Schnipper’s Slept On: Eric Copeland’s Fun Jams

June 22, 2010

Each Tuesday, FADER editor Matthew Schnipper highlights an underappreciated release he thinks we need to know about. This week it’s Eric Copeland’s "Doo Doo Run"/"Fun Dink Death" 7-inch. Download "Fun Dink Death," buy the record and read Schnipper’s thoughts after the jump.

About a week ago I somehow ended up in Black Dice’s practice space for about five minutes. I’m kind of an awkward super fan so I wasn’t like “Hey what’s up I have written about your band all the time, interviewed one of you on the phone and spent the large part of one fall weekend editing that long interview Eric did with Panda Bear.” I did not say “ is genius and I went up to Baltimore to see you with Godspeed! You Black Emperor when Hisham still played drums and I waited the entire time for a blast beat and it came finally and it was perfect.” I didn’t talk about buying their first 7-inch on Gravity the summer between middle and high school at Newbury Comics in Boston with my friend who later became a pretty serious drug addict but now seems to be getting it together in cooking school and my other friend who didn’t go as deep but maybe would have benefited from a rock bottom because it seemed like he wasted all his talents and stayed steadily below the surface and a heavy dip might have made him bob back up. So yeah of course I did not talk about any of that shit because it would be weird but it’s weird to have your mnemonic devices sound like crayons left in the heat. Eric wasn’t there, anyway. That room had so many speakers. It looked crazy.

There are two things Eric Copeland said in his interview with Panda Bear that are perfect prescriptions for the outcome of his new 7-inch “Doo Doo Run” b/w “Fun Dink Death.”

The vein I exist in is something more unclear, where I’m dealing with a little invented environment, and many of those ideas about music that people love are not dealt with directly. It’s still a jam for me, but it’s being held together by something else. And not everybody cares about this. So to recognize their needs would be in opposition to where I’m going. I appreciate what they want and sometimes I want the same things. I listen to popular radio! But there’s no way I can compete.


I want people to enter into what I’m doing; I’m not trying to self-sabotage. But there is a smaller audience for the type of sounds I make. I don’t have any real pressure from critics, peers or listeners, which means open expectations, but also little brand loyalty. The competition for me is more like a weekend dads’ league as opposed to the majors. I don’t feel smaller—I actually feel like I try to encompass all of the stimuli out there. But I don’t feel competitive. I don’t really know what I mean here, just that I like to have a relationship to all types of music.

Lemme first say that I got rid of the last Eric Copeland LP I bought. I feel really bad saying that! But I never listened to it and it was just so hard to hear. It was the sound of ideas more than the sound of songs and all of those ideas run through a stoned garbage disposal. The one thing that has always been rad about Black Dice is that one way or another their records are fun. It’s understandable that they might not always be fun to listen to for everyone, some of it is super crunchy noise, some sounds like animals halfway between having sex and dying. But then they put ocean noise on for ten minutes and that shit is funny. It also sounds nice. Putumayo made a lot of money for a reason.

Anyway, the new record is fun and funny! “Fun Dink Death” is the party aberration, quicksand handclaps and ukelele vibes. Definitely a tambourine and maybe 2/4 time. Sounds like Buddy Holiday gone melty. I’m into it! It just sounds like something new.

That’s what’s cool about this record is that it just sounds like total hooey mixed with an inherent desire to jam. This does not sound like Rihanna but it doesn’t sound so far away from the brain of someone who might make a beat for her, just get rid of the fuzz. Ok, maybe that is even stretching it! But at a weird enough party you could totally dance to this. This is the kind of shit that gets played at a super fancy fashion show and then people are like, Oh shit this does sound exactly what it’s like to move around in heels that look like craps and drop crotch pants made of alligator elbow skin! I mean that good! It’s just, like, you don’t expect a dude who makes weed noise jams and used to be in a pretty gnarly hardcore band to be like, Yo I should make something that Mavado might want to get on if we got him fucked up enough.

My sister is pretty rad, she is a social worker in Vermont. She’s got good taste in music, we used to drive to school and listen to Cam’ron and Fleetwood Mac. I hated Fleetwood Mac then. What did I know about “Wild Heart”? Didn’t know dick it turns out. Love you Stevie. Anyway she is widely outside the realm of listeners, critics or peers that Copeland is talking about. I asked her to check out “Fun Dink Death” to see if she liked it. She said it was okay to quote her. This is what she said to me over IM: “I like the song. It’s crazy. Super catchy.” Then, “It sounds like art.” I showed her the video and the cover and she said, “That’s kind of what I was thinking. Insane color splashes.” Exactly. Dude is probably not going to get Hills syncs with this but he might get on Kanye West’s blog. And if he did then more rad social workers would hear it and be pumped. It deserves an audience of people who like to be made happy.

From The Collection:

Slept On
Schnipper’s Slept On: Eric Copeland’s Fun Jams