Friday, September 30, 2005

News From The Great Beyond

Heavy Blinkers in the Studio

"I recently saw a documentary about Roswell and it renewed my faith in the fact that something dodgy is going on. I am not sure if the government is reverse-engineering spaceships or anything, but why the hell not?"

Such is the theory of The Heavy Blinkers' Jason MacIsaac. The Nova Scotia based band is in the midst of recording new material for a CD entitled Health, but music wasn't all that was on his mind. In fact, as he is writing an email to this writer, he checks Area 51 on a few remote satellites. After 10 minutes he returns and reports. "I couldn't make much out, but I didn't not see aliens. I don't know, I have so many bits and pieces of Roswell info as mental furniture in my brain, I can't separate fact from the Dwight Yoakam/Kyle McLaughlin movie."

After this bit of journalistic and scientific insight, the conversation turns to music.

Having lived in both NY and LA, the competition to be noticed is fierce. Being tucked away in your corner of the world, does making music, and honing your craft, become easier?

I am not sure if it makes it any easier, but there aren't as many distractions, to be sure. I live in a city of about 300,000, and it's very much a tourist town. I spend most of my time at my piano in the dark, in my living room, with a cat on my lap. I am a firm believer that Nova Scotia's four VERY distinct seasons inform my writing and perhaps the overall mood of our city. Out of the corner of our eye, we see things being born, growing, and dying, year after year. I think that subconsciously it has an effect on a person. When I look back at lyrics that I have written, many of them seem to be preoccupied with the weather and the life cycle. On a more practical level, it is often too cold to go outside, so I will default to tea and my piano quite a bit in the winter. I get more writing done in the winter than the other three seasons combined.

What can you reveal about the "Health"?

Health is a song cycle about martyred saints, people who are lost and who have lost, and ultimately death, I suppose. It's a really upbeat album. There are many female characters that occupy the Health songs, and in many ways they are related. Most of the characters are amalgams of historical figures and women who had an impact on my childhood. It's a pretty depressing, sparse set of songs. That being said, there are two or three songs that lyrically have nothing to do with the rest of the album, but they were written at the same time and I was in the same head-space, so to me, they warrant inclusion.

I read on your blog (The Heavy Blinkers Album #5 Blog) that 'Health' was going to be a double album. That is quite an ambitious undertaking. When did you decide to go that route and what factors entered into making the decision?

Everyone, and I mean everyone, I know is telling me that it should be a single album. Perhaps two albums of material will fit on one disc as with our self-titled album, so I can cheat that way. It's just awfully hard to divorce songs from an album when there is an overarching narrative that must be told. Getting rid of a particular song might be tantamount to getting rid of the conclusion, or the body, or the intro etc. I consciously decided to make a double concept album and I am not looking back and imposing "concept album" status on it. It was written that way. For better or worse, I have a plan.

You have been debuting various tracks from 'Health.' What are the advantages and disadvantages of that strategy.

I'm just trying to suss out how they will be received. I already have the order of the songs figured out, so it's weird playing them out of context. It's even more weird playing them alongside older material, but it is thrilling to play them nevertheless. Most of the songs are a bit austere, and, lyrically, a bit (and I hesitate to use this word..) poetic. Historically, Heavy Blinkers gigs have consisted largely of the upbeat danceable material out of respect for those who want to shake a tail-feather. These new shows are more for people who come in from the rain and who would rather just listen to music, hopefully some pretty music that will inspire them.

Are you a type A or type B personality? What effect does that have on the day-to-day operations of the band?

I guess in some very specific way, I'm type A. When it comes to the music, I am a driven workaholic, always busy, impatient, etc. However, when dealing with people, I am definitely type B. I am a very laid back person, but my music is precious to me and I can get cranky. Everyone in the band is good friends and there have been very few fights over the past seven or so years. I'm a pretty lousy communicator when it comes to trying to express the music in my head to other people, and I am sure that it is frustrating for the band at times.

I noticed you did some shows with Jenn Grant. Is Ruth Minnikin still a member of the HB?

Ruth is still a member of the Heavy Blinkers. Recently, Ruth has been on tour with her psych-country outfit and then immediately back on the road with her "Traveling Wilburys" style super-songwriter group. Working with Jenn was born out of necessity., but she is a gem! Her spirit is infectious and she understands the importance of nuance. We have been very careful to do totally different material, and to present it as a trio. It's a totally different animal. We flew to Toronto to do the Toronto Film Festival and we leave at the end of November for a two week tour of the U.K.. Jenn is wonderful.

Finally, when will the new material be released?

I am hoping that all the tracking will be done by the summer and that it will be out this time next year, but we may see Roswellian aliens before we see Health. I will keep you posted.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

STFS: Bloody Tears

One might say that The Bloody Tears are hotter than a honeymoon hotel. Of course, the old cliche that everything in Texas is big could apply as well. But cliches would not do this Austin outfit justice. According to vocalist/guitarist Eric "Solid Gold" Makowski, what makes them a product of Texas is their blend of sounds and influences.

"In a lot of Texas music, like Western swing or Texas blues, I think there's an influence of various southern styles. In our sound, too, you can hear a wide range of influences. Some of the best soul singers ever were cats that blended southern gospel, country, and blues to make their own form of R-n-B: Solomon Burke, Arthur Alexander, James Carr, Otis Redding, Ray Charles."

I recently spoke to Makowski to find out more about this "hip-shakin', heart -breakin', earth-quakin', love makin' boogaloo funk machine." Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bloody Tears: The Pharoahs of Nouveau Soul.

How would you define "garage rock," and how does that definition fit The Bloody Tears?

The core of the BT's (Casino, Billy Steve, Kory and I) is made up of cats who really did start bands and spent years in their basements and garages back in their hometowns. Sure "garage" is a label to help define a certain sound, but it also means something else to guys who have played too long for too few tips.

Ear Candy Magazine wrote about 'Downhanded': "This is a party album, plain and simple." Is that an accurate assessment?

Probably. The band formed with Billy Steve and Casino and I starting a new project just for our own edification. Play just the style of music we wanted. It didn't matter if anyone else would like it, so long as we were having fun and learning some new things creatively along the way. Sounds a little selfish, but in trying to appeal to every moron who flashes the "Rock On" sign, I think a lot of bands forget that it's supposed to be about fun and creativity, not purely marketing. If I have to hear one more Austin musician describe their "career," I think I'll puke all over their press kit.

What factors went into deciding to work with Jim Diamond?

This was an easy pick. Di-guy and I go back to our college band in the 80's at Michigan State. He's always had a great ear for arranging and producing, and he's an easy going guy too. Jack ****ing White will never allow his ego to admit it, but Diamond had a lot to to with the Stripes' breakout record. Listen to the MP3's on the Ghetto Recorders web site. That stuff jumps out at you, cuts through the crap. We hope to record the next batch of tunes in Detroit.

There are at least three covers on 'Downhanded.' What criteria goes into choosing one cover over another?

Well, we try to pick the originals that will give people an idea of the place that the originals are coming from. Reference points. Guide posts to better rock understanding.

What am I going to witness at a Bloody Tears show?

Sweating, dancing, screaming, drinking. Pretty much in that order.

Tell me about this legendary "energy" your band possesses. What do you attribute that to?

Fear of being laughed at.

Finally, what are your tour plans? Any new recordings on the horizon?

We have already received a couple crummy offers to tour overseas and spend our own money all along the way. And we're considering a tour of the midwest and northeast next year. That's where we're getting lots of college radio play. Plus, I have a 7-month-old at home now, so my priorities have shifted to say the least. It's a freakin' blast, too!

We just started writing new stuff. There's a little more subtlety to some of the newer stuff we're writing. We can be sensitive little bastards if we wanna be.

Friday, September 23, 2005

SFTS - The Patsys

"Columbus seems to produce a lot of bands that almost make it." This might explain why in a city noted mostly for Big Ten football (Ohio State Buckeyes), the National Hockey League's Columbus Blue Jackets, and one of the best zoos in the country (Columbus Zoo), trying to make it in the music business can be a daunting task.

"Look back to the mid-eighties," explains Jeff Regensburger, drummer of The Patsys, "and you'll see Columbus' own Great Plains sharing a label (Homestead) with Dinosaur Jr. and Big Black. Around that same time Scrawl was on Rough Trade and blazing a trail that all manner of riot grrls would follow. If you dig deep enough into the Blues Explosion lore, you'll find that much of the trashblues Mr. Spencer favors came from time well spent with our very own Gibson Brothers and '68 Comeback."

While the 90's produced outfits such as New Bomb Turks and Gaunt, the leader of the pack became Tim Easton who, according to Regensburger, "was making a name for himself in the 'mostly unknown but critically acclaimed singer/songwriter' genre." He adds that "Today there are a few bands that seem poised to move beyond the confines of Columbus. The Whiles, The Feelers (ferocious lo-fi pummeled about the head and shoulders punk rock), The Evil Queens (ferocious lo-fi pummeled about the head and shoulders hard rock), and El Jesus De Magico (avant-hate rock) are on the list of bands from Columbus to watch."

The Patsys formed in 2002 from the remains of several notable Columbus bands including the aforementioned Gaunt. The band includes Tutti Jackson on vocals and bass, Regensburger on drums, John Stickley on vocals and guitar, and, recently added guitarist, Jim Weber. Jackson's credits also include backing vocals for "Soap Star Joe" on Liz Phair's Exile in Guyville. Their most recent effort is entitled On The 13th Kick, a compilation of single plus three new tracks.

TGB recently emailed Regensburger to find out the latest. Here is his correspondence.

What are some of the more interesting tidbits around Jim Weber?

Jim joined The Patsys in March of '05 when guitarist Stewart Nicol moved to Florida. Jim and I had played together in one of the early versions of Gaunt ('91-'92), so he seemed like the logical choice when we began looking for Stew's replacement. We invited him to join The Patsys, he accepted, and it's been a great fit. We've hit the ground running, already recording some new material and taking the live show out east for a few shows.

Many people are surprised to find out that Jim Weber is a high school English teacher and an excellent defensive first baseman. While generally a dead pull hitter he can go the opposite way if you try to cheat on him.

Fill me in on the recordings you undertook at Ghetto Recorders.

One of the things that's always interested us has been working with different engineers in different studios. There's a studio here in Columbus that generally meets our needs (Workbook Studio), but when he have the chance we like to try and get out and work with new people. Our full-length is really a compilation of a number of different sessions we recorded over a two year period. In that time we worked with Paul Mahern (Superchunk, John Mellencamp) at Echo Park, Steve Albini (everyone) at Electrical Audio, and Neal Schmitt at Workbook.

The Jim Diamond session in Detroit was just an extension of that philosophy. Jim Weber had done an album at Ghetto Recorders with the New Bomb Turks and suggested that it might be a good place for us to record our next batch of songs. It turns out he was right. Jim Diamond is great to work with. He's got great ideas in terms of tones and arrangements. Everyone was really pleased with the session. We did ten songs and we'll probably try to get up there soon and do a few more. I expect our next full-length will come out of those combined sessions.

I sense some Sonic Youth, some MC5, and maybe some early Blondie. Would I be in the right zip code?

I think so, though the Sonic Youth reference is a bit surprising and certainly nothing we've tried to consciously develop. Ultimately, a lot of what we sound like is the result of trying mash the square peg that is our influences into the round hole that is our abilities. I think much of our material points back to '67, but in a kind of garbled way. It's like there's hints of all these '60s garage bands, but the style isn't reproduced so authentically that it sounds derivative.

I've never considered Columbus a hotbed for music. Is that image on the verge of changing?

I doubt it. I think one of the things that's made it hard for Columbus to push its music to a more national audience is the fact that the bands are so eclectic. There's no "sound" that defines the music or the scene. I don't know if it's willful or not, but it's almost like no one really pays that much attention to what anyone else is playing.

Fill in the blank and explain your answer: The Patsys are the quintessential ______________.

The Patsys are the quintessential model rocket club of rock. Behind the righteous tunes are one librarian, one teacher, one historical society intern, three subscriptions to Harper's, onsubscriptionon to the New York Review of Books, Charlie Rose five nights a week, and a better than average chance of finishing the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

News From The Great Beyond

Tara Key & Antietam

If you google Tara Key's name, you will find biographies on VH1, CMT, and a few other outlets. Considering how prolific a songwriter she is, this should come as no surprise. She is one of the busiest women in music, and she is still able to hold down a 9 to 5 job.

It's been fifteen since since Antietam debuted the current lineup, and, according to Tara, the fire is still burning. She also keeps busy with several side projects. Let's not forget that she and her husband, Tim Harris, are also bandmates. Through all of this activity, Tara Key was able to sit down and drop TGB an email to give us the lowdown on Antietam and herself.

TGB: What is the status of Antietam?

TK: I always feel a little like a defensive willow mock-shouting in the forest with my fist in my mouth when I protest "Antietam never broke up!"--as was postulated widely on the occasion of our last release---despite the fact that it took a few years to make Victory Park. We were always practicing (jamming, beering, playing darts) as regularly as ever and playing shows around New York, even though we didn't do a full scale tour for almost 8 years. In a stretch slightly prior to that we had released 4 records in 4 years in one form or another (a live record, 2 TK solo records and Rope-A-Dope). Concurrent to the time we were writing for Victory Park, Tim and I made an instrumental record with Rick Rizzo.

It's interesting being in a creative partnership for this long (15 years since Josh joined Tim and I), because what starts out as a juggernaut of us (small guerrilla unit) against the world (brass ring) simply evolves into family. So we do what we do when we do it, but we always get around to it!

We all have other outlets too, musical, visual and scriberly. More activity breeds activity and I believe you bring good things back to the band when you stretch in other ways. I am working on another Rizzo/Key record with Rick and Tim. Josh is playing and writing with Tralala as well as Antietam and it's been fun to have new girls and guys to hang out with and listen to.

We had such a great time doing the touring around Victory Park last year. And we will do more when a new record is out. It was so great to play with some old friends (Barbara Manning, Chris Brokaw, Tara Jane O'Neil, the Ass Ponys, Eleventh Dream Day) and to have the time of my life going out with Yo La Tengo for 3 weeks of living the jamming life as intensely as the taste of a perfect reduction sauce--I'm thinking one of red wine and raspberry atop Valrhona mousse topped with fresh whipped cream infused with vanilla.....that's what that tour was like.

Since we can't be on tour as often as I would have it, I struggle with how to make folks younger than us know we exist (because there is primal timeless rocking at hand) and at the same time get our peers to take note--I know they still like to rock, but they don't necessarily go to record stores to browse that often, read music rags or take a chance on going to see something live they don't know about already--(I guess that's where The Great Beyond comes in, ehhh?!)

It was a long layoff prior to the release of "Victory Park." Is there new material in the works, and, if so, when can we expect it?

We will be in the studio this fall starting in 3 weeks, I hope, to catch the current pop screeds while they are not dry on the wall yet. It will be a combo of tracking on site in the studio and off site DIY this time. I'm not sure when it will come out, but next year sometime. We sure are lucky to have the support of Patrick and Julia at Carrot Top. It feels like a big laden ripe mulberry tree at the moment because there are, classic-band/trio wise, things we wrote last week, things we wrote this summer--nothing more than 9 months old. And, in addition, there is also a collection of sonics and recombinant pieces that we all play on , but that are not Antietam trad. Without saying more yet, let me just say I am very excited about what shape this is all going to take. More later.

From all indication, it's been about 10 years since you've released a solo album. Do you plan to record solo in the future?

Those two solo records were important for me in the sense that each of them presented a direct challenge from myself to myself. When Tim and I started out in the Babylon Dance Band in Louisville, I could imagine nothing further afield than my insular punk rock unit--because it was a strange miracle that we all had the nerve to say we were musicians when we could barely play and we were fueled by this bizarre calling that we had to drop everything that was "planned" for us and just rock. And be loyal.

The idea of having a band was remarkable in the first place and tended to create a life raft mentality in the band, especially when under attack by "real" musicians, not to mention the controversy implicit in trying to convince Louisville circa 1979 that they didn't need to listen to Aerosmith alone and that the Clash were awesome.

So, of course, the longer we were musicians and met others we respected---not always of the same background and tunage as us---it made sense to grow and jam outside of the auspices of the main unit. Bourbon County was me trying to do that, as well as presenting a forum for me to use to play with a lot of the folks I loved---and that were now part of the family I refer to above.

Ear and Echo was a challenge to me to go a little further in busting out of the electric, aggressive, cocksure chaos that had become my pigeonhole, because it rested on a bed of acoustic guitar and melancholy and vulnerability. The idea of the records being trademarked as "me" never was the point and, honestly, ended up making me feel a little uncomfortable, since I was drafting my friends for one and my band plus a couple of guests for most of the other. So I could care less about a solo career, since we all participated in both of those records and they just ended up making Antietam the band grow. We folded the different sounds we made under those conditions back into the cake batter. I am more comfortable as part of a crew and now Antietam is the catcher's mitt for many different impulses....

Several publications have highly praised your guitar abilities. Does acclaim like that tend to scare you, humble you, or a combination of both?

Well, 25 years ago, since I started out being a shy oddball looking for a tool to make a noise in the universe with, good press was pretty important to me. I was a painter when I joined the Dance Band and the idea of making a splash in the "ART WORLD" was (and is) more terrifying (oddly) than doing so in the music world. The guitar was the thing I always turned to back then for relief from accomplishment anxieties. I had no expectations from it; I just knew I loved it and the way it felt against me and that it seemed to say things I could not verbalize.

I was lucky pretty much right out of the gate to get reinforcement press wise and fan wise that I was onto something, so the press saying the things they did when I first started playing, if anything, gave me confidence to go a little further, especially in the sense of forging my style. I got a few important early nods that said, yes, my style was weird, but it was unique and it resonated. That was empowering. I, sadly, have always craved pats on the head.

Being the overanxious student I have always been, when the teacher gave me props early on I got a big shove to ignore the way things are done on guitar and follow my heart. I never felt like I had to sound like anything that had happened before...yes, I am a collagist and grew up a bona fide fan and you can separate out the Ronson and Neil and Bowie and Allman and Monkees and Raiders from my DNA and ID it, but I also folded sirens and jackhammers and regret and the way it would sound if I were stabbed in the heart into my guitar playing too.

When folks started writing about me it actually made me bolder, because, although I am a ham and like to wear the metaphorical 10-league boots and hop around onstage like a cartoon character version of myself on confidence steroids , the fact that most writers didn't say I looked like an idiot doing it was important back in the day. These days, I'm glad they still care! But I can't say it's ever scared OR humbled me....just assured me that I was getting through.

Plus, the Guitar Player and Guitar World profiles were way fun to flash at the boys at the guitar shops for a cheap thrill for a while!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Review: Zuco 103

Six Degrees Records

Lead singer Lilian Vieira is originally from Brazil, while the Stefans (Kruger and Schmid) are based in Holland. When one combines their individual talents, ethnocentric tastes and worldly wiles, you end up with the spice rack know as Zuco 103. On their latest release, Whaa!, Zuco 103 continue their musical journey into places both familiar and foreign.

In bringing back elements from previous releases, the trio holds on to the past while moving into the future. Vieira's voice is sparkling with the effervescence of a fine champagne. "Mayfly" and "Na Mangueira" are but two examples. A contribution by reggae legend Lee "Scratch" Perry adds a reggae flavor.

Whaa! is everything Zuco 103 has delivered in the past, but etched in a new fabric that is both alluring and comfortable.

On The Great Beyond scale, Whaa! projects itself toward Venus.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

SFTS: The Whiles

Harrison Ford once said, "We all have big changes in our lives that are more or less a second chance." According to bassist Chris Bolognese of The Whiles, that second chance almost never happened. "After losing our lead guitarist (Liam Carey), we were very close to calling it quits, but decided to push on with a new batch of great songs brought to us by Joe (chief songwriter Joe Peppercorn).

Those songs became the highly acclaimed Colors of the Year, a CD Amplifier Magazine called "Heavily influenced by both the orchestral delicacy of Nick Drake and Odyssey and Oracle and the proto-alt-country of Gram Parsons' solo albums...Colors of the Year is an entirely satisfying bit of country-fried chamber pop."

Around the release of Colors of the Year, the band changed its name from Mrs. Children to The Whiles. "Mrs. Children was the name of the group for about 4 years or so," said Bolognese. "There were various lineup changes and the sound of the band evolved along the way. We slowly transitioned from a quirky yet melodic rock sound to a more mellow, folk-inspired sound while still continuing our dedication to interesting melodies and changes."

The current lineup also includes brother Joe and Matt Peppercorn, and drummer Paul Headley.

I had an opportunity to exchange emails with Chris Bolognese and her is what he had to say about the state of the band and the current recording sessions.

TGB: Do you find that there is more pressure making these recordings yourselves?

CB: We did COTY (Colors of the Year) almost exclusively in a studio. Although I really like recording in a studio space since you have access to all the cool studio toys, I feel more comfortable doing the recording on our own, especially since you don't have to constantly think about how much it's going to cost! By recording on your own, you have the luxury to spend as much or as little time on an idea as you want. Plus, I think all of us feel more dedicated to being there since it is more natural of an environment. Thus, for this next album, we're recording everything on our own.

TGB: What do you find are the major differences between recording on your own as opposed to having another ear in the studio?

CB: I guess one large downside is the lack of professional tools when recording on your own. This goes both for recording equipment as well as musical equipment. Also, sometimes you can become pretty biased towards a part or an idea and it helps to have a neutral person to veto or applaud something. Also, I think there is more accountability for recording on your own. Each person's role is suddenly increased as there is no one you can rely on to set up the mics, check levels, etc. I think this makes the process much more collaborative.

TGB: Have you replaced your lead singer?

CB: After much deliberation, we made an amicable decision that Zack, our old singer, would leave the band. Although Zack has an absolutely amazing voice, he felt a calling to go into education, which he is now pursuing. Joe, the lead songwriter in the group, has taken the reins for being the front man now. Although Zack's departure had its cons, one benefit is that Joe has such a deep understanding of the songs, since he sketches the melody, lyrics, and the chords. This understanding definitely translates in the vocal delivery.

TGB: Has a date been set for the release of your new music? Is there a working title?

CB: We have been working on the next record for a while now. We went into the studio last October (I think this is the right date, but Joe or the other guys would know better) and started laying down new songs. We canned all of those recordings and started anew on our own terms. After buying a new digital recorder, we demoed the songs two or three times either in a local Church, Paul's basement, or in Joe's attic. For the past few months, we have been putting in a lot of hours working on the new songs and have 19 songs started in some capacity. No date has been pinpointed, but we hope to have the 19 songs recorded in the next month or so. The next step is to mix and master. We have yet to discuss a title, but Joe seems to be a proponent of Mrs. Children and the Captain Battle William Butler Yeats' and the Bitter Mystery Brigade: Chapter II, We All Love Fried Snickers Candy Bars (just kidding). You can check out more discussion about the recording process on our message board at:

TGB: Finally, what are your expectation and/or goals for your next release?

CB: One personal goal of mine was to really develop the arrangements of the songs. One thing that irks me about COTY is how "live" it sounds. That is, it is too easy for us to perform the recorded songs in a live setting. I would rather us have interesting sounds on the record that are hard for us to reproduce live. Thus, on this record we really have been trying to capture interesting and unique sounds. Some instruments that have been used that were not on the COTY record are lap steel, upright bass, piano, conga drums, and church organ. I hope to put some orchestral work on the record as well. Another goal that has transferred over from COTY is continuing to work on vocal harmonies. We also want to try to get more band members singing lead on the record, so expect multiple voices (a la The Beatles, or The New Pornographers).

I'm really excited about the new album and I think others will be as well. Although it still captures the melodicism and tenderness of COTY, it seems to be more exploratory and explosive in certain parts.

LABEL: Anyway Records

Monday, September 12, 2005

SFTS - Riverboat Gamblers

The Riverboat Gamblers are scorching, and it is not because they are from Texas. They recently completed a stint on the Vans Warped Tour, and are now in the process of recording their next release. TGB recently caught up with Gamblers' rookie sensation, Mike Wiebe, to talk about the recording sessions.

TGB: Tell me about this new album. Is there a working title? Will the sound be evolving?

MW: No working title, yet that will probably come last after we figure out some secret link to all the songs. I think the sound is Devo No...ughh..Something is going on. We are going into this record with a lot more songs to choose from and trying to take some chances with sounds. We dont wanna write the same record, but we want it to be the Riverboat Gamblers. I hope to have an unexpected "good surprise" song or two on the record.

TGB: Why record in L.A.? Is there something about the studio you will be recording in that fits your sound?

MW: The main reason is time. We got hooked up with Andrew Murdock and his studio and he offered us a lot of time for our money. It will be the first record we have recorded that will allow us to really take our time and experiment a bit and make sure that things are right. We won't have to constantly be looking at our watches and feeling like we are taking too long on something little. Hanging out in a foreign location should allow us to focus with less distractions...."Should".....we may end up stalking our favorite actors from the "O.C"

TGB: When can we expect the release of this forthcoming disc?

MW: I'm hoping around March or April. but I'm not sure. There is a possibility of a split e.p. coming out out a a few months early and then the record coming out in May or June. It is very up in the air and I don't want to say who the split is with, because it might jinx it.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

SFTS: The Epoxies

I guess I'm not as up-to-date as I should be, for when I asked The Epoxies' keyboardist, FM Static, about the northwest, he emphatically replied, "You are missing something. The Pacific NW is really, really good rock wise these days." One of those bands I'm missing is The Epoxies. This Portland, OR, outfit consists of Roxy Epoxy (vocals), Shock Diode (bass), FM Static (keyboards, vocals), Viz Spectrum (guitar), and Ray Cathode (drums).

The easiest way to describe The Epoxies is to pull your 80's new wave records out of storage. It's all the synthesizers you could ask for, plus the colorful fashions, and high energy live shows. It's little Devo, a little Missing Persons, some New York Dolls, a little Motels, a little Blondie, some Nina Hagen, and lots of gusto.

The Epoxies are hitting the road in support of "Stop The Future." Released in May, the album has received excellent reviews and garnered brisk sales. The band is hoping this tour will kick those sales into a higher gear.

Speaking of the tour, officially titled the "U.S. Fat Wreck Tour with Against Me, Soviettes. and Smoke or Fire," it rolls into Albuquerque on November 2nd. We hope to get more from The Epoxies at that time. In the meantime, purchase Epoxies merchandise and a portion goes to the survivors or Hurricane Katrina.

Label: Fat Wreck Chords -

Friday, September 02, 2005

R.L. Burnside (1926-2005)

Blues great R.L. Burnside died on September 1st at St. Francis Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Burnside, who is survived by his wife, Alice Mae, 12 children, and numerous grandchildren, was 78.

It was in January that TGB reported that Burnside had suffered a heart attack, but was expected to make a recovery.

For more information on the death of R.L. Burnside, go to Yahoo News! or log on to Fat Possum Records, his record company

If you are interested in making a donation to R.L. Burnside memorial, please send donations to:
Freeland & Freeland Trust Account
Burnside Memorial
P.O. Box 269
Oxford, MS 38655
(662) 234-3414