhat lackluster, being a member of cloudlight created cohesiveness to the overall timbre of the songs produced. adding our electric mandolin player mackenzie carlson to the mix was a choice we made to further add to the overall quality of the music, which has always been the focus of what we do.

i've wanted bryan to play music with me since shortly after we met. i asked him to play on a Jessica in The Rainbow album back in 2014, but it was a bit too last-minute and spontaneous. i tend to create in intense bursts, whereas he tends to let new things grow at their own pace. we did perform a couple Wilco songs together in chicago in 2014 as part of a benefit for Rock for Kids, and did some brewery gigs together in west michigan in 2015, mostly just for fun or money, and then last year he learned a bunch of my JiTR songs for a benefit for this really great organization up north called Crosshatch, so over time it just seemed more natural and obvious to try something like this. also we received quite a bit of positive feedback about our voices together over the years, so it seemed like a collaborative project would be something other people would enjoy as well (and after making pretty obscure music for so long, i won't lie that it wasn't a bit refreshing to feel a little more like a crowd-pleaser when i made music with him :). so we pitched the idea to John Hanson, who is a champion for collaborative projects (so grateful for him and all he's done for the community!), and ended up writing a whole set from scratch a month before the show, asking our friend mac to join us on half the songs. it was fun and exciting and scary. overall i think mackenzie added a lot of chill to that process that we really needed, amidst all that self-created pressure. and we loved working with him so much for that show, that it just stuck. so i think since then, every time we've had a goal or deadline to work towards, we've all grown a little more connected and involved in this. it's not totally intentional, none of us set out to be in a 'real band' together, but it just works and feels great to play together.

3. what feelings were you guys attempting to capture throughout this EP?

bryan: if i were to describe my personal feelings for the ep in three words i would say: confusion, duality, and mindfulness. it's been described by jess's dad that the ep made him feel like he was getting high without the use of drugs, which is a great review imo.

jessica: i think i deal with a lot of despair, but i'm an overall incredibly hopeful person. the conflict between those two things, especially in the past year or so on this planet, has been harder for me to capture musically, so perhaps the feeling i'm personally trying to express on this EP is something similar to a really loving and understanding hug? and not to speak for mackenzie (he's on a camping trip in the smokies right now!), but during the practices just before the house show soft release i started calling him 'sparkles,' because he adds such a beautiful and necessary (in my opinion) brightness to each song.

4. what do you think would be the ideal environment to listen to this album?

jessica: if you can be somewhere alone, or with quiet chill friends, or anywhere that is conducive to feeling things, that would probably be best in my opinion. i like to listen to it while driving, or looking at anything in nature (forest, lake, etc).

bryan: anytime, anyplace, just one request, please don't listen on your phone speakers if you can help it, i suggest a quiet introspective place with decent headphones and an open mind to the sonic possibilities you are about to experience.

5. if you could have our President listen to one of these songs which would you pick and why?

bryan: i'd rather him not listen to any of it to be completely honest. if i must choose, i'd say pulse. the song starts from the perspective of the victims involved in the horrific club pulse shooting back in twenty sixteen and then the onslaught of politicians speculating on the events surrounding this tragedy seemingly for sake of furthering personal agendas rather than from a place of genuine concern. this contrasts the safety of the metaphorical walls of money and popularity that they've built to protect themselves from the very real issues of gun violence and mental health in our country.

jessica: i think bryan captured this one far better than i can. i don't know what he could gain from this, as i sense that he experiences life and thoughts and emotions far differently than i do. i also sense he values different things than i do. but what song do i wish he could hear with a truly open mind and heart, in which to have a cathartic healing experience? probably dream...as i think untangling some of the thought-threads that cause reactivity is a much more peaceful way to live, and i truly wish peace for everyone.

<![CDATA[Macamillioin Macsterpiece Album Review.]]>Sat, 22 Apr 2017 19:22:22 GMThttp://melolagnia.com/home/april-22nd-2017
Macamillion used beats that we all recognize on some of these tracks. At first I honestly didn’t know how to feel about that. Normally I find that artists struggle to make the tracks sound original due to the influence of the original song. However, Mac really approached the beats with a completely different style. Mac's vocals on these tracks take me back; he reminds me of rappers like Three Six Mafia,  Lil Wyte, and Pastor Troy. Mac has that classic rough and raw flow. He's based out of Hillside in Duluth, MN and he talks about the real shit that goes on in that small town that even most residents are unaware of. On top of that he throws in slick diss tracks and smooth one liners that'll steal ya' girl.  Mac has a very Flatbush Zombies-like theatrical voice full of passion in a lot of these tracks which really adds a sense power and intention behind his rhymes.

When asked about the album Macamillion said “I waited years to put a project I was proud of all the way around. No one had done all industry tracks in so long just barz no song format just back to rapping I feel like I proved again why I'm one of the best to ever come from hillside.” Don't sleep on this album, especially if you live in Duluth! Mac's work is a very important poetic response to life in Hillside. Support local artists.

Listen to this album and Macamillion's other work here.
<![CDATA[Social Space collaboration with Elizabeth Bush]]>Tue, 11 Apr 2017 16:56:55 GMThttp://melolagnia.com/home/social-space-collaboration-with-elizabeth-bush
.A response to the measurement of time created by Mackenzie Tucker and Elizabeth Bush.

"Why do I say that nature does not produce? The original meaning of the word suggests the contrary: to lead out and forward, to bring forth from the depths. And yet, nature does not labour: it is even one of its defining characteristics that it creates. What it creates, namely individual ‘beings’, simply surges forth, simply appears. Nature knows nothing of these creations – unless one is prepared to postulate the existence within it of a calculating god or providence. A tree, a flower or a fruit is not a ‘product’ – even if it is in a garden. A rose has no why or wherefore; it blooms because it blooms. It does not know that it is beautiful, that is smells good, that it embodies a symmetry of the nth order. It is surely almost impossible not to pursue further or to return to such questions. ‘Nature’ cannot operate according to the same teleology as human beings. The ‘beings’ it creates are works; and each has ‘something’ unique about it even if it belongs to a genus and a species: a tree is a particular tree, a rose is a particular rose, a horse is a particular horse. Nature appears as the vast territory of births. ‘Things’ are born, grow and ripen, then wither and die. The reality behind these words is infinite. As it deploys its forces, nature is violent, generous, bountiful, and above all open. Nature’s space is not staged. To ask why this is so is a strictly meaningless question: a flower does not know that it is a flower any more than death knows upon whom it is visited. If we are to believe the word ‘nature’, with its ancient metaphysical and theological credentials, what is essential occurs in the depths. To say ‘natural’ is to say spontaneous. But today nature is drawing away from us, to say the very least. It is becoming impossible to escape the notion that nature is being murdered by ‘anti-nature’ – by abstraction, by signs and images, by discourse, as also by labour and its products. Along with God, nature is dying. ‘Humanity’ is killing both of them – and perhaps committing suicide into the bargain."
- Excerpt taken from Henri Lefebvre's The Production of Space Excerpt from chapter Social Space.
<![CDATA[Ape Not Kill Ape "CopSkill" Official Music Video Release]]>Fri, 17 Mar 2017 20:38:35 GMThttp://melolagnia.com/home/ape-not-kill-ape-copskill-official-music-video-release
Created by Chelsea Harris and Cam Frank.
Ape Not Kill Ape is a Grand Rapids based self-described trench-funk outfit. They've really been on the come up in the underground music scene drawing consistent crowds in and near Grand Rapids. Ape Not Kill Ape is now about to embark on a spring east coast tour with fellow trench-funk band Sojii. But first ANKA has a couple things to share with us.
​First, the music video below. This music video begins with powerful spoken-word style poetry speaking about the corruption found in the city accompanied by fleeting imagery. Then we see the band and we are taken away by their psychedelic, gritty sound. But the vivid poetry never stops. As those who have had the opportunity to hear ANKA know, each of their songs is an exquisite work of art. This visual representation of ANKA is sure to help tide over faithful Grand Rapids concert goers as ANKA shares their sound with the east coast. 
Tomorrow ANKA is releasing a twelve track album titled "Bushman" that they recorded at Goon Lagoon. This album is packed with all of the amazing songs you are likely to see at a ANKA live performance. They've been performing these tracks for awhile now and finally the public is about to be blessed with the ability to stream ANKA whenever they desire. The album has a consistent dark poetic style that is sure to haunt listeners. But don't get me wrong, this isn't dark in the sense that you'll wanna turn off all the lights in your bedroom, lay down and cry to it. It's dark in an empowering way that will send energy flowing through your body and cause you to stick it to the man. The feeling of ANKA's music is reminiscent of Godspeed You! Black Emperor in the sense that it is impossible to ignore the true artistry and emotion put into each song. The conglomerate of noises coming from band members Adis Kaltak, Brett Dame, Cam Frank and Allen McAllister unite to create a cohesive cacophony that comforts the disturbed and disturbs the comfortable. Words really do not do this album justice, so stream it yourself tomorrow via ANKA's Soundcloud. Physical copies of the album will be released April 8th at Vertigo Music in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Find Ape Not Kill Ape's east coast tour dates here.
Be sure to catch them when they return to Grand Rapids at the Pyramid Scheme, event page here.
<![CDATA[Interview with Erika Mugglin]]>Tue, 14 Feb 2017 15:15:36 GMThttp://melolagnia.com/home/interview-with-erika-mugglin
Erika Mugglin is a Los Angeles based artist focusing on photography, mixed media and performance. Mugglin's photography, on the surface, is reminiscent of a serene technicolor daydream. She uses reflective surfaces to create interesting light patterns in her pieces which provides a psychedelic tone that coincides with her overall aesthetic. Mugglin's subject matter almost always involves the human form, and commonly some aspect of the form is abstracted. Her trippy alterations to her model's appearances cause the viewer to appreciate the physical form in a different way. An inspirational feminist artist challenging the way we observe the female form in a way that is beautiful within itself. It is hard to view Mugglin's photography without wishing to be immersed in a rainbow world like the one she has shared with us. I had the opportunity to ask her a few questions regarding common themes in her work and the other things she's involved in as an artist.
Read more to learn about Erika Mugglin & visit her website here.
If you were hired to photograph Donald Trump how would you pose him? What would he wear?
Good question! I would dress Donald in the most illustrious of clothing, so he could puff out his chest and peacock around, but I would do everything in my creative power to make him appear as small and overwhelmed by his environment as possible. Different imagery comes to mind such as an empty theater, or auditorium, or him standing in the shadow of greatness, mean and insignificant. 

Aside from photography, what else are you involved in as an artist?
In addition to photography my focuses are on music and travel, and I feel best when I'm experiencing both in high quantities. I also have dabbled in production/set design for short films, and acting, which comes in handy when doing performance art.
Describe your experience when you worked with Natalie Wetzel and Daniel Huffman on the blobby sculpture piece for the Womb Gallery in the past. Working with Natalie and Daniel was an absolute treat. Natalie is not only a great conceptualizer, but she makes things happen. The blobs were of her sculptural expertise, and we both helped to formulate the concept. We spent about 6 weeks in OKC working on it, and we used several lights Wayne (Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips) had laying around. He eventually added the baby tubes to the ceiling and the Galactic Uterus stage was birthed. 

On Instagram you detailed a concept you enjoy exploring: the juxtaposition of attraction and repulsion. What inspired your deep interest in exploring this concept? 
This concept is appealing to me because not only does it result in an interesting composition for the image, in a way it combats the often voyeuristic gaze the internet has produced. We all look at each others lives so intimately, often when we are alone, seeing each others faces, and bodies privately and publicly at the same time, in a strange phenomenon that these last few years have produced. My hope with this concept is that when you inevitably look, seeking out something attractive, something pleasurable to view, your mind recoils, and you realize just what it was you were hoping to see and apply that to your every day interactions with people, and especially women. So you are conscious of just how often you seek out visual pleasures quietly.  

Tell me a secret.
Sometimes I am completely unsure of sure what I am doing. It feel like I'm walking a path in the dark, but all you can do is continue to move forward and grow.