“Dust Jacket is not afraid of pop, they’re just afraid of mindlessness.”
-Kimber Lanning, 944 Magazine
After two years of recording punctuated by shows with Vampire Weekend, Cold War Kids, Frightened Rabbit, Handsome Furs, and a CMJ showcase in 2008, Dust Jacket return with their first full length, More Greek Myths.
The Central Phoenix 5 piece patiently crafted the album in their home studio between restaurant jobs and individual travels that ranged from Malta to Bangkok, Budapest to St. Martin. The tracklist would change as influences accrued and tastes were refined or renounced. “Caroline Meeber” and “Nation of Two” were both fully recorded 3 times before the versions that appear on More Greek Myths were agreed upon. The opening synthesizer tone on “The Ballerina and The Bombardier” went through countless iterations.
Writing the lyrics was an equally meticulous process. “[Dust Jacket’s singer] Conan Zimmerman… may be one of the best lyricists the Valley’s ever seen” wrote Niki D’Andrea in ZiaZine while reviewing. Dust Jacket’s 2nd EP, Our Tapestries Are Thrift Store Quilts in 2006. Many of the lyrics allude to works of literature and the name itself refers to the modern need for common cultural reference points. “It seems to me that the world could use a new Aesop or Homer, and to me someone like Kurt Vonnegut, Henry Miller, or even Leonard Cohen fulfill that role”, says Zimmerman.
Despite the preponderance of thought that went into its writing and recording, More Greek Myths remains frenetic and danceable thanks to bassist/engineer Dann Spohn’s sensibilities, drummer Maurizio Di Franco’s intelligent style, and arrangement work by lead guitarist Shane Cook. The crisp hi hats and cracking snare move around the “Manhattan Mausoleum” like the ball in a heated tennis match, while Shane’s sparkling but subtle leads on “Great White Shark” are tempered by Conan’s scrappy strumming.
As tracking drew to an end in the fall of 2009, Dust Jacket decided to splurge on mastering with Roger Siebel at SAE Mastering who has worked with bands such as Death Cab for Cutie, The Decemberists, and Bon Iver. Roger lent a cohesion and ambience to the album that was obscured by the lengthy recording process. The results were rumbling toms and effervescent guitars.
Five days after 1,000 copies of More Greek Myths arrived from the manufacturer, Maurizio Di Franco (whose family has owned Tesoro Ristorante Italiano in North Scottsdale for years) moved to Rome, Italy to begin a two-year course to become a sommelier.
Dust Jacket began auditions immediately, but was prepared for a long hiatus if a suitable replacement couldn’t be found. Amazingly, within weeks Sam Valdivia, a friend of newly acquired keyboardist Ari Morris, stepped in seamlessly. Even his family’s line of business (the Valdivia’s have owned Los Compadres Mexican Food in Phoenix for over 50 years) was a pretty good match. Dust Jacket began playing shows again immediately, including a show at the Phoenix Art Museum on First Friday in November 2009 where they won a finalist slot via www.thetraintracks.org for a chance at playing the Tempe Music Festival in 2010.
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