Tag: television

M Lockwood Porter Loves Mazzy Star “Fade Into You”

M Lockwood Porter Loves Mazzy Star “Fade Into You”

It might be the best a tambourine has ever sounded on a song…it just sparkles.

Fade Into You,” Mazzy Star’s mid-90’s MTV classic is the rare one hit wonder that transcends time and place. The song is such a warm blanket of sound that it was featured on countless mix tapes in the 90’s, then placed prominently on every mix CD made by a sensitive guy in the early 2000’s, and still lives on an immeasurable number of streaming playlists.

(T)his song exists kind of out of time. It could have come out a couple years ago, or it could have come out in the 70s or the 90s.

In the latest episode of One Hit History, Sloane Spencer sits down with musician M. Lockwood Porter to discuss a song that arose from the tail end of the Los Angeles music scene known as the Paisley Underground. Mazzy Star is fronted by the tantalizing wallflower Hope Sandoval and though the song was everywhere in 1994, neither Spencer nor Porter became familiar with the hit until years later. Porter shares details about his forthcoming fifth LP, which includes contributions from John Moreland.

One of the things that makes this band so tantalizing is that my understanding is that Hope Sandoval is very shy and has stage fright…it just adds some mystery and depth to what you hear in the music.

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Thanks to Charles Hale for this episode’s show notes.  You can find his radio show at Ajax Diner Book Club and in an upcoming One Hit History podcast!

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AI Transcript

Sloane Spencer  0:05  Well, hey y’all, this is Sloane Spencer, you found us at our new podcast one hit history. It’s where we talk with music people about their favorite one hit wonders. Well, we’re using the term hit really loosely, and we’re using the term favorite pretty loosely. And we’ve come across some incredible songs got a wonderful guest with us today, Mr. Lockwood Porter, a number of fantastic records that you can check out at his website am Lockwood porter.com, or, of course, our favorite band camp at a fifth album on the way in 2022. Want to hear more about that? Hello.

M Lockwood Porter  0:35  Hi, how are you doing?

Sloane Spencer  0:36  I’m great. How are you doing? Great. What’s up with this next record?

M Lockwood Porter  0:40  You know, it’s becoming a little bit of a cliche at this point. But it’s one of those lockdown records. Like so many other musicians, I found myself with a lot of time on my hands over the last year and a half, two years or so. And yeah, so for this one, you know, I just did a lot of recording at home, which I hadn’t really done very much before on my previous records. You know, it was usually three live in the studio with a band but this one, I rushed up on my engineering skills and I bought some microphones and working on songs throughout the lockdown and got them polished down, got about 10 that I really like and started recording those on my own and then actually sent them to John Moreland, to kind of help out with some production on his side. He did some bass and drums and vocals and guitar and stuff on it too. And actually, he’s going to be mixing it as well.

Sloane Spencer  1:39  Well, that’s big news. And I only knew some of those details. So that’s very exciting to hear those of y’all that are new to our podcast and aren’t familiar with my previous podcast Country Fried Rock, you definitely need to know am Lockwood porters musical catalog I definitely suggest that comedian and Mattias was the most recent full length, but great, great songs and John Morlin, of course, a brilliant songwriter. But what a lot of folks may not realize is his multi instrumental expertise and his home recording expertise and his production amusing as well. I think he’s actually recording his own record right now, too.

M Lockwood Porter  2:09  Yeah, he’s in the studio right now, which is really exciting in the throes and high in Tulsa heat, you know, he did pretty much all the engineering on that and play drums and bass. He’s he you know, he’s kind of his own rhythm section on those albums. And they just sound fantastic. So I mean, you can’t really do much better than that.

Sloane Spencer  2:26  Well, and I’m excited to hear what this brings to your record as you’ve had a lot of different experiences in recording and you know, when you come into a fifth full length record, it’s like on the one hand, you know what you do and you know what you do well, and on the other hand, it’s like everything about the last year and a half or so has been so not normal. Yeah, there’s always that influence.

M Lockwood Porter  2:45  Yeah, definitely. Yeah, I mean, just working so so much on my own and then sending the you know, obviously sending the tracks to John but in the past my process has been very collaborative with my band and it’s been you know, the same band since the beginning kind of adding members on. So it was pretty different to be flying solo for this one so much. In my mind, it’s kind of like like when Tom Petty started making you made like, Full Moon Fever, you know, without the Heartbreakers name attached to it in my head that was kind of like what I was doing. You know, like with John Moreland is my Jeff Lynne

Sloane Spencer  3:20  I totally get I get the vibe. I get all of it. Keep your eyes out for this coming our way. 2022 Yeah, very, very cool. So this is one hit history the podcast where we talk to you music people about their favorite one hit wonder so hit us what’s your favorite one hit wonder.

M Lockwood Porter  3:35  My favorite one hit wonder is fade into you by Mazzy star, just a song that share a lot of people love this song. But I’ve just loved it for a really long time. And to me, it’s like a perfect there was a period, you know, when I was in my late teens, early to mid 20s where I was constantly making big CDs, you know, for myself and for other people. It’s just like a perfect mix CD song creates such a vibe. I don’t know, it’s just a perfect song. There’s no notes on the song. I think they knocked it out of the park. And yeah, like, there’s so many cool things about it. Like first of all, for me, I guess the song became a hit on like MTV and on the radio around like 94 which, you know, I was seven that year and I did not have MTV. I didn’t pay attention to modern radio at the time. I was probably just listening to my parents, Beatles albums. I probably you heard this song many at least five years later for the first time on the radio totally out of context. So to me like this is a song that doesn’t evoke a specific time period. And it kind of sounds like it could have come out anytime in the last 50 years. Really it’s kind of a timeless sound.

Sloane Spencer  4:47  Absolutely. And you hit on so many things. So side note I love love, love the song to the point where I work in radio as my day job and I have been told maybe not fit into you every day. Yeah But nonetheless. So it’s a fascinating song in a lot of different ways. And I also was not familiar with it when it first came out in 94, I was leading the adult lifestyle where you are working a full time job, going to school four nights a week, and then working at the mall on the weekends. So like, I have this whole gap of music in the 90s that like, I never heard, never heard it. And I’ve talked about this in over the years in many ways, but it means I didn’t come to this song until maybe 10 years ago, this is a nude me song in a lot of ways, which is hilarious, because I love it so much. But Mazzy star as a band is really interesting as well. I also was not familiar with them other than this one song. And I mean, this is their only hit, but like I wasn’t familiar with where they came from and how all this happened. So it’s interesting that for both of us, it’s not only a one hit wonder, but it’s also kind of it out of context song that really does speak to both of us. And it does have that timeless feel and the sound and the production specifically really leads to that if you’re not familiar with Mazzy star spaded do you pull it up right away and listen real fast?

M Lockwood Porter  6:03  Yeah, the production is perfect. This song does what someone making records it’s like what you always want to do when you’re when you’re producing a song, which is you’re taking like a few simple elements like drums, acoustic guitar, slide guitar, piano tambourine, vocal, and you put them all together and all of a sudden, it’s like one instrument in one bed of sound where you can sit there and pick out the individual instruments, but it’s so much more than the sum of the individual parts. It’s it’s like this, you know, this wall of sound. It feels like a big warm blanket. Oh,

Sloane Spencer  6:42  good analogy. Wall of Sound in like a very delicate, enveloping way. That’s a great analogy.

M Lockwood Porter  6:49  Yeah. And it might be the best a tambourine as ever sounded on a song like this tambourine takes up so much Sonic space and create it just sparkles.

Sloane Spencer  7:01  It really does. It really does. I’m fascinated in the mythology around the band that for my research at least appears to have kind of developed after the fact as happens especially with one hit wonders such as this that really had such a really fabulous song wasn’t a novelty song at all was an amazing song. So oddly, here’s how I stumbled into the backstory on all of this. I follow a lot of other music people in social media Surprise, surprise. And someone with amazing musical taste is a guy named Nelson gullet out of the radio station web x in Knoxville, Tennessee, and he has a specialty show called Americana pulse. And he was doing a specialty about the Paisley underground. And he and I have a lot of overlapping musical tastes. And we’ve become good friends over the years. And I was like Paisley underground. I have never heard of this, like how can we be so aligned musically, and I literally have no idea what you’re talking about. And so we ended up with this massive, massive, like face to face conversation about the Paisley underground. Do you know any of this? This was completely new to me.

M Lockwood Porter  8:04  Yeah, yeah. You know, I think I probably learned about Paisley underground at some point in my early 20s. Just kind of like going back and trying to discover you know, the influences of bands. I like when one one band I really from that. Like the one that really stuck out to me is the dream syndicate that now called the days of Wine and Roses. antastic. Right. So good. You got some like rem and like feelies vibes, reminds me of one of my favorite bands television. Mm hmm. guitar work. It’s like exactly what you want out of early 80s DIY indie rock band.

Sloane Spencer  8:46  I was a huge fan of dream syndicate and the band rain parade, who were both early ones that this moniker of Paisley underground came around. But I really was not tapped into the rest of that part of the Los Angeles musical scene of the era. I’m from the southeast. And so like, I didn’t get it, that they had a scene, let alone anything else. And I know dreams and to get because of REM back in the day. Yeah. And so all that makes sense. But I didn’t realize that it was a community of musicians and music sounds that continued even though they were not musically as similar to one another as like the Chapel Hill crowd or the Athens, Georgia crowd of the era. Right? They still were connected with one another in a similar way. And somehow I completely missed all of this at the time. This is as I say, new knowledge for me.

M Lockwood Porter  9:34  Yeah, yeah. Yeah, there’s another band I really loved. I think we’ve kind of around LA at that time. Green on red. You know, that’s yeah, they’re so good. It’s just chuck profits first band, but he was mainly the lead guitar player, not the singer songwriter, their album gas, food lodging. I did that with that album for the last several months. And like you said, kind of sonically, they don’t sound anything like dream syndicate or rain pray they’re a little more 20 But yeah, I’m kind of fascinated by that time period in LA as well. He also has x, you know, yeah, this weird thing about like people in Mazzy star hanging out with, you know, the guys in x fourth of

Sloane Spencer  10:12  July is one of my all time favorite songs. So I like the sad ones. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. So not to get to like, add, here’s the backstory. But I’m interested in how this happens with bands, especially when you’re coming from a community of music people that have a lot of overlap as happens. And so kind of the next wave after rain parade and dream Syndicate, etc, was a band called Opal, who I was familiar with, but not super knowledgeable about and open. The only reason I knew them as they were on Rough Trade. And I’ve always been a person who follows record labels and sees who they sign and that sort of thing. So they’re in the middle of a tour opening up for Jesus and Mary Chain, who I also was a fan of great band, behind the scenes, they had some band issues going on, and their vocal is left mid tour. And that’s how hope Sandoval initially got connected with David Roback. Of Opal was that basically, she had been in like a high school band that opened up for all of these bands locally, but not on tour. And then she school was not a good fit. And she had sort of just like left school and was just sort of playing locally in the Los Angeles area. And she came on board as their vocalist midway through that tour with the band Opal. So she was not on any of their records. But she was on the rest of this massive Jesus and Mary Jane tour. And as Opal dissolved after that tour, that’s when Mazzy star became a thing. So there’s like some overlap of those two bands, even though they’re actually quite different.

M Lockwood Porter  11:40  Yeah, it’s so interesting, because Mazzy star sounds nothing like nothing, you know what I think of as like the Paisley underground sound, the totally different thing. Like how did that happen?

Sloane Spencer  11:51  Truly, I’m fascinated that by that, because you go back to what you know. And of course, for me, you could very much hear that jangle pop sound from Athens, Georgia stuff and that Chapel Hill stuff had a very distinct kind of retro sound with what Dexter rom whoever was doing and it went in different directions, but they definitely had a regional sound of folks who were musically influencing one another, even unintentionally, but this one in particular, I am totally, totally fascinated by because it was completely outside of my knowledge base and wheelhouse maybe five years ago ish, I heard solid rumor from folks who would definitely be firsthand in the know that there was talk of them getting back together and going on tour again. And then that never happened and hope Sanibel had that obtainable in the warm inventions. I think it was the warm something. Yeah. Hope Sandoval in the warm inventions. She did a little some solo stuff, but that I had heard was supposed to continue and expand and have some reunion stuff going on. And and it did not. And I now know, in retrospect that David robeck was quite ill with cancer, and he ultimately passed away last year, which is such a sad, sad news. Yeah,

M Lockwood Porter  12:57  yeah. Something that makes the song in this band so tantalizing is my understanding is that hope Sandoval is is very shy, and yet has stage fright. And that it prevented them from touring more and kind of reuniting, you know, like they had a few quasi reunions in early 2010. They played some shows in California, I know. But like, it always kind of got shut down before it turned into a bigger thing. I kind of really like that, because I don’t know, it just adds some mystery and depth to what you hear in the, in the music, especially in this time now where even the biggest artists have to be self promoting. And like, being a brand on social media and engaging with their fans, wasn’t it kind of nice when you could just have like a really shy, wallflower type person putting music out there that got really huge. I mean, I relate to being that kind of person in many ways. And I relate to the kind of art that kind of person is going to make. And the person that is like, Oh, great, I get to put myself out there 24/7 On the media, like, I just feel like you’re going to inherently have a different view of the world in a different way of seeing things.

Sloane Spencer  14:11  Oh, yeah, you are speaking deeply to me here. As I joke. I always say I went into radio for a reason. I didn’t want to be in front of the camera. I didn’t want to have my face out there. And personally, all of my creative energy get transferred through the microphone, and then I want to shut it off. Yeah. For folks who have not met me face to face. I’m pretty reserved like, and it’s not cold. It’s just that in terms of personality, like I love sticking it all into the microphone, and then I love being done. Yeah, it’s

M Lockwood Porter  14:45  like like that. That’s why I started writing songs because I have the stuff I want to express. And this is the way I feel comfortable expressing it. But now I need to express it in all these other ways, as well. That doesn’t work that well for me

Sloane Spencer  14:59  such things necessary beast for all of us at this particular moment in the world, and I personally just sort of ghosted Facebook several months ago and personally thrilled, however, you find that there other social media outlets, there are pluses and minuses, as we all know, but you miss out on some stuff. Because the one thing that that particular Evil Empire does well, is events. Yes, you can really learn what’s happening. So I have found that I have, I have missed some significant things, not that I was going anywhere, but in terms of awareness that I would have followed up on. Because the ability to bubble up events through say, Instagram, or tick tock or Twitter is very different. So you know, not to get too much off on the tangent about social media and how it’s impacted all of us who are in creative fields. But it’s also a massive obligation to keep that persona and name out there that really does directly impact DIY artists in significant ways.

M Lockwood Porter  15:57  Totally. Well, it makes you wonder if a band like this would have had a huge hit today, you know, yeah. fade into you would have been so massive. Now, I kind of think you probably wouldn’t,

Sloane Spencer  16:09  yeah, especially someone who didn’t want to put their life out there in a robotic manner. There is one amazing live. I mean, there are many, I’m sure. But there’s one particular amazing live version of Faden to you that I will link to in the podcast notes, because it’s such a great encapsulation of how beautiful it sounds, and how clear it is that performance is of no interest to Sandra ball.

M Lockwood Porter  16:32  Yeah, yeah, I saw I don’t know if it’s the same one. But I saw a clip of her on YouTube of him playing on YouTube. And she, she looks very nervous. You know, there’s something about that, where it heightens the intensity of the performer. Right? You feel like there’s something on the line, you know?

Sloane Spencer  16:50  Oh, yeah, absolutely. Did you know there are two different official versions of this video? I did not.

M Lockwood Porter  16:56  I just saw that on Wikipedia when I was looking at it before. Calling you Yeah. You know, many years later on YouTube, I probably watched the first music video segments, black and white, right.

Sloane Spencer  17:08  Like I said, I came to the song much later. And so just in my, like, general awareness of this song, it’s the fuzzy color one with the Joshua Tree stuff that I’m familiar with. Yeah, not familiar with this black and white version at all. Even after pulling it up. I was like, Nope, never seen it.

M Lockwood Porter  17:23  I wonder if like people listening who, you know, were really tuned in to MTV on a day to day basis that have a totally different impression of this song has Oh, that is the quintessential mid 90s. So to me, this song exists kind of out of time, like, you know, it could have come out a couple years ago, or could have come out in the 70s or the 90s. Well, you know,

Sloane Spencer  17:43  I am a person who is very much a product of the early days of music videos. And in fact, before MTV, even became MTV, we had local video channels. We had something called Star 69 in Atlanta before MTV started that, frankly, was better. It had amazing programming, certain songs. I hear three notes, and I see the whole video in my head. I mean, that’s so I hope that our people were that there’s an association like that for them as well with whichever version of this song. Yeah, I’m sure. It was huge. Yeah. And I can’t believe that I missed it. That’s one of the things that I’m like, How did I miss something that I like so much?

M Lockwood Porter  18:15  Yeah, totally. I have two pseudo connections to the song. Or to the band at least? Well, their first album. So tonight that I might see is their second album. That’s what phase two is on. But it recorded at Hyde Street Studios in San Francisco, which is a place that I’ve done a lot of work. I recorded 27 there, and then various overdubs and stuff for other records. They’re pretty cool to see. I mentioned, they did a little short tour in California in the early 2010s. And I remember that because for that tour, they had a guy named Josh Guinea play metal steel with him, and he played pedal steel on my first album. Oh, that’s cool. Yeah. Yeah. So I didn’t even know that I’ve been obsessed with the song for years. And I was like, wow, I actually have kind of like, like, maybe one or two degrees of separation from this band. That’s awesome.

Sloane Spencer  19:08  Because I’m so like, not knowledgeable about who knows who in that particular scene. That it’s fascinating to me like with the Nashville scene, like I’m pretty hip to like, who played what, on what record? And a lot of them Yeah, of all of that. But this is just so out of my personal wheelhouse, that it’s like, wow, that’s awesome.

M Lockwood Porter  19:26  Want to talk to kind of weird because like you said, there’s such an LA band. And, you know, there’s some there’s some kind of interaction between LA and San Francisco, but it’s not that close.

Sloane Spencer  19:38  I mean, they’re so far away from one another first of all,

M Lockwood Porter  19:40  yeah, yeah. I mean, if you’re on the West Coast, it’s still like the big city you tour are further apart than they are in the east. So I have a long drive from San Francisco to Portland. You just get used to doing that a lot. But yeah, exactly. But yeah, I don’t think of this band as having such a SAN Francis SCO connection but I get

Sloane Spencer  20:01  no, that’s really exciting. I love hearing stories like that. Yeah, so M Lockwood Porter, we’re really looking forward to what happens with this fifth full length album coming our way in 2022 folks can stop by M Lockwood porter.com. Find out more definitely catch up on that back catalogue. And don’t miss a minute. And thank you so much for joining us on one hit history and talking about one of my favorites Mazzy star’s fade into you. Of course, stick around y’all. There’s always lots more in our archives. You can find them at one hit history.com You can support us at patreon.com/one Hit history where you’ll hear some bonus episodes from several of our favorite guests. Stick around, and thanks for listening. Thanks to Jacob for our theme music you can find his catalogue at Jacob Farrar not bandcamp.com That’s jcovfurr.bandcamp.com Thanks so much for our graphic design and logo from Keith Brogdon. You can find his work at thinking out loud design.com One hit history is a comedy podcast. We’ve done slightly less research than your average Wikipedia contributor or loose with the facts and your mileage may vary.