THE WALLACE BROS. SPREAD THE LOVE

For Immediate Release—On St. Valentine’s Day 2009, the Wallace Bros. released a free download of their 2008/2009 Valentine’s EP, featuring three tracks which cover five songs by a diverse cross-cut of the best music of the last five decades, including Michigan’s best-kept secret, Delta 88; Canadian alt-folk phenoms Royal City; creepy 1950’s sisters Prudence and Patience; the Magnetic Fields, and The Beatles.

Fans can download the tracks at the band’s myspace page

www.myspace.com/wallacebros

or directly from the band’s website

http://www.wallacebros.org/freelove/loveforfree.html

The band is also offering physical copies of the record for free to fans at their request.  Fans ordering physical copies of the record on Valentine’s Day itself will also be eligible to receive the special bonus of a kiss* from either band member (please specify Mark or Carey).

This release signals the resurrection of a strong tradition of Valentine’s Day Fan Club releases dating from 2004 to 2006.  After a brief stutter in 2007, the band returned to “I Know”, a Delta 88 cover originally recorded in 2005, pairing it with Prudence and Patience’s “You Belong To Me” with the hope of a 2008 release date.  Reports surrounding the record’s perpetual delays mentioned Mark’s failed love affair with Kirsten Dunst, Carey’s retreat to the mountains of Mississippi, and arson at Mark’s Detroit residence as factors, but the band insists it was simple perfectionism.  “He’s like a dog,” Carey says of her brother, the band’s recording impresario.  “He can hear all these sounds that other people can’t.  There’s a whole bell line that’s out of the range of normal human hearing.  And then we had to get those suckers in tune.”

Her brother agrees, denying the reports of arson with special vehemence.  “That guy under my house with the blowtorch, that was me,” he insists.  “I was unfreezing my pipes.  They just couldn’t tell who it was in the glare from the searchlight."

In the waning days of 2008, the band went into the studio again, this time with Delta 88’s songwriter and front man Danny Kline sharing vocal duties with them on a cover of The Magnetic Fields’ “Book of Love”, which had been the wedding song that year of a close family friend.  Axl Rose, who happened to be in Ann Arbor for the holidays, made a special guest appearance on drums.  The resulting track is a pop concoction which Mark says “sounds just the way our music has always sounded in our own heads.” 

*kisses only available by mail.

The Wallace Bros.:
The Catholic Worker Interview


TCW:  So I notice you’ve been quoted as saying that these songs sound the way the music ‘has always sounded in your own heads’.  That’s quite an accomplishment.

MW: Well, it’s always sounded that way to us.  I mean, it’s our heads.

TCW:  But bridging that distance, between the mind and the paper or the mind and the tape—that’s one of art’s biggest challenges.

MW: You know what worries me?  There are a lot of people who think they’re great at something in their own heads.  But it’s only in their own heads.

TCW: A kind of overconfidence.

MW:  You hear them singing in hotels.  In the showers.  I mean, Carey thinks she sounds like Liz Phair if you turn the reverb all the way up.

CW:  I totally do.  You just never let them leave enough on.

MW:  Okay, see?  Your head plays all kinds of tricks on you.  In my head sometimes I think I can totally use a mitre saw.  I mean, how hard can it be?  But then you get the damn thing out, and suddenly your kitchen table only has three legs.  So how do you know what’s good or not?  It’s scary.

TCW:  Well, you know the other thing I thought was interesting about that statement, that for the first time you feel like you’ve really captured your own sound, is that these aren’t actually your own songs. 

CW: What do you mean by that?

TCW:  It’s just interesting, that you feel the most like yourself as a band when you’re singing songs other people have written.  Especially since your work has been so—how can I put it?  Maybe I can say your influences have always been very apparent.

MW:  One article said ‘derivative’.  I never got what that meant.

CW:  Just to be clear, we never listened to the Magnetic Fields until after we started the band.  Then people kept on mentioning them to us, and we picked up an album and realized this guy had been ripping us off for years. 

TCW:  But it’s also interesting because these aren’t exactly straight covers.  And in two cases, you’re actually blending songs from relatively disparate acts.

MW:  Well, that’s how we write.  You just take two songs you like, put them in a bag, and shake them up. 

CW:  Only this time we just didn’t shake them up.

MW:  Sometimes we don’t even have two songs.  Sometimes Carey just writes new lyrics.

CW:  Like “Stacy, Stacy.”  That’s just Polar Opposites by Modest Mouse with meaner words.  And the changes to “Dirty Secrets” are totally by this Australian band that no one listens to.

MW:  What was their name?

CW:  I can’t remember.

TCW: Well, a Valentine’s Day release certainly seems fitting, since the Wallace Bros. are known for their love songs.  Your originals are some of the happiest love songs out there.  People are even quoting them on Facebook to describe what they want in a date.

CW: Yeah, we’ve always thought that there weren’t enough happy love songs in the world.  They’re actually really hard to find.  There are a lot of ‘falling in love’ songs, and a lot of heartbreak songs, but almost none from the inside of just being in love and happy.

MW: That’s because when you’re in love and happy you’ve got better things to do than write a song.

TCW:  So how do you guys do it?  Write from the heart of that happiness?

CW: Oh, we don’t. 

TCW:  No?

CW:  Our love songs are all hypothetical.

TCW:  Hypothetical love songs?  Wait, but would you say that either of you has ever been in love?

MW:  What did you say?

TCW:  I said, have you ever been in love?

MW:  What kind of question is that, man?  That’s like asking, “Have you ever smoked crack?”  Have you ever smoked crack, man?  For God’s sake!  This isn’t a joke!  That s*** is dangerous!  It ruins lives. 

TCW:  Well, people fall in love all the time..

MW:  They smoke crack all the time, too!  That doesn’t make it right!  I thought this was going to be a serious interview.

TCW:  I’m sorry, I..

MW:  Look, I’m sorry.  It’s just that I’ve got friends who have tried that stuff, and it’s ugly.  I’ve seen what it can do to people.  They’re never the same.  They’ve always got this.. hollow look in their eyes.

TCW:  Well, gee, I guess I just thought.. I mean, the songs tell such a beautiful story.  You’d like to believe they’re true.

MW:  There are a lot of things that’d be nice to believe.  Did you know Valentine isn’t even the saint of love?  We don’t actually know anything about him except for when he died.  He’s just a saint whose “acts are known only to God.”  And then a bunch of writers made up all this stuff about him, based on nothing.

TCW:  That actually sounds kind of like falling in love.

MW:  Right?

CW:  Or like the power of a love story to change the world.

THE WALLACE BROS. RELEASE CHART-CRUSHING DEBUT VIDEO AMID STORM OF BODY-DOUBLE CONTROVERSY

For Immediate Release – A storm of controversy has erupted surrounding the release of The Wallace Bros.’ first-ever music video, “You Don’t Think It’s True”, which has catapulted past footage of a bulldog burping Christina Aguilera’s ‘Ain’t No Other Man’ and the aftermath of a rain of frogs in suburban Chicago to capture YouTube’s #1 video ranking for the past two weeks, riding a wave of publicity concerning allegations that the band hired more attractive stand-ins to double for them, a charge which the band denies only in the details.

“We didn’t hire them,” Mark says.  “They did it for free.”

The identity of the body-doubles, despite the efforts of crack reporters affiliated with major news services on several continents, remains a mystery.  Positive identification is complicated by the fact that, according to early and often contradictory reports, both actors seem to share the given name Andrew.  One bears a striking resemblance to the late James Dean, the other strong physical similarities to Lawrence of Arabia as portrayed by Peter O’Toole in the eponymous 1962 epic.  Sources claiming to be friends or acquaintances of both Andrews describe them alternately as artists, track stars, submarine operators, engineers, emergency first-responders, government-trained code experts, or construction workers, and place their current location anywhere from Maine to Seattle, with a cluster of recent sightings in southeastern Michigan. All sources agree that both actors are strikingly more attractive than either of the actual Wallace Bros. “on their best days”, as the AP wire succinctly put it. 

Whatever their identities, the appearance of the actors in the video, still available at 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7k0op0p6vI,

has ignited a firestorm within the Wallace Bros. notoriously excitable fan base.  Effigies of the once-popular siblings have been burned in the streets of Burma, Boston, and Kansas City, and response videos posted on the YouTube service react to what many fans see as a deep betrayal with messages that range through all seven of the clinical stages of grief, including guilt, anger, and bargaining.  Some fans, however, seem already to have achieved a measure of acceptance.  “Well, Mark can play the hell out of a guitar,” one Detroit-area fan reflects.  “And Carey can write a lyric.  But you’ve seen them, right?  And you’ve seen the guys in the video?  What would you rather spend five minutes looking at?”

For their part, the band insists that perpetrating a fraud was never their intent.  As proof, they point to the video’s often sloppy lip-syncing, and the fact that in over half of the video Carey’s vocals appear to be voiced by a male actor, a detail which the band says should have tipped fans off to the fact that the actor was not in fact Carey.  “I mean, Andrew sings like a girl,” Mark says.  “But not that much like a girl.”

As usual, Carey is somewhat more philosophical.  “I never thought of it as a trick,” she says.  “More like a joke.  But I don’t know if people can tell the difference anymore.”

The Wallace Bros.:
The Film Comment Interview

Film Comment:  So, I have to tell you, I was very impressed with your video, and I think I’d have to say the most effective bit of it for me is the pianos.  One black, one white.  So evocative.  They share so much, yet they’re so different.  I felt the white was actually quite rakish, but the black one had so much dignity.  You could just see everything it had been through, the triumph and the suffering.

MW: Actually, they’re the same piano.

Film Comment:  Remarkable casting, then!  My compliments to your wardrobe and makeup departments. 

MW:  Yeah, well, it was a real hassle.  For the whole first verse, they’d let them do one line, then paint the whole piano, then wait for it to dry, then do the next line. 

Film Comment:  Well, art takes time.

MW: Finally they figured out we could just shoot all the lines at once on the black piano, and then paint it white and do all those lines.

Film Comment:  Yes, yes.  In Eight Below, another favorite of mine, they used similar tactics.  All the footage with the actors was shot in Vancouver, but when they pull back, you see Iceland.  They packed up all those little huts and dogs and shipped it all from continent to continent.  It was an elaborate process of story-boarding and matching shots.  You have to deal with these kinds of budgetary constraints when you're making finer films with less mass-market appeal.

MW: Well, like you said, art takes time.

Film Comment: But it’s always worth it.

MW:  Absolutely.  I couldn’t agree more.

CW:  There were two pianos.

Film Comment:  What did you say?

CW:  There were two pianos.  I’m sorry.  He’s having a little fun at your expense.  We had two pianos in the house, one in each apartment.

MW:  She always wants an easy answer, even when it’s not the truth.  She’s got no tolerance at all for complex solutions, for mystery. 

Film Comment: I can see that.

MW: She thinks the Tooth Fairy isn’t real, too. She says it was our dad.

Film Comment:  Artists have a lot to bear up under, maintaining a pure vision in this soiled world.  But let’s return to the specifics of your video.  There has been some controversy, I understand.  The comparisons to Milli Vanilla, deserved or undeserved, are inescapable.

CW: Milli Vanilli.

MW: Man, I think they’re still my favorite band.  It’s always between them and Steve Vai.  But you know what’s crazy?  You can’t buy their songs on iTunes!  I’d buy that s*** in a minute!  I’d pay TWO BUCKS a song for it!

Film Comment:  I don’t think there’s any question about their legacy during those dark years from 1988 to 1990.

MW: Right?  It never made sense to me.  I mean, it was great music.  We all loved it.  They sold like 30 million singles.  I thought their punishment totally didn’t fit the crime.  Maybe Obama will finally let them out of Gitmo when he takes office.

Film Comment:  I’m sorry?

MW: Yeah, I mean, and look where we are now.  Half of the profile pictures on Facebook are totally Photoshopped, and that’s after these girls drop ten thousand bucks on plastic surgery.  If all of us could afford to hire someone better looking to pretend to be us, we’d totally do it.  Honestly, you know what I think their only crime was?  Being ahead of their time.

Film Comment:  Or a robot.

MW: A robot?

Film Comment:  I always wanted a robot I could send out to do my job, and go on dates and stuff.  And I’d run it by remote control, in my pajamas, back at home.

MW:  Awesome, man!  A robot!  (to CW)  This guy totally gets it.

Film Comment:  But I wanted it to be smarter than me, too.  At least quicker on his feet.

MW: Why not?  It’s a robot!  It can be whatever you want!

Film Comment:  Really?  You think?

CW: So we were really excited about this video. 

Film Comment:  But then does the robot get to kiss the girl at the end of the night, and not you?  How does that work?

MW: That’s a good question.

CW: For us, the video is really about the song.  It’s just another way we’re hoping to get people to listen to it. 

Film Comment: What if she can tell it’s a robot?  Do you think they can tell?

MW: I don’t know! (to CW) Can you tell if it’s a robot?

CW: What if she doesn’t want the robot?  What if she likes you?

Film Comment:  But the robot is smarter than me.  And better looking.

MW: I don’t know.  Girls are funny. 

Film Comment: I don’t buy it.  Why would she want me when she could have the robot?  It doesn't make sense.

MW: I feel like we could write a song about this.  Like, about how sometimes you fall in love with somebody, but they can’t believe it.

CW: We could call it, “You Don’t Think It’s True.”

THE WALLACE BROS. DO NOT WANT
YOUR FILTHY MONEY

For Immediate Release—In a move that has shaken the already faltering recording industry to its core, The Wallace Bros. announced today that they have posted their entire catalog online for free download at their website, www.wallacebros.org.  Every song in their 80+ piece oeuvre is now available without cost to both their fans and enemies, from rare gems like their previously unreleased “Dark Carousel” to the fifty songs that comprise their epic five-CD unboxed box set, Popular Songs That Will Live Forever: Volume 1: Lullabies; Volume 2: Hip Hop; Volume 3: Gospel; Volume 4: Country and Western; and Volume 5: Rock and Roll.  Their dizzy beat-driven summer 2007 smash hit album Turning Night Into Day is also featured among the now “priceless” offerings.

The surprise announcement followed months of seclusion for the band, while Carey, The Wallace Bros. lyricist and singer, reportedly completed a new novel about the 1808 invention of the typewriter, which she admitted in the publishing press is “largely autobiographical.”

“I mean, I was just hoping they might play again this fall,” one of their fans said, wiping away a single gleaming tear outside the Long Island City Mexican restaurant where he has waited patiently for the past eight months, ever since The Wallace Bros. last known appearance there in August 2007.  “But this is just like some crazy dream.  Like in Oklahoma! where Laurie sniffs the laudanum and all of a sudden Curly can dance and there’s no sky and hookers everywhere.” 

According to the band, their decision, like many historic paradigm shifts, seemed at once totally original and perfectly obvious.  Because of the small royalty rates bands receive with traditional record contracts, album sales haven’t provided a significant revenue stream for many bands for years.  At the same time, the high cost of record production was a major barrier to young artists trying to get their work into the hands of fans.  But with the advent of digital formats and internet piracy, production is within the reach of any kid with a laptop and distribution is near-instantaneous. As a result, recordings have begun to operate more like advertising for live shows and merchandise, and less like a truly controllable product.  Carey’s take on the industry dilemma is purely practical: “It’s just a lot easier for a bouncer to stop a kid at the door to a bar than it is to keep electrons from moving over wires.”

Mark, the band’s multi-instrumentalist, is more philosophical.  “Well, we never really wanted to be rich,” he says.   “I mean, have you met any rich people?  But we like it when people listen.”

The Wallace Bros.:
The Stereogum Interview

Stereogum:  So, all eighty of your songs, huh?  Out there on the web for free?

CW: But there’s more than one kind of free, if you know what I mean. 

Stereogum:  I’m not sure I do.

MW:  Well, there’s stuff you really like, and they’re giving it away, and that’s great!  But then there’s stuff you can’t charge money for, because nobody would pay.

Steregum: I mean, if I were in a band that was about to give away all my music for free, I guess that’s the first thing I’d be worried about—the people who already paid for my music.  Have you thought at all about backlash there?

CW:  Honestly, I think there were only – (pauses to count) – three of them.  None of them were what you’d call athletic.  And we grew up in kind of a tough neighborhood.

MW:  We can take you!  Come and get us!

Stereogum:  So, you see this from time to time, bands giving out promotional singles and whatnot, or a song or two you can download off their site.  But rarely a band’s whole catalog available for free on a permanent basis.  What inspired you?  Any political motivation?  I notice you’ve got a portrait of Castro there on your bookshelf.

CW: That’s not a political statement.  More like a crush.

MW:  She runs the band like he runs Cuba.

Stereogum:  Yeah, but it does seem like kind of a political question.  I mean, maybe a Tom Petty can get by on his tour sales and t-shirts, but in reality it’s the little guys who are dependent on their album sales.  The ones who need to sell six records a night to make enough gas to get to the next town.  This model you’re talking about with the free music—it could drive them completely out of the industry.

CW:  Right, but if their songs are free on the internet, their music can go anywhere for no gas money.  And when they do show up in a town, there’s a better chance somebody’s heard them, because they didn’t have to plunk down ten bucks buy a CD to find out what the guy sounds like.  I actually think the death of the record industry may be the best thing that ever happened to artists.

Stereogum:  How so?

CW: It cuts out the man who is only there for the money.  That guy wants the biggest act he can get because that means the most money with the least work for him.  I mean, you’d rather just count money with Elvis than hustle to get a hundred other small-time bands on their feet, right?  But being Elvis is poisonous for Elvis.  Being Britney is poisonous for Britney.

MW: But she’s so pretty. 

Stereogum:  I don’t think there’s any question that celebrity is toxic for artists.  But you’re talking about an industry model that might make it impossible for artists to even make a living with their art.

C
W: I’m not sure there’s anything wrong with that.  Let’s be honest: it doesn’t take three years to write twelve songs, and it doesn’t take a million dollars to record them.  I’d rather see an artist stuck working at the post office their whole life, where they still have to deal with real people and the real world, than being eaten alive by soap opera stars in swimming pools full of champagne.

MW: No way!  Where?

CW:  I think there’s a good chance we’ll hear better songs and more songs from more artists if less of them get Elvis-style famous, if more of them have to stay embedded in real life.  I think it’s already happening.

Stereogum:  You actually think the machinery of fame is so dangerous that you’d rather see artists struggle than achieve financial security through their work?

CW:  I don’t think anyone ever picked up a guitar or sat down at a piano for financial security.  They do it because they’ve got a song to play.  All I’m saying is that Elvis never asked for the girls and the drugs and the Graceland.  All he wanted was for someone to listen.

MW:  Not me, man.  I’m here for the girls.

THE WALLACE BROS. STRONGLY DENY RUMORED LIASONS WITH LOHAN, SPEARS, JOHANSEN, KIDMAN, “RENT-BOY” PAUL WALKER

For Immediate Release—In the face of a growing media frenzy, the Wallace Bros. New York office has issued a strong denial of recent reports linking the brother-sister pop sensations to a string of Hollywood beauties at a dizzying list of exclusive locations around the globe.

The rumors began in St. Tropez in March, when paparazzi first produced pictures which they claimed depicted Mark, the band’s beatmaker, guitarist, and sometime vocalist, shirtless on the balcony of one of the islands toniest hotels, beside a grinning Britney Spears. But Spears, in the final throes of her ill-fated union with rap hopeful Kevin Federline, issued an immediate denial, quickly seconded by the older Wallace sibling. “All you have to do it look close at it,” he said. “I mean, I’m 6’5”. But in the picture, the girl’s only two inches shorter than the guy who’s supposed to be me. Britney would have to be like 6’3. That’s Amazon-size.”

Later that evening, however, a weeping Lindsey Lohan fueled the flames of controversy outside a favorite Hollywood nightspot, by quoting the lyrics of the Wallace Bros. breakout single, “Nobody Cares About Your Big Dreams,” when approached by a solicitous member of the paparazzi. “Nobody cares about your worries,” she told the concerned Italian. “Nobody cares about your heart. Nobody cares about your big dreams, or the way they fall apart.” She then added, from the title of the band’s smash summer 2007 single, “I used to think love was a dream.” Again, the Wallace Bros. office issued strenuous denials of a Lohan/Wallace romance, with either sibling, but a press release quote to the effect that Lohan “seemed like a sweet girl” led to front page articles in both In Touch and US Weekly magazines, In Touch suggesting the troubled starlet had finally found the peace she sought with well-known “good guy” Mark, while US Weekly hinted that, in fact, Lohan and Mark’s sister Carey had dabbled for one glorious, boozy night in “the love that dare not speak its name.”

Halfway around the globe from St. Tropez, at the gates of the storied Promises rehab facility, the seeds of rumor were planted, germinated, broke through the soil, and burst into vibrant bloom in the space of a single moment when Mark was photographed picking up a ghost-pale Nicole Kidman after a visit to her country-platinum husband, Keith Urban, in the unmistakable gold-plated Wallace Bros. tour van, recently retrofitted with widely-reported spinning silver rims, extreme-bounce hydraulics, and automatic dry-ice cloud release on acceleration. This time neither star questioned the veracity of the photographs, both issuing releases to the effect that their relationship was strictly platonic. Kidman’s statement, however, seemed only to add fertilizer to the roots of the hedge of controversy that now surrounded them: “Friend is a word that has become almost meaningless in this world,” she said through her publicist. “But Mark Wallace has taught me to believe in it again.”

The media storm surrounding her brother’s reported romantic exploits did nothing to distract attention from his sister, Carey, who actually held a conference to plead with the press for privacy after she was photographed three times in a single week in what she described as “low-key, intimate” moments with on-again, off-again squeeze Paul Walker: sky-diving over the Andes, holding hands in the front row at North Korea’s “only-in-the-know” but buzz-tastic Fashion Week, and leading the distribution of hundreds of thousands of brown, nutrient and vitamin-filled lollipops to poverty-stricken Burmese children. “These children,” Carey said, pushing forward an eight-year old girl who she had flown in that afternoon for the occasion, “are the real story. Not me and Paul. What is news?” she asked the gathered press, a plaintive note in her famous voice. “What matters in this world?” She then tossed handfuls of the U.N.-approved lollipops to the grateful reporters, who scrabbled under chairs for the candy like rats, or street birds.

Perhaps in reaction to this recent media glare, Mark has been publicly silent on reports linking him to Woody Allen’s newest love interest, Scarlett Johansen, despite undeniable images of him slathering her back with lotion as she enjoyed the sun in a yellow bikini on a US Virgin Islands private beach. But he has spoken generally on the topic, most recently in Playboy magazine. “Love,” he said. “I mean, it’s the stuff. Right? Whoo! Yeah. But when it all comes crashing down, you know, and you’re a hundred miles outside of town, and the van breaks down, and nobody else is around, what have you really got at, the end of the day? Not love, man. Music. You’ve still got music. You can’t leave it, and it can’t leave you.”

The Wallace Bros:

The Gawker.com Interview

Gawker.com: So, Lindsay Lohan, man? Really? Yeah?

MW: Lindsey, you know. She’s like a lost little princess. You just want to scoop her up and—

CW: She’s a good friend of the band. A really great fan.

MW: Yeah.

Gawker.com: And Britney?

MW: Well, there was the issue of the height. I mean, that did get talked about in the press.

Gawker.com: They mentioned the possibility of platform shoes.

MW: No, that girl’s barefoot. Go look at the picture. But what I didn’t mention in the press, the real reason we knew it couldn’t have been me—I would just never go out in public without a shirt.

CW: You have never seen such a hairy blonde man.

MW: You know. You have a weekend, you wake up, you’re not exactly sure where it went, so sometimes you have to piece these things together, call a few friends. But when I saw the picture, I knew. I mean, you’re messed up, things get crazy. But there are lines you don’t cross. You don’t betray your country. You don’t bitch-slap your own mama. And I don’t take off my shirt.

Gawker.com: But Paul Walker, there’s some truth to these reports.

CW: Well, one of my best friends used to drive for a limo company in LA, so she met everybody. She says Pat Benatar is about the most down-to-earth lady you’d ever want to meet. But when she drove Paul Walker, he made a pass at her, and when she wouldn’t give him her number, he didn’t tip. So I thought, that’s not for me, you know? But then I saw his work in Eight Below. Have you seen Eight Below?

Gawker.com: No.

CW: It’s a vital film. I’d say one of the best in the last five years, if not the decade. Breathtaking footage of the Arctic Circle. I mean, it brought me to tears. And some really searing performances.

Gawker.com: By Paul.

CW: And Denver—that’s the dog that plays Old Jack. Really, you haven’t seen it?

Gawker.com: Is it out on video?

CW: You should rent it. In fact, don’t rent it. I’ll have a copy sent to you. But it was when I saw that that I knew. You see a man with a dog, and you know everything about him.

Gawker.com: And what you saw was good.

CW: I don’t want to spoil the movie for you. But he risks his life for those dogs.

Gawker.com: Well, Mark, we talked a bit about Britney and Lindsey, but those aren’t the only names you’ve been linked to in the recent press. Would you like to comment at all on Nicole and Scarlett?

MW: Well, Nicole, really, she’s just a friend. She has been for years, since we filmed “The Thorn Birds” remake together. It’s just something they decided to start reporting on now, you know, throw it into the mix. I wish her and Keith nothing but the best.

Gawker.com: And Scarlett Johansen?

MW: You’re not going to believe this, but we really just happened to be on the same beach. And she just needed some help with the lotion. But that one—see, that’s the one that really worries me. Because Woody Allen—

Gawker.com: I think I know what you’re saying.

MW: Right! Right? That guy’s so small and smart and devious. I feel like he could just come for you at any time, you know. Creep in through any little window or dog run, and come on you in the middle of the night, with anything he found at hand.

Gawker.com: Like a fireplace poker.

MW: Yes! Or your clock. Or a coat hanger.

Gawker.com: Or a book he found by your bed.

MW: Maybe. But that rumor makes me nervous. I mean it. Woody Allen!

CW: What’s so crazy about it all is this whole time, the past few months, the band’s really been in a personal retreat, just journaling and taking long walks and writing music. On doctor’s orders, actually. I mean, neither of us is really capable right now of sustaining the kind of activity they’ve been reporting.

Gawker.com: Really?

CW: The last checkup found some emotional deficiencies.

Gawker.com: And that can be treated medically?

CW: Sure, absolutely. It’s like vitamins: if you don’t have enough in your system, then you just have to eat some more pills, build them up again.

Gawker.com: And what leads to an—emotional deficiency?

MW: Overuse.

Gawker.com: I can see that.

CW: I think, between you and me, almost everyone in entertainment’s got it, to some degree. But with us, they’re saying they caught it early.

Gawker.com: So there’s hope for you.

CW: I guess that depends on who you want to believe.

MW: Like with everything.

WALLACE BROS. RELEASE COUNTRY AND WESTERN ALBUM DESPITE RUMORED DEATHS OF LONGTIME MANAGER

A knife-fight in Toronto. A poisoning in New Orleans. A on-board fire on the seedy side of the Baltimore harbor.

In recent weeks, a flurry of press releases have flowed out of the Wallace Bros.’ Detroit office, announcing the sudden death of their longtime manager, Noah Antieau, and diverting national attention from the release of their fourth album, "Popular Songs That Will Live Forever, Volume 4: Country and Western," an ambitiously-imagined and poorly-executed record which makes a brave attempt to span and capture the history of the American country, from the searing fanaticism of the first pioneers, to the hopelessness of the lonely women left on today’s vanishing ranges, and everything of note in-between: blizzards, rifles, striptease. Their unorthodox country melodies are paired with lyrics that run from despairing, to mean-spirited, to down-right chilling.

But the record has taken second-place in the national media to the myriad reports of Antieau’s death: at the hands of Mexican bandits, a jealous New Orleans husband, a West Texas lightning storm--even a pair of enraged Southern-California sorority-sisters.

"If I had to guess," Mark says, "I’d say he owes someone some money. More than we’ve been making him."

"Or he got married," says Carey. "And then thought better of it."

Neither seem to give much credence to the reports, or show much dismay at their manager’s disappearance.

"Mostly he’d get drunk and yell at us," Mark says. "He wanted us to both wear bolo ties, so we’d have ‘a look.’ That was his big idea."

"Did you read those articles about Billy the Kid a couple of months ago?" Carey asks. "I didn’t, but Noah did. I guess they think now he faked the whole thing, so he could live a normal life again? Whatever that is."


Although neither Carey nor Mark claim responsibility for them, funeral arrangements have been made for next Sunday, 4 pm, at Detroit’s Fritz Funeral Home (246 E. Ferry). Instead of flowers, the organizers have requested that donations be made to local chapters of Alcoholics Anonymous.

In the meantime, the band plays on, although they’re not sure when.

"Well, he hasn’t done it, so I guess we’re going to have to get some bookings on our own," Mark says.

"But that’s how it always is."

The Wallace Bros:

The Nashville Scene Interview

NS: This is a beautiful album. Congratulations.

MW: Thanks.

NS: The first thing I notice about it, going through the liner notes, is you’ve got quite a “special thanks” list this time around. Did this record take more than the usual amount of inspiration?


MW: Well, since it’s a country record, we decided we ought to thank everyone we’ve ever been involved with.

NS: Involved with? Romantically?

CW: It seemed fair.

MW: Or wanted to be involved with, really.

CW: That made the list a little longer.

MW: A lot longer, actually.

CW: In your case.

NS: So this is a list.. of everyone you’ve ever loved?

CW: That’s not what he said, was it?

MW: Hoa Li, she was the one.

CW: Second grade.

NS: So you went pretty far back with these lists, I guess.

CW: She was a Vietnamese refugee. The Free Methodist church brought over a bunch of them to the town we grew up in.

MW: She’s the only girl I ever met who could beat me at badminton. And spelling.

CW: Mark’s a real speller.

NS: Really?

CW: I’m not.

NS: So, on your list, I guess, did you go back that far in your history? Bryan Steinfeldt?

CW: I stole his shoelaces. Not from him. From my best friend. She stole them from him.

MW: She still has them.

CW: I really think you’ve lost something when you start throwing away that kind of thing.

NS: So.. second grade, also?

CW: Sixth.

NS: Mark, I see you’ve got a lot of "Sara’s" on your list.

MW: Not really.

NS: I count four.

MW: Not if you divide them up. By "with h" and "without h".

NS: And a "Robin Williams?"

MW: She spelled it with a "y".

NS: And it looks like, the Flintoft.. sisters?

MW: Yeah, but neither of them would go out with me. You know what isn’t quite as obvious when you just read a list of names like that? Best friends.

CW: Piss off.

NS: "Snake?"

CW: My first boyfriend.

NS: He go by any other name?

CW: Not that I know of.

NS: How about you? The one that got away?

CW: Matt Ericho. He might have been my one true love.

NS: How do you know?

CW: He gave me free cider once.

NS: So are there any of these that you actually went out with?

CW: Seems to me like being a reporter’s gotten pretty easy these days.

NS: There are only two more names on the list here. Any stories?

MW: Well, we sold back the jewelry I gave the last girl.

CW: And we used the hundred bucks to make our country record.

SIGNS, WONDERS ATTEND RELEASE OF WALLACE BROS. SECOND RECORD: POPULAR SONGS THAT WILL LIVE FOREVER, VOL. 2: HIP HOP

Statues weep. Broken hearts heal. And the band plays on.

The Wallace Bros. second album: "Popular Songs That Will Live Forever, Vol. 2: Hip Hop", is a grossly misnamed collection of infectiously danceable pop and heroin drones, most anchored with Casiotone keyboard beats (one of which is unmistakably copped from Tone-Loc’s "Wild Thing")—and all topped by their trademark "hard-ass with soft-underbelly" lyrics, which, in all but three of the 10 songs, begin with the two words "every time." It’s a record obviously destined for complete obscurity, were it not for the nationwide outbreak of supernatural phenomena which surrounded its late-summer release.

"I’ve got to say it looked pretty gay to me," says 12-year-old Michael Hoyt, of Rome, GA, who sustained a broken ankle with multiple fractures during a travel-league soccer game. "How they turned those city lights into stars on the cover." But after his leg had been set, his older sister popped the Wallace Bros. album into the car radio on the way home, and Hoyt was gripped by a tingling sensation so strong that he burst into tears. His mother quickly turned the car back towards the hospital, where doctors were shocked to discover that the complicated break which X-rays had documented only hours before was completely healed.

The record appeared to be powerless to resuscitate Hoyt’s pet snake, which had died a few weeks earlier, and lay buried under a shallow layer of soil among the roots of his mothers prize hostas, but that didn’t prevent both a pilgrimage of local seekers, and a fundamentalist demonstration against the album and it’s suspected evils, complete with effigies of the siblings, which were burnt in the usually peaceful suburban street.

Predictably, the buzz led to strong opening-week sales, placing the Wallace Bros. comfortably in the Billboard Top Ten, although some Southern and Midwestern stations dropped their hit single, "I Can See No Reason To Believe" from their playlists. And as the reports pour in, both album owners and casual radio listeners have credited the music of the Wallace Bros. with alleviating a broad array of maladies, from poison ivy to chronic heart trouble—although it should be noted that actual record buyers seem to experience far more dramatic results than casual listeners.

The Wallace Bros. sophomore album also appears to have strange effects on inanimate objects. Detroit fans claim to have seen the angelic faces which overlook the street outside the abandoned Cadillac Hotel begin to weep, while the fans were briefly parked below, blaring the CD. Wallace Bros. album owners in several states describe incidents in which shelved books, particularly of poetry, will actually take flight from bookshelves, circle the room, and alight on couches, tables, or piano benches, usually open, while the album is playing. One volume, a turquoise first-edition of Edna St. Vincent Millay, found an open window and made a complete escape. And one listener descended to his basement to investigate an eerie glow and discovered that his entire moving box full of Christmas lights were all burning bright, even though no cord was plugged into a power source.

The Wallace Bros. are pleasantly surprised by the record’s reception, although Mark expresses some concern that the phenomena surrounding the release may be obscuring what for him lies at the heart of the matter: "We just wanted to write some songs," he says. "And now there are these weird statues, and lights, and healings. I just wish someone would talk about the songs.

"I guess I understand how a record album might not seem as important as someone dying in the street.

"But no one’s died from this one yet. Have they?"

The Wallace Bros:
The SPIN Interview

SPIN: Well, I’ve spent quite a lot of time with your album.

CW: Thank God. I don’t think the guy from Rolling Stone even listened to it.

SPIN: Rolling Stone. I applied for a job there once.

MW: Yeah?

SPIN: They didn’t give it to me.


(pause)

SPIN: Well, maybe I should begin with the obvious: you titled your record "Popular Songs That Will Live Forever, Vol 2.: Hip Hop." But it doesn’t really sound like hip hop. At least not anything that anyone else is calling hip hop these days. Or has ever called hip hop, really.


CW: Well, we have a drum machine now.

MW: We thought it was funny.

SPIN: I don’t get it.

CW: That’s how it’s been going.

SPIN: Now, Carey, you’re responsible for the lyrics on these records, am I right?

CW: My last name’s Wallace.

SPIN: Seven out of ten of these songs begin with the words "Every time."

CW: It’s a concept album.

SPIN: In Rolling Stone, you described your last record as a concept album, as well. Do you think there’s any chance you keep doing concept albums because you’re afraid you can’t just write a good song that can stand out there on its own?

CW: Well, I think that’s why most bands who are really high-concept do it, but not us.

MW: No.

SPIN: These lyrics, they’re really complex. Especially in your hit single, "I Can See No Reason To Believe." You’re not just doing traditional end rhymes. You’ve got this incredibly strict scheme where you actually repeat the same word at the beginning and end of each verse. And then in other ones, you’re doing this repeat and replace thing, almost like a villanelle or a pantoume, one of those repeating French poems. Although none of them are villanelles in the strictest sense, because that would involve an evenly metered nineteen-line poem, with the first and third lines repeated at the end of each three-line stanza, and then again in the final quatrain.

MW: You know those kids in high school, who would always ask the long questions to make themselves look smart? I always hated those kids.

CW: I always thought the good questions were the short ones. Like, "What do you think?"

MW: Or, "Why?"

CW: "Will you marry me?"

MW: "What are you wearing underneath that?"

SPIN: In "You’ll Come Running Back To Me", there’s quite a lot of really fascinating background noise, beginning with Mark saying, I think, "Ira?" Can you tell me what that means?

CW: Have you ever heard of Ira Gershwin?

SPIN: I’ve heard of George Gershwin.

MW: See?

CW: Piss off.

SPIN: And I understand that on several of these tracks, Carey, you also wrote the music?

CW: Well, Mark can’t write lyrics. So he only likes songs that sound like they were written by somebody who can’t write lyrics.

MW: Like Kurt Cobain?

CW: So if I wanted to write lyrics with more than one verse, I had to write the music myself.

SPIN: The beat on the opening track, "I Know What You’re Doing," which I guess you wrote. That’s the beat from "Mentally Ill in Amityville." Isn’t it?

CW: Yep.

SPIN: A lot of times your melodies, or your basslines, or even the whole feel of your songs are—I guess you might say, reminiscent? Is that something you do purposely? Do you have a sense that you might be—imitating?

CW: Oh, totally. I mean, Mark will call me up and say, "I just wrote Daydream Believer, and a Radiohead melody." There aren’t any new songs these days. Especially if you’re writing with only three chords. There’s no shame in it. Back in the day, it’s how everybody did it. (to MW) Right?

MW: I don’t know what the **** she’s talking about.

SPIN: There’s a lot that a band can do with technology these days: add echoes, cut-and-paste syllables in a vocal, bring an out-of-tune singer up to the right key. And I know a number of musicians have reacted to that by insisting on the one perfect take, refusing to use any of the bells and whistles, getting it down right, naturally.

CW: Well, we’re kind of like that. We can only really stand to do one take, usually. Otherwise Mark cries.

MW: Carey cries.

CW: But the difference is, our one take won’t be perfect. So then we have to go in and work with it.

MW: Like on "I Know What You’re Doing." She only sang that "every time" right once. I had to cut and paste it, like, half a dozen times. And I don’t think I’ve ever heard her sing on key for three minutes straight.

CW: But I think there’s a certain honest y in that, you know? Doing the best you can with what God gave you?

MW: (to SPIN) So, what’s your story? You write songs, too?

SPIN: No, I---


MW: Play guitar?

SPIN: No.

MW: Any instruments? Sing?

SPIN: Not really.

MW: But you write articles about music?

SPIN: Yep.

MW: Huh.

SPIN. I dated a drummer once.

MW: Yeah?

SPIN: She was hot.
NB: In these latter days, it has come to our attention that important editorial decisions about which band gets column space are made based on whether a band has provided a horizontal or vertical picture, to fit into remaining horizontal or vertical layout space. You may have noticed that our picture appears, at first glance, to be of the vertical variety. Please, however, note: if, in the week for which you are considering our story, you find yourself without vertical space, you can easily turn our picture horizontally, and caption it "Wallace Bros. in their grave." Many thanks.

THE WALLACE BROS RELEASE "POPULAR SONGS THAT WILL LIVE FOREVER" TO WORLDWIDE APPROBATION, MAYHEM

For immediate release---Monsoons. Shipwrecks. And the sudden death of one of America’s most beloved entertainers at their Detroit record-release party.

These are only a few of the signs and wonders surrounding The Wallace Bros.’ first shot across the bow of the music industry: "Popular Songs That Will Live Forever, Volume 1: Lullabies" an agoraphobic, poorly-recorded 10-song effort, which clocks in at just over 26 minutes of off-center, melancholy pop, coupled with sharply-observed if sentimental lyrics, sung almost entirely outside both singers’ natural ranges.

The Wallace Bros., who have worked thus far in relative obscurity, found themselves thrust suddenly into the limelight due to the death of one of America’s most beloved entertainers at their record-release party. The entertainer, who hailed from Detroit but, like Eminem, Madonna, Kid Rock, and Aretha Franklin, had made a nationwide name for himself over the course of the last several decades, actually collapsed due to heart-failure on the red carpet outside the party, and was rushed to Ford Hospital before even stepping inside the doors of the club. Today, it’s still not clear if he was aware who he would have seen on stage that night, had he survived.

"It would have been cool, right?" Mark Wallace said shortly after their release-party performance, which they carried on despite the incident, dedicating it as a tribute to the fallen man, who was pronounced dead shortly after midnight. "If he’d been in some boy band, or someone everyone hated anyway. Ironic, right? Like we struck a blow for punk-rock, or something. But we really liked him."

"Everybody did," Carey, his sister & second member of the duo, added. "I mean, he could do everything: sing, dance, play instruments. All this stuff we really can’t. It’s not fair, when you think about it, that we’re alive and he’s dead."

Still, crowd reaction was enthusiastic. "It’s Detroit," Mark explained later. "Nothing really fazes them."

Nationally and internationally, the critical reception has been strongly, even irrationally, positive as well. Japanese teenagers have added paper moon headgear and bracelet charms to their already incomprehensible accessorizations, and some Tokyo restaurants which cater to youth have even begun floating handmade paper swan boats in bowls of soup. Rolling Stone got in on the act with a Wallace Bros. fashion spread and interview, and the duo are negotiating terms for a judging spot on one of the popular later episodes of next fall’s third season of "American Idol."

Disaster always seems to follow close behind, though. Just days after their ill-fated record-release party, the "David James Ruffin", one of the most venerable of the Great Lakes freighters, which had weathered forty-five winters on the freshwater seas, sunk in the Detroit river, only a few hundred feet from safety. Found in the CD player in the doomed first mate’s quarters: "Popular Songs Which Will Live Forever, Volume One: Lullabies," a present from his girlfriend, a Wallace Bros. fan, which had apparently been delivered by mailboat to him, earlier in that day.

The Thai monsoons of late May, the worst in recorded history, haven’t been definitively linked with the record release at the time of this writing, but the buzz from Internet conspiracy sites is already strong, and so far the band has issued no denials.

"We just wanted to make a record," Carey says. "Actually, Mark didn’t even want to, really. I kind of made him.

"And then it got out of hand."

The Wallace Bros:
The Rolling Stone Interview

N.B.: This is the original, unexpurgated transcript of the Wallace Bros. Rolling Stone Interview. The published piece, as you will certainly recognize, was substantially changed in ways that should be immediately obvious.

RS: Well, you know the first question everyone wants to ask.

MW: (looking pained.) Oh, man.

CW: We felt bad about it. We really did.

MW: Yeah. I mean, right there on the red carpet.

CW: We had no idea something like that could happen. I mean, we’d never even played in public before.

MW: We thought it’d be funny, you know? To have a record release party, where the band didn’t show?

CW: Only we were going to be there, watching from backstage. We wanted to see how long it would take everyone to leave. Or maybe somebody else would just get up and play.

MW: Someone like him, he’s just so big. We had no idea he’d even heard of us. I mean, he wrote ‘Just My Imagination’.

CW: No, that was someone else.

MW: And then to have him die on our release date.

CW: At our party. In the street.

MW: We pretty much had to play.

CW: I didn’t feel much like joking by then.

MW: Me, either.

RS: It’s been written that your highly-touted freshman album, "Popular Songs That Will Live Forever, Volume One: Lullabies" is so highly conceptual that you yourselves may not even become aware of the depth or extent of the entire concept, perhaps for years.

CW: Yeah, but I think that’s true for everyone, don’t you? You really can’t help it. Everyone’s got so much, just kind of (pauses, glances out window) festering, you know? --inside them. How could you ever? You know?

RS: I have to say I don’t see it, the complexity. To me, listening to it this week, a lot of the songs seemed like they were just about breaking up. All of them, really.

MW: Well, yeah.

CW: And how much it sucks.

MW: That’s a lot to deal with in twenty-six minutes.

CW: Haven’t you ever broken up with anybody?

RS: I understand that distribution can be a real struggle, especially for an unknown band on an independent label.

CW: Well, we’ve pretty much solved that problem by not having any. You can’t actually buy a copy of "Popular Songs That Will Live Forever."

MW: Anywhere. Not even at Encore Records.

CW: Yeah, Fred probably would have taken some, since we dedicated it to him, but he went on tour again before I made it over there.

MW: And we haven’t tried anywhere else.

CW: So it hasn’t been a struggle, really.

RS: It’s been noted that, since you two are brother and sister, you aren’t brothers, in the strictest sense of the word.

MW: Um, Carey doesn’t really like to talk about that.

CW: No.

RS: Your current album is titled "Volume One," which, obviously, suggests future plans. A "Volume Two?"

MW: Well, Carey gave me a Casiotone keyboard for my birthday. It’s got 12 different beats. More if you sample and cut and paste them, which is, as you know, pretty simple to do with a traditional 4-track tape recorder.

CW: The next album is going to be called "Popular Songs That Will Live Forever, Volume Two: Hip Hop."

RS: Right. Because of the drum beats.

CW: Capital H, space, Capital H. No hyphen. Did you get that?

MW: The album cover is going to be sweet.

CW: We’re going to type "bling" into ebay and just buy everything that comes up. The first fifteen "bling" things.

MW: Within our budget.

CW: Yeah, they’ve got us on a budget now.

MW: It’s nice, you know. They give us money, and everything, but it’s not really the same, working for the man.

CW: But you’d understand that.

RS: Yeah.