Hello, My Name Is… with Orouni, The May Fire and Conservative Man!

This week’s “Hello, My Name Is…” gives us the connection between Jack Kerouac and Orouni, the not-so-conservative story of Conservative Man, and the fateful dream that led to The May Fire.

Misunderstood dubbing techniques can offer hours upon hours of entertainment, from the fluffy critiques of Iron Chef, to the imaginative occupations of MXC. For Parisian Orouni, it offered a new identity and a friendly reminder of his roots.

“The name Orouni was more or less invented by Slim Gaillard, a jazzman who is featured in Jack Kerouac’s “On The Road.” This musician liked to create words, and “O’Rooney” (sometimes “Oreenee”) is one of them. The thing is “Orouni”, spelled this way, is in the French translation of the novel, not in the original version. So it reminds you, in a way, that I’m French. Inventing words is a bit like composing music, you make up your own language.  I don’t always like invented words, but I love this one. I love the sound of it and I think it’s both cute and crazy.”

“First, I used it for the name of my blog (http://orouni.net/blog), and then one day, when I posted a song I had written and recorded myself, the name of the musical project became Orouni too. Later, I discovered it was the name of a parasitic flower and a well in Chad too. Pretty cool.”

Live!

Oct 22 at  L’International – Paris, France
Oct 29 at   Le Glaz’art – Paris, France
Nov 23 at  Le Violon Dingue (with Rhum For Pauline & Kawaii) – Nantesm, France
Dec 4 at Le Divan du Monde (with Kawaii) – Paris, France
Dec 6 at Café Diskaire (with Kawaii) – Lille, France
Dec 21 at Le Lucernaire – Paris, France

Hello, my name is Conservative Man, and I approve this message (as told by front man, Ian McCarthy):

“I had decided my life’s direction at the age of 11. I wanted to write my own songs, and be in a band. Seven years later, I found myself studying jazz at an arts school in Philadelphia. I discovered that what was once an art form that thrived on creativity and improvisation had since fallen into the aesthetic death throes of stagnation and tradition. I knew something was wrong with this choice when I found myself not attending class in order to sequester myself in my basement apartment, recording songs on a borrowed 4-track. Feeling cheated and miserable, I did what any self-respecting art student does. I dropped out. It was 2003, during the Bush years. It was uncertainty, isolation, and fear. I was living without a television, internet, or telephone. I was sleeping in my bathtub. The only way to reach me was to know where I lived, and knock on my window from the adjacent side street.”

“I needed something to rely on. Something to carry me through. Something to identify with. Something. At the time, I had been hearing about the formation of a ‘supergroup’ of sorts, who were initially calling themselves Civilian. What they ended up calling themselves was godawful, and so were their records, in my opinion. But that’s beside the point. I thought the name was the bees knees. Singular. It had edge, with an insinuation of vulnerability. Why didn’t I think of that? So I asked myself the question: ‘If there was a band, what would be a badass name for it?’ Maybe it was the cultural climate at the time, maybe it was my need for an alter-ego, maybe it was irony and self-deprecation, maybe it was an obsession over the abstract of a singular term describing a plural, or all of the above, but the name that kept coming back to haunt me was Conservative Man.  I imagined four guys up on this stage, and the MC goes, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, Conservative Man!'”

The only problem, it was just me. It would stay that way, with Conservative Man as my personal moniker for the next 4 years, recording terrible demos and an EP. Following a move to the mountains of western New Hampshire, I wrote and recorded the album that would finally make this 4 year daydream a reality, Mirabel and the Hikikomori. I was leaking tracks to a local DJ, who insisted that I put a band together, and in doing so, the station would put the band on a spotlight bill. I had to move quickly because I knew no one in the area, so I put in a call to the only musicians I knew and trusted, my music-schoolmates from the fighting city of Philadelphia, Vahe, Darren, and Justin, who just happened to live a good 6 hour drive away. We played the show, and I got to hear the MC say his line. Since then, somehow, we’ve made this band work. We are a long distance relationship. We are singular, with vulnerability. We are Conservative Man.”

Live!

Nov 8 at Tom and Jerry’s – Milmont Park, PA

You should pay attention to your dreams. They tap into your subconscious and can reveal facets about yourself that you never knew existed. It also appears they can come up with good band names as well. Here is The May Fire’s story (as told by drummer, Felipe “El Pipe” Ceballos):

“We started off in Los Angeles, when El Pipe auditioned for a band Catty Tasso had.  They started writing music together and soon after the band broke-up. Cat and Pipe continued writing and recording material in Pipe’s garage until they realized they had an album’s worth of material.  Soon after, they moved to San Francisco and got Rob and Nachito to help them perform that record live.  Once the band saw an evolution in the sound, they set themselves up with the goal of releasing 3 DIY EP’s within one year.  They released “Plastic Army” and “La Victoria” with that line-up until Nachito called it quits in early 2008. Then Craigslist was nice enough to help us find a replacement with Johnny Beane and the band released the 3rd EP in the trilogy “The List”. While we were trying to find a name for the band, Cat had a dream where she was told the name should be “The May Fire”.  At that point the band was just a duet (Pipe and Cat) and it also happens that both of our birthdays are in May.  It seemed like we couldn’t deny something like that.”

Live!

Oct 27 at Silverlake Lounge – Los Angeles, CA
Oct 30 at Rickshaw Stop – San Francisco, CA
Nov 1   The Underground Lounge – Monterey, CA

-Phil

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