De Stijl's Clint Simonson talks music and rates cocktails at Icehouse
I ask Simonson about his label's philosophy.
"There's really no philosophy. Really it's just to grow I suppose. I have an employee now who lives out in New York, Mike Wolf. He's interesting because he's a case study for independent rock and roll." Simonson explains. "He worked at AmRep here and also Flying Nun and Time Out in New York. He's been instrumental in getting the David Kilgour re-issue we just did out."
Michaels gets another ready for us. "This one is sort of boring to make. I made it for the Dessa Lipstick launch we had here at the Icehouse." he tells us showing a photo of Dessa holding a bottle of the Rum with Chocolate, Vanilla and Blood Orange and a whisper of Spice drink, something Michael has called the Angel of Doom.
On the Angel of Doom:"There's a lot going on here." Simonson says while savoring the tasty beverage. "Quite the group ensemble here. Like Sun Ra's Solar Myth Orchestra stuff. I can certainly taste the lipstick."
While much of the music on De Stijl can occupy the same bombastic deliverance as pioneers of experimental music, like Sun Ra or Twin Cities' own Michael Yonkers but there is also a drive for innate melodies and a spacey production of sound that is very prevelent on De Stijl latest local release from Robust Worlds.
Simonson explains, "I think he's wonderful. I saw him in Vampire Hands a million times and was always drawn to what he was doing specifically."
Before Michaels has a chance to pour us one last drink another local label stalwart, Chris Berry of Soft Abuse walks into the bar. "Hey I heard you guys were trying some cocktails today. You need some help?"
Berry and Simonson have collaborated on presenting music together in the past and this weekend have outdone themselves once again bringing in British folk singer/songwriter Michael Chapman to the Icehouse.
"I booked the Black Twig Pickers from Virginia. They just toured with Chapman." Berry elaborates. "They told me stories how great the experience was. How he's the consumate partier."
Simonson agrees, "Oh yeah, and he shows up to play a gig and kills every night!"
Michaels' final drink, a zesty Rum, Jazzberry phosphate punch with vanilla cream foam, appropiately called The Little Richard: "So fruity I can't even believe it. Johnny is clearly an artist." Simonson notes the tiny picture of Little Richard that sits up top the billowing foam.
It's musical equivalent: "It's Really good! But it's so fruity. You know that second Only Ones record? It's kind of like that. The one served before you is better."
De Stijl and Soft Abuse present Michael Chapman tonight at the Icehouse. 7pm $10