Chicago in 2009: so much to answer for. Not only are the Cubs and White Sox tagged to have impressive 2009 campaigns in the glorious world of Major League Baseball, but the Blackhawks have finally become a real hockey team and the Bulls almost pulled off a major upset in the “Association.” Before I get too excited and head off to McChuggigan’s S.B.A.G. (Sports Bar and Grill) to ogle skimped-out cougars and future wait-staff lifers while I mainline draft Bud and Jager in my Manny dreads, I should first take a reality pill and get my bearings. If this were Sports, I would have come up with a half-assed Huey Lewis-inspired headline. But this is rock ‘n’ roll, dammit, and for eight years, Chicago-based Chin Up Chin Up have mastercrafted their truly unique version of it. On May 15, the band will play their final gig after recently deciding to hang up their spurs for good.
Having no discernable talent whatsoever, I am unsure how ex-bands spend their time. Scrapbooking circles? Mahjongg? Investment banking? Whatever the future holds for the members of Chin Up Chin Up they can rest easy knowing they left behind a two-album legacy marked by dazzling, contorted avant-rock bliss (We Should Have Never Lived Like We Were Skyscrapers, Flameshovel Records, 2004, and This Harness Can’t Ride Anything, Suicide Squeeze, 2006 [TMT Review]). We reached out to singer/guitarist Jeremy Bolen to get his reflections on the decision to break up, the final show, and future plans.
We might as well start with the most obvious question...what prompted the end to the band and why now? And am I going to be able to pull out either the "amicable split" or "musical differences" cliché?
Well the band has really been inactive for quite a while now. I think musical differences could be part of it, but more than anything it just suddenly felt like it was time. I really never in my wildest dreams imagined it ending at any point but things just weren't progressing in a very positive way. Everyone approaches things differently and I personally was not into how some of the members were approaching things in general. Being part of any kind of creative outlet should be fun, and when it becomes a job, well, then you kind of have to rethink where it’s all going. CUCU was the main priority in our lives for 5 years or so, we spent all of our time and energy on it, and for me at least, I wanted to get back to other parts of my life. I think this is true for everyone. We were all fine with just letting the band linger in hiatus but when Greg (Sharp, CUCU keyboardist) told me he was moving in June, it just seemed like it would be good to have some closure. I was fairly confident the band really was never going to do anything again. Our last show was a shitty street fair, and no one should go out like that.
What’s next for all of you?
Greg is moving to State College, PA where he is going to attend Penn State to get his Ph.D in Sociology. It’s a pretty amazing thing and I am super proud of him. At some point you will have to call him Dr. Sharp. Chris (Dye) is playing drums in a band called Speck Mountain. Nathan (Snydacker, guitar) has a daughter who is six months old or so, and I think that is his main focus at this point. I am spending the majority of my time concentrating on photography and also Vacations (Bolen, Sharp, and Bobby Burg). Jesse (Woghin, bass) is working at The Onion and playing in, like, 12 bands (Ghost Jeans, Shrimpsss, and Hardy Mums to name a few).
Will Vacations remain a "side project" to other future music outlets?
We never really meant Vacations to be a side project. It is something we try not to take too seriously because at this point I think that’s how we feel a band should be. We work hard though, so there’s a difference really. It think a lot of bands are playing office half the time. We're just not interested in that rat race anymore. We will be stepping things up a bunch this summer -- a tour in August, and recording a new record in October.
Is it with a sense of relief or sadness that you guys are ending the band? Are you looking forward to having Chin Up Chin Up behind you and starting a new chapter, so to speak?
I don't think a relief would be the right word... we’ve been practicing the last few weeks for the show and yeah, I get a little sentimental and sad. We have been though a ton together. Closure is always nice. I guess I am just happy that we can pull this off and that we’re all on good enough terms to play together still. We have been insanely lucky and really accomplished far more than I ever thought we would. My 16-year-old self is way psyched. That said, I think we have all already moved on, and that feels good.
Did you guys toy with the idea of doing a full farewell tour or has it always been a one-off Last Waltz type of thing?
Wow, I really wish we could pull off something as great as The Last Waltz. No, we never really talked about a full tour. We toyed with doing a New York show, and I still would love to, but it just never came together.
For fans of the band, The Empty Bottle venue brings up immediate and possibly uncomfortable memories, considering its association with Chris' death (note: original bassist Chris Saathoff was killed in a hit-and-run accident after a show at the club on February 14, 2004). Did the band's history with the club come into play when deciding where to book the final hoorah or was The Bottle an obvious choice?
The Bottle, for better or worse, has been our home venue from the beginning, so there was really no question on that at all. It’s where we basically started and where we have always hung out. As far as Chris, as always we kind of see it as a celebration of his life. It will be nice to play some songs we wrote together one last time.
What can fans expect you to play for the final show?
We’re going to play our favorite songs from the last 6 years, and hopefully everything people want to hear.
How will you look back at your time spent in the band and how do you think Chin Up Chin Up will be remembered?
Although it’s kind of a blur, it’s been something I wouldn't trade for anything. I guess you always kind of hope that you will be remembered in some way... but it’s not really something I'm thinking of or really concerned about now.
The end of the road:
05.15.09 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle #
# Tight Phantomz, Sleep Out, Rain Delay Theatre
[Photo: Chris Strong]
Wilco (The Band) are streaming Wilco (The Album) for Wilco (The Audience). You can find the stream right here. Or you can click on this link, but it's not really safe for work and has nothing to do with Wilco. I recommend the latter!
The album's due June 30 on Nonesuch.
05.23.09 - Tenerife, Spain - Tenerife Auditorium
05.25.09 - Malaga, Spain - Teatro Cervantes
05.26.09 - Madrid, Spain - Teatro Calderon
05.29.09 - Seville, Spain - Territorios Festival, La Cartuja
05.30.09 - Oporto-Braga, Portugal - Teatro Circo
05.31.09 - Lisbon, Portugal - Lisbon Coliseu
06.01.09 - Santiago de Compostela-Galicia, Spain - Palacio de Congresos
06.03.09 - San Sebastian, Spain - Kursaal
06.04.09 - Barcelona, Spain - Auditori Barcelona
06.12.09 - Cincinnati, OH - Aronoff Center
06.13.09 - Manchester, TN - Bonaroo Festival
06.15.09 - Oklahoma City, OK - Bricktown EventsCenter
06.17.09 - El Paso, TX - Abraham Chavez Theatre
06.18.09 - Tucson, AZ - Centennial Hall
06.19.09 - Las Vegas, NV - The Joint
06.20.09 - Pomona, CA - Fox Theatre
06.22.09 - Los Angeles, CA - Wiltern Theater
06.23.09 - Los Angeles, CA - Wiltern Theater
06.27.09 - Berkeley, CA - Greek Theater
06.28.09 - Stateline, NV - Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena
06.30.09 - Jacksonville, OR - Britt Pavilion
07.03.09 - Morrison, CO - Red Rocks
07.08.09 - Vienna, VA - Wolf Trap
07.10.09 - Wilmington, DE - Frawley Stadium
07.11.09 - Lowell, MA - LeLacheur Park
07.13.09 - Brooklyn, NY - Keyspan Park
07.17.09 - Portland, ME - Maine State Pier
07.18.09 - Wappingers Falls, NY - Dutchess County Stadium
07.19.09 - Lewiston, NY - Art Park
07.23.09 - Detroit Lakes, MN - 10,000 Lakes Festival
08.13.09 - Oslo, Norway - Oya Festival
08.14.09 - Gothenberg, Sweden - Way Out West Festival
08.21.09 - Erfurt-Hohenfelden, Germany - Highfield Festival
08.23.09 - Brecon Beacons, Wales - Green Man Festival
08.25.09 - London, England - Troxy
08.27.09 - Dublin, Ireland - Vicar Street
Thanks to EVP for the tip!
You Can Now Listen to All Major NIN Releases in Their Entirety via the NIN: Access iPhone App; Your Correspondent Left in a Quandary!
Trent Reznor is certainly down with the kids! Last month, he announced the Nine Inch Nails iPhone App which “is a mobile window on all things NIN: music, photos, videos, message boards, even — thanks to a GPS-enabled feature called Nearby — the fans themselves.” These NIN-fanboys are now able to listen to all NIN albums ever released on their precious iPhones (with the added benefit of eavesdropping on conversations between other fans at NIN concerts).
The trouble is, as a pretentious, liberal, plant-eating TMT news writer, I don’t know whether to hate or love this news story. Should I rejoice in the fact that this is another kick in the teeth to record labels and their total inability to get the internet, or do I lament Mr Reznor’s never-ending pursuit for more profit?
It’s a tough life writing for Tiny Mix Tapes!
David Tibet Hastens His Precious Apocalypse with a Truly Diabolical Group of Collaborators for Current 93’s Upcoming Album
“Then another sign appeared in the sky; it was a huge red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on its heads were seven diadems. Its tail swept away a third of the stars in the sky and hurled them down to the earth.”
-- Revelation 12:3-4
It literally takes zero effort to find some badass apocalyptic passage from the Book of Revelation. Just crack open a Bible, flip to any old page of its last book, close your eyes, and point a finger anywhere on the page -- BOOM! Instant Tolkien fan fiction, written by God’s own hand! But for Current 93 's David Tibet, multi-headed, star-wiping dragons are the least of humanity’s problems come Armageddon time. According to Current 93 lore, upon the arrival of the end of days, thunderous bloodbells will chime murder as sky-eating ships devour reality itself until Lucifer at last descends on London and wages war on the judged. Oh man, the Apocalypse is so gonna have some fuckin’ sack.
So does Current 93’s music provoke Armageddon or merely anticipate it? Has David Tibet spent his career taunting and smacking the Beast on the nose with a rolled up newspaper until it finally unleashes hell on earth, or has he actually been building rock ’n’ roll’s most impenetrable theological bomb shelter? Deconstructing Tibet’s apocalyptic intentions is nigh impossible, but after reading the list of collaborators for Current 93’s first studio album in three years Aleph at Hallucinatory Mountain, I have a feeling that Tibet is purposefully baiting God to pull the plug on existence. I mean, just check out a few of these names: electronics/glands wizard Steve Stapleton (Nurse with Wound), punishing guitarist Matt Sweeney (Superwolf, Zwan), renowned partier and motivational speaker Andrew W.K., drummer Alex Neilson (The Red Krayola), and your very favorite porn star Sasha Grey on vocals. How could such an unholy assemblage not incite the heavenly choirs to trumpet their deathly song upon this waking world? Well, I guess we’ll find out May 18 when the album comes out on Jnana Records. Enjoy the next few days of existence, folks. God bless!
1. Invocation of Almost
3. On Docetic Mountain
4. 26 April 2007
5. Aleph is the Butterfly Net
6. Not Because the Fox Barks
8. As Real as Rainbows
According to our buddies at Billboard, The Flaming Lips' next release will be a double album, and it's called Stay in Touch with the Samsung Eternity! Actually, no title has yet been released for the At War with the Mystics follow-up (though, The "At War With the Mystics" Follow-Up would be a pretty sweet title), but it's exciting to know that The Lips will be finally tackling their first double album. If any major label artist deserves to spread its music across two albums, it's The Flaming Lips. Hell, they've already done a four-discer!
Crazy man Wayne Coyne tells Billboard that 13 tracks have been written so far, with eight or nine more expected. The double album is tentatively slated for release later this summer on Warner Bros.. It sounds freaky too:
"I think with this there was an element of accidentally stumbling upon more spontaneous sort of freak-out stuff," Coyne tells Billboard. "We were sitting at (drummer) Steven's house and we just started out having these freak-out jam sessions where he'd play drums and I'd play bass and we just would sort of do freaky stuff. Some of those recordings, even though they're not recorded very well, really had a spontaneity about them that we probably wouldn't have purposely done.
So we just went with some of that and use those as sort of the bedrock of what we'd do later on with overdubs and lyrics and stuff like that. It sounds very exciting."
If you live in a place that has seasons (Santa hats on cacti still don't look right to me), you've probably rolled your window down and cranked the ol' "radio" up. Band of Horses is one of those great summertime bands, and my friend's wish to live in this video for their oldie-but-goodie is well justified.
That is all.
06.10.09 - Norfolk, VA - Norva
06.11.09 - New York, NY - Carnegie Hall
06.12.09 - Baltimore, MD - Ram's Head Live
06.14.09 - Manchester, TN - Bonnaroo Festival
06.16.09 - Asheville, NC - Orange Peel
06.17.09 - Charlotte, NC - Neighborhood Theatre
06.18.09 - Myrtle Beach, SC - House of Blues
08.05.09 - Louisville, KY - Headliner's Music Hall
08.30.09 - San Francisco, CA - Outside Lands Festival
09.01.09 - Eugene, OR - McDonald Theatre
09.02.09 - Spokane, WA - Knitting Factory
09.04.09 - Vancouver, BC - Commodore Ballroom
09.05.09 - Victoria, BC - Royal Theatre
Rhys Chatham Looking for Guitarists To Perform A Crimson Grail, Posts Ad on Message Boards, Gets Called Out For Posting In The Wrong Section After Posting In The “Looking For Artists” Section Instead of the “Looking For Musicians” Section
Last August, we saw the cancellation of the U.S. premier of composer Rhys Chatham's A Crimson Grail (TMT Review) due to weather problems (TMT Feature). This year, Chatham -- who recently collaborated with Karole Armitage on Drastic Classicism (TMT Feature) and writes horoscopes (TMT News) -- has decided to take a second chance and is on a search again for 200 guitarists. The original performance, commissioned by the city of Paris in 2005, included 400 guitarists, though Chatham has shrunk it down to 200 and also made a few changes to better suit its location at Lincoln Center's Damrosch Park. The performance will take place August 8, 2009.
Check out the requirements below to see if have what Rhys is looking for, and be sure to get your application in by June 15. You can find more information here.
Requirements for performing in A Crimson Grail:
1. It is necessary to be a competent guitarist with at least a rudimentary comprehension of standard musical notation. A bit of basic music reading is involved to be able to perform. All musicians participating will be assigned to one of four sections, each of which will have their parts provided in simple written notation and textual instructions, and explained by section leaders.
2. You must be able to commit to attending all three rehearsals, and all 12 hours of rehearsal time. Rehearsals will be held at a Manhattan location to be announced later, tentatively scheduled for 6 to 10pm on each of the following days: Wednesday, August 5, Thursday, August 6, and Friday August 7.
3. This may sound obvious, but you must be able to commit to attending a day-long rehearsal/sound check and the performance on Saturday, August 8. The approximate performance time for A Crimson Grail is 7:30 pm, on a multi-artist show that begins at 7pm. You and your equipment will need to be in place prior to the start of the concert. The piece is approximately 60 minutes in length. The performance is outdoors, with guitarists on the perimeter of Lincoln Center's Damrosch Park, West 62nd Street between Columbus and Amsterdam.
4. Each guitarist must bring his or her own equipment for all rehearsals and performance. This must include: an electric guitar or bass of good quality that stays in tune; a good quality amp (having a power rating of not less than 50 watts); a guitar jack (20 foot minimum); a guitar strap; a digital guitar tuner; a guitar stand; and a string changer. At the composer's request, you will need to re-string your guitar, guitar strings provided by Lincoln Center.
Please note the following restrictions: No acoustic guitars. No hollow body electrics. No vibrato or whammy bars.
5. Sorry, but no beginners. Professional and semi-professional musicians will be given preference over amateurs.
6. This is an all-volunteer event. Due to the size and scale of the event, there are no fees or expense reimbursements for participating guitarists. The experience of being part of a once-in-a-lifetime performance…priceless.
My additional requirements:
1. Your guitar must have at least 5 strings on it (Yeah I know you think its artsy to only use 4 strings but we draw the limit at 1 missing string. OK.)
2. No Pete Townsend windmills.
3. You must have absolutely no knowledge or have ever once played the following songs on guitar: "Stairway to Heaven," "Freebird," "Smells Like Teen Spirit," "Iron Man," "Dueling Banjos," "Back In Black," and "Louie, Louie."
4. Must not have a subscription to Guitar Player or Guitar World.
5. Finally, you must look cool on stage.
Yet further evidence that these days a band's gotta move to Brooklyn or starve, Sub Pop junior label Hardly Art has just signed Atlanta/Memphis/Austin-via-Brooklyn group Golden Triangle. The sextet has been described as a "super fucked-up version of the B-52s," which makes sense with its mixed-gender players.
The band has been furiously touring over the last year with King Khan and The Shrines, Quintron and Miss Pussycat, and Deerhunter, and they're keeping it up this spring and summer by continuing with dates opening for cult Brit group the Homosexuals. Golden Triangle plans to go into the studio soon to record its Hardly Art debut, which can be expected to drop in early 2010.
05.12.09 - New York, NY - Southpaw
06.12.09 - Brooklyn, NY - Northside Festival
06.18.09 - Montreal, QC - TBA
06.19.09 - Toronto, ON - NXNE Velvet Underground
06.20.09 - Toronto, ON - NXNE Yonge Dondas Square
06.20.09 - Toronto, ON - NXNE Silver Dollar
07.15.09 - New York, NY - Cameo Gallery
07.25.09 - New York, NY - Soto Velez Center (FREE BEER!)
It’s a sad, sad day when the official birthday celebration for a deceased punk rock icon is being sponsored by a hair dye product that is synonymous with Hot Topic stores, but hopefully the 14 year olds who actually use Manic Panic to dye their greasy locks bright blue will be too busy reading Twilight to attend this year’s Joey Ramone Birthday Bash.
To honor what would have been Ramone’s 58th birthday, his Birthday Bash is being held Tuesday, May 19 at The Fillmore New York, at Irving Plaza. Fans will be treated to an advance listen of rough mixes of never-before-heard Ramone solo recordings. A full album of solo material is currently being readied by various producers and is slated for a posthumous release by the end of this year. The Bash will also feature headlining sets from Fishbone and Supersuckers (apparently it’s the mid-90s all over again), in addition to performances by The Friends of Joey (featuring Richie Ramone, Handsome Dick Manitoba, Jean Beauvoir, Ivan Julian, George Tabb, Al Maddy, and Mickey Leigh), Death, Rough Francis (featuring Tommy Ramone), Bebe Buell, and Tom Clark & The High Action Boys. Matt Pinfield is set to emcee the entire event (not like he has anything else going on).
Tickets are available in advance for $25 ($30 day of show) at the Fillmore box office, or you can get them right here. For more information, visit Joey Ramone’s official website. Net proceeds from the Bash go to support the Joey Ramone Foundation for Lymphoma Research.
Poor Barack Obama, getting all hung up on the fact that Spanish courts recently ruled that personal file-sharing is legal, and that file-sharing sites that don’t profit from copyright infringement are also protected under the law. As anyone with an internet connection knows, the United States is all like “Dude, you can’t download that torrent of the new Wolverine movie,” and they feel that Spain should adopt similar laws.
Why the big push on anti-piracy laws for Spain and not other foreign countries? Well, according to Torrent Freak, “Spain has one of the worst file-sharing problems in the world. The U.S. claims it is consistently among the top five worst countries in terms of overall downloads and that it regularly takes the top position for movie downloads per capita.” Damn, I guess Spaniards love Hugh Jackman too. The music industry is also suffering in Spain, with around two billion tracks illegally downloaded in 2008, up 80% from 2007.
Obama is hoping Spain will curb illegal file-sharing by “…includ[ing] an agreement between ISPs and copyright holders to prevent infringing content [from] being available on the Internet and should include ‘the immediate and effective implementation of graduated response three strikes procedures.’” Basically what all that legal bullshit boils down to is that Obama wants Spain to change their laws supporting file-sharing and punish citizens through a “three strikes procedure.” Come on, Barack, you mean to tell me that all the music on your iPod was paid for? I sent you a Mediafire link to the Veckatimest leak back in March, dude!