Gavin Gruesome

Stephen Heath

Known for his precision guitar work in L.A. Takedown, as well as for acts like Paul Bergmann, Weyes Blood and Death Valley Girls, Stephen lends his craft to a propulsive collection of original material—bristling with static, impulse, and freedom.

Gavin Gruesome is a record of fuzzed-out, wide-eyed rock’n’roll. Somewhere between The Dead Milkmen, Stan Hubbs, Jorma Kokounan and John Cale’s Vintage Violence. Ditching the studio for a 4-track app and ramshackle percussion, Stephen deliberately limited his process to find new, open spaces. The tracks were recorded briskly, preserved without much editing or processing. With each, the intention was to grab a moment. No surprise, then, that the songs have an impulsive bite. There is a raucous, layered energy to tunes like “I Really Lub You” and “Nothing Goes Away,” and a hazy mystique to the outsider ballad “Like a Train.” Look no further than the centerpiece cover of The Modern Lovers’ loner classic “I’m Straight,” buried beneath layers of noise and propelled by a percussion section consisting (mostly) of silverware. But for all the willingness to just let go, the record abounds with happy accidents. Listen for the interplay of lead guitar and melody on opener “I Can’t Take It” or the fuzzy, church-ready harmonies on “Rockin’.” They are the product of a practiced hand working to balance chaos with order. Hear that rumbling down below? Like tires on the night-time desert road that inspired the expansive instrumental “Just Dezzerts,” it’s all part of the journey.

The dynamic is also true of the lyrics on Gavin Gruesome. Inspired by a Walker Evans portrait of a Cuban coal miner, “We” speaks of isolation and loneliness—“Spent time in the mountains / Why does it get darker every day?”—inescapable experiences of our fraught present. The song reflects on the damage done to the land and the people who work it. And yet, the collection looks forward to brighter days in its playful submission of meaning to sound. Much like the wistful, energetic “Ain’t Right,” an instrumental that arrives like a cool breeze, it reminds us that we are still in motion.
Read more… close
  1. 1
  2. 2

Miss Julie(n) Score

stephen heath

This is the score for Ken Roht's 2013 production of Miss Julie(n).
Staged in Highland Park artist Clare Graham's MorYork Gallery, it is an adaptation of August Strindberg's classic, Miss Julie.
While Miss Julie addresses the issue of class, Roht’s version tackles gender issues, following Julien, a lonely gay man who feels oppressed by his father and is in love with his valet.

Composed in conjunction with the rehearsal process, often times being guided by the choreography, the score consists of themes, background/mood effects, and straight songs.

Primarily guitar based, the score was intended to bring a rustic, disjointed quality to the production. To connect the aural aspects of the play to the gothic surreal surrounding of Clare Graham's space. Melody was very important, but also repetitive passages raw sounds and the like to change attention and focus.

Nods to chamber music, folk music, cut and paste edits, and found sounds all had a place in the process and the end result.

Most pieces have been edited for length

Miss Julie(n), Excerpts to hear and see

for rehearsal and context

photo Ashley West Leonard

Read more… close
  1. 1
  2. 2
    La La 1:56
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
    Malik 0:49
  6. 6
  7. 7
    Waltz 0:55
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11
  12. 12
  13. 13
    Sulk 0:44
  14. 14
  15. 15
  16. 16
  17. 17
  18. 18
  19. 19

Bleak Future

AP and the heath

A.P. and the heath!'s debut EP entitled BLEAK FUTURE is a concept record that tells the story of lost stoner high school kids in Southern California's master planned communities. From fake i.d.'s in liquor store parking lots to themes of teen murder, A.P. and the Heath!'s spoken word punk psychedelia drive us through the dark cul de sacs of a restless teenage fantasy gone awry.

Featuring album artwork by the legendary graphic designer Storm Thorgerson (Pink Floyd, Led Zepplin) & Storm Studios. Also Available, Limited Edition Orange Vinyl.
Read more… close
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4