Welcome To North Pole Records
North Pole Records is an independent record label based in Billings, Montana who works with international artists that we find interesting.
Pulse Spasm Vapor
Available March 15, 2024
North Pole Record #55
Pulse Spasm Vapor
Beyond a Forgetful Green
LP & Digital
-LP w/ insert, black vinyl
-Ltd edition L of 60 w/ signed insert, and 8 page unique booklet
-Digitally on Bandcamp and streaming everywhere
-Jon Lodge, Tricia Opstad, and Dusty Shriver are Pulse Spasm Vapor or PSV Trio. Lodge is an established Montana visual artist who creates black and white, process based paintings, utilizing planned randomness and surface tension. He has spearheaded musical improvisation in Montana since the 60’s after returning from Berklee College of Music. Lodge has found new inspiration in young collaborators, noise music, and underground labels. Opstad and Shriver are improvisers, dancers, and visual artists deep in the Pacific NW experimental scene.
-To create a revolution in sound you gotta know what the fuck you’re doing. You gotta fuck shit up by disassembling and reconstructing in order to create a whole new language or feeling. You got mugs frying circuits and twisting knobs to create an uneasy atmosphere to scramble and rewire. Or you have Pulse Spasm Vapor Trio that sticks to their “traditional” instruments and prefer to create new language via einsturzende/art ensemble/sun city girls, with the goal of sounding like music wafting from another room. This recording is adding to the essence of free sound with heaps of beauty, squawk and unpredictability and is keeping “the sound” alive. –Bryan Ramirez
–Pulse Spasm Vapor Trio came together by a chance occurrence. Much like their grouping, their sound is created in the spirit of exploring randomized operations of sonic trills, wails, pulses and hums sculpted by influences of free improvisation and the limitless chaos of abstract noise. The psychic communication unfolding in the moment that is prominent in their playing exists in their visual aesthetic also, which is vital to their sound. This visual and deep listening juxtaposition is what brings the trio to a visceral landscape of genre bending lucidity, creating new sounds. Future and classic styles mutated together resemble that of a dystopian lab experiment leaking into the water. Drinking would result in transformation of all senses, you will hear cosmic infinity coursing through your bloodstream. You become sonically altered entering PSV Trio territory. Boundless. Forever humming the dream state. —Dusty Shriver
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"Live at The Filling Station 2022" by Miss Massive Snowflake
North Pole Record #58
Cassette and Digital
Why a live album?
Miss Massive Snowflake has always crafted their albums in the studio: orchestrating, layering, and producing songs the way the band wanted to hear them. On stage, however, they quicken the pace and crank up the distortion. This version of “Jacksonville” features frontman Shane de Leon provoking the audience, howling “Come fight me!” as the song comes to a close. Thrilling, cathartic, and very different than on record.
The Filling Station is a legendary Montana venue. De Leon’s first time playing there was in 1993 with his first band, Freak Seen. The current sound engineer, Pat Lokken, and radio impresario, Bob Wall, have crafted a great scene of live music that also captures the experience for the bands. This live cassette is taken from two out of the three live shows Miss Massive Snowflake performed at The Filling Station in 2022.
Miss Massive Snowflake has existed in many forms since 2004. There were the early solo years with an acoustic guitar and backing tracks (2003-2008), the five piece band (2008-2011) that crafted the acclaimed Songs About Music LP, the heavy touring years (2012-2017) with Jeanne on bass and Andy on drums, when Shane de Leon wasn’t performing 150+ solo shows a year in Europe and the USA. The past five years saw de Leon return to Montana and reinvent the live band with different players, using a stable of musicians around the Billings music scene.
"In Print" by Happy Belated Birthday
Happy Belated Birthday is Shane de Leon of Miss Massive Snowflake and Dusty Tears collaborating with other musicians that stop by de Leon’s studio / venue / art gallery, Kirks’ Grocery. In Print experiments with a soundtrack of reggaeton dance parties, droned out drug scenes, and Weenish American pop. De Leon says that, “In Print is me creating non-lyric based songs through recording processes of layered improvisations and sound sculpting. It’s an experiment in songwriting, playing, and recording.”
Jon Lodge’s trumpet bends around de Leon’s slippery guitar and drumming. Jason Jam adds vocals to a track and his patient bass lines give room to Curtis Thompson and Brad Spill’s proficient hand drumming. Brenden Fritzler of Counting Coup’s harmonica weeps and sings on the final track, Laid Linen. This batch of songs by Happy Belated Birthday passes by as incidental music with bite, absent minded sonic grooves, and the words “What is This?,” running around in everyone’s head. The cover is a photo by Nicholas Rogers.
Shane de Leon has been touring and recording since the early 90s in the bands Freak Seen (90-94), Rollerball (1997-2007), and currently, Miss Massive Snowflake (2004-), Dusty Tears (2017-), and Happy Belated Birthday (2020-). He estimates he’s played around 1500 shows in 15 countries and has been on over 75 releases. De Leon’s main group Miss Massive Snowflake is based on lyric driven and guitar based songwriting. In Dusty Tears with Jamie Smith, and now with Happy Belated Birthday, Shane de Leon stretches out in the studio on production and layering improvised takes. Live, Happy Belated Birthday, is de Leon playing both drums and guitar in an improvised mess of ideas that usually end with him spilling the kit all over the stage.
"Sushi Paul" by Zenitram, Jr
“Sushi Paul” by Zenitram, Jr is a fun and upbeat ode to the legendary Bozeman chef, sushi master, and party animal, Paul. The song captures Paul’s passion for fishing and his relentless pursuit of the freshest ingredients for his restaurant. With clever lyrics and a lively punk rock rap style similar to the Beastie Boys, the song celebrates Paul’s status as a local hero and culinary icon. It’s impossible not to smile and nod along to the catchy beat and infectious chorus, which exhort listeners to join in on the wild ride that is “Sushi Paul.” A perfect anthem for anyone who loves good food, good times, and the people who bring them together.
"The Louisville Fire"
video by Dusty Tears
The Louisville Fire is the lead track off the latest Dusty Tears EP, Erie Blues, on North Pole Records. The three songs were recorded in Erie, CO over New Years 2021/22 while The Marshall Fire burned just a few miles away. The blaze destroyed over 1000 structures in two days. Dusty Tears made these smoky instrumentals, groovy and absent minded, spacious and compact, subtle but with an edge while they worried about their friends and families. The anxiousness is especially palpable on the last song, Adaptors. A lush organ sparks slowly, building to the finale of a building falling apart with sawing guitars, a battered incessant brittle snare, gurgling bass, and the melody falling into chaos. The 8 minutes of music creeps past like a natural disaster scored by Lee Perry doing his best Ennio Morricone
The video for the Louisville Fire was filmed in Germany by long-time collaborator to Smith and de Leon, Cory Vielma. Vielma has worked with Jamie Smith and Shane de Leon on various audio and video projects since the mid-80s, in Billings, MT when and where, all three met. Vielma and de Leon’s last collaboration was a video for the song So Sweet by Miss Massive Snowflake. So Sweet stars Vielma’s wife, Frau Susiu. It was shot in Berlin while MMS were on tour for their album, The Final Photograph. Frau Susiu, returns as the star in The Louisville Fire, but this time as a subtle monster making her way to market in a sumptuous black and white video that will keep your eyes searching for slow movements while the song lopes by as the fire burns all around.
Erie Blues is a 3 song EP by Dusty Tears. The music is instrumental sound excursions, groovy and absent minded, spacious and compact.The Louisville Fire is the lead track with a video made by Corey Vielma. Dusty Tears is Jamie Smith (Danghead, Lords of Howling) & Shane de Leon (Miss Massive Snowflake, Rollerball). The two have been working together on music since the late 1980s and recording under the name Dusty Tears for the past 6 years. Mainly a recording project, Dusty Tears has released multiple EPs on North Carolina experimental mainstay Silbermedia in the past, but chose to release their latest EP on North Pole Records. Enjoy the ride.
36?’s new song “Always Wandering” is a smooth weirdo groove basking in happy-go-lucky psychedelia. The perfect anthem for the off-beat vagabond entertaining strangers from a distance as they dance through life carefree and untethered. Reminiscent of the candy coated weirdness of bandcamp-era psychedelic rock bands like Unknown Mortal Orchestras or Ariel Pink. Click image to listen.