Friday, December 28, 2012

Ty Segall Band, Star Theater, Portland, December 13, 2012

Deleted Scene from "It Might Get Loud" - Jack White teaching Jimmy Page and The Edge how to Play "Seven Nation Army"

In my book... it doesn't get any better than this... ...a deleted scene from Davis Guggenheim's (best known for directing Al Gore's Oscar-winning Global Warming documentary "An Inconvenient Truth") guitar documentary "It Might Get Loud"...

Jack White teaching Jimmy Page and The Edge how to play "Seven Nation Army"...

haha... then check this one out....

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

BearThisInMind "Untitled #1"

Check out this new song by our pal Chase Hargrove...

New Wavves Video

The outstanding 420-friendly band Wavves has a new video for their song "Sail to the Sun".... Glad to hear from them again...

Monday, December 3, 2012

Pitchfork review of Scott Walker

Bish Bosch starts with 30 seconds of what sounds like a jackhammer and ends with a funereal rendition of "Jingle Bells" for solo xylophone. In-between, there are tense silences, horror-movie strings, and 20-minute songs without verses or choruses. At the center of it all is an old man wailing about cutting off his own balls and feeding them to someone. The man seems to think this is some kind of opera. He is Scott Walker, and he puts the situation to us like this: "I've severed my reeking gonads/ Fed them to your shrunken face."
"Gonads" and "sever" are good indications of the vocabulary and subject matter at work here. Like Walker's last two albums-- 1995's Tilt and 2006's The Drift-- Bish Bosch is austere, high-minded music about a dirty world where people always seem to be getting castrated or mutilated by something or another. It features drums and guitars and other passing references to rock music, but its deepest roots are in the dissonant, turn-of-the century compositions by Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Webern, and Berg-- music that divided its early audiences between applause, hissing, and laughter. More than anything Walker's latter-day albums sound like a parody of what people probably think of when they think of "avant-garde." No scene captures them better than video footage taken during the recording of The Drift, in which Walker-- a friendly looking man in a baseball hat-- instructs a percussionist on exactly how he would like him to punch a side of beef.

The story of Walker's career is a strange and amazing one. He grew up in Ohio but spent most of his life in England and Europe. He was cover-boy famous by his early 20s and a has-been by 30. Between 1967 and 1969 he released a series of orchestral pop albums whose stories about Joseph Stalin and childhood prostitution contrasted-- sometimes beautifully, sometimes just cynically-- with their high-gloss arrangements. No man has ever sung the word "gonorrhea" with more poise.

Between the 1970s and 1990s, he effectively disappeared, putting out a few sub-mediocre country albums, a few new songs with his former group the Walker Brothers (including "The Electrician", which is really the starting point for the music he's making now), and 1984's Climate of Hunter. The output of his unexpected second act-- TiltThe Drift, and now Bish Bosch-- have taken 20 years to record. Scarcity creates demand-- this is basic economics. With an artist like Walker, though, long waiting times between albums serve mostly to reinforce the idea that he is careful and deliberate, and in turn, the idea that his music is not just product, but that purest of things which cannot be rushed: Art.

Besides the appropriately exhausting 20-minute sweep of "SDSS14+13B (Zercon, A Flagpole Sitter)", the best songs on Bish Bosch-- "'See You Don't Bump His Head'", "Corps De Blah", and "Epizootics!"-- are also the most immediate. Walker's approach here, especially compared to Tilt and The Drift, is almost cartoonish: Big, bouncy saxophones, bright trumpet fanfares and, on "Corps", what sounds like a small dog barking. These songs work for one simple reason: In the midst of all Walker's void-courting experimentation, they give listeners something vaguely familiar to hang on to.

Here and there, the contrast between the brainy and the base is so deliberate it sounds like pandering. When Walker sings “If shit were music, you'd be a brass band!" on "Zercon", for example, he's probably trying to remind people that this is all supposed to be on some level funny, which makes it instantly less funny-- not to mention less tragic-- than the Walker who sang lines like "I've become a giant, I fill every street/ I dwarf the rooftops, I hunchback the moon, stars dance at my feet" in a song about an overworked husband whose only liberation in life comes from whores.

As much as it can sound like it stands alone, Bish Bosch is part of a tradition of music that tried to find new ways to articulate that same old misery. Wagner operas, Mahler symphonies, the brutal cabaret of Jacques Brel (who Walker covered extensively in the 1960s), David Bowie, Diamanda Gal├ís, the aggressive anti-music of no wave, even early Swans: this is music that doesn't sound exactly like Scott Walker but makes Walker's bleakness and theatricality sound that much more familiar. Bish Bosch is difficult music that was intended to sound difficult and be enjoyed primarily by people who enjoy difficult experiences. The irony is that it is difficult in conventional ways.

Walker's career has always been surrounded with the whispery, romantic myth of genius, and we need myths like that-- myths about people who seem to forge their own path into the wilderness of their art, slowly and alone. The danger is to pretend that the music exists somewhere above us, or, like a carnival ride, is something we have to be This Smart to understand.

Like the movie director David Lynch, Walker is an artist that people-- fans and non-fans-- seem bent on "getting," as though there was anything to "get" in the first place. Let's pretend there isn't. Let's pretend that when Walker tells a "you're so fat" joke halfway through "Zercon", it's not a metaphor for anything, but an insult about fat people.

A few minutes later, he breaks down and starts screaming, "Did you ever throw your own mother's food back at her? Did you ever tell her 'Take this junk away'? What kind of an unnatural son would do that to his own mother?" Let's pretend that the moment has nothing to do with 5th-century Moorish history or the astronomy behind brown dwarf stars. Let's pretend it's simpler than that. Behind all its obscure references and theatrics, Bish Bosch is a catalog of basic human cruelty-- a subject no footnote could ever make any easier to understand.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Was This the Price for Her Freedom?

The Guardian (UK): Pussy Riot row erupts over legal team following interview with freed member

Yekaterina Samutsevich claims original lawyers cared more about fame than clients, leading to trade of accusations
    Pussy Riot's Yekaterina Samutsevich
    Pussy Riot member Yekaterina Samutsevich accuses Mark Feygin, Nikolai Polozov and Violetta Volkova of dereliction of duty. They in turn accuse her of collaborating with the Kremlin to win release. Photograph: Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

    A row has erupted around the jailed punk band Pussy Riot, with the group's members and supporters trading accusations of theft, lies and Kremlin collaboration with their lawyers.

    Bad blood has been simmering between the women and their legal team since the end of the Pussy Riot trial, which saw three of members found guilty of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred for their performance of an anti-Putin "punk prayer" inside a Moscow cathedral. Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich were sentenced to two years in prison. Samutsevich was later released on appeal after ditching the group's legal team for a new lawyer.

    In a lengthy interview published on Monday, she accused the lawyers – Mark Feygin, Nikolai Polozov and Violetta Volkova – of failing to carry out their legal duties, caring more about their personal fame and careers inside the Russian opposition. She also accused Feygin, a former Duma deputy, of forging papers to register the Pussy Riot brand while the three women were still in pre-trial detention and of failing to return her passport to her.

    Samutsevich, 30, was released after an appeal hearing on 10 October. Alyokhina, 24, and Tolokonnikova, 23, have been sent to distant prison colonies to serve the remainder of their terms.

    "Our lawyers gave more speeches about the situation in Russia [during the trial]," Samutsevich told "It turned out we were like lawyers, and they were like artists, like co-authors of the trial. They were not lawyers."

    The trial in August was marked by procedural violations and absurdities, hearings were often interrupted by shouting sessions.

    "We're not masochists and we don't want to sit in jail," Samutsevich said, responding to earlier statements by Feygin that the women preferred to serve time in jail "and emerge like heroes".

    "It's strange that some people think that we went to jail to become stars," she said. "We fought until the end. Nadya and Masha don't want to be jailed."

    The legal trio announced late on Monday that they were no longer involved in the Pussy Riot case. They remain prominent in opposition circles, defending a host of clients that have been caught up in the Kremlin's crackdown on dissent.

    Yet they did not go quietly. In a storm of Twitter messages exchanged between the lawyers, journalists, and Pussy Riot supporters on Tuesday, Polozov accused the Kremlin of waging the campaign against them. "Back in summer I said that the authorities would carry out a campaign of discreditation against the Pussy Riot lawyers and here you go," he wrote. "Samutsevich's lies, reproduced in the media, are one element of the deal that allowed her to get out of the case."

    The lawyers insist Samutsevich collaborated with the Kremlin to win her release from prison. Samutsevich's new lawyer argued that she should be set free because she was detained before the women's February performance began. Analysts say her freedom provided a way for the politicised court to show leniency in a case that won attention around the world.

    "The lawyers are trying to show that I'm acting against them, but not everything is against them here, but around the criminal case itself," Samutsevich said. "What's important here is that we were found guilty – we should be discussing that."


    thissmallplanet writes: It seems that throwing the activist lawyers under the bus was part of the price that had to be paid for her early release. Let's hope the others are released soon too... and Putin can piss himself all over again...

    the MP3 and other stuff is here...


JOY DIVISION 8 February 1980 University of London Union (FLAC)

Joy Division 8 Feb 1980 Univ of London Union 2012 master

In August 2006 I was approached to assist with the sourcing, cleanup and mastering of various Joy Division gigs for inclusion in the then-upcoming double-CD deluxe edition reissues.  The in-between story, between first being drafted into the project and then September 2007's Warner Brothers/Rhino release of the Unknown Pleasures, Closer and Still Collector's Editions, is boring and not really worth rehashing.

What is relevant is that six years is a long time ago, with regards to my skill set and general knowledge of audio theory and mastering.  I listen to the stuff I turned in to the band and Rhino in late 2006 and essentially cringe.  Not because it's bad, because it's not, but with where I've advanced to today my 2006 work sounds amateur to these ears.  And while it's out there for the world to enjoy (and the two sets I did, for Closer and Still, all got great reviews), I can no longer listen without wishing for a mulligan.

Well, with my blog avenue, I can finally take that mulligan.

I went back to the original raw transfers from Duncan Haysom's 1980 master cassette tapes, the very tapes on which he recorded the Joy Division gigs that we released.  I started from scratch - essentially, if Warners came knocking today and asked me to master these gigs, I did what I'd do for them with the skills, techniques, secret sauces and magic I've either advanced or flat-out learned anew since 2006.

They are spectacular.  Not to toot my own horn, but these now simply crush what was used on the 2007 releases.  Even the most hearing-challenged of listeners can tell the difference, and not just by minutiae.  Cymbals ring, drums go THWACK and not "thwop", guitars slice through the murk.

If there were any justice in this world, Rhino would pull the 2007 sets off the market and reissue with these masterings.  One can dream...

So we start, chronologically by performance date, with the set used in association with the Closer Collector's Edition.  Recorded by Duncan, this set from the University of London Union is a stormer.  You get the still in-development Closer tracks (which had yet to be recorded by Martin Hannett) mixed in with stridently-performed Unknown Pleasures and other pre-Closer choices.  You get "Dead Souls" brilliantly leading off the set, and you get "Digital" taking us out.  And thanks to Duncan, it's magically captured on C45 tape for us to enjoy 32+ years on.

8 February 1980
University of London Union

Mastered in November 2012 by Analog Loyalist, from Duncan Haysom's master recording

01 Dead Souls
02 Glass
03 A Means To An End
04 Twenty Four Hours
05 Passover
06 Insight
07 Colony
08 These Days
09 Love Will Tear Us Apart
10 Isolation
11 - encore break -
12 The Eternal
13 Digital

FLACs here.

Please to enjoy!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Pitchfork: Titus Andronicus Interview


Titus Andronicus

Frontman Patrick Stickles on the rewards (and sacrifices) of DIY loyalism, why he's still living with his parents, and his band's new album, Local Business.

By Jenn Pelly November 12, 2012

Titus Andronicus
From left: Liam Betson, Eric Harm, Patrick Stickles, Adam Reich, Julian Veronesi. Photo by Kyle Dean Reinford.
In the fall of 2007 Patrick Stickles reached a crossroads. At the hidden South Williamsburg house-venue Dead Herring, where fans peer down at scrappy bands from a low-clearing loft or join the crowd in the kitchen, Stickles' nascent Titus Andronicus was billed with Baltimore's Double Dagger and local D.I.Y. heroes the So So Glos. The show was a thing of punk rock dreams. But Stickles had to leave early; the next day he sat for the GREs. "It was a real intersection of my two lives-- academic and rock'n'roll-- butting heads," Stickles, now 27, recalls. "We know which won out; I had a great academic career in front of me, but I threw it all away to be a rocker."
So here we are, five years later, at the East Williamsburg warehouse venue Shea Stadium, which the Glos have helped operate since 2009 with newly-added Titus guitarist Adam Reich. In daylight, its surrounding industrial neighborhood is barren of character save for an occasional patch of graffiti, barbed wire, or 18-wheelers roaring past at speeds too fast for comfort. The area has all signifiers of marginality, like a place actual artists are meant to live; Stickles took residence in Shea's "green room," a glorified closet, at the beginning of this year.
The So So Glos, a band of brothers from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, are Stickles' tie to Shea and also his close friends. "They live it to the bone," Stickles says of the band's commitment to the New York underground scene, a potent source of his inspiration over the years. "It makes me want to work harder and give more of myself." And he recognizes the pop-punk group's influence on his more earnest mode of lyricism on the new Titus record, Local Business, that we've met here to discuss. The whole scenario feels like a culmination of that decision made at 22.
Curled up on a ragged couch with cigarette and beer in hand, the wiry Stickles admits he's not completely abandoned the possibility of academia. "You can't keep rocking and rolling forever," he says, clad in a T-shirt repping fellow Brooklyn rockers the Men. "It's really a young person's game. I see these bands now and they all look like little kids. I feel like an old man." He does not act like one. When off tour, Stickles now lives in his hometown of Glen Rock, New Jersey, with his parents, having spent the past summer in record-cycle "purgatory," watching "Frasier" and reading Junkie and David Foster Wallace. He says it was the worst summer of his life.
"Right now I'm willing to do whatever to survive as a musician," Stickles says. "My life is tailored to being able to do my art the way I want to, rather than the other way around." These are the realities of Stickles' hyper-transparent devotion to the anti-corporate, pro-individualist tenets of punk ethics, which became a part of his personal fabric as a teenager, as he investigated the great independent rock groups of yesteryear. "I learned about the high standards they set that nobody seems all that concerned about anymore," Stickles says, gazing down, sounding disappointed and removed. "Nobody seems that concerned about being the next Fugazi."
Of the many artists from whom Stickles has modeled his artistic and economic moral compass, he's found a comrade and mentor in punk vet Ted Leo, who became enamored by Titus for its integrity and shared Garden State pride. "They felt an intense connection to 'home,' but were able to translate that into an empathic vision of the world at large," says Leo, who admits to holding impatient disdain for his home state's mixed reputation. Regarding Local Business, Leo highlights value in the specificity of Stickles' storytelling, and its understanding "that in the humble story of one's own surroundings, one can connect with the broad experience of humanity," he says. "Even the grandest gesture is at its most effective when it flows from the local."
The day before I met Stickles at Shea, the venue was given a thorough paint job. "I like to be involved," says Stickles, who swept and mopped, and held the ladder for a lot of people. "It feels good to be a part of something greater than yourself." Stickles often works nights at Shea, and the first time I saw him do the door at a show, I couldn't help but recall that storied bit of indie rock folklore, when Ian MacKaye took tickets at Calvin Johnson's 1991 International Pop Underground Convention. The blurring of roles was striking. "It helps me stay in touch with new bands that would fly under my radar," he says. Recent discoveries have been a punk band, Big Ups, and the experimental desert music of Gunn-Truscinski Duo. "But my favorite part is the stream of bands," he says. "The scene is my favorite."
"Everything is worthless, but because of that, we have the power to create our own morality and determine our own values."
Pitchfork: Why did you feel, right now, that the concept of "local business" was worth committing an entire record to?
Patrick Stickles: It's all about the power of the individual to resist society's urges to conform and consume, finding your own morality, determining your own values, and not being forced into some box or societal construct that isn't really you. The songs on the record are about that battle to be an individual, and the loneliness of it. Also, knowing that you are an individual, but then, at the same time, that you are a piece of something much greater-- whether that's the DIY scene, or society at large.
Pitchfork: In a Pitchfork interview from 2008, you spoke specifically about how local businesses are what makes American capitalism good.
PS: It's a lovely thing. If somebody has a good idea, and can find a service no one else is providing, they can do it and make a life for themselves.
Pitchfork: Last fall I attended an Occupy Wall Street benefit you organized here at Shea Stadium. Did OWS channel into your thinking for the new record?
PS: Oh definitely, yeah. It got a lot of people thinking about economic inequity for maybe the first time. It made people address how these issues impacted their own lives, what they were doing, how they were involved. It made me think a lot about my own complicity in capitalist systems. Anybody who has compassion for their fellow humans could identify with Occupy Wall Street. It was an outward-reaching thing.
We do talk about money on the new record. Obviously, it's a very tricky thing for a band to be critical of capitalism or consumerism, because we're complicit in it. We put pressure on people to consume certain things, so there's a bit of hypocrisy going on. But I think acknowledging it is the first step towards something.
Pitchfork: Often on Twitter you have posted the hashtag "#crushcapitalism." What exactly do you mean by that?
PS: Capitalism seems to have a centrifugal effect; it consolidates power and money to a smaller and smaller base. And that's no good. That's not going to fly. So we've got to do something about it. But I couldn't claim to know what that is.
Pitchfork: So you're just asking people to question the concept? Do you identify with a specific political ideology?
PS: It's more about encouraging, questioning, getting a dialogue open. Capitalism is probably the best system and the one that's the most about freedom, really. It's the way we've gone about facilitating it that's had some effects that aren't so nice; certain people have used their freedom unfairly, to the detriment of others. And that's not OK.
Pitchfork: Is there anything you've learned in recent years about what you personally value in music?
PS: I value in music much the same things I value in regular life. Particularly honesty. I can only speak about my perceptions. I'm no good at writing fiction. It seemed to me that the best thing to do was try opening myself up as much as possible.
Pitchfork: Was it your appreciation of honesty that pushed you to write a more direct record?
PS: Yeah. To be more direct in the lyrics and in what the band really sounds like, instead of trying to dress it up to be something crazy. Another thing I value is intensity. My love of rock has been continuously reaffirmed. I wanted to make this record more of a regular rock-band album, rather than a big collective orchestra type thing. I wanted to make it more like some of the classic albums that we've loved throughout the years, where bands were just bands.
Pitchfork: The production on this album sounds different, too. Did you want to convey the idea of something homegrown through the aesthetics of the LP?
PS: The form reflects the function in that we try to talk about real life, so the music should hopefully sound like real life. Whereas, with the last two records, the music sounded more fantastical. We wanted to go for something a little more earthy this time around, more representational of what we really do every night onstage.
Pitchfork: There are many moments on the album when you are talking about things you see right in front of you, like the song where someone gets hit by a car. Did that really happen?
PS: Yeah. All the songs that have stories are drawn from real life. We were on tour in Oregon and witnessed that car crash. I got inspired to put pen to paper, right then and there.
Pitchfork: Why is that car-crash track called "Upon Viewing Oregon's Landscape With the Flood of Detritus". 
PS: We had this song [on The Airing of Grievances] called "Upon Viewing Brueghel's 'Landscape With the Fall of Icarus'", so I borrowed the syntax. It's kind of the sequel. In the painting from the original song, in the corner, you see this tiny guy falling into the ocean. It's been interpreted as: It's a big world, and people go about their business, and little tragedies are happening all the time, and what are you going to do?
That was my experience in seeing this car crash. It's horrible, but you can't do anything but get on with your life, however insignificant it may seem. In our case, we were going to play a concert. What can you do? Nothing. It is scary. It is brutal.
"It's hard to get as worked up about a band now
as I did when I was 16-- when a great rock'n'roll
band was the most important thing in the universe."
Pitchfork: On the album's first track, "Ecce Homo", you sing about how everything's worthless. And there are lyrics about growing older; the world going on without you. 
PS: Getting older is very depressing. As far as everything being worthless is concerned, I meant for that to be hopeful. Because in the absence of meaning we have the power to create meaning. Everything is worthless, yes. But because of that, it's our privilege to decide what is actually worthwhile for ourselves and our own standards. We have the power to create our own morality and determine our own values.
Pitchfork: So when you say "there's no real altruism" on "Still Life", that is supposed to be positive?
PS: Well, no. I guess that's not as uplifting. What I mean by that is, even when you're doing something nice for somebody, it can look unselfish, but really, you're doing it because it feels good for you. Everything is filtered through our own perceptions. Nobody acts purely unselfishly. People do things to get good feelings in their own hearts. I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing, but it's a fact of life, and we shouldn't puff ourselves up too much, thinking we're super nice when really we're just being selfish, because everybody is.
Pitchfork: When you sing about getting older, there are moments when your phrasing suggests you're speaking to a kid, someone who's younger.
PS: When we started out, it seemed like our audience was mostly my own age. Now I notice that our audience tends to be a lot younger than myself. That's OK, because younger kids prove to be the best rock'n'roll fans. They're the ones that get the most out of it. That was the case for me as a kid. It's hard to get as worked up about a band now as I did when I was 16-- when a great rock'n'roll band was the most important thing in the universe.
Pitchfork: Do you feel a particularly strong responsibility to your fans?
PS: Yes. Everything good in my life comes from their support, so I have an obligation to deliver the goods. I owe them everything, even though they're just little guys and girls, little rascals.
Pitchfork: There is a line on the record where you say your "authentic self was aborted at age four." What does that mean?
PS: I say that because I started to go on drugs at age four. My parents gave me Ritalin. That made me wonder if I've ever been my authentic self, or if I've just been a series of chemical reactions influenced by substances I've consumed. And it's gone on from there, to taking antidepressants and drinking beers-- all these things.
Pitchfork: It appears that you spend a lot of time thinking about how money works in America. People are so fast to prescribe things like Ritalin and antidepressants. Do you think the big business of medicine filters into your overarching interest in small-is-big thinking?
PS: With the pharmaceutical business, it's a little iffy. Mental health really shouldn't be influenced by money. But at the end of the day, a psychiatrist is still a business person. They have their eye on the bottom line just like everybody else. That does make me wonder if people really get the stuff they need, or if they just become cogs in a machine to generate more revenue for big industries. Not that my psychiatrist would do anything like that-- she's great.
Pitchfork: Have you seen the same psychiatrist over the years?
PS: No. I've only been seeing this one for six months. She's a drug dealer like anybody else, but she's fun, she's cool. She's not a punk, but her head is shaved. She knows I'm in a band and everything. She sometimes tries to tell me that maybe my being depressed is just due to getting too old to be a punk, but I try not to believe that. You're never too old to be a punk. In fact, the oldest punks are the truest punks, because being a punk when you're a kid is easy.
"My parents gave me Ritalin at age four, and that made me wonder if I've ever been my authentic self, or if I've just been a series of chemical reactions influenced by substances I've consumed."
Pitchfork: There is another line on the record when you mention the idea of being a slave, and "kids who'd kill for this kind of cage." What is that about?
PS: The forces of invalidation are talking to our hero. They are are saying, "How can you complain so much, when there are millions and billions of people that wish they had the stuff you have?" But that's an unhealthy way to look at it. I think we should always validate our inner pain. Nothing feels worse than when you feel bad, and somebody tells you, "Well, you shouldn't feel bad, because you've got this and this." Then, you have your original bad feeling compounded with the guilt of feeling bad-- when, supposedly, you should be feeling good.
Pitchfork: I am sure you have gotten many questions about "My Eating Disorder". I remember watching you perform that song last fall here at Shea Stadium. It reminded me of the first time I heard "Me and Mia" by Ted Leo.
PS: That's the greatest punk-eating-disorder song. I mean, it's a small genre. That's really the only one that comes to mind, actually. I'm sure there are more out there. I've gotten a lot out of that song over the years, even though I didn't really get what it was about the first bunch of times I heard it. But then, after looking into the lyrics more closely and seeing his compassion, it was very inspiring.
Pitchfork: Did it take courage for you to write a song about something that specific and personal?
PS: It was definitely a scary thing to do. But if making a piece of art is scary to you, that's probably a good thing. But I don't know if it took courage, necessarily; I'm not gonna flatter myself too much. But it was definitely one of the harder songs to write, because it's not something that is comfortable to discuss all the time. It's something I had put off for a long time. It wasn't something I used to always broadcast as much.
Again, it's the value of honesty. It's something that's an important part of my life, for better or worse. I mean, for worse, usually. Even though it's a first-world problem, it's one of the major dramas of my life. I know that I am not alone in dealing with this sort of stuff, so maybe it would be a worthwhile thing to talk about in a public forum.
Pitchfork: It's a song about personal struggle, but it's not totally depressing.
PS: It's supposed to be uplifting or validating. It's really just about me taking responsibility, saying, "If I'm ever to make progress on this, it will be me that does it." It's not anybody else's responsibility to take care of it for me. It's supposed to be an empowering thing for me.
"If making a piece of art is scary, that's probably a good thing."
Pitchfork: Was there a particularly point in your life where the issue felt more pronounced?
PS: It's been the same. It was a year ago that I found out my particular disorder was more common than I thought. It's still rare; there's only like 1,400 people who have been diagnosed. But you gotta figure there's a lot more out there. I read this article in The Wall Street Journal, which was my introduction to it being a real thing. I got a lot of validation out of knowing that other people were dealing with it. I thought I could maybe be a part of spreading the word, hopefully reaching some people dealing with something similar.
Pitchfork: I read that you occasionally go to Ted Leo for fatherly punk advice.
PS: He is a very wise man. And he's a guy who's really rare because he's been doing it for 20 years. That's a really tough thing-- to stick at it for so long-- when there's so few guarantees. Even at my age I worry about what the next step will be, as far as keeping my head above water. He must have been going through that for years, but he keeps the faith and keeps going at it without compromising.
Pitchfork: What's the best piece of advice he has given you?
PS: He told me once that what we do-- punk rock-- is almost the most important thing in the world. Almost. Which I took to mean that it's really good, but you have to have a life beyond it. It's not always right to sacrifice everything for it. Even though that's what he's appeared to have done. Then again, he's a married man; he's got a life. I don't know how he does it.
Pitchfork: Has the role of "punk" in your daily life grown since Titus took off?
PS: Being a punk, or existentialist, goes into every decision that I make. It's informed things like becoming a vegetarian, for example. Or decisions about the things that I consume, or how I choose to spend my time and what's worthwhile.
Pitchfork: Would you like to make more of a living off music and live on your own here in Brooklyn instead of at your parents' house?
PS: It would be nice, yeah. Maybe it's an unrealistic expectation, but I'll probably get my own apartment someday. I lived in Brooklyn the past three years; my old apartment was with my ex-girlfriend. Musicians without significant others are often homeless.
Right now I'm willing to do whatever to survive as a musician. My life is tailored to being able to do my art the way I want to, rather than the other way around. I'm going to stick with it for a while. I'm going to try to do music as well as I can, in the way that I want to do it, and I'm going to get whatever reward or punishment. Hopefully someday that'll be a nice apartment where I can hang out by myself. Right now it's just not the way it is. But I've still got my art, so it's not so bad.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Pitchfork: Christopher Owens of Girls Solo Tour

Christopher Owens, Formerly of Girls, Plans Tour

Carrie Battan
on November 15, 2012 at 11:21 a.m.

Christopher Owens, Formerly of Girls, Plans Tour

Ex-Girls frontman Christopher Owens, who recently made his solo debut in San Francisco, has announced a full tour, accompanied by a seven-piece band. He'll play dates across North America through January in promotion of his forthcoming album Lysandre, which is out on January 15 in the U.S. and January 14 in the UK through Fat Possum/Turnstile.

Christopher Owens Solo Tour:

12-07 Lisbon, Portugal - Vodafone Mexefest
12-08 Paris, France - Gaite Lyrique
12-10-11 London, England - St Giles Church
01-15 Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall
01-16 Ferndale, MI - Magic Bag
01-18 Toronto, Ontario - The Mod Club
01-19 Montreal, Quebec - Cabaret Du Mile-End
01-21 New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
01-22 New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
01-25 Boston, MA - Paradise Rock Club
01-26 Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer
01-27 Washington, D.C. - 9:30 Club

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Titus Announces EP and Tour

Local BusinessTitus Andronicus
Local Business

Out Now

Limited Edition red vinyl LPs are available from the XL Recordings store. Alternatively, please purchase from your local record store.
"Titus Andronicus may be the most ambitious punk band in America"
* * * * (4 stars) - ROLLING STONE
"It reflects the band's genuine appreciation for both punk and classic rock, a heritage equal parts the Boss and the Ramones. "
"The magnificence here comes when a gang of Jersey punks try something big, while acknowledging how small they are."
"It captures the kind of relaxed energy that defined many '80s punk acts and '90s indie bands, a mood that suits the group well. Unlike "The Monitor," this album isn't trying to be a masterpiece, and it's a much more accessible rock album as a result. "

Coming to a town near you: Local Business Forever

Titus Andronicus believe in Local Business, the concept and the many independent institutions nationwide, and as they embark on their 40+ date US tour, the band has invited fans around the country to celebrate and support local businesses in their cities.
#localbusinessforever is a call to action, a rolling series of "Local Business Days" (following, of course, the Titus tour route), celebrating the release of Titus Andronicus' new album Local Business and the vitality of local businesses nationwide. Anchored by local music venues and record stores (key local businesses for any touring band) #localbusinessforever invites you to share with the band your favorite establishments - stores, restaurants, bars, and hidden gems in your hometown - so that they can visit and patronize the best independent businesses in America, and encourage their fans to do so, as well.
When Titus hits your town, IT IS LOCAL BUSINESS DAY, so get out that day and support your favorite independent haunts in every sector. Titus Andronicus will be spending the next 6 weeks criss-crossing the US, so tell them where you think they should stop in your town, and look for the band's feedback on Twitter and this page. #localbusinessforever. Titus Andronicus think so.

Watch the Pitchfork Session in four different local businesses

Tour Dates

Tue-Oct-23Philadelphia, PAFirst Unitarian Church
Wed-Oct-24Washington, DCRock and Roll Hotel
Thu-Oct-25Richmond, VAStrange Matter
Fri-Oct-26Greensboro, NCCFBG's Record Co-Op
Sat-Oct-27Columbia, SCOne Unit Art Space
Sun-Oct-28Gainesville, FLTHE FEST 11
Mon-Oct-29Tampa, FLCrowbar
Tue-Oct-30Jacksonville, FLPhoenix Taproom
Wed-Oct-31Atlanta, GA529
Thu-Nov-01Nashville, TNHigh Watt
Fri-Nov-02Memphis, TNHi Tone
Sat-Nov-03Dallas, TXTapatio Studios
Sun-Nov-04Austin, TXFun Fun Fun Fest
Mon-Nov-05El Paso, TXM's Lips Lounge
Tue-Nov-06Phoenix, AZCrescent Ballroom
Thu-Nov-08Los Angeles, CAEl Rey
Fri-Nov-09Santa Ana, CAConstellation Room
Sat-Nov-10San Diego, CAIrenic
Sun-Nov-11Santa Cruz, CACatalyst Atrium
Mon-Nov-12San Francisco, CAGreat American Music Hall
Wed-Nov-14Seattle, WANeumo's
Thu-Nov-15Vancouver, BCBiltmore Cabaret
Fri-Nov-16Portland, ORBranx
Sat-Nov-17Boise, IDThe Crux (early all ages)
Sat-Nov-17Boise, IDNeurolux
Mon-Nov-19Denver, COLarimer Lounge
Tue-Nov-20Lawrence, KSJackpot
Wed-Nov-21Omaha, NESokol Underground
Thu-Nov-22Minneapolis, MN7th St Entry
Fri-Nov-23Milwaukee, WITurner Hall
Sat-Nov-24Madison, WIThe Frequency
Sun-Nov-25Chicago, ILThe Metro
Mon-Nov-26Detroit, MIMajestic Lounge
Tue-Nov-27Toronto, ONLee's Palace
Wed-Nov-28Montreal, QCIl Motore
Thu-Nov-29Burlington, VTHigher Ground Lounge
Fri-Nov-30Boston, MAThe Sinclair
Sat-Dec-01Hoboken, NJMaxwell's***SOLD OUT***
Sun-Dec-02New York, NYWebster Hall

Friday, October 19, 2012

Recent Downloads

Avett Brothers
Band of Horses
Bob Dylan
Dum Dum Girls
Mumford & Sons
Ty Segall
Van Morrison

Older Artists Rock Out in 2012

I'm impressed by all the cool albums coming out from older artists in their 60s and 70s these days... Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, Patti Smith... Does that mean that I also can have 20 or 30 MORE active and productive years yet???

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Jack White live at the Rose Garden, Portland, August 15, 2012

Jack White with The Buzzards (the guys)

I'm Shakin' (Little Willie John cover) 
Sixteen Saltines
Missing Pieces
Weep Themselves to Sleep
Cannon (White Stripes)
Love Interruption
Cannon (White Stripes)/John The Revelator (Son House cover)
Black Math (White Stripes)
Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground (White Stripes)
Hotel Yorba (White Stripes)
You Know That I Know (Hank Williams cover)
Hypocritical Kiss
I Cut Like A Buffalo (The Dead Weather)
Trash Tongue Talker
Top Yourself (The Raconteurs)
Two Against One (Danger Mouse "Rome")
We're Going to Be Friends (White Stripes)
The Same Boy You've Always Known (White Stripes)
Broken Boy Soldier (The Raconteurs)
The Hardest Button to Button (White Stripes)
Ball and Biscuit (White Stripes)


Freedom At 21
Take Me With You When You Go
Seven Nation Army (White Stripes)
Portland, Oregon (Loretta Lynn cover) with The Peacocks (the girls)

Some photos and videos I shot at the show: (all rights belong to the artist)

This is "Love Interruption" done without Ruby:

Here's "Weep Themselves to Sleep" with an awe-sum guitar solo....

The show began with this cool effect... the stage was mostly dark with an extreme angled spot light shining on jack White, creating a monstrous 30 foot Jack White shadow on the curtain behind him.

Jack seemed to be a bit off, maybe with the beginnings of a sore throat, and there was an off-kilter version early on of "Weep Themselves to Sleep", but even in the midst of chaos, you could see Jack White pulling the band together and in the end, put on a great show.

...and I have to see it's grand to see him getting to work with the big band he has always deserved and which his music often calls for. The White Stripes was, by definition, limited, being a two-piece, but that was the whole point, in a way. The Raconteurs, with two singer-guitarists, bass, keyboards, and drums, allowed a much fuller richer sound, which played well on Americana like "Carolina Drama". The Dead Weather? As much as I love The Kills' Alison Mosshart, it killed me (and I'm sure practically everyone else) to see Jack playing drums and only trotting out to the front of the stage with the guitar for 2 or 3 songs... being he is one of the greatest living guitarists and one of the greatest of all time really... I have 4 video versions that I shot of Jack and Alison duetting on "Will There Be Enough Water" that I shot in San Francisco, Coachella, Brooklyn, and Santa Fe that I would love to blend into one super-video one of these days....

But when word emerged that Jack was about to launch his solo debut album and tour, many people were understandably very excited. When we learned he was catholic enough (which we had previously learned courtesy of Stephen Colbert) to include many White Stripes songs, as well as Raconteurs, Dead Weather, and others in his new repertoire, the joy was palpable from Bangkok to Brooklyn and beyond. Some of us who had never seen The White Stripes in concert feared we would never see those songs performed live.

First we heard the marvelous single "Love Interruption" featuring the exquisite Ruby Amanfu, a few TV appearances, the full album, and the first shows.

I caught the Sasquatch show in Washington State last May.

Here are some photos I took there (they asked us not to post videos as they were doing one in-house):

I missed the show in Eugene, but was glad I was able to see the Portland show.

It was a great show, which you know if you were there. Some of the guitar solos were breathtaking. If you weren't there, I hope these photos and videos will give you some idea of how much fun we had that night. I worship at the Church of Rock n Roll, and one of our Highest Priests this century is named Mr. Jack White... All praise him!

the end of "Broken Boy Soldier" and a blistering "The Hardest Button to Button"...

Here's the classic "Ball and Biscuit"...

Great guitar work on "Take Me With You When You Go"....

One of the greatest songs EVAH...."Seven Nation Army...."

Jack then brought The Peacocks (the all-female group) to do the song "Portland, Oregon", which he originally did with Loretta Lynn... here he duets with the wonderful, delightful Ruby Amanfu....

Monday, June 4, 2012

My Morning Jacket to Play Portland Area in September

My Morning Jacket

McMenamins Edgefield Amphitheater

September 8, 2012 6:30 PMOn sale Friday June 8 at 9 AM 
Troutdale, OR. - 20 miles east of Downtown Portland

Jack White To Play Portland in August!

from Jack White's website:

Jack White, fresh from his triumphant victory at Sasquatch, will play Portland in August:


Jack is happy to announce that he’s added a handful of US shows to his August tour, see below for cities and dates. A limited number of pre-sale tickets will be available to members of the Vault starting on Wednesday, June 6th at 10 AM local time, with tickets going on sale to the general public on Friday, June 8th at 10 AM local time.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Photo: Paul Simon, Leonard Cohen, Keith Richards, Chuck Berry

Photos: Sasquatch 2012

Sasquatch 2012 took place last weekend at The Gorge in Washington State.

The festival is ten years old; younger than many of its competitors, and still showing some growing pains.

But Sasquatch has emerged in ten short years as one of the premiere music festivals in North America.

Here's Metric on The Main Stage Saturday night... (they put on a very impressive set)....

...Then James Mercer and The Shins came on stage and sang "A Simple Song"...

Ladies and Gentlemen.... The One... The Only.... JACK WHITE......

Walking around the festival on a sunny Sunday afternoon...

In the distance here you see part of the campgrounds where many of the festival-goers slept for 3 or 4 nights...

Of course the main attraction and star of the festival is the venue itself, a "destination venue", The Gorge Amphitheater, George, Washington... with sweeping views of the Columbia River Gorge...

Sunday early on the Main Stage were Dale Earhardt Jr. Jr., a great young band from good ol' Detroit...

                                                               Deer Tick being interviewed...

                               Hey Marseilles did an in-store... chatting with fans and signing merch...

                                                                    $12 for a beer?!?!!?!?!

Portland's own, the wonderful Mr. M. Ward.... (and his wonderful band)...

Sasquatch is about friends...

Portland's pride, Wild Flag...

The actor John C. Reilly played a well-received set of bluegrass songs on the Yeti Stage...

Mogwai (sadly) wasn't able to come.... so Deer Tick (who had also played on Sunday) did a cover set...

Meanwhile, Tenacious D, feat actor Jack Black, rocked the Main Stage Monday night...

One of my favorite artists, Jason Pierce of Spiritualized...

                                    Beck on the Main Stage closing out the festival Monday night...

The Morning After The Night Before.... 

Getting Ready to Leave Tuesday Morning.... 

Many Have Already Cleared Out...

Some B-Roll...

All photos and text by Michael Donnelly for ThisSmallPlanet/NewMusicToday.
2012 Creative Commons - Please give credit when re-publishing. Thanks!