Hey all, I have been doing so much songwriting for this new group called Theme Music and I've only shared a few things with everyone. So, for your enjoyment, hopefully, I've got some videos for all the tunes below. Have a listen!
I wrote and recorded this tune on Sunday for a songwriting group I'm part of. I knocked the lyrics out on Saturday night over dinner and did a quick recording on Sunday. I think it came out pretty cool!
Superchunk is a force of nature live. So, upon hearing that bassist Laura Ballance was staying off the road because of hearing issues I worried that the live show would be compromised. Oh, I worried. But, once I heard Jason Narducy (Bob Mould, Telekinesis) would be getting in the van, all fears were put on hold. I've seen that man rock it out live. We should be good.
And good we were.
Out to support their latest record, I Hate Music , Superchunk hit the stage and hit it hard, playing a heathy dose of the new record (people singing along already!) and a great mix of old favs. I had a chance to spin the record a few times before the show, as I had just received the deluxe LP package on Tuesday, and already I was digging it hard. So many great tunes, and for me some of Mac's best lyrics to date. Me & You & Jackie Mittoo and Out of the Sun were great live.
Mac spent about half the show two feet off the ground, Jim Wilbur had a sly smile on his face all night, and the rhythm section of Narducy and Wurster just crushed it all night.
After the show a few of us hung out for one more beer, not quite ready to head out and Mac and Jon Wurster came out and hung by the merch table for a bit. We got some t-shirts and chatted them up a bit, and then a bit more. "I remember Club Detroit in St. Petersburg, it was ALL GLASS. What a weird room!" "You signed my UNC shirt at Washington Square in Miami Beach." "I did?" "Yeah, everyone in the band wrote 'I hate Miami' all over it." "Ha!"
This was the first time I've been to Terminal West. It's got a few bars around the room and out back, a place to grab some food and really good sight lines from the audience onto the stage. It's even got a little balcony where you can look down on the room. Mac asked folks if they were VIP. Lights were great and sound was impeccable all night. Great venue. For about 95% of the show I kept the 24-70mm on the camera and grabbed a little corner spot on stage right. I wanted to make sure I enjoyed the show so I applied the 3-song rule to myself and rocked out most of the night. Such a great show.
Camera gear: Nikon D90, 24-70mm f/2.8, 70-200mm f/2.8
Parting Gifts opened up for Superchunk at Terminal West here in Atlanta on the first night of their I Hate Music tour, and to be honest, I haven't been able to find out a whole lot about them on the Internet. But, I did dig their take on popped up garage rock sound with some lovely guy/girl vocal interplay and dead string bass tacking. Really good stuff.
Camera Gear: Nikon D90, 24-70mm f/2.8, 70-200mm f/2.8
Hey everyone, haven't touched base for a few week so I just wanted to share a new tune that The Sunset District is working on! It's a song called Gone, Gone, Gone and you can download it for free from our Bandcamp site along with a few other things.
Also, I'm really looking forward to a few shows coming up in the next month or so. The first one is going to be at the Red Clay Theater on August 28th. I'll be opening up for James Hall and Bain Mattox. Needless to say I'm incredibly excited about playing with these guys. Also, look for a podcast from each one of them before the show.
And finally, the band will be playing the International Pop Overthrow Festival here in Atlanta, GA on Friday, September 27th at the Red Light Café. Back in 2001, a few months after 9/11 I can remember flying into NYC with my band Honeyrider to play IPO, and it was a great experience, so I'm really excited about playing it here in town.
Alright, that's all for now. I'll be away from the computer for a week or so, but when I get back I should have some new stuff for you.
Hey friends, I'm playing a few songs at Eddie's Attic open mic night tonight at 9pm sharp! Swing by and cheer me on if you're in the neighborhood!
"It's a 'Rorschach’s cat' type of scenario."
"I think you mean 'Schrödinger’s cat?'"
"That's not the way I see it."
"Did we just have this conversation?"
"You tell me."
I have been just terrible about promoting shows lately, but my band, The Good Graces is performing tonight at The Drunken Unicorn here in Atlanta, GA. Click the link below for all the details!
Doors @ 9 pm
I've been pretty pumped for this show since discovering and downloading their latest record, Light Up Gold a month back, and I was hoping to run a quick podcast interview with the band before the show, so I was at the club early and ready to rock.
Memorial Day Monday afternoon traffic seemed to have other things in store for the band however, and when show time came and went it was pretty clear the band was in the middle of it.
About 30 minutes late the guys rolled in and quickly set up. 15 minutes later, and with a quick "thanks for waiting," these guys blasted off into a pummeling, and angular 35 minute set that had the capacity crowd bouncing, at times shoving, and singing along to the band's take on that classic New York sound. Something that hit me about the band live, which hadn't occurred to me upon repeated listens of the record is how much they were really imbibed that twin-guitar, wall-of-sound. The guitar interplay reminded me of bands as diverse as the Strokes, Steve Wynn and the Miracle Three, Television, and even at times Superchunk.
Borrowed Time and Stoned and Starving were justifiably crowd favorites, but tunes like Light up Gold II and Master of My Craft were caustic scorchers with the crowd kicking back the answer to "A minute of your time?" "Forget about it!"
Been so busy it's been hard to keep up with everything that's be going on, but wanted to mention that there's been 2 new podcasts released since I've posted last and I think you're going to love them! Episode 3 is with power-pop extrodinaire, Kenny Howes, and Episode 4 is with the wonderful and talented Kim Ware from the Good Graces, and I'm not just saying that because I play in a few band with her. Check out the episodes below!
Episode 3 with Kenny Howes
Episode 4 with Kim Ware (The Good Graces)
I'll be performing tonight at the EARL to raise money for ovarian cancer research. We'll be celebrating the music of Bob Dylan and raising money for a great cause. Music starts at 9pm, but you'll find me there earlier with a burger jammed in my mouth.
We had a fun time last Saturday night playing this great coffee shop/venue in Decatur, GA called, Kavarna. We kicked off the night with a mostly acoustic set, and Dutch Angle brought the rock show. Had a nice group of friends out, and it was great to catch up with folks!
I might be a little late to this party, but I am digging the new Parquet Courts record, "Light Up Gold" in a major way. It's unfair to call it garage rock, but it has to live somewhere in the music spectrum.
I hear some Pavement, I hear some Wire, I hear a little Jonathan Richmond, I hear the ocean when I put the album up against my ears. Those twin guitars buzzing, that dead-pan vocal. Yes, please.
I sats down with Dan Dixon to talk about his new band, PLS PLS (Please Please), 80's recording techniques, some band history, video shoots on speedboats with topless girls and a sneek peek at a new PLS PLS song called "On Off On."
For the last few years I've really enjoyed listening to the ever-growing list of podcasts that are available, and before I moved closer to where I work and started biking in, I would easily spend 45 minutes to an hour in the car each day, digesting as many podcasts as I could handle and I fell in love with the medium. It's a great way to check out some new tunes, hear some great comedy and conversations, or educate yourself on an endless supply of subjects. (A list of my favorites are at the bottom of this post)
It got me thinking.
So, in the last few months I've been looking for ways to combine the things that I love to do in a way that I could share them with other people and help bring some exposure to other artists and creators. The people that know me would probably agree that I can be a bit chatty, mostly ADD and forgetful, but that I love to talk with other folks that share an interest in creating, in growing their knowledge, and in just making each other laugh.
"We should be recording this!"
"I am, and I'm taking some pictures too!"
So, I'm taking the plunge. I've started with some great friends and local folks here in the Atlanta scene that have something to say, something to share, and something to offer in the way of their art, their knowledge and in their humor and warmth.
The first podcast, below, features the local band, Granville Automatic. I play in a few bands with Elizabeth Elkins, and Vanessa Olivarez is incredibly funny and she has this amazing voice that just stops me dead in my tracks every time I hear her sing. They write great songs, play over 200 shows a year, put thousands of miles on their car, and generally work their butts off.
In future podcasts you'll be hearing from Dan Dixon, Kenny Howes, Kim Ware and so many others, so subscribe where you can and check back each week for something new to listen to, some pictures to look at and hopefully you'll have a laugh and learn something too. I know I already have, and that's why this is already a success even if nobody listens.
The Sunset District Podcast
A few of my favorite current podcasts
- Back to Work
- CBC Radio 3 Podcasts
- The Best Show on WFMU
- Bullseye with Jesse Thorn
- Comedy Bang Bang!
- Jonah Raydio
- Jordan, Jesse GO!
- KCRW Todays Top Tune
- KEXP Live Performances
- KEXP Presents Music That Matters
- KEXP Song of the Day
- The Nerdist
- The Pod F. Tompkast
- Roderick on the Line
- MPR - Song of the Day
- Stuff You Should Know
- Sub Pop Records Podcast
- TED Talks
- This American Life
- Thrilling Adventure Hour
- WNYC's Radiolab
- WTF with Marc Maron
- You Look Nice Today
Every year I really look forward to playing or attending the 500 Songs for Kids Foundation benefit shows. Pick 500 songs, get 500 bands and rock it out for 10 days! Josh Rifkind organizes the whole shebang with some other amazing folks and they bring you some of the coolest bands from around the area and the country performing some amazing tunes that you're bound to know and enjoy.
This year they mixed it up a little and for some of the nights the bands could pick the song of their choice. We decided to play Cut Your Hair, by Pavement. 6 sweet chords that run the entire span of the song without changing and I already knew the words!
I had a fun time playing and shooting the show, and although I couldn't be there the entire night, I love the chance to shoot a ton of bands in a quick period of time like you can at festivals. With the 500 Songs shows you get a new band every 5 to 10 minutes! Can't ask for much better than that.
Gear: Nikon D90 / 50mm f/1.8
Last Thursday night I performed at Smith's Olde Bar with 8 other amazing singer-songwriters, largely based here in the Atlanta area as part of the We are the 9 Songwriters Showcase. This is a relatively new monthly showcase here in town, pioneered by Justin Trawick and hosted by Juliana Finch, in which you take 9 songwriters, let them collaborate with a buch of people they just met and then throw them on stage to play around 30 tunes in front of a fun groups of friends and fans.
The nervous energy just bubbles because of the nature of the event, and the folks in the audience seem to get just a tweaked and excited to be a part of it as the musicians. There's tons of telegraphed body movements signaling the next chorus and eyes peering over guitar necks to determine chord changes, which only only adds to the fun and nervous energy. Plenty of smiles, backslapping and hi-fives we're on display.
For this shoot I used my Nikon D90 and my 70mm-200mm f/2.8 lens. The room is constantly pretty dark so I cranked the ISO up higher than I'd like, but I don't mind the shots being a little gritty at times.
Really looking forward to shooting the next one in June. Check the Smith's website for the dates!
Turns out the Good Graces are big in Calgary. Fire up the tour bus! Thanks to the CJSW crew for spinning our new record. We're #23 with a bullet! (I added the bit about the bullet.)
Seriously though, how cool is that?