Friday, February 20, 2009

Brian Dewan/Nana Grizol Live

When you see a live show, you expect there to be some level of chaos or weirdness. When you go see a show with Elephant 6 bands, you KNOW there is going to be chaos or weirdness, but that’s what you want because it makes the show more enjoyable. I was able to see the Brian Dewan, Nana Grizol, and The Music Tapes. While I was unable to see the final band because of time issues and my ride back home, the opening acts are not something that go unnoted and in fact should spread through the blog and music site kingdoms.
Truth by told, I had no idea what to expect from Brian Dewan. He spent the entire time before the show walking around in a suit and tie and the instrument he was going to use looked like a mini harp. There was also the problem of him being most well know for doing the art of "In the Areoplane Over the Sea" rather than any of his music. Once he took stage, however all doubts were erased. Playing perfectly on his autoharp, Brian gave one of the best and funniest shows I’ve seen. There is nothing quite like hearing a 1920's poem about how the devil made Texas or hearing all the nonsensicals in a Captain Beefheart cover. The best moment is hard to pinpoint, though I think it was either the Dead Kennedys cover of "Religious Vomit" or the poem about the evils of tobacco written in the 1600's. The real treat, however, came when Brian actually stopped playing. Brian is also works in the visual arts and, using a mini projector he brought with him, showed us a film strip he created titled "Civic Pride". Made in a flux-educational style, the film strip was as funny as it was morbid, which was very much.
Next was Nana Grizol. A small band only in popularity, not in size, they released their debut "Love It, Love It" on Orange Twin last year and it was one of the most criminally ignored of 2008. With such as great and simply sound on record, I was worried they wouldn’t be able to recreate it live. That worry died quickly. Although it was easy to see that they were exhausted from driving form Athens, that did not stop them from putting on a great show. Playing a large amount of unreleased materia, but balancing it with some nice cuts from "Love It", it was a hectic show. Multi instrument swaps between all 8 people on stage, not to mention Laura running frantically between drumming, clarinet playing, and blowing a trumpet on the stairs of the club. Still it was probably worth it for them when they saw the punk club dancing with pure joy to "Voices Echo Down Thee Hall".

Nana Grizol Set List
Galaxies(New Song)
Circles ‘Round The Moon
Ginsburg(Unreleased Song)
Motion In the Ocean
Fearsome Face(New Song)
Voices Echo Down Thee Hall
Black Box(Unreleased Song)
Cynicism(Unreleased Song)
Everything You Ever Hoped Or Worked For
The Idea That Everything Could Possibly Be Said

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Update on Music Tapes Interview (Lots of Good News with a little bad)

Hello everybody. As I informed everyone on a post a little while back I interviewed Julian Koster of the Music Tapes. It was a great interview and I had planed on posting it on this website and my blog. However once I finished transcribing it to a document, I felt like it deserved to be seen on more than my dinky blog. So I submitted it to be published in Skyscraper Magazine. However they only come out with a magazine every three months, so they said they will start considering it (along with all the other pieces submitted to them) around SXSW (March 17th ). However this unfair for you, and I don’t believe in breaking promises, plus I don’t want the information to go stall. So I am going information from the interview, without (hopefully) ruining the whole interview.

First off, some of the bigger news. The long awaited never realized Music Tapes album 2nd Imaginary Symphony for Couldmaking WILL BE RELEASED THIS YEAR. I don’t know when but it will be put out by Merge. He also shared desire to preform the album in it’s entirety at some shows(the album is a long story narrated by Brian Dewan). He also said that he plans to record a new Music Tapes album when the tour ends. He wishes to record it fast, because of the equipment he has and feel he wants the album to have.

He also talked about the Elephant 6(well ok I asked him some questions). He said that the tour was great, everyone on the tour loved doing, and while there is no plans right now, there is a great desire to do another tour and bring it west. He also said the expect a great number of things to come from the Elephant 6 collective in the coming years.
I hope this tides you over for now. Sorry for not being able to post the interview and I publish it the moment I know I can. Feel free to ask questions over stuff that is confusing, but know I might not be able to answer it all as to not spoil the interview.

Here is the magazine:

Thank You Very Much,

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Nana Grizol Interview

Here is my entire interview with Theo Hilton of Nana Grizol. It took place at the Mohawk in Austin, Texas. It was my first interview EVER with a band, so I apologize for all the interruptions. Feel free to comment, ask questions to anything that confuses you, or things I could improve on. Two things you should know When this (...) appears it doesn’t mean that I cut something but that there was a pause. Also I will be uploading a audio file of this interview A.S.A.P. Oh, and I’m working on getting my Music Tapes Interview up as well.

David Glickman(Me): How did the band form? How did it start? You worked at Orange Twin right?

Theo Hilton: Well, it started I guess uh with my friend Jared, who plays bass in Nana Grizol and in the music tapes as well, we use to be in a band together call Zumm Zumm together like few years ago. And we had this story how Nana Grizol was the matriarch of Zumm Zumm. So I started a calling that whatever song that wrote or recorded by myself and stuff. I guess like chronologically that was kind of transgentil to me becoming more involved with Orange Twin stuff and round, a little bit after I don’t what, I don’t know how to describe it. A couple of years ago our friend Madeline was having a CD release party, and so she asked Nana Grizol to open, so we made a band for that and we’ve been a band every since then.

DG: Had you always, what they’s 10 members in the band, on it being so big?

TH: No. I guess, when we played are first show, there were probably like 7 of us at that point, maybe 6. I can’t remember exactly. And then you know we just have a bunch of friends who you know like to hang out with. We liked playing music together. There have been some people who have come for a tour or two. You know it’s weird right now because there are eight of us and feel like all eight of us are heavily involved in it and have been doing it forever, for years.

DG: Are you trying to achieve something different in Nana than you would in Defiance, Ohio(Theo’s other band.)

TH: No, I don’t think so. I think in the case of both those bands, the core of it is friends who want to spend a lot of time together on a project and make music that they love together. And I think, that is the driving force behind both of those bands.

DG: So the Songs on Love It, Love It are, well, about love (Theo laughs). Relationships, what ifs, good parts, bad parts, heartbreaks. Had you always planed on making a record like this?

TH: No, I guess not. I guess you know, I feel like a number of those songs...I would say its about love, I wouldn’t say that I think of the album as a whole as being about romantic love necessary. I think it’s about people being apart of people’s lives and the things that come with that. And I think that the songs written on that album were written, really over the course of, I don’t know, five years proceeding us actually making that album. And I guess a lot of them were written in times of, some cases of being in relationships and feeling weird or something, or whenever I decided to leave Athens, and that was like a big weird thing for me coming home or whatever. I don’t know, just a lot of the songs come from times of feeling really confused about whatever situations.

DG: Speaking of, you went on a do-it-yourself, one month tour, and then you went on tour with the rest of the Elephant 6 Collective for the big holiday surprise tour last year. But in truth speaking, this is, and is going to be, your first proper tour. How do think it’s going to be like?

TH: I think its going to be really fun. It’s a ... interesting thing to be touring with this band in this way. I guess I don’t look at it a whole lot differently then I look at any other tour. We’re going places that I’m really excited to go, playing shows which I’m really exited to do. I think really the biggest difference is doing soundchecks.

DG: Well, there’s eight members in the band. Does it ever get, or is it confusing, or do you ever lose track... it seems it can get chaotic on stage.

TH: I don’t know. I think we... play and maybe it gets chaotic sometime but I love it. There’s always some moments on stage where your wondering "Is this working?" and then "Its working!" and your like this is really fun and it’s always so much fun.

DG: From what I’ve heard from various places, the NPR live concert of the Elephant 6 collective, various Youtube clips, quite a few songs like "Cynicism" and "Black Constellations" aren’t on Love It, Love It. Do you plan on making and EP or another CD after the tour?

TH: We actually are most of the way done recording our next album. I guess were going to go home and...

DG: Put the finishing touches?

TH: Yeah, put the finishing touches and see what we want to do. We’re really exited about it.

DG: So we should expect it by the end of the year?

TH: Uh, I couldn’t say. We’ll get it out to the world sometime in short order.

DG: Speaking of, eight people in the band, in tight closed places, what was it like recoding "Love
It, Love, It"? It seems like that can get wild as well.

TH: It was... we recorded that(Love It, Love It), I feel, really over the course of a week or something. That was a really different experience from what were doing now because we just went into a studio in town and put down a couple of guitars and drums and layered everything over it. There would be times were we were all there and times where there would be only a couple of use, like, slowly adding stuff. And I guess in that regard, what we’re doing now is really similar to (that), slowly figuring out how exactly we want it to sound I suppose.

DG: So the recording for the new album was different from "Love It, Love It"?

TH: Um, yeah. The new album, our friend Nesey (Gallons), who we play with in the Music Tapes is recording it in his house in Athens. And its really neat, we’ve set a studio, and set up a tape machine...

DG: No Pressure

TH: Yeah, its really relaxed and really nice.

DG: Nana Grizol has gotten a few comparisons to bands like Okkervil River or Bright Eyes. Do you think these comparisons are valid?

TH: Ah, I don’t know, I guess any comparison is valid. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard Okkervil River before...

DG: I guess the bigger question would be what do you think your music sounds like?

TH: Oh...

DG: Just as comparison to the other bands.

TH: I think as anything is derivative of other stuff, I defiantly hear how the music we like is reflected in the music we make. I... don’t really don’t know how to expand on that.

DG: It’s ok, it’s ok.. My final question to you is, you just told me but maybe you could go into a little more detail, how did you get the name "Nana Grizol"? Does it mean anything really?
TH:Well it came from, when I was 18 in Athens I had this really tremendous crush on this guy, but then this girl named, named ... I can’t think of her name now that I try to think of it.

DG: Maybe it’s better that way.

TH: No, it’s relevant to the story, her first name anyway. Her first name was Latisha, I mean I like her a lot, I’ve gotten to know her, it was just she was hitting it off with this guy really well and I was telling someone about her, you know real spiteful, "What’s her name?" and they said "It’s something like Grizelda or Lysal or something like that," and I was like "Its Grizol!". I don’t know, some how I liked that, and then Nana Grizol became the grandmother of Zumm Zumm and I wrote some stories about our back history...

DG: Under that monarchy?

TH: Yeah I guess so.

DG: Anything you want to add?

TH: Um yeah, I’m really exited that were going tour and that were going on to play shows...

DG: With the Music Tapes!
TH: Yeah, it's going to be really fun

DG: Something just popped into me. Outside of working with Orange Twin, which has a semi-connection with the Elephant 6 Collective, you hadn’t really been apart of it and then you were asked to join tour. What was that... how did that come about and what do you think your place is now?

TH: I would say the answer to that question is really similar to the answer to the Defiance, Ohio, Nana Grizol question. I would say that were, at the heart of that friends who want to hang out and play music together and work on a project together...

DG: And you just so happen to be in Athens.

TH: Yeah, and Julian (Koster) and Nesey came to Athens in, I want to say June or so, and then I started playing with The Music Tapes and then we were getting ready for the tour and you know, it just ended up, I mean it was a real organic thing, I wasn’t anything we had planned or anything. And We just end hanging out and playing a lot music with Scott, well not a lot but a little bit.

DG: Scott?

TH: Scott Spillane, he was in The Gerbils, and he’s been playing kind of solo.

DG: Oh, so now The Gerbils are going to come out to!

TH: Well I won’t go so far as to say that, but they rock out every now and again.

Elephant 6 Explosion

Hello everybody. I just got two wonderful interviews from two wonderful people. First was my interview with Theo Hilton of Nana Grizol, which I will be posting in moments. Second was my inteview with Julian Koster of the Music Tapes. I will also be doing a review of the live show at the Mohawk in Austin. Prepare for all this to come very soon.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Live Concert Review: Titus Andronicus and Los Campesinos!

(Note to everyone. There are two things wrong with this post that I WILL correct as soon as I can. The first one is the lack of pictures for the show which is due to me (stupidly) not bringing my camera. While this might not count as an actual "problem" per say, due to how visual these two band’s shows are I feel they are essential for a proper review of the shows. The second one is the set list’s which I know are wrong. I will fix them as soon as I can (if you know them please email me.)

On January 31st the "Red Bull Injected Right Into Your Veins Tour" a.k.a. Titus Andronicus and Los Campesinos! Tour came to The Parish in Austin, Texas. In the 3 hour span of the two shows, mass organized chaos ensued. Dance-mosh pits, stage diving, crowd surfing both by audience and band members , and unplugged microphones all occurred in a beer and pure joy infused concert all to the delight of 350 super fans.

Los Campesinos! could have not picked out a better opening band. Titus Andronicus are 5 New Jersey boys just signed to the XL label who released their debut "The Airing of Grievances". Obviously, any band that makes references to both Shakespeare and Seinfeld holds a lot of potential and Titus deliver. Beer powered lo-fi energy rock songs that never let up for one second playing their entire album plus a song from home town hero, Bruce Springsteen. If there was one complaint, it would lead singer Patrick Stickles vocal’s which, already on the album, whether due to the lo-finess of their songs are just the Jersey accents, are already hard to understand, reached an almost shoegazing level of distortion added to the lo-fi quality of their equipments. However, live, this was more of a plus then a problem.

After the a 20 minute gap between, Los Campesinos! came onstage. For does of you who don’t know (and why not?) Los Campesinos! play the greatest twee-punk pop ever with some of the wittiest and heartrenching lyrics added on top. While all these elements sound and should add up to the Welsh equivalent of an emo band like My Chemical Romance or The Used, Gareth Campeinos’ (they all share the same fake last name) cryptic and humor filled lyrics, plus some of the best melody add up to simply great music. Plus have in Pavement and Broken Social Scene as your key influences doesn’t hurt either. But the question always in the air was whether or not to they could match the energy they created on their albums. The answer, was a 100 % yes.

Opening with "Ways To Make It Through The Walls" the crowd, which had unfortunately stayed rather still during Titus’ set instantly and literary jumped into action. Creating the indie rock equivalent to a mosh pit, the energy never let up for on second. Pogoing never fit music so right as know when the band started singing "The International Tweexcore Underground"; even the people not dancing didn’t care how many times there were being bumped into. The connection was between the band and audience was strong the whole night. When the band launched into fan favorite "You!Me!Dancing!" a crazy/stupid/super fan jumped on the club subwoofer and danced along with the song twice! (That would be your’s truly by the way.) The entire concert was littered with moments like this. DVDs given to the band with boners drawn on each (it was a reference to the music), singing happy birthday to keyboardist Aleks, Garath jumping into the crowd then jumping on the subwoofer with Aleks to sing finale "Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks", and the whole band jumping into and crowd surfing. The only thing missing was a huge pile of confetti pouring from the roof.

Titus Andronicus’ Set ( They played all these songs, I just have the order wrong.)
1.Fear and Loathing In Mahway, NJ
2.My Time Outside the Womb
3.Joset of Nazareth’s Blues
4.Arms Against Atrophy
5.Upon Viewing Brueghel’s Landscape with the Fall of Icarus
6.Bad Lands
7.No Future Part Two: The Days After No Future
8.No Future
9.Titus Andronicus
10.Albert Camus

Los Campesinos Set List(Once again, the songs are correct, but the set list is correct. However songs 1-2 and 11-14 I know are in the right order)

1.Ways To Make It Through The Ways
2.The International Tweexcore Underground
4.Death to Los Campesinos!
5.My Year In Lists
6.Drop It Doe Eyes
7.Documented Minor Emotional Breakdown # 1
8.Knee Deep At ATP
9.All Your Keyfabe Friends
10.This Is How You Spell "HAHAHA, We Destroyed The Hopes And Dreams of A Generation Of Faux-Romantics"
11.Box Elder(Pavement Cover)/You!Me!Dancing!
12.We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed
13.Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks
14.Broken Hearts Beats Sound Like Break Beats

Titus Andronicus Websites:

Los Campesinos! Websites: