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Win Tix To See Killers Frontman Brandon Flowers

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

Brandon Flowers - Flamingo Album Cover --

 

We have a coupla pair of tix to see The Killers frontman Brandon Flowers perform at the Electric Factory tomorrow night in support of his just-released sophomore solo album, The Desired Effect. To qualify to win, all you have to do is sign up for our mailing list (see right, below the masthead). Trust us, this is something you want to do. In addition to breaking news alerts and Phawker updates, you also get advanced warning about groovy concert ticket giveaways and other free swag opportunities like this one! After signing up, send us an email at FEED@PHAWKER.COM telling us a much, with the magic words HOT FUSS in the subject line. If you are already on our mailing list, just send us an email saying as much and grovel a bit. Please include your full name and a mobile number for confirmation. Good luck and godspeed!

BRANDON FLOWERS PERFORMS @ THE ELECTRIC FACTORY THUR. JULY 30TH

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WORTH REPEATING: Jimmy Kimmel On People Who Kill Lions For Fun And Erections

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

JIMMY KIMMEL: The big question is, why are you shooting a lion in the first place?” he said. “I’m honestly curious to know why a human being would be compelled to do that. How is that fun? Is it that difficult for you to get an erection that you need to kill things? MORE

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Complete 1968 Stanley Kubrick Playboy Interview

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

Kurbrik Playboy INterview copy

IT’S OK TO BE SMART: Soon after the theatrical release of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Stanley Kubrick sat down with Playboy to discuss his artistic and scientific philosophy. It’s a must-read account of his quest to create the perfect sci-fi film, a piece of art that was both commercially popular and deeply philosophical. Released in a time when man’s journey to the stars had just begun, it looked not only at where we had come from, but where evolution, technological and biological, may carry us.

Kubrick’s view on man’s place in the enormity of the cosmos:

I don’t believe in any of Earth’s monotheistic religions, but I do believe that one can construct an intriguing scientific definition of God, once you accept the fact that there are approximately 100 billion stars in our galaxy alone, that each star is a life-giving sun and that there are approximately 100 billion galaxies in just the visible universe. Given a planet in a stable orbit, not too hot and not too cold, and given a few billion years of chance chemical reactions created by the interaction of a sun’s energy on the planet’s chemicals, it’s fairly certain that life in one form or another will eventually emerge. It’s reasonable to assume that there must be, in fact, countless billions of such planets where biological life has arisen, and the odds of some proportion of such life developing intelligence are high.

More on a “scientific definition of God”, as a spectrum of intelligent life throughout the universe:

Now, the sun is by no means an old star, and its planets are mere children in cosmic age, so it seems likely that there are billions of planets in the universe not only where intelligent life is on a lower scale than man but other billions where it is approximately equal and others still where it is hundreds of thousands of millions of years in advance of us. When you think of the giant technological strides that man has made in a few millennia – less than a microsecond in the chronology of the universe – can you imagine the evolutionary development that much older life forms have taken? They may have progressed from biological species, which are fragile shells for the mind at best, into immortal machine entities – and then, over innumerable eons, they could emerge from the chrysalis of matter transformed into beings of pure energy and spirit. Their potentialities would be limitless and their intelligence ungraspable by humans. MORE

RELATED: The Complete 1968 Playboy Interview With Stanley Kubrick

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Win Tix To See Jason Isbell @ Electric Factory Wed.

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

Isbell Something MOre Than Free_

 
We are very honored and excited to announce that we have a pair of tickets to give away to some lucky Phawker reader to see Jason Isbell — whose new album Something More Than Free just debuted the Billboard country charts at NUMBER ONE– perform at the Electric Factory tomorrow night, Wednesday July 29th! (NOTE: The show was moved from the Mann’s Skyline Stage to the Electric Factory.) What’s that you say? ‘Who is Jason Tinkerbell?’ We’re gonna forget you said that and meet you on the other side of this New York Times profile from 2013:

He found fame early and wasn’t ready for it. When he was 22, he joined the Drive-By Truckers, the brilliant and hard-living Alabama band. He quickly wrote several of the group’s signature songs, including the title cut of its 2003 album, “Decoration Day,” and a beautiful bummer of a tune called “Goddamn Lonely Love.” He almost as quickly burned out.

His first marriage, to Shonna Tucker, the band’s bassist at the time, came unstitched in public. There were some ugly scenes. Isbell’s fondness for Jack Daniel’s did not become him. “Some people get drunk and become kind of sweet,” Patterson Hood, one of the Drive-By Truckers’ principal singer-songwriters, told me. “Jason wasn’t one of those people.” Isbell left the band in 2007.

What followed was an unhappy period of wandering. He made a few mediocre solo records. He became bloated from drinking. Everyone who followed his work with the Truckers knew he was one of America’s thoroughbred songwriters, with a knack for rueful melodies and the kind of grainy blue-collar detail that pins a song in your mind, like the character in “Outfit” who winds up back in “tech school/just to memorize Frigidaire parts.” But he’d lost his way.

His resurrection began when his single, “Alabama Pines,” won Song of the Year at the 2012 Americana Awards, which honor the kind of rebellious and pared-down roots music that used to be called alternative country. […] But his real comeback wasn’t possible until February 2012, when his girlfriend (now wife), the singer and songwriter Amanda Shires, with the help of his manager Traci Thomas and the musician Ryan Adams, got him into rehab.

Isbell spent two weeks in Cumberland Heights, an alcohol-and-drug-treatment center in Nashville. His head cleared. When he came out, the whiskey weight drained from his cells, and he shed 40 pounds almost overnight. Best of all, that summer he began writing the songs that make up “Southeastern.” The record, which evokes powerful and intimate classics like Bruce Springsteen’s “Tunnel of Love” and Rosanne Cash’s “Interiors,” is a breakthrough for Isbell — prickly with loss, forgiveness, newfound sobriety and second chances­. MORE

OK, now are you ready to win some Jason Isbell tix? I thought so. To qualify to win, all you have to do is sign up for our mailing list (see right, below the masthead). Trust us, this is something you want to do. In addition to breaking news alerts and Phawker updates, you also get advanced warning about groovy concert ticket giveaways and other free swag opportunities like this one! After signing up, send us an email at FEED@PHAWKER.COM telling us a much, with the magic words SOMETHING MORE THAN FREE in the subject line. If you are already on our mailing list, just send us an email saying as much. Either way, please include your full name and a mobile number for confirmation. The 14th Phawker reader to email us with the magic words wins! PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR FULL NAME AND MOBILE NUMBER FOR CONFIRMATION. Good luck and godspeed!



JASON ISBELL + BLAKE MILLS PERFORMS @ THE ELECTRIC FACTORY JULY 29TH

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LIP SYNCH BATTLE: Tom Cruise Vs. Jimmy Fallon

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

NOTE: Tom Cruise is now 4 years older than Wilford Brimley was when he appeared as a senior citizen in Cocoon. Just sayin’.

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CINEMA: I Am Chris Farley

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

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DAILY BEAST: He was a very sweet guy before midnight,” says Bob Saget, who directed Farley in Dirty Work just before his death. “He was as open, like a 6-year-old, as he was dark. And the darkness was compelling, but not something you’d want to be around.” Like many of the comics in I Am Chris Farley, Saget gets emotional remembering his late friend. “All that love that came out of the guy was just his nature, that was him apologizing for a lot of stuff I wish he never had to apologize for,” he laments. Odenkirk, whose collaborations with Farley included the iconic motivational speaker sketch, chimes in on a more sobering note. “With Chris, there’s a limit to how wonderful it is to me, and that limit is when you kill yourself with drugs and alcohol. That’s where it stops being so fucking magical.” MORE



DEBUTS MONDAYS AUGUST 10TH @ 9 PM EST ON SPIKE

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MEDIA: Bill Cosby Found Guilty Of Serial Rape By A Jury Of His Victims In The Court Of Public Opinion

Monday, July 27th, 2015

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NEW YORK MAGAZINE: There are now 46 women who have come forward publicly to accuse Cosby of rape or sexual assault; the 35 women here are the accusers who were willing to be photographed and interviewed by New York. The group, at present, ranges in age from early 20s to 80 and includes supermodels Beverly Johnson and Janice Dickinson alongside waitresses and Playboy bunnies and journalists and a host of women who formerly worked in show business. Many of the women say they know of others still out there who’ve chosen to remain silent.

This project began six months ago, when we started contacting the then-30 women who had publicly claimed Cosby assaulted them, and it snowballed in the same way that the initial accusations did: First two women signed on, then others heard about it and joined in, and so on. Just a few days before the story was published, we photographed the final two women, bringing our total to 35. “I’m no longer afraid,” said Chelan Lasha, who came forward late last year to say that Cosby had drugged her when she was 17. “I feel more powerful than him.”

Accompanying this photo essay is a compilation of the interviews with these women, a record of trauma and survival — the memories that remain of the decades-old incidents. All 35 were interviewed separately, and yet their stories have remarkable similarities, in everything from their descriptions of the incidents to the way they felt in the aftermath. Each story is awful in its own right. But the horror is multiplied by the sheer volume of seeing them together, reading them together, considering their shared experience. The women have found solace in their number — discovering that they hadn’t been alone, that there were others out there who believed them implicitly, with whom they didn’t need to be afraid of sharing the darkest details of their lives. They are scattered all over the country — ten different states are represented — and most of them had no contact with their fellow accusers until recently. But since reading about each other’s stories in the news, or finding one another on social media, or meeting in person at the photo shoots arranged by New York, many of the women have forged a bond. It is, as Tarshis calls it, “a sorrowful sisterhood.” MORE

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CREEM CIRCUS: Riff Mountain

Monday, July 27th, 2015

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BEING THERE: Saturday @ XPoNential Fest

Sunday, July 26th, 2015

ST._VINCENT_by_PETE_TROSHAK

St. Vincent, Susquehanna Bank Center last night by PETE TROSHAK

WXPN’s XPoNential Festival is one of the yearly highlights of the Philly summer concert calendar, and the 2015 edition was no exception. The festival draws over 25,000 fans, spans three days and this year included over 30 performances. If you were only going to make it to one day of the festival this year Saturday was the one to choose with a stellar lineup of fiercely talented lesser known musicians on outdoor stages during the day and the dynamic one-two punch of St. Vincent and My Morning Jacket closing the show by playing to a huge crowd at the Susquehanna Bank Center.

Local duo Vita and the Wolf kicked off the outdoor portion of the day’s music with a short set that showcased Vita’s chilly but emotional vocals and synth work and the Wolf’s powerful yet fluid drumming. Up next was much-buzzed-about Philly group Hop Along who gave one of the best performances of the day in support of their critically-acclaimed sophomore album Painted Shut. Singer Frances Quinlan displayed her achingly frantic vocals while pile-driving her quartet through an intense 40 minutes that included a thunderous “Tibetan Rock Stars.” Field Report performed a dreamy set of their swirling acoustic/electronic soundscapes that transported the crowd’s spirits away from the broken dream boulevards of Camden to shimmering desert oases and purple mountain majesties high above the fruited planes. Calexico proved to be a perfect antidote for the roaring afternoon heat, delivering a cool-as-a-cucumber set of Tex-Mex desert noir, included a rousing, set-closing “Cumbia De Donde” that had the crowd moving and grooving. Dressed in jeans t-shirts and looking like they were just four hardhats short of starting a construction company the men of Fly Golden Eagle rocked the second stage with a magic carpet ride of rambunctious, sloppy ’60s-fueled boogie and psychedelia that was easily one of the loudest and most well-received sets of the day. Backed by a drummer and badass pedal steel guitarist Melvin Duffy, the two singing Swedish sisters of folk rockers First Aid Kit arrived looking like sweet but grievous angels in pure-as-the-driven-snow-white old timey dresses and proceeded to stun the crowd with their lush, glorious harmonies and songs haunted by the ghosts of the work of Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris and Johnny & June (who they dedicated their set to). North Carolina roots rockers Delta Rae closed out the outdoor festivities with a high-energy, harmony-rich performance that felt like a whirlwind rushing through Wiggins Park, scattering the debris and dust of the day away and dispersing a smiling and sunburned crowd into the night and on to the next venue.

Despite going on before My Morning Jacket, co-headliner St. Vincent stole the show and ruled the day. She arrived on the main stage rocking a black, bubble-wrapped dominatrix/Catwoman suit and proceeded to drop her angular guitar-fueled cherrybombs on a delighted, rabid crowd for over an hour. Her records are solid, but witnessing St. Vincent and her powerful guitar playing live is akin to that moment in the Wizard of Oz when the color palette shifts from drab black and white to glorious technicolor. As her three-piece backing band delivered burbling beats and miles of groove, St. Vincent strutted around the stage like a robot. Her mechanized dancing inspired a large portion of the crowd to dance like those models in Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love” videos throughout her performance, which added a surreal layer to the scene. But more memorable than the outfit or the dancing was St. Vincent’s guitar playing, which on this night could best be described as epic. She alternated between slamming out riffs and coaxing all things sonic — up to and including the proverbial kitchen sink — out of her axe while spouting her jagged haiku lyrics. Hands down, she gave one of the great guitar performances probably in the history of the XPoNential Festival.

My Morning Jacket closed out the night by planting their flag on top of the jam rock band with a two hour nineteen song rock and roll extravaganza ride on space mountain. Singer Jim James took the stage wearing what appeared to be a magician’s black suit coat emblazoned with runes seemingly scrawled in sidewalk chalk and the band immediately launched into “Off The Record” with James adding some licks from the Hawaii Five-O theme to the song for flair. The band’s set drew heavily from their new album,  The Waterfall, with songs like “Compound Fracture” and “Believe (Nobody Knows)” proving to be much more heavy and formidable live than on record. About three quarters of the way through their set the crowd seemed to be fading a little, probably overdosed on sun and music, and the band resuscitated them by delivering one of the memorable performances of the fest with a rousing seven minute musical rollercoaster ride through “Circuital.” The band’s encore included another classic with a tension-filled but groovy “Touch Me I’m Going To Scream Pt. 2” and they closed with “One Big Holiday” which seemed an apt way to summarize the weekend as a whole: three days of love, peace and music. – PETE TROSHAK

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50 YEARS AGO TONIGHT: Bob Dylan Goes Electric

Saturday, July 25th, 2015

NEW YORK TIMES: Tonight is the 50th anniversary of Dylanageddon: the night Bob Dylan savaged the Newport Folk Festival by making loud, electrified noise at a sanctuary that had never been thus sullied. The story of his 1965 assault on Newport is very well known. Its effects have been contemplated ad nauseam. Its details show up in every Dylan biography. It’s so essential to the Dylan story that it may even have engendered folk songs of its own. So the idea of a book to commemorate this geezer milestone seems unnecessary, to put it kindly.

But what a surprise “Dylan Goes Electric!” turns out to be. This splendid, colorful work of musicology and cultural history is written by Elijah Wald, whose broad range of other books (“Narcocorrido,” “How the Beatles Destroyed Rock ’n’ Roll” and “Global Minstrels”) allows him to approach Newport with a broad Dylancover3base of knowledge. He is perhaps best known for “The Mayor of Macdougal Street,” a collaboration with Dave Van Ronk that became Mr. Van Ronk’s posthumously published memoir. That book reads like a labor of love. This one does, too.

Mr. Wald is a superb analyst of the events he describes. And his analyses fly in the face of conventional wisdom. Even his introduction includes enough startling context to indicate “Dylan Goes Electric!” will be seeing the old story with new eyes. What if Mr. Dylan, with his new non-folk songs “Maggie’s Farm,” “Like a Rolling Stone” and “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue,” was not presenting something mind-blowingly visionary, as he is in most versions of the Newport myth, but signaling a retreat into solipsism and selfishness instead?

“In most tellings, Dylan represents youth and the future, and the people who booed were stuck in the dying past,” Mr. Wald writes. “But there is another version, in which the audience represents youth and hope, and Dylan was shutting himself off behind a wall of electric noise, locking himself in a citadel of wealth and power.” The Bob Dylan who became the spirit of the 1960s — that is, the hipper second half of the decade — was part phantom, after all. He had his motorcycle accident, holed up in Woodstock and in 1968 asked an old friend “How do you know I’m not — for the war?”

Mr. Wald knows that it is impossible to think about the Dylan of the Newport Folk Festival — the one who arrived as a new deity in 1963, the one who supposedly divided the place into a battlefield of angry factionalism two years later — without thinking equally hard about Pete Seeger: the folk music movement that Seeger built, the ideals it nurtured, the ways it spun away from those ideals as folk turned commercial, the story of “what Newport meant to him, and the lights that dimmed when the amplifiers sucked up the power.” MORE

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CINEMA: Tangerine Dreams

Friday, July 24th, 2015

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TANGERINE (2015, directed by Sean S. Baker, 88 minutes, U.S.)

Buskirk AvatarBY DAN BUSKIRK FILM CRITIC Tangerine is a breezy joyride of a summer movie, like American Graffiti if Dreyfuss and Ron Howard were transgender streetwalkers. Or maybe the B-action film from 1982, Vice Squad, which also featured a prostitute on violent journey through the seedy side of L.A. Both these films share a delirious momentum with Tangerine, as their protagonists cruise through the night intersecting with crazy characters and mayhem. Director Sean S. Baker’s new film taps into all that nighttime energy but its most modern edge is the respect and compassion to gives feminine duo, lifting us above decades of cinema history that have painted transgender characters with grotesque derision.

That’s not to infer that Tangerine is pious or high-minded, it is a movie that is mostly interested in showing us a good time. It’s Christmas Eve in Hollywood and Sin-Dee (newcomer Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) is fresh from a 28-day stint in lock-up and she is interested in hooking up with her old boyfriend/pimp Chester. (hang-dog James Ransone from The Wire) When her best friend Alexandria (fellow newcomer Mya Taylor) tells her Chester has hooked up with a new blonde on the block, Sin-Dee turns detective, following his trail from dive to donut shop. Along the way we meet the people a street hustler would meet, cab drivers, johns, and other streetwalkers who call out to Sin-Dee and Alexandria like a Greek chorus. Baker’s sure tone allows the story to flow fluently between naturalistic eavesdropping and boldly garish melodrama fit for a queen. We even get a little musical cabaret as Alexandria pays to play in a little joint on the strip. As pure escapism Tangerine transports us to a orange, glowing California dream seen through the eyes of two strong, beautiful beings passionately on a mission.

Much has been made of the fact that Tangerine was shot on I-Phones and it is a tribute to the power of the technology that it comes off as gritty but not low-tech. (it’s a long way from Pixel-Vision) If anything the format increases the film’s sense of intimacy, keeping the camera up close to the action.

Throughout the night Sin-Dee behaves outrageously. It’s Alexandria’s role to try to defuse what she can and yet doors are kicked down, people are hauled around by their hair and sex and commerce could break out in just about any car or corner. But what feels most radical about the film is that all this transgressive behavior can happen without things being steered into tragedy. Christmas may arrive with Sin-Dee and Alexandria being a bit battered and bruised but Baker’s infectious film is hardly going to deny their right to be sassy and audacious for another day.

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THE OHIO PLAYER: A Q&A With Kelley Deal

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

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Photo by CHRIS GLASS

BYLINER mecroppedsharp_1
BY JONATHAN VALANIA
A word of warning: This intro is gonna be one of those pieces where I go on and on about my little monkey shines with famous alt-rock personalities. Millions of people love it when I do that, but others seem to get very, very angry about it, stomp their feet and write mean letters that hurt my feelings. If that sounds like you, stop reading right now. I’m serious. I don’t want to even see you in the second paragraph.

The year is 1994. The Breeders had just broken huge, and somebody had given Kim’s sister Kelley a copy of my band The Psyclone Rangers‘ debut album. Kelley listed one of the songs as one of her 10 favorites that year in51S1RpFoHHL._SY300_ Rolling Stone’s end-of-the-year wrap-up. So I get her on the phone and we hit it off, and she invites me and the band to come hang out backstage at the Philly stop of Lollapalooza. I don’t remember much except it was hot and muddy and famous back there. The Psyclone Rangers were about to record our next album down in Memphis. We had a song we wanted that patented Deal-sister vocal on, and Kelley quickly agreed to sing on it. The night before she was supposed to fly down she called to say she was too sick to leave town. She sounded pretty out of it. Boy, were we bummed. Was it something we said or did? A few days later, when a newsflash came on MTV News that she got busted for receiving a FedEx envelope full of heroin, we put two and two together.

Fortunately, Kelley got her shit straightened out and in 1996 we did a short tour of the Midwest with Kelley Deal 6000, her side band at the time. Somewhere along the way we recorded a cover of Blue Oyster Cult’s “Godzilla,” with Kelley and I duetting, that never saw the light of day. Fast forward through 19 years of Breeders tours, break-ups, reunions, a 20 anniversary reissue of Last Splash and the ensuing tour, to a couple weeks ago and I’m talking to Kelley on the phone about her new side band R.Ring, who will be playing at Johnny Brenda’s on Monday July 27th in support of a pair of split 7-inch singles that just dropped. The first is with the Detroit-based post-punk band Protomartyr (out now on vinyl via Hardly Art) entitled A Half Of Seven, and features R. Ring’s “Loud Underneath” (available now digitally here) and Protomartyr’s “Blues Festival” also featuring Kelley Deal on vocals (stream here). R. Ring’s second 7″ split-single is with Kentucky-based garage rockers Quailbones and will feature the two respective songs “Singing Tower” & “A Tip to Trick the Tide.” This single was released onJuly in 7″ vinyl & digital formats via Sofaburn Records.

DISCUSSED: Sewing, heroin, cats, the head shops of Murray, Kentucky, R. Ring, Guided By Voices, The Hollywood Bowl, the long awaited new album by The Breeders, CBGBs, Big Cartel, The Pixies, vaping, resentment, the two Daytons, Codeine, 12-stepping, juvenile delinquency and Cincinnati.

PHAWKER: How are you?

KELLEY DEAL: I am doing really well in Dayton, Ohio.

PHAWKER: Great!

KELLEY DEAL: How are you doing?rring-03-photo_by_chris_glass

PHAWKER: I’m doing good. You look great! I was just thinking about this: it’s like 21 years I think since we first met up in ’94 and you don’t look like you’ve aged a day.

KELLEY DEAL: Oh, you’re sweet!

PHAWKER: I’m not just saying that, and I do often just say that, but this is not one of those cases where I’m just saying that.

KELLEY DEAL: Well, good. Thank you. Good living, Jonathan, good living. Good clean living.

PHAWKER: Very good. Did I hear you sewing machine going in the background when you called a minute ago?

KELLEY DEAL: Yes, yes.

PHAWKER: So, you’re still sewing?

KELLEY DEAL: Yes, I am. I’m still doing some sewing.

PHAWKER: Good for you.

KELLEY DEAL: Yeah, thanks. I like sewing.

PHAWKER: So, let’s talk about your new project or new side project or semi-new project R. 10365795_807013846087721_3134217386008906638_nRing. Am I pronouncing that right?

KELLEY DEAL: Yes and my buddy Mike Montgomery named it. I met him through the Buffalo Killers.
PHAWKER: The Buffalo Killers?

KELLEY DEAL: Yeah, do you know them?

PHAWKER: I do not know them, tell me about them.

KELLEY DEAL: Okay, southwestern Ohio band. They’re on Alive records and I was invited to contribute to a Guided By Voices tribute record from something called “No More Fake Labels” or something. It was through Facebook and I was like “nah, I’m not going to take that.” This was in like 2010 or something. You know, the Pixies were doing stuff, the Breeders were not. The Breeders would do something and the Pixies would not and I started feeling like I wasn’t doing anything because I was playing the waiting game. This is not anybody’s fault, other than my own, this is my deal. Do you have the hiccups?

PHAWKER: No, I just said ‘sure.’

KELLEY DEAL: [laughs]

PHAWKER: I guess I need to come up with a manlier ‘sure’ if it sounded like I was hiccupping there. Anyway, I’m following you, go on. It isn’t anybody’s fault, only your fault…

KELLEY DEAL: Yeah, completely my thing. So I was like you know, I need to do something. So, I said “certainly! I’m going to do a track!” And so I picked a track to do and I thought: okay, I know what I’m not going to do is do it all by myself with that sweet guitar or some shit. So, I thought ‘I need 9647055750_c99829db21_oa band’ and I thought about Buffalo Killers as being my backing band. It was a great bit and we did this song called “Scalding Creek” for this GBV tribute record. I hooked up with them and then I met this guy named Mike Montgomery. We recorded it at his studio in Cincinnati and that’s how I met Mike: through working together on that song. He had really cool ideas – I don’t know why my phone is blowing up right now –

PHAWKER: I don’t hear it on my end. Do you need to take it?

KELLEY DEAL: No, thank you though. It’s just texts. Probably really really important nonsense texts. So, that’s how I met that guy. Then I asked him what he was doing one night and he said he made a mistake and said yes to opening up for a friend’s band’s CD release party or something. I said ‘What’re you gonna play?’ and he said ‘I’m just going to sit there by myself and sing with a guitar.’ I said ‘Oh my god, that sounds awful. Next time you should invite me and I’ll do it with you or something.’ Then he did invite me to open up for something else he was doing. SO we did six songs and when he sent me some songs to maybe do or cover, the name of the artist was R. Ring and I thought: oh, maybe this is his band mate’s or these are his cover songs we’re doing. When he talked about it he laughed about it and said ‘no.’ He always had this idea for a band, or a project, to call it R. Ring, which is your right ring finger on the fingerprint card. Then he kinda waxed poetic. It was really lovely how he explained it, like your left hand, your left ring finger is a certain type of love and then your right ring is your other passion, you know, like a music passion or that kind of commitment or something like that. It was really sweet and as time went by, it was so funny because often people would ask: ‘Hey, what’s the name of your band? How did you get it?’ Then you could just see the level of detail increase exponentially everytime he would try to explain this. So, now he says ‘I thought it sounded cool.’ He doesn’t get into it all. So, anyway, that’s how I met him.

PHAWKER: And this has been going on since when?

KELLEY DEAL: 2010.

PHAWKER: Okay, so it’s like an intermittent thing? It’s not like an everyday thing?

KELLEY DEAL: Correct. It was busy and then I took some time off for the Breeders and then we got busy again. It just so happened that when I got busy to do the Breeders thing we wanted to do a warm-up show. So we did that and we were like ‘Well, we should do it somewhere in Cincinnati.” And I was like ‘Well, I know a Cincy guy, he knows everybody, he’s been doing sound and recording there for forever. Let me ask Mike.’ So, Mike started talking to our tour manager, Sam. Her name is Sam even though she’s a girl. He and Sam were kind of organizing this stuff. At some point Sam says to me, and this is my Australian accent: ‘Kelly, Mike is lovely. Do you think he’d be interested in working with us?’ Anyway, we hired him to be our guitar tech for the Breeders shows and it was a big deal because I was like ‘Let me 11760135_918055391650232_7534538798385049648_nthink about it.’ I didn’t know if I wanted my roles to collide and I was like, man, I’d love to be touring and going to Spain and Ireland with Mike. He would dig it and I would have a really good time with it. So, he was our guitar tech during that period of time.

PHAWKER: So, you both live in Dayton. You live in Dayton, Ohio and he lives in Dayton, Kentucky. Is that like a suburb of Cincinnati? Is that the deal?

KELLEY DEAL: Yeah, it’s right across the street or, excuse me, right across the river.

PHAWKER: Tell me about the two split 7-inches you’re touring in support of.

KELLEY DEAL: So, Protomartyr. Do you know Protomartyr?

PHAWKER: I didn’t know them before I set up this interview with you, I know who you’re talking about though.

KELLEY DEAL: Yeah, check them out, they’re very good. They’re from Michigan and we played with them in 2012. No, 2014. No, fuck I don’t know. Who knows, who cares? We met them at South by Southwest, we played with them. Oh my god, it must’ve been last year. Yeah, 2014, and we both were like ’DAMN, man, they good!’ And we talked to them afterwards and were like ‘Damn, we should do something, you guys are right in Michigan. We should do something together.’ And yeah, I’m saying it like that. You know how you do that with bands? ‘Sure, yeah, yeah, we should work together.’ And nobody ever does anything, nobody ever follows up? Well, we happened to follow up. They followed up, we followed up. This is in December, they came down and recorded their side and I sang on that and it’s a really cool song.

PHAWKER: Okay, yeah, I have heard that. That’s quite a bit louder and rawer than R. a href=”http://www.phawker.com/?attachment_id=86602″ rel=”attachment wp-att-86602″>rring-03-photo_by_chris_glassRing’s song, right?

KELLEY DEAL: Yes, so true, yes. And then we recorded our side. That’s how that went and then the other split single that we put out is with the Quailbones, the one that’s Sofa Burn Records, that’s a Cincinnati label.

PHAWKER: That’s a very funny name for a label.

KELLEY DEAL: It is, isn’t it? I think it’s good, too. It’s got a terrible logo but I think they changed it since then. It looks like that Triumph you know, motorcycles? Mike, he’s been like this trim road dog forever and ever especially right around the Midwest and these places. He and another band he’s in called Ampline, they do a lot of touring and one of the places they used to go to was Murray, Kentucky which is a dry county. The only thing that’s kind of happening there is Murray State University, Murray University or something, and they have this one record store/head shop where all the kids kinda go to and listen to music, talk about music and everybody is in everybody else’s bands. So, R. Ring went there and played a show, and since then we’ve done several shows there. Everytime we go there the head shop/record store is completely full. It’s usually better than any gig that we are actually playing at any club. The bands that are opening for us or playing with us that night, it’s usually like six bands are crammed in, and everyone of them is awesome.You know, then that drummer gets on bass for that band and it’s just crazy! There’s so much just really good juju down there probably just because they’re so isolated and they gotta do their own thing.

PHAWKER: Well, we have a head shop here in Philadelphia you guys can play: Wonderland. You guys should do a tour of head shops around the country.

KELLEY DEAL: The thing is, I don’t smoke pot.

PHAWKER: I know, but maybe you could start. Actually, that’s probably not a good idea, 10365795_807013846087721_3134217386008906638_nright?

KELLEY DEAL: True. But I actually am really pissed that I missed this whole legalization thing and this whole vape thing. I’m kind of annoyed by it. But, me and pot is just no good, it’s no good.

PHAWKER: Were you ever a pot smoker?

KELLEY DEAL: I was in high school. I smoked my face off in high school and i kinda just got over it, I quit enjoying it.

PHAWKER: Why am I not surprised to hear. I’m assuming both you and Kim were big stoners in high school, am I right?

KELLEY DEAL: I was, Kim was not. She was a really good student and I was a hood.

PHAWKER: You just smoke cigarettes, right? Or do you even smoke cigarettes?

KELLEY DEAL: No, I don’t anymore. I quit about 8 years ago but I still chew nicotine gum.

PHAWKER: Good for you!

KELLEY DEAL: Thank you, thank you. But I still chew nicotine gum 8 years later and I’m ok with that.

PHAWKER: And that’s your only vice?

KELLEY DEAL: Yeah, yes it is.

PHAWKER: Congratulations.

KELLEY DEAL: And I have sugar and coffee.

PHAWKER: I don’t know if you want to talk about this, we can keep this off the record if you’d like but I gotta hand it to you, you know? I don’t know many people who shook a heroin habit and bounced back and are doing well and making more interesting music. I know some people that get clean and sober and then they just kind of lose it artistically or are just not as interesting. A lot of people I know, too, seem to struggle forever just constantly relapsing. So, I gotta hand it to you. I’m very proud of you, my friend.

KELLEY DEAL: Thank you very much, I appreciate it Jonathan. You know, that’s not to say that I haven’t relapsed over this period. I mean, I haven’t drank since 1995 and I really don’t have the urge to drink. I mean, I was completely an alcoholic, I drank alcoholically but that’s not the thing that gets me. And pot, too. I used to, as I said, smoke my face off but that’s not gonna take me over. I’m like ‘Ehh, never mind.’ But, ProtoRingI tell ya, the opiates are really what I struggled with. Not now because I feel pretty good nowadays just really having understood — and this is a whole 12 step-y thing — it’s the first one that gets me. I mean, I really can’t have any codeine at all. I can’t go to Europe, or France has really good over-the-counter Codeine, I can’t say to myself ‘Oh, I have cramps. I really need some Codeine just to take the edge off.’ Then I take that entire addiction back and I’m looking for pills, pills are hard to find, it’s way easier just to find heroin, you know? And then I’m back on it!

PHAWKER: That’s so common now. People develop Vicodin or Oxy habits from prescription use, they get cut off from the prescription and the only thing they can find is heroin.

KELLEY DEAL: And heroin is so much cheaper!

PHAWKER: Yeah, it’s cheaper and easier to get and that’s why there are so many people with heroin addictions.

KELLEY DEAL: And ODs! And Fentanyl around here! It’s terrible. Yeah, I don’t know.
PHAWKER: Yeah, and I guess we identified that some people are really prone to opiate addiction cause I can take some Codeine and I’m not sure I’d even feel like I was high off of it. Apparently though, when you try it you feel really good and it brings back good memories of good feelings and that kind of stuff.

KELLEY DEAL: Yeah, I do think it’s completely biological and I do think it’s genetic.

PHAWKER: So, not to turn this into a whole rehab story, how do you keep on the straight and narrow? Do you go to meetings?

KELLEY DEAL: I do. I absolutely do.

PHAWKER: And that helps?

KELLEY DEAL: Oh, yeah it does. It really helps. You know, for me right now i have no desire to but I think if I quit going, it wouldn’t be tomorrow or months from now, I would follow this pattern: I get, I’m doing good, everything’s feeling tight and stuff then I quit following up and stop hanging with people who are sober. It’s more of just reminding yourself, you know? Just reminders.

PHAWKER: And I’m amazed that you’re able to keep it together with all the touring with the Breeders and stuff. Rock n’ Roll is nothing but temptation, right? A touring rock n’ roll band is just rolling temptation.

KELLEY DEAL: It is and I think about this in the previous, but poor 20131107_breeders_91-1Josephine. Back in the day, you know, she’s touring with three alcoholics. Me, Kim and the drummer Jim.

PHAWKER: Was she totally straight? Jim was a big drinker too?

KELLEY DEAL: Well, Jim was actually sober at the time and was in recovery so he wasn’t actively drinking at the beginning of the band. And then Josephine, God. She’s just normal, normal as can be. You know what? She’s as normal as she can be. You know? She’s a kook.

PHAWKER: How normal is that?

KELLEY DEAL: Not very normal. She is one of the most interesting people I have ever met.
PHAWKER: And where is she living?

KELLEY DEAL: She’s living in Brooklyn. Yeah, she’s been in the States since the early 90s. She and her girlfriend live in Brooklyn. She’s coming next week and we are, in Tim’s basement, doing some tapings. We’ve got a 16 track reel-to-reel there and we’re gonna try to do some taping and stuff. You know, just trying to get some really cool sounds because Josephine really loves digital music and she can work all that, she’s got everything. And Kim is the other side of that.

PHAWKER: Which is what? Guitars and drums you mean? What’s the other side of that?

KELLEY DEAL: Oh, tape. Analogue, everything analogue. I think what we’re going to do is figure out how we can do this together using both of those things, maybe. Which is kind of a big deal, you know, for us.

PHAWKER: Now are you talking about doing work on another Breeders record?

KELLEY DEAL: Oh, yeah. We’ve been since 2003. Like last Fall we did a tour and we played the Hollywood Bowl.

PHAWKER: Oh, wow! How cool was that?

KELLEY DEAL: It was so fun! It was really cool. It was so beautiful, it was so special. And, you know, I don’t usually feel like that. I think it was CBGB’s when I looked around and said ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe I’m playing this place.’ That place and Breeders_400then Hollywood Bowl are the only two places where I looked around and I was impressed. Otherwise, I don’t really care where I’m playing. It just doesn’t mean that much to me. But those two places I was like ‘Oh my God, this is history right here.’

PHAWKER: But I interrupted you, you said you played at the Hollywood Bowl last Fall and….

KELLEY DEAL: Yes. And we added some new songs to that setlist. I mean, we played some new songs that night and some other nights. Yeah, so we just tried them out and what we are doing now is some recording of those. But, you know it’s a long process like you can imagine. New Breeders record soon.
PHAWKER: So there’s no deadline or hard plans put together? You guys are just gonna get together, roll some tape and maybe come up with some songs and see how it goes?

KELLEY DEAL: And that’s the one kind of bummer thing about not working with a label nowadays; labels provided this schedule and ultimately it was contractible, although in my experience it never was the ‘You better or else’ kind of thing. But, a schedule was there and that was nice.

PHAWKER: Because you guys need a deadline to get motivated and get going.

KELLEY DEAL: Oh, Jon I need a deadline to get out of my house! I’m still in my pajamas! Jesus!

PHAWKER: So, you and Kim are still both living in Dayton, yes?

KELLEY DEAL: Yes.

PHAWKER: That’s cool. So, you said you were still in your pajamas and I wanted to ask you: what’s a typical day in the life of Kelley Deal these days?

KELLEY DEAL: Hmmmm. Wake up to coffee and, you know, it’s weird because I tumblr_meo9iyss3H1r69a5mo1_1280work from home so I can be in my pajamas. And by work I’m either doing music stuff or sewing stuff.

PHAWKER: Tell me about the sewing stuff. Are you doing stuff that you’re selling or are you doing projects for people to get commission on them?

KELLEY DEAL: No. Were you around when I was knitting like a crazy fool?

PHAWKER: Knitting, yeah you were definitely knitting when we were hanging out. Go ahead.

KELLEY DEAL: Yeah, so it’s just something I kind of started doing then and I have a store. I have this thing where I really like working with old felted sweaters with weird patterns and colors and I put them together and make scarves out of them. It’s not high art or anything but I’m kind of obsessed with it and that’s just kind of what I do. Then I sell them online.

PHAWKER: What’s your online store called? Give it a plug!

KELLEY DEAL: It’s on Big Cartel. I think it’s called store.kelleydeal.com or something. Yeah, something like that. It’s on Big Cartel which is this amazing platform for artists to sell things.

KELLEY DEAL: It is [private]. It’s my own, yeah. What’re you doing, Jonathan? I wanna hear about what you’re doing. Are you still in Philly?

PHAWKER: I am still in Philly. I’m not playing music, I’ve been throwing myself into writing full-time so that fell into the backseat for about the last ten years.

KELLEY DEAL: Do you miss not playing?

PHAWKER: Not really, to be honest with you. I feel like I kind of got it out of my system because I lived it so hard from like 18 to 35 or something like that. I’m fine with it. Back in the day I don’t think I could have ever imagined a time where I would not miss it and not want to do it all the time. I’m actually just very excited about seeing younger people come up and helping to support them and tell their story.

KELLEY DEAL: Well, good. Who do you recommend who is cool or somebody who is doing something interesting?

PHAWKER: As far as a young up-and-coming band?

KELLEY DEAL: Yeah, that you’re like “damn! They good!”

PHAWKER: Yeah, there is this band out of Philly actually that you should check out called Hop Along. They’re like a kinda indie guitar-rock thing, they have this breedersgreat chick singer, she writes all the songs and she’s the leader of the band. She’s got a really cool voice and it kind of goes from she’s got a really good scream and she’s also got a really pretty kind of hush whisper-y lullaby kind of voice. Check them out. They have a new album out, they’re kind of blowing up right now.

KELLEY DEAL: Do you know, at the [Johnny Brenda’s] show we’re going to have, who’s the guy from Dead Kennedys? He lives in Philly. Joe…

PHAWKER: Oh, not the Dead Kennedys. The Dead Milkmen, right?

KELLEY DEAL: The Dead Milkmen!

PHAWKER: Joe Jack Talcum, that’s who you’re talking about.

KELLEY DEAL: Yes, sorry. He’s going to be playing with us.

PHAWKER: I saw that, that’s very cool. I’m looking forward to it.

KELLEY DEAL: Oh, good. You gonna come, you think?

PHAWKER: I’m gonna absolutely come.
KELLEY DEAL: Oh, good. I’m glad. It’s just different, you know? Do you have any dogs?

PHAWKER: Do I have any dogs? No, I have a cat named Nico. She’s black. I hope that’s not going to be a problem.

KELLEY DEAL: Yeah, good. Is she indoor or outdoor?

PHAWKER: Indoor. You can’t have an outdoor cat in Philly. People do horrible things.

KELLEY DEAL: Really? Especially black ones.

PHAWKER: Yeah, exactly. What other questions do you have for me?

KELLEY DEAL: What about the other guys [in the Psyclone Rangers]? Are they all dead?

PHAWKER: No, they’re alive. Everyone just kind of matured into the straight life, I guess. But I will tell them you said hello. They will be very excited to hear that I talked to you.

KELLEY DEAL: Yes, please tell them that I said hi. I loved that record, KZK.1993.00.05wmJesus!

PHAWKER: I still have that issue of Rolling Stone with you listing our record as one of your top ten favorites of 1993.. I mean, that was a huge thing for us because we were such Breeders fans. When that album came out, someone gave us Last Splash and we took it on tour and we listened to it everyday. We were like in love with you guys. And then I think a friend of mine, when you came through Allentown with Nirvana, passed along our album to you and I think that’s how the whole thing happened. Then one day we opened up Rolling Stone and were like ‘Woah, this is awesome!’ By the way, I don’t think I made it clear to you, I really like R. Ring. I really like the songs, I think they’re great. Yeah, it’s really good.

KELLEY DEAL: Thanks, I really appreciate it. That means a lot, Jonathan. Cause I had a feeling you were a son of a bitch, you know, when it comes to that shit.

PHAWKER: You mean being like hard to please in that way? Yeah, I guess I kind of am.

KELLEY DEAL: I mean, how many types of music have you heard in the world?

PHAWKER: Ten zillion.

KELLEY DEAL: Exactly, so I’m just trying to make something interesting. So, that’s good.



R. RING + JOE JACK TALCUM PLAY JOHNNY BRENDA’S MONDAY JULY 27th

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GOD SAVE THE QUEEN: A Q&A With Hop Along’s Frances Quinlan, AKA The Best Voice In Indie-Rock

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

Hopalong_by_JONATHAN_MINTO

Photo by JONATHAN MINTO

IMG_0998BY TOM BECK Right now, the Philadelphia indie rock scene is a gigantic freight train plowing down the Belt Line Railroad, whizzing by the ancient history of Philly rock’s past, leaving Hall and Oats, Bill Haley and the Comets, and The Hooters in the dust. There’s a boatload of bands on board, but without doubt, Hop Along are the crew members, and Frances Quinlan the engineer. The group’s latest release, Painted Shut, got bad reviews from pretty much nobody, leaving even Rolling Stone asking “What’s up with Philly lately?” There’s a certain unorthodoxy to their success; Quinlan, the band’s lead singer and songwriter, screams out almost every note she sings with the magnitude of a baby who’s just had its binky stolen by a golden retriever — a technique probably every singing teacher on the planet would advise against. But for Quinlan, it works. And it works very well. It works so well that the band catapulted from playing tiny Johnny Brenda’s this past New Year’s Eve to headlining the Union Transfer less than five months later. The band’s next hometown date is this weekend, where they’ll play 88.5 WXPN’s XPoNential Music Festival Saturday afternoon at Wiggins Park on the Camden Waterfront.

PHAWKER:
You have the best voice in indie rock. Explain how your singing style came to be. What singers have influenced you? How do you decide when to go for the raspy/scream-y thing and when to back off and play nice?

FRANCES QUINLAN: Oh, thank you, first of all. I guess that side of things — my style — it’s really just me hop-along_hires_shervin-lainezworking with the voice that I have. And also, screaming’s fun (laughs). So actually most of the time, especially on this last record, I was really consciously trying not to scream all the time. Like, just not to go for it all the time. For some reason, I just tend to gravitate more towards intensity in singing. But actually, a lot of the vocalists I really love tend to be a lot more subtle and laid back. I guess some of the singers that push it more that I really admire — I mean, you know, Jeff Magnum kind of pushes it and god who else — one of the first bands I got into growing up was Radiohead, but I can’t really say that Thom Yorke goes crazy. I think he’s got kind of more of a croon. So, yeah, the thing that’s harder for me to do is hold back. And that’s not even that — when I say hold back — I think it’s more of a challenge to hold back and to be subtle and to not pull all the stops. It’s hard to not want to just pull all the stops and push every phrase as far as you want it to go. When I was a lot younger I was really into slam poetry for a minute, and I would — oh god, it’s so embarrasing, I have like a recording of me doing these slam style poems and the poems really aren’t so terrible, but the way I’m trying to pull all the stops on every word is pretty hideous. And one of my friends — I guess I was 17 at the time and one of my friends came up to me and he said “that sounded really cool. I have no idea what the poem was, like I don’t know what you were trying to get at” because I was trying so hard to sound intense. So anyway long story short, I think I am just trying to mostly reign in that desire to be so, I don’t know intense. It actually kind of frustrates me, because I would love to be able to sing quiet and have it come across with my voice, but I don’t know, I just seem drawn the other way.

PHAWKER: Well I saw you guys do the Tiny Desk Concert where you had to be quieter, and I thought you pulled it off pretty well.

FRANCES QUINLAN: Oh thanks! Thank you.

PHAWKER: Philly’s music scene has been getting lots of international attention, with some people calling it the capital of indie rock, and it seems like Hop Along is leading the pack. True? Who else in the Philly scene do you like/admire?
(more…)


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