Published on April 18th, 2014 | by Scott Ryan


Record Confessions // The Holy Broke

Every discerning music listener has a dirty secret or two. Not those albums that people claim to like for the sake of irony…we’re talking pure guilty pleasure, that record you only listen to when you are driving alone, or are too embarrassed to defend when it comes up at a party. That record you just can’t seem to quit no matter how much it goes against all your criteria for good taste. The question is, have you ever wondered what some of the musicians you most admire might be hiding on their ipods? Welcome to Record Confessions, a series where we will probe the depths with some of our favorite featured artists here on Collect to discover just what they probably don’t want us to know.

Kent Ueland is a true workhorse of a musician. Lately, the prolific singer/songwriter has managed to write, record and tour extensively with two different projects, in between local gigs and working a couple of other jobs to keep the lights on. Last year saw the successful release of new record, ‘Runt,’ from his long time band, Terrible Buttons, but he’s already got new tunes in the pipeline for their next one. With The Holy Broke, Kent explores folksier, more personal territory, which he describes as ‘an injured dog howling.’ He has been travelling back and forth to Minnesota to work on a full length with Plastic Horse Records, which he will finish tracking later this month (check out our Collect Session with the Holy Broke here). Kent is obviously driven, and his songwriting shows depth and commitment to his craft. He also seems to have a sweet tooth for perfectly crafted pop music.

What is a record that you love that everyone else seems to hate?

Bangerz, by Miley Cyrus.

When did you first hear and fall in love with it?

“We Can’t Stop” took up about 90% of all radio time for a minute there. And I thought it was a great pop song. But when “Wrecking Ball” came in (like a wrecking ball), I was completely sold. I listened on repeat for a couple days. In fact, right when it came out, I was drunk and dinking around in my basement, and I watched the directors cut of the Wrecking Ball video for the first time. She stared at me for so long that I was pretty sure that she was into me. Miley and I had a moment. A very. Special. Moment.

Do you try to hide it, or is it an unabashed love affair?

Much like the rest of my personality, it really depends who I’m with. If I’m comfortable around you, the amount of MC you’ll hear is sure to make you uncomfortable. If I’m not comfortable, you’ll only hear about the great Will Oldham and how much Justin Vernon sucks. But I guess this is going to go on the interwebs, so I must not be that ashamed.

Why do you think it is so reviled?

I mean, her money-grubbing is incredibly transparent, and that really pisses people off. But the fact is that sex sells and we’re buying. My news feed was full of people talking about what a human garbage heap she was, and yet Bangerz debuted at #1.

The whole scandalousness of her image is no different than Weezy talking about killing people. It’s a hustle, and people buy it or they don’t, but damn there’s some great pop tunes on that record. And it’s hard to frown on a solid gold jet ski, so I think she’s doing fine.

Why do you love it and should people give it a second chance?

The production is absolutely mind blowing. Sure it’s just as shiny as every other (worse) pop record, but the ground that she and her production team cover is incredibly vast. “FU” could legitimately pass as a lost Amy Winehouse single with a couple tweaks. “Wrecking Ball” is this sultry string-led pop ballad that would make even Duke Nukem remember that girl he loved in college who banged his best friend. And “We Can’t Stop” is just good ol’ fashioned hallucinogen-promoting party music, with some good ol’ fashioned racially-tinged booty shakin’. All three could be on completely different records by completely different artists, but Bangerz delivers it all, in a package riddled with great production decisions. Long live Bangerz.

Finally, in your opinion, is it a guilty pleasure, or an underrated masterpiece?

Masterpiece. Through and through. If you can forget about your Nick Drake limited edition colored vinyl for, like, one second, and remember that being so cool isn’t that cool, you’ll be able to hear Bangerz for what it is. And that’s one great production decision after another. Those guys are seriously infallible.

Kent Ueland - Terrible Buttons

Be sure to catch The Holy Broke at
The Bartlett in Spokane, April 23rd

The Holy Broke: Bandcamp // facebook
Terrible Buttons: website // facebook // twitter


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About the Author

Scott recently migrated back to the northwest from Los Angeles where he spent a decade performing, writing film scores, releasing albums and building connections in the music industry. He's the production manager at The Bartlett, a Star Wars prequel apologist and master of random pop culture trivia.

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