8/31/2011

Richard Swift "Walt Wolfman"

Richard Swift to Release Walt Wolfman 12" EP this October
Download Free MP3 for "Whitman"

About a year ago, Richard Swift horrifically fractured his left ring finger. For a moment his nimble guitar and piano work flashed before his eyes. Doctors were saying things like "movement and feeling could eventually return," etc, etc. Certainly, not even a little blip on the sadness radar of humanity, but a massive bummer for a fellow who has carved out a niche as one of independent music's sought after session players and producers — and especially in relation to the astounding Richard Swift solo output we all know and love.
So, it's with a great, collective sigh of relief that he's back to churning out new material like "Whitman." It's chugging, chiming and triumphant, featuring Swift's always-endearing falsetto and casual call-and-response lyricism. "I've got my own Whitman...Farewell, farewell/I hope it did you good/To say the things/My father never could," Swift pines. The song is a cryptic salute to Walt Whitman, whose American lineage of primal, urgent art can be traced to include Kerouac and Dylan, Bo Diddley and Beefheart — right on through to modern outsider-pop wunderkinds like Swift. And according to Swift, "Whitman" is a nice taste of what we can expect from his next longform recording.


The same can be said for the remainder of the Walt Wolfman EP. Conceived in the same spirit that gave us 2008's cult favorite Ground Trouble Jaw EP, these blown-out, basement R&B rippers are not for the faint of heart. They require movement and sweat, dancing with a cocktail glass in your grip until your shoes are soaked in booze. Highlight of the set, "MG 333," is a raw and ghostly trance, a blast of kinetic energy and jazz cigarette smoke. Meanwhile, the neu-vintage jive of "Drakula (Hey Man)" and "Zombie Boogie" pack a timelessness that transcends their seasonal titles. And yeah, that's Swift himself on rapid-fire drums across the whole damn set. Shit, he might have been fine without that measly finger after all.
Richard Swift is performing as a touring member of The Shins this fall.


Walt Wolfman EP will be released by Secretly Canadian on October 18th, 2011 in digital and vinyl formats

Tracklisting:
2. MG 333
3. Laugh It Up
4. Zombie Boogie
5. Out & About
6. Drakula (Hey Man!)
7. St. Michael


Digital review copies of the 12" are available!



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8/30/2011

The Human League Interview



THE HUMAN LEAGUE
Interview by Alexander Laurence

The Human League are an important electronic band from Sheffield, England. They started in 1977, during the height of the Punk movement. They achieved worldwide success with their album Dare (1981). In their 35 year history they have released nine albums and 29 singles. This makes them one of the most successful and influential British bands ever. Since 1987, the band has been a trio of members Philip Oakey, Susan Ann Sulley, and Joanne Catherall. They are playing this Friday at the Hollywood Bowl with The B-52s, The Fixx, and Berlin. I got to speak to Susan from the band, and talk about so many questions that I had over the years.

AL: You are playing the Hollywood Bowl this week on September 2nd, 2011. You played there a few years ago. Are you looking forward to that big show?

Susan: Yeah, we did. I can’t remember how long it’s been. We have been lucky to have this international career. We had a few number one hits in America. We are all looking forward to coming back.

AL: Where else have you traveled to this year?

Susan: You want me to tell you? We have been to Hong Kong, Manila, Toyko, and Australia. We have been to South America this year. This has been a tough year for us. I am going to The Maldives on holiday in February.

AL: You like this jet set life?

Susan: People want to see us. They pay money to come to see us. We like to go around and play. We get to travel the world. We love going places.

AL: Did it work against the band that you were from Sheffield? Were things more London-centric back then?

Susan: No. I think at the time you didn’t have to be from London. There is always a big music scene from London. One of the biggest bands from that time were Duran Duran and they were from Birmingham. It was a different time. Young people in the UK were rebelling against the government and trying to find an outlet for their creative juices. People were making music everywhere. OMD was from Liverpool. People wanted to be creative and form bands, because there was nothing else to do.

AL: What about people in the street in Sheffield? When you were walking around town, and Philip Oakey had that asymmetrical haircut, did people bother you?

Susan: We were ordinary. People around us were way more outrageous. People didn’t take notice of us. You are way more creative when you haven’t a job and are looking for an outlet for your creativity. My best friend is called Trevor and he was the most outrageous person in Sheffield. He would walk around with a corset and stocking. Nobody took any notice of myself or Joanne, because we were ordinary.

AL: Do other Sheffield musicians like Jarvis Cocker, Richard Hawley, or Arctic Monkeys come up to you and say “Human League was a big influence on me. You guys made all this possible.”

Susan: The only person who would do something like that is Richard Hawley. He is the only one who stayed in Sheffield. Everyone else moved away. The only person you would bump into at the pub or the supermarket is Richard. Not anyone else. Arctic Monkeys don’t live here anymore. Jarvis has lived in Paris for about five years.

AL: Did Jarvis Cocker move away because people would bother him?

Susan: Sheffield isn’t like that. It’s not like living in New York, London, or Los Angeles. You can be pretty anonymous. I have seen some pretty crazy things in Sheffield that have never been reported in the press. Nobody can be bothered. You can live in Sheffield without being bothered. Jarvis comes to Sheffield all the time. His sister is the best friend of Joanne. They see Jarvis all the time.

AL: My idea of punk was that it was supposed to be anti-rock and roll. Many of the punk bands didn’t get rid of the tools of rock and roll (guitar, bass, drums). Bands like Suicide and The Human League were possibly “more punk” because they got rid of the guitars and created this new music with synthesizers. What do you think of that notion?

Susan: We would all consider ourselves part of the punk ethic. We didn’t think punk was about safety pins and spiky hair. We saw punk as an opportunity for people who weren’t classically trained musicians. You could just go out there and do it. The people who originally started The Human League were Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh. They both had great paying jobs and they were bored. Instead of buying cars, they bought synthesizers. They didn’t have to be musicians. They could just make weird sounds with their synths all night. None of us could play guitar, but all of us could play a synthesizer. We could come up with some tunes.

AL: In the early days of The Human League, you guys played with many punk bands. What was that like?

Susan: That was before I was in the band. I joined in 1980. They had toured with Iggy Pop, The Rezillos, and Siouxsie and the Banshees. Philip told me some stories about those early tours. There was a lot of spitting and animosity. If you look at the album credits of Dare, you can see that we thank Siouxsie and the Banshees. Philip said that if it wasn’t for the Banshees, we wouldn’t have gone out on the road and continued to tour.

AL: The Human League and John Foxx are some of the first bands who played shows with just synthesizers. What did you think of when Gary Numan first came out?

Susan: Gary Numan took everyone to the post really. I watching him on Top of the Pops. I called up Joanne and said “Oh my God! Did you see this?” I love Gary Numan. I could never slag him off. It was a good time in music.

AL: People were really resistant to electronic music. Then Gary Numan broke through first and had a hit. It took the Human League almost five years to have some success.

Susan: All we ever wanted to do was to make pop music. I know some people don’t think pop music is serious, but that’s all we wanted to do. I think there is room for us and Gary Numan and everyone.

AL: Do you still play “Being Boiled?”

Susan: Of course we do. We are not a band who doesn’t play the old hits. We don’t always play “Being Boiled.” Sometimes we are playing these festivals and we play a shorter set. Me and Joanne are not on stage when we play “Being Boiled” but we still do it.

AL: You have a new album Credo. It’s the first new album in ten years. How do you go about writing songs?

Susan: We were all bored with how things went on the last album. Philip wanted to write some new music. He went into the studio with our drummer Rob. They came up with some tunes. The head of the label got involved. Dean and Jarrod from I Monster got involved. We were thinking about doing a few singles. We didn’t think about doing a full album. But things came around.

AL: Did you ever take a break to have families?

Susan: No. We never took a break. We only slowed down in the 1990s because nonody wanted to hear synthesizers. It was all about Grunge and Nirvana and Britpop and Oasis and Blur. We never took a break because neither Philip nor I have a family. Joanne has a son. We have done The Human League almost my whole life. We are not just a band from the 1980s. We are far busier now than we ever were.

AL: How did the song “Night People” come together?

Susan: Philip loves music and going to nightclubs. He loves the spectacle. The biggest club in England a few years ago was in Sheffield at The Republic. It was called Gatecrasher One. It burned down. It was massive and the biggest club in the UK. Philip loved going. That song is about the people who went to Gatecrasher.

AL: There is a show called The Mighty Boosh. Vince Noir says “The Human League invented music. Before them it was tuning up….” What do you think of that?

Susan: I am not in love with The Mighty Boosh. But Philip, and the other boys in the band, think it’s fantastic. Philip went on the show once. Whether we were the start of music? I don’t think that we were. We were lucky and in the right place at the right time. Others came before us like Kraftwerk, Giorgio Moroder and Donna Summer.

AL: The Mighty Boosh is a show that appeals to only males?

Susan: Well, me and Joanne don’t like it. I like CSI Miami but what do I know? Yes. I suppose that it’s for the lads.

AL: I read today that the song “Don’t You Want Me?” has been played on American radiom over 20 million times. That is great for you that one song can take you around the world. But The Human League is a band with many great songs: The Sound of The Crowd, Love Action, Mirror Man, Fascination, The Lebanon, and more….

Susan: We do. Thank you for noting that. We are not ashamed of “Don’t You Want Me?” We are proud of it. It has enabled us to go around the world a few times. It makes me smile when I am on stage and the audience goes “Ooh! Didn’t know they did that song?” People can think of us as having one song, but we are more than that. If people come to see us live, they can worked that out.

AL: In the early days of MTV, The Human League were on all the time because you had all these great videos.

Susan: Absolutely. MTV was very important for us. We were very popular in the early 1980s. We couldn’t get to every territory. Having videos was great so people could see us, and what we looked like. It’s sad that MTV only plays Jersey Shore now. MTV should have more music.

AL: Do you like any new bands?

Susan: We all have different tastes in music. I like pop music. I listen to Rhianna and Katy Perry. We just went to Ibiza and I got to see Kool and the Gang. I am going to get some new 1970s disco ringtones for my iPhone.

AL: When people come to see you this week at the Hollywood Bowl, what should they expect?

Susan: It’s not taped and it’s not mimed. We sing live and have a band. We do some costume changes. We do songs from the early days, the middle days, and the recent days.

THE HUMAN LEAGUE plays in San Diego on Sept 1st, 2011. And this Friday, Sept 2nd 2011 at the Hollywood Bowl 730pm. Opening bands are the B-52s, The Fixx, and Berlin.



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8/29/2011

Sean Lennon & Charlotte Kemp Muhl


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Happy Birthday: Anton Newcombe



Happy Birthday to Anton Newcombe today.

AND THIS IS OUR MUSIC

Track One- Don't leave stupid shit on my message machine, also: my mom and dad were married before I was conceived, I have my fathers last name you fucking psycho bitch get out of my life and get medical help now.

Track Two- This is the sound inside my head when people talk at me instead of with me.
...
Track Three- I'm glad John Lennon is dead, He died in 1980, could you imagine how he would react to Paul, to this fucked up world? He left at a great time. Matthew J. Tow forever. He is my brother. I loved the look in his eye when I said, you're singing the first track! He didn't get it, I bet some of you don't either, but that's the point, I don't do this for you, I do this for me, and I do this for my Lord. Don't be too surprised when you remember who I really am, when you hear that sound. The time is Now, get your shit together and get with God. I ain't going to be the one to say I told you so. Just do it, now or cease to exist.

Track Four- Jason Pierce, Beck pretending to be Nick Drake and getting away with it, girls, Meher Baba and God consciousness. There is no God but God and I am His loyal servant. This is not a game of monopoly. We are here. We are here to go in fact. Amnesiac (go team) if your feeling sinister, Elliot Smith, the Zombies, etc, etc...

Track Five- The Dandy's used to rule ok? Now we rule!. Join us!

Track Six- Will Sergeant, too bad he couldn't or wouldn't be on this song, I wrote it for him and Mac. Oh well listen to the first three Echo albums and you'll get there at some point. Also note that I am basically claiming to be the son of God, telling you to try and keep it together until you make it Heaven of just lay low until kingdom come. That's right folks, we are taking this show on the road. This is fun!

Track Seven- I wrote this song for Tim Burgess to sing. Why he bailed out one can only guess. I think I scare people, I guess I can be kind of intense at times. Recording an album with a Sufi-Avitar can really take a lot out of you. I wrote it after I listened to a Telescopes song on our website. I wish Stephen could have been on this album. Oh well next time.

Track Eight- M.A., Maryanne. You infected my mind so many years ago. I often wonder what me life would have been if I would have chosen you instead of Nancy Gallo. Ha! I married you to my heart anyway. I love the shape of your eyes....Yummy. Truth be told, we would have fucked each other into oblivion, you with your ballerina body, me with the metabolism of a fifteen year-old. Shit! Thanks for making me smile just now. Darren Radamaker from The Tyde sings the lower vocal, buy his album. This fucked up world, romantic shit and my love of the piano, things and stuff,

Track Nine- Sergio Leone, Ennico Moricone, drugs, girls, Star Trek, romanticism, the magic of the moment, Jim Jarmusch, and other fine cinema.

Track Ten-Dawn Thomas, Naut Humon, being really bummed out about the way everyone just gives up and excepts this shitty world as is. Ed Harcourt. Daniella.

Track Eleven- The way girls hips look when they are fucking the air @ carnival in Brazil. Damn, I want that sweet-shit-right-now! San Paolo here I come....

Track Twelve- Mark Todd, Kraftwerk, C. Voltaire Clockwork Orange, Astronaut Crack-Pipe. DMT, acid, mushrooms, my room, Petsounds and fucking huffing and puffing after great sex. Yeah!

Track Thirteen- The Church (No, not the empty building where they fuck boys in the ass) Marty Wilson Pieper and Steven Kilby! I don't care if they cook up dog shit and inject it. They are the tops! If I had the money Matt Tow and I agreed we would have flown the boys over to sing this song we did for them. Buy their albums now and listen. Neil Young.

Track Fourteen- Hard Days Night, the scene in the train car where they play the song. Wonderful impression it made, it left a hole in the back of my head 'Poptones'.

Track Fifteen- Thanks you Kurt for singing this song for me. Did you know I cried the whole take, don't tell Rob my tears leaked into the mixing board. Your children are blessed. I love you man, I really do! Also: everyone let me just make my albums the way I want them to be. Let me be the boss. Start your own band, it worked great for the BRMC and The Warlocks.

Track Sixteen- Do you know the work of Bill Viola? You should find out about him. Read the song title and imagine peoples faces, waiting, worrying. I love kids. I want 1000 of them. Come on girls. I'm up for it. We can practice first too!

Track Seventeen- Awe! Sarah Jane. You are beautiful. I dropped you a line, be it the internet or otherwise....I chose the later. Sent today etc............."

--Anton A. Newcombe

(these are his notes for "...And This is Our Music")

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Handsome Furs @ Echoplex Sept 2nd




HANDSOME FURS will be playing at the ECHOPLEX on FRIDAY September 2nd. They will be joined by Suuns and Talkdemonic. They are all amazing live bands. In celebration of all those great shows over this year, we are giving away two pairs of tickets to you amazing LA music lovers out there. All you have to do is send your name or email address and mention HANDSOME FURS.

To win, please do one of the following:

1) Leave a comment below with name or email.
2) Follow us on twitter, or
3) send an email to PORTINFINITE @ aol.com and we will pick a winner.

Don't just stand around. This is for real. Enter sooner than later. Good luck.

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Seapony @ Origami Vinyl



Seapony plays at Origami Vinyl tonight August 20th at 7pm
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8/28/2011

Zola Jesus @ Hollywood Bowl



Zola Jesus plays at the Hollywood Bowl tonight, August 28th. Part of the Serge Gainsbourg tribute.
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Pulp "Common People"


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8/27/2011

Art Brut @ Satellite






Art Brut at THE SATELLITE today August 27th.
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The Growlers @ Amoeba



The Growlers play at Amoeba today, August 27th, 5pm.
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8/26/2011

Adventures in Killing the Radio Star

Help Portable Infinite photographer Angel Ceballos with her documentary Adventures in Killing the Radio Star. This film has many of PI's favourite bands in it.

She's embarking on a tour in the autumn and is looking to raise some funds to make it happen. Minimum donation is 1$ please go and help her out, every dollar counts!

Film website is here
Kickstarter is here

Here's a recent promo from the film (But more can be found on the film site)




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8/25/2011

Craft Spells + Seapony @ The Echo







CRAFT SPELLS



SEAPONY

*****

CRAFT SPELLS and SEAPONY will be playing at the ECHO on Sunday August 28th. They are both amazing live bands. In celebration of all those great shows over this year, we are giving away two pairs of tickets to you amazing LA music lovers out there. All you have to do is send your name or email address and mention CRAFT SPELLS.

To win, please do one of the following:

1) Leave a comment below with name or email.
2) Follow us on twitter, or
3) send an email to PORTINFINITE @ aol.com and we will pick a winner.

Don't just stand around. This is for real. Enter sooner than later. Good luck.
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8/24/2011

Peaches @ Freak City



Instead of Sunset Junction, which was canceled, PEACHES will be performing at FREAK CITY on Sunday, August 28th, 9pm
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Sunset Junction 2011 is canceled



Sunset Junction 2011 is CANCELED this weekend.
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The Human League "Credo"


THE HUMAN LEAGUE

"A manifesto of glossy, mod pop music to soundtrack these glossy, high-tech times" - BlackBook Magazine

"This is all proof that perseverance, humility, and an old-fashioned work ethic can go a long way when you have some of the best, most definitive pop music of a decade at your back" - Pop Matters

"Their sound on this first new album in nine years still feels unique, even after 30 years of assimilation by the rest of the world" - The Telegraph

Before post-punk had sung its last discordant note, one band from Sheffield, England was hard at work on an album that in its very essence was the antithesis of darkness and the accompanying prophecy of doom and gloom. Enter The Human League. A group David Bowie would call “the sound of the future.” Their incomparable triple-platinum album, Dare (1981), signaled not only the death knell of the post-punk era, but the birth of what would be termed new pop. It was the sound of technology; synthesizers mixed with a DIY spirit and - given the state of musical affairs - a revolutionary drive to reinvigorate radio, infiltrate the charts, and make danceable, accessible music for the masses. Now, in 2011, after nine studio albums, four EP’s, twenty-nine singles — including a slew of top 10 hits, a #1 single, and over twenty-million records sold worldwide — and a bit of a romp through the wilderness, The Human League have released their long awaited tenth studio album. It’s loud, brash, chic, and danceable. It has the potential to revitalize pop as we know it. It is their Credo.

MP3: THE HUMAN LEAGUE - NIGHT PEOPLE

Credo shimmers and shines with the best, but it is far from pretty and vacant. Then again, consider the source. The Human League may make pop music, but it’s pop music with roots in the sophistication of genius work by Roxy Music and David Bowie. It is earnest, sincere, and without a hint of irony and this is refreshing. It’s no wonder pop titans including Lady Gaga, Madonna, Moby, Pet Shop Boys, and Robbie Williams cite The Human League as inspiration and influence. One of the album’s lead singles, “Night People,” is a glorious ode to those who live their lives after hours, beyond the reach of day, in the throes of the perpetual party. With its build up of staunchly arpeggiated bass and the delayed entry of Joanne Catherall’s lead vocal, it is as brilliant as anything The Human League have ever done. The rest of Credo is, plain and simple, hot like fire. If you’ve been waiting for a pop album to change the game, wait no longer. If you’ve been raised on pop music, but are a bit too young to remember the exploits of the Steel City’s pop giants, prepare to be enchanted.

Credo was released digitally on MB3 Records on August 16, and the physical release date is September 13.




2011 NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES:
09/01 - San Diego, CA @ Viejas
09/02 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Hollywood Bowl
09/03 - Sausolito, CA @ Sausolito Arts Festival
09/04 – Las Vegas, NV @ Mandalay Bay
09/07 - Lincoln, CA @ Thunder Valley Casino Resort
09/08 – Saratoga, CA @ Mountain Winery
09/09 - Jacksonville, OR @ Britt Festival
09/10 – Woodinville, WA @ Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery
09/11 - Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw Theatre
09/15 – Denver, CO @ The Summit Music Hall
09/16 - Kansas City, MO @ Uptown Theatre
09/17 - Chicago, IL @ Oysterfest
09/18 - Toronto, ON @ Guvernment
09/20 - Buffalo, NY @ Riviera Theatre
09/21 - Philadelphia, PA @ Keswick Theatre
09/22 - Boston, MA @ House of Blues
09/23 – New York, NY @ Best Buy Theater

VISIT THE HUMAN LEAGUE AT:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE FACEBOOK MYSPACE

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Rocket From The Tombs

Fire Records to release new LP from legendary protopunkers, Rocket From The Tombs in the US, October 11th!

Think about waiting for 37 years. Standing at a bus stop. Sitting by the telephone. Looking out the window. Waiting for the postman. Day after day. Year after year. Thirty-seven years...
The legendary Rocket From The Tombs, born in 1974, flamed out in 1975, have finally recorded a studio album, delivering Barfly (Fire Records), and closing the circle on an incredible journey.
The received wisdom (at least in America) goes that punk rock was invented in New York by the Ramones, who reconfigured Midwestern hard groove rock and 60s garage singles, into a formula that defined punk: short, fast, catchy, and unstoppable. But in some weird parallel universe, punk might have traced its roots to Rocket From The Tombs, a Cleveland band that lasted less than eight months, and never made a studio recording; until now.
Three things went wrong for Rocket From The Tombs: a level of drug and alcohol abuse to worry even Keith Richard; a band volatility that rivaled that of The Troggs; and a turnover of drummers that would've flummoxed Spinal Tap.

One thing went right: in those eight months they wrote songs that would become punk anthems: “Ain't It Fun,” “Sonic Reducer,” “Final Solution,” “So Cold,” “What Love Is,” “30 Seconds Over Tokyo,” “Amphetamine.” And they played them like there was no tomorrow. There was no tomorrow. They'd used up tomorrow. The band blew apart in July 1975, after an apocalyptic soundcheck that scared the bejeebers out of headliners Television. One faction went on to create the avant-garage rock group Pere Ubu, the other, punk stalwarts The Dead Boys.
That might have been the end of the Rocket story, except that over the next 25 years, a frantic international trading of bootlegs bestowed on the band a legendary status. An album of live and rehearsal tapes, The Day The Earth Met The Rocket From The Tombs (2002), led to a nervous reunion in 2003. The core of the band - David Thomas, Cheetah Chrome and Craig Bell - remained from the old days. They were joined by Television's Richard Lloyd, who replaced Peter Laughner (died 1977). Pere Ubu's drummer Steve Mehlman was drafted.
The fire still burned. For good and bad. Two tours produced extreme, brutal concerts, but also plenty of late night dust-ups in the parking lots of cheap roadside motels.
“We got that bad attitude thing in our blood,” singer David Thomas said. “Can't shake it. But at least we're not young, loud and snotty anymore. We've moved on. Now we're *old*, loud and snotty.”

Artist - Rocket From The Tombs
Album- Barfly
US Release Date - October 11, 2011
Label - Fire Records

Tracklist:
01. I Sell Soul
02. Birthday
03. Anna
04. Butcherhouse 4
05. Romeo & Juliet
06. Sister Love Train
07. Love Train Express
08. Good Times Never Roll
09. Six and Two
10. Maelstrom
11. Pretty

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8/23/2011

Mia Doi Todd Interview



MIA DOI TODD
Interview by Alexander Laurence

Mia Doi Todd is a singer songwriter based in Los Angeles. She has released nine albums including: the ewe and the eye (1997), come out of your mine (1999), zeroone (2001), The Golden State (2002), Manzanita (2005), La Ninja (2006), Gea (Gea), Morning Music (2009), and this year, Cosmic Ocean Ship (2011). There have been collaborations with Dntel, Beachwood Sparks, Folk Implosion, Saul Williams, Prefuse 73, Flying Lotus, and others. I saw her open for Jose Gonzalez a few years ago. It was my pleasure to talk to someone who is so involved in the Los Angeles music scene over the past decade.

AL: You went to an ivy league school. How did you end up in music?

Mia: My dad was a sculptor. My parents were ready for me to be an artist if I needed to be. I don’t think they expected me to be a doctor or lawyer. I tried to other things besides art. I saw my dad struggle with making a living. I had dinner with some high school friends the other night. They all have kids and husbands and normal lives. I have spent the past fifteen years following my muse. I have been in several relationships, touring, not being very settled.

AL: Since you are touring a lot, is it hard to keep a relationship going?

Mia: The music life has messed with all my relationships throughtout my twenties and thirties. I am trying to lead a normal life now. We will see how it goes. I am trying.

AL: Playing live shows is extremes: going from sleep to playing to big audiences. How do you deal with that pressure?

Mia: I played at the Hollywood Bowl last Sunday. And before that was I on the morning show at KCRW. So you have to store up your energy so much, for these short bursts of energy. When you are on tour you have to be “ON” for two hours a day and the rest of the time you can be sleeping. It’s a strange lifestyle. It’s like a psychological rollercoster. People around you have to be aware of this rollercoaster you’re on. It’s difficult to adapt to normal energy of every day life.

AL: So you were onstage at the Hollywood Bowl for this show with Stevie Wonder and Rickey Minor. Was that the biggest show you have ever played?

Mia: Yeah. That was very nerve wracking. It was a soul tribute and I was opening up for Stevie Wonder. I was honored to be part of it. I sang Phoebe Snow’s “Poetry Man.” She just passed away. There was a lot of pressure.

AL: There was Janelle Monae and Charles Bradley.

Mia: Janelle Monae was so perfect. She is so amazing. There was Sharon Jones. What was I doing there? Having Stevie Wonder there changed things. Stevie is on such a high plane, spiritually and musically. The rest of us were just honored to be there. Charles Bradley made me cry. He was so soulful and beautiful.

AL: How is it going from a place like to the Hollywood Bowl to smaller shows?

Mia: It doesn’t matter so much if you flub a song at a small venue. I was going to be humiliated if my voice cracked at the Hollywood Bowl. I played with the Tonight Show band and Rickey Minor. I am accustomed to smaller venues and if a few people are moved, I have done my job.

AL: Did your mom and dad get some good seats?

Mia: Yeah. They loved it. My mom was more nervous than I was. I have seen a bunch of shows there. I saw Mary J. Blige and Bjork there. It’s always a beautiful night there.

AL: When did your new record come out?

Mia: It came out in May. It’s on my own label. It’s distributed through this New York company called Virtual Label. They have big distribution.

AL: You had one record come out on a big label?

Mia: Yeah. My record The Golden State came out on a big label. I was signed to Columbia Jazz. They didn’t have me back for another record. They closed the label shortly after the record came out. I had a few records come out on Plug Research. It’s an electronic label from Los Angeles.

AL: It just seems natural for musicians to do their own labels.

Mia: I don’t know know if some indie labels are doing a better job that me. The put it out and take half or all the money. There is no point of me working with them anymore. It’s the most transparent way for me to work. I started my own label in 2001. I put out a few of my own records. The music business is very discouraging. I tried to quit many times. Then I write more songs and put out more records.

AL: I guess that back in the day bands wanted to be on certain labels, like Subpop or 4AD, because they had certain great bands. So new bands gravitated towards those labels because their favorite bands were on those labels. It was a sort of a validation.

Mia: I got some validation from when I signed to Columbia when I was 24. It was good to get that validation from my family, because my family wouldn’t have known what Subpop or 4AD was. They had heard of Sony/Columbia. That kept me going on with music.

AL: You have to get a commercial.

Mia: That would be awesome.

AL: Your record reminds me of some stuff I heard in 2000, like Bebel Gilberto.

Mia: I spent a few months in Brazil in 2009. There is a big Brazilian influence on this record. I have always loved Brazilian music. I have two songs on the Red Hot + Rio compilation. They have been putting out compilations for fifteen years. This one has Caetano Velose, Bebel Gilberto, Seu Jorge, Tom Ze, and others. It was a big honor for me to be included.

AL: How do you write and record your music?

Mia: I usually travel and write on the road. I will be writing for two years. Then we will go into an analog studio and we recorded all these songs for the new record in four days. It was all live takes. I write all the songs and present them to the band.

AL: Jonathan Wilson was involved in this album?

Mia: It was me and the band. Jonathan Wilson produced the record. He plays a lot of keyboards and guitar, and extra drums. He is amazing. He can play any instrument. He knows what a song needs. He did all the mixes on the board.

AL: I saw you play at the Wiltern with Jose Gonzales.

Mia: Yes. I did a tour with Jose. He is so talented. That was the last full USA tour I have done. It was about 30 dates. Whenever he comes to town Jose comes over to my house and we have a big jam session. I have also toured with Dungen.

MIA DOI TODD is playing at MacArthur Park on Thursday, August 25th, 6pm.

Check it out: http://www.reverbnation.com/show/4967363




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Our Idiot Brother OST


A CAMP (Nina Persson and Nathan Larson) photo by Angel Ceballos
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Our Idiot Brother - Original Soundtrack Out Now
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Stream the Original Soundtrack in full here via Pastemagazine.com:
Exclusive Download for "Cowboys and Hobos" by
Eric D. Johnson & Nathan Larson featuring Nina Persson via My Old Kentucky Blog:

The Original Soundtrack for the motion picture Our Idiot Brother is out today, featuring tracks by recording artists such as Fruit Bats, Generationals, Eric D. Johnson, Nathan Larson, Nina Persson, Mindy Smith, Willie Nelson, Carole King and others. Full soundtrack track listing below.

Our Idiot Brother Original Soundtrack Track Listing:
1. Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree - Eric D. Johnson
2. Wonderful Future - Willie Nelson
3. The Main Title - Nathan Larson & Eric D. Johnson
4. When They Fight, They Fight - Generationals
5. Lightning Bug - Fruit Bats
6. Mellotron Melody - Nathan Larson
7. Midnight Rider - Willie Nelson
8. Taking You With Me - Mindy Smith & Daniel Tashian
9. The Harvest Theme - Nathan Larson & Eric D. Johnson
10. Cool Yourself - Thao with the Get Down Stay Down
11. Ol' Blue - Willie Nelson
12. The Taxi - Nathan Larson & Eric D. Johnson
13. Cowboys and Hobos - Eric D. Johnson & Nathan Larson featuring Nina Persson
14. 2 Roadrunners - Eric D. Johnson
15. The Things You Lost - El May
16. Beautiful - Carole King


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Corridor "Real Late"

Los Angeles' Corridor announces new full-length, REAL LATE meshes art rock and classical with moody textures

out October 25th on Manimal Vinyl


photo: Angel Ceballos

LISTEN: Objective Lens

(via ALARM Press)

"Real Late is populated by thumping tribal percussion and distortion on the verge of squealing, avant-garde hysteria. Even when venturing into dirge-ful, down-tempo territory, a jazz-like sense of melodic phrasing pulls it all back together. Call it classical noise." -ALARM Press

Corridor is the solo project of Los Angeles-based musician Michael Quinn. After noted turns in the music scenes of Boston and Seattle, Quinn moved to Los Angeles in the middle of 2008, picking up synthesizers, guitars and cello to mold a unique, vibrant sound enveloped in ethereal vocals and aura. His 2009 eponymous debut was released on Manimal Vinyl and featured eight tracks of lush, noise-drenched stories of passion, disillusion, and the coming of age in the modern world. Taking his cues from influences as far-ranging as Durutti Column,Tangerine Dream, Sergey Rachmaninov, CAN and gypsy jazzmaster Django Reinhardt, Quinn makes sounds that only few can dare to categorize. In a four-and-a-half-star review for Corridor, URB declared, “On this ambitious debut, dark, haunting, Orientalism combines with Western fury to create an expansive, progressive collection of songs… This is often headbanging, serious music that sounds like little else out today.”

Real Late is Corridor’s second record, a melodic and dark Romantic trip through thick layers and waves of synth, cello, piano, quick guitar work and technically executed percussion guided by Quinn’s perpetually haunting, welcoming vocals. These are songs that speak directly to the listener, complicated by difficult and intriguing melody, but revealed in simplicity by way of its author’s talent, balancing a combination of linear movement and the element of surprise. The title, too, is merely the cover of page-turner not yet read. “The title ‘Real Late’ is more of a tribute to so many artists ahead of their time or who never had their moment in the sun. It is a title that I think perfectly explains the paradox of art”

Corridor has been tipped by various publications, including Consequence of Sound (“While it hurts to say this, we think the updated version [of “Be My Wife”] might just trump Bowie’s”); XLR8R.com (“Noise, noise, and more noise… likely avoid any genre-fication”); and CitizenDick.org (“In a time where one-man-bands seem to be sprouting up everywhere, Quinn has managed to set himself apart from the masses with this record… There are moments of beauty, sadness, intensity, ferocity, and eeriness, sometimes all occurring within the same track”).

Leaving the singular spotlight behind as a "one man band" touring and playing countless shows all over The United States, Corridor has reinvented itself as a functioning live band with multiple members bringing the vision of REAL LATE to life.

Corridor

REAL LATE

out October 25th on Manimal Vinyl

www.facebook.com/pages/Corridor/


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The Jim Jones Revue




NEW ALBUM 'BURNING YOUR HOUSE DOWN'
OUT NOW THROUGH PUNK ROCK BLUES RECORDS
PRODUCED BY JIM SCLAVUNOS (GRINDERMAN/BAD SEEDS)

US/CANADIAN TOUR STARTS SEPTEMBER 1ST
DO NOT MISS!

STREAM THE ALBUM ON BROOKLYN VEGAN:

The Jim Jones Revue's new album, Burning Your House Down, was released through Punk Rock Blues Records on August 16th. Produced by Jim Sclavunos (Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds/Grinderman), Burning Your House Down captures the roar of an untamed band at the top of their game. With the microphone shredding wail of the incomparable Jim Jones at the helm, fearlessly spurred by Rupert Orton’s six-string maelstrom, Elliot Mortimer’s savaged ivories and the jackhammer rhythm section of drummer Nick Jones and bassist Gavin Jay, The Jim Jones Revue swing like a giant ball and chain. In the last few years, they have swiftly progressed from their earliest shows in the dive bars of East London to staking their claim as an unstoppable force in today’s rock 'n' roll scene. Nominated for two MOJO Honours List Awards in 2010 (Best Newcomer) and 2011 (Best Live Act), this band is, quite simply, one of the best out there.


US/CANADIAN TOUR DATES:

September 1st - Vancouver, BC - The Biltmore Cabaret
September 3rd - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge
September 4th - Seattle, WA - Bumbershoot Festival
September 7th - San Francisco, CA - Independent
September 8th - Los Angeles, CA - Echo
September 10th - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg
September 11th - Allston, MA - Brighton Music Hall
September 12th - Montreal, QC - Casa del Popolo
September 13th - Toronto, ON - Horseshoe Tavern
September 14th - Chicago, IL - Schuba’s Tavern
September 16th - Philadelphia, PA - The Blockley Pourhouse
September 17th - Washington, DC - Black Cat
September 18th - Hoboken, NJ - Maxwell’s


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8/22/2011

Check Yo Ponytail Tour




Spank Rock Joined by Big Freedia, The Death Set, Pictureplane, Franki Chan and more!

Exclusive ticket pre-sales starting starts today 8/23 at http://www.checkyoponytail.com/tour


Check Yo Ponytail Tour Dates:

10/20 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Mayan $
10/21 - San Francisco, CA @ Mezzanine $
10/22 - San Diego, CA @ Voyeur *
10/25 - Denver, CO @ Summit $
10/26 - Portland, OR @ Branx $
10/27 - Seattle, WA @ Nuemos $
10/28 - Chicago, IL @ The Mid %
10/29 - New York, NY @ Brooklyn Bowl #
11/05 - Miami, FL @ Grand Central ^
11/06 - Austin, TX @ Fun Fun Fun Fest ^


$ = Big Freedia, The Death Set, Pictureplane, Franki Chan + Headliner TBA
% = Spank Rock, The Death Set, Pictureplane, Franki Chan + Special Guest TBA
# = Spank Rock, Big Freedia, The Death Set, Pictureplane, Franki Chan
* = Big Freedia, Pictureplane, Franki Chan + Headliner TBA
^ = Spank Rock, Big Freedia, Pictureplane, Franki Chan


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8/21/2011

Cups Magazine (1991-1999)



CUPS MAGAZINE was a free monthly magazine that I was the editor of in the 1990s. We basically did whatever we wanted to do, and it was very fun pissing off people. We got to interview many people like Martin Amis and Mary Gaitskill. Many of the interviews that I did, and have included on The Portable Infinite, first appeared in CUPS. Regular contributors were William T. Vollmann, Dave Eggers, and D. Strauss. We started it in San Francisco and then moved to NYC in 1995. This issue above featured Vincent Gallo. He agreed to be in the magazine only if we would put him on the cover. I have found a bunch of back issues and correspondence. We were once sued for plagiarism. A story by a writer appeared in CUPS. It was by some teacher and the student claimed that she had been ripped off. We settled out of court. Many people who were frequently in the magazine, like Ronald Sukenick, David Markson, Gilbert Sorrentino, and Allen Ginsberg, are all dead now.





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8/19/2011

SADE @ Staples Center



SADE plays the first of 7 shows in the LA Area tonight. She'll be here for a few weeks.
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WIRE uk tour 2011

Wire Announces Huge UK Tour for November
Live Album on Pinkflag Will Be Sold as Exclusive Merchandise
photo: Angel Ceballos
After spending the first half of 2011 on an extensive world-tour in support of Red Bark Tree, Wire's Colin Newman, Graham Lewis, Robert Grey and live guitarist Matt Simms have decided to head back on the road in the UK. Twice as long and covering several cities the band hasn't played since the 70's, the November tour will be a fitting wrap-up to a whirlwind year for the punk legends.
To accompany the tour, Wire's label, Pinkflag, will be releasing a live album (all formats) of a prestigious show from earlier in the year. The album will be available as exclusive merchandise on the tour and will only be released to shops once the dates are finished.
Support for all shows will be provided by the highly acclaimed American duo Talk Normal, who are just putting the finishing touches on their debut album.

WIRE ON TOUR WITH TALK NORMAL
Nov 15: HMV Institute, Birmingham, UK
Nov 16: Manchester 3, Manchester, UK
Nov 17: Liquid Rooms, Edinburgh, UK
Nov 18: The Arches, Glasgow, UK
Nov 19: Academy 2, Newcastle, UK
Nov 20: Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, UK
Nov 22: Concorde 2, Brighton, UK
Nov 23: XOYO, London, UK
Nov 25: Academy 2, Liverpool, UK
Nov 26: Whelans, Dublin, Eire
Nov 29: Thekla, Bristol, UK
Nov 30: Phoenix, Exeter, UK
Dec 01: The Globe, Cardiff, UK
Dec 02: Academy 2, Oxford, UK
Dec 03: The Plug, Sheffield, UK

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Serge Gainsbourg @ Cinefamily

FREE SNEAK PREVIEW:
Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life
(plus live set by Paris Loves L.A.!)

Friday, August 26th | 8:00pm

NOTE: This show is free (first-come, first-serve). To help us track attendance and limit waiting line size, you must pre-register for "first-come, first-serve" admission. One registration per person. All current Cinefamily members get first entry. Your registration does not guarantee you a seat. Early arrival is highly recommended. Doors will open 30 min. before showtime. No one will be admitted after the film has begun.

Co-presented by Cinespia & Light In The Attic Records

Serge Gainsbourg's documented antics are so colorful that a movie of his life would have to double down on the "ooh la la" to convey it properly. Thankfully, renowned comic book artist Joann Sfar's film, based on his own bestselling graphic novel, does just that. Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life is a pastiche of the women, musical genres and historical periods in the life of Serge (Eric Elmosnino, in a César Award-winning performance) as he tries to stay relevant in the fickle world of European pop music. Sfar deftly weaves the specter of Serge's alter ego “Gainsbarre” into the colorful, Gitanes-fueled cavalcade of French music personalities waltzing in and out of the frame -- everyone from the giant music hall singer Fréhel to the explicit, Britney Spears-esque Bambou, with everyone from Boris Vian to Juliette Greco, Brigitte Bardot, France Gall and Birkin in-between. A quintessential time capsule of 1960’s Paris, Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life is a sensual delight. DJ Andy Votel (Finders Keepers Records) will be here to spin tunes before and after the film -- plus, the party features a live set by Paris Loves L.A.!


WATCH THE TRAILER FOR "GAINSBOURG: A HEROIC LIFE"!

Tickets - free admission (first-come, first-serve w/ pre-registration)

SPECIAL 5-DAY ENGAGEMENT:
Gainsbourg And His Girls
(director Pascal Forneri in person, Saturday, August 27th!)

August 27th & August 30th-September 2nd

Co-presented by Cinespia

The Captain had Tennille, Buckingham had Nicks -- and Gainsbourg had Birkin, Bardot, Deneuve, Karina, Hardy, Gall, Greco, Adjani, Faithfull, Paradis, Barbara, Bambou, Dalida, etc. The CD collection of people who have sung the songs of Serge over the years could comprise a whopping 4-disc set of 98 tracks, with easily over 90% of them by women. Gainsbourg's been called a scoundrel, pervert and misogynist, yet female singers in France felt it a seminal moment in their career to sing a song penned by the rogue. For the breezy, hip-shaking feature documentary Gainsbourg And His Girls, writers Didier Varrod and Pascal Forner raided the archives of INA (Institute Nationale Audio-Visuel), where pretty much all of nationally-owned French TV from the early ‘60s and onwards is held. And boy, was nationally-owned French TV ever cool! Comprised entirely of luxurious file footage, the interviews of Serge throughout his career in display are substantive, and at times conducted by other artists like Françoise Hardy or Jane Birkin. This is an essential deep look at the artist who most Americans only know of through his sly, seductive provocateur mask. Director Pascal Forneri will be here at the Cinefamily for a Q&A after the film on opening night: Saturday, August 27th! Join us for the L.A. premiere of this fantastic new documentary!
Dir. Pascal Forneri, 2010, digital presentation, 105 min.


WATCH SERGE GAINSBOURG & BRIGITTE BARDOT PERFORM "COMIC STRIP"!

Tickets - $10/free for members

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8/18/2011

Smith Westerns survive stage collapse in Belgium



Stage collapse during Smith Westerns show in Belgium kills at least 3

HASSELT, Belgium - At least three concertgoers were killed and many more injured when a stage at the open-air Pukkelpop Festival in Belgium collapsed Thursday during a set by Chicago band Smith Westerns.

A heavy storm hit just as the band began playing. The band was able to get off stage before the collapse and was unhurt, according to frontman Cullen Omori's Twitter feed.

Later in the day, he said in a statement that the band had finished its first song when the stage began shaking. They assumed it was "a storm passing through… We were about to play the next one when out tour manager yelled at me to run off the stage. Right then (a metal bar that holds up the tent) collapsed 1 foot in front of" guitarist Max Kakacek.

"Amid the chaos it was hard to tell exactly what had happened," the statement continued, "but after the rescue teams started coming in it became clear that there were severe injuries and we are now being told there are reports of multiple deaths. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families who lost loved ones in today's tragedy."

More more festival-goers were injured, when a brief burst of high winds and heavy rain flattened tents, uprooted trees, pulled the roof off a stage and brought down giant screens, officials said.

"It was frightening. It looked terrible. All the structures collapsed," said Brinnie Gardner, 20, of Aukland, New Zealand, who is on a tour of Europe with a friend. "There was panic. It was crazy."

One was killed on the festival grounds and another on a campsite, Hilde Claes, mayor of the eastern Belgian city of Hasselt told a news conference. The local fire service later said a third person had died.

Hugo Simons, Hasselt's head of emergency medical planning, told VRT radio that 11 had been severely injured and 60 had sustained light injuries as a result of the storm.

Video from the site showed stage equipment dangling in high winds as rain-soaked concertgoers at the music festival ran for cover. Trees and branches all around the area were downed, evidence of the sudden ferocity of the winds.

Ambulances ferried the seriously injured to nearby hospitals. Some of those lightly injured were being treated at a local sports complex. More than 20 ambulances were dispatched to the festival ground.

Images of the disaster showed fallen lighting scaffolds. Dutch NOS television reporter Rick Hoogkamp, who was attending the concert Thursday, said several tents collapsed. An AP reporter saw concession stands blown down and a large food tent spread across the ground.

One of those who watched a tent collapse was Laura Elegeert, 17, of Saint-Nicolas, Belgium.

"It was utter confusion, mass panic," Elegeert said. "People were trying to get out of this tent that collapsed by using their pocket knives and cutting holes in the fabric."

Two cranes were brought in to try to lift the large tent late Thursday, but the ground appeared too swamped for them to reach the area.

Chokri Mahassine, the organizer of the festival, said, "We have for now put the festival on hold until we understand the situation completely."

Reported attendance for the three-day sold-out event, which started Thursday in Hasselt, about 50 miles east of Brussels, was estimated at 60,000. It was the second major stage collapse at a pop concert in the past week; five people (including one Chicagoan) were killed last Saturday when a stage at the Indiana State Fair collapsed just before a concert from the country band Sugarland.

The Smith Westerns were "shaken but safe," said Daniel Gill, their publicist. He added that it was their first date on a two-week European tour and most of their equipment was destroyed, "though, of course, that's kind of an afterthought at the moment."

The three-day Pukkelpop festival was set to have featured rapper Eminem and bands Foo Fighters and The Offspring.

The festival was suspended and organizers were meeting to decide whether to proceed Friday and Saturday as planned.

-- (Reuters, Associated Press, and Tribune wires contributed to this report)

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tUnE-yArds @ Outside Lands

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Outside Lands: second day

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The Vaccines, Ok Go, Decembrists, Muse, and more.
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