“We’ve never been to the Rites of Pan Festival at Jajouka, but something like that goes on in the back of our heads all the time.” —The Living Pins
The Living Pins originally formed in 1996 during the heyday of iconic Austin clubs such as Liberty Lunch, Electric Lounge, and The Hole In The Wall. Pam and Carrie met as co-workers at Wheatsville Food Co-op and continued in the tradition of employee bands including the likes of Ed Hall, Cherubs, Sixteen Deluxe, Pong, Palaxy Tracks, and Cotton Mather. The original Living Pins line-up included Kathy Ziegler (Morningwood) and Leslie Petit (Bunny Stockhausen) and this incarnation of the Pins appeared on the 1998 Wheatsville band compilation, “The Wheat Album”, with their cover of T. Rex song, “Spaceball Ricochet”, produced by John Croslin (Spoon, Guided by Voices).
Carrie is an inductee into the Austin Music Hall of Fame as the front woman for Sixteen Deluxe (Trance Syndicate, Warner Bros. Records). Pam is a published photographer and the producer of two Daniel Johnston songs, “Ain’t No Woman Gonna Make a George Jones Outta Me” and “Casper” on Daniel’s “Continued Story” album.
Now the Living Pins are back as a two-piece with Freaky Little Monster Children – their new fledgling baby bird EP of glam-psych-guitar explosions that is officially due out on April 9th. Primordial 1990s Austin, meets 2000s oversaturated festival hangover, meets 2020 lockdown mind melt champagne fountain.
This EP could have its own bio. Mostly recorded late on Friday and Saturday nights during the lockdown of Fall of 2020, in the empty lobby of Splinter Group, an East Austin artisan collective. “Fingers crossed the power tools stay silent during the next guitar overdub …” was the mantra. Face masks and headphones were the main accessories. Jeff Copas (Sixteen Deluxe, Mule Ear Productions) engineered and produced the EP plus added some sweet keyboard and percussion details. And special guest, Matt Devine (Medicine, Permanent Green Light, Possum Dixon), played his Mick Taylor-esque endless guitar solo on “Jaguar” from a different time zone out in LA.
Today Glide is excited to offer up a taste of the new EP with the premiere of “Downtown.” Laid back, groovy and psychedelic – three descriptors that at one point in time described many Austin bands – the song rambles along with shoegaze vocals and a sly guitar that weaves in and out of the track in a way that almost feels improvised. Though The Living Pins came long before Austin acts like The Black Angels, you can hear a similar, slowly percolating psych-rock sound happening. This is perhaps not surprising, as both acts seem to draw from Austin’s legacy as the birth place of that acid-soaked genre. Sadly, Austin is going the way of yuppies and tech millionaires – and has been for awhile now – but it is refreshing to hear that groups like The Living Pins are keeping the city’s creative spirit alive in their own way.