Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Slowdive Graces us With New Music and a Tour

I would really love to go to Fort Worth and see them play, but it just isn't in the cards for me right now. A Slowdive album and a tour and all that in one year? After they've been touring and doing things the right way? Well, it's wonderful, is what it is.

Here's where they're playing this year:

30 March 2017 - The Fleece, Bristol, UK

31 March 2017 - Rewire Festival, The Hague, Netherlands

2 April 2017 - Trabendo, Paris, France

3 April 2017 - Festsaal, Berlin, Germany

30 April 2017 - Fortress Festival, Fort Worth, Texas

2 May 2017 - Palace Theatre, St. Paul, MN

3 May 2017 - The Vic, Chicago, IL

5 May 2017 - Danforth Music Hall, Toronto, Canada

6 May 2017 - L'Olympia, Montreal, Canada

7 May 2017 - 9:30 Club, Washington, DC

8 May 2017 - Brooklyn Steel, Brooklyn, NY

9 May 2017 - Brooklyn Steel, Brooklyn, NY

10 May 2017 - Cat's Cradle, Carrboro, NC

11 May 2017 - Variety Playhouse, Atlanta, Georgia

13 May 2017 - Fauna Otono, Santiago, Chile

14 May 2017 - Balaclava Fest, Sao Paulo

16 May 2017 - Niceto Club, Buenos Aires, Argentina

2 June 2017 - O2 Academy Oxford, UK

3 June 2017 - Field Day, London, UK

16-18 June 2017 - Maifeld Derby, Mannheim, Germany

6 July 2017 - Pohoda Festival, Slovakia

7 July 2017 - Mad Cool Festival, Madrid, Spain

21-23 July 2017 - FYF Fest, Los Angeles, CA

31 Aug - 1 Sept 2017 - End of the Road Festival, UK

Amazing stuff. This band was and is the real deal.

Is Anybody Ever Really Happy?

Run screaming from a real band with real guitars, you pop star freaks:

And yet, here we are, almost exactly a decade after their first comeback gig, discussing the new Jesus and Mary Chain album, Damage and Joy: Jim nursing a cup of coffee in a nondescript west-London hotel bar and William over the phone from his home in Los Angeles. They are, according to Jim, “getting on better, to the point where it’s almost like it was before we were in the band, when we were the opposite of what everyone thinks we are now; we were really good mates”.

Indeed, even separated by 5,000 miles, it’s hard not to be struck by how alike the pair seem. They’re both polite and friendly – a far cry from the Jesus and Mary Chain you can see in old clips on YouTube, answering questions with contemptuous monosyllables – if they can be bothered to answer them at all – and clearly incredibly shy. William apologises in advance for his shortcomings as an interviewee (“I’m not very articulate over the phone”) and his answers frequently tail off, his attempts to find the right words replaced by frustrated muttering involving much exasperated deployment of the word “fuck”.

As their manager, Alan McGee, has pointed out more than once, they share an ability to make rather heavy weather of life in a band, and indeed life generally. I ask them both if, given the fraternal fighting, the constant battles with a record company that kept trying to get them to work with producers who had made hits for Tears for Fears or U2, and their fabled antipathy to touring, they ever actually enjoyed being in the Jesus and Mary Chain. “Was I ever happy, full stop?” frowns Jim. “In the Mary Chain, I guess, as in life, happiness is just fleeting.”

His brother goes further: “Is anybody ever really happy? I mean, isn’t the whole world just stressed out? We’re all going to die and nobody knows where we’re going. How can you be happy knowing that you’re going to fall off the end of a cliff someday?”

Everyone is fixated on the pull away quotes--pop music really is, basically, shit made on someone's laptop, so why bother with it at all? The Jesus and Mary Chain are back, and that's all you need to know.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Weather Diaries

Ride have named their new album and they're getting read to give this a go:

Ride have announced details of their long-awaited new album ‘Weather Diaries’.

The four-piece, considered to be pioneers of shoegaze, last released a full-length record, ‘Tarantula’, back in March 1996. The band broke up later that year.

Having already shared two new songs from the LP, ‘Charm Assault’ and ‘Home Is A Feeling’, the band have now confirmed details of the new record, which will be released on June 16 via Wichita Recordings. See the album’s artwork beneath.

A new Ride album scares me.

The last new album from Ride arrived when I was in the thick of a Minnesota winter. I was in a dead-end job, I was commuting a great distance to that same job, I was holding down a second job, and nothing was going right. I felt pretty isolated and alone. And then Tarantula arrives, and the sticker on it said, and I'm paraphrasing, "The Ride Ends Here."

Now, I'm a fan of all four Ride albums because they're unique and they're very much of that time. The upheaval that arrived after Tarantula saw me spending most of 1996 trying to figure out what to do next. Goodbye job, goodbye Twin Cities, hello new job, hello Rochester, goodbye Rochester in the blink of an eye, hello United States Army. What a whirlwind--just like a new Ride album.

Those four albums sustain me to this day. I have worked by way through them--and through every single B-side, every BBC session track, and every live track I can get my hands on--so this is innately special to me. I'm not worried about whether or not I'm going to like this album. I'm worried all kinds of crazy shit is going to happen (and, of course, that's all because of Steve).

Anyway, out with the album, and on with the tour. I hope they find a way to make this the first of many "comeback" albums.



Saturday, March 18, 2017

Chuck Berry 1926-2017

Chuck Berry was 90.

Lana Del Rey Played SXSW

I think the case has been made that if you don't go to SXSW, you're going to miss out:

It’s been three weeks since Lana Del Rey broke the internet with her glowy new track, ‘Love’. Having racked up a cool 35 million YouTube views on one single in less than a month, it seems as though Lana’s as-yet-untitled fifth album can’t come soon enough.

But fans, rest assured; the Del Rey wheel is hard at work. On Friday night, Lana treated attendees of Austin’s SXSW to a glittering secret show at the Apple Music Space. Drawing on some of her most popular repertoire and finishing up with the live debut of ‘Love’, Lana proved that she’s been hard at work since releasing 2015’s ‘Honeymoon’.

I feel like I missed out on more than just Del Rey. There were a number of artists that played SXSW and I could have found a way to get up to Austin and do this. I guess when you're working all week, it's hard but still. If you don't go out and see people, how are you supposed to find new music?

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

My Irrational Hatred of Patrick Carney Continues

Drummers do tend to irritate me. My irrational dislike of Patrick Carney continues unabated because, well, he says stupid shit like this:

The Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney has spoken in a new interview about his band taking a break, claiming that he has suffered from PTSD after touring “constantly” for several years.

The Ohio band released their latest album ‘Turn Blue’, their eighth to date, in 2014. Since then, frontman Dan Auerbach has released an album, ‘Yours, Dreamily’, with his side-project The Arcs. Carney, meanwhile, has been producing music for Tobias Jesso Jr and others. He is currently producing girlfriend Michelle Branch’s new album.

Speaking to Rolling Stone, Carney said: “I love making music with Dan and I’m excited for when we do that next, and we will do it. But both of us have PTSD from being on the road constantly.”

“This will be my first summer not working since I was in 7th grade. I mean, I wake up every day and I’m like, ‘I can’t believe the shit Dan and I accomplished.’ But every day, it feels further and further away, even though it’s only been a year and a half. I was talking to [Arcade Fire frontman] Win Butler and some other musicians, and I was, ‘What the fuck, we haven’t played a show in a year and a half!’ and they’re like, ‘Dude, every time we put a record out we take a year and a half off. You need to chill out.'”

This has to be a failing on my part. Can a successful musician get PTSD from choosing to go on tour so much? It's a stretch for me to answer in the affirmative. I do know that musicians who have been assaulted on stage could probably claim some form of PTSD. Think of Noel Gallagher, and being knocked to the ground from behind by a stage crasher in Toronto some years back. Think of all the punk bands that were beaten up on stage. Think of Iggy Pop, for crying out loud.

Does Carney have a case? What the hell is wrong with me? I'd probably like Carney if I ever met him, but the line to punch him in the face grows by the minute.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Will Dave Abbruzzese Shut Up Now?

This is a classy move, but it will never, ever be enough:

Pearl Jam have invited all five of their drummers to their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

Only founding member Dave Krusen and current drummer Matt Cameron are to be formally inducted alongside frontman Eddie Vedder, bassist Jeff Ament, and guitarists Stone Gossard and Mike McCready.

Matt Chamberlin, Dave Abbruzzese, and Jack Irons were snubbed by the Hall of Fame and will not be formally inducted. Dave Abbruzzese drummed with the band from the 1991 tour behind ‘Ten’ and contributed to the recording of 1994’s ‘Vitalogy’.

We have been subjected to numerous articles where Abbruzzese complains bitterly about being thrown out of Pearl Jam. He seems to still hold that grudge. 

Abbruzzese recently posted an open letter to Facebook, writing, “I challenge anyone to justify why I am not worthy of a place in the history of Pearl Jam. The official reason given from the RRHOF makes it bullshit.”

“It make my years of hard work appear to be worthless towards the success born of the formative years of Pearl Jam. This is simply not the case. The milestones and the success obtained during my period in the band… The Grammy, AMA’s, MTV Awards, over 20 plus million albums sold. MTV Unplugged performance. SNL twice, etc. Over 275 shows,” he continued.

After being given an opportunity most people will never see in their lifetime, he still can't be happy he had a chance to play in a band and make albums. After they threw him out, he should have gone on and done other things, and it appears that he has, to some degree. 

Anyway, Dave. Jason Everman called, but couldn't be bothered to tell you to shut up.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Robyn Hitchcock

He's everywhere, and what's not to love? Psychedelic album covers, cats, and fantastic shirts on a man who sings and plays guitar while writing his own songs. This is a rare Earth mineral of fine quality that should be held in your hands for all time. 

I would love to see him again, but schedules being what they are, who knows? You should go see Robyn and buy his new album.

Friday, March 3, 2017

The Jesus and Mary Chain Announce New Tour

Go see the Reid brothers while you can:

05/09 – St. Paul, MN @ The Palace
05/10 – Chicago, IL @ Riviera
05/12 – Toronto, ON @ Massey Hall
05/14 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel
05/19 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern
05/20 – Oakland, CA @ The Fox Theater
05/22 – Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom
05/23 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox SoDo
05/24 – Vancouver, BC @ Vogue Theatre

The band previously announced plans for a UK tour in March.

See the band’s full tour dates below:

Thu March 23 2017 – Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne
Sat March 25 2017 – Academy, Manchester
Mon March 27 2017 – Church, Leeds
Tue March 28 2017 – O2 Academy, Leicester
Wed March 29 2017 – O2 Academy, Bristol
Fri March 31 2017 – O2 Institute, Birmingham
Sat April 01 2017 – O2 Academy, Bournemouth
Sun April 02 2017 – O2 Academy, Oxford
Mon April 03 2017 – Junction 1, Cambridge
Wed April 05 2017 – O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, London
Thu April 06 2017 – De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill On Sea
Fri April 07 2017 – Academy, Dublin

Opening your North American tour in St. Paul, Minnesota is a brilliant move. We Minnesotans always got them and loved them and I wish I could be there. But, again, my complaints will fall on deaf ears. Doesn't anyone play Austin anymore? Damn, people.

It's great to have the Mary Chain out on the road, though. The fact that they have a new album on the way is also good news.

Ride Live in North America

I'm not going to complain about this, I'm just going to put it out there:

07-17 Toronto, Ontario – Massey Hall
07-19 Boston, MA – Royale
07-20 New York, NY – Terminal 5
07-22 Philadelphia, PA – TLA
07-23 Washington, DC – Sixth & I

Would I be happier if they were coming to the Midwest and the West Coast? Absolutely. I think this has to be a preliminary tour before something larger, depending on how the new Ride album does. The fact that they're not even coming to Austin, Texas is upsetting enough but I'll hold my tongue for now.