When Ryan Feigh talks about music, he talks about exceptions. He'll describe a style or attitude in music that he doesn't like, then point out how the record he just put on refutes all of his misgivings. His love for exceptions of all stripes is found both in his record collection and in his young-but-diverse Portland label, Lucky Madison.
Last month, Lucky Madison released Modernstate's debut, an impressive venture into downtempo pop for former Dutch Flat drummer Sam Schauer. Currently in the works are an album from the high-energy Snuggle-Ups and his own playful pop band, Dykeritz.
WW spent a recent afternoon in the 27-year-old Feigh's Southeast house, sipping coffee and listening to him talk about gems he has mined as they play on his stereo. (Mark Baumgarten)
Talkdemonic, Arrangements by ... (CD-R)
It impresses me only because I know very little and appreciate little about music without lyrics. That's kind of the first thing I focus in on when I listen to bands. I just like listening to [Talkdemonic's] stuff; it's one of the few instrumental things I can get into.
The Forth, Part Is Prologue
I'm of the opinion that you don't have to be a great musician to play great music. Maybe it's because I spent too much time with assholes in guitar shops claiming you had to be a virtuoso, like Joe Satriani. [The Forth] is a band that has a lot of musical talent, but it just sounds good.
The Metris Switch, Self-titled
When I got the idea for the label, I had a lot of friends that were trying to combine electronic beats and rhythms with acoustic background.... I moved here and I heard [The Metric Switch] and I thought, "Yeah, this is the kind of thing I need to start putting out." I talked to the guy, but he was like, "No, I'm done with that music." He's actually in the Snuggle-Ups now. He'd probably be embarrassed that I'm playing this right now.
Tommy James and the Shondells, Crimson & Clover
I bought this in a period when I was researching and just kind of excited about late-'60s unknown bands. I ended up having to wade through a lot of crap to find stuff that I could listen to all the way through. I probably paid about $2 for it. That's the only way I'll take chances on music, is if it's $2. Coming home with a stack of 50-cent and $2 records and wading through it, you're bound to find something good.
Check out Lucky Madison's website at www.luckymadison.com .