New Science Projects
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New Science Projects

Denton, Texas, United States | INDIE

Denton, Texas, United States | INDIE
Band Folk Punk

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"New Science Projects' Most Recent... Projects"

New Science Projects' Dale Jones may look like a dirty, bloody, undead mess when he's performing—he screams at his audiences and belts out songs about demons, death and his "evil heart" like a man possessed. But, in reality, Jones is far from a mess. And it's not the devil that makes him do what he does, either.
It's the music. Or so he says.

"It's not like I'm playing some character," Jones says. "It's the music that makes me like that."

Well, the 20-year-old bluesman's songs are packed with enough gritty realism that they may as well have been penned by some grizzled gravedigger who has shoveled more than his fair share of dirt. And people have been paying more and more attention to his music and performances as of late.

Three weeks ago, Jones' grimy, greased-up mug landed on the front flap of local weekly publication Quick. A week later, New Science Projects garnered a nomination for our own 2009 Dallas Observer Music Awards in the category of Best Experimental/Avant-Garde Act. Then, last week, Jones won the award for Big Solo Artist at Quick's Big Thing.

Of the whirlwind week and a half, Jones says he didn't get to enjoy any of it. He was too busy preparing to leave on tour with Christian Medrano of Arlington's Kids of Cons.

But, fact is, with people's interests perked, Jones' local shows are starting to draw larger crowds. Most recently, a large crowd packed into J & J's Pizza for Gutterth Productions' official album release show for New Science Projects' new four-song 7-inch, Poison Culture.

"The recent publicity certainly hasn't hurt," Gutterth's Michael Briggs says. "That was probably the most packed I've ever seen that basement."

Speaking of basements, Jones says that playing the recent award show at the Granada made him "uncomfortable": "I'm used to playing basements and living rooms," he says. "I'm not used to seeing people in suits eating hummus off of shiny silver platters."

Instead, he prefers playing more, well, unusual, intimate affairs. By the second day of his current tour, he had stumbled into a last-minute gig at a public library in Fayetteville, Arkansas—playing for 8- to 12-year-old kids. Obviously, Jones played a more down-tempo, less in-your-face set than his typical.

"The library show was horrible—and exciting—because some of the little kids heckled me," Jones says. "When people my age do that, I can heckle them back, but I couldn't do that with the kids. I'm used to being able to run up to people and get in their face. Yesterday, we went into this 24-hour laundromat and had an impromptu show while these old folks were doing their undies." - Dallas Observer


"Why Dallas Needs New Science Projects, The Mad Man Troubadour"

The late fall day was waning when I walked into the tavern, red sun cutting a low arc across the south of town. I nudged open the wooden, bat-wing door with my knuckle, feeling parched. Inside, everything was a mess. Hardly a chair stood aright. Broken glass near the bar, in the crevice where it met the floor, some shards sitting on top in the puddles reflecting the furrowed expression of the bar proprietor. His face spoke consternation, yes, but his eyes were glazed over in fear.

The boy had been there a moment before me. This boy, I’d never seen him, but he’d been causing trouble in town east to west for a couple months straight. A vet from the fight with the Yankees is what they say. He shows up places – bars mostly – talking like a mule kicked him in the head, face crusted over with good Lord knows what. Some say it looked like he had blood pouring out his mouth and that it wasn’t his. He’s always holding a beat-to-hell guitar, muttering to himself. Then he starts playing the guitar, spitting and singing about how he wants to kill himself, singing about hell, screaming blasphemies. Couldn’t be more than five-and-a-half tall, they say, but every guy in the place is scared witless and won’t go near him. So he runs circles and turns over just about anything that ain’t nailed down, still yelling, still blaspheming.

He’s still running around out there, showing up haphazard. Sane folks think he just saw too much battle. One fella says he was stuck smack center in a field of dead men, 10 acres of bodies, and had to crawl his way back to the line. The ladies think he’s carrying a horde of demons around in his guts, and they’re trying to sic the pastor on him. Everybody’s sure he’s insane and needs locking up. Still, sitting here sipping whiskey in the after of all his chaos, I can’t shake the feeling that he knows something important that I need to.

That’s what my own imagination does with New Science Projects, the pseudonym under which Denton’s Dale Jones performs music. Feel free to invent your own backstory. Dale has made it clear that his stage persona is no specific character with any particular origin. Dale doesn’t even keep his behavior or wardrobe consistent from show to show. The persona is really a creation of necessity, born not of high-minded theatrics, but of Jones’ own bashfulness. “It’s intentional in a way that I don’t really control,” Jones says. “I have intense stage fright, so it’s almost as if I turn off my brain…It’s very freeing.”


I first encountered New Science Projects in The Cavern, his hands slapped on my shoulders, his head hung between his arms and leveled at my stomach. I crossed my arms in front of me in a very real fear that I was about to be head-butted in the gut. Instead, he brought his head up in a long wail and I got a breath of Jones’ lungs and spit. Wrapping his arm around my head, he began to torque my body like a Pentecostal revivalist, singing “Big Iron Pen,” a song in which he recounts the horrors of prison life with chilling believability. Jones plays un-plugged, alone, sounding and squirming like a troubadour from the Louisiana swamp. His face is usually streaked with some mixture of black and red: a mud-caked, bloody visage. He sings, screams, accosts patrons, and flips over chairs.

That is Dale Jones’ on-stage behavior (technically off, as he prefers crowd-level). When he is not performing, Jones is strikingly mellow, which I learned only when he agreed to sit for an interview. Hiding behind black-rimmed specs with a measured demeanor, he barely resembled the madman that attempted to exorcise me at The Cavern. A man of small build, Jones admits relishing the fact that people might be genuinely afraid of him simply because he is “screaming and covered in something unidentifiable.”

Jones eschews the notion of an ethos or crusade to justify the stage presence he has developed, but admits that he’s usually driving at audience discomfort, be it physical or emotional. The disruption of his behavior is perhaps matched only by the troubling topics of his music. Real prophets were like this: not so much prognosticating as bearing the good and bad reminders of blessing and curse, a vocation of reminding and unsettling. New Science Projects gets at much the same thing, minus the blessing. Suicide, death, and God feature prominently in his madcap oration, topics that commonly rank highest on society’s list of disconcerting thoughts. “I feel excited when a band can get me out of my comfort zone,” Jones says. “That’s one of the things I think music can do and I would like to try and do that.”


Feelings about New Science Projects are markedly polarized, particularly in Dallas, where Jones seems to stage some of his more tense shows. When I saw him play, he, or some version of him, offered to leave the stage only if the audience’s loudest critic would fellate him. She gasped, I guffawed, the rest of the audience stood nonplussed. Jones realizes that he may be perceived as a bit over-the-top; although, he rightly dismisses the notion that he is any more theatrical than other groups.

Arguably, Jones indulges in less contriving than many musicians, working primarily by instinct, whether recording or performing. With mere seconds of forethought, New Science Projects might get uncomfortably interactive. Jones plays off the audience, responding to their energy; though lack of enthusiasm will sometimes incur the greater melee. “If there’s a crowd that’s absolutely still and sort of resents me being there, I will push and shove those people maybe more than a crowd that’s having a good time.” Circuitously, all this means that you cannot predict what Jones may do in any given moment.

New Science Projects has released two albums and three shorter recordings under Denton’s Gutterth label. Still, Dale Jones has never seen music as a long-term career option, dreaming instead of someday becoming a Holocaust researcher. Jones doesn’t consider the possibility of making the big time, an attitude which he believes puts him at odds with the Dallas zeitgeist.

“Dallas has this weird idea that our music scene is so important…that the stakes are so high.” It makes sense for the definitely modest Jones – who books shows sparingly and is marketed almost exclusively through reputation – to notice Dallas’s glaring preference for immodesty. His offense is ironic; because while Dallas’s pomposity often keeps him at bay, it is also the reason we need him here. - D Magazine


"It's the rattle and hum of this coal-dusted Lone Ranger..."

...I've been a fan of Dale's particular brand of Iggy Pop Walkin' Spanish Down the Hall since i first stumbled into him at a Gutterth Show at RGRS. If you're not ready for it, it can be a bit like finding a surprise starburst in a cupcake, but once you get attuned to the situation, it's damn shiny. New Science Projects carries more than a bit of theatre in it, complete with conversation and audience participation. So if you're the type that likes to sit there and watch your music, you might get into a bit more of a Gallagher-audience mentality for this. However, if you're tuned to the bones of it, you'll find yourself leaving the set with that same warm feeling you'd get after having burned all of her stupid love letters. It's the railyard stomp, it's the barnscream. It's the rattle and hum of this coal-dusted Lone Ranger and his trusty tambourine Tonto who speaks in the language of tin and cool creek water. Go see this damn guy. - Denton Music Zone


""Dale Jones is riddle wrapped in a mystery wrapped in an enigma...""

To borrow an old cliche, Dale Jones is riddle wrapped in a mystery wrapped in an enigma.
Mostly because, when you first meet the man, who, while performing, goes by the moniker New Science Projects, he seems a gentle soul, a 20-year-old kid in glasses. A little shy, if anything. Then he applies his bloody and dark face paint. And, just like that, he takes on a completely different personality, suddenly recalling some sort of devil-possessed, undead Elvis: He slurs his words; he can't stand up straight; he screams intermittently. It's all quite troubling, really. It just appears so insane. And, yet, so perfect. So raw. So real. In this week's installment of DC9 in SPACE, we set out to capture this transformation on film. And while it's tough to say if we necessarily accomplished that feat, we certainly caught a few different sides of Jones' personality. In the above clip, you'll hear a few songs: an old blues take, a spoken word performance and, lastly, an unreleased folk song called "Wrapped Up Together. - Dallas Observer


""You can come in my mouth, don't you get near my heart.""

New Science Projects consists of Dale Jones screaming, singing, moaning, ranting and screaming some more while slashing away at a buzzing resonator guitar, occasionally adding a drum loop or electronic noise, or ditching musical accompaniment altogether to growl a cappella. The raucous blues- and rock-influenced folk is recorded so hot that his voice and guitar are frequently distorted, making his already raw songs sound even rougher. You halfway expect spittle to fly from the speakers as he sputters and shouts.

The album kicks off, appropriately, with "Let's Begin," a laundry list of self-loathing rants ("Well, let's begin, I got an evil heart/I ain't got no friends, I ain't looking hard") screamed—sometimes coherently—over choppy 12-bar blues. Next up is the just-as-negative "Give Up and Die," a deceptively cheerful-sounding country-folk-rock tune accented with distorted guitar and a driving drum beat. These two songs—neither longer than 90 seconds—are all you need to hear to decide whether you're gonna love it or hate it. Pity anyone who falls in the latter camp, as they'll miss great songs like the blues shuffle "Blood" and Jones' Tom Waits-ish growling on "Big Iron Pen."

The highlight of the album, though, is "Wet Sights," which combines somber piano, screeching guitar and a marching beat behind what will surely be the local music Line of the Year: "You can come in my mouth, don't you get near my heart." - Dallas Observer


Discography

Xmas Time - Holiday EP/Greeting Card
Extraordinary Renditions - Live LP
Bikini Salute - LP
Poison Culture - 7" Vinyl
Secret Tongues - 8" Vinyl
Crocodile - LP
Blood - EP
Storm Drain - LP
City, City, I Won't Miss You - LP
More Vodka For Mama - EP

Photos

Bio

New Science Projects is a blooz-punk band from Denton, TX. Beginning as a solo venture in dangerous living, NSP has released four full-length albums and a 7" EP with Denton's Gutterth Records, and an 8" lathe cut record with Washington's People In A Position To Know. The tour-hardened deviant's brainchild is now a flesh-hungry and sex obsessed four-piece with no sense of justice. 2011 has already seen the release of two full-lengths and a full US tour, with a holiday EP of original songs coming this November, packaged in a Christmas card and envelope.

Winner of Quick Magazine's "Big Solo Act" - 2009
Nominated in the Dallas Observer Music Awards - Multiple Years

http://facebook.com/newscienceprojects
http://www.gutterthrecords.com
Email: nsp@gutterth.com
Booking / Management: (214) 444-9440

VIDEOS:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9GyoGkI9gM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7aL0n3h4ON0
http://vimeo.com/5096822

AUDIO:
http://www.nspnsp.com