Saturday, July 28, 2012

Working on some tracks. Messing around with overdubs for the first time ever. Not sure how I feel about the results yet.

Friday, July 27, 2012



Experimedia Sale!

I was just scoping out the new Bronze Age that's dropping from the Bed of Nails compound and noticed Experimedia is having a sale and wouldn't you know, "Tired Forever" is on sale now for 25% off. They have the wrong cover art up there, but whatever. Anyway, if you're already ordering some stuff from those folks, why not roll in a Greenhouse tape? Plus, the latest Gomeisa tape is there too. It's a goody. Bleak shit.

The Cosmic Dead

So, the recording experiment I tried last night didn't really work out, so I have nothing to say today other than to say buy a copy of this tape by The Cosmic Dead from Dub Ditch Picnic.

I just got a copy today (thanks Chris!) and man oh man. Really, really good drawn out, restrained, subtle psych jams a la old Pink Floyd or even Acid Mothers Temple (at their most reigned in). Apparently this tape is already almost sold out. So act fast. Hit up DDP and get a copy of this asap.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Foxy Digitalis Reviews "Tired Forever"

"This is the third release for Winnipeg’s Prairie Fire Tapes by drone guitarist (and Foxy D. contributor) Curran Faris. It’s implied by PFT that Faris is playing guitar at least a bit here, but it’s not a bad thing that the instrumentation rarely identifiable. “Early Mornings and Late Nights” is super blown-out, with a thick layer of feedback and low rumbling threatening to swallow up any recognizable notes (note that I say a layer, as opposed to layers – a crucial distinction). Occasionally, out of this miasma, a theme looms and then recedes – perhaps a heavily delayed note, or sustained synth drifting. “All That is Left” mesmerizingly loops minimal filter sweeps. “Glissed” is built on layers of drifting guitar feedback. The two epic B-side drones, “Accept This” and “Drop-off,” are more guitarish, the former blissfully looped and layered, the latter returning to a low drone for a sustained, satisfying, and long conclusion. Unhurried, full, and using the tape medium expertly – this is excellent work."

Original here.

QRD Magazine Interview

This was really fun to be a part of. An interview for all of you gear nerds out there. Check out QRD here. They interviewed Mick Barr in the same batch (!!!!).

QRD – What was your first guitar & what happened to it?

Curran – My mom’s classical guitar. It’s sitting upstairs in my office.

QRD – What’s your typical set-up from guitar to effects to amplifier?

Curran – Fender Telecaster Thinline - Ernie Ball volume pedal - Boss tuner - Fulltone OCD - Ibanez Tube Screamer - Boss pitch shifter - Electro Harmonix Freeze - Diamond Tremolo - Line 6 DL4 - Electro Harmonix Holy Grail - Verellen Loucks - Sunn 4x12

QRD – What’s the most important part of your rig - guitar, amplifier, or effects?

Curran – Tough call, but I’m gonna go with my Loucks.

QRD – What’s your main amplifier & why?

Curran – Verellen Loucks. It’s simple, yet extremely touchy & versatile. & it’s pretty loud too. It yields a big range of tones. I discover something new almost every time I play it.

QRD – What’s your main guitar & what are the features that make it such?

Curran – My main guitar for years was a Godin LG. I’ve been using my Tele for a few years now. I like the humbuckers in it. Gives it a bit more heft.

QRD – How many guitars do you own?

Curran – Five.

QRD – How & where do you store your guitars?

Curran – Mostly in their cases. One stays on a stand for easy access. Another is in a corner being neglected.

QRD – Do you upgrade & customize your guitars or just stick with what you get?

Curran – I’m a total caveman. I stick with what I get, besides from the obvious tune-ups to suit the gauge/tunings I use. If I need something technical done, I take it to Darcy Bunio here in Winnipeg. He’s a wizard.

QRD – How thoroughly do you research or test a piece of equipment before buying it?

Curran – Pretty thoroughly. I watch as many online videos as I can if I can’t physically try something first.

QRD – Do you change your rig around often?

Curran – Not really. Don’t have the funds to.

QRD – Are you after one particular guitar tone & locking into it, or do you like to change your tone around a lot?

Curran – I’ve been pretty locked in for a while. I tend to stay away from super high treble. I like smooth, diamond-clear clean tones & loud, but distinct distortion.

QRD – What are some guitars, amps, & pedals you particularly lust after?

Curran – Sunn Model T. Gimme.

QRD – What have been the best & worst guitar related purchases you’ve made?

Curran – Best: Sunn 4x12 used for $400. Vox AC-30.

QRD – What are some effect, amp, & guitar brands you particularly like or dis-like & why?

Curran – Verellen Amps. Fulltone overdrives.

QRD – What’s the first thing you play when you pick up a guitar?

Curran – Chromatic warm-ups.

QRD – How old were you when you started playing guitar?

Curran – 10?

QRD – At what age do you think you leveled up to your best guitar playing?

Curran – Early to mid-twenties, right when I started teaching.

QRD – Why do you think a guitar fits you more so than other instruments?

Curran – I’m not sure that it does. I can go from feeling perfectly “fitted” with guitar to feeling totally outclassed by it.

QRD – Do you think guitar should be people’s first instrument as often as it is?

Curran – After years of teaching, I still think I can’t say one way or the other. I can tell you I wish I had learned piano first.

QRD – Do you see your guitar as your ally or adversary in making music?

Curran – Both, but mainly an adversary.

QRD – Who are the guitarists that most influenced your playing & sound?

Curran – Off the top of my head: Jonny Greenwood, Steve Brodsky/Adam McGrath, Andrew Elstner, King Buzzo, Jake Snyder/Dave Knudson, Andy Summers... I dunno. Honestly at this point I’m more influenced & inspired by my friends & bandmates.

QRD – Do you think people anthropomorphizing their guitars is natural or silly (e.g. naming their guitar)?

Curran – Silly.

QRD – What’s the most physical damage you’ve done to a guitar & how did you do it?

Curran – Dented the finish on my Godin when the volume pot flew off & landed on the body. It was so flukey.

QRD – How many hours a week do you play guitar & how many hours would you like to?

Curran – Not nearly enough. Anything more at this point would be great.

QRD – What type of pick do you use & why?

Curran – I use these Traynor picks that are basically like the Jazz III, but the texture is smoother.

QRD – What gauge strings do you use & why?

Curran – D’Addarrio. Jazz gauge. They’re just so dang heavy.

QRD – How often do you change strings?

Curran – When they start sounding bad/feeling gross.

QRD – How often do you break strings?

Curran – Not often.

QRD – Which do you feel is more proficient, your strumming hand or fretting hand & how does that effect your style?

Curran – Strumming. I’ve never been into intense fretboard acrobatics.

QRD – Do you set-up your guitar yourself or send it to a guitar tech (or not set it up at all) & why?

Curran – If it’s a significant repair or something I will most certainly screw up, Darcy Bunio is where my guitars go.

QRD – What tunings do you use & why?

Curran – Standard, 1/2 step down, drop D, & this drop C tuning with a few twists of my own.

QRD – Do you prefer tablature, sheet music, or some other notation system for writing down your own ideas?

Curran – Nowadays, I just record anything I need to remember.

QRD – What’s a bad habit in your playing you wish you could break?

Curran – Laziness.

QRD – What’s a type of guitar playing you wish you could do that you can’t?

Curran – Jazz. Death metal. I have no idea. Probably almost anything.

QRD – What would you teach someone in a guitar lesson that you don’t think they would generally get from a guitar teacher?

Curran – I used to be one, so maybe I can’t answer this one.

QRD – What’s something someone would have to do to emulate your style?

Curran – Delay. Jangly chords.

QRD – How often do you adjust your tone knob?

Curran – Only when I accidentally turn it off & start playing a song & notice half way through that my guitar sounds terrible.

QRD – If a band has good guitar work, can you ignore the rest of the band not being good?

Curran – Probably not.

QRD – Where can people hear your best guitar work?

Curran – My most technical/hectic work was done in my stint with Hide Your Daughters, though that has yet to be recorded since the band is on permanent hiatus. My newest band Warsaw should hopefully record something sometime. Greenhouse is my solo ambient stuff. It’s guitar work, but it’s not obviously guitar - or work.

Go Get This

I figured I would give you all a heads up about some great sounds being made by some great artists on this blog from time to time, so here we go.

Up first is this powerful, alarming, yet somehow listenable album by the illustrious Gomeisa. For those of you paying attention, Gomeisa is Prairie Fire Tapes co-honcho and my fellow Humboldt collaborator Cole Peters. He's also an amazingly terrific person. His catalogue is totally worth checking out, but he just posted this album of power electronic menace on his Bandcamp for free. So do yourself a favour.

Up next is Crystal Hell Pool. I've never met this dude in person. But he's super friendly and talented. CHP goes from dark, menacing drone to 70's italian horror soundtracks and synth kosmiche a la Oneohetrix Point Never and Umberto. But still, there's something lurking behind everything this guy does that I can't quite put my finger on, but I like it. Hit up his blog for more info, or see what's left from labels like Dead Accents (also a stellar imprint).

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Live Recordings

Here's a live Greenhouse set from May 12, 2012. Performed at NGTVSPC with AUOH and crys cole. Recording courtesy of R. Szolnicki. I was really tired during this set, but it turned out OK.

Here's the last set Humbolt played a few months ago at Frame Gallery here in Winnipeg. Recording courtesy of R. Szolnicki.

Hi There

I'm not sure why I didn't think of this sooner, but I've put together this blog as an online housing for all things Greenhouse and Humboldt related. Keep an eye out for show and release announcements, photos, live recordings, news and whatever else occurs to me to post here.

Just in case:

Greenhouse is Canadian musician Curran Faris.

Humboldt is the collaborative project between Curran Faris and Cole Peters (Gomeisa, Secret Girls).

Not much to see here yet. I've posted a Discography section for those interested. Some of it is still available direct for the labels, some is available directly from me and some stuff is out of print. Anyways, thanks for reading and listening. Leave me a comment or something.

Banner photo: Robert Szolnicki

Recently enjoying - Impetuous Ritual "Relentless Execution of Ceremonial Excrescence", Hooded Menace "Never Cross the Dead", Sutekh Hexen "Larvae", Mike Shiflet "Sufferers."