Award Winning Cult Director Peng Lei Takes Risks With The Prairie Cartel

posted October 28, 2009

Award Winning Cult Director Peng Lei Takes Risks With The Prairie Cartel

Award-winning Chinese director Peng Lei (an accomplished filmmaker/animator whose clay animation film "Beihai Monster" from 2006 was a hit in the Chinese indie-film world and has won numerous awards) discovered The Prairie Cartel's music online and reached out to them about wanting to direct their video for "No Light Escapes Here" from their forthcoming debut release "Where Did All My People Go."

As Peng explained to the lads, "The reason I wanted to direct this video was that I'm impressed with the lyrics and understand that they're about trying to express yourself artistically in an oppressive communist regime."

Musically he also felt connected, Peng Lei is a member of New Pants, one of the most revered bands in China's contemporary music history who formed in 1996 - their early sound was influenced heavily by new wave and early punk rock, particularly the Ramones. And in a true punk rock fashion, Peng takes a huge risk by using Mao all over the video.

The Prairie Cartel unleash their debut full-length "Where Did All My People Go" on November 17th on Long Nights, Impossible Odds. Digital release is now online. A record release Party will be held on Thursday, November 5th in Chicago. Join The Prairie Cartel at their record release launch including a special live performance by The Prairie Cartel, unleashing new material from their debut album at Disappear Here @ Angels & Kings New York, NY Plus Resident DJs Members Only AV and Heaven Malone.

For 10.5 months of the year there is little else to do in Chicago besides drink heavily. The Prairie Cartel started as an excuse for Scott Lucas (Local H), Blake Smith and Mike Willison (both ex-Caviar) to do this in Willison's basement while playing their favorite records. Albums on DFA, Matador, Wax Trax, Modular and Creation were all in heavy rotation during those dark months except when the whisky came out and it went all Ummagumma on them. The obligatory, possibly illegal, and definitely messy DJ gigs followed. Warehouses and lofts trembled before their can't-mix, won't-even-try-to-mix majesty. They developed a reputation for sets that were somehow gloriously disheveled but still extremely satisfying. After a particularly delirious night behind, on top of, and in front of the decks in London where some teeth got chipped, a little blood got spilled, and the local authorities threatened to pull their passports, they decided the timing was perfect to pick their instruments back up and go home to cut a record.

They bought a couple of used microphones, a bi-polar Mac, and locked themselves back in Willison's basement. For a long time. maybe longer than what is considered healthy by normal people. Empty bottles and pizza boxes piled up. Beards grew, got cut, and grew again. Creatures with tails scurried in shadowy corners. Friends and family became worried. But then 2 EPs suddenly emerged in quick succession to unanimously positive reviews and doors began to open for them. They got asked to put a song in the Grand Theft Auto video game. Then they got asked to create an entire channel for the hand-held version, achieving every artist's dream of cornering the market in sound tracking virtual third-person deals of digital drugs.

So, with all things taking its course, rather than emerging to tour and possibly killing this creative streak, they decided to ride it out in their tiny room until somebody cracked. The exhilarating result of this is "Where Did all my People Go."

Video: The Prairie Cartel - "No Light Escapes Here"

TRACK LISTING:

  • KEEP EVERYBODY WARM
  • SUITCASE PIMP
  • LOST ALL TRACK OF TIME
  • CRACKTOWN
  • BEAUTIFUL SHADOW
  • HOMICIDE
  • NARCOTIC INSIDIOUS
  • TEN FEET OF SNOW
  • JUST LIKE CHEMICALS
  • NO LIGHT ESCAPES HERE
  • COBRASKIN BRIEFCASE
  • BURNING DOWN THE OTHER SIDE
  • MAGNETIC SOUTH
  • FUCK YEAH THAT WIDE
  • THE GLOW IS GONE

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