First, Last, and Favorite is our column where we try to get to know some of our favorite bands through the records that they love. We’re thrilled this edition to shine a light on local foursome Tourist Activities.
Founded by Bailey Melton and guitarist Kell Jacobson as a simple low-tech recording project, Seattle band Tourist Activities has since filled out as one our more promising local acts going. They’re working a timeless dreamy vein of indie-rock, full of twee style jangle, but unafraid to rough up the edges with some fuzz. Their latest offering Off My Mind, out now on cassete from Den Tapes, wouldn’t sound out of place on a late night college-radio show from 1993 or in a basement show in 2019. Give a quick listen:
Three of the four T.A. members were kind enough to tell us a little about some major records from their lives. From adolescent trips to Sam Goody to today’s random internet finds; Bailey Melton, Chris Glaser, and Chris Hansche’s picks follow:
Bailey Foo Fighters There Is Nothing Left To Lose
This was by far the easiest one for me. I remember getting this CD when it came out in 1999 at Sam Goody and putting it in my boombox right away. This was the first album that I loved start to finish, and the first time I had ever heard real, gritty rock music. I loved how angry it sounded right out of the gate with ‘Stacked Actors’ and then how vulnerable it got with ‘Aurora’. This album made me want to make my own songs and start playing instruments. I wanted to make people feel the highs, the lows, and the in-betweens, the way this album made me experience them.
Chris G. Queens of the Stone Age Songs For The Deaf
My parents told me I needed to play an instrument and all of my friends already played guitar. One night I was on a music video being and I found the video for “No One Knows”. Dave Grohl looked so cool wailing on the drums that I decided I was going to play drums.
Chris H. Mudhoney Piece Of Cake
I think the first album that I can remember buying with my own money was 'Piece of cake' by Mudhoney when I was in Jr. High. There was this awesome record store near my house called Bubble Records that we would walk to and waste time at. After probably hours of deciding between albums, I walked out with that one. I dug how much dirtier and raw sounding everything was. Even though that album has some classics like 'Suck you Dry', 'Acetone' is the one that still gets stuck in my head.
Bailey Fritz Self-Titled
There is SO much good music out there lately, but I’m gonna have to go with the self-titled album by Fritz. This album is from 2017, but I recently found it and keep throwing it on. She is making music out of Newcastle, Australia and her sound is hard to pinpoint, so you have to check her out for yourself! She plays with a full band now. This album is great start to finish and has a mashup of vibes song to song, but each one feels fuzzy and dreamy. There is an over-tone of melancholy that sort of ties it all together, but it doesn’t feel depressing.
Chris G. Vyva Melinkolya Vyva Melinkolya
This was a random internet find and became one of my favorite records from 2018. Every song on it is just so good. It’s like this really fuzzy and hazy Shoegaze album but also really ethereal and blissful at the same time.
Chris H. Lala Lala The Lamb
I can't stop listening to 'The Lamb' by Lala Lala. I don't even know what to say about it other than it's amazing. There's so much range on the album and every song is timed so perfectly that you want to keep smashing the repeat button.
Bailey Weed Hounds Self-Titled
I have to go with Weed Hounds self-titled album. This album is from 2014 and I discovered it in 2016. I can listen to the album in any type of headspace, and it still has the same calming, leveling effect. I love the instrumentation and the guitar tones are so pleasing. Everyone in the band is clearly so talented and on the same page, and it definitely translates. The vocals are beautiful but in the mix, and everything blends perfectly. It has sort of a 90s gaze and haze feel, but also feels contemporary and inventive at the same time. It has a beach vibe to it, sort of like a day by the sea when it’s cloudy outside. This album is tied to strong feelings for me and I’ll always come back to it, so it takes the cake for my favorite. All of their material is really good though and I love it all.
Chris G. The Mountain Goats The Sunset Tree
I found this in high school and it became my favorite immediately. The arrangements and lyrics and songs are all just incredible. I had just started playing guitar too and whenever I wasn’t listening to this album I was trying to learn a song from it. If you haven’t danced around your room shouting the lyrics to “This Year” you haven’t really lived!
Chris H. Pixies Bossanova
Probably biased because that was the first Pixies album I ever got, but I can listen to it on repeat and it never gets old. But that could be said about any Pixies album. I've always loved the way rhythm section played just enough and let the guitars/vox run all over the place. They also have the ability to play both the prettiest sounding songs and the weirdest sounding songs right next to each other without you ever thinking twice about it.