Monthly Archives: July 2009

Fuck Buttons F**k With Your Head

 

 

Album due Oct. 20,
awesome new single due Sept. 14.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

Is it Fuck
Buttons or F**k Buttons? Depends on what
publication is writing the header. Who care! The fuckers drop their new album, Tarot Sport, on October 20, 2009 (ATP Recordings). The
album will be preceded by the release of a single, “Surf Solar,” on September
14. US fall tour dates are to be announced.

 

The electronic/noize/skronk duo of Andrew Hung and Benjamin
John Power recorded Tarot
Sport
at Rotters Golf
Club Studio in London
with the needs-no-introduction Andrew
Weatherall on production duties. The results of this pairing yielded, in
the words of the label, “an album in which Fuck Buttons continue to refine, craft, explore and develop the
experimental aesthetic of last year’s critically acclaimed debut album, Street Horrrsing. However, they
also take proceedings to another level through a combination of their own
ambitious aims and the application of Weatherall’s clear-sighted, rule-defying
precision and attention to sonic detail.”

 

As Power said, in a statement, “I
think it sounds a lot thicker than our previous work–our brains kind of went
into meltdown”.

 

The first single to be taken from
the album is “Surf Solar,” the powerful but mesmerizing opening track from Tarot Sport. It displays an
attitude of emotional urgency and striving that is prevalent in a lot of Fuck Buttons’ music. It’s backed by “New Crossbow.”

 

Regarding the “Surf Solar” track, Hung described it thusly:
“Without a conscious effort, this track acts as a bridge between Street Horrrsing and Tarot Sport–it has an emotion
attached to it that is unique to us: one of anxiety. It’s an urgent track”.

 

Pitchfork is premiering the song, and it’s a monster –
check it out here. Meanwhile, that’s the sleeve art to the single, above.

 

Tracklist:

 

1.
Surf Solar

2.
Rough Steez

3.
The Lisbon Maru

4.
Olympians

5.
Phantom Limb

6. Space Mountain

7. Flight Of The Feathered Serpent

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus Wants My Record Collection

Every year, Jesus People USA (yup, that’s the group’s real
name) puts on the annual Cornerstone Music Festival outside of Chicago. The
event boasts six days(!) of Christian Punk, Christian Metal, Christian Rap and
Christian Hardcore… and I can only assume Christina Ska and Christian
Rockabilly. 

Call it the born again’s answer to Lollapalooza.

In honor of this year’s festival line up, what follows is a
run down two of my two favorite 90’s bands that Jesus took away from me.

THE SMOKING POPES

Though they are now back together, the reason the Smoking Popes
broke up in ‘99 was because singer Josh Caterer decided to embrace
Christianity. Not just show up at church every now and then, but the “I’m-going-to-quit-rock-and-everything-it-stands-for,
turning- my-back-on-everything-I’ve-created-fuck-the-fans” kind of
embrace. A great band cut down way too early. A couple years ago, the band
decided to get back together to play a handful of shows and record a live
album. In an interview around those shows I asked Josh about the whole God
thing and he said he simply wasn’t happy with all the drugs and drinking that
surrounded the band. He became born again and quit rock music all together for
awhile, focusing solely on uplifting religious tunes. Crater slowly got back
into rock through a new band Duvall, then finally realized God probably doesn’t
necessarily hate good music and got the band back together. I caught one of
their comeback shows at The Masquerade in Atlanta and they were amazing (though
Josh did take the opportunity to preach a few times from the mic, making the others
in the band visibly squirm). The Smoking Popes had a decent comeback record
last year, but still not quite as stellar as their earlier efforts.

SUPERDRAG

OK, this one took me by surprise. The Knoxville power pop
band turned out a slew of brilliant records in the 90’s and early 2000’s.
(Though “Sucked Out” is still the only song people remember.) I found
out, like the Smoking Popes, were doing a series of reunion tours last year (which,
by the way makes me feel old as shit when bands I dig are now qualify for
reunion shows). In doing research for an interview, I discovered front man John
Davis had another one of those spiritual awakenings that seem to be going
around, again thanks to booze. Copying off of Josh’s paper, he also started
working exclusively on Christian songs. I finally spoke with Davis in 2008 and
he was super cool, but I chickened out and didn’t ask him about God (so no big
answers for you. Sorry). Like the Smoking Popes, they also had a decent, but
not great comeback record out this year.

AND HERE’S A FEW YOU HE CAN KEEP…

Former Korn guitarist Brian Welch

In his case, I think he’s just using his sudden conversion
to Christianity (I think it’s Christianity) and cult-like new life as an easy
excuse to walk away from a truly crappy band.

Alice Cooper

The same guy who used to guillotine himself on stage in the
70’s is now a golfer, PTA dad and (gulp) Republican. He’s also found Jesus.
Again, in this case, I think he woke up one day and realized that he was a
washed up irrelevant former rocker whose biggest accomplishment was playing
“School’s Out” on an episode of the Muppet show.

So after given this a little thought, I’m left with two
separate conclusions to the question of why rockers turn to Jesus:

1.     Years
of hard partying and meaningless groupie sex makes you search for a deeper
meaning.

2.   God is actually a roadie, converting the masses, one musician
at a time.

 

BLURT Video Series: Jesus Lizard & More

 

 

The Awkward Hour with Brian Staker, featuring Vivian Girls, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, The Thermals, Jesus Lizard’s David Yow, and Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips

 

By Blurt Staff

Rockers say the darndest things, especially when they’re looking into the lens of Brian Staker, host of the aptly-titled podcast “The Awkward Hour,” in which Staker takes the often-spoofed (see Tim & Eric, Bob Odenkirk) model of awkward, unprepared interviewers and well, runs with it in the “be who you are” spirit. 

Earlier this month, Blurt sent our schlubby bundle of nerves to the Pitchfork Festival for special on-the-spot interviews where he cornered artists for on-the-spot (and we do mean on-the-spot) interviews. Today we add Vivian Girls and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart to the list of victims, which includes The Jesus Lizard’s David Yow and The Thermals (posted earlier this week) and, coming up, The Flaming Lips, Built To Spill, and The Black Lips. 

If interviewing David Yow wasn’t intimidating enough, putting Staker on the spot with attractive ladies cranks the Awk up to eleven. Hit with ubiquitious queries like “How would you describe your sound?” and likewise hackneyed references (My Bloody Valentine), Vivian Girls respond monosyllabically (“cool” and “nice”) after a charitable comment from Ali: “Someone said we sound like the Zombies with bigger balls.” (To which, Staker replies with a goofy Beavis and Butt-head guffaw.) His follow-up, the even more trite question about the band’s moniker, gets a curt comeback from Cassie Ramone (who spends part of the interview, plucking grass from the lawn): “Because it was… the only name that wasn’t stupid.” It’s only downhill from there, as the Girls entertain questions about the Internet and whether they plan to put out more albums…

Staker kicks of the Pains of Being Pure at Heart interview by tardily cutting into the same leadoff question (“–describe your music?”) but gets better results, especially when he infers a Teenage Fanclub influence on the band. The success only lasts so long, ’cause his next question is about playing a big festival on a big stage–not like they haven’t heard that one all… festival… long. Then he asks, “Any other big festivals coming up?” Here, talk turns to European fans and “Do they know your music?” The reply? “Yeah, I think the Internet helps.” Ah, the Internet. A series of tubes chock fulla boobs. Check out the (dare we say pained) look on Kip Berman’s face when he finishes talking about that. 

We’ll post the Lips (Black and Flaming) and Built to Spill soon. Staker’s epic talk with Coyne should be something special… it’s a two-parter.

Now let’s R-Awk! Go to:

 

http://www.blurt-online.com/video/

 

David Yow

 

Thermals

 

Vivian Girls

 

 

MUSIC JOURNALISM 101 / JOHNNY MNEMONIC

 

My Dinner With Tad (or,
Adventures with Option Magazine, Pt.1)

 

By Johnny Mnemonic

 

“You finished with that?”

 

Tad Doyle, lumberjack frontman for his eponymous Seattle band Tad, comes
into focus as my head slowly swivels to the left. Flecks of pasta and spaghetti
sauce decorate his thick black beard like the glittery remains of a visit to
the dance club. This ain’t no disco, however, and he ain’t foolin’ around,
either: Doyle is poking a Cuban cigar-sized finger at my half-eaten plate of
lasagna, and the look on his face is the same kind of look a Looney Tunes wolf
gets when it’s gazing at some potential prey and doesn’t see a duck or a bunny
at all but a steaming, home-cooked meal smothered in tasty sauces.

 

“Um, yeah, uh, I, uh, guess so,” I stammer, and with a
bright, “Cool!” Doyle reaches across, picks up my plate, and summarily dumps
the remains upon his plate, which has already been so scrupulously cleaned of
every last crumb that to the casual onlooker it would appear Doyle hadn’t even
received his initial order yet. My hand reflexively shoots out to grab my soft
drink before it, too, can pass into the public domain.

 

In our dining party: the entire Tad band, plus their
roadie/driver and a photographer friend of mine. The 2 a.m. wares of this 24-hour
Italian-Greek diner located a half-mile away from L.A.’s Sunset Strip appear to agree with
everyone, not the least of them being Doyle, who I swear is now eyeing his
bandmates’ plates, too. Bassist Kurt Danielson chuckles at my discombobulation,
winking knowingly at guitarist Gary Thorstensen as if this is just another on-the-road
mealtime ritual. It might not be a coincidence that Danielson, Thorstensen and
drummer Steve Wied are rock-star thin, in striking contrast to Doyle, who to my
untrained eye clocks in at around 300 pounds.

 

 

The occasion of this late-night pasta picnic is an
assignment from Option magazine. It’s
the spring of 1991 and Tad’s second full-length, the Butch Vig-produced 8-Way Santa, was released a few months
ago by Sub Pop, and everyone from the label to the music press to the musicians
themselves is counting on this to be their breakout record. Option, while having positioned itself over
the course of its half-decade tenure as a kind of indie music bible, somehow
managed to discount the subterranean rumblings emanating from the Northwest
over the past few years, and as a result early Sub Pop acts like Green River,
Mudhoney, Afghan Whigs and even Nirvana all got short shrift from the magazine.
Now, though, with even mainstream publications starting to turn their gaze
towards Seattle,
Option can’t afford to remain behind
the curve so the Tad piece is essentially the magazine scrambling to play
catch-up.

 

(Truth be told, Option, in its drive to become a musical tastemaker and a so-called alternative to the
alterna-likes of the ‘mersh-tilting Spin,
has gradually adopted a somewhat provincial attitude towards the more hirsute,
blue-collar, hard-rock leaning elements of the Amerindie underground. This
development is both a source of mirth and frustration among the magazine’s pool
of mostly unpaid writers. There’s a lot of really, really great heavy-ass music
cropping up all over the country and not just in Seattle, but much of what
we’re sent by the magazine to review is of the twee/K Records and home-brewed “cassette
culture”
variety. The upside is that a number of the writers have started up
their own fanzines and writing about what they’re really into. But that’s another story, for another day.)

 

At any rate, earlier in the evening I witnessed Tad
positively slay a normally jaded Hollywood
crowd, testimony that the so-called “grunge explosion” isn’t just hype. Little
does anyone in our dining party realize that before 1991 is out, “hype” is
going to be an operative term as regards Seattle – next year, a documentary
will anoint 1991 as “the year punk broke,” and filmmaker Cameron Crowe will
release his romanticized take on the Seattle scene, Singles – thanks to Tad’s scruffy labelmate, Nirvana. The Nevermind album will blow across the
music universe like a typhoon, randomly raising and capsizing many of Nirvana’s
contemporaries; in the latter category will be Tad, who despite landing a major
record deal during the ensuing bidding wars won’t be able to live up to the
aforementioned hype, sales-wise, and after a series of label and lineup
shuffles, will split up in 1998.

 

The Tad Option piece
never happens, which in hindsight is a lot less annoying than it was at the
time since I now view the situation as emblematic of Tad’s career – a doomed
trajectory also foreshadowed by the band’s unplanned legal woes (a lawsuit
filed by Pepsi over Tad’s unauthorized use of the cola giant’s logo for the
“Jack Pepsi” 45; another suit on the part of the guy depicted on the sleeve of 8 Way Santa grabbing his girlfriend’s
boob, the gentleman having subsequently become a born-again Christian and not
exactly digging the fact that a long-forgotten photograph from his former life had
resurfaced).

 

My Tad story was actually an extremely solid one, full of
colorful, telling details about the band and the region that spawned it, not to
mention some pretty funny quotes collected at the meal. And I filed my copy on
time, too; as this was still the pre-Internet era, I personally delivered it to
the Option office along with a bundle
of photos and negatives the photographer had taken of Tad (my favorite was of
Doyle in the middle of a dumpster, glowering, while his bandmates chucked in
bags of trash).

 

But by the time the issue containing the story would have appeared on newsstands,
Nirvana was blowing up nationally. The editors, not wanting to make the
magazine’s bandwagon-hopping appear too obvious
with back-to-back Seattle-themed pieces, canned the Tad feature and hastily
located a writer to do something on Nirvana.

 

Of course, this story isn’t really about Tad, or about
Nirvana, or even about the grunge era – since the name of the blog you’re
reading is “Music Journalism 101,” this story is about Option.

 

To be continued…

 

***

 

Johnny Mnemonic is the
pseudonym of a “highly-regarded” national writer with, he advises us, over two
decades’ experience working as a music critic, reporter and editor. We’ve never
met him face-to-face, and he further advises he will be delivering his blogs to
us via the “double blind drop-box method,” whatever that is, to ensure his
anonymity.

 

 

 

 

Retard Girl: Courtney Love Redux

 

Brave proponent of “illstick
with the rawk” just don’t get no respect, so no reason for us to alter that
formula.

 

By Fred Mills

 

It’s a warm, reliable world we live in when Courtney
Love-watching becomes a spectator sport once again. And La Love’s been pretty
visible, in her own always-lurking-on-the-perimeter-even-if-she’s-not-doing-jack
kinda way, of late.

 

First off, there was Love’s so-called video diary, posted to
NME.com
last month, accompanied by a story that claimed Love was putting her
old band Hole back together – sans founding member and guitarist Eric Erlandson, replaced by somebody called Micko
Larkin, and including Hole bassist Melissa auf der Maur. The fact that most of
the proposed new album (originally slated to be a Love solo rec) was written
by, respectively, hack-for-hire Linda Perry and Billy Corgan, is ominous, but
hey…

 

Then came Erlandson firing back, via the blogs and the
press,
saying, “There is no Hole without me,” and citing some unspecified
contractual reasons for his, er, reasoning.

 

Love responded via Twitter, typing (term used loosely), “he’s
out of his MIND, Hole is MY band, MY name, and MY Trademark”. Speaking of
Love’s Twitter habit, it’s pretty fascinating, in a “watch those cut monkeys
pick nits off one another” way. As “courtneylover79” Love is prone to going
days, sometimes even a week or more, at a time remaining silent, only to
surface some morning or middle-of-the-night firing off Tweets every 30 seconds.
This morning, for example, just in the past two hours prior to the writing of
this news item, Love Tweeted about 50 times, all in her inimitable, illiterate
fashion. Here are a few examples:

 

 

@diablocody knock it off i
do the same thing, blow in burbank..ahh
not me, i wouldnt know( teehee i know you ddidnt mean it!)

 

@diablocody you inspired me
to not be so avoident, dont get stuck in my past i have a 12 inch dick right
here it took a violently long while

 

Billy Joe was of the opinion i call you, ha ha, Bono was not, im jest
listening to diamond dogs and head like a HOLE. fragile@mr-reznor

 

i think illstick with the rawk and let the people who want to kiss ass
and not work hard and lig off the energy of cute youngirls to doso

 

 

Still, as evidenced by the writing of this very news item
and other web action, Love will always generate copy whether she’s actually
doing anything or not. To wit: an article at NME.com yesterday, “Lived Through
This – Hole’s 10 Finest Moments.”
Putting aside the notion of what “finest”
might actually connote, it’s a pretty interesting piece. Writes the NME’s Emily
Mckay, insightfully, of Love’s anti-charisma, “And every seething bit of hatred
that’s thrown her way only serves to strengthen Hole fans’ memories of an
explicity feminist iconography that clawed against the unspoken edict that
women, in conventional rock tropes, should not be obnoxious, messy, or real.”

 

Well, we’re of the opinion that “obnoxious” and “messy” is,
increasingly, obsolete in rock ‘n’ roll – it just gets in the way of taking
care of business and appreciating the artform. But in terms of a retrospective
look at one of those two terms’ poster child, we’ll give ‘em a “pass.” Check
out the NME piece, and dig all those video clips (one of them sampled, below).

 

 

 

Manu Chao Launches Benefit Project

 

Employs Radiohead’s
pay-what-you-want payment strategy. Cough up the bucks, folks!

 

By Blurt Staff

 

Latin/worldbeat rocker Manu Chao has announced the release
of the La Colifata benefit project. La Colifata is a unique Buenos Aires-based radio station,
broadcast from a psychiatric hospital, and Chao has been working with La Colifata
for five years. He recently produced an album recorded by the station’s
members. (The hospital’s residents, “Los Colifatos,” also appeared in Emir
Kusturiça’s music video for Chao’s “Rainin’ In Paradize,” the breakout track
from his acclaimed 2007 album La
Radiolina
(on the respected Nacional label).

 

La Colifata is
available now at http://VivalaColifata.org.
Chao and La Colifata launched the website VivaLaColifata.org in order to help
the station and hospital with their unique approach. Fans can purchase the
album with a “pay what you want” donation in order to support the hospital in
whatever manner they can afford.

According to La Colifata, it was “created in 1991 as a unique establishment
that uses media (radio/TV) as therapeutic treatment,  somewhere between clinical and social
treatment. It is a resource between the clinical and external worlds that
allows Los Colifatos to recreate the social link with people living outside the
hospital.”

 

Said Chao, in a statement,La
Colifata is quite a special station as it is broadcast from a psychiatric
hospital. With the help of a few friends, the patients decided to launch
this radio station to express themselves. To relieve everything they have
inside, and to speak to the world. While I met them five or six years ago, the
station has been running this way for more than 15 years. I simply could not
believe it when I read their stories.”

 

Added
Chao’s label, of the album,
“The project features 20 songs to laugh to, cry to,
meditate to. they’re about life, death, mothers, loneliness, love, tango, the
pope, the end of the world, the sun and crazy grandmas. a crazy trip in this
crazy world.”

 

Amen.

 

 

 

George Clinton to Receive BMI Icon Award

 

Long-overdue notch in
the legendary Clinton’s
belt.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

Funk godfather George Clinton is slated to receive the BMI
Icon award in NYC on September 10 at the organization’s annual Urban Awards
ceremony. Staged at Jazz at Lincoln
Center, the event will
also salute the world’s premier r&b, rap and hip-hop songwriters, producers
and publishers by celebrating the most-performed urban songs of the previous
year from the BMI repertoire.

 

The Icon designation is given to BMI songwriters and artists
who have had “a unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers.”
George Clinton will be saluted with an all-star musical tribute during the
ceremony, and join an elite group that includes The Jacksons, James Brown,
Isaac Hayes, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, The Bee Gees, Willie Nelson and
Carlos Santana, to name a few.

 

About damn time. But the brother’s already been recognized,
of course: In 1997, George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic became members of
the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, claimed a spot on the Hollywood Rock Walk and
garnered the Lifetime Achievement Award from the NAACP Image Awards.

 

But it’s like we’ve been saying all along: give our artists
their due NOW, in their lifetimes, and don’t wait until after they’ve passed.
Give up the funk!

 

 

 

Kings of Convenience Finally Return

 

The pair decided to take ANOTHER long vacation…
will anyone still care?

 

By Blurt
Staff

 

It’s been
nearly five years since we’ve heard from acclaimed Norwegian duo Kings of Convenience – now word arrives that
Oct. 20 is the street date for their third album Declaration of Dependence. The band who coined the hipster
catchphrase “quiet is the new loud” has been pretty, ahem, quiet since 2004’s Riot on an Empty Street (Astralwerks), which itself
had come after a lengthy hiatus from Eirik Bøe and Erlend Øye. Not that
non-prolific suggests a lack of proficiency; to the contrary, the
lush-yet-gentle sounds that are the Kings trademark simply get more full-bodied
with time. So a new album from the band is reason to celebrate.

 

Here’s the scoop on the new album, courtesy Astralwerks:

 

 

Declaration
of Dependence
, is a wonderful record for a lot of reasons.
For one, Eirik Bøe is equally
comfortable talking about the record’s “serious ideas” and laughing
about its’ “hi-brow Bossa Nova” moments while his partner Erlend Øye is clearly thrilled by
making, “the most rhythmical pop record ever that features no percussion
or drums.” For another, there is no one who makes records like they do.
“When we started out we were afraid of sounding like other artists,”
Erlend says. “But now we feel pretty much alone.”

 

Songs like “Second to Numb”,
“Rule My World” and “24-25” are as perfectly realized as anything
they’ve ever written and Declaration
of Dependence also marks the beginning of a new era for the duo. The
record began to take shape in February 2007 when they met up on the same beach
in Mexico
that is pictured on the album’s cover. The pair came together to play a concert
in the city the following month, the first time they had appeared together in
more than two years. They shared a feeling that there was another record to be
made. “Really,” says Eirik “We had no choice.” Declaration of Dependence is the
story of two people living two very different lives sensing that they are
immensely more powerful together than apart.

 

Tracklisting:

 

 1.
 24-25

 2.
 Mrs Cold
 3.  Me In You
 4.  Boat Behind
 5.  Rule My World
 6.  My Ship Isn’t Pretty   
 7.  Renegade   
 8.  Power Of Not Knowing
 9.  Peacetime Resistance   
 10.  Freedom And Its Owner   
 11.  Scars On Land   
 12.  Second To Numb
 13.  Riot On An Empty
Street

 

 

The Awkward Hour with …David Yow

Rockers say the darndest things, especially when they’re looking into the lens of Brian Staker, host of the aptly-titled podcast “The Awkward Hour,” in which Staker takes the often-spoofed (see Tim & Eric, Bob Odenkirk) model of awkward, unprepared interviewers and well, runs with it in the “be who you are” spirit. 

Earlier this month, Blurt sent our schlubby bundle of nerves to the Pitchfork Festival for special on-the-spot interviews where he cornered artists for on-the-spot (and we do mean on-the-spot) interviews. Today we add Vivian Girls and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart to the list of victims, which includes The Jesus Lizard’s David Yow and The Thermals (posted earlier this week) and, coming up, The Flaming Lips, Built To Spill, and The Black Lips. 

If interviewing David Yow wasn’t intimidating enough, putting Staker on the spot with attractive ladies cranks the Awk up to eleven. Hit with ubiquitious queries like “How would you describe your sound?” and likewise hackneyed references (My Bloody Valentine), Vivian Girls respond monosyllabically (“cool” and “nice”) after a charitable comment from Ali: “Someone said we sound like the Zombies with bigger balls.” (To which, Staker replies with a goofy Beavis and Butt-head guffaw.) His follow-up, the even more trite question about the band’s moniker, gets a curt comeback from Cassie Ramone (who spends part of the interview, plucking grass from the lawn): “Because it was… the only name that wasn’t stupid.” It’s only downhill from there, as the Girls entertain questions about the Internet and whether they plan to put out more albums…

Staker kicks of the Pains of Being Pure at Heart interview by tardily cutting into the same leadoff question (“–describe your music?”) but gets better results, especially when he infers a Teenage Fanclub influence on the band. The success only lasts so long, ’cause his next question is about playing a big festival on a big stage–not like they haven’t heard that one all… festival… long. Then he asks, “Any other big festivals coming up?” Here, talk turns to European fans and “Do they know your music?” The reply? “Yeah, I think the Internet helps.” Ah, the Internet. A series of tubes chock fulla boobs. Check out the (dare we say pained) look on Kip Berman’s face when he finishes talking about that. 

We’ll post the Lips (Black and Flaming) and Built to Spill soon. Staker’s epic talk with Coyne should be something special… it’s a two-parter.

Now let’s R-Awk!

The Awkward Hour with …the Thermals

The Thermals/Pitchfork Festival 2009

 

Interview by Brian Staker for Blurt

 

The Awkward Hour with Brian Staker,
featuring Vivian Girls, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, The Thermals,
Jesus Lizard’s David Yow, and Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips.

 

Rockers say the darndest things, especially when they’re looking
into the lens of Brian Staker, host of the aptly-titled podcast “The
Awkward Hour,” in which Staker takes the often-spoofed (see Tim &
Eric, Bob Odenkirk) model of awkward, unprepared interviewers and well,
runs with it in the “be who you are” spirit. 

Earlier this
month, Blurt sent our schlubby bundle of nerves to the Pitchfork
Festival for special on-the-spot interviews where he cornered artists
for on-the-spot (and we do mean on-the-spot) interviews. Today we add
Vivian Girls and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart to the list of
victims, which includes The Jesus Lizard’s David Yow and The Thermals
(posted earlier this week) and, coming up, The Flaming Lips, Built To
Spill, and The Black Lips. 

If interviewing David Yow wasn’t
intimidating enough, putting Staker on the spot with attractive ladies
cranks the Awk up to eleven. Hit with ubiquitious queries like “How
would you describe your sound?” and likewise hackneyed references (My
Bloody Valentine), Vivian Girls respond monosyllabically (“cool” and
“nice”) after a charitable comment from Ali: “Someone said we sound
like the Zombies with bigger balls.” (To which, Staker replies with a
goofy Beavis and Butt-head guffaw.) His follow-up, the even more trite
question about the band’s moniker, gets a curt comeback from Cassie
Ramone (who spends part of the interview, plucking grass from the
lawn): “Because it was… the only name that wasn’t stupid.” It’s only
downhill from there, as the Girls entertain questions about the
Internet and whether they plan to put out more albums…

Staker
kicks of the Pains of Being Pure at Heart interview by tardily cutting
into the same leadoff question (“–describe your music?”) but gets
better results, especially when he infers a Teenage Fanclub influence
on the band. The success only lasts so long, ’cause his next question
is about playing a big festival on a big stage–not like they haven’t
heard that one all… festival… long. Then he asks, “Any other big
festivals coming up?” Here, talk turns to European fans and “Do they
know your music?” The reply? “Yeah, I think the Internet helps.” Ah,
the Internet. A series of tubes chock fulla boobs. Check out the (dare
we say pained) look on Kip Berman’s face when he finishes talking about
that. 

We’ll post the Lips (Black and Flaming) and Built to
Spill soon. Staker’s epic talk with Coyne should be something
special… it’s a two-parter.

Now let’s R-Awk!