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Cherry Red Record’s 5-disc box set Silhouettes & Statues encompasses the Gothic revolution of the late ’70s to mid-‘80s, capturing the spirit of an essential era in (musical) history.
“Knowing there are so many hardworking people in every DIY scene makes me grateful for all the opportunities that are handed to me.” – Melina Duterte
“I like to think our music always has darkness but with small rays of hope. The world is a dark place but we do have positive messages without making light of it. If our music makes someone feel less alone then I know what I’m doing is still worth it,” affirmed Vernon.
“I remember how poor we were at certain times. My dad worked hard and he always made sure we had two things, books and music. I grew up listening to anything I could get my hands on, from Cole Porter to African rhythm records. I didn’t care what it was, as long as it sparked something in me.”
“I always felt rock & roll should be raw and dangerous. Playing live is an exorcism and really just a celebration of life; Owning pain, joy and emotion,” affirmed Lewis.
I had formed this band to make everyone in the world suffer for the hell I’d endured back in high school, so this was the perfect setting to unleash my anger.
“Southern Indie” label This Is American Music shows there’s more than meets the eye in their home region and reveals the importance of community in the music business.
Two very short stories: more sludgy rumination on my salad days. 25 years ago today, nerds from New Jersey spent the night wandering around New York City and I check out CBGB for the first time. Then I recount the first time I got onto the radio.
I tried to interview an old Boston band called Dangerous Birds and became thwarted by sinister powers of cunning and treachery. Then a crusty librarian handed me an old photo of a shoe collection from the Korean Airline Disaster of 1983 and their whole lie unraveled, along with my interview.
A post-punk/shoegaze trio from Tel Aviv that exemplifies the notion of music being universal.
“I’m never complacent. I always just try to get better and improve my work, which keeps me hungry and striving for greatness endlessly,” he concluded.
I thought about the Dead Kennedys as I sat silently on the bus. I couldn’t understand a single word the singer was saying, it all just sounded like incoherent babble. He sounded like some kind of depraved nerd. At the end of the day, I shook my head in disbelief about punk rock.
“I still love everything about it. I guess quitting for awhile helped me get even more excited about music.I consider myself very lucky to be able to still write and I feel very free and more creative now than I have ever been. I’m going to ride it as long as I can,” laughed Secich.
“I really don’t feel our rise to fame was that quick. First off, we were still touring in vans and I knew nothing when I went to record. I really have to give props to our producer, Keith Forsey. He taught me so much about music and sound and has been a huge influence on my growth as a musician,” complimented Stevens.
Onstage, with her low-slung bass guitar and trademark bare feet, Finch epitomized grunge era cool.
“Personally, I’m all for the music aspect. I love blending different styles. We’re about music and inspiration and hopefully inspiring others to start creating.”
“Never give up in what you believe in. I just remain true to myself. The newer fans now have a female guitarist they can look to for guidance and leadership. I stand still and the world revolves around me,” stated Ford.
“I was first inspired by Courtney Love. I know she’s not the best person but it wasn’t until I heard Pantera that I knew I wanted to try and make a career from music. I knew I wanted to do something to help people and inspire them and I do feel responsible to be positive,” she reflected.
On the heels of her lovely new solo record, Red Kite—only her second in seventeen years—we have a lovely chat with Saint Etienne frontwoman Sarah Cracknell.
“The time off has really worked to our advantage. We pursued a lot of other projects since then and we have gained all these new perspectives. I feel we’re all much more accountable now and this record, to me, has us taking control of every aspect,” said Bottum.
“I understand that our music is heavy and something a lot of people won’t get or even dance to but we work to create a special energy. I’m not into stages. I don’t think anyone should feel they’re elevated and above any one else. A lot of the Bay Area venues we play have been closing but we network to play venues where we feel we can connect better with people,” she said.
“Going solo is absolutely more challenging. It’s naked, harrowing, terrifying. I have a binder in front of me to help me remember words. With the ‘Utters and maybe rock in general, you have this safety net of volume or speed. If I make a mistake it’s not as glaringly obvious but with these songs, it’s painfully obvious,” he sighed.
“Today, our country puts away roughly 2.3 million people. California spends about $47,000 a year per person to lockup inmates. This is a deep, complex problem and the issues surrounding all of this could make it the biggest disaster in U.S. social policy history. I think it’s an embarrassment,” stated Kramer.
In a short time, Dick Diver have created some monumental works (New Start Again and Calendar Days spring to mind) that not only display deft and diverse songwriting but also some ace guitar and lasting melodies. Melbourne, Florida is no different than its predecessors, but does show a newfound confidence.
“Hearing early rock n’ roll made me wanna bash stuff and make a racket! When I was 4 years old they discovered me in the kitchen with all the pots and pans upside down on the floor. I was bashing on them with a spoon along to the music coming out of the radio. When I was 11 I got a guitar, picked it up and wrote a song on it, on one string! I’m still cranking on that string and bashing stuff.”
“When you’re not feeling good about yourself, a number one record doesn’t matter.”
Come Flyer With Me: A rant about DIY advertising, money, art, Facebook and dissapearing public spaces in Denver. Recently I was handing out flyers in downtown Denver and a funny thing happened. Almost everywhere I went, I was asked to leave.
It’s a common belief that bad things come in threes. For Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band, that theory just doesn’t hold up. Former Brooklynite and current Philly resident Chris Forsyth and his band (featuring Peter Kerlin, Paul Sukeena from Philly deep thudders Spacin’ and Steve Urgo, formerly of The War on Drugs) are countering this aged idea successfully at every turn, beginning with the release of Solar Motel on October 29th, 2013 .
“Shopping Howl’s record around to the old guard made me realize that the kids are the new guard, here and now. I’m not going to abandon them because they straight up made my career. I don’t want to alienate people, I want to learn and grow with them. If I can challenge the kids with this band then I’m all the better for it,” he said.
“When Rasputina started we didn’t have anyone to emulate. My naiveté turned out to be a real blessing because it seemed obvious to use cello instead of guitar. I wasn’t going to get a guitarist or learn just so I could have a band,” laughed Creager.
2014 shows no signs of Fair slowing down his collaborations or Half Japanese.
“Hardcore indirectly gave my natural big mouth a megaphone. It nurtured the activism within my heart and made me appreciate the idea of unity and community,” shared Kevin.
“I get really down on hateful music that has no point. What good is it if all you’re doing is screaming about how angry you are if there’s no type of catharsis for you?” stated Newton.
Bandleader Perry Serpa on the NYC ensemble’s four-album series and the special challenges of running a rock orchestra.
Death In June have been called everything from Nazi-sympathizers according critics to staunch liberals coming from their fans. In reality, the answer is lodged somewhere between the two extremes.
“There’s no higher compliment than to get feedback in person. To have someone come up to you 20 years later and say something you wrote saved their life is very gratifying, especially when you look back to when you first wrote it and wondered if anyone was even listening.”
“Every time you hear that noise that says ‘We are the makers and you people are the takers’, there has to be some kind of soundtrack to that which says ‘fuck you’. I want to be part of that soundtrack,” stated Bondi.
A brief essay on music sales. Recently I went into two record stores in Denver and had drastically different experiences. It seems that in the wake of the economic downtown, independent music stores and corporate chains have a much different philosophy on their customers and what those customers want.
Beme’s rap goes beyond the mere food/shit dichotomy. Beme’s “shit talk” is also music; the body is not a bank, but the music is rooted in the breath, the free improvisatory flow of words that are also tethered to the formalism of rhyme. Talk is ex-lax; rap betters the talking cure. It, too, is a work out that can make you less hungry. As a mural from the Oakland-based Community Rejuvenation Project suggests: there’d be less eating disorders and drug addictions if people were allowed to talk more, if word-jazz and singing were more acceptable. In this sense, Richard Berman is wrong: it’s harder to solve the obesity crisis by keeping your mouth closed. The extra energy you get from dieting has to go somewhere.
Remember what it was like to be the youngest person at a show, surrounded by people three times your age? With all of those strange tattooed people with their smelly dreadlocks? Lewis Dimmick hasn’t forgotten what that time period was like, and in this book he explores some of his earliest memories of participating in DIY music.
Recently, the filmmaker Jeff Feuerzeig (Half Japanese/The Duded) decided to document some originals & cover songs I have been performing on an acoustic piano in a 1983, ford Econoline. It’s given me an opportunity to turn people on to a version of a Velvet Underground song that tends to get lost in the shuffle.
Audio and commentary from a WGTB Benefit Show held in Washington DC on December 4th 1985, featuring Rites of Spring, Dag Nasty, Embrace and Beefeater.
In 2003 an anonymous person uploaded the earliest known recordings of Black Sabbath to a file sharing website. The songs, “The Rebel” and “When I Came Down” quickly spread around the Internet. Both of the songs reveal a young and wildly kinetic Black Sabbath. Both are still technically unreleased.
I’m sure you know that feeling of being totally excited for a show, and then being swiftly disappointed because of just how terribly the sound is handled. Perhaps, it’s because the venue just isn’t that great, but more often than not it’s simply because of the sound guy.
On the heels of a reissue of their sole album and a farewell series of shows, we talk with Norman Brannon, guitarist for the highly regarded band Texas Is The Reason, about their past and their present.
Easily the most dangerous contaminant in music journalism today, after sexism, is some need writers have to single out a band with an attention span as short as their own album reviews.