Quasi - In session for Marc Riley.

Sam and Janet of Quasi - highly regarded, strangely underrated. Go figure.

Quasi – In Session – 2022 – Past Daily Soundbooth

Quasi - In session for Marc Riley.
Sam and Janet of Quasi – highly regarded, strangely underrated. Go figure.

Quasi – in session for Marc Riley – BBC 6 Music – December 6, 2022 – BBC 6 Music –

Portland band Quasi, making a special appearance on Marc Riley’s program at BBC 6 Music earlier today. Only hanging around long enough to do two gigs before heading back to home base ahead of the release of their latest album, Breaking The Balls Of History which is slated to hit stores in February 2023.

This excerpt comes from Chelsey Johnson and their Bandcamp page and, if you aren’t already familiar, gets you up to speed with a very prolific band who have been around a while and you need to know about. Read on:

“Breaking the Balls of History is Quasi’s tenth record, landing ten years after their last record, on February tenth. Three tens, which aligns with the thirty years they’ve played together. Sam Coomes and Janet Weiss have become Pacific Northwest icons, and Quasi has always felt so steadfast— their enduring friendship so generative, their energy infinite, each album more raucous and catchy and ferocious and funny than the last. But we were wrong to ever take Quasi for granted. For a while, they thought 2013’s intricate Mole City might be their last record. They’d go out on a great one and move on.

Then in August 2019 a car smashed into Janet’s and broke both legs and her collarbone. Then a deadly virus collided with all of us, and no one knew when or if live music as we knew it—the touring, the communal crowds, the sonic church of the dark club—would ever happen again. “There’s no investing in the future anymore,” Janet realized. “The future is now. Do it now if you want to do it. Don’t put it off. All those things you only realize when it’s almost too late. It could be gone in a second.”

Under lockdown, Portland’s streets fell still, airplanes vanished, wildlife emerged. And with the obliterated normal came an unexpected gift: uninterrupted time, hours every day, to make art. Quasi couldn’t go on the road, so they got an idea: they would act as if they were on tour and play together every single day. Each afternoon, Sam and Janet bunkered down in their tiny practice space and channeled the bewilderment and absurdity of this alien new world into songs. Janet’s strength returned and rose to athlete-level stamina. “When you’re younger and in a band, you make records because that’s what you do,” Sam said. “But this time, the whole thing felt purposeful in a way that was unique to the circumstances.” They knew they would keep it to just the two of them playing together in a room. They knew they’d record the songs live and together, to capture a moment.

The incredible result of those sessions is Breaking the Balls of History, recorded in five days and produced by John Goodmanson at the legendary Robert Lang Studios in Shoreline, WA. Here are two artists at their prime, each a human library of musical knowledge and experience, entirely distinctive in their songcraft and sound. In Quasi-form, the band becomes alchemically even greater than the sum of its parts: Janet’s galloping drums and Sam’s punk-symphonic Rocksichord and their intertwining vocals make something gigantic, anthemic. In the thick of a cataclysmic social and political moment, they’ve crafted exquisitely melodic songs that glitter with rage and wild humor and intelligence, driven by a big bruised pounding heart.”

Press play and dive in. And look for them on tour later on next year. And grab their albums while you’re at it.


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