TF Archives

Honkytonks presents: The Lawnchair Generals

Author: Hardware
Thursday, September 30, 2004
Honkytonks presents
The Lawnchair Generals
Saturday 9th October
Support: Angela Maison, Ant J Steep and Aram Chapers
$20 on the door

Until recently, the musical association with Seattle fell heavily in the favor of alternative rock and the ever popular early nineties genre termed "grunge." As of late, Seattle's scene has undergone the unavoidable transformation into one that encompasses and respects the sonic stylings of house and other electronic species. Leading the city's musical revolution are independent labels like Viva Recordings and forward thinking DJs and producers like the Lawnchair Generals.

Seattle transplants Peter Christianson and Carlos Mendoza, better known as the Lawnchair Generals, have been generating beats out of their self-made studio for the past two years. Based on the brief amount of time the duo has spent manning the controls, the success they have attained is staggering. As goes the old adage, it is quality, not quantity that breeds such success; along with their blinding talent, both behind the decks and in the studio, and a little luck thrown in for good measure, the Generals have blazed their way into the record crates of the world's top DJs and onto internationally distributed mixes compiled by the industry's most prolific jocks. "The egalitarian nature of this industry is what allows us to completely transcend the fact that we're from a town that has been mostly rock oriented," says Carlos. "It allows us to be on equal footing with people who have been making great house music for a long time."

Carlos grew up to a varied soundtrack of salsa, classical and jazz, recognizing his love for music at an early age. He was taught piano and percussion and played the guitar and the drums; his taste ranged from Samuel Barber and the Dead Kennedys to Art of Noise and Rush. Carlos discovered house in the mid-eighties and attended his first rave in San Francisco circa 1991, which sold him to the gospel of house. A few years later, he acquired turntables. After moving back and forth between Houston and Seattle, Carlos settled permanently in Seattle in 1994 and began working as a house music buyer at Platinum Records. Peter was raised in Portland, Oregon, moving on to study sound engineering and audio production in Vancouver, British Columbia; he later worked as an audio engineer in genres ranging from jazz and funk to rock and pop. Peter has been DJing for more than a decade, building on a uniquely varied and massive record collection. He relocated to Seattle in 2000 as the manager and head buyer of Platinum. Hence, the meeting of the minds.

Soon after the initial jaunt into the studio, their sonic experiments were picked up by Jon Lemmon and Johnny Fiasco of Viva Recordings and pressed into 'The Great Escape.' Their debut EP was released to widespread praise, garnering attention from the likes of Mark Farina, DJ Heather and Rob Mello. Their second release came in October 2002 as a remix of the Rhythm Slaves' "I Can Feel It" on Los Angeles based Deepfunk Records. Mere weeks later, their 'U Dirty' EP was released on LA's Westbound, the sister imprint of Doc Martin's Wax Records. Next came their remix collaboration with Rick Preston on San Francisco's up-and-coming Amenti Music. Most recently has been the remix of Dizzy's, "Comin' Back Around" on the Chicago imprint, Mouthfull. Upcoming releases include remixes od Adam Colins and Sloth on Primal, David Garcia and Joey Mazzola on Look & Feel and Dj Hal on SanDiego's Block Head Records as well as EP's on Dizzy's Lowdown label and a follow up on Westbound.

Despite the duo's mind-bending success as producers, they are quick to admit that they are DJs above all else. In addition to their gigs in Seattle and beyond, they had, until recently, each hosted regular radio shows on the acclaimed Groovetech. In 2003 LCG embarked on a US road tour with The East Coast Boogiemen, possibly the first of its kind. The four DJ's p