Friday, July 31, 2009

Titus Andronicus to Tour with The So So Glows

Did you miss me? Of course you did. And with my mighty return comes good news; Titus Andronicus are coming to a town near you! The great New Jersey rockers are to travel the U.S. as four piece after Andrew Cedermark and Ian O’Neil left the band and Liam Beston joined. They will be touring with their pals The So So Glos. Prepare for nights of very loud guitars and lots of beer being drunk/spilt on the audience.

Tour Dates
09/02 Brooklyn, NY Monster-Island Basement *
09/03 Boston, MA - Harper's Ferry *
09/04 Montreal, QC- II Motore *
09/05 Toronto, ON- Horseshoe Tavern *
09/06 Detroit, MI- Magic Stick *
09/07 Chicago, IL-Bottom Lounge *
09/08 St. Louis, MO-The Firebird *
09/09 Iowa City, IA-The Mill *
09/10 Lincoln, NE- Bourbon Theatre *
09/11 Denver, CO-Larimer Lounge *
09/16 Vancouver, BC-Media Club *
09/17 Olympia, WA- The Northern *
09/18 Seattle, WA-The Funhouse *
09/19 Portland, OR The Doug Fir- Music Fest NW *
09/22 San Luis Obispo, CA- SLO Art Center *
09/24 Los Angeles, CA- Echo *
09/26 Phoenix, AZ- Modified Arts *
09/29 El Paso, TX-Black Market *
09/30 Austin, TX-Mohawk *
10/01 Houston, TX- Mangos *
10/04 Memphis, TN Hi-Tone *
10/05 - Knoxville, TN Pilot Light *
10/06Atlanta, GA- 529 *
10/07 Athens, GA- Caledonia Lounge *
10/08 Charlotte, NC- Milestone *
10/09 Chapel Hill, NC- Local 506 *
10/10 Charlottesville, VA- The Southern *
10/11 Washington, DC- Rock and Roll Hotel
10/12 Baltimore, MD- The Talking Head *
10/13 Philadelphia, PA- Barbary *
10/15 Brooklyn, NY- Knitting Factory *

Titus Andronicus Myspace

The So So Glos Myspace

Note: It has come to my attention that former band member Andrew Cedermark is making music. Very different from the Titus Andronicus stuff but still very good. It can be heard here.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


I am leaving again for 12 days. I probably won't be able to post anything. I am sorry and swear I will be more constant when I get back.


It's pronounced "eehee": An Interview with Zach Burba of iji

(photo taken by Three Imaginary Girls)

As many one who reads this blog knows, I think iji is making some of the best indie-pop around. So it was a real pleasure to talk with main iji man Zach Burba. Learn what's wrong with the indie-pop scene, how great Daniel Johnston is, and what the heck iji means in the first place.
David Glickman: Ok lets start pre-iji. You got into music through your first band Seashells, right?

Zach Burba: Sort of. Actually, I started iji before I started Seashells. iji was a band made up of my old best friend David. I was 15 actually when I started iji with my old best friend David and my brother Luke and my girlfriend at the time. Originally it was just me and my brother and my best friend at the time and my girlfriend showed up later to play keyboards. We were doing that and it was pretty strictly just these people. You know every show had to be David, Luke, and me. And we wrote songs together and stuff. And then later on we... they weren’t as into making music as I was. I was getting really deep into the scene and wanted to play shows everyday and wanted to do things everyday. And they weren’t as into it so I started Seashells as a way to play by myself and not be undermining them under the name iji. But after a while... they just started leaving the band, so I decided I was just going to combine projects and iji would just be me when it need to be or a band when it could be and I could write and type of song for iji. Like Seashell was like a little bit folkier and lo-fi so I decided I was just going to bring these projects together. Merge them together and make just one thing named iji.

DG: So what led to the demise of Seashells and you focusing all your attention on iji?

ZB: Well it was just when the people left the band. Like when my friend David and brother Luke... I was more into it than them. I was writing all the songs and I wanted to go really far with this and do everything I could. So they couldn’t do that and were busy doing other things. So said "You know what, I’m going to make iji just me for now, and find other people to play with whenever I can." But because it was just me, it kind of defeated the purpose of having Seashells because it was kind of like iji shows by myself , but I played different songs.

DG: So is that what lead to you doing all does four-track recordings by yourself?

ZB: Actually, I was always doing the recording by myself. And actually we’ve we use a 16-track. My dad bought a 16-track digital recorder when I was really young. It’s like a really old one, a really early one. We got more advance stuff when he started a music company so he gave me this one.

DG: So what lead to the blow up to a six-piece band?

ZB: Well, I’ve played with a lot of different people. In Phoenix, I was playing with a large group of different people; who ever I could get to play a show. My friend Robbie, who was in the played in Pools and Alfred Daniel’s Midland and a bunch of different bands; and my friend Tristan who was in Ugga Mugga and a bunch of other cool Phoenix bands and just who ever I could get from the Phoenix scene to play with me I got. But it just got hard to keep people doing it and eventually I decided I wanted to move to Seattle. I came up here by myself leaving all the band members behind and when I got to Seattle I put a band together like that (snaps his fingers). I found my friends Jon and Kenan and they were like "We want to play in the band" and they found their friends who said "We want to be in the band too". If anyone asked to play in the band and they had an instrument we didn’t already have I’d usually say yes. So I just wound up being this huge thing, this huge project of six people and we might even add a seventh soon.

DG: So Seashells was from Phoenix...

ZB: Seashells was Phoenix, iji was from Phoenix originally. I like to think of the West Coast as my home. In the Western part of the world I am at home.

DG: So what prompted the move to Seattle?

ZB: I was doing a lot touring under the name iji with a lot of friends. Every show I played in Seattle was the best show ever and every time in Seattle was the best time and I really loved it. And people really liked my band up here and I was down in Phoenix were there wasn’t much going for me. Plus I need a house to live in and my friend Jon said "We have an opening at my house in Seattle" and I was really Make a random, huge, pointless change in my life. So I did that by just dropping everything, putting everything I could into my van trunk, and moving here to Seattle. And it was one of best decisions I ever made, it’s wonderful here.

DG: Trust me it’s not pointless. So, you’ve been releasing a lot through music through Lost Sound Tapes, which is a cassette label, and you opted to self-release your latest album. What led to this? Is there just a D.I.Y. ethic that appeals to you?

ZB: Absolutely. And Lost Sound Tapes is still a very D.I.Y. thing because my friend Jon, who didn’t use to play in the band when I put out does tapes, but now even plays in the band and we live together. Now we’re real close and I’m always helping make the Lost Sound Tapes releases. Lost Sound Tapes is great, but personally, I don’t listen to a lot of cassette tapes, I’ll admit that. (Laughs)

DG: You hypocrite!(Laughs)

ZB: I mean I have some and listen to them some, but usually I just listen to CD’s. But I really like Jon, I really like the label, and I really like the idea of having cassette tapes even though, it not something personally I would listen to as much as if someone gave me a CD instead of a cassette tape. So when I put something out on cassette tape, it’s almost like B-sides. It’s like a record that I’d... it’s not that it’s not important to me, but this a little bit goofier, this I spent a lot of time on, this is something I did kind of fast even though it’s necessarily better than each other. That’s why I’ll put something out on tape as oppose to on CD. The new record... my friend Andrew was going to release it on his label Now Hereness, but that label not really doing anything anymore. It kind of didn’t happen, so we decided to just do it ourselves.

DG: So what lead to the vinyl with Watercolor Paintings?

ZB: That was an idea of Jon from Lost Sound Tapes. He decided he wanted to start doing 7 inches. And we were going on tour with Watercolor Paintings, so it just made sense. Originally we were going to do a 7 inch with the band James Rabbit, which is one of my favorite bands and great people. Then we were going on tour with Watercolor Paintings, so we were saying "This makes more sense, lets do it with Watercolor Paintings so they can sell it as a tour merchandise item." I really like that band a lot. I love does people and their music so it’s really exciting to do a release with them.

DG: So how did the huge, two month trek through the United States and Canada come about?

ZB: Well, I’ve done a lot of tours as iji and the first tour with our friend Jude Ambry who was like, "Will you come on tour with me?". I was like "yes, I’d love too." If your going to tour the whole country and make it affordable for smaller bands like our bands, you have to really take your time and hit all the little stops and short drives between short drives. So that’s just how long it takes to tour the whole country and also touring is my favorite thing in the world. It’s so exciting. So I convinced all my friends in iji to do a tour so were just doing it.

DG: You said you don’t listen to a lot of cassette tapes, but I find a certain Daniel Johnston influence in your records. How do you compare this, because he put a lot of his earlier material on cassettes?

ZB: Yeah, I didn’t find out about Daniel Johnston until people started re-releasing his records out on CD and LP. I knew about him and saw the movie (The Devil and Daniel Johnston) , and was so blow away by it. I mean heard so of his songs before that and liked them, but once the movie came out I was just so inspired and couldn’t believe it. Thinking about that the story just makes get so emotional. I love music so much and he loved music a lot too, and I feel this kind of deep connection to him over that and in the simplest way I can relate to that band in the way that they make me feel and deal with stuff in my life.

DG: So in my mind, there’s a certain shift in your music recently from your pop stuff to more of a rock sound. Is this on purpose or am I just imagining it?

ZB: I don’t know if it’s on purpose, but my songs are always changing. Have you heard the newest record, In Celebration?

DG: No, I’m going to buy it here.

ZB: Ok, cool. Yeah, that ones really pop in a lot of ways but also rock. I’ve been listening to a lot of rock. I mean indie-pop was a huge part of my life and it’s a lot of my favorite bands. But I feel I’ve gotten to a point were I’m getting past it, especially getting older and taking part in a lot of the beginning pop scenes and meeting a lot of the bands that I really loved has almost turned me off from indie-pop as a whole.

DG: Explain that.

ZB: I’ve learned that all around that they all book 21+ shows, they all party centric and book all these shows at bars, and because of this they’re not reaching a younger audience except for a select few like myself when I was younger who would just go out and looking for so much music and spending so much time finding the bands I loved. I fell like, making music for young people is the most important things and keeping your ideas young and feeling young because that’s what rock and rolls all about. Calvin Johnston once said rock and roll was a teenage sport. That’s what it’s all about. Just young attitude, young feeling. I feel like a lot of indie-pop scenes, even from coming from such a young place, is neglecting that these that these days. Not that I don’t still love all these bands...

DG: Like who?

ZB: I...

DG: No naming names?

ZB: No naming names (laughs). Just a lot of the people who put on a lot the pop fests. A lot of them are 21+ and stuff...

DG: Not Calvin Johnston.

ZB: Not Calvin Johnston.

DG: You’re a big Beat Happening/Calvin Johnston fan?

ZB: Uh, yes. Yes and no. I like it a lot but... it’s great.

DG: Ok so I’ve got to ask this: what in the world does iji mean?

ZB: iji means a lot of things. It’s primarily something I made up when I was a really young kid. When I was learning how to write. Learning how to speak and learning about words and pattern and I really liked pattern in words and I really liked words that were palindromes and words that were just certain patterns. I just liked the way the word looked. I would write on things like notebooks and it had three dots in a row and you could make a lot of things out of it, so mainly it’s a visual idea. The pronunciation comes from Spanish. Like to thing our band is named after the idea or instinct when your singing and your stretching out a word that ends in ‘e’ to go like "ee-hee". I like to thing my band is name after that.

iji Mysapce

Lost Sound Tapes

Friday, July 17, 2009

Backpack/Watercolor Paintings/Sundance Kids/iji Live @ Danclvania 7/4/09

Nothing like talking about a show 13 days after it happened. This show was my first house show and as such, possibly my most awkward time at a concert, mainly because it felt like I had crashed a secret show. Thankfully those feeling eroded fast and what was left was the experience of seeing four bands with about 30 people. I feel sorry for anyone who choose to see fireworks over these guys.

Due to schedule conflict (i.e. the show starting an hour earlier then planned) I missed the first set by John Clackley. I was able to get their on time to catch Backpack. Knowing nothing about them (besides that they were playing) and having never heard one of their songs, it was still an enjoyable set. Two guys, one girl, two guitars, one bass, all three in dress. A drop overly cute, but still good music and cuteness was the secret theme of the night.

The next band was Watercolor Paintings. Siblings Rebecca and Josh Redmen made up the band and I don’t think there is a better band name for them. With Josh on ukulele and Rebecca plucking the harp and singing the music was very simple but extremely well crafted. The songs were lovely songs about love about just about everything and nothing; the greatest of combinations. The innocentness and tweeness of Washington is alive and living in Seattle.

The next band, Sundance Kids, helped us from dying from a sugar rush. Originally planned to preform after John Clackley, they arrived two sets late to start the rock portion of the set. It was defiantly worth the wait. While they are pretty much your standard three-piece indie-pop band, people who play with this much energy can’t be ignored. Whether it being the fact that they finally got the crowd moving or the antics they pulled-namely jumping on the couch and getting into the crowd-Sundance Kids put on a great show.

Then came the main event of the night. The amps were set, the seven band members came out, and iji blew the house down! Ok not really but it was still an awesome set. Times like this it’s hard to tell whether the band was incredibly tight-nit or if it was just pure sloppy pop. Never really the point with iji, the band soldiered on, giving the best performance of the night. They played from their In Celebration and 7 in split with Watercolor Paintings, which thankfully sounded just as good live as it did in studio. (Un?)Luckily the band didn’t take the show serious, even preforming three different incarnations of "Peanut Butter Astral Projection" and part of "Average Homeboy" (yes THAT average homeboy). Yes, it was goofy, silly, and one of the band members was wearing a cap with a bear in it, but it was still better than fireworks in every situation.


Watercolor Paintings

Sundance Kids


Watercolor Paintings Myspace

Sundance Kids Mysapce

iji Myspace

Album Review: Titus Andronicus-The Innocents Abroad Live In London 2/23/09

The problem with calling Titus Andronicus a live band is that it does deep discredit to their studio album. Phish are a live band because no studio album they have come out with does justice to their live shows (at least that is what I’m told). Titus Andronicus aren’t because their album The Airing of Girvences kicks major ass. Still, a Titus Andronicus show is a sight to be hold and this LP tries to capture lighting in a bottle.

This LP does capture many of the highlights a TA show. Patrick Stickles banter with the audience is intact and pretty good and the standard covers of a TA show are included. In fact, probably the biggest highlight of the album is their cover of The Modern Lovers "Roadrunner". That track alone is worth the purchase of this album. The other tracks preformed are the some of the better from the their debut, but the real moments of interest are the performance of tracks "Every Time I See the Light, Part II" and "Titus Andronicus Forever". While released in various formats over this year, it’s nice to have the material in a concrete format like this. While there is nothing especially new here, any fan of the band (like me) will really enjoy LP with all of its touches like the letter sent in each copy or the hand stamped album art. Only 300 copies are being made by Rough Trade, so if you want one, hurry!

Rough Trade Shop to Get the Titus Andronicus LP

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Album and 7in. Review: iji & Watercolor Paintings-s/t 7in. and iji-In Celebration

The concept behind the single was a simple. The tow bands were going on tour so why not give them something to showcase them. It’s six minutes for e each band; all original songs, all great. The Watercolor Paintings side is a tight fit with four songs on it. While short, nothing feels thrown together or put on just because it was lying around. Each track really complements each other even in the short time they have together. The same tone can not be applied to the iji side. Not to say the iji side is bad, but that they just let loose and had some fun. Look no further than "Peanut Butter Astral Projection" a 20 second song that takes its lyrical sense from a GBV song. Luckily, the other two songs are pure pop genuis. If there is any complaint about the 7 in. It’s the lack of speration grooves between iji tracks on the iji side. But thats is a small complaint for a great 7 in.

The same praise can also be heaped on iji’s In Celebration. The sixth release in three years by iji, it could possibly be his most cohesive to date. Backed by a full six-piece band (a step up from his regular one-man band recording), each track is full of gooey pop goodness. Tracks like "Open Curtains" or "Blanket Visions" really showcase the band, saxophone and maracas in all. "Long Branches and Roots" is a sweet love song, but don’t let that fool you. This is really six friends making music together and goofing off at the same time. Kickoff track "Kick Drum" asks whether the thumping on the track is a kick drum or a heart, but not caring either way. The band members scream out in delight (I hope!) At the end of "Giant Bite" and one song is called "4 counts after the end of the world" for crying out loud. Yes the tracks are a little simple, but when your making pop this good , that’s not the point. Too many people will miss out on this record due to its self-released nature, but it is still something you should definitely look for (mainly here.)

Watercolor Paintings Myspace

iji Myspace

Los Campesinos! Announce Record Box Project 2009, Once Again Increase Chances of Being Best Band Ever

Once again proving how great they are, Los Campesinos! have anncounced the Record Box Project of 2009. On every stop on the tour, the band will go into a local record store and buy/film singles to put into the box. At the end of the tour the band will give the box to one lucky fan who can figure out how to get it through hints given through Youtube vidoes. High-brow yes, but still very awesome. See the actual details along with what's in the box here. Also, just to throw it up there, read a great interview with Gareth here at the Spectrum Culture.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Everything I Missed: The Decemberists-The Hazards of Love

Anyone could see the Decemberists were building up to this point. The stories they wrote, creating a rock opera was in Colin Meloy’s blood. And when I say rock opera, I mean it. This album rocks! The riffs and licks Chris Funk produces are slightly short of mind blowing and ear splitting. That is one of the most surprising aspects of this album. For a band that , except for a few choice songs, never really pulled out the guitar, really pays ode to cock operas of past. Hard-core fans might be upset with this move, but what it rightly showcases is a band trying something new and pulling it off. Another aspect that seems to be harped on is the story and how hard it is to follow. Anyone who says this really isn’t a Decemberists fan or really is not trying. The story is about a woman named Margret falling in love with a forest sprit. Then the sprits envies Forest Queen mother (voiced by the knock out voice of My Brightest Diamond’s Shara Worden) finds out about this and uses a murderous father to separate them. And while it ends the way most Decemberist stories end, that is slightly besides the point. It is a beautiful story that showcases the amazing abilities of this band. It’s a shame that some people are so knit-picky that they overlook this.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

News: New Mission of Burma Album Coming Your Way and The Dodos Are Letting You Hear Their New Album

Officially back on computers (at least for a week) and once again a day late on news, Mission of Burma are releasing a new album. Titled The Sound The Speed The Light and is due out on October 6. A concept behind the record (though it is not a concept record, go figure) is 4 sections of the album with 3 songs in each section, each exploring a different mood. As an added bonus, the wonderful people at Matador have released the first single to the album. Called 1, 2, 3, Partyy! it could be the funest song the band has ever done and obviously comes from the "Happy" Section.

At least posted on the day it happened, the new album by The Dodos has leaked. This is not lost on anybody especially The Dodos so instead of turning to Web Sheriff, they decided to do the right thing and pull a Wilco AKA letting you stream the entire album. Right now. At For those who still care about the physicall release (i.e. me and 5 other people) the album is due out in the states September 15.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

News: Times New Viking Have a New Album, Los Campesinos! are Daytrotting, and Beck Has Way Too Much TIme On His Hands

Uber-lo-fi band Times New Viking has finished their 4th album right behind all our backs. The album is called Born Again Revisited and will be released on Matador Records September 22. The album is said to have "25 % higher fidelity", the oddest statement this band could make because a) everybody loves their shit-fidelity and b) the masters were turned in on VHS tapes (yes those things still apperently exist). The first single called "No Times No Hope" can be heard here.

Los Campesinos! are busy with just about everything. Having just finished their 3rd album, the band manged to step away from their blog for a few minutes to recorded a great session for Daytrotter. Check out here. Also while on the subject of Los Campesinos!, Garath has convinced his friend Charlotte (yes of "We are Beautiful, We are Doomed" fame) to post a great cover of "Heart Swells/Pacific Daylight Time". It can be downloaded here and the blog post explaining it can be read here. (Thanks to The Great Pumpkin for the tip)

Beck, between covering the Velvet Underground and DJing, has decided to do random interviews as well. The first is with Tom Waits and no, I will not repost it due to sheer size. It can be view here however. Stay tuned when Beck will announce plans for a zine with drawings by Jason Lytle (Kidding... I hope).

Finally two pieces of small, but great, news. Matador has released the second single to Jay Reatard's upcoming album Watch Me Fall. It is called "Wounded" it sounds as twee as a Jay Reatard song could be and can be heard here. And finally Burger Records has confirmed the re-release date of Nobunny's Raw Romance. It is July 18 so mark your calendar.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

News Update: More iji Dates; Nobunny News

Despite what you think, I didn't abandon you. I am just really limited from computers. So I am trying now to do as many posts as I can.

Ok iji have added a bunch of shows on their two month planned tour with the Watercolor Paintings. I caught them yesterday at the kick-off show in Seattle and I can't recommended it hard enough. See the other dates at my Bands to Care About post. Also be sure to check their myspace, because they said they would be booking even more shows.

7/10 Logan, Utah-Why Sound
7/11 Farmington, Utah-The Collective Loft
7/15 St. Paul, Minnesota-The Turf Club
7/30 Philedelphia, Pennsylvania-Sergeant House
8/9 Birmingham, Alabama-Uncle Gary's Fun House
8/12 St. Louis, Missouri-City Art Supply
8/15 Dention, Texas-Haiely's

Now Nobunny is very busy as well. Nobunny is in the studio for the next 2 1/2 weeks to record his second LP titled, as suspected, Ono. Also second pressing of the Raw Romance cassette will be released by Burger Records again. According to Nobunny, it will be released soon, however no date has been given yet (Damn). Also a few more tour dates have been added. Also like iji keep checking his myspace because more dates/updates are expected.

7/24 Olympia, Washington-Historic Quince
8/17 Green Bay, Wisconsin-Eagles Club
8/23 Reno, Nevada-ROCKTOCYCLE
9/20 Tucson, Arizona-Club Congress

iji's Myspace
Nobunny's Myspace

P.S. An interview with iji, along with a review of the iji show, news about other bands, and way too many reviews will all be coming soon, and I will be posting as much as I can will limited.