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Samples, loops and noise: Pouch comforts and disturbs the mind

Max Wood, 23-year-old political science senior at UNF, returns to music after years of sabbatical with a fuzzy, pulsating power which will likely instigate listeners to bounce on the moon – with as much cute but weird funk as possible. His artist name is Pouch, and he’s just about as adorable in physical form as what he goes by musically.

Wood’s recent release, under his own local record label Discos Mariscos (that’s Spanish), is commemorated to two beautiful cats, Prudence and Melinda, and is very literally named, “For Prudence and Melinda.”

Eight tracks make up Wood’s compilation, and its contents include his newest and oldest mixes.

“For Prudence and Melinda” projects haphazard electronic, freak folk music grounded by organ parts, synthesized beats and bass sounds.

He speaks his vocals, which vary from bleeding sardonic dialogue about America and Florida, humorous sound bits from friends, historic-sounding dudes saying serious stuff, little alien-like girls freakily speaking high-pitched lines, gurgling and more.

His lyrics revolve around clever satire, echoes of science, piercing questions and artistic delights that everyday activities provide — ironically.

“I haven’t done this in three or four years now, and at this point it’s very simple,” said Wood. “I’m not making stuff that’s complex, but rather just heartfelt music.”

Although his two major influences are Lou Barlow’s solo effort Sentridoh and Panda Bear, he doesn’t entirely liken his music to them and feels his music is just too simple at this point to fully draw a parallel.

After listening to his release, I drew some heavy resemblances to artists like Black Box Recorder, the Unicorns and Her Space Holiday. His style of mixing isn’t as clean, but the musical aesthetic is strikingly similar and just as noisy.

Wood is adamant about playing all-ages shows and refuses to play shows that discriminate age-wise.

“Because of this I used to organize a lot of laundromat shows, yeah — kind of weird, I know.”

He doesn’t play much around town because of the newness of getting back into the scene. The fact that his all-ages stance limits him, but he did play at the Jacksonville Downtown Library recently.

“I’ve got a show planned with my musician friend Emperor X in Tijuana, Mexico July 4,” said Wood. “It’s just one stop on a nationwide tour all around the country including dipping into Canada and Mexico, I’m pretty excited.”

Wood created a Web site for Pouch in Notepad that not only offers a downloadable mp3 of “For Prudence and Melinda,” but album artwork, his journal-worthy thoughts, show listings, links to other bands on his label such as the Cadets, contact information, a link to purchase his cassette and a place to make donations in response to the free download.

“I have a lot of confidence that the trend of paying whatever you feel the music is worth will catch on,” said Wood. “I mean, if I get $100 a month for playing music, I feel lucky. So far the Web site hasn’t received any donations, but only my close friends knew about it until now.”

Visit pouchjams.net/concertshows.htm to check out Wood’s site and give his offerings a listen.

Pouch sips on some Mexican Coke.
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    Alex FarthingJun 17, 2010 at 5:00 am

    I just think this is a fantastic article! Thanks so much for writing it. Love to hear about those new pouch jams !!