Editor’s note: For a good few years now, Jo Kusy has been one of Philly’s most prolific DIY musical artists, performing both as a solo artist and with bands such as The Whips, Far Out Fangtooth, and more. This summer sees Kusy really coming into his own, with the hazy, summer-y full length No One Else, as well as solo show of his paintings at Barnet Fair in Old City. We asked Kusy to muse a little on what’s spurring on some of his creativity at the moment. His answers below are a great excursion.
BY JO KUSY
In the age of Spotify and instant information, there’s really no excuse to not seek for new things to love. Documents of the past are more easily accessible than ever, and that also brings on huge waves of could-be forgotten music. I discovered Robert Lester Folsom’s album of home recordings, entitled Ode To A Rainy Day: Archives 1972-1975 and instantly found a thing I truly related to and loved. Acoustic tunes ranging from laid-back and slack-jawed, to blissfully morose that create a whole world to swim around in. It’s no-frills, emotional, and the natural, lo-fi 8-track aesthetic warm the soul.
Milton Avery’s color-field portraits, still lifes, and seaside landscapes are bold, flat, and largely muted pastel in color. His work was abstract, yet representational. This middle ground is ultimately pleasing for a mass audience, yet still unique in his intention that I believe is spiritual in it’s honesty. His work not only affects my own painting, but I translate this influence on my music as well.
Kevin Ayers is funny, hip, and his lyrics are strange. He’s a singer-songwriter of a different breed. Since exhausting the dank fumes of Syd Barrett-worship, Ayers is slowly taking his place in my kingdom of influence where the acid king once laid.
Laid back, baby! The guy who wrote “After Midnight”, “Cocaine”, and “Call Me The Breeze”. His lack of effort is the epitome of cool. Sure it’s total dad-rock, but that’s not a bad thing. I also really enjoy his understated drum machine sound, which suprisingly never detracts from the music’s authenticity.
They are classic, they are grotesque, they are great colors. You may even forget this kind of candy exists, until you see it next.