Monthly Archives: July 2009

Americana Music Festival Acts Announced

 

Lineup Includes Will Hoge, Cross Canadian Ragweed, J.D. Souther, Those
Darlins, Marty Stuart and W.P.A.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

The Americana Music Association announced yesterday its
initial lineup of artists confirmed to perform at the upcoming 2009 AMERICANA
MUSIC FESTIVAL (with additional artists still pending). Festival showcases will
be held Wednesday September 16th-Saturday September 19th at five downtown Nashville venues
including: The Mercy Lounge, The Cannery Ballroom, 3rd & Lindsley, The
Station Inn and The Basement. Cross Canadian Ragweed, Will Hoge, J.D. Souther,
Marty Stuart,
Those
Darlins and W.P.A. are among the artists set for the 10th annual
event.

 

Registration for the entire Festival & Conference,
including a ticket to the critically acclaimed Honors & Awards show, is
$350 for AMA members and $450 for non-members through August 31st. Conference
registrants also receive entrance and priority access to all showcase
performances. 

Non-conference attendees may buy wristbands granting admission to all venues on
all four evenings of live music They’re  available for only $45.

 

Presented by the Gibson Foundation, the Americana Honors
& Awards  Show is held at the Ryman Auditorium and set for the night
of September 17th. Hosted by Jim Lauderdale, with Buddy Miller and his all-star band, the ceremony features six member-voted year end annual
categories and bestows several Lifetime Achievement Awards. 2009 Lifetime
honorees so far include–Asleep at the Wheel (Performance) and Sam Bush (Instrumentalist)–with several more recipients to be announced in the coming
weeks.  A full list of nominees for the member voted categories may be
viewed here.

 

 

Full details: www.americanamusic.org.

 

The initial lineup of confirmed showcase
artists features:

Among The
Oak & Ash
Annie &
The Beekeepers
Asleep at
the Wheel
Band of
Heathens
Baskery
The
Belleville Outfit
Sarah Borges
and the Broken Singles
Bottle
Rockets
Elliott
Brood
Grayson
Capps
Roger Clyne
& The Peacemakers
Come On Go
With Us
Amy Cook
Cross
Canadian Ragweed
DADDY
Deadstring
Brothers
Antje
Duvekot
Angela
Easterling
Tim Easton
The Farewell
Drifters
Radney
Foster
Clarence
Fountain

Sam Butler & The Boys

Otis Gibbs

Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs
Kara
Grainger
The
Greencards
Will Hoge
Hot Club of
Cowtown
Seth James
Sarah Jarosz
Brigid
Kaelin
Jim
Lauderdale
The Lovell
Sisters
Corb Lund
Chuck Mead
Buddy Miller
Scott Miller
Joe Pug
Reckless
Kelly
Charlie
Robison
Jim Rooney
& The Irregulars
The
Rustlanders
Matthew Ryan
Keith Sewell
Amanda Shires
Sarah
Siskind
The Smart
Brothers
J.D. Souther
Amy Speace
Stone River
Boys
Marty Stuart
Patrick
Sweany
Those
Darlins
The
Travelin’ McCourys & The Lee Boys
The Trishas
Sara Watkins
Shannon
Whitworth
Webb Wilder
W.P.A.
Yarn

 

 

 

Kid Koala + Wolfmother = The Slew

 

Master vinyl
manipulator with six turntables meets the ex-Wolfmother rhythm section.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

A couple of years back Eric San (aka Kid Koala) and Dylan J.
Frombach (aka Dynomite D) were approached to soundtrack a new documentary
feature film that was in production. Koala was already well known for his turntable
manipulation, whilst Dylan had remixed Money Mark and collaborated with the
Beastie Boys, amongst others. The duo worked for a long time on the psych
rock-influenced score, only for the filming to collapse and any release to be
canned. Although the film may never see the light of day, its music is about to
be brought to life on stage.

 

Recently Koala & Dylan met the former rhythm section of Australia’s Wolfmother
and began telling them all about the film and its lost music. Chris Ross and
Myles Heskett loved the clips and urged that the material had to be heard;
subsequently Kid Koala and the guys decided to put a show on the road.

 

After intensive rehearsals the show is now ready to go.
Featuring drums, bass/keys and the DJs working across a truly excessive six
turntables, the set is seventy minutes of raw guitar cuts and heavy beats. It’s
a one-off tour, too, so it’s a case of be there or be square, for The Slew Tour.

 

Meanwhile, you can check out a couple of MP3s from the project. Some funky shit, yo.

 

 

 

 

TOUR DATES:

 

WED 9/23

VANCOUVER,
BC

Commodore

 

THUR 9/24

SEATTLE,
WA

Nectar

 

FRI 9/25

SAN FRANCISCO,
CA

Independent

 

SUN 9/27

LOS ANGELES,
CA

Key Club

 

WED 9/30

BROOKLYN,
NY

Music Hall
Of Williamsburg

 

THUR 10/1

BOSTON, MA

Great Scott

 

FRI 10/2

MONTREAL,
QC

La Tulipe

 

SAT 10/3

TORONTO,
ON

Lee’s Palace

 

SUN 10/4

CHICAGO,
IL

Abbey

 

 

 

The Awkward Hour with …the Vivian Girls

The Awkward Hour with the Vivian Girls/Pitchfork Festival 2009

 

Interview by Brian Staker

 

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!

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!

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.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

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!