Monday, September 23, 2013

Grey Matter

CAIRO is pleased to announce the newest art exhibition for the month of October, titled GREY MATTER. This October showcase features individual works of photography, photo-media, and collage by local artists Tara Atkinson, Max Cleary, Eleanor Petry, Ed Silverstein, Jules Vezzetti, Joe Rudko, Jarod Faw, and Rachael Lang.

Join us Thursday, October 10th for art, drinks, and conversation, 7-9 PM!

Friday, September 20, 2013


In anticipation of their Secret Angles release show this Saturday at Cairo, our music intern Cameron McCreery conducted an interview with Johnny Goss and Ola Hungerford of local dream-pop duo Cock & Swan. In which, they discuss influences, contemporaries, and awesome local boy bands.

In your words, what is Cock & Swan and how did it start?

Johnny: Cock & Swan is a recording project that Ola Hungerford and I work on. We take inspiration and help from our friends to try and make some riffs that'll surprise us.

Ola: Basically it started when we met on Livejournal and started hanging out and united our 4-tracking interests.  We started feeling like a band when we got together with our friend Robert, who plays drums and guitar. Johnny had 2-3 big vintage organs and we would write songs crammed together in a trailer.  We used to be called Cadaver Dogs and I played guitar too for a while until I fully migrated to the synth world.

Where does the name "Cock &Swan" come from, and what significance does it hold to you?

Johnny: Our name, and logo, come from a 1950's psychology textbook that I found in an abandoned house in high school. It has a lot of experiments, one of which was a memory experiment involving the reproduction of a drawing... a cock and swan. One symbolic significance is the idea that we are a couple of clueless animals pecking around.

How would you describe your relationship with/connection to the Seattle music scene?

Johnny: We are somewhat insulated from the music scene as a band, since we prefer the studio to bars, but we do work with a select group of misfits on recordings and as backing musicians. Shana Cleveland (La Luz, Curious Mystery, SC and the Sandcastles) is a long time collaborator of ours. Recently we worked with Charlie Smith (Pollens) at Studio Nels to mix Secret Angles. I'm currently doing some fun recording projects, one of which is with Lonesome Shack.

Your new record "Secret Angles" draws a lot sonically from early Warp Records artists like Boards of Canada and Broadcast - were those influences intentional in the writing process, and what other influences did you draw from?

Johnny: Our BoC and Warp record influences were rooted into us before we started making music. We are often inspired by music in a more roundabout way. The album was finished pretty fast, but at the time we drew some specific rhythmic inspiration from my old band The Curious Mystery. We also just spent a lot of time thinking about bells and their role in music. That actually had a strange influence on what we did (and didn't do) with chords.

The album was also influenced by Johnny going on tour last year (with the Curious Mystery) -  after all that separation we were ready to get back to business and finish the album.  That tour was tough to get through but it also gave us that inspiration that comes from not taking things for granted, and the change of scene that let us try new things like different ways of writing lyrics.

Is there a specific song on the record that stands out significantly for any reason for either of you?

Johnny: “Melt Down” is interesting to me. The other day I was listening to a demo, and it was much more of a hard rock song, with my demo drums unmuted and a fully distorted bassline all the way through. It turned into a borderline ambient song to my ears. Either way it still feels like the same song which is pretty cool.

Ola: I also like how “Night Valley” turned out because it incorporates some of the goofing-off and weird noises I make when I don’t think anyone is listening.  Johnny is a pro at capturing those moments.

What current artists, in Seattle or otherwise, have you been listening to recently?

Johnny: Lonesome Shack, La Luz, and Heatwarmer for sure. In my mind Heatwarmer is actually this awesome boy-band. All those dudes are really awesome musicians, really nice and easy on the eyes. Aside from that we wore out that new Flaming Lips record pretty fast. Lana Del Rey is funny too.

Ola: It depends on what mode I’m in.  At home we really like to dig into an album together and enjoy vinyl records.  We’ve also been listening to the soundtrack to “Only God Forgives” (which has one of the best-scored fight scenes in recent memory).  At work I get musical ADD. Spotify claims I’ve been listening to: Kendrick Lamar, AlunaGeorge, The Growlers, Lamb, Disclosure, and Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti.

How would you describe your upcoming album release show to someone who has never heard C&S before?

Johnny: To reference a recent album review in three words: Vampire opium den.

Ola: “occasional acoustic arpeggios hypnotic dream-pop but never monotonous melodies” (Thanks to an Italian blog for this one)

Cock & Swan play Cairo on September 21st with IG88 and Benoit Honore Pioulard. Secret Angles is out now through Hush Hush Records.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

New at Cairo: Rachel Ravitch Jewelry

Currently featured at Cairo is jewelry by local designer Rachel Ravitch. Each item is handmade into shapes that denote ideas of movement and fluidity. Come by today to snag your own one-of-a-kind piece!