Category Archive: Uncategorized

  1. Win Tickets and Gear from M83

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    M83 is coming to House of Blues Orlando, Thursday, 9/27.
    Want a chance to win a pair of prime tickets to the show + a signed Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming cd +++ other cool M83 gear?
    Be the first to connect the M83 galaxy and we’ll hook you up. Here’s what you’ll want to do.
    1. Starting Wednesday, September 19th, at 3pm we’ve hidden an “M” at Park Ave CDs (2916 Corrine Dr  Orlando, FL 32803)
    b. To help you find the ‘M’, mention this clue to someone at the store: “Wait”
    c. When you find the “M” show it to the adult @ the counter and claim your prize!
    2. After you’ve found the “M”, instagram a picture of yourself holding “M” to The Social’s
    Facebook (@thesocial) and/or Twitter (@socialorlando) page with the hashtag “#foundtheM”
    3. You’ve completed the first step of connecting the M83 galaxy. On Thursday, September 20 th,
    we’ll let you know where we’ve placed the “8”. More cool stuff to be had.
    4. The first to find the “M”, the “8” and the “3” will win the grand prize of great pair of tickets
    to M83 and a signed M83 Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming CD. Team up with friends to cover
    more….space.
    5. Happy travels.
  2. Death rattle The Regency Ballroom in memory of Chuck Schuldiner (VIA Examiner.com)

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    Death rattle The Regency Ballroom in memory of Chuck Schuldiner – San Francisco Music News | Examiner.com.

    Death plays at The Beacham on June 30th.

     

    Death rattle The Regency Ballroom in memory of Chuck Schuldiner

    Members of the band Death, considered a pioneering force in death metal and grindcore by the music community, will reunite for a handful of shows kicking off at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco Friday, June 22.

    The tour will next move on to the House of Blues in Los Angeles and Chicago, then play New York City’s Irving Plaza before winding down at The Beacham in Orlando for what is currently the tour’s final stop.
    Tickets for the San Francisco show are $28 in advance and $32 day of. Doors open at 8 p.m. and showtime is 9 p.m. Special guest is Gorguts.

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    Click Here

    The five-city tour, called Death To All Tour 2012, celebrates the life and music of Death founder Chuck Schuldiner whose life was cut short when he died December 13, 2001 at the age of 34 from brain cancer. The shows benefits Sweet Relief Musicians Fund – a charity that provides financial assistance to career musicians faced with illness, disability or age-related problems.

    In 1999, Schuldiner had been diagnosed with a high-grade pontine glioma, a malignant type of cancer that invades the brainstem. Although he underwent a successful surgery to remove the tumor, the cancer returned years later. The first surgery left the guitarist and his family with a financial debt of over $70,000. The metal community rallied with auctions, benefits concerts and fundraisers to help offset the cost.
    A cash strapped Schuldiner was denied the second surgery when it was learned the family took out medical insurance after his first surgery and therefore it was a pre-existing condition (the tumor existed before and insurance refused to cover the surgery).

    While Schuldiner received chemotherapy, musician friends stepped up and in the summer of 2001 members of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Korn auctioned off personal items to help raise money. Schuldiner contracted pneumonia in early November and died a month later.

    Touring members of Death include: drummers Gene Hoglan (Individual Thought Patterns/Symbolic) and Sean Reinert (Human); bassists Steve DiGiorgio (Human/Individual Thought Patterns) and Scott Clendenin (The Sound of Perseverance); and guitarists Paul Masvidal (Human), Shannon Hamm (The Sound of Perseverance) and Bobby Koelble (Symbolic).

    Death Tour Dates

    06/22 – The Regency Ballroom – San Francisco, CA

    06/23 – House of Blues – Los Angeles, CA

    06/26 – House of Blues – Chicago, IL

    06/28 – Irving Plaza – New York City, NY

    06/30 – The Beacham – Orlando, FL

  3. show preview: Curren$y at The Beacham, Friday June 15

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    Curren$y album art

    Since his earlier days of rapping alongside New Orleans rapper Lil
    Wayne, Curren$y has been a very notable voice in hip-hop. His status
    increased even more as he released his much acclaimed Ski Beatz
    produced record, Pilot Talk, as well as his sequel album later that
    same year, laying down lazy, well-thought out rhymes over dreamy and
    smooth production. Curren$y seems to flawlessly release new material
    every month, delivering mixtapes and guest appearances heavy in
    between solid album releases. The Stoned Immaculate marks the very
    first “major,” release from the New Orleans native, and his forth
    effort for 2012.

    Yet, as much material as the rapper seems to be releasing, he doesn’t
    seem to ever decrease in quality. The Stoned Immaculate doesn’t show
    any crumbling by Curren$y’s talent or flow, but rather a continuation
    of his constant and steady effort in hip-hop. This album is Curren$y’s
    most polished and well rounded work to date, delivering the consistent
    stoner-smooth jams the rapper is well known for with an additional
    number of guest appearances.

    In fact, one of the only downsides to the album is that it may
    actually have too much guest appearances. Of the 13 tracks, 10 of them
    have guest appearances, with the digital version of the album holding
    16 tracks with 11 songs featuring other rappers. Curren$y’s drifting
    voice works well on the beats provided for The Stoned Immaculate, but
    some of the other rappers don’t stack up as high. On “What It Look
    Like,” Wale’s voice sticks out a little more noticeably than Curren$y,
    sounding somewhat obnoxious on the hook. Wiz Khalifa makes two
    appearances, providing one hit and one miss for the album. The rappers
    themselves aren’t all terrible, but these beats are meant for the
    smooth-talking Curren$y at times and are a bit unsuitable for company.

    The guests aren’t all sloppy, however. Wiz Khalifa did serve a great
    verse on the album’s theme song “Jet Life,” alongside rapper Big
    K.R.I.T., who also produced the song. 2 Chainz did very well on
    “Capitol,” slowly rapping and stumbling with every syllable the way
    the Georgia rapper is known for, while spitting somewhat clichéd lines
    that provide guilty pleasures to listeners (You know I do it like I’m
    doing it for Dew/Watch the shoes, ostrich, you know what time it is
    like 2 watches). In “No Squares,” Curren$y takes his title as one of
    the hardest working rappers in the game (Spokes pokin’/I should be the
    “weed don’t stop me from workin” spokesperson/Cause I get it in,
    stoned, active like a sober person runnin”). The production by Daz
    Dillinger, Tony P, Bink!, J.U.S.T.I.C.E League, Pharrell, and many
    others are all solid and created a very perfectly rounded mix for the
    entire album, providing Curren$y with southern drum heavy patterns,
    mildly lazy flute/synth loops and a high volume of spazzy jazz
    samples.

    Curren$y is definitely known for rapping alongside his production in a
    very lazy manner, almost blending into the background while riding the
    wave of each beat. This is something not all rappers can do and what
    most strive for. This could be either a gift or curse for the hip-hop
    artist though, since some of his lines may come up missing as he’s
    homogeneous to his production and his voice is inseparable to the
    flows on some songs.

    But as the album title states, Curren$y proves himself to be
    immaculate, effortless spitting rhymes about the finest herb, the
    hottest girls, and the fastest cars he handles on a daily basis. The
    subject matter may not be new at all for hip-hop, but it does seem
    perfected by the rapper, and the delivery makes it a fresh listen.
    This album is exactly what you would expect from the N.O. artist with
    plenty more to offer.

    Keytracks: “Chandelier,” “Privacy Glass,” “Jet Life,” “No Squares”

    Thanks,
    Kevin Cortez, Staff writer for Brink Magazine.
    Please pick up a copy of Brink Magazine or check out http://brinkmagonline.com/

  4. Q&A: Charles Rowell Of Crocodiles Gets Naked In Germany | CMJ

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    Q&A: Charles Rowell Of Crocodiles Gets Naked In Germany | CMJ.

    Hear Crocodiles perform at The Social on Wednesday, July 18th.

    http://www.thesocial.org/event/119057/

     

    Q&A: Crocodiles’ Charles Rowell Gets Naked In Germany

    The guitarist talks Berlin, Baudelaire and endless nudity

    June 4, 2012  |  By

     

    Crocodiles

    Photo by Marco Rapisarda

    While writing their third studio album, Endless Flowers, the globetrotting garage punks of Crocodiles went a bit bohemian. Principle songwriters Brandon Welchez and Charles Rowell wrote and recorded most of the record in Berlin, sharing a “shoddy chateau” together on the outskirts of town, hitting up sordid dive bars at night and bringing the various vagrants they encountered home with them.

    “Somehow we eventually came up with an album,” says guitarist Rowell above the electric squall of the band’s pre-release rehearsal in Berlin.

    The resulting record, Endless Flowers (out June 5 on Frenchkiss), is Crocodiles’ poppiest offering yet, blooming with slick guitar hooks and sexually charged rhythms that capture the combination of honesty and depravity gleaned from the group’s musical study abroad. We caught up with Rowell to get the skinny on the new record, memorable episodes of debauchery and a peculiar production practice called “The Naked Dictator.”

    Crocodiles – Endless Flowers by Frenchkiss

    It sounds like rehearsal is going pretty… loud. Are you playing in the same space where you first rehearsed your album?
    No, but ironically enough we’re playing our record release show basically in the same space where we rehearsed the album. It’s literally cavernous: It looks like a cave, and it’s under a train station. Brandon [Welchez] and I taught the band the songs there, and just after we finished rehearsing they turned the caves into a venue. So now it’s like, a 1,000-capacity club underneath the train station, which is pretty nuts.

    How have you guys been spending your time in Berlin?
    Brandon and I lived together in a little chateau on the edge of town—a cheap chateau, a shoddy chateau. Brandon and I have been working together and making music together and making love together for about 12 years now, so we’re thick as thieves, and we know exactly what the other person is thinking just by the blink of an eye. We cooked breakfast for each other and did all kinds of domestic things, finishing writing the record, taking in all the crazy local characters. So that’s how we wrote it. Then we flew the band out and took them to this cavernous rehearsal space and recorded it. The whole thing has kind of set a precedent for what we’ll do in future albums: Move to a city, immerse ourselves in the sordid underground that revolves around dive bars and gay bars and stuff, invite all these crazy characters back to our house, and hopefully we’ll eventually come up with something that’s worth releasing.

    Do you already have your next city picked out?
    We’re thinking Mexico City next. All the same feelings we get off of Berlin we get there. It’s cheap, it’s nefarious, it’s artistic, it’s beautiful—really inspiring. We actually wrote quite a bit of this album when we were there last.

    What sorts of nefarious dives do you frequent in Berlin?
    There’s a bar that basically translates to “The Rotten Rose” that we went to a lot. It’s completely covered in mirrors–the whole thing, even the tables. They’re located in Kreuzberg, which is a grittier part of the city on the south side of the river. Same thing with the Witch Club, which has like all these random stuffed witches on broomsticks all around the place. It definitely says a lot about the clientele. Witch Club had a really good dance floor though, and they put on really good garage-rock nights. There’s also a club called Ficken 3000, which translates to “Fuck Club 3000.” That had like a blackout room where you can go if you’re expecting to hook up. They also have an ice cream machine in there, so you have to go to the blackout room if you want to eat ice cream. Which sends a really odd message.

    And what kind of nefarious characters have you been bringing home with you?
    [laughs] Like male burlesque dancers…some of the actual club owners. We got in really well with the owner of Ficken 3000, actually. All kinds of interesting people. Coming back here now for our album release is like a reunion! We didn’t really bring it up that we were in a band or anything when we met these strangers, but they’re fans now. They’ll be there at the release show under the train station. I can’t even imagine what backstage will be like…probably like a zoo, literally. Animals. People who act like animals. Bushels of hay. Urine on the walls. Or maybe they’ll just bring canvases and an easel and paint us.

    Crocodiles – Sunday (Psychic Conversation #9) by Souterrain Transmissions

    Did you play any shows in Berlin before this one?
    We played here once before, and that was at a house party. It was insane. We had to keep starting and stopping because people were falling all over us. It was also a dress-up party where everyone was in crazy costumes. I had like a military outfit on, but I cut the shorts really, really obscenely short, and I cut the sleeves off my military jacket, and I had a helmet on and lipstick.

    You’re playing a record release show on a boat on the Thames. How did that come about?
    The record label that released our “I Wanna Kill” single in the U.K. are having a party, but it happens to fall on the same day that the Sex Pistols had their famous boat gig. It also coincides with the week of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and our record release. So it’s all kinds of stuff. We kind of work off spontaneity 100 percent of the time, so something crazy may happen. I hope so. I hope the boat sinks.

    Flowers show up on the album cover and in several songs throughout the record. What attracted you to that image?
    In a way it just came together. A lot of the inspiration on this record is poetic and literary figures. At the time we were reading a lot of Charles Baudelaire and like Flowers Of Evil, so maybe that’s in there. But flowers can mean anything, really. It can mean happiness, sadness, a first date, a funeral—anything. It’s a poetic thing and an image that’s been used a lot because it’s really effective, especially if you want to straddle that line between dark and light.

    When was the last time you gave someone flowers?
    I gave them to my wife—or my wife to be—Hollie [Cook] after she played a gig. She was going to be on a television show, so I brought her flowers at the television show.

    What led you to the naked photo you used for the album cover?
    There are people out there who probably like our music and probably listen to it pretty carefully, and here we’re exposing ourselves a little more and getting a little more naked emotionally. Thematically, it just fits. It’s deviant but it’s also very emotional and honest and kind of romantic in a way. Jesus, the model…people all have different opinions about what he’s doing and what it means, which is really cool. But mostly it’s the cover we wanted because it just fits our songs, you know. There’s some dirtiness, some nastiness but also some real honest moments. And Jesus is beautiful as well.

    Is that Jesus on the cover of the “Sunday” 7-inch as well?
    Yep, that’s Big J.

    As a band you seem pretty comfortable with nudity. Can you tell me about the Naked Dictator?
    [laughs] Yeah, it’s just fun to mess with everyone who’s involved in the recording session. So we did that by going into what we called the Naked Dictator persona, by getting naked and whipping each other with hot mops dipped in water and stuff. Like, while we were recording someone would go into their Naked Dictator outfit, which is nothing at all, and smack someone with a mop or something, so it’s recorded.

    So the Naked Dictator is actually on the album?
    Yeah. [laughs] In several forms.

  5. Album Stream: River City Extension – Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Your Anger :: Featured Audio :: Paste

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    Album Stream: River City Extension – Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Your Anger :: Featured Audio :: Paste.

    click the link above to head over to Paste Magazine and stream the entire River City Extension album. Then come hear them live at The Social on Tuesday, June 5.http://www.thesocial.org/event/113055/

     

    Album Stream: River City Extension – Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Your Anger

    Album Stream: River City Extension - <i>Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Your Anger</i>

    River City Extension’s Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Your Anger shows a maturity not typically found on a sophomore album. The eight-piece band, based out of New Jersey, is still channeling their folk-rock roots, but with a bit more of a punch. The structure of songs like “Glastonbury” and “Slander” allow each instrument to flourish, but not overwhelm the others. Joe Michelini’s dynamic vocals fit perfectly with all the instrumentation that swarms around him. The occasional harmonies (“Ballad of Oregon”), Sam Tacon’s vocals (“If You Need Me Back in Brooklyn”) and soaring choruses (“Welcome to Pittsburgh”) add a change of pace from Michelini’s vocals.

    Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Your Anger won’t be available in stores until June 5, but you can stream the entire album and view the band’s tour dates below.

    {SEO}

    May
    31 – Washington, D.C. @ Sixth and I Historic Synagogue

    June
    1 – Charlottesville, Va. @ The Southern
    2 – Chapel Hill, N.C. @ Local 506
    4 – St. Augustine, Fla. @ The Original Cafe Eleven
    5 – Orlando, Fla. @ The Social
    6 – Atlanta, Ga. @ Masquerade
    8 – Dallas, Texas @ The Prophet Bar
    9 – Austin, Texas @ Stubb’s BBQ
    10 – San Antonion, Texas @ Korova
    12 – Tucson, Ariz. @ Club Congress
    13 – San Diego, Calif. @ Casbah
    14 – Phoenix, Ariz. @ The Rhythm Room
    15 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ The Satellite
    16 – San Francisco, Calif. @ Bottom of the Hill
    17 – San Jose, Calif. @ Blank Club
    19 – Portland, Ore. @ Backspace
    20 – Seattle, Wash. @ Barboza
    22 – Salt Lake City, Utah @ Kilby Court
    23 – Denver, Colo. @ Marquis Theater
    24 – Lawrence, Kan. @ Jackpot Music Hall
    26 – Minneapolis, Minn. @ 7th Street Entry
    27 – Chicago, Ill. @ Schubas Tavern
    28 – Grand Rapids, Mich. @ The Intersection
    29 – Pontiac, Mich. @ Pike Room at the Crowfoot
    30 – Arkon, Ohio @ Musica

    July
    2 – Pittsburgh, Penn. @ The Altar Bar
    19 – Cambridge, Mass. @ TT the Bear’s
    20 – Philadelphia, Penn. @ Union Transfer
    21 – New York, N.Y. @ Bowery Ballroom

  6. M83 – REUNION VIDEO

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    Foundation and House Of Blues present M83 at House Of Blues on Thursday, September 27th. http://www.thesocial.org/event/119555/

    May 30th, 2012

    New York, NY

    “REUNION” VIDEO DEBUTS TODAY!

    NEW REUNION EP OUT NOW WITH REMIXES BY

    Mylo, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Sei A, White Sea

    The Naked And Famous, Polly Scattergood

    M83 TO PERFORM

    AT AUSTIN CITY LIMITS MUSIC FESTIVAL &  PITCHFORK MUSIC FESTIVAL PARIS

    “M83 at its best — vibrant, elegant and unpredictable.”

    – The New York Times

    “22 tracks of horizon-spanning, unabashedly epic synth rock, a double album

    without a wasted moment”

    – Pitchfork (#3 Best Album of 2011)

    M83 has released the official video for “Reunion” the second single from 

    Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming

    Directed by Fleur & Manu and Produced by DIVISION,  “Reunion” is part two of the story that commenced with “Midnight City.” Together, these two tracks are the soundtrack for a pack of gifted kids with telekinetic powers who escape from an institution and run wild through a desolate cityscape. In the first video we witness their liberation, with “Reunion” we experience their defiance.

    Having recently relocated to Los Angeles, the video reflects Anthony’s ongoing love affair with the magical escapism of film and the city itself.

    Visit M83’s official YouTube page to watch the video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJQQrjVmQG0

    Reunion is the second single off of the massive sixth M83 album Hurry Up We’re Dreaming, which continues to display M83’s aptitude at writing catchy cosmic-pop soundtracks filled with fantasy and imagination.

    The single is released with a stunning and diverse remix package of six re-works of the track, by Mylo, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Sei A, The Naked And Famous, Polly Scattergood, and White Sea.

    This Fall, M83 will be performing at Bumbershoot and Austin City Limits Music Festival. Tickets are on sale now with stage and set times to follow. Anthony Gonzalez and band recently just wrapped up their second SOLD OUT North American tour and are headed to Europe for several weeks of shows. For a full list of upcoming tour dates, including Hammerstein Ballroom show in NYC on October 2nd, visit ilovem83.com.

    Produced by Justin Meldal-Johnsen (Beck, NIN, The Mars Volta, Goldfrapp), mixed by Tony Hoffer (Air, The Kooks), and including contributions from Brad Laner (from 90’s band Medicine), Saturdays=Youth vocalist Morgan Kibby,and guest vocalist Zola Jesus, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming is a double-album journey that takes us to the horizon and introduces us to new landscapes. About awakening, craving, and conquering, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming pushes into new vocal territory for M83. Here we see Gonzalez test out different ways of singing, ranging from a spectral breathy whisper to a howling scream.  “I think it is a reflection of my 30 years of being a human being. It’s a compilation of all my previous music together. It’s a retrospective of myself”, says Gonzalez.

    M83 is Los Angeles based French artist Anthony Gonzalez.

    Reunion EP tracklisting:

    1. Reunion (Album Version)

    2. Reunion (The Naked And Famous Remix)

    3. Reunion (Sei A Remix)

    4. Reunion (Polly Scattergood Mix)

    5. Reunion (Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr Remix)

    6. Reunion (Mylo Remix)

    7. Reunion (White Sea Remix)

    SUMMER/FALL 2012 NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES:

    Aug 1 – Philadelphia, PA – Electric Factory

    Aug 2 – Munhall, PA – Carnegie Music Hall of Homestead

    Aug 3-5 – Chicago, IL– Lollapalooza-Grant Park

    Aug 7 – Portland, ME – State Theatre

    Aug. 8 – NYC – SummerStage (Sold Out)

    Sept. 1-3 – Seattle, WA – Bumbershoot Festival

    Sep. 5 – Edmonton, AB, Canada – Edmonton Event Centre

    Sep. 6 – Calgary, AB, Canada – Mac Ewan Ballroom

    Sep. 27 – Lake Buena Vista, FL – House of Blues Orlando

    Sep. 30 – Norfolk, VA – NorVa

    Oct. 2 –NYC– Hammerstein Ballroom

    Oct. 9 – New Orleans, LA – House of Blues New Orleans

    Oct. 10 – Houston, TX – Bayou Music Center

    Oct. 11 – Dallas, TX – Palladium Ballroom

    Oct. 12-14 – Austin, TX – Austin City Limits Music Festival

    Nov. 1-3 – Paris, France – Pitchfork Music Festival Paris

    M83: Website | Facebook | Twitter

    Mute: Website | Facebook | Twitter

    For More Information:
    Sheryl Witlen

    Sheryl@mute.com

     

  7. Concert review: Lucero, Soul Rebels at the Beacham – Soundboard Music Blog – Orlando Sentinel

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    Concert review: Lucero, Soul Rebels at the Beacham – Soundboard Music Blog – Orlando Sentinel.

    Jim Abbott’s review of last week’s Lucero / Soul Rebels show at The Beacham.

     

    Concert review: Lucero, Soul Rebels at the Beacham

    “You can’t really follow the Soul Rebels,” Lucero lead singer Ben Nichols told the crowd in the opening moments of the band’s headlining set on Thursday at the Beacham.

    Yeah, at the moment, it was hard to imagine how Lucero’s meat-and-potatoes mixture of rock, country and Memphis-style R&B could compete with the hourlong, high-energy, New Orleans street-party offered by the Soul Rebels.

    Yet, somehow, the wildly diverse elements all came together to yield a generous, emotionally charged show with more than its share of high points.

    Soul Rebels, a brass band that carries on and expands the tradition of such Big Easy legends at the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, specializes in hitching its brassy style to pop songs  such as the Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams Are Made of This.”

    That song and the boisterous cover of Stevie Wonder’s “I Wish” were powered by the explosive drums-and-tuba rhythm section that makes so much of the Soul Rebels material so infectiously irresistible.

    In songs such as “504,”  ”Turn It Up” and ”Night People,” the Rebels embraced hip-hop and demonstrated effortless showmanship with the band members’ occasional loose-limbed choreography.

    (It was also cool to see the band introduced on stage by their manager, Adam Shipley, who used to book shows in the same room before moving to New Orleans many years ago.)

    A tough act to follow, but Lucero tackled the challenge with a swaggering set that showcased the band’s deceptively simple style with easy self-assurance. It helped that the sound mix was precise enough to emphasize the mix of guitars and keyboards and keep the lead vocals comfortably on top of the instruments.

    “On My Way Downtown,” “Nights Like These” a raucous “Kiss the Bottle” and other songs put an earthy exclamation point on a terrific night of music.

  8. Interviews: Mark Kozelek | Features | Pitchfork

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    Interviews: Mark Kozelek | Features | Pitchfork.

    check Mark Kozelek at The Social on Sunday, Sept 23.

    http://www.thesocial.org/event/110975/

     

    Mark Kozelek

    The Sun Kil Moon leader on his freewheeling new album, challenging modern attention spans, and how fewer women attend his shows nowadays.

    By

    Laura Snapes

    , May 23, 2012

    Mark Kozelek

    Photo by Gabriel Shepard

    Sun Kil Moon: Sunshine in Chicago

    “I didn’t want to put myself, or anyone else, asleep with another quintessential Mark Kozelek album.” Even though the following interview happened over email, you can hear the sarcastic nuance on the last three words of that statement, given in answer to a question about the comparative immediacy of veteran singer-songwriter Kozelek’s upcoming fifth album as Sun Kil Moon (and 14th overall), Among the Leaves.

    And it’s not a quintessential Kozelek record– at 17 songs, one of which bears an 18-word title, it’s longer, looser, and more playful than what we’ve come to expect from the 45-year-old. (By the way, that song is called: “The Moderately Talented Yet Attractive Young Woman vs the Exceptionally Talented Yet Not So Attractive Middle Aged Man”; that sound you can hear is Mark’s tongue waggling madly in his cheek.) On the album’s extended length, he says, “Recording a standard 10-song album is a concept I chose to make fun of on this record.”

    This September marks 20 years since the release of Down Colorful Hill, Kozelek’s former band Red House Painters‘ debut album on 4AD, and although much of Among the Leaves was written in a four-month period spanning October 2011 to January 2012, Kozelek says that many of the songs here could represent any number of occurences from his career. Largely featuring just Kozelek and a nylon-string guitar, the record as a whole feels instant and unbelaboured, full of lightly given insights into the frequent difficulty of songwriting, the temptations of the road, and the comfort of home; unconcerned with any notion of legacy, or living up to expectations.

    “When I get compared to artists like José González or
    Bon Iver, I can’t help but think, ‘I’ve been doing
    this since they were in third grade.’”

    Pitchfork: This is the longest Sun Kil Moon record, and the one with the longest song titles, by some way. Why release such a volume of work in one go?

    MK: The titles were me venting a bit– it’s a funny album and I was in the mood for some awkward titles. As far as the length, I wanted to challenge myself and do something out of the ordinary. When I was young, a gatefold album by Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin was something to get excited about, something you longed for. I wanted to remind people that there was a time when music required an attention span. I could have easily doubled my profit and made two records out of Among the Leaves, but the songs represented a certain period and it made sense to get it out there as one piece.

    Sun Kil Moon: “Elaine”

    Pitchfork: The album’s lyrics often allude to the difficulty of writing material that you’re pleased with– “Track Number 8″ rhymes its title with “I wrote this one, I know it ain’t great.” What kind of writing struggles do you encounter? 

    MK: When you’re a touring musician, you’re always turning over new rocks and there’s always a certain level of tension in your life. The music business, and the travel that comes with it, is stressful, challenging, redundant, exhausting, exciting, and often very depressing. After all of these years, I’m still trying to cope with aspects of it. On “Track Number 8″ I just hit a roadblock in the middle and decided to bring that into the theme. Songs are puzzles– you get an intro, or maybe an end, but you gotta fill in the rest. Sometimes they come easy and sometimes they’re a pain in the ass.

    “When I was young, a gatefold album by Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin was something to get excited about. I wanted to remind people that there was a time when music required an attention span.”

    Pitchfork: Several of the songs here feel as though they’re conveying very instant responses to situations. What gave you the confidence to be able to work that way? Are you still not demoing songs?

    MK: I don’t make demos. I don’t have the interest or the energy or the time. Demos are something you do in the early stages of your career, but when you get going, you just go in and record the song. With this record, I wanted to give my first instincts a chance without shooting them down immediately, which I sometimes do.

    Songs like “Song For Richard Collopy” and “Not Much Rhymes With Everything’s Awesome All the Time” were very impulsive, even my engineers were looking at me like, “What in the fuck are you doing?” And that’s exactly the reaction I wanted. I didn’t want to put myself, or anyone else, asleep with another quintessential Mark Kozelek album.

    Pitchfork: The record was mostly written on nylon string guitar, with little other instrumentation. What drew you to working like that again? 

    MK: Convenience, and because nylon string is still a new love and I’m not tired of it yet. Record sales are on their way out and I can’t afford to make Dark Side of the Moon nor do I have the interest. I’m 45 and I don’t have time to spend two years of my life bringing in producers and dragging the record around the planet. I’m always moving forward creatively and don’t like stalling, trying to find the perfect snare drum sound.

    Sun Kil Moon: “That Bird Has a Broken Wing”

    Pitchfork: On ”The Bird That Has a Broken Wing”, you ostensibly sing about being a cheat romantically, and it being a part of one’s nature. What’s your perspective on writing lyrics that don’t necessarily reflect well on the writer? 

    MK: Anyone who has toured as long as I have, or who has traveled as extensively, and says that they’ve never cheated is lying. Like “The Moderately Talented…”, “Broken Wing” is loosely based on one of a few experiences over the years. Trying to cope with the balance between home life and road life has been a theme in my music since early Red House Painters records. “Broken Wing” is a very human, honest, relatable song. I think many people will relate to it, whether they admit it or not. You get into a deep enough conversation with anyone– an accountant, whoever, and stuff comes out. Crazy things happen at those work conventions, or at a wedding on a drunken night. We’re all human and life is complicated. You really think all of those indie music dorks go to SXSW every year to check out music? They go there to wear their laminates and act important and try to get laid.

    “There were a lot more girls at the shows early on. I’d get off stage and there would be options. Those days are long gone, thank god.”

    Pitchfork: The line about signing “posters for guys in tennis shoes” on “Sunshine in Chicago” is a highlight of that song. Have you noticed shifts in audiences over your career?

    MK: There were a lot more girls at the shows early on. I’d get off stage and there would be options. But those days are long gone, and thank god. I didn’t need any sleep back then, but I need sleep now, to play guitar the way I do. The audience has gotten a lot softer now, more middle-aged. I’ve guess I’ve gotten older and my sex appeal has waned. It’s OK. I’ve got an amazing girlfriend and she keeps me happy.

    Pitchfork: On “The Winery”, you name a number of men, some great, some less so. What do those names– Julian Bream, Bobby Fischer, Joe Frazier, Ed Gein, Santos and Benitez– mean to you?

    MK: Great or not, they are all powerful, influential figures who’ve made their mark on the world. I’m a boxing junkie, a serial-killer junkie, and a classical guitar junkie. All of these guys are great, poetic references. The Joe Frazier reference made it into the song weeks before he died. I saw that he died when I was on tour, in Seattle last year, and I came home and watched a special on him and cried like a baby. When I was five, in 1972, that’s all you heard about: Joe Frazier. He was the toughest, most indestructible man on the planet back then, and he put Ali on his ass in that first fight. When he died, I was like, “No fucking way.” That just broke my heart. He was such an endearing, honest guy. In his interviews during his later years, he still got choked up about the way Ali taunted him back then. He was tough, but really sensitive inside.

    “You really think all of those indie music dorks go to
    SXSW every year to check out music? They go there to
    wear their laminates and act important and try to get laid.”

    Pitchfork: On “The Moderately Talented…”, you tell a woman “you’ll be pleased to be reviewed because there’s always something new”– at this stage, do you still worry about attentions being diverted to newer artists?

    MK: Not really. I’ve been doing this since ’92, and I’m still here, and you and others are still asking me questions. But I’m not going to lie to you, when I get compared to artists like José González or Bon Iver, I can’t help but think, “I’ve been doing this since those guys were in third grade.” José is a friend of mine– a nice guy– but I make cracks about the comparisons occasionally, as a way of coping. He’ll understand it when he’s 45. “The Moderately Talented…” is just a commentary on the conflict that happens when a young artist girl looks up to you, but you’re attracted to them in a different way than they are to you.

  9. Important message regarding He Is We.

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    Official Statement from Rachel & Trevor from He Is We:

    Music has always been my dream. I began writing songs to express my feelings. Sadness, excitement, anger, hope, frustration, confusion, love. I poured everything I had into writing. When Trevor and I began making music together it was all fun. We eventually threw a few songs on some website called “MySpace” and one day realized people actually wanted to hear what we had to share and let us know the impact that our music had on their lives. Knowing our music helped and inspired people in turn helped and inspired us! We wrote more songs, started touring, got signed, and have continued to write music and tour the past few years. As many of you know, this has been a very difficult process on my health and happiness. I have dealt with a lot both physically and mentally.  For several tours now, I have played our set and then was forced to retreat to our green room to cope with pain, nausea, panic attacks, migraines, and a lot of other really cool stuff that isn’t fun to talk about like vomiting. A lot of this culminated with us having to drop off our tour with All Time Low last fall.  While we know we maybe let some of you down, the support and encouragement from all of you was tremendously helpful and overwhelming.  Not being able to connect with all of you has been really hard. Our anthem has always been “We All Have A Story To Tell.” He Is We Is all about connecting with you guys and sharing in our victories and struggles together. I haven’t been able to do that for a few tours now and that is heartbreaking. Because of my accumulating health issues and concerns from my doctors and loved ones, I can not continue to tour. This is something very difficult to admit. Trevor and I have talked a lot about this and feel that my inability to tour should not be the end of the road for He is We.  We will continue with our tour plans for the “Give It All Tour.” Tomorrow we will introduce you to who will be filling in for me. It kills me that I can’t be there, but I literally just can’t tour. After our tour with The Summer Set and The Cab, I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis. Put simply, my vertebrae are fusing together. I am going through a form of chemotherapy for my condition and doctors don’t know if I will ever truly be healthy enough to be on the road full time again. When I am on stage and can’t hear myself singing because you guys are louder than the PA is a magical feeling that makes me feel that He Is We can’t just stop because I can’t tour.  Our name, He Is We, basically means we are all in this life together. We as friends and fellow humans needs to pull our strength together and help however we can for the greater good of others.  Truly and whole heartedly wish I could be there, but the show must go on. I love each and every one of you and appreciate all your thoughts and prayers. I will do my best to keep you all updated on our facebook and twitter. PS Trevor says if #GetWellSoonRachel trends, he’ll sing the man part of “All About Us” Bamboozle.

    http://www.facebook.com/heiswe.official/app_123966167614127

    Love,

    He Is We

  10. The Monophonics :: In Your Brain (VIA Aquarium Drunkard)

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    Aquarium Drunkard » The Monophonics :: In Your Brain.

    hear Monophonics at The Social on May 8th. http://www.thesocial.org/event/110947/

    The Monophonics :: In Your Brain

    For the past decade, ‘retro soul’ sounds have been somewhat of a touchstone for artists and audiences looking for musical authenticity. As a fan of vintage R&B, soul, funk, etc, it’s been great to see/hear new artists create new music with a sound that I hold so dear. At the same time, it’s been a bit worrying. How long could this trend last? Will groups just continue to recreate vintage sounds and eventually devolve into bad Motown pastiches or will those sounds be a springboard (hopefully) to something new that embraces yet transcends its influences? In Your Brain by The Monophonics answers those questions for me. Fortunately, it’s the latter and the answer is a resounding ‘YES!’
    Mining a similar vein as early Funkadelic and Frankie Beverly’s Raw Soul, fuzzed out psychedelic guitar riffs collide with heavy funk beats and are topped off with spacey echoes. However, the album is much more than just a collection of genre melding sounds solid songwriting is the core of this collection. It’s this focus on the song craft that keeps ‘In Your Brain’ from falling into the category of “bad pastiche”. Three songs that stick out in my mind are the dubby and timely R&B of “There’s A Riot Going On” (think Lee Perry meets Screamin’ Jay Hawkins), the psych-funk of “All Together Now” (featuring Orgone’s Fanny Franklin), and their epic version of Sonny Bono’s Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down).

    Sonically, In Your Brain sounds like a dream band featuring Dennis Coffey, the Funk Brothers, & Dr. John recording at Black Ark studios. However, this record is much more than just a culmination of sonic influences. The writing at the heart of the LP helps make this something completely original as well as something rooted in the past. I once read a Robert Wyatt quote about Paul Weller that I think is applicable. To paraphrase it, the Monophonics, like master carpenters, have created new furniture from seasoned wood. ‘In Your Brain’ by the Monophonics will be released by Ubiquity Records on May 15th. words/ c weaver

    MP3: The Monophonics :: All Together