Thursday, April 30, 2009

New Videos and Music: Titus Andronicus, Justice of Unicorns, More Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr, and Meat Puppets

Titus Andronicus have released the second video to their where-were-we-when-this-great-album-came-out album The Airing of Grievances. While this video doesn’t redefine music videos, the black and white filming add more attraction of it while the band simply trying not to do nothing but rock out and subtle things the going-nuts crowd and Ian Graetzer smashing his bass into the lights add more attraction of it.

This video by Justice of the Unicorns defies so many musical rules its not funny. How one video (for a great song) can suddenly make you want to buy everything by this band, even though you’ve never heard them in your life. How a video this cute, adorable, and sad in no way is from a twee band. And how it can make you want to destroy and at the same time hug your Ipod.

"The Dragon's Claw" by Justice of the Unicorns from Robert Bruce on Vimeo.

Sonic Youth previewed a new Lee Ranaldo sung song on Later... with Jools Holland. Proving once again that The Eternal will blow our minds.
Dinosaur Jr have released the first single to from their June 23rd (and super trippy cover art) album Farm titled I Want you To Know . The standards of any great Dinosaur Jr track are on here; super speed bass along with Mascis’ constantly great guitar riffs, with an added touch of blues thrown in this time. If this song, along with the one they did for Pitchfork, is any indication of who Farm will sound, then Dinosaur Jr will pass all expectations set by Beyond three songs into their new album. Also the underappreciated Meat Puppets have also released the first mp3 to their May 12th album Sewn Together.

Dinosuar Jr-I Want You To Know

Meat Puppets-Rotten Shame

R.I.P. Skyscraper Magazine

A few weeks ago I noticed a bunch of blog posts talking about and honoring the death of Blender Magazine. This eight year old magazine who was more corporate than Rolling Stone and Said Kate Perry’s debut was one of the best albums of 2008, had everyone, even Pitchfork, lining up to lay a flower next to its coffin. This was like the death of Jerry Farwell. Everyone with half a brain saw the evil in it and how stupid it was, yet didn’t want to look like they were dancing on their grave so they said some nice things after it died. Well sometimes some graves need to be danced on (and desecrated), especially one that committed on final musical crime; drawing attention away from Skyscraper Magazine’s passing. After 10 years and 30 issues, Skyscraper had to pull the plug due to the economic times. Now they will move to the internet, revamping their current website for their musical updates. So what’s the point, you may ask, if they will continue online? If I told you your favorite band will now only release songs by MP3 and would never tour again, how you feel? Their still your favorite band, but it isn’t the same. Sure, some people griped about the magazine, saying it was to noise or math rock centric. But the magazine was dedicated to bring to light all hidden music and, had people actually dug into the magazine, would have seen amount of different artists they covered as well as the quality of their review section. What other magazine had interviews with both Deerhunter and Bad Brains in the same issue? What other magazine had the same amount of space devoted to covering the bands as it did reviewing them, done for the simple reason of making sure no band, no matter how small or genre, was found and discovered (or rejected for sucking)? With Harp gone as well, leaving the weight of quality independent magazines on Magnet and Under The Radar, I hope they hold on.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Lost Gems: The Olivia Tremor Control-Music for the Unrealized Film Script, Dusk at Cubist Castle

In the musical world, so much is released only to disappear without a trace. Creative, experimental, boundary pushing, great music is lost without a notice or second glance. In order to fix this I shall go, one by one, to bring to light all that I can... if I find it.

In the indie rock world, saying E6 congers thoughts of Neutral Milk Hotel and their (mind numbingly great) album In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. All well and good, but it was called the Elephant 6 Collective for a reason. Spawning (and influencing) too many bands to count, one of the premier being the Olivia Tremor Control. From the rife that opens ‘The Opera House’, you can tell things this is different from everything else. Nothing is the same and straight forward in the Olivia’s world. Songs can transform into random sounds on a dime while effects can appear and disappear out of nowhere. All this is done, however, to create some of the most beautiful pop songs ever. Total Beatles and Beach Boy worship would be an understatement. Almost every musical aspect of 60's is forcefully crammed into these 27 songs down to the split writing between the bands two singers, W. Cullen Hart and Bill Doss. No Growing (Exegesis) could be a lost Beatles song while Memories of Jacqueline 1906 evolves from Zombie-esq to shouts and eerie dark noises. The creative focal point of the album is the ten song all named Green Typewriters, which range from quick two minute pop songs to nine minute sound collages reminiscent of ‘Revolution 9'. The beauty of this album is that it could only be made in the 90's. Instrumentations & sound collages (some less than 20 seconds) litter the album, helping to guide you through the album to Cubist Castle, only to be removed when uploaded to someone’s Ipod. The fact that the band created this album from hundreds of 4-track recordings they made over three years. Admire the artwork because few will see it. What the Olivia Tremor Control did in this album was what people had been trying to do (and still are) for years; being influenced and sounding like the music they loved, yet creating something original out of it.

The Olivia Tremor Control on Myspace(Unoffical)
Buy Dusk At Cubist Castle

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

New Music: Sonic Youth, Nesey Gallons, Music Tapes

To say Sonic Youth's new album, The Eternal, is anticipated is an understatement. Things it has going for it: they dropped their major label and signed to Matador, they have added Mark Ibold of Pavement as a member, and he has helped write the songs for the new album. Now added to that list is one hell of a single. Sacred Trickster is the first song of The Eternal and boy is it a dozy. A quick 2 minutes combining hardcore, black metal, Kim Gordon’s perfect mouning/yelling singing, and those "wierdo-ass hooks" Moore was talking about. Not bad for a song about a French painter named Yves Klien.
Sonic Youth-Sacred Trickster
Nesey Gallons has finally gotten around to releasing his CD (three at that). If the name sounds unfamiliar, I won’t be surprised. Gallons has been the man behind the scenes. He has helped make the last Music Tapes album, along with making both the videos from the album and touring with them. Plus he is currently helping to make the next Nana Grizol album. His music is very tender and haunting (in a good way) and the singing saws (courtesy of Mr. Julian Koster himself) simply adds to the beauty of it all. You can get the CDs here.

Finally, the Music Tapes has released a cover. Of course this being the Music Tapes, it isn’t a cover of a song you would think of. It’s a cover of "Night and Day" by 30's composer Cole Porter, and yes, it is exactly as kooky and wonderful as you think it is.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Record Store Day: The Day After

I experienced Record Store Day yesterday and, while feelings of happiness came out of it, feelings of a little anger ouught way it. Allow me to explain. Record Store Day came about for the sole reason of SUPPORTING INDEPENDENT RECORD STORES. So for me, arriving to my favorite store only one hour after it opened and only being able to get a few singles kinda hurt. The true anger, however, arose when I went to Ebay to try to get a Pavement/ Sonic Youth-Beck/ Thermals/ or Bruce Springsteen LP, only to see them coast $50 each. What really got me pissed was the captions saying that a needle had never touched them. That these people had got there early, stole these from fans I know who really wanted them, and making them shell out this money to them. Maybe I’m overreacting. Maybe this is to expected and I just really wanted that Pavement LP. But on a day like this, especially for this cause, is it truly that much to ask for the fans to get what they want? Apparently, yes.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Interview with Patrick Stickles of Titus Andronicus

This was my second, last, and most impromtu interview of SXSW. It was very kind of Mr. Stickles to have done this interview with me and I truly appreciate it.

David Glickman: Around this time last year, you had just released your debut album and were pretty unknown. Now, your one of the most critically acclaimed and buzzed about bands of this time. What do you think of that?

Patrick Stickles: I mean, maybe that’s true on the internet, I don’t know if that’s so true in the real world but were trying, were trying our best.

DG: I was wondering if you could give me a quick history because you said "First we had three members, then we had eleven members, now were have five members." So what’s going on with the band exactly?

PS: Well, it’s really tough to keep people in the band because we, they’re usually pretty young and soon they have to go to college. But know we’ve all graduated from college and we’ve got nothing else to do, so know were just pushing through.

DG: So we should get used to this line up?

PS: I hope so! You never know with these kind of characters. I’m hoping this will be the last one, but I’ve said that about every line up so we’ll see.

DG: I’ve was wondering about the lyrics on the album, because they’re so essential and so meaningful, but you recorded them in a way it’s incredible hard to understand them. I was wondering why you choose this?

PS: Oh that was largely just because I’m a terrible singer and with a lot of distortion my voice can be very grating on the listener.

DG: I don’t mind.

PS: Well, thanks. (Gives a small chuckle) I hope that, between that and we’ve got the lyric sheet with the album so hopefully people can listen that and get the idea with that without hearing off-key warbling when unnecessary.

DG: Speaking of the lyrics, they are very unhopeful self-deprecating. Are you like this, are you a dark person, or were there a series of events that inspired you to give up on life?

PS: I mean I’m like that some of the time and I’m also quite happy and optimistic, but when I’m feeling happy and optimistic I don’t really feel much of a drive to create or do music. Because when I’m feeling good about something I just want to go and do it; spend time with friends and loved ones and stuff you know. That’s not really a time I feel the need to play guitar because I’d rather just do that, but when I’m feeling depressed then it’s a good time and hopefully channel that into something productive.

DG: So what are you going to do now that everyone loves you, what are you going to write about?

PS: I’ pretty sure that everybody doesn’t love me but um...

DG: Oh come on, the crowds obviously going to get big when you preform (the band was set to go on in about 45 minutes)!

PS: We’ll see, we’ll see if they do. We’re still very hungry. We’re not ready to rest on our lorals yet.

DG: I see on your myspace, a few a new songs. Are there plans for a new EP or CD on the way?

PS: I’m really hoping were going to record a new album soon, but it’s not really not up to us you know, cause we started making this album that’s out now almost two year ago, but it’s only really gotten a real big release like two months ago.

DG: Because you, did you sign with XL or did they just decided to rerelease your album?

PS: No, were are part of the XL family of recording artists now. I’m hoping that XL is going write us a big check soon to make another album but, you know, I feel they might want us to do to a little more work on this album before we can do that.

DG: They might be too busy with Vampire Weekend.

PS: Yea, they might,(Laughs)but, all of us on XL we’re really all just spending Vampire Weekend's money.

DG: Can I ask you about your song ‘Titus Andronicus’?

PS: You can.

DG: Do you really feel that way about your band, that no one is listening to you, that no one cares about what your saying? I mean did you write it about your true opinion of the band?

PS: Um, well the truth is when I wrote that song, without getting too personal, there was this person who was important in my life at the time and I had written a new song and didn’t care to hear it. So I felt a little down about that for awhile and wrote a song that latter became the song ‘Titus Andronicus’, but I tried to modify the language so it was a little more universal. But I mean like, I don’t know, being in a rock n’ roll band is kind of like swimming upstream all the time, but we truly do appreciate it when those people that do listen to us do, and we care a lot more about them then the people who don’t listen to us.

DG: You are being called the lo-fi Bruce Springsteen. Do you think this is apt or do you just think this is because your all from New Jersey?

PS: Springsteen was really important to me, I really love Springsteen a lot and he’s "informed" our music quite a bit, but I do think that if we weren’t from New Jersey, people wouldn’t be pushing the Springsteen thing so far. I mean I wouldn’t ....

DG: Totally disown it...

PS: Yea, exactly. I wouldn’t deny that Springsteen has been very important to me both as a musician and as a person from New Jersey.

DG: I saw on tour with Los Campesinos! and I saw you guys were getting along great. Our their plans for a collaboration?

PS: Um, well I’ve been talking to Tom, who plays guitar in Los Campesinos! about doing a remix of one of our songs, but who knows if that is going to be a reality. But they’re really great guys, we really came to be quite good friends with them.

DG: Ok one last question. Is it ever hard playing in Titus Andronicus because your doing a cross the globe tour and I’ve seen your live shows and their just frantic. Is it ever draining?

PS: I mean, we get pretty exhausted after the show, but that’s pretty much the only thing we do all day and it’s only for 45 minutes, so must of time we’re just sitting around, so it’s not like we’re running marathon and then doing the show. So yea, it’s not that hard.

DG: It looks like a marathon to me.

PS: We try. We try to do all we can, but that’s about the 45 minutes of honest work we do a day, so might as well do your best.

Bands to Care About: Micachu and the Shapes

One thing we music commenters love to do is pigeon-hole bands. The smaller the hole, the better. However, Micachu (Mica Levi) and here band The Shapes (Mark Pell on drums and Raisa Khan on keyboard and computer) have arrived not only being one of the best bans around, but also one of the most undefinable as well. If you took the songs Heather Lewis did in the Beat Happening and added an electronica coat, you might have an idea of a Micachu song. Quarky, sparse, and utterly creative, it’s incredible the sounds made by a band purposely trying to limit the amount of instruments it uses. The production by Matthew Herbert doesn’t hurt either. Her debut ‘Jewellery’ was finally released on in the States and is highly recommenced. Also a mixtape made by the band can be downloaded here.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Music Tapes Interview

I have wanted to put this interview up for a long time. However the magazine I wanted to print it folded, so I will now put it up here. Not that there is anything wrong with my blog, but I simply wanted more people to see this. I would like to thank Mr. Julian Koster for sitting down with me rather impromtu and spending as much time has he did (20+ minutes) answering all of my questions. He truly is a great guy and I feel bad I wasn't able to see him preform(my ride left, thats the ONLY reason I didn't stick around).
David Glickman: It has been nine years since the last Music Tapes album. I was wondering if this was the case of, well you worked over it very slowly over the course of nine years, or did you stop making music and then suddenly all the ideas just came to you?

Julian Koster: Um, it’s the first one. A lot of it took a very long time to capture, in a recording, what I wanted to, because it was a strange way to conceive of a record because all the songs were born into me. You know, every song kinda has a soul, to me, like a person or an animal. I felt this tremendous desire to try to create a physical form for the song that would suit its soul very well. So there was a lot of attempting recordings of a song, and they would be really good recordings, but it wasn’t right to me and so I threw them out. And there were a lot of things that took a really long time to make, but there was also a certain procrastination which kinda about kinda of liking being hidden away and not necessarily being sure I wanted to be engaged with the outside world as much as you do when you put out a record and tour, which I now feel like is the greatest thing. I love doing it, I just felt for the time being I wasn’t comfortable doing it.

DG: Well you don’t necessarily have to put out an album and tour for it.

JK: Oh, but... the truth is it’s beautiful, it’s wonderful. I mean its such a wonderful experience. That’s kind of how life is. I mean if you ever... you know like swimming in the ocean when its cold. When your in there, it’s the greatest thing in the world and there’s pretty much nothing in better in life. But, have you ever stood there and looked at it and thought, "Oh my god, its cold, I don’t want to go in," and you stand there forever not going in. And it just seems sometimes that’s how life is. You deny yourself the things you love the most and you almost have to... it’s almost like you don’t get out of life without being asked to exhibit a certain measure of courage even if its your own funny brand of courage you have to do it, you have to do it, so for me it’s a bit like jumping.

DG: Compared to your first CD, the 1st Imaginary Symphony for Nomads, which was very... sound collagey, among other things,(your new one) has more of a stripped down and folkier feel to it. Was this done on purpose?

JK: Um, well it was a very different reality this record from Nomad and it was actually, some of it was born and conceived around the time I was finishing Nomad. And, I thought for a few minutes I was going to do like an old field recording, try to find an old field recording lathe, record lathe, and just record it all like that, like a folk lathe record or something, so it was almost something I want to make quickly. It’s very different. Its not so much that it’s different on purpose, it just ... it’s a very, very different world, so it needed a very, very different body; a very, very different form.

DG: On 1st Imaginary, there was the theme of aliens, youth, TV, imagination, all of it. Do you also feel that Clouds and Tornados also has a theme that runs through all the songs?

JK: Clouds and Tornados, to me, compared to Nomad which really was a story. And it was both a story and almost like an object. You know it was almost like a functional thing that you can use for a certain purpose. To me, like an amusement park ride that told a story, but that got you from point A to point B if you needed to take that ride, and you know only certain people need to take that ride. It is a very unusual record. This record to me feels more like a landscape. You know everything in a landscape is married. The trees, and the grass, and the buildings, and everything in a landscape is married because it’s all in the same landscape and its all in the same place, but each thing is its own independent entity, were as Nomad as a whole, to me, was a song, from beginning to end.

DG: Now I’m curious because, before you recorded Clouds and Tornados, you had previously recorded an album called the 2nd Imaginary Symphony for Cloudmaking, correct?

JK: It was a very intricate project, and I felt the same way about Nomad. I could say the same thing in a way. But the 2nd Imaginary was a lot like putting together a model ship in your basement that you spend years doing. It was very intricate to put together, and there were a lot of stages to it like working Brian Dewan. And so much of it was so special it took along time and it was the sort of thing were it was basically done just a few years after Nomad and not long after Nomad, but there was still things to do on it. You know it like you finished the whole thing, but you still have to do the trim and work on the paint. It took me years (to do), and I made some shared them with friends, just handmade copies. The final version, which I’m not going to touch anymore, it’s just done and Merge is going to put it out sometime this year.

DG: Really?!

JK: Yea.

DG: That’s cool!

JK: Yea, I’m exited about it and I’m hoping Brian will consent to preforming it from beginning to end, like I did in New York a couple of times.

DG: Because the entire record is just one song, correct?

JK: Well it’s a story, a long story, and it’s narrated by Brian. It’s kind of like a story with sound effects, sound collages and sound effects, and orchestration so I’m really, really thrilled that it will reach all the people that might want it because it became a thing where I couldn’t make many, and I would love to perform it from beginning to end.

DG: And I would love to see it.

JK: (Laughs) Well I hope it can come to Austin.

DG: For many lo-fi artists, back in the 90's and even today, they records like 4-tracks for the simply reason that’s what’s available to them and that’s all they can afford, but you go out of your way to record on things like wax cylinders and 1930's wire recorders. I’m curious why you do it and how you choose, because some [of your] songs are recorded on computers?

JK: Well the first part of the question, the answer would defiantly be that I love the character of sound, recorded sound. To me, every era of recording technology, from its invention forward, I lose interest in the 70's for the most part, however, until 4-tracks got invented. Until cassette started being used to record music, and there are great recordings I love from the 70's, but I just think that recording technology is an instrument to me and the sound recordings are really meaningful to people and they really respond to them without knowing it. People get certain feelings from hearing an old record or an old song on the radio or something, and they might associate that feeling with a lot of things. They might not think about the recording machines that have created the entire sound you are hearing, but to me those types of things are really, really beautiful and I just love them all deeply inside. I’m just honored and grateful to be able to make things with them . Was there a second part to the question?

DG:Yea I was wondering how you choose which songs to record on wax cylinders and which ones to record on computers.

JK: The songs tend to decide for themselves. I would say I pretty much don’t record anything (of a song) entirely on a computer. I think computers are really amazing and beautiful in the sense that make certain things possible that would be impossible. I mean you can record something on a wax cylinder and then record something on the wire recorder while listening to the wax cylinder, and then match them up on a computer and overdub something perfectly clear over that. Digital recording is almost like a freezer, its almost like you freeze things and so I like it for that.

DG: Your songs have many layers to them. Is it ever hard recreating them out on stage?

JK: Um... I guess there are things we’ve never tried to create as a band, although it just might be we never got around to it. No, to me songs really aren’t there bodies. Like I said before I feel like a song is a ghostly thing or a soul like thing, and to me it’s just a matter of it being manifest. It like your job is to give this thing life in a room, make it manifest. It’s a invisible ghostly thing and if you can invite that ghost into the room by banging your nose on a candle (there was a candle were we were sitting) when on the record it has a 15 part orchestration, banging your nose is fine just as long as it’s there. To me that’s all I’ve ever tried to look for.

DG: For this record, you did something, which besides you never have doing, very few Elephant 6 bands have ever done, which is you made music videos for two of your songs (he smiles). I was wondering how this came to be and how you choose which songs to make the videos for?

JK: Well, it happened pretty organically. I think technology made it possible. We’ve always wanted to make a video for "Television Tells Us." I’ve always kinda loved, when I was a kid, like the They Might Be Giants videos. I like rock videos, but there was to never a way until Youtube got invented and the internet got invented. MTV just plays so few videos, and when we made Nomad we really wanted Static to suddenly appear in peoples bedrooms and sing them a song. At that I might of cost Merge 20,000 dollars and MTV might not of played it and they just couldn’t risk that money, they weren’t that rich. We always wanted to basically, and Nessy (Gallons)... We started, me and Nessy and our friend Sarah would shot a lot of stuff on just high end video tapes, and one day Nessy got the idea edit rock videos out of some of it and then shooting more stuff. So he kinda started it and making them and now were just going crazy over it.

DG: So we should expect more?

JK: Oh yea. Its fun, you get to make little movies. I love movies. We're crazy about movies, just crazy about them. So the idea that you can make little films that people will enjoy and daydream with, that’s just such a neat thing to do.

DG: So is that how the Major Organ and the Adding Machine movie came to be?

JK: You know that came to be differently. Certainly out of a love for movies, but I think what kind of happened was that there was so many people involved in the making of that record in one way or another that no one claimed any of the money from the royalties. All the records sold and no one touched a cent of it. So there was this little fund and everyone was just like, "well someday will do something really great with it," and years passed and no one did anything with it because no knew what to do, and it was helping Orange Twin to have the money in the bank I guess. And one day Eric (Harris) "We’ll make a movie!" and that was it, that’s how it started. Although the idea for the movie, in think in some ways, predated the record. The idea of actually doing ... because again making a movie costs thousands of dollars, or use to.

DG: Thanks to internet, you can anything.

JK: Yea it’s beautiful.

DG: Back to the videos, is it ever hard to get Static to get out, or the singing saws, or the 7 feet metronome to act or anything.

JK: (Smiles) Oh, no they’re complete naturals.

DG: Well for your records, for both of them, you included these little gifts. For Nomad you included the pop-up and the, I don’t want to say comic, but illustrated newspaper, and for Clouds and Tornados, you included the CD holder. I’m wondering how you come up with this and why you do it because it's something I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone else include; this stuff with their CDs, these little gifts.

JK: Oh, it’s wonderful, I love that you call them that. It’s wonderful to hear them described as that. I mean to me, it just felt natural to me for those records to have does things. The thing in the new record, I started giving friends in those. And I just sent one to Merge with the record, I sent them a record in that. Actually the one that came with the record is the one I sent Merge and they just liked it so much and thought "wait we can find a way to do this" because we had done pop-ups and stuff. Those records just felt like they would come in that kind of package to me and they’re the sorts of things that are meant for, I think in some respects, to hide away in or crawl away to.

DG: Can I ask you some questions about Elephant 6?

JK: Sure.

DG: A lot of people are carious as why, all of a sudden, you decide, almost out of the blue, to bring back Elephant 6, but the truth of the matter is it just happened, didn’t it?

JK: (Laughs) I just happened and I don’t know if I have the power to bring back or take away Elephant 6 myself. I think that in general in terms of my friends and things that it just seems like every last one of us when every we really take leaps of fate in a sense and we follow belief in what we love and do things that are adventurous or scary it always dominos with my friends. It always benefit everyone it touches and always encourages the rest of us to do the same thing and the next thing you know we’re all doing a lot more than what we were doing before and anytime that can happen, I’ve just been grateful for it. My friend Nesey definitely pushed me to get off the island (Julian lives on a small island off the coast of Maine) and put out the record and tour with my friends and so I had some good encouragement. But in terms of everybody, making things together I think it’s just we should be doing. We should be making a lot of things and I think we shouldn’t have gone away in the first place. It was... it wasn’t...

DG: You don’t know why it happened.

JK: I don’t know why it happened, but this is what should be happening.

DG: Was it hard? I mean it’s a 15-piece traveling band playing a bunch of everyone else’s different songs. Was it hard getting everyone and everything together to work this out?

JK: It took a lot of faith again, to keep using that word, but it’s true. The practices were crazy and endless and fun. I mean we had the most wonderful time preparing for it. A friend of ours has a little clothing shop in Athens, and she let us practice in the store room. So we all had our stuff there and we’d all be there every night for hours and hours and hours and hours, but as many of hundreds of hours we played together, it only felt like we played each song twice because there's fifty songs! There were so many songs it was crazy and there so many of us that we didn’t know what it was going to be like as a show. We just didn’t know what would happen and we found out ourselves. And we did it the first night it was just like... we were so thrilled that it all fit together into some form that made so much sense.

DG: So is it back in full swing? Should we expect the next Olivia Tremor Control CD to come out with the Major Organ DVD right behind it by the end of the year or something?

JK: I probably shouldn’t say anything specific about stuff until it comes of its own accord, but I think there’s going to be a lot. There going to be a lot of things shared over the next couple of years, next few of years and I don’t see it stopping I just see it picking up momentum. It feels like an awful lot is the very, very beginning to me. You know everything we are experiencing feels like the very beginning of something.

DG: The real thing about the tour was, not only it happening for the first time in ten years, but all the different people coming out that, besides not making music but hadn’t toured. Jeff (Mangum), Will (Curt), Bill (Doss), just all that stuff. I guess the question is, what’s the future?

JK: Oh, no one ever knows the future and it’s silly to pretend you do. I mean, I think I trust the momentum that’s happening as being something very familiar and very real and very powerful and do a lot and do a lot. Exactly what I’m not sure. I know everyone had such a good time on the Holiday Surprise. I mean everyone came home saying it was the best tour ever, for us. We just had more fun than ever. So everyone wants to do that again so time for sure and I’m sure we will go out west next time. And what else? But yea no really knows. We’re going to record another Music Tapes as soon as we get home from this tour I think.

DG: So your going to release the 2nd Imaginary Symphony and then record a new album?

JK: Yea, we’re going to start it as soon as we get home.

DG: Wow.

JK: Yea, there’s probably at least two records worth of songs that are waiting. And we’re going to make it very fast this time for fun. We made those other records in a very different way and I’ve gotten to accumulate all these recording machines that are so wonderful that it will be easy to record quickly so we’re going to try to do something that captures the sort of crazy momentum and feeling of right now as part of the process rather than making something that’s really complex thing that takes ten years to make.

DG: Is there anything you wish to add about... anything?

JK: Gosh. Just thank you for your imaginations and your hearts and your minds the folks who are reading this that have spent time and befriended the records we’ve made. It’s a really meaningful and beautiful thing. I mean to us and in general that could happen and its real special and there’s a great thanks to you.

It's Over and I will Move On

Hello everybody. I will need to explain myself. You see for the past two weeks I've been trying to put pictures on my blog, but due to problems unknown to me this simply is not happening. So I am stopping all of my SXSW post for Sunday. Now realise the moment this is fixed those post will go up and this one will disapper. However, there are so many things I want to get to and I've fallen so behind on that I must stop.

Thank You Very much,

Crystle Antlers Live @ Mess With Texas 3

At SXSW, of the thousands of bands blogged about and hyped, it is expected to hate a few of them. For me, that overhyped band was Crystal Antlers. Not that they were terrible. The six-piece were definitely interesting. The six-piece are extremely tight and really know how to utilize each member to make their sound. Unfortunately, that sound is very dull and uncaptivating. How on earth is prog influenced guitar music the next big thing? Ok, it’s not like I had to experience a Mars Volta concert, but the guitar was too drawn out, the vocals were the same, and matched the annoyance. This is simply blog buzz done bad.

Vivian Girls Live @ Mess With Texas 3

(Above picture taken by my kid brother Adrian)

Why write about a band you saw the day before? Maybe because I don’t want to look like I wasted my Saturday. Maybe because some great pictures were taken of the band and people they invited to dance on stage (don’t ask how this was accomplished; indie rockers fear all talk of dancing to their favorite music). But the best excuse that can be made here to talk about them is to make sure they were actually a good band. In the, four bands in and hour, style of SXSW, it can be very easy to forget which were the good bands and which ones sounded good due to being drunk and surround by pot smoke. So let it be said here- the Vivian Girls rock. As in really rock. As in they have deserved every piece of buzz about them. As in if you don’t like them I have serious questions about your musical taste. As in if you haven’t seen them or bought their album drop whatever your doing and go do it. Seriously. Everything (including this blog) can wait. Go. Now.

Jason Lytle Live @ Mess With Texas

Jason Lytle gave the most disappointing set of SXSW, without a doubt in my mind. What is it that caused the living legend that is Granddaddy’s frontman turned solo artists to give a bad show? It wasn’t the quality of his new songs or the sound quality from the stage. No it was the fact he arrived 20 minutes late and spent 10 minutes for the sound check, leaving his fans to only four songs. Damn SXSW and its time restrictions! However, it can be greatly said that those four songs Jason Lytle performed were on par with anything Granddaddy did on their best day. Whether it’s because he is still working with someone from Granddaddy is up for debate, but if this show should serve as a teaser for what the real tour is like, you better get your ass down to one of his shows!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Peelander-Z Live @ The Emerald City Press

(A thanks to a Mrs. Claudia For this Photo)

I know I've fallen very behind on my posts, especially about SXSW so I will fix all of tAdd Imagehat in the next few days(the picture upload funtion wasn't letting me post pictures). Chances are you've never heard of Peelander-Z. This is both a crime against humanity and something that should be fixed right now. So in order to inform everyone, Peelander-Z is the BEST LIVE BAND AROUND. Forget Animal Collective, Grizzly Bear, or Arcade Fire, these guys put on a show on par with the Flaming Lips and they only played five songs in their 30 minute set. Antics pulled off by the band in this show alone: the bassiest (Red) entering with a giant squid on his head, the band getting audience members to play their instruments, the band pulling ten people on stage to hit metal tins with drum sticks, setting up a jump rope/limbo line, throwing their drum kit and and bass on top of a near by skate board ramp, and lead guitarist/singer Yellow dressing in a giant bowling pin costum, stopping traffic, then charging through the streets and striking a set of blowing pins.

Peelander-Z Website

The Thermals Interview

Most punk band members don't usually smile, but then most bands aren't The Thermals. I got a chance to talk to both Hutch Harris and Kathy Foster, two of the niceist people in the world. If you ever get the chance, go see them because they put on one hell of a show(as I have already posted about)
David Glickman: What prompted the move from Sub Pop to Kill Rock Stars?

Hutch Harris: We just wanted a different kind of contract. Sub Pop had offered us a second contract that was, just a lot like, our first and we just wanted a more indie label style of contract. So we talked to a lot of labels that offered that like Merge, Saddlecreek, and Kill Rock Stars. Kill Rock Stars the timing just worked out perfectly. They had the best deal by far, best contract, and they had just moved to Portland, so it all fell into place really quickly. It wasn’t quickly, but it was... once it kind of clicked that they were the right label we just moved on that.

DG: How would you describe the music on your new album, Now We Can See?

Kathy Foster: Um, I think it’s bigger and wider than our last record.

DG: Poppier?

HH: I think its poppier.

KF: Yeah, I think it’s kinda more straight forward rock n’ roll, a little less punk...

DG: Is it true that’s written from the perspective of a corpus?

(Both Laugh) KF: Not a corpus so much, but a person died and are looking back on their life and reflecting on humanity. So not as morbid as a corpus, but more like a sprit.

HH: But A lot of it is kind of scary cause it’s written, suppose to be (written) at the point of death. There are a couple of songs that are simply "Wow, you’re dying" , which is terrifying thought for a lot of us I think.

DG: Is this the person who died at the end of "The Blood, The Body, and The Machine"?

HH: Yeah it could be, I try not to link them to much because if people haven’t heard of us and want to get into the new record, I don’t want them to feel like they have to go back and listen to prequl or whatever you know. But yeah, for people who loved the "The Body, The Blood" its definitely a continuation.

DG: How true are the stories behind the recording? Five bong hits a day and you (Hutch) almost lost your finger?

(Smiles) HH: Was that in Spin?

DG: Yeah.

HH: Yeah, plenty of bong hits. I sliced this finger; I had nine stitches in one finger. I couldn’t play guitar for three weeks, which was actually not to shabby. And then on election night, when Obama won, I was inspired and stated playing guitar again. It felt very weird.

DG: You always, progressively, your albums get a little more poppier, but that slightly gets balanced out by you constantly getting slightly more pissed off at the world.

(Both laugh)HH: Totally

DG: So with the times looking nicer, at least from your prospective, are going to completely circum to popiness?

HH: (Completely sarcastic and humorously ): Yeahhhh, we’ll just fall into a decadent lifestyle of sex and drugs and general boredom. (Both laugh)

DG: And more bong hits.

HH. Yeah!

DG: You write about big subjects like religion, death, government suppression. What drives you to write about these big subjects instead of, like smaller bands would not even consider writing about this or wouldn’t even place politics anything of the other stuff at all in their music.

HH: We just trying keep it interesting, really. There are a million songs about girls and boys and boring stuff. We’re just trying to make it interesting really. For me I just want the lyrics to be intelligent, and it’s not making a statement, but just saying something you know.

DG: Now you did some acoustic numbers for the Take Away Blog. I was wondering how this come about because, no offense to you, but The Thermals are not the first band I picture going acoustic.

KF: Well, Hutch and I played music together for a long time, about twelve years. We actually started out more poppy and acoustic. So that was really comfortable for us and we played a ton of shows before we were The Thermals as like, stripped down just guitar, just drums and guitar. So since we didn’t have a drummer last year, and we were just writing songs for the new record, and we still wanted to play some shows so we, so we just did some like stripped down versions of some songs. We played some songs over the summer of 2008, just guitar and snare.

DG: Right, for the charity shows.

KF: Yeah, so they wanted to do the take away thing so we just decided to do it that way.

DG: Is it ever hard recording as The Thermals because there’s the constant changing of all your drummers and your (Kathy) in another band, the All Girl Summer Fun Band. Is the recording ever challenging?

KF: Um, I mean, it’s challenging. You it would be nice to record as a full band, but a the same time Hutch and I are really comfortable playing together and I love playing drums so I like having that opportunity. We work very well together, it’s really easy, it’s like really easy to
record at the same time because there’s just two people making the decisions rather than three or four. It’s pretty comfortable for us, but at the same it would be nice to play the songs live, play all the parts at the same time. We can do both.

DG: Your (Hutch) thoughts?

HH: All we would really need is for Kathy to grow two more arms and then play drums and bass at the same time(Laughs). We’ve looked at the past two records more as projects rather than a band making a record so, considering Kathy and me grew up just always making records or like 4-tracks and 8-tracks cassette machines like we just do that in larger, it’s actually a lot of fun, and, I think it’s more interesting to us than a band that goes and plays songs.

DG: Last question; how come you never (Kathy) sing?

(Laughs) KF: I’m starting to sing now. The bands Hutch and I were in previously, we would sing a lot together, but when Hutch started writing The Thermal songs I just really loved his lyrics and his vocals and I didn’t ever feel the need to add anything. I just liked how it was. But now were just writing different songs and writing more parts we can sing together so I’ll be sing more and more.