Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Toronto Here We Come

Next week my compatriot in rock, Jim Wilbur and I will head north to play a somewhat non-rock show at a special advance screening of Matt Bissonnette's new film Passenger Side. The show will be us on acoustic guitars playing Superchunk and Portastatic songs, and maybe some covers thrown in for good measure. Matt directed Looking for Leonard and Who Loves the Sun, both of which i scored... but for this film almost all of the music is playing on a car tape deck as the main characters take a circuitous road trip, and i helped Matt come up with the playlist, which was fun and hardly what i'd call a job. Plus the movie is great. This event goes down at the fancy-looking Royal Theatre in Toronto next Wed, April 7. First they show the movie, then we talk about the movie, then we play some songs! Everybody wins, i think...

My Bloody Valentine - Isn't Anything
Four Tet - There Is Love In You
DOA - Bloodied but Unbowed
Jay Reatard - Watch Me Fall
Shugo Tokumaru - Port Entropy
Titus Andronicus - The Monitor

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I Want To Watch This

according to Can't Stop The Bleeding, only our friends to the North were able to watch "Keep Your Head Up, Kid: The Don Cherry Story," a made-for-CBC movie...and i can't see Netflix getting ahold of it even if it DOES hit DVD! but you never know... seeing those guys skating around with no helmets reminds me of the excitement of early cable with ESPN, when they actually showed hockey.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Autumn Still A Lark

Some Songs Considered Blog gives a small shout out to my cover of "Bobby Jean"...though the writer does refer to "Bobby" as a "her" and i think it's about Little Steven. This (and a recent conversation about the Plasmatics) got me wondering if Van Zandt's excellent album Men Without Women is on is, in this hideous package.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

'Chop On the Screen!

In a very special event, the 92nd St Y Tribeca is hosting a screening of the Lambchop Live at XX Merge film next week, March 31st.

In addition to the fabulous concert film for which Merge released the live album and video download by the same name, there will be a showing of a beautiful short film called "Buttons" featuring Kurt playing acoustically in a barbershop in Carrboro, NC.
And you know this stuff will look better on the big(ger) screen than your crappy laptop!

Kurt Wagner will be there and there will be a Q & A following the film, moderated by Anna Thorngate, an assistant editor at Criterion Collection and a film writer.

If you're in NYC don't miss this! Heck you may even win a pair of tix over at The Music Slut....

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Food Tastes Good When You Eat It

especially at Lantern.... if there's one thing this blog is good for it's to congratulate my lovely wife Andrea Reusing on her nomination for a 2010 James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southeast...CONGRATULATIONS!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Still Thinking Chilton

Alex Chilton dying is one of those things that we will keep re-living because it's still so hard to believe and just won't quite "sink in". When i saw him live for the first time it was around the time of Feudalist Tarts and you couldn't get #1 Record or Radio City easily on LP as they hadn't been reissued by Line or Big Beat yet. in fact i think PVC reissued Sister Lovers before either of the first two had 80's essentially i was seeing this legend play the Cat's Cradle or the Brewery, but he was playing this pared-down R&B sets of covers and a few of his own songs ("No Sex" certainly and probably "Bankok" and other solo stuff) but no Big Star and no hint even of what Big Star had was a little confounding and though i came to appreciate that side of Chilton it didn't prepare me for when i could actually get copies of the 3 Big Star albums, and it's fair to say they blew my mind in that way of "how could these record exist and sound like this and i have lived this long without hearing them?"...i think all three are perfect in their own ways (with 3rd maybe the deepest well of the three for me) and while i think many fans wanted him to go back to that sound & style & voice, i can understand why he walked away (not even counting relationships / drugs / poverty) because really what else could he have done to top it? Carrie Brownstein has a great explanation of what it was like to find those records on her blog at NPR:

"Musicians and fans have always passed around Big Star songs and albums like a secret handshake. When you found out someone hadn't heard #1 Record or Radio City, you were so excited to provide that missing link, to pass on all the glimmer, the jangly guitar, the big chords, the melodies, the American anthems that let you keep your teenage self -- for some of us long since faded -- close, etched upon your skin."

great interview HERE from MTV's Cutting Edge circa '85.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

When Do They Announce the Winner...

...of SXSW?

saw some great stuff including Lou Barlow solo and covering Smog's "A Hit," a great brave-the-elements set by She & Him outdoors Saturday night, 38 degrees and windy, some excellent Memphis-style punk rock courtesy River City Tanlines, and a positively joyous set by Chuck Prophet at Yard Dog, which included two Chilton covers and a great version of "For You". the sun came out at one point and everyone started cheering in the middle of the song...

here's some links to Chunk-related relating of the proceedings...

Washington Post
Nashville Scene
Houston Press
SF Weekly (note Jack McCook call)
NY Times blog
AV Club

meanwhile it looks like the Dems have enough votes for health care, but watching the insufferable Mike Pence holding forth right now actually makes me wish i was back in a muddy courtyard with a warm Lone Star and no earplugs.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Courtyard Rock

Merge show last night at Cedar St Courtyard was a blast, see Radar Bros pictured above who sounded especially great with the new lineup. Nice to play under the stars. Rocked indoors today with Superchunk at La Zona Rosa, great crowd, and then caught some of the XX after our set, great minimalism and loved that the guy playing the drum machines is actually playing the rhythms on the pads with his hands.

All our playing/reading requirements are out of the way, time to eat some more and see more bands!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

It's Begun

Book People hosted a fun Our Noise event yesterday and despite the many offerings of 6th St and beyond we still had a nice crowd and some good Q&A action. More Our Noise today at the convention itself with Michael Azerrad moderating (at 2 pm if you're here and inclined). Didn't try to see a million bands last night, saved it up for Spoon at Stubbs at 12.15 AM, a time at which i'm not much aquainted with these days, and it was awesome. New songs sounded amazing live, especially "Trouble Comes Running" and "Got Nuffin"....

Hanging over the festival of course is the terrible news that Alex Chilton died yesterday, so sad and unexpected.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Rock n Roll Tuesday

Cheap Trick - Heaven Tonight
Arthur Russell - Love Is Overtaking Me
Ted Leo & Rx - The Brutalist Bricks
Titus Andronicus - The Monitor
The Obits - I Blame You
Spoon - Transference

see you in Austin!

Monday, March 15, 2010

We're Dancing as Fast as We Can!

some visual proof that we are actually working on something, hopefully a Superchunk record, in a studio (with Scott Solter, who thinks all of our songs are that funny).

what's really funny is that when this record finally comes out it will seem like we actually worked on a new album for 9 years, and then people will hear it and say "hey it sounds like you recorded it in 5 days like all your other records!"

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Texas Time

SXSW is upon us once again! warm weather, cold beer and way too many bands.

Superchunk is playing at least once (at La Zona Rosa for the Village Voice party on Friday) and we're doing a couple Our Noise events as well....

for a flier with all the details go here: MERGE AT SXSW

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

She & Him Bringing It On, Hula-Hoop Style

Our old friend Peyton Reed, director of such Superchunk vids as Driveway to Driveway and Package Thief (in addition to films like Bring It On and Yes Man), has unleashed a hula-hooping fantasia of a video for a track off the new She & Him video. Zooey leads a pack of dancers, M. Ward plays the slightly creepy cool guy...check it!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Mid Week, Still Cold

boy winter is just hanging on around here...tired of this 38 degrees and raining BS i tell you.

'Canes picked up where they left off before the Olympic break with a win last night (ok against the Leafs but it still counts) and Justin Peters looked great in net. Today's deadline day for trades, Aaron Ward gone to the Ducks, not too sad about that but who else will we lose?

Cecil Taylor - Olu Iwa
Stereolab - Mars Audiac Quintet
The Kinks - Kinda Kinks
Hot Chip - One Life Stand
The Nils - Sell Out Young
Beulah - Yoko
Titus Andronicus - The Monitor
V/A - Zanzibara Vol 5 - Hot In Dar

Monday, March 01, 2010

Silver Stinks

not really! think about the disaster that was Torino...but still, second place could well feel like last when you're so close to first only to come up short. when the USA sent the it to OT yesterday with 25 secs left in the game, you had to think they might actually beat Canada twice in a week. that is, until you saw what 4-on-4 hockey vs Canada actually looked like, which is to say it looked like Ryan Miller was the target in target practice. too much talent and speed on the Canadian team, and it finally took its toll but not before the US pushed them to their limit (and you know that once Canada took a 2-0 lead they were thinking it might be easy...). great toughness shown by the USA team in the comeback, Ryan Miller deservedly MVP and congrats to Canada who collectively frankly couldn't have handled another loss to the US so soon after the last one!