Sunday, February 26, 2006

Ghostface Killah!

random encounter of the day story:

so, during our lunch break in st louis we stopped in to Vintage Vinyl which is located in the U City Loop. hip little strip located in the Washington college area. anyway, 2 seconds after we walk into the shop - guess who walks in right behind us? that's right. Ghostface Killah! formerly of Wu-Tang fame, i was star struck of course, so Kris and I got a picture with him. we ended up getting an autographed poster and listened to tracks off his new album which is coming out in March. apparently the in-store was also random too, because even the employees didn't know he was coming. he was just in town to do some radio promos for the new record and just happend to be in the area. pretty cool if you ask me. of course, i had to call Lance because he seemed like the only person at the time who would give a shit.

that is my story of the day.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

St. Louis: day 1

greetings. i am sitting in the lobby of the clarion hotel waiting to leave on the bus for our first rehearsal.

yesterday, we spent 9 hours driving from Winona to St. Louis. kris and i watched some Scrubs and slept. after we unloaded at the hotel we took off to Hi-Pointe which is a small dive located in the Del Mar area of downtown St. Louis. there, we visited the boys of Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin as they were playing that evening at the club. a band from Columbia, MO called Caulfield and the Magic opened with SSLYBY following, then Catfish Haven closing out the night. it was fun to see philip, will, and jon. it was probably the best set that i have seen from them, mostly due to the energy that came out of them on stage, which was probably heightened by the presence of their fill-in bassist, Matt. they even played Anne Elephant as their closer. simply amazing. pictures will be posted when I get home. kris got some pretty awesome pictorals.

Catfish is from the Chicago area and will be playing a couple shows at SXSW. i chatted with them a bit and hope to meet up with them in Austin.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Jeff Hanson @ the Varsity Theater

saint mary's is on winter break right now. i have been hanging out at school for the most part because i am leaving for St. Louis tomorrow morning. but i took a trip back home yesterday and spent the night. it was good to be home. i got to spend some time with the family and anne. i also managed to sneak in a show as well.

after having a delicious dinner at the Loring Pasta Bar, Anne and I headed next door to the Varsity Theater where we met up with Bryan, Neil, and Natalie for the Jeff Hanson and Southerly show. i've only been to the Varsity once before for a Halloween, Alaska show and the place is very beautiful. i think it works well for a full band but the stage is too big for a solo act. this was the case for both Southerly who opened as well as Jeff Hanson.

it was a very intimate crowd. i guess you can't expect much for a freezing Sunday evening. Southerly definitely had the rivers / elliott smith persona going on - an interesting character on stage too. kinda timid and akward but sarcastic and entertaing at the same time. his music kept me interested too.

i was looking forward to seeing Jeff Hanson, as I had seen him last summer at the Nomad and didn't really dig it the first time around but then went out and bought both of his cds. he throws you for a loop the first time you hear him sing because the voice that comes out of this running- back looking guy is a very high - powerful falseto that absolutely blows you away. the guitar rhythms and chord structure laced with beautiful almost breakable melodies on top make for a very impressionable and classic sound that is hard to forget. Jeff is also pretty shy on stage but puts the audience at ease with his quit wit and sarcastic easy going attitude. throughout the show he would ask that there be as little light as possible and then went into a rant about how the lights make him sweat and how once he starts thinking about how he is sweating then he can't stop thinking about how he is the sweaty guy on stage performing in front of an audience. jeff is heading to Japan tomorrow for a series of shows then back home to Minnesota to start recording a new album.


so, this is forever and a day old but still worth posting. Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin was in MN last week for a couple shows. they happend to have a couple free days in between their tour with Catfish Haven and headed up to Winona and Minneapolis from Chicago for some musical performances. they came back to Winona and played The Green Lantern. i had never been there before but turned out to be a fitting, cozy little dive that made for a very private and personal performance. it couldn't get much better. the place is owned by this guy named Dr. Bob who has his own puppets that he makes and stores in the basement of his house turned coffeehouse/bar venue.

we went out to betty jo's for dinner afterwards then headed back to the village to crash. but not before lincoln played them some of his originals. great time.

the next night we crammed into my van (the millenium falcon) and drove up to Minneapolis where Boris was playing The Nomad. We(bryan, steve, neil, rick, kris) drove up because Bookreader was opening and needed a ride up that could haul equipment. it was an adventure to say the least. The Nomad is another little cozy hang on the west bank of the U of M down the street from the 400 bar. their was a decent crowd out to see the show for a Tuesday night. both bands put on solid shows and made for a memorable night. SSLYBY even pulled out an Arrested Developmet (not the TV show) cover of Mr. Wendal. got to hang out with my family, anne, erin, kimball, kate, and some new people.

we packed up and headed back to Winona cause we all had class in the morning. Boris came back and crashed at the village again. o the life. boris is will, philip, jon, and jonathon.

Monday, February 13, 2006

The Bad Plus

last weekend we had the honor to have The Bad Plus perform on campus. it was quite a treat to sit back and enjoy music of truly talented musicians in the Page Theatre. this group has gained notiriety performing covers of songs by The Pixies, Aphex Twin, Queen, and Nirvana. not to sell them short, their originals are pretty damned good too. the group consists of Dave King on Drums, Ethan Iverson on Piano, and Ian Anderson on Bass. this is nothing short of a alternative jazz trio - for their wall of sound created at times could be mistaken as a full orchestra. even if you are not a jazz impresario you could easily find yourself tapping along to the abnormal but seemingly interesting melodies and chord progressions that come through The Bad Plus. the groups chemistry and energy on stage is a sight to see as well, and truly defines a tight-knit group of players.

their most recent record, Suspicious Activity?, has gained some considerable attention and recieved 4 stars in Rolling Stone. they have been touring in support of this release all over the world and Saint Mary's was lucky enough to catch them on their way through. while here, they played tracks from their latest album as well as a few oldies and goodies. the set-list included:

-Pancake's House
-The Empire Strikes Backwards
-Rhinocerous is My Profession
-Everybody Wants to Rule the World
-The 2-5 Room
-Knows the Difference
-Anthem for the Earnest
-Thrift Store Jewelry
-Chariots of Fire
-The World is the Same
-Physical City (encore)

The Tears For Fears cover, Everybody Wants to Rule the World, was just phenom. Luke W. made a live recording of the show- so anyone that is interested in obtaining a copy just let me know.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Interview with Motion City Soundtrack

Motion City Soundtrack, who are about to embark on a six week nation wide headlinng tour, rocked the gym at St. Marys on January 28th. Almost 2000 people attended the show and it was a great success. Before they took the stage, Guitarist Josh Cain and Bassist Matt Taylor stopped by the KSMR radio station for an interview with Neil Olstad and Matt Perkins[your narrator].

Neil Olstad-You guys had a huge year in 2005. What was one moment that just made you say "Wow."

Matt Taylor-Warped Tour. In Chicago we were the last band to play that night, we were scared nobody would stay. We were thinking there would be just a handful of people, but everybody stuck around and it was amazing.

N.O.-I can’t imagine doing that everyday, with the heat and the sun, what is it like doing the entire warped tour?

Josh Cain- Its nice because of the thirty minute sets, you are on and off stage. It sucks because it seems like you are touring around the country, its totally different from touring clubs, you never go to the cities, you never see anything, you eat catering everyday and forget what its like to have different food.

N.O.-What would you say is the biggest difference between the new record Commit This To Memory, and your last release I Am the Movie?

J.C.-They have different titles. (laughs)

M.T.-We went into this one with a little more time and budget, we wanted it to sound bigger. We wanted to make a big sounding rock record.

J.C.-We didn’t have the capabilities originally. I Am the Movie was recorded before we signed to Epitaph, and we didn’t spend much money on it. This time we wrote songs we knew were going to be on a record.

M.T.-This time was the first record where we all contributed to the writing.

Matt Perkins-Did you have any trouble with the record label as far as what songs went on the record?

J.C.-Epitaph is very band friendly. We are our biggest critics, before anybody else tells us we cant put a song on a record, its probably ourselves.

N.O.-What would you say is the overall theme to Commit This To Memory?

J.C.-Justin (lead singer/guitarist) has a knack of forgetting things, and there are a lot of references to memory on the record. The theme of ‘all you are are memories.'

N.O.-What were some of your favorite albums that came out last year?

J.C.- I really liked the new Death Cab album

M.T.-Me too.

N.O.-Do you think you listen to more or less music when you are out touring?

J.C.-When we used to drive the van, we would listen to a ton of music.

M.T.-Now that we are in the bus, we just sleep when we are rolling, then we wake up at the club and kinda hang out.

J.C.-Yeah, there’s not as much downtime anymore.

N.O.-So it’s TOTALLY different touring in a van from touring in a bus?

J.C.- A WORLD of difference. In the van you have all this time to kill, in the bus there’s no time to kill. It’s a normal day, you go to bed in your bed, and you wake up in the next city. It’s very weird.

N.O.-If money and reason was no object, what band would you like to share a bill with for a tour? Build your own tour.

J.C.-The Pixies and Ben Folds

M.T.-I would bring back the Refused.

J.C.-I bet you every refused fan likes the Pixies.

N.O.-What do you guys think about file sharing?

M.T.-I was taught that it’s always nice to share.

J.C.-We wouldn’t be where we are without file-sharing. We wouldn’t have gotten anywhere without file sharing, we wouldn’t have gotten signed, and we wouldn’t have done any of this stuff we've done without it. We know its going to happen, there’s nothing we can do about it. I’m not gonna get mad at somebody for doing it. But with our next record we are going to be more tight about it. Because our last record got out months ahead of time and I think it affected our initial hit. I mean it was great, but it could have been better.

N.O. -The band just had two huge performance on TV, first on Late Night with Conan O'Brien and the next on Jimmy Kimmel Live, what is it like to play shows like that?

J.C.- It was a lot of fun, we got to meet celebrities and stuff. The bigger we get we start to realize that these people that you put up on pedestals are just normal people. The interesting thing was with our performance on Conan, was that while we were performing, the pro tools computer crashed, so we had to do it again afterwards without the audience there, so what you saw on that show was actually two performances edited together.

M.T.-We were really happy with the first performance and then they were like "hey guys you gotta do it again!"

N.O.- You spent most of 2005 touring, what can we look forward to in 2006 from the band?

M.T.- Touring!

J.C.- Headline tour this spring, then we are doing the MTV Campus Invasion tour with Hellogoodbye and Straylight Run, off to Japan and Australia later in the spring, then finally doing the entire Warped Tour this summer. Maybe in August we will have some free time. It’s weird when your whole year is planned out for you.

M.T.-I kinda like it.

photo cred: lincoln scully

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Winona's wake up call

this is a very late summation of the events that took place the weekend of January 27th. nonetheless, i will still blog about it anyway.

friday, jan 27-we had local hip hoppers, Heiruspecs, play the Page Theatre. talk about exciting. i had their album, Tiger Dancing, but was never able to catch their live show until now. and trust me, it is well worth it. this group of talented highschool buddies truly know how to put on a great live show. the crowd ate it up too, and made for a really fun night. all the dudes in the band were super nice and i cannot wait to check them out again this summer.

saturday, jan 28-this was a rude awakening. i woke up at 7am to begin the long day ahead of me. this long day consisted of everything involved in putting on a rock show for 1800 kids. it was the beginning of setting of the sound and lighting production for the Motion City Soundtrack cpmcert taking place in Saint Mary's very own gymnasium. talk about sexy. it was a pretty cool experience to put on a show of this size. there is soo much stuff that you have to think about when planning and organizing a concert. i found it quite fun and enjoyable. we got the sound loaded up around 1230.

The Motion City Soundtrack crew came around 130 (not the band) and loaded in. the band got there around 230-3 to sound check. it was pretty cool to have the gym pretty much empty and know that close to 2,000 people would be in there later. the band was really nice and we had the chance to interview a couple of them for the Cardinal Newspaper. myself and the fraternity were security for the night which was interesting as always. i was located in the front in between the stage and crowd and let's just say the production company had a POS barrier that couldn't stop a 2 year old from rush the stage if they wanted. it was like a crappy welded carnival barrier that did absolutely nothing in holding the shifting crowd back. it was still an adventure carrying people over from crowd surfing and figuring out a way to brace the barrier with the stage. Small Towns Burn a Little Slower opened and put on a decent show.

MCS played a rocking show and I managed to snap a few pics and enjoy the music while working security. the band was really nice and mingled with the crowd after the show. i don't really have much more to say about that. i'm just glad it is over and went off without a hitch.