Week in Pop: Friendless Summer, Jay Stone, Lady Lazarus

Sjimon Gompers

The perpetual rise of Lady Lazarus's own Melissa Ann Sweat; photographed by Marina Cohen.

Friendless Summer

A lonely seat at the table with Jack Brown from Friendless Summer; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Hot on the heels of the Death Records release Table for One; Friendless Summer’s Jack Brown presented us with the world premiere viewing & listen to the new single “Maureen”. Set up like a privy release party amongst friends, comrades, collaborators, provocateurs and the like; Jack’s joyous sound of infinite feelings, sentiments of eternal summer and the like are brought together in an electric collection of the best vibes anyone could hope for. This is the anthem for kissing spring goodbye & embracing the exhilaration that is brought by seasons of sun & that potential promise of endless fun of which many cast their bets of hope. So never mind the rehashed nostalgia bollocks about San Francisco’s 1967 “Summer of Love” and tune into the sound & visuals from what is the summer of now.

For the occasion of the “Maureen” video shoot, Jack Browns’ attending guests arrives with 12-packs & a whole lotta cheer where we witness cameos from The Mantles’ own Matt Roberts, Garret Godard, members of Tuckered Out & Emotional, Froogy Groovies, Healing Potpouri & more; the Friendless Summer party begins with a host of the friendliest vibes. Feasting upon cake, libations, with a hip crew sporting a bunch of Death Records tote bags; a house party hosted by Simi from Healing Potpouri turns into a happening shindig where all their friends are invited to attend. The serene synths & electro drum machine kicks the motion of “Maureen” into evocative action, where reflective expressions are underscored by an economic arrangements powered by the strength in numbers that true friends offer (despite Jack Brown’s self-appointed, tongue-firmly-planted-in-cheek moniker). The audience witnesses the fun as if slowly strolling through the most exciting house party imaginable—the kind that gets out of hand, the guest list becomes unmanageable, the neighbors contemplate calling the cops, and the landlord of course has to come and break up the fun. Friendless Summer’s “Maureen” is our summer anthem, and it is about to be yours as well.

We caught up with Friendless Summer’s own Jack Brown in the following interview feature:

Take us through the inspirations that have guided you from Table for One to the passionate & powerful single “Maureen”.

I made Table For One kinda just randomly in my old bedroom in Oakland. Most of those songs just kinda came out of nowhere really quickly and were recorded on a shitty old version of Garageband. I had no idea what I was doing or had any intention of releasing anything. Fast forward a couple years and all of the sudden I have a band and we’re playing shows and I started writing music with intention, things that I wanted people to hear. I started recording demos with my friend Jason Kick and we finished Maureen and were both quite pleased with how it turned out.

We want all the groovy & gory behind the scenes anecdotes about making the “Maureen” video with your friend posse of Garret Godard (of Girls, King Tuff, Sonny & The Sunsets), Matt Roberts (of The Mantles), Death Records stars Healing Potpourri, Froogy’s Groovies, Tuckered Out & Emotional & a whole lotta suds & enthusiasm.

I just really love party videos. They never get old. I talked to Simi (Healing Potpourri) and convinced him to let me shoot a video in his apartment (he’s since been evicted, RIP, no connection to the video though). I just picked a weekend when there weren’t any shows happening, made a Facebook event for it and it got insane. We had to delete the event because all of the sudden there were like over 200 people coming and most of them were random people we didn’t know. I texted a couple of friends to tell them it was still on and we still had a crazy turn out. We shot it last summer in 2016 which seemed like the year of the party. Everyone was single, we hung out 24/7, we were always partying, usually at Simi’s house. The video is a snapshot of that time. Honestly my memory of making the video is pretty hazy, I just remember Simi’s landlord came up at like 3am and was like, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU GUYS DOING?!?!?!? and the party was over. It took he and I forever to clean things up, every time I turned around there was chocolate cake smeared into something.

What are some of the most awesome things happening in the Bay that are being completely overlooked do you feel?

I think everything happening with Death Records is really rad right now! Froogy’s Groovies, Healing Potpourri, Tuckered Out, Emotional, Marinero, Saggitare, etc. There’s a really cool scene happening and it’s been fun to be apart of it and to watch it grow wild and strange.

What do you feel needs to change about the Bay and our world at large to make our spaces safer, sweeter, kinder, more conscious, inclusive & so forth?

I think people, worldwide not just in music, need to work on being kinder to themselves, be more accepting of themselves, hug the inner child within and tell yourself “I love you”. Stop playing the victim. It’s a really strange time to be alive and I think a lot of society’s problems stem from the fact that we don’t take care of ourselves well enough. Treat yourself, take a hot bath, get in a car with your best friends and drive to the middle of nowhere to stare at the stars, lay out and learn to be alone and to be okay with it. Then you can start looking at the world around you and try and make a reality and community that reflects your values within.

Can you divulge any details about any projects in the works right now?

I just wrapped up an LP, it’ll be out sometime in 2018.

Friendless Summer cover art by Chelsea Wong.

Other local artists we should be all about right now?

Chelsea Wong. She did the art for our single cover. Her paintings are so inspiring. Cole Lodge, Muzzy, Jeffery Cheung are my favorite artists. Listen to Jeff’s band UNITY.

And other not-so-local artists that we should still be hipped to?

My friends from Phoenix and fellow Death-heads, Nanami Ozone and Pro Teens. Both really great bands with some of my favorite people.

Closing thoughts, arguments & parting insights?

Listen to The Beatles. Peace! Love you all. You’re beautiful.

Friendless Summer’s Maureen cassingle is available now from Death Records.

Catch Friendless Summer on tour in July with Nanami Ozone via the following dates:

07-09 Deathstock
11 Eugene, OR
12 Portland, OR
13 Vancouver, BC
14 Seattle, WA
15 Boise, ID
16 Sacramento, CA
17 San Francisco, CA
18 LA, CA
19 OC, CA
20 Joshua Tree, CA
22 LA, CA

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