“Songs about love, grieving, and life. Life is temporary, the love that you give is really quite contrary.”
Laika, the Asro-Hound is an indie lo-fi dream pop trio from Johnstown that have a few releases under their belt which you can find over at their BandCamp and SoundCloud pages. Catch them tonight (8/7) at Howler’s as I thank Sean T. Jackson (Piano/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.
The first album you ever bought?
It was Goldfinger’s self-titled album, in the 5th grade. I remember the cashier had a mo-hawk. She asked me if I thought my mother would mind me listening to this. I said no, of course she wouldn’t, and the cashier let me buy it.
Your last album bought?
Last new album: Sufjan Stevens’ “Carrie and Lowell.” The material for that record spoke in volumes to me; it’s very similar to what I feel that I’ve been writing about. It really shows the grieving process in those songs. I also recently bought a copy of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds’ “Murder Ballads,” on vinyl, but that’s nothing new and exciting.
Favorite album of all time?
Hardest question ever. I would probably say “Control,” by Pedro the Lion. It is the best example of what I think a “concept album,” or a “story album” (or whatever you want to call it) that I have encountered. “Priests and Paramedics” is such an intense song.
Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Hilariously enough, I still consider Weezer’s “Green Album” to be the biggest musical let down of my life. I remember hearing they were going to release a new record, and it was just after I discovered Pinkerton (so probably the year 2000 or so.)… I think every guy that’s my age and grew up listening to what I listen to make that exact same claim though.
First concert attended?
My uncle took me to see Steely Dan when I was 9, my brother took me to see Phish when I was 11. When I was 14, I got to see the Anniversary at Club Laga. That was the first show that I went to with just friends.
Just saw Sebadoh. They sounded great! Probably just as good as they ever did.
Favorite concert ever?
Depends on if we’re talking “local” or “stadium-ish”… Locally, in Johnstown, we had such a tight community of musicians. Some of my favorite shows were the ones that all my friends played. On a larger scale, probably Radiohead, although honestly, seeing Sufjan Stevens a few months ago in Columbus was pretty incredible. Not trying to jock him continuously, but the guy is a great performer, and his band are equally great.
Least favorite concert?
The first time I saw Modest Mouse, they were extremely late and played for probably 45 minutes total. That was a complete disappointment.
Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
Last year, shortly after leaving this jam band, I discovered this Wild Kindness records showcase at Cattivo as part of Rock All Night. Loved seeing Chet Vincent & the Big Bend, and loved Sleep Experiments; just kept thinking how happy I was to see that there is still a thriving scene for that kind of music in this area. In the last few weeks, Laika, the Astro-Hound played Roboto Project, and played a house show in Lawrenceville (Spider House: good dudes!) Also got to meet the guys from Hills and the Rivers recently. I love the area because it has so much talent, and every musician I come across seems to be doing their best to create something totally their own. I love that we don’t necessarily have a single “Pittsburgh” sound that can be categorized (i.e. if you say “Seattle,” or “Portland,” a specific type of music comes to mind.)
Thanks, Sean. Should be a great show tonight. Lat year’s R.A.N.T. was so great. Can’t wait for this year!