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Showing posts from March, 2013

Finding the voice

It's been a long time since I've played music in front of people. The last time I did, it was an immense joy. Jamming with guys I didn't know, in a bar I'd never been in before, and playing a slow blues song and then Bill Withers' "Use Me." Various reasons are why I haven't played live since, but it's not because of a lack of want. The opportunity has not presented itself since that September 2011 night. I formed a band last year that practiced for a few months, fleshing out styles I had never really played in a band before. I loved the material, but when we couldn't find a permanent bass player and one of the key members didn't want to continue playing with us, everything stopped. Once again, I had to start over and set my drum set back up in my office with sound-deadening pads. While I was practicing with these guys, who I still consider friends to this day, I had an opportunity to record a couple of songs with my friend and old bandm

Q&A with Matt Pryor

Here's my full Q&A with Matt Pryor as he hits the Revival Tour tonight in Dallas at Trees. Is this the first time that you’ve played the Revival Tour? Yes. I’ve been talking to Chuck about it for a couple of years of now. Could never get it to line up because the Get Up Kids were touring or I was touring. All that kind of stuff. It’s just fun and random. I was just, “Man, what am I going to do in March?” And then I got an e-mail from Chuck and it was like, “Perfect!” When Chuck calls, you don’t want to turn him down. Well, that’s unfortunate [how] I’ve had to turn him down. Have you seen the Revival Tour before? Has it come through St. Louis or Lawrence? I’ve seen clips of it on YouTube. I’ve never been to one of the concerts. I know the gist of it. I know a lot of people who have done it and have given positive feedback. It’s kind of an awesome thing you don’t see anywhere else. Yeah, it’s interesting because I had a similar idea to do som

Q&A with Keith Latinen

Keith Latinen plays in a band called Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate) and runs a label called Count Your Lucky Stars . If you miss music that is cut from a cloth of true earnestness, vulnerability and sincerity, check out both the band and label. Since Latinen will hit up Denton’s Macaroni Island this week, I talked with him about doing the label and band and a younger generation of bands that blows our minds. I know that you’ve played the DFW area before, but, roughly, how many times have you played here before? Oh, boy. We played at 1919 Hemphill probably four or five times. And then, we played a couple of house shows around the area too. I would probably say six or seven times. We play a lot in Texas. That’s cool, especially for a band from Michigan to come on down here. It’s pretty nice because there are bands that will not come to Texas. Yeah! I think Michigan gets a little bit of that too because we’re lake-locked, so bands that have to go all t

Q&A with Rick McMurray of Ash

In honor of Ash playing Texas for the first time in seven years, I had a nice long talk with drummer Rick McMurray. The band kicks off their U.S. tour in Dallas at the House of Blues' Cambridge Room tomorrow, March 12th.   Shanna Fisher First of all, I gotta say that I’m very happy that you guys are coming back to Dallas. It’s been quite a while . . . Yeah, it’s been a long time since we’ve been there. Can you remember the last few times that you’ve been through Dallas? Anything pop out about the shows? I think the last time we were there, it was with the Bravery. That was a pretty J├Ągermeister-fueled tour. Uh, yeah. [ laughs ] My memories aren’t really good about that time, so not just Dallas. We’ve always had great shows in Dallas throughout the years. In particular, I remember supporting Weezer back in ’96. We played with them on the Pinkerton tour. It was such a blast. It was a really intense tour. I think Dallas was one of the best nights. It was

Danzig in the Moonlight

Coming into Dada last night, I was a fan of Ken Stringfellow's work with the Posies, Big Star, and R.E.M. Coming out of it, I became a fanatic of his solo material. Prior to this evening, I had my rarely-played promo copy of 2001's Touched and memories of The Big Takeover 's Jack Rabid heaping a lot of praise for Touched and having Stringfellow play his wedding. Given my enjoyment of the Posies' material, especially Dear 23 , Frosting on the Beater , and Amazing Disgrace , and knowing how intense his showmanship is as a performer, I thought I'd simply enjoy a solo set from it. Well, I happened to see one of the best shows I've seen this year. A low turnout was in plain sight (only 17 paid to get in), so Ken decided to perform while standing on the floor without a vocal microphone. Playing so close that he could breathe on people, this was a kind of intimacy I've rarely seen at shows. He played a lot of solo material either on his electric guitar or e

Do you wanna jam?

At the beginning of this year, I decided to get back to something I stopped doing years ago: live comedy. Believe it or not, there was a time in my childhood when I was unafraid to unleash impressions and zingers onto a crowd of strangers. I did stand-up twice when I was in elementary school for the talent show. People laughed and said nice things to me afterwards. Then puberty struck. The idea of being in front of people didn't interest me. I was incredibly self-conscious and often over-thought things. And I didn't think I was very funny. There were times when teachers said I should be on stage acting. My experience with acting in plays wasn't the most pleasant, and when I did take a theater class, I asked to be a background player. I couldn't sing or dance and I was afraid I'd forget my lines. As I grew older and graduated college, I knew a few people who did improv and stand-up. From time to time they made me laugh with their material, but I didn't

Dark Side of Me

A few weeks ago, I interviewed Claudio Sanchez from Coheed and Cambria. The following is my whole Q&A transcript that I used to write a story on. Since I left a couple of things out of the story, I figured it would be fun to share everything. Since The Afterman is a double album, were there any double albums that you really clung to when you were younger, whether it was The Wall or Use Your Illusion ? For me, it would definitely be The Wall for sure. My second concert happened to be Pink Floyd on the Division Bell tour in ’94. That sort of opened my mind up in terms of music and how it can accompany a visual. It was an amazing live show. It was probably one of those moments that defined what I wanted to do. In exploring Pink Floyd’s catalog, I stumbled across The Wall and with its cinematic counterpart [for] the tour. I never saw any of the tour, obviously, but I acquired bootlegs and saw how that played out. Actually I was fortunate to see Roger [Waters] at Madis