Dave Scher wishes people would dance at shows like they used to. One half of the duo that makes up California-based All Night Radio, Scher remembers his upbringing in Long Beach, California as a time when people danced at shows. "One fun thing back then was going to concerts and dancing around in a circle," he says. He "hope[s] people can dance again."
A true music fan, Scher met All Night Radio accomplice Jimi Hey when he worked at KXLU. 16-year-old Hey would call 18-year- old Scher regularly, because "he always wanted to hear Six Finger Satellite." A stint in Beachwood Sparks, some touring with The Rapture -- among other bands -- and a few years apart later, the two got together in a time and space where they could let loose with their musical interests. What resulted was All Night Radio, a new album and a sound they call the "Spirit Stereo Frequency," released on the famous Sub Pop Records.
The new album, aptly titled Spirit Stereo Frequency, is the embodiment of Scher's description of it. He explains, "It's just an idea to us, the spirit stereo, it's a frequency where all the sounds that may be out there can get mixed together for this sort of magical radio sound. We were toying with the idea that it would be a little supernatural. It would be a preferred radio station for ghosts and jellyfish and plants and people." In fact, it really is likely that jellyfish and plants would thoroughly enjoy this album, simply because of its odd state of mind. Yet, it's the texture, the layering and the experience of hearing the album that appeal to the human listener.
Adding to the sound extravaganza that is Spirit Stereo Frequency are all the sound effects that Scher and Hey mixed into the album, including gongs, crickets, subway trains and -- wouldn't you know it -- radio frequencies. For one song, "Anchovya Suite," Scher gave his cat, of the same name, her singing debut. Another song, "Sky Bicycle," is based on true events, in which a gentleman actually created a floating bicycle. Scher wastes no time in commenting excitedly that the story struck him because of "just the idea that that may have become a popular trend. We may have all been able to have floating bicycles." The song, along with the rest of the album, may just make you feel like you're on a floating bicycle with its atmospheric, appropriately ghostly feel.
Dave Scher is an interesting character -- passionate about the musical experience he is creating and confident that his carnival-esque album is where he wants to be. He's happy working with Hey, explaining that the experience of making the album "was kinda like Louis and Clark. It just felt like we were trying to explore and sort of chart our own territory out of all the possibilities that we had allowed ourselves. So there wasn't any limits to what we wanted to do." Really, though, Scher doesn't want you to think about this album as much as he has done while creating it. He wants you to enjoy it. Still, deep down, as he states, "Maybe in the next one we can really sock it to you in a way you'll want to move." What Dave Scher really wants is for you to dance again.
For more information, go to www.subpop.com.