Monday, July 31, 2006

If You REALLY liked Me, You'd Buy Me This



I have never been a hat person. I have an awkward head. it's just...well, wide really. I have never wanted to own a hat, although i went through a weird beret week in high school. Someone in the AV club called me Mr. Demille and i burned it.
At any rate, many of you know that the Team Clermont Festival and Prom is this week and I still don't have a sombrero to match my nasty mexican beard. Though I received many suggestions of varying usefulness None really grabbed a hold of my heart strings as much as the Hamburger Hat, which, as you can see, is a "crazy hat." If you've ever truly cared for me, please buy me this hat. Please contact someone here at Team Clermont for shipping information. Thank You.

My first question for Will Smith/ IMDB post



I saw Miami Vice this weekend, which was directed by one, Michael Mann. While looking over his IMDB entry, I noticed in his trivia section that he was Will Smith's personal choice to direct Ali. For some reason, I find this particularly fascinating, and it makes me much more interested in Will Smith. I'd really be keen to hear his explanation as to why he thought Mann would be the best director for Ali, wouldn't you?

Friday, July 28, 2006

A semi-serious interview with John Roderick of the Long Winters!



Download: The Long Winters--"Pushover" MP3

John Roderick of the Long Winters is going to be playing a special FREE solo set on August 5th! at the Go! Bar here in Athens during our Team Clermont Summer Festival. The performance starts promptly at 3:00. In celebration of this momentous event--the Long Winters are one of the most intelligent pop groups around and Roderick's one of the most charismatic frontmen I've ever seen--I conducted a short interview with some really stupid questions and a couple of good ones. Enjoy!


Me: When you think of Georgia, what's the first thing that comes to mind?

John: The Bandit! They're thirsty in Atlanta, and there's beer in Texarkana!

Me: How about Athens?

John: REM, obviously. I'm old enough to remember the days of "college rock", when Athens, GA. seemed like the most mysterious and wonderful place in the universe.

Me: How about the name "Lucas?"

John: It makes me think of the late-seventies TV show, "Buck Rogers", although I can't say why.

Me: Did you go to your prom? Any good prom stories?

John: I did go to my prom. My date's mom made her dress, and then modified her dad's wedding suit to match for me. The lapels of my suit were pink tiger-stripe satin, as was the stripe down the leg, and her dress had a matching bow and accents. We were pretty cool, for a couple of nerds.

Me: What do you think about tails on a tux? Pro or con?

John: If you wear tails, you should absolutely be conducting the Boston Symphony. Otherwise, no.

Me: What is your least favorite term for a genre of music (e.g. math rock, post-punk, etc.)?

John: Well, indie-rock is a meaningless term, but I don't hate it. I guess I would have to say "alt-country".

Me: Your stage banter is fantastic. Do you practice beforehand? Do you do the same jokes every night (I saw the Beach Boys last night and they did the same jokes from five years ago)?

John: I don't tell "jokes". I learned my style of banter from having a smart-mouthed little sister who constantly needed to be put in her place, so if dealing with her and her "punk rock" teenage friends counts as practice, I guess I've practiced. The Beach Boys are ass-clowns.

Me: What is the worst TV show you ever liked?

John: Magnum PI. I'm sure Fantasy Island was worse, but I was forced to watch it during "family time", so it doesn't count. These days I watch poker tournaments on TV, and I think they're brilliant.

Me: Are you tired of reading about your being from Alaska?

John: Most of the time people just write "he's from Alaska", and then drop it. Alaska itself is totally fascinating, so I'm amazed that more writers don't pick up on it and ask a bunch of questions. It really made me who I am. So, no, I'm not tired of it, because I keep expecting an interesting follow-up question. Still waiting, however.

Me: Want a follow-up on Alaska? How do people develop musically in Alaska? You always hear about Seattle being "remote" and that's why grunge happened, b/c (and I'm paraphrasing Eddie Vedder or someone here) they weren't told that listening to Aerosmith, Zeppelin, and Neil Young together wasn't cool or something like that. I buy that to a degree having grown up in Alabama and generally not being cool and seeing lots of strange bands, but at the same time, it's not like Seattle is some barren musical wasteland disconnected from the world. I mean, Alaska is really far away from anything and I imagine that getting music was difficult and playing in bands even more so.

John: yes. It's so remote from the music scenes of the world that it doesn't help at all. I mean, the desire to make music may be innate in humans, but having a band and making records depends somewhat on a "scene". You want to be able to see other people doing it, playing in bands, writing songs, etc., in order to feel like it's possible. In Alaska, at least while I was growing up, there wasn't much of that. There's not much room in the culture up there for introspective action, for work of the mind. It's a physical place, focused on strength and survival, which means that, if you want to live a thoughtful life you really have to fight for it, and you don't take it for granted once you've found it. That process made me more than anything.

Me: What is your favorite fast food item (I like the Whopper a whole lot even though I don't eat them anymore)?

John: Wendy's Frosty.

Me: What's something you've always wanted to explain about your music in an interview but has never come up?

John: I don't really want to explain my music that much, because I think it's self-explanatory for the most part. What I REALLY want to explain are my complicated economic theories, but no one seems interested in hearing my proposal for a depletion tax on non-renewable resources, so in the meantime I'm happy to talk about pop music.

Fin!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Geoff Reacher



Download: Geoff Reacher -- "Death Is The Trump Card"
Download: Geoff Reacher -- "You Like My Song"
Download: Geoff Reacher -- "Snarling Wheels Of Sin"

We here at The 'Cropper have been fans of Mr. Reacher for quite some time. Matter of fact, I think we can boldly proclaim that he's our favorite one-man band in Athens, hands down. In addition to being an all around good guy, Geoff manages to provide a consistently engaging live performance, all by himself, every time he takes the stage. He loops guitars, samples, and vocals all through some sort of foot pedal withcraftery to create a hazy, laid-back Summer swarm of sounds that fits the South like a glove. Place seems important to Geoff's music, and he draws in, and incorporates, the country, blues, and hip-hop traditions he's grown up around in a way that's honest and free of irony.

Lately, I've been hearing a level of pychedelia in his upcoming release, Avec Reacher C'est Plus Sur, that had hitherto been hidden from me. The tracks bleed seamlessly into one another via various electronic manipulations and beat syncopations care of Geoff and his studio compatriot, Chris Bishop of Radium Recordings. The album will be released on August 22nd by Orange Twin Records. Pick it up, we promise you won't regret it.

The first song we're offering up today isn't actually on the ARCPS, but hey, that's what you come to the blogs for, the juicy unreleased bits, right? There's also a pretty sweet Iron Maiden reference, which I'm always down for. And, I've got to add, have you people checked out what Bruce Dickinson's been up to lately? Crazy

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

In Other News: The Sky is Blue



Okay, seriously, good for him. I always thought Lance was the cute one and now i know why, we had a secret bond. I think it's a liitle sad that he felt that his loving another dude would have been the ultimate downfall of n'sync, i mean, if JT's shitty fro couldn't do it, surely some schooling from The Church of Man Love couldn't have hurt.

In other exciting Man-On-Man news, the Finalists for The Mr. Gay International Competition have been announced. Personally I think it's Mr. Gay Columbia's year. But I'm pretty excited to see the heated battle between Mr. Gay Israel and Mr. Gay Lebanon! For these two, it's more than just who has the hardest abs! Although, I wouldn't be surprised if there was upset by...Mr. Gay Vatican City ?! WTF? Does the Pope know about this?

Friday, July 21, 2006

But Will They Be The #1 Search Result for "Windsor Ontario Pickled Pork"?



Our Good friends over at Merge Records have a their brand new blog up and running. Check it out at http://ohmerge.blogspot.com It promises to be a lot of fun I'm sure.
But will it be as much fun as Weird Meat?

Me and Mr. P #2


This is the second conversation with Tiny Mix Tapes' Mr. P, wherein we discuss copyright law, the bank, and not much else. You don't want to miss a drop!

Me: so what have you been up to?
Me: I've been watching my caloric intake
Mr. P: i just got back from the bank
Me: you are skinny, so you don't have to worry
Me: I love banking
Mr. P: yeah, banking is terrific!
Me: I love talking to tellers and stuff
Mr. P: i went to boston this past weekend, which was fun
Me: I know all of their names
Me: what was going down in Beantown?
Mr. P: mainly a wedding
Me: aha
Me: who got married?
Mr. P: i was looking for some good record stores
Mr. P: my cousin
Me: cool
Me: kissing cousin?
Mr. P: GROSS
Mr. P: how's the PR world?
Me: pretty good
Mr. P: you should quit and join tmt. get the big bucks.
Me: oh yeah
Me: the big negative bucks
Mr. P: then you get to go to the bank all the time, like me
Me: hell, I could buy the bank
Me: with the kind of money you make
Me: what are the hot new jamz at Tiny Mix Tapes
Me: ?
Mr. P: hmmmMMMMMmmm
Mr. P: girl talk is the hyped album of the week it seems.
Mr. P: i have yet to hear it though
Me: yeah
Me: me, too
Me: I haven't heard it
Mr. P: sounds interesting though
Me: everyone says good things
Mr. P: kinda like John Oswald meets the Avalanches maybe?
Mr. P: i love the idea of appropriating sounds, so this'll be interesting
Me: interesting concept, though I'm not as anti-copyright as everyone else
Me: I think that artists deserve fair compensation for their work
Mr. P: i'm not anti-copyright, per se, but it's nice that people are dealing with the question of who OWNS the music, and what is deemed fair compensation
Me: and I believe in protection of intellectual property rights, but I also think that most artists (like me and my band) would love to be sampled on a Girl Talk record
Me: yeah
Me: good point
Mr. P: yeah, that's what i was going to say too, that some bands would love to be sampled
Me: I wouldn't care if we made zero dollars. It would be awesome
Me: well, maybe I'd like to make something
Me: heh
Mr. P: yeah, i think we're in an interesting transition point in music right now, so it's fun to try to keep tabs on the industry
Mr. P: which is why we post so many RIAA stories.
Mr. P: i'm sure people get sick of them, but at least in my opinion and in the opinion of a lot of TMTers, this is REAL NEWS. i mean, tourdates are good and all, but i'm more concerned with the industry at the moment
Me: yeah
Me: my least favorite type of story is so-and-so announces tracklisting!
Me: gag
Me: I mean, is that really news? To some people, it is, but not me
Mr. P: haha, i know what you mean. i never really understood the excitement. i mean, on those lines, it's be more newsworthy to say an album leaked on the internet
Mr. P: i can't see people giving a shit about tracklists. they want to know when it'll be leaked or a release date or something
Me: yeah
Me: only Morrissey tracklists are good.
Mr. P: who knows.. it could become more imporatant in the future. radiohead fans know all the unreleased ones so well that it could be exciting to see a final tracklisting for a new album
Me: yeah, I guess
Me: not a bad point
Me: I still say it's lame.
Me: ha!
Me: interview over!
Mr. P: i agree
Mr. P: no, it's STILL ON until i say it's over!!!
Me: I have to go to the bank
Mr. P: deposit your allowance from grandma?
Me: yeah

Fin!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Team Clermont Summer Festival music dump!

Now imagine them in Western Wear.

As ya'll should know by now, Team Clermont is having a Summer Festival and a Blue Ribbon Ball (AKA the best prom ever!) from Aug. 3-5 right here in Athens, GA. It's open to all and tickets are super-duper cheap. Go here for more info on how to buy tickets and the like. Here is the lineup for the prom, with MP3s from every band. A lot of these tracks are as fresh as the Publix produce section! Check it:

Thursday, August 3rd—40 Watt Club, Athens, GA
Modern Skirts – “New York Song” MP3
Now It’s Overhead—“Wonderful Scar” MP3
Iron Hero—“Pilot” MP3
LYLAS--“His Master’s Merriment” MP3

Friday, August 4th—40 Watt Club, Athens, GA
Man Man—“10 lb. Moustache” MP3
Dark Meat—“Dead Man” MP3
White Whale—“The Admiral” MP3
Pattern is Movement/Scott Solter—“Maple” (remix) MP3

Saturday, August 5th—Happy Hour sponsored by Barsuk Records—the Go! Bar, Athens, GA
The Long Winters—“Pushover” MP3 (John Roderick from the Long Winters will be performing solo)

Saturday, August 5th—Blue Ribbon Ball—40 Watt Club, Athens, GA featuring Prom Band Elf Power--this year's theme: Wild West!
Elf Power—“An Old Familiar Scene” MP3

Now that's hot!

Wow.


Who was the genius that took this picture? I have nothing to say about that this picture that it doesn't say for itself.

Photo album of complex relationships!


Download: Trentalange -- "Lonely Land"

Former singer of the Seattle band Spyglass and a member of the most recent Crooked Fingers lineup, Barbara Trentalage has put out one emotionally stirring record of atmospheric rock that recalls the early Peter Gabriel work as well as the storytelling aspects of Nick Cave. Trentalange wrote, recorded and performed the vast majority of the album herself. Members of Crooked Fingers, Spyglass, and Head Like a Kite added flourishes before Trentalange joined producer Martin Feveyear (Rosie Thomas, The Dark Fantastic) and drummer Mark Pickerel (Screaming Trees, Neko Case, Brandi Carlisle) at Seattle's Jupiter Studios to add the finishing touches of drums and vocals. Stunning stuff...and anybody who cites the first four Peter Gabriel records as an influence is okay by me!

Monday, July 17, 2006

We vibrate, we do!

This is a good press photo.

Download:
So Many Dynamos—“Search Party” MP3
Download: So Many Dynamos—“In Every Direction” MP3
Download: So Many Dynamos—“In Our Sleep” MP3

I can't get enough of So Many Dynamos! Fresh off a semi-successful attempt to tour all of the contiguous 48 states (they missed a few, okay?) and write-ups in SPIN Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Music for Robots, and more, this Missouri/Illinois/whatever dance-punk combo has come back with a monster of a record called Flashlights, complete with daring new additions like a choir and a horn section. This is maturity at its best, where seriousness doesn't mean a lack of fun or energy. If anything, the newfangled production and that insane-ass drummer up the ante by 100%. I hear that this band, in its solo or Emperor X-backing capacity, is not to be missed live. Sad that I haven't had a chance to experience that yet. I believe you have just found some new summer jamz!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

JJ picks some winners: Heather Duby and Midlake


It's song of the week time. Seriously, I love these songs, I love them so much that I don't even feel the need to write something totally stupid before we get to them, so let's cut the fat.

Heather Duby has been making waves up in the PNW for years. Check out this review from Seattle Sound Magazine:
Heather Duby's previous solo releases have elicited much comment about "pop sensibility". But pop sensibility is for the like of American Idols, and Duby may congratulate herself for remaining un-pop-sensible on her self-titledthirdfull-length, which plays like the culmination of the efforts of her first and second records. Production genius Steve Fisk steps in once again to help Duby firmly grasp the organic sounds of Come Across the River, while adding a dusting of electronic notions suggested on Post to Wire. Most of these songs revolve around the helplessness of love, as if, at times, Duby can't help but fall in love ("Still Rough", "Wrestle and Cuss"). Basic piano chords and melodic violin lines bring both beauty and sorrow to "Gone Aground" and Erin Tate (Minus the Bear) drums up the building blocks for the optimistic sound that guides the best songs on the album ("Listen" , "Would Have Liked You (I'm Pretty Sure)"). The Finale, "Places Shape Lives", steps into the realm of recent Stereolab and early U2. If that isn't enough, the record includes a little bonus song in which Duby prepares for the battlefield of love. At last, Heather Duby has found her sound.
--Ben Guerechit/Seattle Sound Magazine
I think she sounds a lot like Psapp myself.

Download: Heather Duby--"Would Have Liked You (I'm Pretty Sure)"


Next up is Midlake. There's an ABSURD amount of positive press to choose from concerning their stellar new release The Trials of Van Occupanther so i think i'll just go with my fave blog Stereogum's live review:
Holy shit did Midlake bring a lot of equipment with them from Texas. We're talking a Hot Chip-sized spread of keyboards, cords, pedals, and more. Not to mention a screen and movie projector! We were hoping it was to play the M*A*S*H opening montage during Stereogum fave "Roscoe." No luck.
So Merc was sold out, and the line was long on gate crashers hoping to get a glimpse of their Bamnam bretheren. After spinning that album and their upcoming release The Trials of Van Occupanther, the sonic shift from Flaming Lipsy Yorke-ishness to Fleetwood Mac-fed harmonies is evident and impressive. With the sound of each record best typified in "Balloon Maker" and "Roscoe" respectively, we were shocked to get 'em as the first two cuts on the night. God i love Midlake.
Download: Midlake--"Roscoe" (for the three of you out there who ain't heard it!)

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

More Hasselhoff + Rascall Flatts

Download: "Bless the Broken Road" (from A Piano Tribute to Rascall Flatts)

This story comes from the World Entertainment News Network via IMDb:

Hasselhoff Owes His Life to Swooning Hotel Clerk

David Hasselhoff owes his life to a London hotel clerk who literally swooned at his feet seconds after he accidentally slashed his wrist in a shaving accent. The Baywatch creator-turned-reality TV star severed a tendon in his right wrist after shattering a chandelier in his hotel room bathroom and had to be rushed to hospital. But he fears that if an overwhelmed clerk, who came to his aid after hearing his cries for help, had passed out in front of him, he would never have made it. He explains, "It was really early in the morning and I said, 'Help, help, please, and I went over with blood spurting everywhere, and she started to faint. I said, 'No, no, no... don't faint.' I grabbed her with my foot and I said, 'Excuse me, can you tell me the number for 911 here in London.'" Hasselhoff now has his wrist in a cast following the shaving mishap, which took place on June 29.
Um, how is breaking a chandelier a shaving accident? And who copy edits there? A "shaving accent?" Can someone explain this to me?

Anyway, I just thought you might enjoy this piano tribute to Rascall Flatts because it's a piano tribute to Rascall Flatts!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Baltimore Club Music


Man, I'm psyched to see The 'Cropper back to posting about music again. I mean, don't get me wrong, I like youtube Jordy videos as much as the next guy, ok fine I don't, but hey, I can't complain, I wasn't posting much last week.

Yeah, so I don't actually know shit about Baltimore Club Music, but I do know that I really, really like Baltimore. I may very well be a cultural tourist (hope not), and I've never actually lived in the city, but I've had nothing but extremely positive experiences every time I've been there. Most of my friends that do live there speak very highly of it. The architecture is amazing, the people I've interacted with have always been really down to earth, it's amazingly inexpensive, and they've got Natty Bo. So, I find it frustrating when my praise for Baltimore is met with dismissive eye-rolling and the like, as it most frequently is.

Anyway, an MTV News Piece on Baltimore Club Music has sparked some interesting discussion among those that have more knowledge about this stuff than I do. First, Tom Breihan, who is rapidly becoming one of my favorite writers, weighed in as a Baltimore native over at Status Ain't Hood. Tom's post brought on a response by Government Names, a blog that's new to me, but looks to have a lot insight as to what's going down these days in Charm City. I'm not sure everyone will find this discussion as interesting as I do, but somehow, the fact that there's a largely self-contained style of music that doesn't really get outside the city of Baltimore itself is indicative of what I like about the city. Baltimore is it's own thing.

Michael Zapruder's Rain of Frogs


Download: Michael Zapruder's Rain of Frogs -- "Haymaker Market" MP3
Download: Michael Zapruder's Rain of Frogs -- "Shepherd's Purse" MP3

Michael Zapruder's complex and emotionally-resonant songs are already causing a stir. The hype is really starting to build on this stuff, both online and in the print media, and it's all completely appropriate. Known as the Rain of Frogs (as in Michael Zapruder's), this unlikely collection of the Bay Area's finest includes Nate Query from the Decemberists, Jonathan Segal from Camper Van Beethoven, Scott Pinkmountain from Pink Mountain, Scott Solter of Tiny Telephone, Jon Bernson from Ray's Vast Basement, and some fifteen others. The new album is called New Ways of Letting Go.

The orchestration is absolutely superb, and the production is perfect: not too slick with great separation. This is the kind of music Sufjan and Andrew Bird get lauded for, and I feel like Michael Zapruder and his Rain of Frogs outfit deserves to be held in the same high esteem. It's intelligent, effortless, never too clever pop music at its best. Highly recommended.

Heck, anybody who cites early BeeGees as an influence is a pal of mine.

Erasing Clouds



Dave Heaton, over at the always enlightening Erasing Clouds, is working on an interesting feature. He's got 100 musicians answering the same 10 questions, which we find to be a worthwhile endeavor for several reasons. The first, and most important, is that Dave's got a keen ear for good music, and is committed to writing about interesting musicians that are truly flying below most people's radar. This feature is a fantastic way to find contemporary bands making vital sounds now. Second, it's a novel idea. While asking musicians these types of questions isn't anything new, I've yet to see someone subject so many artists to the exact same interview and post their responses together, one after the other. I've been interested, in reading the responses, to see where the musicians answers diverge and converge, and have been surprised to find similarities in people I wouldn't have expected and differences in bands I thought were fairly comparable. Finally, the drone/ambient fan in me thinks it's really cool the way these differences and discrepancies arise out of repetition. As of now, he's up to 25. Oh yeah, you'll also find more than a few Team C. artists there too!

Friday, July 07, 2006

It's tough to be a baby.



One of the greatest moments in our country's history was when we stood up to the French and their precious Jordy and said, "No, thank you!"



By the way, can you believe that this ever happened?

IMing With The Stars: Sam Gunn from Iron Hero

The tallest band in indie rock--photo by Brian McCall

Download: Iron Hero--"Heart of a Ghost" MP3

Sam Gunn is a jack of all trades. First off, he's a super-laid back nice fellow. We've known each other for quite some time, and he's always been involved in this or that, bands like the dearly departed Reading, Pinebox Derby, and now the hyper-popular Athens band Iron Hero. Sam has also been a college radio music director (I used to promote to him!) and a music journalist. In this edition of IMing With The Stars, we discuss Josh McKay from Macha, Superchunk's last two records, southern accents, and first impressions.

Iron Hero will be playing at Team Clermont's Summer Festival on Thursday night with Now It's Overhead, LYLAS, and Modern Skirts. Their new album, Safe As Houses, is an unbelievably well-recorded slab of dream pop.

Me: if you had to say that your record did one thing better than anything else, what would it be?
Sam Gunn: Man, that's tough...um, I guess I'd say that it definitely has the best distorted and reversed sonar box sounds that I've ever heard on a record.
Me: that's a real claim to fame
Sam Gunn: It's all I could think of
Sam Gunn: I can't be that objective about our record
Me: it's hard isn't it
Sam Gunn: near impossible
Me: I think that cliche about seeing the forest for the trees is an apt one for recording a record
Me: or rather not being able to see the forest for the trees
Me: it's hard to step back sometimes and say "this is good"
Sam Gunn: Yeah, when you start working on 10 (or more) songs simultaneously, it's easy to get overwhelmed
Sam Gunn: I've never been more stressed in my life
Sam Gunn: Yeah, when you start working on 10 (or more) songs simultaneously, it's easy to get overwhelmed
Me: I heard you the first time!
Me: hahaha
Me: how was working with Josh Mckay (from Macha)? I hear he is a notorious perfectionist
Sam Gunn: Um...yeah, I guess that's putting it mildly! He definitely takes his time making sure everything is perfect, which is what we wanted.
Sam Gunn: At one point, we spent two hours getting a guitar sound for a 30-second guitar part that I did in one take
Me: haha
Me: it was like that with Clay in PacUV
Me: Josh will admit it himself
Sam Gunn: But he also spent so much time thinking about our songs from an outsider's perspective
Me: that's important, I think
Sam Gunn: He really knew our songs backwards and forwards before we even went into the studio, he'd been to tons of our shows and had sat in on several practices
Me: Brandon and I were talking and we feel like it's maybe the best sounding local record in a long time
Me: that's awesome that he took the time!
Sam Gunn: All I can say is that I'm very proud of how it sounds. I think it's a great representation of what these songs are about.
Me: are they any parts of the record where you go "ugh I wish I could have done that better?"
Me: or are you like George Bush with no mistakes?
Sam Gunn: Um, all of the vocals...
Me: haha
Me: I think your singing has really progressed
Sam Gunn: Well, just kidding, kinda
Me: someone once told me that vocals can always be better
Sam Gunn: I wish I had had more time to experiment with strange harmonies and crazy backing vocals
Me: and it might be true
Sam Gunn: They can always be different...but without Josh in there with me, they woulda been a lot worse
Sam Gunn: He pushed me to sing harder and more expressively...I wanted to sing it like Mark Kozelek in a coma...
Sam Gunn: But I think he was right
Me: It doesn't sound like your speaking voice at all
Sam Gunn: People tell me that alot, a lot of people don't think it's me...
Me: well, you have a very rich southern accent
Me: not super-strong, but rich
Me: that strong Macon accent!
Me: is there such a thing?
Sam Gunn: I think I sound more southern when I sing...
Me: really?
Me: that's very interesting
Me: I think you sound like a dirty redneck
Sam Gunn: Hmm...I think there's a Middle Georgia accent, if not a Macon one...
Sam Gunn: Thanks asshole
Me: oh crap! This interview has turned contentious!
Me: I was just kidding
Sam Gunn: My aunts and uncles think that I sound like a Yankee...you should hear them talk...
Sam Gunn: Me too
Sam Gunn: That sounded like a dig on my family...it wasn't
Me: I'm not saying your accent is strong or anything
Me: my relatives in Minnesota think I am the biggest Southerner ever
Me: but they are soooo Minnesotan to me it's not funny and then they are like "we have accents? what accents?
Me: It's probably all context
Sam Gunn: No one ever has any idea, truly, what their speaking voice sounds like
Sam Gunn: Mine scares the hell out of me
Me: yeah...we hear out of our bones or something right?
Me: scares you? how so?
Sam Gunn: It just never sounds like me...or what I think I sound like...I feel disembodied when I hear it
Me: probably a common problem...I'm a lot more slurry
Sam Gunn: But, back to what we were talking about, I hope people realize that my singing voice isn't an affectation
Me: you can put a disclaimer on the album
Sam Gunn: Because I feel like early on there was a misconception about our band that we were trying to be "cheeky" or "dancy"
Me: how do you think that dance band thing started--with the two drummers?
Sam Gunn: No...I guess we kinda started it ourselves, cause initially some demos that we had played folks were done mostly with electronic drums and other synth sounds, and they did sound a little more "dancy" than the full band thing
Me: people get that "first sound" embedded in their brains
Sam Gunn: Yeah, it's hard to shake first impressions
Me: a lot of people could never understand why REM didn't just record Murmur over and over again
Me: this probably sounds like sacrilege, but I preferred later stuff
Me: I thought it was more developed
Sam Gunn: I'm the same way with lots of bands--I think Superchunk's last two records are criminally overlooked
Me: yeah!
Me: I think those are good
Sam Gunn: Those are the best "mature" indie-rock records I've ever heard
Sam Gunn: Besides maybe the entire Long Winters catalog
Me: Teenage Fanclub has been recording killer records for a long time and no one cared until this new one on Merge
Me: Long Winters...good call
Me: playing the Summer Fest by the way (plug!)
Sam Gunn: Yeah, I'm stoked!
Me: well, just John, but he is an extremely compelling live performer solo
Sam Gunn: I'm already trying to decide what requests I'm going to annoyingly call out between songs
Me: no Freebird
Sam Gunn: Oh no, only Long Winters songs...
Me: thank God!

Me and Mr. P #1

Recently, I did an IMing with the Stars with Marvin Lin/Mr. P from Tiny Mix Tapes, and we enjoyed it so much that we are starting a semi-regular feature called Me and Mr. P, wherein me and Mr. P will discuss whatever we want to for five minutes and five minutes only. The first edition finds us talking about Nigel Godrich, Pavement, and a Sufjan Stevens press release! If that doesn't spell excitement, well, then I don't know what does! Enjoy!

Me: so what have you been up to, Mr. P?
Mr. P: listening to thom yorke's "solo" lp
Me: what do you think about it?
Mr. P: i'm writing the review for it
Mr. P: i'm still trying to gather my thoughts on it to be honest
Me: yeah
Mr. P: have you heard it?
Me: I thought it sounded a little blah to be quite honest
Me: like Kid A b-sides
Mr. P: yeah, that was my initial impressions, but i'm trying to give it more time to breathe
Me: or even worse Amnesiac b-sides
Me: someone told me I need to pay more attention to it
Mr. P: but really, i don't know... seems like nigel pushed thom in the wrong direction
Mr. P: i'm not a fan of nigel's production
Me: really?
Me: I love those Beck records
Me: I guess I'm in the minority
Mr. P: he's really good at what he does, but hate the way his drums sound.
Me: I love OK Computer
Mr. P: i love love ok computer's sound
Me: really? I love the cut-up stuff on OK Computer
Mr. P: i just think he's going downhill since then
Me: that record still sounds vital to me
Me: ha
Me: I didn't like Terror Twilight
Mr. P: on The Eraser, he absolutely refused to put more reverb on thom's voice, even at his request
Me: Nigel brought nothing to the table for Pavement
Mr. P: yeah. it's a great album, but sounds too compressed
Me: which one again?
Mr. P: terror twilight
Me: aha
Me: I think they got too good at their instruments!
Mr. P: haha
Me: seriously, by the last tour, Malkmus was soloing like the Allmans and chewing gum the whole time
Me: real lackadaisical
Mr. P: and looking beautiful doing it
Me: he is a sexy man
Me: my wife likes him
Mr. P: you're married!!!
Me: yeah...did I not tell you that?
Mr. P: i don't think so
Me: I'm 31, dude
Mr. P: good thing we're doing these interviews
Me: I'm old and in the way
Me: why?
Mr. P: now i konw you're not available
Me: yep...I'm a kept man
Mr. P: sufjan just announced tourdates. i bet all the blogs and pitchfork will be updating the site soon now
Me: hahaha
Mr. P: just watch!!
Me: are you guys on it!
Me: ?
Mr. P: it happened like a second ago
Mr. P: maybe i should just post the press release. TMT exclusive baby!
Me: go to it, man!
Me: our five minutes are up!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Ho-Ag: The Word from Pluto


Download: Ho-Ag – “Into The River” MP3

Dang, Ho-Ag! You so crazy!

It's understandable that Allston, MA's Ho-Ag, newly signed to the consistently stellar Hello Sir Records, has been known to play full-on Devo cover sets. This isn't to say that Ho-Ag rips off Devo wholesale or anything. Far from it! What they take from Devo--particularly the earlier, better stuff--is that adventurous spirit, that limitless energy and thirst for innovation that so energized their Akron godfathers.

Ho-Ag is known for insane, raucous live shows, but the records are no slouches either. The band specializes in a synth-inflected danceable proto-punk that’s always folding in on itself, twisting, turning, and colliding with boundless enthusiasm. It's something to behold, a party for your head, your heart, and your moneymaker!

I really want that "Don't Hassel the Hoff" shirt



I'm glad that David Hasselhoff has a sense of humor about his oeuvre, but his sense of humor is so lame that it makes me cringe every time I see one of his "hilarious" videos.

If John Edwards couldn't win the presidency or the vice presidency over George W. Bush do you think he could find a rogue helicopter pilot?



Just askin'.