Sweet Magic: An Interview with Night 2 Presenter Kellen Couzens (Shanty Tramps, Hipster Doofus, etc.)
Everyday I listen to many records. Many great records. There's so much great music coming out right now. And being discovered or re-discovered from the past. Detroit Punks TYVEK are one of the best bands I've discovered since Hot Dog opened in December. My buddy Kellen Couzens showed me this band. Kellen produces a really great (two years ahead of it's time always) radio show Friday nights 6-8pm on 94.9. This past year Kellen has introduced the city to two of the best active bands in the World right now - the Outdoorsmen and the Soupcans. On Saturday night March 20th Kellen co-curates Night 2 of the Sweet Magic London festival with Peter Lebel and introduces TYVEK. He also introduces a really great band from the Steel City called Magic Shadows. As well as intruders of 'good old fashioned' noise music (the way your Grandma used to like it) the Indigenous Nudes. Peter Lebel compliments these choices with London outsider artist Holden Main and The Shanty Tramps (a band Kellen rocks vox for).
Mk Btt: Kellen, tell me how great Tyvek is and who would wanna see a band like this?
Kellen: I could go on and on about how rad Tyvek are. really you just gotta check em out for yourself. Punk enough for the punks, and the hipsters and bloggers seem to dig them too. Everyone should come to this show.
If not you suck at life.
Mk Btt: Indeed... well...
I don't know it seems like it's difficult to get the word around this city. Londonfuse is pretty great, but since we still don't have solid weekly print (to inform all the cool people scattered about the ruins where the best happenings are) it's sometimes difficult. I'm pretty certain somebody's gonna read this and more importantly hear Tyvek after this show and be so disappointed they missed this.
What about the under card - can you tell me about the Magic Shadows? What is this band all about, and where did you come across these dudes?
Kellen: Tyler, the bass player, also plays in the Mystics (who opened up for TV Freaks for their well supported release party at the Brass) hooked me up with their excellent tape at the last Mystics gig.
And he bought me some chips later in the night.
Mk Btt: I'm betting the house you had an ungodly amount of Cheddle on your fingers after eating those chips. And I'm guessing there's a t-shirt to prove that. (Jill? Can I get a witness?)
Kellen: Tyler f*%ing rules and so do Magic Shadows.
The tape blew me away. And we are so stoked to have them playing this show and Sweet Magic London!
Mk Btt: I only know this one song, I'll attach it below, but I'm certain if it's as good as this song (not hustlin' the video so much as the song) then it'll be great.
How the hell is Peter (pronouncing his last name Ley-bel for some reason) Lebel gonna pull off five shows in two weeks? Who is Peter Ley-bel?
Kellen: Peter Ley-bel is a level five Blue Wizzzard who lives in an alleyway. He also books the guests on the Maury Povich Show. This festival is a piece of cake compared to all of Maury's skanks and deat beats he usually has to put up with. God Bless Pete.
Mk Btt: I remember five to ten years ago experimenting with psychedelics, and minor sleep deprivation. And watching Maury Povich. And feeling real bad for all those cuckolded fathers. I wanted to cry. I wanted to cry Pete!
(Editor's note: Pete is no way affiliated with the Maury Povich show, and Bott thinks the kids will think he's cool if he hints at LSD use. Again, not true.)
The Shanty Tramps recently played Call the Office opening for the Soupcans, Strange Attractor and Teenanger. Where did you guys take it, and where's it headed?We took it to CTO.
Kellen: Next logical step is Norma Jeans . Duh
Mk Btt: I was hoping Jack's. That'd be pretty punk rock, no?
Those Popped Collars would riot.
Who else is playing the 'Band-A-Loop Showcase' at 'Sweet Magic London'? And are they good bands or should they be avoided like the plague?We also have Indegenous Nudes (Cheddle and N'Ichola-s J. Harrison), Holden Main (bananas local outsider artist), Town ship (from Toronto) and the Syndrome. All these acts should be avoided.
Town Ship recently got some shine from Weird Canada. I mention that to give a place to a link for ppl to check out this terrific band from the Big Smoke. I got the word 'shine' from Peter Lebel. I like it, thanks Pete.
Is N'Ichola-s J. Harrison the greatest musician or best musician in the city? Greatest.
Kellen: He's a dream boat.
And such a good musician for someone who hates music so much.
Mk Btt: Jesse Allison plays the 'Dad Guitar' in the Shanty Tramps. Jesse is also Kellen's co-host on Band-A-Loop Radio, Friday nights 6-8pm on 94.9. On a few occasions Jesse has missed Band-A-Loop for various reasons, but Kellen always gets word and passes it on to the listener. Kellen, what are the three best places Jesse has visited while truant from Band-A-Loop?Nudest colony - three times (holds fingers up to show three).
Kellen: Incest survivors retreat.
And most recently he visited the Sweat Shop he proudly owns in Uganda.On the way out top three Tyvek tunes?
Kellen: In no particular order...Sidewalk
Mk Btt: You're not allowed to say, right?
But this Tyvek record is pretty great huh. I wonder where you can get it? Hot......seriously all the songs are all winners. ...(yet more) seriously the 24th is going to be a blast!
I'm listening to this Tyvek 'Fast Metabolism' as I'm writing.
This is a f#$ing great record. I underestimated how good it was when I first heard it. I remember you wanted me to get it in to the shop, and then you weren't sure if you wanted it because you already had all the individual 7" singles.
So I listened to it a couple times to see if I liked it enough that I could recommend it. And then of course you realized you had to have it.
Not sure what I was doing when I first heard this, but I didn't really... hear it. Y'know?
And then obviously I finally came around to it. The rhythms here are unreal. This is some of the best combination of 'Dance' and 'Punk' music I've ever heard. And I love that combination. F@^*ing Rhythm and Blues.
Kellen: Glad you got into Tyvek bro. They fu#^n rule.
Sometimes it takes a few listens. I feel they are truly original. They mix British Mestthetics and DIY sounding Punk with Motor City Grit. Love them.
Hold that Flying Nun record for me.
Mk Btt: You got it. See you soon.