Cashmere Jungle Lords
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Cashmere Jungle Lords

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"Natural Fibers"

April 20, 2006

Richmond's Cashmere Jungle Lords rock the surf/exotica revival. Dominic Carpin looks great in a leopardskin loincloth. This cannot be said of just every songwriter and surf-a-billy guitarist. And that is why there is only one band known as the Cashmere Jungle Lords.

This singular ability to rock a loincloth may also contribute to his band's perseverance after 23 years of Jungle Lordship. For these survivors of the Richmond punk scene-who play Iota this Saturday-it's a free pass to sidestep every absurd trend the music industry can foist on the public.

Historically, record execs have professed befuddlement at the Jungle Lords' stylistic promiscuity. It's a gumbo of surf-rock, loungy exotica, explosive punk and roots music. Their kooky energy landed Jungle Lords songs all over the soundtrack of MTV's "The Real World". The forthcoming "Bloodstone Follies is only the second full-length album since the band formed in 1983.

Carpin found his inspiration in the burgeoning burlesque revival. "I saw the Pontani Sisters dance with Los Straightjackets," he said, referring in the latter case to the surf-rock combo known for sporting Mexican wrestling masks onstage. "We're talking white go-go boots, ballerina outfits, feather fans and all that stuff. It got me thinking about the Ziegfeld Follies." Pretty soon he had a concept album exploring human folly, in all its definitions.

With two decades of tour shenanigans under their leopard-print belts, folly is a concept the Jungle Lords know a bit about. Said Carpin, "One time we played New Orleans," home of the recent FEMA Follies. "This cat scratched our bass player and gave him cat scratch fever-like the real thing. All your lymph nodes swell up real bad. They had to lance his armpit and stuff gauze in it. I was instructed by the physician that every 24 hours I had to remove the gauze and re-dress the wound. It was excruciating for him. On our way back he resorted to drinking shots of whiskey, like in an old Western."

Ted Nugent-originator of the rock loincloth, composter of the timeless classic "Cat Scratch Fever," and teetotaller-would probably understand.

Written by Bob Massey - Washington Post


"Dread Reckoning"

In the other corner, at The Satellite Ballroon, the triple bill: The Nice Jenkins, Wrinkle Neck Mules and The Cashmere Jungle Lords. One highlight of the show may be the first band, The Cashmere Jungle Lords. Every tune on their last CD, Southern Barber Supply, was licensed to MTV for use on episodes of "The Real World" and "Road Rules". The new CD, Bloodstone Follies, is a great piece of excellent rocking pop, and features Richmond heavyweights like drummer Johnny Hott (House of Freaks, Gutterball). - C-ville Weekly Sept 12, 2006


"Nightspots"

Cashmere Jungle Lords: This Richmond, Va., band will play-in what we can only assume will be less formal attire-its 'Southern-fried salsa surfabilly' from 6-9pm Sunday at The Ocean Grill and Tiki Bar in Carolina Beach. And since they like dressing up so much, who knows? Maybe they'll perform in the leopard skin loincloths they used to don back when they were Wilmington regulars in the 1990s. - Currents Wilmington Star News


"Live Follies"

Dominic Carpin is a veteran of the Richmond music scene. His rock trio, The Cashmere Jungle Lords, has been playing an eclectic blend of roots rock, surf and acoustic “swamp sets” for the last 23 years, but only recently released its second full length CD, “Bloodstone Follies.” That’s not to say that the group doesn’t have plenty of other material lying around, though, just waiting for the light of day.

Over the years, the band has toured the United States extensively, had success on the college music charts and had its music featured on MTV’s “The Real World.” It even opened a show for The Who in Charlotte in 1998 after a promoter happened to catch its energetic live show at Goombay’s Grille in Nagshead.

Carpin wrote, produced and mixed the new album, and it was recorded in a number of different locations, including an old bread factory in Church Hill, a defunct karate studio, a living room in Westover Hills and a warehouse in Richmond’s Manchester district. It features band mates “Jungle” Jim Kaylis on drums and John Dacey on electric bass and backing vocals. Guests artists on the album include noted local drummer Johnny Hott (formerly of House of Freaks and currently playing with Johnny Hott’s Piedmont Souprize) on six tracks with Bryan Martin adding double bass fiddle to the “Astral Weeks”-inspired “NY Hugs and Kisses Goodbye.”

Style spoke with Carpin, 45, a father of three who has become more involved with his musical endeavors since his former job at Capitol One was outsourced in January.

Style: What is amp surfing?

Carpin: Sometimes if the mood is right I’ll get on top of my amp, an old Fender Deluxe reverb, and I’ll crank the reverb up and do surfer-type moves on the amp. The reverb tank starts vibrating and the springs start slapping around and it sounds crazy. The crowd loves it.

Where did the band name come from?

I thought it described the sound of our music, originally. Jungle, because we use a lot of tom-toms [drums], and the more exotic flair from the surf and lounge traditions. … The band actually formed out of [a] Crampsy-sounding band called the Mystagogues.



How is this album different from your last, “Southern Barber Supply”?

I think it’s more cohesive, almost like a concept album. A lot of songs are about relationships, and it plays off the double meaning of the title, “follies”— part big theatrical production and part foolish behavior … I saw Los Straitjackets do a Christmas show with the Pontani Sisters at Alley Katz and became aware of the burlesque revival going on. It triggered something in my head about Ziegfeld Follies.



What’s happening at the upcoming CD release party?

We have a history of skits at shows. [For the release party] I want to have a vaudeville-style show. Jeremy Parker from RVA Magazine will be the emcee as his character, Reverend Blackfire. We’re going to have the Paliminos open, maybe the River City fire dancers, and I’m still trying to get a strongman. When we do our show, three dancers from Nouvelle Burlesque are going to do improv to our music. We’ll do five sets of three songs with costume changeovers — a Latin set, surf set, rock set, pop set, Americana set. We’d love to play a similar show for our Christmas gig at the Canal Club.



How can Richmond get rid of its reputation as an unfriendly town for live music?

I think if [new venue] Toad’s can get open it would be a huge boon, as well as The National Theater. But the fact that nightclubs are forced to sell food, and that some of the bigger venues don’t sell liquor — it’s tough. I think it would be better if Richmond had solely dedicated night clubs, but there are some cool little pockets right now, like at Café Diem. There is lots of potential. People just need to get out there and support the arts. S
- Style Weekly, Richmond VA


"In Tune"

Lucky for Richmond-area music fans, Dominic Carpin doesn't hang up his spurs too easily.

Ever since they rode in during the early '80s heyday of college rock, the band with possibly the most accurately descriptive moniker ever has blazed its own trail. It is a tradition firmly upheld by this latest record.

While their earlier platters may have held a little more spit and vinegar than this release, Bloodstone Follies is no snoozer. Nine years of maturity (could it have been that long since the superb Southern Barber Supply?) have left Carpin still raging with his famously quick wit and uncanny ability to turn a phrase.

For old fans, its all still here: the vibrato guitars, that scotch-smooth near-British voice, the rollicking drum patterns, and the bizarre song subjects "Feline Shoulders On My Heart"…?

For those uninitiated: if you're even a passing fan of artists such as Robyn Hitchcock, Marshall Crenshaw, Elvis or Elvis Costello, you owe it to yourself to check this group out.

I was thoroughly excited to hear that CJL were coming out with a new album and an active tour schedule to support it. Why shouldn't they? When the historians look back to define Richmond's rock musical elite from 1980 to post-millennium, the Jungle Lords will stand proud beside Avail, Hotel X, House of Freaks and GWAR, among others, as those locals whose efforts made a lasting and far-reaching impact on those who heard them. Good work, indeed.
- Richmond.com


"Live Follies"

Dominic Carpin is a veteran of the Richmond music scene. His rock trio, The Cashmere Jungle Lords, has been playing an eclectic blend of roots rock, surf and acoustic “swamp sets” for the last 23 years, but only recently released its second full length CD, “Bloodstone Follies.” That’s not to say that the group doesn’t have plenty of other material lying around, though, just waiting for the light of day.

Over the years, the band has toured the United States extensively, had success on the college music charts and had its music featured on MTV’s “The Real World.” It even opened a show for The Who in Charlotte in 1998 after a promoter happened to catch its energetic live show at Goombay’s Grille in Nagshead.

Carpin wrote, produced and mixed the new album, and it was recorded in a number of different locations, including an old bread factory in Church Hill, a defunct karate studio, a living room in Westover Hills and a warehouse in Richmond’s Manchester district. It features band mates “Jungle” Jim Kaylis on drums and John Dacey on electric bass and backing vocals. Guests artists on the album include noted local drummer Johnny Hott (formerly of House of Freaks and currently playing with Johnny Hott’s Piedmont Souprize) on six tracks with Bryan Martin adding double bass fiddle to the “Astral Weeks”-inspired “NY Hugs and Kisses Goodbye.”

Style spoke with Carpin, 45, a father of three who has become more involved with his musical endeavors since his former job at Capitol One was outsourced in January.

Style: What is amp surfing?

Carpin: Sometimes if the mood is right I’ll get on top of my amp, an old Fender Deluxe reverb, and I’ll crank the reverb up and do surfer-type moves on the amp. The reverb tank starts vibrating and the springs start slapping around and it sounds crazy. The crowd loves it.

Where did the band name come from?

I thought it described the sound of our music, originally. Jungle, because we use a lot of tom-toms [drums], and the more exotic flair from the surf and lounge traditions. … The band actually formed out of [a] Crampsy-sounding band called the Mystagogues.



How is this album different from your last, “Southern Barber Supply”?

I think it’s more cohesive, almost like a concept album. A lot of songs are about relationships, and it plays off the double meaning of the title, “follies”— part big theatrical production and part foolish behavior … I saw Los Straitjackets do a Christmas show with the Pontani Sisters at Alley Katz and became aware of the burlesque revival going on. It triggered something in my head about Ziegfeld Follies.



What’s happening at the upcoming CD release party?

We have a history of skits at shows. [For the release party] I want to have a vaudeville-style show. Jeremy Parker from RVA Magazine will be the emcee as his character, Reverend Blackfire. We’re going to have the Paliminos open, maybe the River City fire dancers, and I’m still trying to get a strongman. When we do our show, three dancers from Nouvelle Burlesque are going to do improv to our music. We’ll do five sets of three songs with costume changeovers — a Latin set, surf set, rock set, pop set, Americana set. We’d love to play a similar show for our Christmas gig at the Canal Club.



How can Richmond get rid of its reputation as an unfriendly town for live music?

I think if [new venue] Toad’s can get open it would be a huge boon, as well as The National Theater. But the fact that nightclubs are forced to sell food, and that some of the bigger venues don’t sell liquor — it’s tough. I think it would be better if Richmond had solely dedicated night clubs, but there are some cool little pockets right now, like at Café Diem. There is lots of potential. People just need to get out there and support the arts. S
- Style Weekly, Richmond VA


"Richmond's Surfabilly Pioneers"

Who: Richmond’s "surfabilly" pioneers


Sounds like: Southern Culture on the Skids


Is it any good? Sometimes music is about soul-searching, emotional turmoil and relating your innermost thoughts. But sometimes it’s Saturday night and you just want to enjoy a cold one to some kick-ass tunes. You could certainly toss back a few with Cashmere Jungle Lords, their upbeat swamp-rock boogie is made for down-home bars and rockabilly pool halls. But, despite their swinging rhythms and funky grooves, there’s more to these rockers than party music. Bloodstone Follies is actually a fully realized concept album about the nature of human folly. It tells tales of love and obsession ("Everything Revolves Around You"), screwing up a good thing ("Summer Horoscope") and even execute a Picaresque trilogy like true auteurs. Quite an accomplishment for any band, even more so because, unlike most concept albums, you can still shake your ass and drink to this.

- Portfolio Weeklt, Norfolk, VA


"Richmond's Surfabilly Pioneers"

Who: Richmond’s "surfabilly" pioneers


Sounds like: Southern Culture on the Skids


Is it any good? Sometimes music is about soul-searching, emotional turmoil and relating your innermost thoughts. But sometimes it’s Saturday night and you just want to enjoy a cold one to some kick-ass tunes. You could certainly toss back a few with Cashmere Jungle Lords, their upbeat swamp-rock boogie is made for down-home bars and rockabilly pool halls. But, despite their swinging rhythms and funky grooves, there’s more to these rockers than party music. Bloodstone Follies is actually a fully realized concept album about the nature of human folly. It tells tales of love and obsession ("Everything Revolves Around You"), screwing up a good thing ("Summer Horoscope") and even execute a Picaresque trilogy like true auteurs. Quite an accomplishment for any band, even more so because, unlike most concept albums, you can still shake your ass and drink to this.

- Portfolio Weeklt, Norfolk, VA


Discography

Cashmere Jungle Lords/Oodjie-Boodjie Night-Night: a 15 song release of all their original vinyl plus three bonus tracks. Band leader Dominic Carpin produced the release and oversaw the transfers of original multi-track tapes to the digital domain as well as the re-mixes and mastering at his Studio Wee.

Bloodstone Follies: 16 song alt pop disc. The track Sallie's Gone was featured on a recent episode of NPR's "Open Mic". Numerous tracks from the disc are featured on MTV and Oxygen Network reality shows like Real World, Road Rules and Bad Girls Club.

"C.J. Lords": 14 song alt country disc
Nationwide Live: 21 song opus culled from national touring dates

Southern Barber Supply: 16 song CD. Greg Nicholl of Creative Loafing Atlanta called it "the greatest one-band compilation since The Turtles' "Battle of the Bands".

Oodjie-Boodjie Night Night: 8 song 12" vinyl ep
Cashmere Jungle Lords: 4 song 7 " vinyl

All of the original songs on Southern Barber Supply have been featured on Real World and Road Rules episodes on MTV. The band recently re-licensed Bloodstone Follies and Southern Barber Supply to MTV & Oxygen Networks.

Photos

Bio

Cashmere Jungle Lords has been entertaining audiences for three decades. Recent highlights include FloydFest 2008, opening for Gov't Mule at Summerfest 2007 in Manteo, NC and playing on the 24th Street Stage at the Virginia Beach Neptune Festival. They also kicked off the inaugural edition of the Capitol City Carnival in Centreville, VA, playing on the Starrlight Lounge Stage with Yard Dogs Road Show.

The band recently aired on the current season of the PBS television show "Music Seen", turning in a knockout performance with stage apparel hinting at their vaudeville rock leanings.

They released their 3rd CD, Cashmere Jungle Lords/Oodjie-Boodjie Night-Night, on Little Abner Records in spring 2008. The previous disc, Bloodstone Follies, received widespread critical acclaim.

They have toured the eastern half of the US countless times, and did a trans-continental El Nino Tour to promote their first CD, Southern Barber Supply. Numerous songs have been successfully licensed to television. You can hear the music in the soundtracks of shows on MTV and Oxygen Network and NBC's Friday Night Lights. The band is working with independent directors to license tracks for film. Southern Barber Supply was an huge success (Greg Nichol of Atlanta’s Creative Loafing called it “one of my top three of the year”, and stated “it may be the greatest one band compilation album since the Turtles Battle of the Bands”. All the original tracks found their way onto MTV Real World and Road Rules episodes. Red Eye in Chapel Hill, NC handled distribution. An eight-week 120-station radio promotion by Dalin Promotions of Miami, FL yielded heavy and medium rotation spins across the country.

The music is Southern-fried Salsa Surfabilly or Western Surf Jungle Rock. It has infectious dance rhythms and finds inspiration in classic pop a la Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, Doo-Wop, Johnny Cash, Buddy Holly, The Ventures, The Shadows, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles. The current line-up includes Dominic Carpin (the inventor of amp-surfing) on guitar and vocals, “Sheriff” Todd Woodson on drums and backing vocals, and Bryan “Bubbalicious” Martin on bass and backing vocals.

The hybridized rootsy sound gives the group far-reaching appeal. They perform electric music in a somewhat standard bass guitar & drum format, but also deliver an acoustic “swamp set” incorporating double bass fiddle, congas, bongos, tambourine and maracas. The swamp set has graced the airwaves numerous times live on college radio across the nation. They are very versatile and are capable of custom-tailoring set lists, volumes and performance style for night clubs, weddings, outdoor festivals and dances.

The group has also released two critically acclaimed vinyl records: a self-titled four-song seven-inch ep and an eight song twelve inch ep entitled Oodjie Boodjie Night Night. Their repertoire of over 150 original hits and unique versions of songs like Jezebel by Frankie Laine and Whatever Lola Wants from the musical Damn Yankees always generates an enthusiastic response from crowds everywhere. They even perform a dance rock version of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy.

Consider this list of national acts they have performed with: The Who, Gov’t Mule, Bruce Hornsby, Widespread Panic, Los Straightjackets, Buckwheat Zydeco, They Might Be Giants, and Southern Culture on the Skids, among others. Lend an ear and enjoy their sound.