Three Music Thingz with Baby Grendel

Three Music Thingz with Baby Grendel

Oh yeah, it's another rendition of Three Music Thingz, the blogseries where I ask musicians for three thingz that are essential to their music-making.

Today we've got Baby Grendel! The Portland, OR-based band (aka vocalist/guitarist Jonathan Suarez and drummer Joe Mengis, fka Small Town Sci-Fi) just put out a self-titled EP and it's great. It's heart-on-sleeve indie rock with thoughtful guitar lines, occasional flares of poignant violin, and unadorned vocal melodies.

Baby Grendel, by Small Town Sci-Fi and Baby Grendel
7 track album

My favorite track is probably "Sidewalk," whose upbeat yearning reminds me a lot of Something To Write Home About-era Get Up Kids; I also dig "Song in B minor," which evokes a slightly more placid version of Built To Spill. The whole EP has an honest and plainspoken quality that I find very endearing—to me it encapsulates the woozy, unburdened feeling of hanging out with your friends and starting to talk about the real shit as the energy winds down into confessional mode.

Jonathan shared three music thingz with le blog...let's check 'em out...

  1. Desperation
    Since I can remember, I’ve walked around with this tight feeling in my chest, like something really bad is about to happen. The only thing I’ve found that makes it better is music. I think that coming to see the work I do on these songs as a necessity for my wellbeing fundamentally changed the way I live and play and write. It’s a bit easier to fit hours of music work in around your day job when fitting them in seems like it’s as important as life and death. Things like shame and self-doubt that previously prevented me from sharing what I do and taking chances with my writing, they just don’t seem as big and scary any more. What’s really scary to me is the way I feel when I’m not making music.
  2. Chemicals
    As I write this, I’m consuming large amounts of caffeine to counteract my insomnia driven sleep deprivation. Yes, I understand that the caffeine might be part of the problem (though I’d had trouble sleeping long before my first cup of Joe), but no, I won’t stop. This example aside, my sober brain doesn’t seem to be wired in a way that makes living on this planet easy. This presents challenges in all parts of my life. While working on my last three projects I’ve been searching for that special balance of chemicals to help me function happily and creatively. While this search has heavily impacted my music (it’s inspired songs and possibly whole albums), I’m obliged to report that I am no closer to finding a sustainable balance than when I started. Maybe I’ll try chamomile next …
  3. Guitar Videos
    I love watching Justin Guitar videos. He’s just so happy and enthusiastic about the instrument it makes me fall in love with my telecaster all over again. And he makes everyone feel like a rock star which really makes a difference for people like me who are prone to thinking we suck! I hope I get to meet him someday.

Thanks Baby Grendel! Listen to their new EP, and check out their link aggregation—they're midway through changing names from Small Town Sci-Fi to Baby Grendel, hence the double-billing. And thanks for reading I Enjoy Music. If you like it, tell a friend.