REASONS TO COME EARLY: Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires
Some of the best new rock ‘n roll has been bubbling out of the dirty south, especially Crimson Tide country. First Alabama Shakes, and now Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires. It takes approximately three seconds of listening to their propulsive and distorted rocker “Ain’t No Stranger” to knock you on your ass. The relatively young band embodies everything there is to love about BBQ-and-sweet-tea-soaked musical abandon. Loud guitars, down-with-the-man bombast, and songs about kudzu. These southern gentlemen set fire to every club and juke joint they play – don’t miss out.
Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires will open for Alabama Shakes on 4/25-26.
WE LOVE OUR PARTNERS: Awesome Con
We’re so excited Awesome Con weekend has finally arrived! What better way to spend a Saturday than geeking out over comic books, collectibles, and all other sorts of fun and games?! Yeah, not much, except… 9:30 Club will be onsite with enter-to-wins for Hari Kondabolu, The Faint, and Lindsey Stirling! If that’s not incentive to get off your keister and slap on your best cosplay, we don’t know what is. Stop by our table and say hello!
Awesome Con takes place 4/18-4/20 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance, here.
9:30 INTERVIEW: Gardens & Villa
Ian [9:30]: For your most recent album Dunes, you decamped from your home of Santa Barbara to the wintery tundra of Michigan. What possessed you to relocate to what is essentially the polar opposite of your natural habitat to record this record?
Gardens & Villa: We wanted to get out of our comfort zone.. We wanted to be as far as possible from distractions and routine. Isolation and freedom to get weird without having the beach in your backyard.
I recently saw your show in DC at the club DC9. What would you say is the main difference between playing a smaller club like DC9 compared to 9:30 club which is about ten times as big? Also between opening a show and headlining?
So many differences, but it really depends on the particular club and the vibe of the audience. Sometimes small clubs have the most intense and vibrant energy. When you’re right in the crowds face and they are feeling it, it’s pretty incredible. But when you are in a large room like 9:30 club and the vibe is right, it can be just as intimate. It’s just harder to get that many people on the same wavelength, especially when you’re up on a high stage and not right there with everyone. The main difference between opening and headlining is, the people are either there solely to see you, or they are waiting for you to finish so that they can see the band they love, so opening can potentially be much worse. But sometimes, you can win over the crowd and it’s exhilarating.
At said show you employed the use of two monitors with some very interesting visuals. What inspired these fantastical screens and who made them? What is the general mood you try to shoot for when it comes to the lights and imagery at your shows?
A wizard man named Bryan Berge put that together for us.. We had many pow-wows and inspirational tube watching/sharing ideas to get there. He is a good friend of ours and put together all of the initial footage. All of it was designed to reflect the images we felt the music suggested.
Secretly Canadian is currently one of my favorite music labels. How did you end up on the label?
Richard Swift. The man who produced our first record brought us into the secret underworld.
One of my favorite bands for the last ten years or so now has been Cut Copy. Dunes was produced by Tim Goldsworthy and I feel like I can sense his aesthetic. What was it like working with him and what inspired the pairing?
It was pretty amazing working with Tim. He is a great guy and a high priest of sonics. The pairing came about after he emailed us and said he fell in love with our “wild honey pie” video of us playing orange blossom. We nerded out over Ruichi Sakamoto records over email and then we made a record.
There seems to be more of an electronic feel to Dunes and it definitely makes me want to dance at times. How important is it for you to get your audience moving?
We LOVE when the audience moves! It’s not the end of the world if they aren’t—sometimes people just want to soak up the music and stand still—but It feels really good to see a crowd loosen up and move around. It’s an honor really. How often do people dance nowadays in America? When it really goes off, It makes you feel like Richard Simmons leading a wild aerobics class, which is pretty much one of the best feelings an American man can experience.
One of the most beautiful songs off Dunes is “Chrysanthemums.” Can you divulge a little bit about what this song is all about and the inspiration behind it?
Thanks! I don’t like to reveal too much about the songs. I like to leave interpretations for the listener. But roughly the song is sort of about a time in Seattle that i experienced. Rain, a broken down red automobile, and some love.
I just recently heard “Colony Glen (Mark McGuire’s Road Chief Remix)” and my thought was, “Wow this takes this song, that has been my winter jam, right into spring.” How did this remix come about, what does Road Chief imply, and was this at all the intention?
No, but that is kind of amazing! We love it dearly and listened to it for the first time during a spring day in Paris in front of the Eiffel tower.
What are you all listening to right now that you guys are all about? I know it’s a pretty basic question but I feel like non-basic answers will come from it.
Right now this moment in Boston, we are listening SIRIUSMO. In our van we have all been really in to the new ANGEL OLSEN record and the new War On Drugs.. LOTS of medieval stuff..
I feel like y’all’s sound is in a constant state evolution, and I know that Dunes is relatively fresh, but have you given any thought at all to where Gardens and Villa is going next?
We think about the future constantly, mostly in hopes that music technology will become what we need it to be. In “the future” expect that we’ll be playing walls, couches, and lamps. Lots of sweet blinking red lights and some fog horns. Think 9th Century courting “the now.”
Gardens & Villa will open at 9:30 Club on Sunday, April 20 for Tycho.
STAFF PICKS: Record Store Day 2014
- HAIM, “Forever”/”Edge (feat. Twin Shadow)”: For HAIM’s RSD debut, it only seems appropriate that they rerelease their first song ever, with a kickass 80s-drenched Twin Shadow collab b-side. HAIM in any situation is always bitchin’, but vinyl HAIM is the second-best kind (behind live HAIM of course).
- Fleetwood Mac, “Dragonfly”/”The Purple Dancer”: The Mac Attack recently announced their first US tour with original bassist Christine McVie (who was with them for thirty years but quit in 1998). For FM fans this is obviously heart-arresting news, so it’s fitting for the legends to rerelease the 1970 single, the first to feature McVie as a bandmate.
- Drive-By Truckers, Dragon Pants EP:Behold your friendly neighborhood DBT obsessive’s obligatory mention! For Truckers fans, new material is always a week-maker. This EP features four new tracks, an alternate take of “Natural Light”, and… some badass artwork (but you didn’t hear it from me).
- Parquet Courts, “Sunbathing Animal”/”Pilgrims to Nowhere”: One of the best new indie bands to come out the past couple years (or, in our opinion, a while) would be baby-faced Brooklyn punks Parquet Courts, and it’s hard to find either of their LPs in stores - so snag this if you can.
- RPM Turntable Football: Okay, not sure how this one’s gonna play out, but this is somehow a sound-based football fantasy game courtesy of Microfiche Records. It comes with color commentary and ways to score points, on football-field-green wax. Grab this for sheer novelty, but also, to tell us how it works, because we are both puzzled and intrigued.
- The Pogues, Live With Joe Strummer: Shane MacGowan was kicked out of the Pogues in 1991 for his unreliability, so they replaced him with some little known singer/guitarist by the name of Joe Strummer. I think he was in some group in the 70s and 80s with those guys in Gorillaz. This is the first and only physical release of the album in the US, so I’m definitely grabbing it if I find it.
- Vitamin String Quartet, Vitamin String Quartet Performs Weezer’s Pinkerton: The Vitamin String Quartet releases a bunch of great string versions of rock classics. The past two years, they’ve released vinyls in conjunction with Record Store Day of Sigur Ros songs and Radiohead’s In Rainbows. This year, VSQ’s release is one of the best album of the 90s and the arguably most influential album on the late 90s/00s emo wave of Taking Back Sunday, Brand New, and others: Weezer’s Pinkerton. The release, specially remastered just for vinyl, is being pressed on green vinyl and includes a download link.
- Devo, Live at Max’s Kansas City-November 15, 1997: David Bowie is there backstage with Devo at their New York City première. The Thin White Duke gets onstage and introduces them: “This is the band of the future, I’m going to produce them in Tokyo this winter.” Bowie became busy filming a movie in West Germany, so Brian Eno produced the album in Cologne. In addition to the rare Bowie audio and the entirety of this landmark concert in punk and new wave, Gerald Casale has prepared liner notes specifically for this release. Devo also has a picture disc for their ‘95 Sundance gig and a Side by Side of “Gates of Steel” with The Flaming Lips.
- Nirvana, “Pennyroyal Tea” Single: “Pennyroyal Tea” was due to be the next single off of “In Utero” in 1994. Unfortunately Cobain’s death made Geffen cancel the release of the vinyl (a few promo singles got out to radio stations though - another rarity). 20 years later, Geffen is finally releasing it b/w “I Hate Myself and Want to Die.”
- David Lynch, The Air Is On Fire: David Lynch is probably first and foremost known as one of the most accomplished filmmakers of the past three decades and the shepherd of surrealist cinema into the mainstream. Many don’t know his outstanding endeavors in other art forms. This 12-inch is the soundscape he created for a 2007 art exhibition of the same name, and it’s the first time it’s been released on vinyl to boot. I plan on listening to this with a slice of cherry pie and a damn fine cup of coffee.
- The Velvet Underground, Loaded Reissue on pink, black, and white splatter vinyl
- Cage The Elephant, “Take It Or Leave It”
- The Space Project
- Tame Impala, Live Versions
- The Cure/Dinosaur, Jr. Just Like Heaven
- Cut Copy, In These Arms Of Love/Like Any Other Day
- The Orwells, The Righteous One
- Nirvana, “Pennyroyal Tea” Single
- RPM Turntable Football
- Cake Vinyl Boxed Set with previously unreleased live album
- Django Django, The Porpoise Song
- Spoon, Loveways
- Surfer Blood, Pythons Demos
SIDE NOTES: Sigur Rós on Game of Thrones
Last Sunday, we got to see more on Game of Thrones than brilliantly disgusting death scenes (although there were plenty of those). This time, the episode concluded with some of my favorite guys from Iceland, Sigur Rós, covering George R.R. Martin’s “The Rains of Castmere” and also making a cameo as a wedding band ruthlessly mocked by King Joffrey. The original version of “The Rains of Castmere” was featured in Season 3 during the now infamous “Red Wedding” episode. Sigur Rós did the song justice with plenty of crooning vocals and organ chords. In case you haven’t watched the most recent episode yet, I won’t spoil the end of the wedding, but if you’re any sort of decent human being you will be pleased with what happens.