A year ago, Dakota Bones’ Ø EP—written and produced by Detroit/LA’s Ben Christensen, and featuring playing by 10 of his friends—was supposed to be the final release of the DIY label MJMJ, but they ran out of money first and had to put their plans on hold. Now the label is back and apparently in good shape; Ø was worth the wait. My favorite track is the country swinger “Morning One.” Before its great chorus comes in halfway through (It’s the morning after I’ve died), the track keeps periodically heating up and bursting like a geyser, these little fits where every instrument swoops skyward at once. The EP is full of fleeting parts like these, but the songs never feel disjointed—they’re just these odd, perfect, short-lived moments, as if you were at a small house party and a goofy stranger wandered in, said nothing, spilled wine on his shirt and left. Hear it all to the left and buy it for just four bucks. Below, read the story of how MJMJ and Dakota Bones first met, according to the label co-founder Andrew Todryk.
We were throwing Sacred Harp and Michael Collins (ex-Prince Rama) a house show at Animal Town in LA. It was a RAW party. Everyone was groovin, dancin, drinkin. At about 11 o’clock, while the party is in full swing, this tall drink of dude comes up and says very nicely, “Can I play? I brought my stuff. I tagged along with Mike” I look him up and down. He’s wearing a baseball cap, camo cargo pants and some ratty sneakers. I give Mikey the eye and he just tells me to let him play. As he’s setting up, I’m starting to panic. He’s playing out of two busted ass bass amps, with this table of ridiculous gear: a sampler I’ve never heard of, a tape deck, whammy pedal, trumpet, etc. I’m gearing up for this noise band to clear out the party before I have a chance to get drunk. He raises his head and says in a very nice voice, “Okay, I’m ready.” Then he proceeds to fucking blow the roof off this party. The sweetest, most ear caressing grooves were shooting out this guy like fireworks. Needless to say, way more than one person got laid. We immediately offered to put his record out, and have been jamming it ever since.