Winter is the perfect time to explore the natural stone shelters where native Arkansans once lived
When Conway sextet Don't Stop Please migrated to Fayetteville in 2013, they brought with them an orbiting group of musicians, creating countless side projects. Let's Talk Figures, the label the band created to release 2012's "Crowded Car" EP, became the home for a deluge of oddball, Internet-only releases for the extended circle of musicians in the wake of Don't Stop Please's recent hiatus. Comfortable Brother, the label's most active band, consists of Dick Darden (also of LTF's High Lonesome) and four members of Don't Stop Please (Will King, Bob Gaiser, Nick Caffrey and Willie Krzeszinski).
The "releases" page of LetsTalkFigures.com boasts exactly 30 releases (at press time) — an intimidating discography full of silly, inscrutable one-off projects (full of gems, assuredly), among them the "LTF Summer Sampler 2014," a compilation that includes tracks from most of the label's growing roster.
The label's web presence is alternately cryptic and tongue-in-cheek, and the Times' queries for an interview were directed to one Graves Landrum, who claims the title of chief operating officer for Let's Talk Figures.
Mr. Landrum, what brought you to LTF? What do you do for the label?
I came to Let's Talk Figures after my sponsor alerted me to the most-happening new band in Arkansas, Don't Stop Please. I formed an intimate relationship with one of the members (Joel Ludford; we had sex, there were drugs involved) and assisted the band with their plans for an independent Arkansas record label. It wasn't long before the Internet bestowed upon me the title of Music Czar #UpInTheHeavensAbove. As chief operating officer of Let's Talk Figures, I have absolute veto power over which artists make the LTF roster and which are swept into the dustbin of history, filled with wailing and gnashing of teeth.
What is Let's Talk Figures?
Let's Talk Figures is Arkansas's finest independent record label, providing quality multimedia entertainment for good folks who like good stuff.
I understand there's an LTF studio in Fayetteville — what's it called and what goes down there?
The LTF Studios are located on Dickson Street in Fayetteville. Our seasoned recording engineers and production team work around the clock with artists on the LTF label to facilitate their creative visions, as well as outside artists who want a professional and fun atmosphere in which to record.
You've built up an impressive roster in a relatively short amount of time — what made this possible? Is there any type of artistic mission statement that you all share?
Let's Talk Figures has accrued 16 artists, with others waiting in the wings. We reach out to artists all across the state in order to build a strong musical community that Arkansans can call their own. Our manifesto at Let's Talk Figures is simple: Hang out have a good time. We encourage all LTF fans (LTFers) to hashtag all their social media endeavors with #hangouthaveagoodtime.
The LTF roster is pretty eclectic — what's the common thread between all of them, artistically speaking?
Let's Talk Figures promotes good music of all genres. All our artists are tied together by a common desire to get #backontop2014, to #liveitloveit2015, and to record in the world-class LTF Studios, located in scenic Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Describe the following artists using only three words:
Comfortable Brother: corduroy, paradigm, beefcake
High Lonesome: literate, literal, antebellum
Alaskan Firedog: upset, Kanye West
Devin Nu Phlo: alien, reelest, Shinobi
LRG: Hollywood, vocoder, phasometer
Bob For Apples: vanity, vexation, selfie
PZA: pizza pizza pizza
Virtual High School:
Who were the Ronald Rayguns?
The Ronald Rayguns were a troupe of actors, swindlers, con men and shit-kickers who lied, stole and cheated their way into a record contract with LTF. Their meteoric career saw them rise to the heights of the greater Central Arkansas music scene. Playing esteemed venues such as George's Majestic Lounge, The Great Thurberdome and the 27th annual African Methodist Episcopal Big Tent Healing and Revival Meeting, the Rayguns were well on their way to being international bestsellers. Controversy swirled around the band after the release of a song about state Sen. Jason Rapert. But the fame and booze quickly went to their heads. With the disappearance of the singer and organ player The Rev. Matthias Duncan, the fans were left with nothing but a hangover and the Rayguns album, "Pax Rayguna." No one is completely sure about the band members' whereabouts, although there have been rumors of sightings in places as far away as Chicago; Burbank, Calif., and the Nomad's Food Truck.
What's next for LTF?
In #2015ReturnToFamilyValues, Let's Talk Figures is looking to expand our event horizons, penetrate new frontiers and diversify our portfolio. With a focus on synergy, we are actively reaching out to new consumer markets, and utilizing social media to bring the fans Into The Minds of Let's Talk Figures artists. In the months to come you can expect new releases from Comfortable Brother, Waterguns, Pablo Luke, Dividend, Virtual High School and many more!
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