Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
In this edition of IMing With The Stars!, I talk with Ian Love in his second ever use of IM software (in this case, iChat). Ian was a member of Cardia and Rival Schools, but his new solo material is quite different; it's a personal, introspective affair that reflects recent positive changes in his life: sobriety, marriage, and fatherhood. His forthcoming solo debut is a real stunner. Look for it on Limekiln Records next year. In our first conversation, Ian discusses everything from John Entwistle to his daughter to Arsenio Hall.
Grammar and punctuation have been preserved:
Ian Love: this a good time?
Ian Love: sweet
Me: how's your daughter?
Ian Love: shes watching calm baby. very exciting , we’re up to the itsy bitsy spider part
Me: I watched one of those baby einstein things with a friend's baby one time and it put me to sleep, but he loved it
Ian Love: we have all of them , they’re pretty psychedelic
Me: what's that Teletubbies sequel thing?
Me: the Bubos?
Ian Love: not into it...
Me: what's it called?
Me: it's really disturbing to me
Ian Love: what?
Me: that other Teletubbies show where they spin around and dance and stuff
Me: really, really psychedelic
Ian Love: i have no idea
Me: not missing much
Ian Love: im sure
Me: so how has your daughter influenced your music?--is that one of the reasons for the more personal, introspective direction to your new stuff?
Ian Love: maybe some but a lot of the record was written before then. but some of the other songs im sure it played a part in
Ian Love: now ill write about spiders and ducks..
Me: I don't think that's such a bad idea
Ian Love: kids records are big now
Me: I mean, a lot of people have written love songs
Me: but how about truly good kids records
Ian Love: i have a good idea i should cover boris the spider
Me: great song
Me: I love John Entwistle
Ian Love: i have a funny story involving him but it’s to long for me to write.
Me: oh, man!
Me: don't tease me like that! you'll have to call me up and tell me about it, I guess
Me: undersung bass player in my opinion
Ian Love: i played with him once. dont ask! you know I’ve had a crazy life..
Me: as Keanu would say
Ian Love: i also sat down with eddie murphy and arsineo hall once too. RANDOM
Me: oh, wow, that's amazing
Ian Love: you must think im crazy or a compulsive liar
Me: no way
Me: how could you make that up?
Ian Love: my point exactly
Me: I mean, it's not everyday that Arsenio and John Entwistle come up in the same conversation
Me: Did you play on "Party All the Time"?
Ian Love: i have a dennis quid story too
Me: Dennis Quaid?
Ian Love: i am party all the time
Me: I feel like you shouldn't be holding these back from our readers
Ian Love: i spelled quaid wrong
Ian Love: i have add i cant write long emails etc...
Me: sorry...I hope this isn't traumatic
Me: So, are you sad to have settled down?
Ian Love: for you anything lucas
Me: I don't know how people can party all the time
Ian Love: no
Ian Love: it's not easy at all..
Me: Like Hank, Jr. said, "The hangovers hurt worse than they used to"
Ian Love: that is true..
Ian Love: you just reminded me i want to cover lost on the river
Me: that's a good one
Me: I'm always thinking about cover songs, but I never learn them.
Ian Love: i love learning other peoples songs
Me: do you find that it helps you with yours, just seeing how they are constructed? I've got this Elton John songbook for piano, and some of those songs are pretty tightly wound, you know?
Me: really well-constructed.
Me: early stuff like Levon and Rocket Man
Ian Love: i dont think about it too much but as far as chord prog and such it helps i think. also it just helps as a musician?
Me: yeah, no doubt
Me: previous "partying" ways--are you open about it to people or do you prefer not to talk about it? Your own label didn't know about some of the stuff you wrote in your bio
Me: It's quite a story
Ian Love: i dont like to talk about to much , but i made a decision with this record , bio etc.. to be more open. it is a interesting story and there is a good ending for now to it so thats nice..
Me: like, what pushed you to get straight? was there one event or was it just a gradual thing?
Me: I've always been remarkably square, so I don't know much about the process besides what I've heard from other
people and seen in movies, etc.
Ian Love: it had been leading up for a long time but i had spent all my money was stealing , selling all my stuff and wanted to die every day and on top of that i wasnt even getting high anymore so there was nothing good about it. i wanted to get clean but didnt know how to so my girlfriend confronted me and i ended up in rehab the next day. ive been clean since
Me: is that girlfriend now your wife?
Ian Love: thats the short story
Ian Love: yes
Me: that's pretty great
Ian Love: i think so
Me: I've always been bad about confronting my friends' problems
Me: I'm really backhanded, but never very direct
Ian Love: its not easy at all , have you seen that show intervension
Ian Love: pretty intense i think its on a and e
Me: I assume they do interventions on air
Ian Love: its a reality intervention show
Ian Love: yes
Me: it's not staged or anything?
Ian Love: doesnt look like it at all... im pretty sure its reeal
Me: that's cool
Me: I hate it when they take real stuff and make a contest out of it
Me: I bet they'll have some show soon where heroin addicts compete to get off the junk fastest or something
Ian Love: i thought they would have had "kill the crackhead by now but i guess not"
Ian Love: IM is kind of fun
Me: this is your second time, no?
Ian Love: yes both with you. i bought the isight camera for me and my wife so she could see the baby from work when she wants but thats all i use it for
Me: that's cool, though
Me: what does your wife do?
Ian Love: its fun
Ian Love: she works for this music producer rick wake (celine dion , jlo , mariah etc...)
Ian Love: im trying to move in on that market haha
Me: after Eddie Murphy, where can you go but down, though!
Ian Love: thats true dude
Monday, November 28, 2005
...and I've got to say that my first turkey was a success despite my complete and total lack of confidence. My wife is a vegetarian, so she didn't eat any. That kinda stinks because its existence in the edible realm is proof that I can actually cook something, contrary to popular opinion in our household.
On to music:
Streaming--Yummy Bingham (ft. Jadakiss)--"Come and Get It"
I think this song is "the jam." I'm not sure that it's cool to say "the jam" anymore, but I know "the jam" when I hear it and this is "the jam." Apparently, Yummy Bingham was in Tha' Rayne. I've never heard of them. Chaka Khan is her godmother. None of this matters, of course, but I thought I'd share. The crazy syncopated snare drum on this song is the kind of thing that makes me--as a drummer--wish I was more creative. Half of the programmed beats out there these days put me to shame. Timbaland is the most innovative "drummer" in the past five years, in my opinion. Where am I going with this? I don't know. But I love this song.
Snippet--The Right Brothers--"Bush Was Right" (video)
Apparently, this ain't a parody, but it sure seems like one. The pause on the lyric "France...wrong" just doesn't work very well.
I don't really like Cindy Sheehan very much either, though I'm a liberal. Her allegiance to the supposedly anti-racist, but borderline anti-semitic ANSWER crowd creeps me out. And her politics often seem remarkably facile.
But "Zell Miller...right!"?!?! C'mon, Right Brothers! Heck, I know thoughtful conservatives that cringe at that guy's out-of-nowhere venomous streak.
Believe it or not, he was once a pretty great governor.
I'm just typing here.
Another political minefield from the thinktank of Team Clermont.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Team Clermont Comes A Cropper! will be shut down for the Thanksgiving holidays, but we will resume production bright and early on Monday morning.
I wanted to thank everybody for the support of our artists, so I have left you this hot picture of Gabe Kaplan as a reminder of our love for you and our other six readers.
Have a great Thanksgiving!
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
I am debuting a new column today wherein I will IM with one of our favorite arists, possibly unbeknownst to them, and publish it here to make your head hurt as you try to dissect the three simultaneous threads of conversation that overlap each other! Here, Hometapes recording artist Paul Duncan discusses Pitchfork's review of his record (a 7.8), Loren Mazzacane-Connors, and a song of his my wife skips on our iPod.
Grammar and punctuation have been preserved:
Me: It's Lucas
Paul Duncan: omg!!!
Paul Duncan: omg
Paul Duncan: you totally just creeped up on me
Me: this for that interview feature for our blog
Me: are you at work?
Paul Duncan: naw
Me: where do you work?
Paul Duncan: i'm sitting at home playin the geetar
Paul Duncan: i work for a studio in manhattan
Me: you are like a real musician or something
Paul Duncan: has the interview started ?
Paul Duncan: ha
Me: um, I don't know
Me: you are the first
Paul Duncan: i'm preeeeeetty real i guess
Me: how do you feel about "The Fork" score today?
Me: I thought the review read better than a 7.8, really, but Joe T. can be a tough critic,
number-wise, but he's really good--one of their best
Paul Duncan: i feel like their system (of a down?) is flawed
Paul Duncan: but a nice review :-)
Me: I joked about System of a Down being the lead review and sure enough it was
Me: they are one of those bands like QOTSA and Mars Volta that somehow gets credibility when they sound so average and stupid to me
Paul Duncan: yeh, weird... 7.8 but sounds like he's recommending it to everyone and like he loved it
Paul Duncan: hmm
Me: well, 7.8 is almost four out of five stars, you know?
Paul Duncan: yeh
Me: if you look at it that way, it's pretty hot
Paul Duncan: it's cool .. i mean they crap on a lot of records i like ... so, a 7.8 for what i do or create or whatever is good
Me: yeah, no doubt
Me: I think that Pitchfork is actually a lot more fair than people give them credit for
Me: it's just that they have this status and this importance, so they take a lot of heat
Me: but no one ever says stuff about the other sites like Tiny Mix Tapes that are almost as big
Paul Duncan: yeh
Paul Duncan: they liked my stuff
Paul Duncan: they gave it a great review
Me: they are tough critics, too
Paul Duncan: no #'s in their system
Paul Duncan: true
Paul Duncan: they are
Me: no it got 4 out of 5 there
Me: they just don't make a big deal out of the numbers
Me: anyway, are you working on a new record? I assume you have access to a studio because you work at one
Paul Duncan: (quoting Tiny Mix Tapes) Paul Duncan. Now here's a guy you could invite to your Christmas party. He's smart, interesting, and talented. He might also bring a good bottle of wine and a few good-lookin' girlies
Paul Duncan: ha
Me: that's awesome
Paul Duncan: yeah ... i'm starting my new record
Paul Duncan: i wanna do a lot of it in a studio
Me: are you gonna go all Sufjan?
Paul Duncan: as in not in my house or workplace
Me: because I think that your brand of--and this sounds contradictory--lush minimalism really works
Paul Duncan: but have demos .. and go track it
Paul Duncan: ha
Paul Duncan: there's no way i'll go all sufjan
Paul Duncan: i don't like his music really
Me: I feel like I should like him b/c I like orchestral pop so much, but I never really need to hear his stuff
Paul Duncan: but if by all sufjan you mean more string arrangements then, yeh ... there will be a few tracks w/ arrangements that aren't minimal
Paul Duncan: or maybe they will turn out to be minimal
Me: you and I are both fans of Eno and he was great at doing these lush songs with very little, like the Big Ship
Paul Duncan: somewhere between talk talk and bill fay
Me: I assume you mean late period Talk Talk
Paul Duncan: no no .. the early stuff
Paul Duncan: early early
Paul Duncan: ha
Me: It's my life!
Paul Duncan: yay!
Me: I love that record Talk Talk--the new wave one
Me: great stuff
Me: but I like the later period just as much for different reasons
Me: It seems like the only song that people don't really like is Aria/Cave Song...they think it breaks up the momentum of the album
Me: My wife always skips it on her ipod it seems
Me: it had one play, but everything else had, like, 6 or 7
Paul Duncan: ha
Paul Duncan: i know why people don't like it
Me: I kind of dig it myself
Me: but I like that kind of expressionistic guitar noodling
Me: I mean noodling in the best possible way
Me: why do you think people don't like it?
Paul Duncan: it took people almost all of loren connor's life for people to understand what he was doing on a larger scale. .. and now he's about to not be able to play guitar anymore ... i'm not trying to compare myself to him at all really other than the obvious ... blues riff minimalism .. people don't like minimalism at it's most abstract normally... a lot of people tell me that's their favorite track, so i guess it's hit or miss ... actually let me amend that, people HATE it apparently when you throw abstract minimalism into a record that they feel should be a pop record
Paul Duncan: of course maybe that one reviewer was right and it's just a misstep
Paul Duncan: wait, no it's not!
Paul Duncan: ha
Me: I never really thought of ol' Mazzacane before, but that makes a lot of sense
Me: I like this swirl of influences you have--that you are not afraid to get a little sentimental (Oil In The Fields) or get witty (You Look Like An Animal) or pretty out there (Aria), but they all seem to be coming from the same person.
Paul Duncan: when i say people hate it when you throw abstract minimalism into what they feel should be a pop record ... i meant it gets personal ... they have a relationship with the record and then you take them out of it to reflect for a few minutes and they can get offended ... completely understandable .. hopefully it'll grow on people ... does your wife like the rest of the record? track 4?
Paul Duncan: I like this swirl of influences you have--that you are not afraid to get a little sentimental (Oil In The Fields) or get witty (You Look Like An Animal) or pretty out there (Aria), but they all seem to be coming from the same person.
Paul Duncan: you want me to talk about that?
Me: no, I just said it
Paul Duncan: ha
Paul Duncan: ok
Paul Duncan: thanks
Me: I mean, if you want to
Paul Duncan: nah
Paul Duncan: it's a compliment
Me: the word sentimental carries connotations of schmaltz, but that song is genuinely affecting.
Paul Duncan: yeh, well by definition sentimental has the connotation of memory
Me: it seems like a drunk-and-dial call I would have made to an ex-girlfriend back in the day
Paul Duncan: but the fact that it has made a bad name for itself means people usually don't want to remember most of the time
Paul Duncan: i guess???
Paul Duncan: they blame you when you make them remember
Me: one of our interns uses the record for studying purposes because she doesn't find it obtrusive, but Jon here likes all of the aggressive stuff, so it's a malleable listen for sure
Me: yeah, true about sentimentality
Paul Duncan: it is kind of a drunk and dial ... because those moments, when remembered are really vulnerable
Me: glad I was on it!
Paul Duncan: i mean i'm sure that memory for you is as strong or could be as some weird childhood memory
Paul Duncan: what does your intern study?
Me: um, comparative literature, I think
Me: yeah, that's it
Me: Jon's getting his Masters in International Affairs
Me: or some such thing
Paul Duncan: i could see my record playing in a library quietly
Paul Duncan: ha
Paul Duncan: that'd be nice
IMing With The Stars is brought to you by Team Clermont. Photo by Marianne Meyer.
Monday, November 21, 2005
Download: Ian Love -- "The Only Night"
Download: Ian Love -- "Butterfly"
I dread getting records with guys' names on them. Bill Callahan and Will Oldham were smart to go with Smog and Palace Whatevers, respectively, because it tricks people like me into thinking it's a real band. Hell, one could make the argument that the Cure is just a long-running Robert Smith solo project with regular appearances by Simon Gallup, but I still buy them as a band. There's just something about this" guy's name thing" that conjurs images of Joe Satriana-knockoffs, mat-cat-sat level folk artists, and cover artists at the American Pie in the Montgomery, AL Ramada Inn. Or worse...Dave Matthews!
I'm a jerk, I guess.
Thankfully, we need look no further than Paul Duncan, Sufjan Stevens (an interesting nameso I give it a pass), and now Ian Love to really poke holes in the, um, balloons of my prejudice (I'm too worn out for good metaphors right now).
Ian was a member of some pretty popular bands, among them Rival Schools and Cardia, but this new solo stuff marks a departure for him into the world of interesting singer-songwriters. He pretty much played everything on the record (due to be released next year) and it reflects the positive changes he's gone through recently--sobriety, a solid marriage, the birth of his daughter--in a mature, non-schmaltzy way. The production is lush and percussive and really showcase Ian's vocal range. I've heard him compared to Jeff Buckley, Adem, and even Paul Simon, but I find it fairly distinctive.
Heck, Ian's five song demo EP (available only to me and his label) is one of my favorite records of this year.
Another omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent post from Team Clermont.
Friday, November 18, 2005
I think it has to be the Insane Clown Posse. Sure, there are probably worse bands out there (maybe?), but ICP has to be the worst band ever that people actually like. Disgusting. Any thoughts, Comes A Cropper Readers? What's your vote for the worst band that people actually like?
Okay, my floobs, I gotta go make some chedda!
Another thought-provoking post from the insanely messy desks of Team Clermont.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Peep this Ham1 review by Ed Masley in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Self-released by Athens, Ga., schoolteacher Jim Willingham with drums by Olivia Tremor Controller Eric Harris, "Ham 1" kicks off with the quirky indie-pop of "Pop Song for a Funeral" before winding its way through several tracks of offbeat incidental music, a handful of rockers that bristle with raucous post-Guided By Voices abandon, tender indie ballads, one track that's practically psychobilly and a country-flavored waltz called "Floorida." It doesn't sound like something that should hold together as an album, but it does, if in part because Willingham's vocals and lyrics are as offbeat as the music.
Not bad, no? You can go to Ham1's website and check out his whole record. Drop Jim a line and buy a record from him while you're at it.
In other news, Ninja High School was a SPIN.com Band Of The Day! You know what to do: go here and vote for them (giving them a well-deserved A+, no doubt). Also, check out one of their best songs, "Shake It Off".
The Weather Machines (who you will hear more about soon) were featured on Six Eyes the other day and given a very strong review (8 out of 10!). Check out this hot track: "Modern Text On Love"
This South Dakota band is gonna tear it up. I swear. I love good power-pop.
Monday, November 14, 2005
blowgun and an expendable missile arrow, stone, quarrel, dart. You are not screen. In so doing, they discovered usd 70000, the password for Hamburger
received at work in the course of the day, and would be on a Innkeeper dressed in a new and handsome coat and sitting before
I love these emails and the strange poetry that arises from what, one assumes, is a bunch of monkeys typing on computer keyboards. I mean, who else would send out this spam? Is it a big money-making enterprise? Who's behind this madness?
I say...keep 'em coming. For more of these kinds of emails, go to The Leopard Does Not Change Its Spots, run by the indefatigable (but lazy) Herman J. Winterize.
Download: Listing Ship -- "Ichabod Crane"
Download: Listing Ship -- "Chinese Song"
Listing Ship is a bit of an odd band, but I mean that in the best possible way. Heather Lockie and Lyman Chaffee, the principals behind the band, are willing to try just about anything on LS's new album, Time To Dream. The record primarily consists of bucolic, slightly psychedelic folk-pop, but, as it goes on, the genre-hopping/-bending gets more pronounced and there are a couple of awesome freak-outs. Expert string player Lockie (she plays with Arthur Lee and eels among others) does a lion's share of the singing, but Chaffee shows up for a few hot tracks, as well. The two tracks available for download here are two of the album's more "normal" songs and also two of the album's best.
What's really funny is that I hear all of these disparate influences like the Softies, Richard and Linda Thompson (and Fairport Convention), and others, but whenever I ask the band members about them, they have no idea what I'm talking about. Sometimes good bands just happen, you know? There isn't some musicological line that can be traced.
Right here is where I should insert some sort of nautical pun.
Another psych-out of a post brought to you by the guys and gals of Team Clermont.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
One of my favorite discoveries of the year, Paul Duncan, has the honor of being SPIN.com's Band of the Day today, though Paul is not a band but one person. I've already written quite a bit about his new masterwork, Be Careful What You Call Home, but I just wanted to send everybody over to his Band of the Day page, so they can vote on him (hopefully giving him the grade he deserves: A+). Apparently, if he gets a high enough grade he will win something. That'd be nice.
You should also go to the Hometapes page (that's his label) where you can find downloads for Paul and all kinds of other great bands.
Another quality post from the fine folks at Team Clermont.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Streaming: Hello by the Capes
Man, I've seen these cats lately more than I've seen my own parents, and the Capes are from the UK?! It seems as though some of them have taken a shine to Athens and are determined to visit here often on their seemingly interminable US tour. Why, Richie and Kris were here just yesterday. Nice fellas.
And they can write some mighty catchy songs, too, somewhere between the new wave of British pop (the Futureheads, Franz Ferdinand, etc.)--but more sincere--and American indie rock of the 90s, the good stuff. The first song on their new record Hello, "Mexican Broads," is a straight-up Pavement homage that actually gets what made Pavement so great, the indolent, swaggering rhythms of both the lyrics and the music. It's a monster.
Heck, the whole record is a monster. It's a collection of singles besides the pastoral last track. They've cranked out a real winner. It's almost enough to bring me back to full-on Anglophile status. I'd been down in the dumps for quite some time.
Another sterling blog post brought to you by Team Clermont.