By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
Dumani smiles. “People are feeling something,” he says, “there’s a lot of flashy, bullshit, sassy nonsense out there. And in a live setting people get into it because it’s more of the energy, but are you really going to listen to those records?” The goal, he declares, is to create art that transcends time. “You can listen to a Neil Young record [from] ’71 in 3001 and it’s still going to kick ass.”
Dumani and Mancell have a regular program on Little Radio on which they interview bands of all sorts, from punk to trash metal to folk. Called We’re Gonna Be Timeless, the title’s a reference to a Zolar X song, but it sounds like the band’s mantra, a notion that drummer Mancell confirms — “if you equate the word timeless with classic.” He lists Sonic Youth as having the ideal situation. “They’ve paid their dues, they've got their fan base, for the most part they can explore whatever new territory. But people always know they’re Sonic Youth. They’re totally free, and at the end of the day that’s the best — to be free.”
Dumani agrees, with qualification: He doesn’t want the band to sound like Sonic Youth. But Sonic Youth is able to do whatever they want — and on a major label’s dime. For Baine, who’s never owned a Sonic Youth record, that band doesn’t represent him. “But when they describe the general idea of freedom to do whatever you want,” he says, “and having respect and longevity and doing crazy, weird stuff and then kind of re-rooting yourself and being creative and pushin’ boundaries, I think of Neil Young.”
“They’re both very different,” says Dumani, trading his cig to play with a blade of grass, “but they’re both the same in that they pushed forth, they kept trucking, not being too concerned if they were going to be the hot shit of the day. They just fucking did it.”
To the Moon Upstairs, music is all about freedom. There’s a looseness in psychedelia that allows the band, as Ebensperger says, “to try to invent something that feels like it’s [our] own invention.” The group is recording an EP that Dumani says is even spookier than their full length; they’re also getting ready to go on tour with legendary 1960s-era psychedelic electronic band the Silver Apples.
“I guess if you’re gonna have to have a fuckin’ category to be fuckin’ thrown into in the first place, psychedelia is probably the most wide-ranging one, the most free,” says Dumani.
Catch the band’s free outdoor show at Pershing Square, 532 Olive St., dwntwn.; Thurs., Aug. 9, 8 p.m.
Tune into Sharif Dumani and Josh Mancell’s Internet radio show, We’re Gonna Be Timeless, Tues., 6-8 p.m., ?www.littleradio.com.