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MEET IAN
December 22, 2015 9:00 am

Ian isn’t that nice boy from the library your mom wants you to meet. Ian is actually a dream pop trio that originated in Boston, during singer/writer Jilian Medford’s tenure at Berklee. Now based in Los Angeles, bandmates Medford, Tim Cheney, and Damien Scalise have released their eponymous EP and are working to bring their diaphanous sound to the masses.

ATYPICAL SOUNDS caught up with Jilian to chat about her time at the famous music school and the band’s first time at CMJ.

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You released your first EP during your senior year at Berklee. How did your experience there shape you as a musician? Was there a lot of competition between you and your classmates?

JM: Berklee is a very interesting school. Most of the kids I know and was close to while attending ended up dropping out after their 2nd or 3rd year. I had thoughts of doing the same but my mom wouldn’t let me and also I wanted to finish and walk in graduation with funny socks peeping through the bottom of my gown!

There is a lot of competition at that school, and it drove me to start exploring different ways of expression, because I just didn’t feel like I was pushing myself enough or I didn’t feel like I was fully executing my projects to my full potential. So I decided to seek out Mark Fede for our EP (he has worked bands like Guerrilla Toss and Fat History Month) and it was a huge step in the right and certain direction for this band.

The recording process was short and sweet and hot and sweaty in August of 2014. We mainly recorded this tape to have something to give people on our summer tour but it ended up taking many twists and turns in a positive direction that we are so grateful for! People actually listened, I didn’t really know what I expected but I just didn’t know if anyone would listen.

Your first CMJ festival was this year. Did anything stand out to you about your performance?

JM: Cake Shop was special! The spot itself reminds me a lot of this spot in Boston called Great Scott so it was a familiar vibe. It was the end of CMJ so the show was quaint and filled with familiar faces, plus a few new ones, and my best friend Ellen Kemper from Palehound came and it was the best surprise since she had been so busy all week.

Something that really stood out was a 60-year-old woman asking me if she could buy our shirt that says “don’t call me” on it, since she had just left her husband of 30 years and wanted to wear it next time they saw each other! Kick ‘em 2 the curb!

How did you prepare for the show?

JM: [The band] hung out in a practice space together and got our new songs all worked out so we could be comfortable dancing while playing them.

Did you discover anyone new?

JM: OooOoo!! Loved seeing PWR BTTM! That was my first time seeing them play and it was incredible. So intimate even though so many people were there, and they managed to engage every single person watching. It was admirable.

Always love seeing one of my favorite bands Kal Marks at the Exploding in Sound showcase as well as Palm! Got to catch Protomartyr at the Sub Pop showcase, had to pee the entire time during their set but it was worth the wait, their new record is fire fire FIRE!! And they are even better live; Joe Casey’s stage presence makes me think of Bill Murray.

Were you able to try the pizza while in New York? How did it compare to the pizza in LA or Boston (where you’re based now)?

JM: We did eat pizza, I remember it clearly because we ordered a chicken bacon ranch pizza and couldn’t stop chanting CHICKEN BACON RANCH down the street all night long. This is my breakdown of foods between BOSTON NY AND LA: Boston has the best donuts (dunkin donuts, strawberry frosted, keep it simple baby), NY has the best pizza and hot dogs, LA has the best Mexican food ~ taco trucks till infinity.

What can fans can expect to see from you in the future?     

JM: The future, especially this coming year is really exciting for us. We will be relocating to LA in the next couple months to see if that is the spot for us, or to at least escape for the winter, and finishing a record to come out later next year, which will hopefully be accompanied by a lot of touring and traveling and seeing new places, faces, plants and dogs!

LET’S TALK ABOUT MEAT
December 8, 2015 6:52 am

Ever sat in a movie theater watching a film that may or may not have anything to do with food, but once a character starts to enjoy something that looks tasty, all of a sudden it becomes the only thing you care about? Well guess what- The annual Food Film Festival brings you the “multisensory food and film experience” meaning that every food you see on screen, you get to taste it right there at that moment! And yes, it’s one of the best movie theater experiences you’ll ever have.

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Photo by Youka Nagase

Opening night of the Food Film Festival at AMC Empire 25 located in the heart of Manhattan, Times Square was packed with food enthusiasts who were ready to watch Tender: Stories of Love and Meat and chow down on all sorts of meat that you can imagine. The VIP pre-party featured a variety from my favorite Hometown BBQ located in Red Hook, Brooklyn. From tender pastrami bacon bites, pork belly bahn mi, to smoked sriracha chicken wings. It was almost impossible to resist the temptation of  filling myself up even before the movie started.

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Photo by Youka Nagase

As the crowd moved into the theatre and got to their seats, the evening started out with “Central Texas Barbecue,” a breathtaking documentary about meat focusing on how “barbecue is more than a way to cook meat- it’s a way of life, a path to salvation, and a sure-fire way to start an argument at the dinner table.” Once we saw the sausages cooking on the grill a tray of sausages were passed on in every aisle so we could taste what we saw. “Course of Food” told a tale about Andy Bowen, a free range pig farmer who leaves quite an impact on the importance of independent farmers. As an animal lover and former vegetarian it’s safe to say that he cares about his animals more than anybody else could. “Growling Local:Pig Not Pork” featured some apple thyme pork loins that I inhaled in a second. The program ended with The Science of the Burger that brought us through the method of creating the perfect burger to satisfy your cravings. Post-screening was followed by a feast of not only meat but just about everything including peanut butter and jelly doughnuts!

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Photo by Youka Nagase