Tabs Out | Karris Adams Duo – Nothing Stays Buried (La La La La)

Karris Adams Duo – Nothing Stays Buried (La La La La)

7.1.19 by Ryan Masteller

I don’t know why I’ve been inundated with scary things lately, but Personal Archives has sent me the Karris Adams Duo’s “Nothing Stays Buried (La La La La),” and now I’m all like, should I be afraid of zombies too? I don’t know if they’re quite as scary as ghosts (not as fast), but they look way grosser. Still, I’m not here to beat that dead horse (unless it’s chasing me); instead, I want to focus on the music, and if you’re unfamiliar with Personal Archives (I know you’re not unfamiliar, but bear with me), you should be ready for some wild and woolly (and wiggly!) improv. Here, Reid Karris (prepared guitars, “skatchbox on b2”) and Alexander Adams (drums) build worlds out of sonic tinker toys, creating bizarre and excellent scaffoldings that continue to increase in height and breadth until they’ve filled the studio space that they’re recording in (Hinsdale Underground Bunker Complex, which is a great place to hide from the undead). At least that’s how it’s working in my imagination.

Karris and Adams aren’t as bombastic or in-your-face a duo as Sex Funeral, Personal Archives honcho BBJr and Matthew Crowe’s outfit. But they’re certainly kindred spirits, with Karris’s guitar squiggling all over the rhythmic framework Adams provides. They don’t take themselves too seriously, which highlights their playfulness and creativity – in fact, it sounds like they’re having an amazing time recording together. Just look at some of these jokey track names: “Emerson Karris, Lake Street, and the Palmer House Hilton” (ELP jokes are not easy, and this one works!), “He Won’t Stop Thumping until You Leave Him Alone (For H)” (ew?), “Wiggle a Bit” (gladly!), and “Pop Song 312” (take THAT, R.E.M.!). Don’t you want to listen to those tunes, no matter what they are?

All this just goes to show how finger-on-the-pulse BBJr and Personal Archives is when it comes to live improv. Karris and Adams are a joy to listen to, and probably a joy to behold in a live setting. Why don’t you figure out how to make that happen, how to get off your couch and go check them out? I have no idea where you live, but if you’re like me, you’re probably always up for a road trip.

“C30 lavender shell hand-stamped cassettes, dutifully dubbed in Dubuque. Professionally printed two-sided j-card.” Only 40 available!

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