MP3: Anchorman – San Diego
MP3: Anchorman – Optical Illusion
MP3: Anchorman – Having Fun
MP3: Anchorman – Nickname
MP3: Anchorman – No Pants Dance
MP3: Anchorman – What Cologne
MP3: Anchorman – 60% Of The Time
MP3: Anchorman – That Smell
MP3: Anchorman – Turd
MP3: Anchorman – Bigfoot’s Dick
MP3: Anchorman – Real Hooker
MP3: Anchorman – Go Fuck Yourself
In the mid to late 80’s Zeppelin was my primary source of music. However, around the same time I began to explore the works of Husker Du. The underrated trio from Minneapolis put out some great albums, “Zen Arcade”, “New Day Rising”, “Flip Your Wig”, “Candy Apple Grey”. But 1987’s Warehouse: Songs and Stories was a masterpiece, definitely one of my 20 favorite albums. Unfortunately it turned out to be the bands last record due to an disagreement between Bob Mould [Guitar, Vocals] and Grant Hart [Drummer, Vocals] .
*Husker Du influenced The Pixies and Dinosaur Jr.
*Mould’s solo debut- Workbook love it
*Damnwells – Doing their best Jeff Tweedy and doing it well. Great, great song!
*Morphine -Cure for Pain (5 Stars)
*Elbow – UK veterans hitting their stride – Cast of Thousands
*Avett Brothers – One of the most exiting live acts out today. They are recording their next album with Rick Rubin.
*The Felice Brothers – Tonight At The Arizona (5 Stars)
*You can tell that Mark Sandman looked up to Mark Lanegan
*I cannot believe Jimmy Page is putting Zeppelin back together w/o Robert Plant. Huh, Huh?
Tell me that this is CGI. I’ve lost all respect for these guys. Don’t they have enough money? Even Tom Cruise is embarrassed. Shameful.
Pitchman: “Hey guys, I have this great idea. We are going to put you in pink Polo shirts, tighty whities, white tube socks and have you dance around to Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock And Roll”. How does that sound to you?”
Last month I had the opportunity to meet with Audrye Session’s lead-singer and guitarist, Ryan Karazija’s, before their show at Spaceland in Silverlake. The Bay Area quartet has been stirring up the music scene from their hometown of San Francisco to New York and everywhere in between. The band made their full-length recording debut in 2007 with “Braille”, an independent release that led to a major-label recording contract with the RCA Records subsidiary Black Seal [Albert Hammond Jr.]. This past summer they completed their self-titled debut, which will be released in early 2009. The album was recorded with Andrew Scheps (U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Johnny Cash) and Matt Radosevich (The Hives, Two Gallants). They also released a 4-track EP a couple weeks ago.
We covered a lot of ground from aliens to Thom Yorke, to crashing with fans on the road.
R&G: How did you come up with the band’s name?
Ryan: I was performing solo and had booked myself at a coffee shop close to where I was living [Livermore, California], and they wanted to know if I wanted to be booked under my own name or if I had another name. The TV was on in the background while I was on the phone, and a Sony commercial was on with a blue alien making a mix CD called the Audrye Sessions. So I said, “Just put me down as the Audrye Sessions.” It stuck forever.
R&G: How long have you guys been together?
Ryan: We’ve been together roughly five or six years, but the line-up has gone through some changes. Alicia [Campbell], Mike [Knox] and I have been together for a good five years, though.
R&G: You and Alicia dated at one time. How did you guys manage to keep the band together?
Ryan: I think for the most part people were amazed that we were able to make it work. Both of us are really stubborn. After we broke up it was like, “Well, I’m not going to leave the band,” and she said, “I’m not going to leave the band. Screw you.” Somehow everything worked out, and now we have a great relationship.
R&G: How many songs from “Braille” [self-released] made it onto the new album?
Ryan: There are five of them, I think. I’m not sure. I don’t even know the order of the songs. I haven’t heard the final mastering of it. Everybody else has. I don’t really want to listen to it.
R&G: Why don’t you want to listen to it?
Ryan: It’s just weird for me to listen to my work.
R&G: When do you expect to release the album?
Ryan: January is what they are saying, but it’s been done since June. It’s good touring on it, but I think any time off that we have we’re going to be back in the studio trying to squeeze in new songs just to keep it interesting for ourselves. Otherwise, we’re not going to perform well. We have to be excited, too. I think the excitement comes from being in different places, having people there that are excited to see us. If we were just practicing the songs over and over in the studio and had to do it every night, that would be hell, like having to watch the same movie over and over.
R&G: Are you the primary songwriter?
Ryan: I was the primary songwriter. The group is a pretty funny combination. Alicia had never played bass before and Mike had never played in a band. He had only been playing guitar for about three years when he joined us. I was the only person who had ever actually done any writing, so that’s kind of how it worked for a while. Though, Mike and I have been coming up with a lot of stuff together recently. But for this album, yes, I’m the primary songwriter. That will probably change in the future.
R&G: Does having other songwriters take the pressure off of you?
Ryan: We’ll try anything. I have no problem with anyone bringing something in and being like, “Hey, let’s try doing this,” even if I don’t think it’s going to work. Sometimes I’m wrong, sometimes I’m right. We’re all pretty open-minded. I feel like it only takes ten seconds to try it out, but you can spend the rest of your life regretting not trying something.
R&G: What’s the primary difference between working with a label and going at it alone?
Ryan: We’re still doing exactly what we were doing before. It’s just like we have a little help now. Before, when we did a few trips on the road we didn’t make any money. Everything was coming out of our own pockets, so we’d come back and we’d be broke. We are lucky to have a good support team at the label. They’ll help us with gas and hotels. But one of the exciting parts about touring is asking the audience while you’re on stage, “Hey, does anybody have a place to stay?” We don’t really do that anymore because we know we’re comfortable and we know we can go get a motel.
R&G: I imagine it’s kind of cool to see who’s going to say “yes.”
Ryan: Yeah, sometimes it’s interesting where you wind up staying. It’s like, great, and they’ll have a party. And sometimes it can be weird.
R&G: I’ve read several publications that say your vocals sound like Thom Yorke’s during the “Pablo Honey” and “The Bends” years. I have to agree there are similarities on some of your songs. Have you heard this before?
Ryan: Yeah. I think about that a lot. And I don’t know what I think because it’s fucking Thom Yorke. That’s great. Cool. He’s fucking amazing. But there’s also a thing that stresses me out about it. He‘s so different and that’s why they are who they are. I know there have been comparisons of our songs, that we have the same kind of style, very songy-versus-chorus hooks. It concerns me because you can never get to a bigger level if you’re just “like it.” I also think that I change from song to song depending on what the songs are like. I don’t do it intentionally – kind of subconsciously. My voice caters to how I think the song should feel. I’m not like, “This song kind of sounds folky. I’m going to sing like a folk singer.” It just happens. I actually haven’t been listening to Radiohead very much lately because that stuff kind of went to my head. At the end of the day I would never compare us to them. If somebody says I sound like Thom Yorke, well then, Thank You.
Once again, this week’s new releases are pretty crappy. I’m not a fan of Bloc Party [Physical Form and iTunes release] and I don’t care enough about the Kaiser Chiefs’ to buy their album. Last week the market was flooded with Christmas albums. This week the focus is on reissues, greatest hits and vinyl releases from The Band, The Beach Boys, The Byrds, Marvin Gaye, Herbie Hancock, Hank Williams Jr., Jimi Hendrix and Wings.
One album that I’m excited about is Ryan Adams and The Cardinals, Cardinology. I have not read or heard anything about the it. I will find out tomorrow whether or not my excitement was warranted.
Ryan Adams & The Cardinals – Cardinology
A perfect anthem for the City of Angels. The original version of the song was recorded in November & December of 1972 for the Goats Head Soup album. The Stones were forced to change the song’s title in the US to Star Star.
They were billed as the London Green Shoed Cowboys for the July 1978 tour. The last night of the tour was in Forth Worth, Texas.
David Cross – Phone Call From A Cranky Terrorist
Some sad news.
From The SFGate.com:
“Keyboardist Merl Saunders, the gentle lion of the San Francisco music scene best known as co-captain of guitarist Jerry Garcia’s solo excursions outside the Grateful Dead, died Friday at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center after fighting infections.
The 74-year-old musician suffered a debilitating stroke 6 1/2 years ago and, although he lost the ability to speak, he made numerous sentimental guest appearances at shows over those years playing with one hand.
“I never met anybody so happy who had a stroke,” said Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart. “In the end, the only thing that lit him up was the music. Sometimes he’d cry, but I’ve never seen anybody so happy in the realm of music.”
The native San Franciscan attended Polytechnic High School with singer Johnny Mathis.
After serving in the Army from 1953 to 1957, he played jazz organ on the same circuit as Jimmy Smith and Brother Jack McDuff. He worked as musical director of the Billy Williams Revue and served in a similar capacity in Oscar Brown Jr.’s off-Broadway show “Big Time Buck White.” He backed up Dinah Washington and jammed with Miles Davis. Mr. Saunders, who was rarely seen in public without his trademark aviator shades and black leather fisherman’s cap, started playing with Garcia in 1971 at a small Fillmore Street nightclub called the Matrix, where the Grateful Dead guitarist liked to hold informal jam sessions on Dead nights off. Within months, the loose-knit band was playing to packed houses at small local clubs like the Keystone Korner in North Beach every weekend the Dead wasn’t working. Members sometimes included former Creedence Clearwater rhythm guitarist Tom Fogerty and former Journey rhythm guitarist George Tickner.
The first time I saw The Whigs frontman Parker Gispert was last year prior to a gig at Spaceland. He looked very intense and little bit shy, but that all changed when he hit the stage. He was like a man possessed, jumping up and down, thrashing his guitar and growling out vocals reminiscent of Kurt Cobain and Paul Westerberg.
When I met him last month at Avalon Hollywood, he and his bandmates [Drummer Julian Dorio and bassist Tim Deaux] had been stuck in rush hour traffic on the I-10 and were late for soundcheck (recurring R&G theme). I was expecting a hurried, five-minute interview. To my surprise, it was the exact opposite. Parker was laid-back and generous with his time.
The Whigs are one of the hardest working bands out today. They play with such high-level energy and enthusiasm you would think they were playing either their first or last show, a style similar to the Avett Brothers. They open for the Kooks this Tuesday at The Palladium (Buy Tix), marking their their fourth visit to Los Angeles in less than a year.
R&G: It’s been well-documented that you guys recorded your first album in a fraternity house with equipment that you bought from eBay and then resold for a profit after the recording sessions were over. Tell me about the experience of self-producing your album “Give 'Em All a Big Fat Lip”.
Parker: I think it was the logical thing to do, considering it was our first record and we knew what we wanted the songs to sound like. It gave us the opportunity to create a record without interference from anybody. We actually thought that it was a pretty amazing thing that we could have a dream recording studio for free with any equipment we wanted and we weren’t on the clock.
R&G: Were there any industry people in Athens [Georgia] interested in signing you?
Parker: Not really. There wasn’t a ton of interest. We had a small run-in with a label that turned sour quickly and we were kind of reeling from that. To be honest with you, we weren’t looking.
R&G: You guys formed in 2002. Why did you wait until 2005 to record “Give ‘Em All A Big Fat Lip?”
Parker: Well, for starters we were in school. It was important for all of us to graduate. We didn’t want to put out a record and not tour behind it. We wanted to wait until we could give it the proper treatment. We looked at it as a blessing. It gave us more time to write songs. There easily could have been a couple albums in there.
R&G: In 2006 Rolling Stone magazine named The Whigs the best unsigned band in America. What was your reaction to the news?
Parker: I remember I was about to take a quiz and Josh, our manager, called me and told me about the article. You have to realize, at that time we had recorded and put the album out ourselves. To be in Rolling Stone was strange, but it felt good. It was a nice compliment from the writer. We didn’t let it go to our heads. It was just one article.
R&G: How did you get on their radar?
Parker: We were lucky. We were playing shows up in New York while we were in school. We had Tuesday/Thursday class, so we’d tour Thursday, Friday, and Saturday out of town. The New York shows we would do during the week – drive up and then drive back. During one of our trips there was a Rolling Stone journalist at the show and he was impressed.
R&G: It wasn’t long after the Rolling Stone piece that the labels came knocking on your door. Why did you choose ATO Records [Dave Matthews' Label]?
Parker: The guy who signed us was named Jonathan Eshak. He saw us play at Pianos in New York a couple of times and he liked our music. The other labels we met with were like “We love the band. The band’s great. So let’s re-record the album and change the songs around,” and that didn’t really make sense to us. ATO was the only label that came to us and was like, “Hey, we love what you’re doing, so we just want to re-release the first album and we like all the new songs you’re writing. Let’s talk about making another record.” That was exciting.
R&G: In January you released your second album “Mission Control.” Shortly after the release you guys played on the Letterman show. He loved your performance. He growled “Yeah” and then said, “Nice Going. God, that was cool. Good to see you. Thank you very much. Power trio, Paul?” And Paul responds, “Love it.” How did that make you feel?
Parker: It was awesome. We played in Athens on Saturday night and then had to load up our gear at 5 a.m. Monday. It’s just the three of us, so we got in the van, drove straight there, got in at 2 p.m., and slept for a couple hours. We headed over to the show to load in our gear at 5 p.m. It was all such a blur because we were so tired and you get on the stage and it’s freezing in there. I don’t know if you’ve heard, apparently it keeps the audience lively. Also, the stage was so close to Dave’s desk. I thought it was weird. The lights go down, you’re playing, and there’s a silhouette of a man six feet to your left. He’s sitting at the desk and its like, “Whoa, Dave Letterman is right next to me.” The guys in the band were really cool to us. They played “Gimme Shelter” by the Rolling Stones during the commercial break and that got us all excited.
R&G: Were you nervous before your performance?
Parker: I was scared because I didn’t know how it was going to come off. There are some –intangibles – the guy doing sound for the show, the lights; there’s any number of things that are outside of your control. We actually went back to our hotel to watch it and the cable didn’t work, which sucked, so we sprinted down the street and went into this bar and the guy turned it on for us, which was a little embarrassing. We watched it and we were like, “Oh wow! We did good!”