Platypuses, along with spiny, ant-eating echidnas, are the only living monotremes, or mammals that lay eggs. A furry endotherm with a bill and webbed feet, the platypus isn't the most sophisticated example of mammalian evolution. Conversely, a psych-leaning experimental showcase—featuring Mammal Eggs' new project, Teetotum—is an exceptional opportunity to witness the evolution of local experimental music.
On Friday evening, witness an all-ages avant-garde event that includes Teetotum. Ipytor Gavyen Machislav (Clifford Grindstaff—The Jeebies, Phantom Lake, Shoulder Voices, The Grave of Nobody’s Darling) will also make his presence known. And there will be a special staging of experimental performance piece “The Dress” by Milch de la Máquina (which is headed by Alibi News Editor Marisa Demarco: Pesky ethics prevent us from expounding on her project).
“This is going to be an evening of intriguing, non-alienating experimental performance,” says event curator Derek Caterwaul by email. Between bands, DJ Tahnee will spin psychedelic soul.
Teetotum is named for a multisided spinning top used in games of chance. The project's core members are Drake Hardin and Rosie Hutchinson who recently returned to New Mexico from France. Hardin plays guitar and melodica, Hutchinson plays violin, and they share vocal and percussive duties. Scott Lunson, of Chemtrail Pilot, will provide samples and additional sounds. Via email, the Alibi conferred with Hutchinson and Hardin about the band’s origin.
When and where did Teetotum form?
Hutchinson: [It] began in Chambéry, France, shortly after Drake fled the U.S.A. on amorphous, anonymous charges of anti-Americanism and ambivalence about spending one more year hearing about sausages and cheese over the phone. Teetotum had its first live performance in the living room of my eighth-floor French apartment. [It] was completely acoustic and sparsely populated, but there was bean dip and two French solo musicians who also played. At least 75 percent of the French people present were heard to say that they had appreciated the bean dip and the musical efforts.
Is Teetotum similar to Mammal Eggs?
Hardin: The project is similar to Mammal Eggs in its rapid juxtaposition of improvised and composed material, and also probably because two-thirds of us are present in Teetotum.
Hutchinson: Teetotum could be compared to Mammal Eggs in that me and Drake were both in the band. And we are both mammals. There are no eggs involved this time, which could mean a lessened smell or less time shredding. But there will still certainly be long, variously awkward and awesome periods of total, unbridled improvisation.
What does it sound like?
Hardin: The formal nature of most of our music is such that it could completely fall apart at any given moment—teetotum. There are some aspects of our upcoming set that could sound a bit like the various overtones of a church bell formed into the shape of an onion and peeled—