Jim Ward “of Sparta, Ex-At The Drive-In” fame is in a solid relationship with his new band, Sleepercar. I like to describe listening to the album “West Texas” like “sipping Maker’s Mark out of a spotty glass in a rundown bar while watching the sun go down over the shoulder of a bartender that calls you sweetheart and asks how your grandma’s doing in between crooked teeth and Marlboro reds”. A sweet and content experience, with just the right hint of pain and loneliness.
Austinites can checkout Sleepercar this Monday, November 17th at Mohawk with Morekestra (outside, starting @ 8:00pm).
Has Jim Ward abandoned punk and gone country? No, he’s West Texas, which is a little country and a little bit rock and roll…
Stacie: Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?
Jim: usually wear slip ons, so when i have shoes with laces i almost never untie them-
Stacie: Would you consider yourself more of an introvert or an extrovert?
Jim: both- usually an extrovert, but i hate being in crowds so that makes me with draw a lot
Stacie: How stoked where you when your number one MySpace friend, Barack, won the election?
Jim: very stoked
Stacie: Does the song “A Broken Promise” refer to any broken promises in particular?
Stacie: What’s one trait that you dislike about yourself at the moment?
Jim: i am passive/aggressive- and it sometimes makes personal relationships difficult, i try to control it
Stacie: Your musical endeavors progressed from hardcore, to a little less hardcore, to alt-country. Have you found a genre that fits well with Sleepercar?
Jim: i think sleepercar is pretty flexible in the genre department- we have been on quite a few different tours, it makes me happy…
Can you put an artist like Bitch in a nutshell? Let’s try, shall we… from ’95-’04 she performed with Bitch and Animal and toured with Ani DiFranco (who produced two of B&A’s albums under her Righteous Babe Records label). Bitch’s new band, Bitch + The Exciting Conclusion, formed in February of ’05. Bitch just produced Ferron‘s latest album “Boulder” on her own label, Short Story Records (Ferron=one of the most influential writers and performers of women’s music). She lives in NYC and appeared in the 2006 film Shortbus and the Bright Eyes video “First Day of My Life” alongside her L-Word starring girlfriend, Daniela Sea. She plays the electric violin, bass, keyboards and ukulele like it’s going out of style. She’s an amazing lyricist and poet. She’s not a big fan of Bush (the presidential kind). She tap dances. And you should buy (not illegally download) all of her albums.
Austinites can checkout Bitch and the Exciting Conclusion live on Sunday, November 9th at Mohawk with Mocktigers and Girl in a Coma (outside, starting @ 9:00pm).
Before Bitch and I got down to business, I mentioned that our lovely readers (myself included) all have adult ADD and are checking out more MySpace bulletins then novels these days (…hence the slew of random questions).
Stacie: How many tattoos do you have?
Bitch: Zero. I’ve designed a lot of tattoos. But it’s like Daniela says, once you have one you’ll never have none again.
Stacie: Yeah, they’re addicting too.
Bitch: And I don’t need another hobby. Maybe one day.
Bitch: Not really. My ears. I had a nipple pierced once. Stacie: Just one nipple?
Bitch: Just one nipple.
Stacie: Do you like hugs from strangers, or do they freak you out?
Bitch: They don’t freak me out. It really depends on the context. I just visited the…
(Head over to Transmission Entertainment to read the full Bitch Interview.)
Contest Winner announced for Girl Talk show at Emo’s Tonight, October 20th.
A winner for what RLS contest you ask? Instead of recycling posts about the same over-blogged indie bands like some *coughs* indie music blogs do, I prefer to steal contests and reward runner-ups instead. What, flowers and no crown? Booooo. My blogging compadre over at AustinSoundCheck.com gave one lucky commenter a chance to see Greg Gillis mash it up at the Sold Out show tonight in Austin. I think the WTF/LOLcat was okay, but I chose to award a ticket for the brilliance of the Gillis-esque copy/pasting style that went into the creation of the “Austin Sound Check Mash-Up”, which goes a little something like, like this. Our winner has agreed to provide a mash-up review of tonight’s show, which I will be attending as well. Yay for us!
In between cat lovin’ and folding socks packin’ for his new tour, Astronautalis (aka Andy Bothewell) took some time to shed some light on rap, American history, leaky albums, scary music making, over-hyping indie music blogs, album *yawns* reviews and the lingering fear of getting popular. Regardless of how you define his style, all three albums won’t disappoint. A live show is on the “highly recommended” list and even we vegetarians can’t get enough of this HAM.
Austinites can checkout Astronautalis live on Friday, October 17th at Mohawk(inside, after The Wedding Present). Do it!
Stacie: With the progression of your three albums, there’s been some debate over how to categorize your music. Can you define it?
Andy: A long time ago, I gave a response that was about ten minutes long, with compound words and about twenty six hyphens in it. My third record was a chance to see some different takes on my musical style, a singer/songwriter side, but I’d still call it rap music. The funniest part of a recent review was someone saying I was “experimenting with hip hop and rapping”. For fifteen years I’ve been rapping. No matter how far away I venture musically, I’ll always be a rapper. I can’t not rhyme. I still keep the basic aesthetics of rapping, and my main influence has always been rap. It’s rap. Rap Music. Period.
Stacie: In hindsight, it’s hard to define rap itself. I’ve also heard the term shoegazer thrown into your musical description. Would you consider yourself a shoegazer?
Andy: For me, shoegazing basically means people are staring at their shoes because they’re looking down at the pedals they’re using to help crank out these sounds. It reminds me a lot of tenth grade mix tapes. I think I put it out there for my last record. I grew up listening to a lot of shoegaze- The Verve, Ride, Mogwai- and it hit home for me. Huge giant drums, lots of bass, washy guitars, huge layers of sound. It’s something I latched onto. With the third album, I wanted to avoid the generically…
Biography from Wikipedia: Pinback is an indie rock band from San Diego, California. The band was formed in 1998 by singers, songwriters and multi-instrumentalists Armistead Burwell Smith IV (also known as Zach Smith) and Rob Crow. The band’s moniker is a reference to a character in the film Dark Star, and audio samples from this film are used frequently in the band’s early works.
…and they sing about the sea (and falling into it) quite a bit.
Pinback – Avignon “I spent a life time knocking ’round the same old patch of concrete. I waste all my time breaking rocks and painting smiles on my feet…”
Pinback – Manchuria “No one can choose. No one can decide their fans or their families. We stand outside ourselves. Define ourselves, by standing outside ourselves…”
AFTER THE SHOW: Great show despite some sound issues, and a messed up computer preventing the use of any samples (meaning, Rob had to speak the part in songs like “Boo”). Met the band, got the setlist (again, because that’s better then blocking someone’s view with a camera…thanks again blonde girl). Rob likes Newcastle…a lot, and before they played “Penelope”, he said “this song is about my feelings“…that was cool.
Yoni, the lead singer from Why?, is one of my favorite lyricists and his songs hold some of my favorite lines, like the one above. The other day I watched a middle aged woman load a bunch of helium balloons into the back of her Jeep Cherokee in the Randall’s parking lot. She had a big smile on her face, but it was a scene that changed from happiness to disappointment in seconds as I watched three of the bunch *POP* when she tried shoving them into a space that wasn’t big enough. Such good intentions in those balloons, but she pushed it. I found something here that said Fall Saddles was written by Yoni to his dad who had left home and “found God in the Jesus Freak movement”. The comment also said that the samples used in the song are from a recorded letter his dad made for his mother after she left him.
Why?’s new album, Alopecia, is getting a good deal of attention this year (still not as much as it deserves), but I’d definitely recommend checking out some of their earlier albums as well. If you haven’t done so already, you can get Why?’s CDs, LPs and EPs now from their record label, Anticon.
AFTER THE SHOW: amazing show. met the band. got the setlist off Josiah’s drum kit (because that’s so much better then blocking someone’s view with a camera, or asking someone to write their name on something…)
Where have all the badass female rockers gone? Three of them will be at Emo’s Friday night under the The Smiths’ induced moniker “Girl in a Coma”. While other concert goers jump up and down and throw bows at shows (not sure what the punk term for that is), each time I see the band perform live I can’t help but to stand there motionless with my mouth dropped open in awe of Nina’s sweaty guitar strumming, lyric pelting badassness. The passion and energy that she (Nina-lead singer) and her sisters (Phanie Diaz-drums, Jenn Alva-bass) put into their music is enough to awaken your senses to reminisce back to a time when indie music was about more than major promos and competing for TV car commercial spots.Girl in a Coma was recently signed to Joan Jett’s Blackheart Record’s label, which was started by Jett herself during the release of her first album. After being rejected by several major labels, Jett became the first female performer to start her own independent label and that once-rejected album went on to reach Gold status in the U.S. Girl in a Coma was asked by Morrissey to open for his ’07/’08 US and European tour, and has performed at SXSW 2007, the 2008 True Colors Tour, and will be opening for Tegan and Sara during their tour this fall.
Can’t make this show? Dry your emo tears and wipe off that mascara. GIAC will be back in Austin to perform with Bitch (another awesome! artist) at the Mohawk on November 9th.
Girl In A Coma – Say
from Both Before I’m Gone, 2007
Biography from Wikipedia: Tilly and the Wall is an indie pop group from Omaha, Nebraska. They are particularly noted for having a tap dancer, Jamie Pressnall, instead of a drummer. The group formed in 2001 after the demise of several Omaha groups, including Conor Oberst’s Park Ave., of which Neely Jenkins and Jamie Pressnall (then Jamie Williams) were members. Their first show was an open-mic night at the now defunct Ranch Bowl. Their first release, Woo!, was recorded in Conor Oberst’s garage, self-published, and distributed at shows around the Omaha area.
Tilly and the Wall – Pot Kettle Black
from O, 2008
Tilly and the Wall – Lost Girls
from Bottoms of Barrels, 2006
Tilly and the Wall Lost Girls Lyrics
Girl, I know the hall looks dark
and the storm it seems so scary.
Your face lit up on beats of lightning.
You start, you start running.
And your eyes are like screaming.
And since there is no end and no beginning, you will run.
Girl, I know the woods look dark
and the trees they seem so deadly.
The girls around you are so frightened,
You start, you start to panic.
And your courage starts to vanish.
And the world it really is on fire.
And it burns. It burns. It burns.
Vivian, your life is told through 19 thousand pages
in a world too unreal to behold.
Your innocence has faded.
Faded all your blues to gray.
Your skin has bruised through moving days.
Glue is peeling back away.
Curling. Cracking. Painted.
Girl you’ve been rolled up in colorful carpets.
Your blood is rushing, look around you.
You’re froze, you’re frozen quiet.
And your eyes they are widened
Room unfurnished, no light for nightfall.
Just rugs for rolling you up.
You know you can’t get up.
When you do, you swear you will run.
You will run. You will run. You will run.
No one will ever save you if no one can ever find you.
Lost girls. Lost girls. Lost girls.
(Girl I know the hall looks dark when you’re all alone.)
Biography from Wikipedia: Lucero’s punk rock roots flavor their now “country-ish” music, while their southern roots give them the twang that they have come to be known by. The band played for the first time in spring 1998. Since 2001, they have played between 150 and 200 shows a year across the United States and Canada. They have released six full length albums (as of fall 2006), the latest entitled Rebels, Rogues, and Sworn Brothers.
She had a weakness for writers and I, I was never that good at the words anyways.
Lucero – Nights Like These
from Tennessee, 2002
Lucero – Nights Like These Lyrics
It’s nights like these that make me sleep all day.
It’s nights like these that make you feel so far away.
It’s nights like these when nothing is for sure.
It’s nights like these I don’t want you anymore.
Yet I’ve only got this one wish,
that I was good enough to make you forget
the only boy who ever broke your heart.
‘Cause nights like these tear me apart.
It’s nights like these the sad songs don’t help.
It’s nights like these your heart’s with someone else.
It’s nights like these I feel like giving up.
It’s nights like these I don’t seem to count for much.
The beer tastes like blood and my mouth is numb.
I can’t make the words I need to say.
She had a weakness for writers and I,
I was never that good at the words anyways.
Islands – Creeper Lyrics
Right from the start I was stabbed in the heart.
know I wasn’t breathing.
know I had been bleeding.
Open my door.
Thought I was alone but someone was hiding in the dark room in my home.
You will remember some of it.
But if you solve it,
you will remember all of it.
Creeper in my home.
Crawled in through the window.
I grabbed the kitchen knife.
Couldn’t stick it in. No.
Creeper had his own.
Shinin’ in the moonlight.
My home was very cold.
And something didn’t feel right.
Right from the start I was stabbed in the heart.
know i wasn’t breathing.
know i had been bleeding.
Open my door.
Thought I was alone but someone was hiding in the dark room in my home.