- CONSTANT LOVERS
It used to be that people employed the term "wall of sound" to describe the studio production work of now-convicted murderer/hairpiece cautionary tale Phil Spector. But bands of today provide an all-consuming product well beyond anything Spector did with the Ronettes or anyone else. Seattle four-piece Constant Lovers are one of those bands: Everything about their sound is mammoth, imposing, and—incidentally—a total blast.
And all that is a bit ironic considering the demeanor of frontman Joel Cuplin—the quartet's loudest quadrant. You may know him as the mild-mannered, conscientious, and skilled bartender behind some of the more quality bar tops in the city (formerly Liberty and Pettirosso, and currently Pioneer Square's Bar Sajor). That a quarter of his left front tooth is completely chipped off is perhaps the only hint of the Mr. Hyde that appears onstage for a Constant Lovers set: a possessed and formidable yowler not unlike Michael Gira, behind the wheel of something just a bit less grim than Swans.
The other day, I met up with Cuplin at his Capitol Hill apartment to discuss the band's new record and things in general. Sample topics: Crimson Beaver Tears, his and his girlfriend's yet-unstarted monthly mail-order menstrual-care service ("We're better at coming up with ideas than executing them"); blue-eyed soul veteran Scott Walker's comeback and contemporary work ("He got really gothy"); and record collections ("Are you going to tell the world that I alphabetize my records?"). Throughout the visit, Cuplin is characteristically sedate. That is, until we're on our way out through the apartment building's mail room, and he notices that a package has arrived for him. Turns out it contains a six-foot-tall cardboard standup of the Photoshopped figure on the cover of the upcoming record, a composite of all four band members' facial features/body parts. With this, Cuplin's persona ignites, and he dashes back upstairs, unpacks the figure, and assembles it to be standing just behind the front door when his girlfriend arrives home from work.
And here's all our recommended music events—tonight, tomorrow, this weekend, and beyond!