For the release of his new album, Wideass Highway, Dougie Poole and his manager, Jordan Michael Iannucci of JMC Aggregate, gave away free t-shirts to fans in NYC. This magnificently weird tee depicts Clayton Schiff’s artwork of a bird eating organs out of a mouse’s body with the words “How many turds take you, far though the scales tip to your side?” from Doug’s song “Onlyville System Special.” Being a fan of Doug’s work, I reached out to Jordan for a tee and an interview. Jordan has worked in past iterations of Silent Barn and now owns JMC aggregate a publisher and promoter for artists in NYC. Jordan’s been in New York’s DIY scene for a long time, seeing the inceptions of artists like Frankie Cosmos, Porches, Majical Cloudz, and more. We talked about his thoughts on New York’s DIY scene, his work at Silent Barn, and his experiences with today’s well-known artists.
by Xana Pierone
Rare Candy: What’s your history with Silent Barn?
Jordan: I came in around 2008 or 2009. I was always reading mini comics and zines when I was bartending ‘cause nobody drank. There would be twenty people on a busy night, so I would just read, and then [my friend Joe] asked me to start a zine library, and I started compiling all these art books, mini comics, and political zines in this little nook we had by the door of the old space. Then, I started booking a lot of shows there. So I guess I’m a person from a past iteration of this space where it’s an almost totally different thing [from the original Silent Barn].
RC: Are there any big artists that you’ve seen from their inception that you’re proud of and really like?
JM: Yeah, tons. Frankie Cosmos is probably the biggest one. Before Greta was even making music, I knew her ‘cause she was that ten-year old calling into an indie comics podcast [that] we both listened to. I booked, I think, Porches’, Priests, and Krill’s first New York City shows, or at least one of their first [NYC] shows. I once did a Grimes DJ party in a deli, and she didn’t even DJ.
RC: That’s so cool! She was just hanging out?
JM: No! She wasn’t even there! She showed up for fifteen minutes, and was like, “this sucks” and left. Nobody noticed or cared.
RC: That’s incredible. Anyone else?
JM: Oh yeah. On my website I have this giant list of every show I’ve ever done. I always think [looking] will be fun, but always ends up being sad. ‘Cause it makes me realize how old I’m getting, and I’m just like, “man, if I did this show today I’d be rich!”
I once lied to people and told them that [Parquet Courts] lit a fire when they were playing their show. At the old Silent Barn, the bar was in the basement, so if nobody liked a band, everyone would just go into the basement to drink and smoke cigarettes. So Parquet Courts are playing and I’m like, “this band is so good” and everyone is in the basement, so I run downstairs and I’m like, “this band just lit a fire upstairs.” Everyone floods out of the basement, and they go upstairs and it’s just a rock band playing a set.
RC: Have you noticed any particular shift in the DIY scene with the new political climate since the election?
JM: There’s minutiae that are different. People are way more nervous of people that they don’t recognize. There was this thing — it was 4-chan or 8-chan or some weird message board — where there’s a whole bunch of white supremacist teenagers that are really into anime. It’s like weird anime nazis? I don’t get it. Do you know what I’m talking about?
RC: Yeah, I know the type.
Homer Shew (resident artist at SB): I know exactly what you’re talking about. I was worried when I started renting the space that something like that might happen to it, and I was like “what do I do to protect this space from something like that?” It’s like typecasting white people. Are you that kind of white?
JM: So, these anime nazis were trying to report venues in the wake of Oakland. Trump got elected, and a month later Oakland happened. Now, we’re in a space where cities, local governments, and everyone who feels like an authority figure are looming over us more, and it’s really hard to tell what’s fire and what is people being emboldened by a newly conservative administration.
There was a Planned Parenthood benefit here where there was this dude who was standing [around], and I noticed, “oh, he’s not here with any of his friends, and he had a Planned Parenthood t-shirt. The weird music snob part of my brain was like “you don’t wear the band’s t-shirt to the band’s show.” It seemed like he was trying a little too hard, and I was like, “who the fuck is this nerd with no friends?” That’s the thing that’s changed. It’s becoming more insular because people are now more nervous.
RC: Any other thoughts about the political landscape and its relation to art and music?
JM: I feel like it’s going to be a few more months before we see any good art come out from the stuff that’s been happening. Everything’s been changing so quickly that I don’t think anyone has the ability to process, internalize, and output something thoughtful. It feels like every week we live in a new world.
The biggest change I’ve noticed since the election is it feels like people want to not be on the internet as much as [they] did over the summer. Not that [surfing] the internet is what people do instead of go out, but in the moments where people are at a show and there are tons of people there it feels, and this might just be how I feel — I’m projecting on this — people are rediscovering the sensation of being [unplugged] and not looking at a constant feed of paranoia and bad news. I think that feeling of physically seeing your community in front of you, is a really important thing that people forgot [about].
RC: So, do you think it’s important for fans to go out more in order to protect these spaces?
JM: Yeah, I do.
Drawings by Homer Shrew, resident artist.
RC: What music are you listening to right now that you really like?
JM: “Stand by Your Man.” I’ve been listening to that song for the last week on repeat. The new Priests album is really good. Yesterday all I listened to was the new Priests album and the Lion King soundtrack.
RC: Sounds like a good mix.
JM: To be honest, I don’t listen to a lot of new music. A lot of times when I’m listening to music I want to escape. So I’ve been listening to a lot of old country, a lot of Johnny Cash and Slim Whitman and Dolly Parton. I’ll listen to a lot of old R&B, so a lot of doo-wop. I went through a really big Bee Gees phase four weeks ago. Professional wrestling theme songs and Disney soundtracks. Whenever I write, I’ll chain-smoke cigarettes and listen to the Grease soundtrack.
RC: Do you have any recent projects you’d like to plug?
JM: We did a private concert with these two women who are best friends. It was a friends only concert in one of the living rooms upstairs, and we recorded it and we’re putting it out on cassette and I really like it. It’s a split - half of it is music and half of it is comedy. It’s called “Friends Live.”
RC: Anything else?
JM: Oh! Babe! Babe is on Netflix right now, I watched it last week that movie is so fucking good.
RC: I did too!
JM: I thought it was like a kid’s B-movie they made for cheap, like, “let’s shoot a bunch of farm animals running around and dub over the voices.” I thought it was that, and I watched it and it’s visually stunning, and the use of music is great. It’s so absurd. That scene where he’s dancing for the pig, though, singing the song... Babe is a movie that is as close to real life in terms of how kind and cruel it can be to you as a viewer. Yeah, plug Babe, tell people to watch it on Netflix.
Learn more about the JMC Aggregate here: http://www.jmcaggregate.com/
Listen to JMC Aggregate artists: https://soundcloud.com/jmcaggregate
“Don’t You Think I’m Funny Anymore?” - Dougie Poole https://soundcloud.com/jmcaggregate/dont-you-think-im-funny-anymore
“Glass House” - Dougie Poole https://soundcloud.com/jmcaggregate/glass-house