April 30, 2013

Show Us Yours #14: A Giant Dog

A Giant Dog's Practice Space, Superpop, Austin, Texas

[Yes, somehow, miraculously, after a four-year hiatus, we are resuscitating our ancient feature Show Us Yours, wherein Clicky Clicky asks notable bands about where they make their magic: their practice spaces. It has always fascinated us to no end to see where bands spend their time shaping their sound, and that curiosity has only intensified now that we're 10 years removed from playing in our last (relatively) serious band. Let's dig in. -- Ed.].

We were compelled to check in on Austin-based garage punks A Giant Dog earlier this month after listening to their completely arresting new collection Bone three times in a row. With our inbox constantly overflowing, we don't ever listening to *anything* three times in a row these days -- unless it's a vinyl 12" we're too lazy to pull of the turntable -- so we knew the quintet was one worth digging into a little deeper. Bone, a melodic and driving collection of shouty garage-rock anthems, was issued two weeks ago on Tic Tac Totally and the quintet is out on the road this month promoting its release. Indeed, A Giant Dog will perform at O'Brien's Pub in Allston Rock City this coming Sunday on an insane bill with Earthquake Party, Idiot Genes and Ex-Magicians. Not only is that Cinco De Mayo, but, well, this band is awesome, so if you are fortunate enough / young enough / stupid enough to use Cinco De Mayo as a reason to be out drinking on a Sunday night, why not smarten up for a second and see a kick-ass band while you are at it. We were fortunate to be able to wrangle A Giant Dog fronter Sabrina Ellis to share a little bit about the good-looking practice space pictured above, as well as the optimal activity to accompany listening to A Giant Dog's concise rockers and the band's potential demise (that last one, not really). Bone, A Giant Dog's second full-length, is available now via Midheaven right here, and we've embedded a stream of the entire album below the interview. If you need to be sold on the record before diving in, we suggest starting with the fiery, completely non-P.C. album closer "Teasin' Ass Bitch." Bon appetit!
Clicky Clicky: So why do you use this space?

Sabrina Ellis: This space is my husband Seth's recording studio [Superpop! -- Ed.] and also side B of our duplex. We bought the place condemned and turned it into a recording studio. A Giant Dog practices here because it is paid for and we're a bunch of broke-asses. Also, the air-conditioning doesn't hurt.

CC: Is there an idiosyncracy or quirk of the space that has affected one of your songs, or even your overall sound?

SE: The violent orange of the walls has us writing some disturbing material lately. Horny and deranged material. Our former space was the garage at the Giant Dog House. The garage is definitely what gave us our garage sound. The garage is like the vagina of a house. The hot, dark place where music embryos grow.

CC: You walk into your space. What's the first thing you smell?

SE: Incense. To cover the weed smell. Because The Bad Lovers were just recording in here. There's also this awesome, musky, old tube amp smell at Superpop.

CC: I remember a friend telling me about 20 years ago that the perfect rock song length was the amount of time it took to smoke a cigarette. I think at the time he pegged that at about three-and-a-half minutes... which, now that I think about it, seems kind of fast. But he was a heavy smoker. Anyway, most of your songs are around two minutes long. What's the perfectly suited activity to accompany one's listening to a single song from the new record?

SE: At about two minutes each, our songs are perfectly timed for a young man's first sexual encounter.

CC: You're out on the road for a couple weeks. Besides the tour, what do the next six months look like for the band?

SE: Pretty bleak, to tell you the truth. I sense a huge falling-out between the members of A Giant Dog on this tour. We wont be able to handle the pressure or the fame. Decade-long friendships are about to be torn apart on this bitch. We'll get a little crazy one night and do and say some things we'll regret. We wont be able to look each other in the face anymore. The next 6 months will see us on individual downward spirals, wondering what went wrong. Common story. What a shame.

A Giant Dog: Bandcamp | Facebook

Previous Show Us Yours episodes:
Shapes And Sizes | Dirty On Purpose | Relay | Mobius Band | Frightened Rabbit | Assembly Now | Meneguar | Okay Paddy | Charmparticles | Calories | Sun Airway | It Hugs Back | Lubec

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