Interview - Lily Kershaw
3/7/14 by Cathy Wagner
Cathy: You’re currently in the middle of a headlining tour through the US. What’s been your favorite show so far? Why?
Lily: I loved playing in New York City at Rockwood because I absolutely love that venue! Also some friends came out, which always makes a show more fun.
C: One of the stops on this tour was in Nashville, TN. Was this your first time in Nashville? Do you feel more pressure when performing in such a singer songwriter-centric town? Why or why not?
L: Yes, it was my first time in Nashville! I actually did feel the pressure a bit. I was more nervous than I had been in some time for a show. Playing in such a music-centric town will do that to a person! I think it’s important to remember, though, that how people feel about and respond to all forms of self-expression is arbitrary. All you have to do is go out there and be yourself and not worry about the response!
Interview - Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes
Daniel Ellsworth, Timon Lance, Joel Wren, & Marshall Skinner
2/27/14 by Cathy Wagner
Cathy: Your sophomore LP, Kid Tiger, will be released March 4th. With this album, you all took a new approach in recording by tracking it live to tape in order to better capture the energy/feel of a live show. I think this was a great decision, and you were definitely able to achieve it. Was recording the album this way easier or harder than you had thought it would be? Why? Is this something you’d consider doing again for future releases?
Daniel: Thanks! Up to this point, that’s the only way we have recorded. Civilized Man was also tracked live, just not to tape. I certainly think it’s more of a challenge to track everything live, but it also feels like that is how rock music is supposed to be recorded. It’s not supposed to be perfect. Music is meant to have flaws, to ebb and flow, to make the listener feel what the band is feeling. I don’t think it was ever meant to be tracked piece by piece, to a rigid click track. There’s something lost when records are made that way, in my opinion. We chose to record to tape this time because we felt like there’s a certain warmth that you can capture with tape that can’t be replicated digitally. I don’t want to make any sweeping statements, but I think, down the road, we’ll continue to record this way. There’s no better feeling than tracking a song live, nailing a take, and knowing that it was the one.
Timon: It was pretty smooth. I would certainly do it that way again. Yeah, no click track. It’s good to practice with a click track, like a ballerina using a ballet-bar when they’re practicing steps. In performance though (and recording), toss it out and go for broke.
2/22/14, Cannery Ballroom
“How would you describe your music/live show to new fans?” I asked Wes Finley, the drummer for Rebelution, in an interview a couple weeks ago. “Arrive to the venue with an open mind and open ears,” he said. “We’ve got a strong rock element that keeps the show’s energy level soaring through the night.” The latter sentence sums up exactly what a Rebelution show is all about. Reggae, rock, and lots of energy.
The night got started with the classic “Green to Black” from their debut album, Courage to Grow. This song, a shout-out to “not just the color, but the message in between,” wound up the crowd like those wind-up plastic cars we all used to play with, only this car kept driving for a full 90 minute set. Following was the up-tempo “Sky Is The Limit” and to close out my time in the photo pit came “Comfort Zone,” both off their latest release, Peace of Mind. Especially during “Comfort Zone,” you could hear the multitude of musical influences this band brings in a live setting, as driving rhythms and distorted guitars met walking base lines and saxophones.
Lo-Fang, Blue Film (4/5)
Lorde is a breath of fresh air to the mainstream. Her music is like a mysterious, exotic food; you’re not sure what you like about it, but you know you want more. Like a great chef knows the perfect side to compliment the meal, Lorde knows the perfect act to open her shows. Matthew Hemerlein, a.k.a. Lo-Fang, will be joining Lorde on her current US tour, and is just a few months behind her success. His debut album, Blue Film, bridges generations as he tastefully fuses classical stringed instruments with synths and samples into that strange, exotic food.
Hemerlein is a classically trained musician, and this expertise shows itself throughout the album. From the violin and cello to the piano and guitar, every instrument you hear on Blue Film stems from one man. This unusual mix of instrumentation manifests itself very well in “When We’re Fire.” As the sharp synth notes pulse throughout your brain, a slide guitar sounds reminiscent of Ratatat. An even more impressive arrangement of instruments comes later in the album, with “Animal Urges.” The song sounds like James Blake reworked Baths’ “Earth Death” or “No Eyes,” and has surprises around every corner. During a post-chorus breakdown, high hats are flying around like WWII jet planes, minimal violin picking mimics a spacy synth line, and the sharp, four-on-the-floor beat keeps everything in check.
Interview - Canon Logic
Tim Kiely & Mark Alu
2/19/14 by Cathy Wagner
Cathy: In the form of a haiku, how would you describe your music to someone who’s never heard it before?
Tim: ANCIENT ANIMALS
RUNNING FROM A NATIVE DRUM
IN SEARCH OF THE WYLD
C: Your new album, WYLD, is coming out at the end of this month. Being your second full-length release, what did you do differently this time around in comparison to when you recorded your 1st full-length? How long did it take to write/record WYLD?
T: One thing that we allowed ourselves to do, which we haven’t done as much in the past, was to let the songs evolve with the production process. In the past, our songs spent most of their gestation period with a producer, and our control was hindered by limits of time and scheduling. This time around, we had complete control. We were allowed to spend long days and late nights working, and that allowed the songs to fully develop under our own controlled conditions.
Because we were recording on our own, it also made it much easier to invite friends to play on the album. Nick Stephan from GIVERS recorded saxophone/flute for “Mountain”, “Chameleon”, and “Carry the Water” in my apartment. Our friend Marques Toliver (here with Sir Paul) also laid violin on “Runaway”. All in all, the process took a few months in mid-2013.
Interview - Rebelution
2/19/14 by Nathan Zucker
Nathan: If you had to pick one album to listen to on repeat for an entire day, what would it be and why?
Wes: It would have to be El Cielo by Dredg, my favorite album. It’s a long concept album that has a lot of highs and lows, so your mood and energy changes just as it would throughout the day.
N: What has been the best day of Rebelution’s Winter tour so far and why?
W: The warmer the cities get, the better days we have. It was freezing the first week and we started to go stir crazy from not being able to hang outside for an extended period of time. We played two nights in Norfolk, VA, so that gave us time to relax.
2/7/14, Mercy Lounge
It may be the middle of winter here in the South, but the patrons of Mercy Lounge had no problem staying warm the night Man Man swept through town. The band’s off the wall, energy-infused performance fueled the rambunctious audience, whose intensity throughout the show was enough to make the venue’s windows fog up. Standing on the windowsill (quite literally the only way I could see the stage over the dancing/moshing frenzy below), I had a bird’s eye view of the entire evening. Did I know what I was in for? Kind of (I’d seen Man Man live once, but it was over 5 years ago). Did it still take me by surprise? Definitely.