Geoff Geis has been a campaigner in the L.A. underground for a decade or so, in bands such as Pizza!, Big Whup and So Many Wizards (as well as a solo artist), making disaffected and often eccentric indie-rock played as if his life’s mission is to shake you out of your overpriced sneakers. Or at least nudge you away from the comfort zone of genre adherence.
Soft Sailors is his new project with Andrew Parker (Rumspringa, Sweet Bump It) and Jenna Parker (Big Whup, Mister Fantasy). Calling it a project isn’t even quite right, because, as Geis points out, “Soft Sailors is a lifestyle.”
“Dug for Days” is Soft Sailors’ new single, a slow-building, tight-fisted rocker whose message is “intended to convey a vague sense of hope and understanding to the misunderstood,” he says. Geis sings: “To all the forgotten and the strange / Well here’s a message in your direction / ’Cause it seems true / You’re not that different / And all the troubles you struggle to contain / And all the bad voices in your mind will be subdued / You’ll be a lot like everyone.”
The song, co-written by Geis’ longtime collaborator and former Pizza! drummer Tyler Sabbag (now a music composer for television), was recorded live by the trio, accompanied by James Hazley (Cockeyed Ghost) on drums, and produced by Parker.
The single comes out on Friday — when a new night called “Lifestyle” was supposed to have launched at the Melody Bar in Chinatown. The coronavirus shutdown has postponed that.
As for the the video, the visuals are lifted from an Egyptian ad campaign from 2010 called “Panda Is Not Told No.” Created by the Elephant Cairo agency and written by Ali Ali and Maged Nassar, the ad campaign features an indignant panda who shows up in everyday situations to punish people who decline to eat a product called Panda Cheese. It’s … well, just plain weird.
||| Stream: “Dug for Days”
||| Also: Watch the video for “Dug for Days”