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NPR 4 THE DEAF: We Hear It Even When U Can’t

April 26th, 2018

bring-the-war-home

 

FRESH AIR: In Aug. 2017, many Americans were shocked to see neo-Nazis and members of the so called alt-right demonstrating in Charlottesville, Va. But author Kathleen Belew says the roots of the rally were actually decades in the making. Belew, who has spent more than 10 years studying America’s White Power movement, traces the movement’s rise to the end of the Vietnam War, and the feeling among some “white power” veterans that the country had betrayed them. “To be clear, I’m not arguing that this is at all representative of Vietnam veterans — this is a tiny, tiny percentage of returning veterans,” Belew says. “But it is a large and instrumental number of people within the White Power movement — and they play really important roles in changing the course of movement action.” In her new book, Bring the War Home, Belew argues that as disparate racist groups came together, the movement’s goal shifted from one of “vigilante activism” to something more wide-reaching: “It’s aimed at unseating the federal government. … It’s aimed at undermining infrastructure and currency to foment race war.” MORE

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INCOMING: My Bloody Valentine’s Day

April 24th, 2018

mbvprintres-hr

 

My Bloody Valentine return to the stage this summer for the first time since late 2013. The band will tour the United States and play overseas festivals including Robert Smith’s Meltdown in London, Roskilde in Denmark, and Sonicmania in Japan. This is the first stateside run since My Bloody Valentine toured in support of m b vTickets will be on sale at www.mybloodyvalentine.org this Friday, April 27th at 10am local time, except for New York, which will be on sale at 11am Eastern. A presale code will be available via Brooklyn Vegan on Thursday, April 26 at 10am Eastern.

Listen to Kevin Shields and Bob Boilen discuss the newly released all-analog versions of Loveless and Isn’t Anything and more on NPR Music’s “All Songs Considered,” and read recent interviews with Shields on Pitchfork and Rolling Stone.

My Bloody Valentine Tour Dates:
Sat. June 23 – London, UK @ Royal Festival Hall – Robert Smith’s Meltdown
Sat. June 30 – Sat. July 7 – Roskilde, DE @ Roskilde Festival
Tue. July 17 – Seattle, WA @ Paramount
Thu. July 19 – Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater
Sun. July 22 – Los Angeles, CA @ FYF Fest
Wed. July 25 – St. Paul, MN @ Palace Theatre
Fri. July 27 – Chicago, IL @ Riviera Theatre
Mon. July 30 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Fillmore
Wed. Aug. 1 – New York, NY  @Hammerstein Ballroom
Fri. Aug. 17 – Makuhari Messe, JP @ Sonicmania

Play loud! NO, LOUDER!

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ROLLING BLACKOUTS C.F.: “Talking Straight”

April 24th, 2018

From Hope Downs, out June 15th on Sub Pop.

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MESSAGE FROM EARTH: You Are Killing Me

April 22nd, 2018

plastic-water-bottle-pollution-infographic-facts-environmental-effects

[Via Printwand]

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Win Tix To See The Mountain Goats On Monday!

April 20th, 2018

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Illustration by JUSTIN LAWRENCE DEVINE

NEW YORK MAGAZINE: Stephen Wesley has three unconditional loves: John, Joy, and God, perhaps in that order of importance. God is God, Joy is his girlfriend, and John is John Darnielle, the founder and star of a fairly obscure, critically acclaimed, and obsessively beloved indie-rock band called the Mountain Goats. Wesley believes in a mighty and just God, but sometimes he thinks the man upstairs doesn’t approve of the Mountain Goats. How else to explain Wesley’s Job-like disappointments at previous attempts to see the band live? There was the I.D. problem, for instance, the canceled show, and the Mitsubishi breakdown outside of Atlanta in 2007.

But that’s all in the past. Tonight, Wesley waits outside the Music Hall of Williamsburg, bobbing up and down in a pair of green Vans, jeans, and a field jacket adorned with Mountain Goats buttons. He looks more or less like the rest of the assembled Mountain Goats faithful, a cross section of earnest young poet boys, geeky music-philes, and self-styled off-the-grid types carrying messenger bags—nearly a thousand of whom have gathered here tonight to bathe in Darnielle’s light. Wesley follows his brethren inside, sips from a water bottle, and paces the lobby. He stops at the merch table and plunks down $12 on a Mountain Goats T-shirt.

The opening act is a guitarist named Kaki King. Midway through her set, Wesley glances at his watch. “I’m ready,” he says, “for John.” Kaki King exits. The room fills with more fans. The sound system bleats out the opening line of Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons’ “December, 1963.” (“Oh what a niiiight!”) To hard-core fans, and that’s virtually everyone, that’s a cue: It’s time. From a stage door to Stephen’s right, the band’s rhythm section makes its way out, and then, after the requisite dramatic pause, Darnielle emerges. He is a stocky middle-aged white man wearing a goofy smile and a blazer festooned with death-metal patches. And yet he is treated here, among his people, as no less an icon than a Mick or a Kurt.Mountain_Goats

Darnielle plugs in his guitar, strums a few notes, and says hello. The crowd cheers. Wesley, who is usually quiet and thoughtful, starts chattering like a tween: “Oh my God, Oh my God,” “I can’t believe this is finally happening. Is this really happening?” and “This is the greatest day of my life.”

“I know superfandom went out with the restraining order,” he had told me earlier, with a self-deprecating smile. “But I can’t help it with John.”

Rock-band worship is nothing new, of course, but the relationship between Darnielle and his fans has its own special hue. This is not the mass, global adulation of arena bands like U2. Nor is it fandom as lifestyle as practiced by Dead Heads. It’s the confessional-indie-troubador-and-his-flock-of-disciples model of Nick Drake, the Smiths, and Rufus Wainwright. Like those musicians and their tribes, Darnielle and his acolytes share an unusually intimate, and often pained, bond. Mountain Goats fans tend to have an air of sadness about them, and because Darnielle sings so openly and candidly about his own difficulties, he connects with his audience on a level that few artists are able to reach (the band is called the Mountain Goats, plural, but the group—and the fuss over them—is entirely about Darnielle). Darnielle sings about what his fans feel but can’t articulate. He’s their hero, but he’s also their soulmate, the one person in the world who understands them. That’s why Stephen Wesley and the legions of fans like him can’t get enough of the Mountain Goats. And that burden is crushing Darnielle. MORE

We have a pair of tix to see The Mountain Goats on April 23rd for the second of their two-night stand at Ardmore Music Hall (the Sunday April 22nd show is SOLD OUT) to give away to some lucky Phawker reader. To qualify, all you have to do is 1.) sign up for our mailing list. (Located above right, just 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!) 2) After signing up, send us an email at PHAWKER66@GMAIL.COM telling us a much, with the words HAIL SATAN in the subject line AND the correct answer to the following Mountain Goats trivia question: What is the name of the best ever death metal band in Denton? Please include your full name and a mobile number for confirmation. Good luck and godspeed!

THE MOUNTAIN GOATS @ ARDMORE MUSIC HALL MONDAY APRIL 23RD

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NPR 4 THE DEAF: We Hear It Even When U Can’t

April 18th, 2018

Comey Illustration CROPPED

 

FRESH AIR: It’s been almost a year since since James Comey first learned that President Trump had fired him. The former FBI director was in Los Angeles visiting the field office for a diversity event when a ticker announcing his ouster scrolled across the bottom of a TV screen. “I thought it was a scam,” Comey says. “I went back to talking to the people who were gathered in front of me.” But it was true. Comey later told the Senate intelligence committee that he believed he had been fired for leading the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the election and potential ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. But Trump gave conflicting reasons for the dismissal — including the claim that Comey had mishandled the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server that she used as secretary of state. Now Comey shares his story in his new memoir, A Higher Loyalty. In it, he explains his handling of the Clinton investigation and sounds the alarm about the Trump presidency. He also defends the FBI against charges of partisanship. “People love the FBI when they think it’s on their side,” Comey says. But, he adds, “We were not — and are not — on anybody’s side. … That is not how we looked at the world and not how the FBI looks at the world today.” MORE

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LINK WRAY: Son Of Rumble

April 18th, 2018

 

“He’s the king. If it hadn’t been for Link Wray and Rumble, I’d have never picked up a guitar.” - Pete Townshend

“Rumble had the power to help me say ‘fuck it,’ I’m going to be a musician.” – Iggy Pop

“Link Wray was a huge influence on all modern rock guitar players. If they say he didn’t influence (them), they’re lying!” - Wayne Kramer, MC5

Sixty years ago, legendary guitarist Link Wray released his influential instrumental song “Rumble,” and changed the face and sound of rock and roll forever. The song has now been inducted into the very first class of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Singles. This marks the first time The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has honored songs in addition to artists, and Link Wray’s “Rumble” was immortalized alongside five other singles. “Very happy to see Link Wray’s “Rumble” get its much deserved recognition by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” said Dan Auerbach about “Rumble’s” induction. “It’s a song that changed everything and influenced all that came after it. It’s now time for that impact to be fully recognized and for Link to be inducted to the Rock Hall as an artist, where he always belonged.” Read the full details about the song’s induction via Billboard.

Dan Auerbach’s label, Easy Eye Sound has released “Son of Rumble,” Link’s intended, but never released follow-up to the song that introduced the world to power chords and intentional distortion. “Son of Rumble” is a never before released or heard track from the Link Wray archives, and the song, along with b-side “Whole Lotta Talking,” is now available as 7” vinyl here.

Link Wray’s “Rumble” became a flash point for countless musicians including Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Pete Townshend, Iggy Pop, Steven Van Zandt, Jeff Beck and Elvis Costello. The song was banned in New York, Boston, and Detroit, for fear it would incite juvenile violence, making Wray the only artist in history to have a banned instrumental.

The story of Link Wray sounds like something straight out of a Hollywood movie. In 1937, a boy from the Shawnee Indian tribe was taught guitar by an African American traveling carny named Hambone in the segregated south. In 1953, that boy became a Western Swing musician who played the wake of Hank Williams. By 1957, he was a Korean War Veteran who lost a lung to TB and was told he’d never sing again. Yet, Link Wray spent the next half-century as the only one-lung singer in rock and roll, and lay the foundations for what the genre would become. The impact of Link Wray, one of Rolling Stone’s Top 100 Guitarists of All Time, can be heard in generations of American and British metal, punk, grunge, thrash, and psychobilly rockers, all of whom have claimed him and “Rumble” (and follow-ups “Raw-Hide” and “Jack The Ripper”) as their own.

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The Complete Robert Pollard MAGNET Interview

April 17th, 2018

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: To mark the auspicious occasion of GBV playing Union Transfer tonight here’s the complete, unexpurgated MAGNET interview with Robert Pollard in New York City June of 2013 Issue Number 100
 

SCALPING THE GURU

In the time it takes you to read this Robert Pollard will have written and recorded three brilliant albums and disbanded Guided By Voices again. MAGNET stages a Beer Summit to find out how and why.

BY JONATHAN VALANIA

No light or air or hope gets past the front door of Desmond’s Tavern, a grungy windowless taproom in midtown Manhattan that looks like a VFW hall crashed into a sports bar and smells like a frat house at low tide, and the afternoon crowd seems to like it that way. They like to do their drinking in the same place the fly got smashed. With its tobacco-cured walls, expansive array of Anheuser-Busch products and classic rawk on the jukebox, it’s the closest thing to a Dayton dive this far east of the Buckeye State, which is no doubt why it was selected to host MAGNET’s summit with the clown prince of the menthol trailer park, aka Robert Pollard, the mic-swinging, high-kicking, Bud-swigging past-present-and-possibly-former frontman for Guided By Voices. We must count our blessings, an audience with Pollard is a rare thing these days, he hasn’t granted an interview in three years.

For most MAGNET readers, Pollard needs no introduction and space is in short supply so I will be brief. But if you are new to the Pollard saga, know that he is hands-down the most gifted, beguiling and, by a wide margin, prolific songwriter of the indie-rock era. By his own count he has released upwards of 80 records, including 20 Guided By Voices albums, 19 solo albums and countless LPs, EPs and seven-inch singles from his endless string of one-off collaborations and side projects, among them Boston Space Ships, Airport 5, Circus Devils, Acid Ranch, Lifeguards, The Moping Swans, Lexo & The Leapers, Hazzard Hot Rods and Howling Wolf Orchestra.

The sheer volume and velocity of Pollard’s recorded output continues to amaze and overwhelm even his most devoted disciples. “I think it explains his lack of extreme, worldwide fame,” says director Steven Soderbergh, an avowed Bob Pollard superfan. “I think people don’t trust him. I think they’re just very suspicious of the amount of material. And it’s so unusual that, I don’t know if they find it threatening, or if they’re just bewildered, or they don’t have the stamina to even keep up with it. But all I do is keep listening and marveling at his ability to generate really high quality music. The last couple years — I don’t think he’s ever been bad — but the last couple years in particular he’s been very, very good.”

MAGNET’s interview with Pollard was occasioned by the release of Honey Locust Honky Tonk, his 19th solo record and arguably his best to date. We begin with Pollard dropping the bombshell that he has grown bored with the reunion of the so-called classic line-up of Guided By Voices after four albums and a couple tours and may well pull the plug on it, at least as far as making new albums is concerned. But fear not, my droogs. Even if that happens there will be plenty of Pollard to go around. The Fading Captain is a lifer. He shoots himself with rock n’ roll. The hole he digs is bottomless, but nothing else can set him free.

ROBERT POLLARD: Honey Locust Honky Tonk is basically the songs I wrote for the next Guided By Voices album, but I’m not sure there’s going to be a next Guided By Voices album. I’m not gonna say for sure, but it’s already got a little bit stagnant. To me it’s kind of run its course.

MAGNET: Really?

ROBERT POLLARD: We did a lot within the course of two or three years.

MAGNET: Four albums.

ROBERT POLLARD: Four albums. First, it was a reunion tour and then it was a proper tour, supporting a new album. But now I’m thinking, probably, I’ll relegate [GBV] to the festival circuit, you know? People at festivals don’t want to hear a new album they want to hear the greatest hits. And I’m not that interested in that. I’m more interested in what comes next.

MAGNET: I think the consensus opinion of the post-reunion albums was that you were putting your poppier stuff on your solo records and your more experimental stuff on the GBV records. Is that true?

ROBERT POLLARD: Well, you know, to me, I don’t know if that’s true. What I thought is I was putting my more mature stuff on my solo record because it has a name of a person and some of my less mature stuff with the band name because you can do whatever you want, there is no age limit. Robert Pollard is fifty-five years old, but the singer for Guided By Voices is whatever.

MAGNET: Your rate of releasing new material is just astonishing, and it’s only gone into overdrive in the last five to 10 years.

ROBERT POLLARD: In the time it takes some of my contemporaries to put out two albums, I will have put out 30 albums. That’s pretty ridiculous.

MAGNET: It overwhelms people. People feel like they can’t keep up. ‘I lost track.’ I hear this all the time from people, especially when I mention that I was going to interview you. People were saying that to me back in the early ‘90’s and it’s only gotten worse now that you’ve put out a gajillion records. It’s kinda like trying to swallow the ocean.

ROBERT POLLARD: That’s what I do. I love to write songs, I love to write songs. You can’t turn it off, because you don’t want to turn it off. If you turn it off, maybe you can’t turn it back on.

MAGNET: What do you say to people who tell you you’re oversaturating the market?

ROBERT POLLARD: Well, first of all, I work at a very strong pace. I’ve been putting out much to the chagrin of people — a lot of people say that ‘I dilute my genius’ — genius is their word, not mine, by the way. But I disagree because that’s the way I work and I’m afraid to not do it that way, I’m afraid to turn if off because I’m afraid that I wouldn’t be able to turn it back on, you know?

MAGNET: But what if — just to play the devil’s advocate here — what if you wrote and recorded songs but didn’t put them out as quickly as you do?

ROBERT POLLARD: Well, I’ve done that. You asked me how do you choose, well for the most part, I’ve been doing it for so long, I’ll have a batch of songs and that’s pretty much what they’re gonna be and they all make it. But occasionally, some of them don’t. One time I finished an album and I went to this bar and there was a band playing. And there were all these middle-aged women up there dancing to it. I started kind of just daydreaming and gazing and second-guessing myself about what I just did. I was watching the dancers and I was like, ‘Would they dance to my new record? Would they be dancing like that?’ and the answer was yes. Yeah, they would dance to it. So I got rid of the whole thing.

MAGNET: I read that you have 2,000 songs registered to BMI…

ROBERT POLLARD: That’s probably five years ago, that count was probably five years ago.

MAGNET: And you released something like 50 albums, between GBV and side projects and solo records…

ROBERT POLLARD: Actually, it’s closer to 80.

MAGNET: I remember reading somewhere that you said a couple of years ago someone played you a song of yours that you didn’t even recognize. It wasn’t even that old of a song. Like, from 2003 or something.

ROBERT POLLARD: Didn’t even know what it was. The thing is, I got some hardcore fans. And a handful — not a lot — but it’s a handful — about five hundred, a thousand — are hardcore. And they know way more than I do. They’ll say, ‘You know…’ And I don’t know what they’re talking about. I’ll have no idea what they’re talking about. We’ll be sitting in a bar, ‘Sing it out dude. That’s you.’ And I’ll be like ‘It is?’

MAGNET: You didn’t even know it was you? How much do you listen to records after they’re done?

ROBERT POLLARD: Hardcore for a month and then that’s it. Hardcore for a month, “Yeahhhh.” Then after about a month, ‘That’s enough.’ Then I’ll listen to it four or five years later like ‘Yeah now it’s gotten good. Now it’s ripe.’

MAGNET: So you don’t fall into that trap that a lot of musicians do where they can’t even listen to their own albums because all they hear are the mistakes and it drives them nuts?

ROBERT POLLARD: I make so many mistakes that I’m artistically exempt. It became almost a good thing. It’s almost like at times he’s doing that purposely. Not that I want to make mistakes on purpose, but I don’t have to worry about it so much because people don’t seem to care so much. I don’t need to be perfect, I not Bowie.
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MAGNET: What’s the longest you think you ever spent on a song?

ROBERT POLLARD: Recording it and then rehashing it and all that? You know, usually when you do that, it’s not worth it, you just throw it away. When I was on TVT I was almost being arm-twisted into spending too much time. You know, ‘It’s not an album, you’re holding back on me?’ I’m holding back on you? ‘Yeah, where’s the hits? Think cars, girls, summer, that kind of shit?’ OK, I can do that. So I go back and write “Glad Girls” and “Hold On Hope” and shit and I would labor over it a little bit. There were all these songs that in hindsight I’m not happy with. ‘Oh, we love those songs.’ That’s fine. That’s all good and fine, but I don’t. They were looking for a hits, and we stepped into that trap when we took a step up. And I don’t know if I told you why we even did that in the first place. But we were playing these festivals where we were, you know, third stage, eleven o’clock in the morning and shit. And Tenacious D is second from the headliner on the main stage. I’m sick of that shit, so I kind of had this thing like ‘We’re going for it.’ Yeah, and it was a pretty stupid, silly move. But I backed up quick enough, I think. I still kind of like those albums. It was cool to get to work with big-time producers — Rick Ocasek and Rob Schnapf. It was fun, but it was just — that’s not my bag. We weren’t allowed to drink in the studio. I’m not saying that those records are bad. It’s just like I don’t appreciate not being able to drink when I’m making my own art. I should have said something, but it was like, he’s Rick Ocasek.

MAGNET: So you still live in Dayton. Born there, probably gonna die there, right?

ROBERT POLLARD: Looks like it. I’ve got some good friends in Dayton and my cop out is always like man, any place you go to after a while is going to suck. Plus my parents are still alive, and it’s like, when your parents are still alive, you know, they’re around 80, and they’re still doing well. It’s just hard to leave. Remember you came and hung out with us?

MAGNET: Are you kidding? Of course I do. It was 1999, for the cover of the September issue.

ROBERT POLLARD: Do you remember some of the crazy shit we did? Remember we got kicked out of the fucking the strip bar?

MAGNET: Because your brother said that ‘That woman’s got the best fart box in town!’

ROBERT POLLARD: I know! [laughing]

MAGNET: But why did we get kicked out? Because we were being loud or something?

ROBERT POLLARD: I don’t think we deserved to be kicked out. You know, what the fuck? What are you supposed to do?

MAGNET: They’re naked and you’re giving us beer! What do you think we’re going to do?

ROBERT POLLARD: What are we supposed to be the perfect little choir boys? We didn’t do anything to deserve to be kicked out.

MAGNET: That was fucking great, that was like going to Guided By Voices fantasy camp. Do you know how many people would have killed to come to your house and hang out at The Monument Club? Go down to the Snake Pit and rifle through all your vinyl. Sit on stools wearing headphones hunched over the four track you recorded Bee Thousand on. See the rooster with the six pack ring around it’s neck that lived next door. Go to the elementary school you taught at and then going to Wright-Patterson Air Force where they took the alien bodies and crashed spaceship from Roswell.

ROBERT POLLARD: Man, I appreciate that. Those are the things I’m always worried about, like after you left. Like, ‘Man, I bet he thought that was weird, that we were fucking retarded.’ (Laughs)

MAGNET: Not at all, no. I grew up in Allentown, Pennsylvania, which is very much like Dayton, that’s a big part of why I’ve always related to your story because I totally know what it’s like to be stranded in the middle of nowhere, in love with rock and roll, with no hope of ever ‘making it.’ Rock stars don’t come from where I live. So you drink beer with your buddies down in the basement, plug in and turn it up and close your eyes and fake it until it becomes real, until you’re Live At Budokan.
Read the rest of this entry »

BEING THERE: Ty Seagall @ The Trocadero

April 16th, 2018

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Photo by MARK LIKOSKY

Ty Segall is like a combination Buddy Holly, Jerry Garcia and every character who’s ever died in a Mad Max film — but shorter, thicker, with a moonpie face and long dirty blonde Cousin It hair. We go way back. I’ve seen him in small venues like The Knockout back in his budding SF days. Those were smaller scale performances but he’s retained that same sincere demeanor of a committed devotee to shredding a hole in his private darkness and unleashing a blinding haze of purifying rock n’ roll light to awaken the masses. He is the sort of performer who could book a show on an empty planet — let’s say, for the sake of argument, Uranus — and disintegrate nearby moons and melt the sun with nothing more than a fuzz pedal and a Marshall stack. In a city like Philly with such a strong psych rock scene Ty was welcomed with warm ears as he effortlessly traumatized the Troc with what was the heaviest set I’ve ever experienced. I do Jiu Jitsu and I’m used to getting tackled and suffocated by guys over 250 lbs. This was heavier. I’ve seen steamrollers smooth out concrete streets on hot summer days. This was heavier. A local female power trio called The Long Hots opened the show, shredding out long heavy discordantly blissful jams with extremely minimal equipment. All told, the $30 door price was well worth the price of a much-needed primal scream session of psych rock therapy. How refreshing it was to walk out of the Troc on a rainy Sunday Chinatown night thankful that I ventured off the couch from Wild Wild Country binging to witness something wilder, weirder and altogether wonderful. – MARK LIKOSKY

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WORTH REPEATING: #FireHannity

April 16th, 2018

Hannity_Fox_Sake
 
No, seriously. Fire Hannity.

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IN BOB WE TRUST: Win Tix To See GBV @ UT!

April 15th, 2018

Pollard_MAGNET100

 

Employing the same Buckeye ingenuity that keeps the Goodyear blimp afloat, Robert Pollard can polish a turd with Budweiser until it shines with 24-carat radiance, transmuting a tossed-off, six-pack idea into a classic rock artifact or at the very least a beguiling no-fi curio. As captain of the drunken boat that is Guided By Voices, Pollard built a cottage industry by churning out cheap, miniature melodic masterpieces with all the fidelity of a ham radio broadcast. He does it with volume — by which I mean quantity not loudness. As such, the discography remains daunting if only for its sheer scope. If you are new to the Pollard saga, know that he is hands-down the most gifted, beguiling and, by a wide margin, prolific songwriter of the indie-rock era. By his own count he has released upwards of 80 records, including 20+ Guided By Voices albums, 19 solo albums and countless LPs, EPs and seven-inch singles from his endless string of one-off collaborations and side projects, among them Boston Space Ships, Airport 5, Circus Devils, Acid Ranch, Lifeguards, The Moping Swans, Lexo & The Leapers, Hazzard Hot Rods and Howling Wolf Orchestra.

Pollard is a lifer. He shoots himself with rock n’ roll. The hole he digs is bottomless, but nothing else can set him free. Philadelphia has smiled on Guided By Voices ever since the band broke from the twilight obscurity of Dayton some 25 years ago, packing the Khyber time and again to watch Pollard baptize himself with Budweiser and belch out the greatest songs never heard — and for one beery moment everything still seemed possible. Which is why their marathon, three-hour, no-opener set at Union Transfer on Tuesday will invariably remind us why we fell in love with the mythology of scissor-kicking, wind-milling, power-chording, beer-pounding, ex-teacher old schoolers building four-track masterpieces in the basements of the Midwest all those years ago.

We have a pair of tix to see GBV at Union Transfer on Tuesday April 17th to give away to some lucky Phawker reader. To qualify, 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 PHAWKER66@GMAIL.COM telling us a much, with the words IN BOB WE TRUST 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. Along with — and this is important, could mean the difference between you going to the show or staying home and doing laundry and watching Wild Wild Country, so choose wisely — your all-time favorite Guided By Voices song. Good luck and godspeed!

GUIDED BY VOICES PLAYS UNION TRANSFER ON TUESDAY APRIL 17TH

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CINEMA: Guided By Voices

April 13th, 2018

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AARDVARK (Directed by Brian Shoaf, 89 minutes, 2018, USA)

Dan Tabor_byline_avatarBY DAN TABOR FILM CRITIC Aardvark is the feature length debut of writer/director Brian Shoaf, and features an  intriguing ensemble cast starring Zachary Quinto, Jenny Slate, Jon Hamm and Sheila Vand. Ostensibly, Aardvark is a “thriller” that tackles one man’s struggle with mental illness and the ghosts that haunt him. Aardvark splits its narrative between Josh (Quinto), a troubled young schizophrenic trying to get his life on the right track, and Emily (Jenny Slate), his licensed clinical social worker.

As the film begins Josh has a new job, is back on his meds and has just started seeing Emily. Josh is haunted by his troubled childhood and his older actor brother Craig who appears to him as an apparition in different guises. Craig first appears to Josh as an old bag lady, letting him know he is back in town and again as an African American police officer who eggs him into stealing a bike. When the story moves to Emily, we see she is kind of a mess herself as we witness her quit her book club over a physical altercation and the precarious relationships she has with her exes. The film further pushes the veil of reality and delusion as Jon Hamm shows up on Emily’s doorstep one night claiming to be Josh’s actual older brother Craig just in from Hollywood. He refuses to see Josh whom he supports financially yet begins a physical relationship with the therapist. It is up to the audience to figure out what is real and what is in the heads of our two protagonists.

Quinto is truly astounding in the role Josh and manages to portray schizophrenia with an empathy that is rarely afforded to the illness on film. Having known someone that struggled with schizophrenia personally, Quinto is spot on with his take and the film could have vastly benefitted from dropping the twists and fake outs to really explore this trio of damaged people and their relationships. Jon Hamm also turns in a very emotional performance that feels almost wasted on the story. The director seems to expend more creative energy trying to pull a Shyamalan than actually exploring what makes these characters tick. Shoaf builds to an odd crescendo and then mocks his audience for finally taking the leap with him. It’s an audacious move that brings the third act to a grinding halt and really had me wondering what the director was attempting to accomplish. Between the narrative issues and Jenny Slate’s bumbling performance, even Quinto and Hamm can’t rescue the film that limps past the finish line to give a rather safe and saccharine resolution for its characters. Still that being said, Aardvark is worth checking out for Quinto’s amazing performance.

AARDVARK IS NOW SHOWING AT RITZ @ THE BOURSE

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FLEET FOXES: If You Need To, Keep Time On Me

April 13th, 2018

-Watch the video for “Fool’s Errand,” directed by Sean Pecknold with art direction by Adi Goodrich and produced by Society

-Watch the behind-the-scenes video of Fleet Foxes’ 2017 tour by Sean Pecknold, featuring The Westerlies

-Watch Fleet Foxes perform “Crack-Up” with Icelandic choir Graduale Nobili at Harpa Concert Hall in Iceland

Fleet Foxes on Tour:
April 12 | San Pedro, CA at Warner Grand
April 14 | Indio, CA at Coachella
April 15 | San Diego, CA at Humphrey’s Concerts
April 17 | Pomona, CA at Fox Pomona
April 18 | San Luis Obispo, CA at Madonna Expo Center
April 20 | Berkeley, CA at Greek Theatre Berkeley
April 21 | Indio, CA at Coachella
May 03 | Raleigh, NC at Red Hat Amphitheater
May 04 | Atlanta, GA at Shaky Knees
May 05 | Atlanta, GA at Variety Playhouse (Shaky Knees Side Show)
May 07 | Houston, TX at Revention Music Center
May 08 | San Antonio, TX at Tobin Center for the Performing Arts
May 10 | El Paso, TX at Abraham Chavez Theatre
May 11 | Mayer, AZ at FORM: Arcosanti
May 12 | Albuquerque, NM at Sunshine Theater
May 14 | Tulsa, OK at Cain’s Ballroom
May 15 | St. Louis, MO at Peabody Opera House
May 17 | Pittsburgh, PA at Benedum Center for the Performing Arts
May 18 | Washington, DC at The Anthem
May 19 | Columbus, OH at Express Live
May 21 | Nashville, TN at Ryman Auditorium (SOLD OUT)
May 22 | Nashville, TN at Ryman Auditorium
May 23 | Louisville, KY at Iroquois Amphitheater
May 24 | Indianapolis, IN at The Murat Theatre
May 26 | South Burlington, VT at The Green Shelburne Museum
May 27 | Allston, MA at Boston Calling
July 02 | Prague, CZ at Velký sál Lucerna
July 04 | Gdynia, PL at Open’er Festival
July 06 | Roskilde, DK at Roskilde Festival
July 07 | Werchter, BE at Rock Werchter
July 10 | San Sebastian, ES at Auditorio del Centro Kursaal
July 11 | Gijon, ES at Teatro Laboral
July 12 | Madrid, ES at Mad Cool Festival
July 20 | Cincinnati, OH at Taft Theatre
July 21 | Chicago, IL at Pitchfork Music Festival
July 23 | Cleveland, OH at Agora Theatre
July 24 | Toronto, ON at Sony Centre
July 25 | Montreal, QB at Corona Theatre
July 27 | Lewistown, NY at Artpark
July 29 | New York, NY at Panorama Music Festival
August 05 | Curraghmore, IE at All Together Now
August 07 | Glasgow, UK at Summer Nights At The Bandstand
August 10 | Helsinki, FI at Flow Festival
August 12 | Tallinn, EE at Nordea Concert Hall
August 16 | Tabaçô, PT at Paredes de Coura Festival
August 18 | Wales, UK at Green Man Festival

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