07 Jul 2022

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Weekly Podcast Interviews with Indie Artists

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    Status/Future/Top 30 Songs

    If you just came here to see outdated podcasts, welcome.  It's been a while since I've done interviews and even longer since I've done any audio editing for IndieInterviews.

    I have been busy with my full-time work. (You didn't think this was a job did you?)  In addition, I've been contributing both in writing, topic selection and design for my friend Chris Cantalini's oh-so-popular blog  In addition to the blog, I've been recording and producing his weekly radio program for Sirius satellite radio -- cleverly titled "GorillaVs Bear Blog Radio."  We've had a handful of great guests (Tapes 'n Tapes, St. Vincent, Tim DeLaughter and Voxtrot) as well as some truly incredible live "studio" recordings often done in vechicles.  Dana Falconberry, Peter and the Wolf's Red Hunter and Sparrow House's Jared VanFleet have overwhelmingly wowed Chris and myself.

    That being said, IndieInterviews isn't dead.  It's just paused.  I don't know exactly if it'll take the same form when we start it back up.  I've been wanting to do a lot of text interviews.  The text form allows me to design .pdfs which I really enjoy and is an overall simpler method than recording and editing audio.  I've turned into that which I started the site to avoid.  I've also considered doing more video.  But video is more time consuming than audio, and it's time -- not passion -- that I'm lacking.

    Will it start with 2007?  I don't know the answer to that. But I, with the help of other bright minds, will return and make use of this exciting site and cleverly-titled domain.  Thanks for visiting.

    While you patiently wait, here's my Top 30 tracks of 2006.  You probably saw this list and commentary at GvsB but if not, here it is again.

    - The Album Leaf Wishful Thinking
    - Band of Horses The First Song
    - Birdmonster The Bar in the Back of the Basement
    - Cat Power Living Proof
    - Alela Diane Pieces of String
    - Ghostface Killah Be Easy
    - Emily Haines A Maid Needs A Maid
    - Oh No! Oh My! I Love You All The Time
    - Spank Rock Coke & Wet
    - Sunset Rubdown They Took A Vote And Said No
    20. Thom Yorke The Clock
    19. Joanna Newsom Sawdust & Diamonds
    18. Midlake Young Bride
    17. Camera Obscura If Looks Could Kill
    16. Peter and the Wolf The Bonsai Tree
    15. J. Tillman My Waking Days
    14. Catfish Haven Crazy For Leaving
    13. TV on The Radio I Was a Lover
    12. Sound Team Back In Town
    11. The Futureheads Back To The Sea
    10. Man Man Ice Dogs
    I've been meaning to write iTunes to reclassify Man Man as soul. Peeling back the chaotic yet truly innovative outer skins of Man Man, the listener will find they've exposed some of the strongest melodies and hooks currently being written. If they were given the chance to play this song on national television, they would be the biggest band in America.

    9. Sparrow House When I Am Gone
    This song (and the entire Falls EP) turned out being exactly what I had hoped the Midlake record would be. What Trials of Van Occupanther was for the distant spring season, Sparrow House's Falls is for the corresponding season. Just like Chris, this song has one of the top iTunes play counts -- try putting it on and listening once. It's harder than you'd think.

    8. The Raconteurs Blue Veins
    Somehow in 2006, Jack White and team made a song containing every element I love about classic rock. Initially this song was a skip track. I didn't appreciate how easily one could pinpoint the song's obvious influences (most noticeable is Led Zeppelin). But after a few listens, you realize that it isn't wrong of them to borrow from the best. It's simply reproducing that which we (20 somethings) wish we could experience.

    7. Ratatat Wildcat
    It seems simple and nearly calculated but it's so fresh and clever. Maybe it's the calculated simplicity that is what makes it seem also fresh and clever. AND this would for sure be the theme song for my embarrassingly weak, more adorable/geeky than threatening, white-boy gang.

    6. Grizzly Bear Plans
    The production of this record should become legendary -- equally gigantic and confounding as Stonehenge or the Pyramids. What I love about this record, as well as the John Vanderslice 2-track record (#8 of 2006), is the active element of the room/studio/space. The space is as present as vocals. After many listens, I think it's their most engaging instrument. If Chris hadn't outlawed it, I probably would have put another Grizzly Bear track on this list.

    5. Peter Bjorn and John Young Folks
    The second I heard the maracas, I knew it would be a top track of the year. Then there was the bassline and then the whistling and then the male vocal/female vocal relationship dialog. It's nearly scientific.

    4. Yeah Yeah Yeahs Turn Into
    This record is so lopsided or it would have easily been my top record of the year. Honestly, the last 3 tracks of this record are better than 50% of 2006's complete records. This song ends in a glorious campfire manner. YYYs use of the acoustic guitar on the record's last tracks gave me a renewed faith in the overly theatrical band.

    3. The Knife Marble House
    In April Silent Shout was the only album in my car for about 2 months and somehow I never bored of it. The synthscape of "Marble House" develops into a cocoon for one of the record's more emotional tracks. It's has the drive present on most of Silent Shout's tracks without being dancy or abrasive.

    2. The Long Winters Hindsight
    Lyrically, this song is the song I've wanted to write. In just over four minutes, Roderick explains the universal passion for the hard way, long roads and hopeless underdogs.

    1. Voxtrot Soft & Warm
    If I had to have an Artist of the Year, it would be Voxtrot. My late introduction to Raised by Wolves combined with the addictive Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives and adding to that, seeing a half dozen of their live performances has equalled something close to a musical obsession. This song holds lyrical gems ("I'd leave you for the person you used to be") that carry amazingly accurate sentiment. This song is often the first that I share with people wanting to know what I listen to.

    - Garrison Reid

  • Posted on 05 Dec 2006

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    15-ish Minutes with Birdmonster

    Birdmonster entered bloggers' and critics' consciousness in October of last year on the strength of a self-released EP that, with its brash Springsteen-meets-Fugazi aesthetic, opened doors to high profile supporting slots with the likes of Art Brut, Sound Team, Catfish Haven, and Division Day, not to mention the type of buzz that forces Pitchfork to wallow in its limitations as a credible source for anything.

    The San Francisco quartet's storied live shows and unique D.I.Y. sensibility very much paved that road, but, as they revealed last month on an eerie Dallas night, Birdmonster's true ambitions are focused on the songs and an ever-growing sonic palette.

    This week, Birdmonster's Peter Arcuni and David Klein sit down to discuss their just-released debut long player, No Midnight, and how the experience of communicating their live energy on that record whet the band's appetite to develop their studio sound and the burgeoning songwriting methodologies that will shape their sophomore effort.

    The Birdmonster Beauty Bar photo and more by Chad Wadsworth.

    Mp3: Birdmonster - "'Cause You Can"

    Mp3: IndieInterviews podcast

  • Posted on 22 Sep 2006

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    Episode 41: The Futureheads

    On a sweltering Friday evening in June, Barry Hyde of UK quartet, The Futureheads, kindly invited me into the band's well-equipped (and air conditioned) tour bus to escape, well, the summer and the throngs encircling Dallas' Gypsy Tearoom.

    "How can you possibly stand this heat?" he asked as we sat down.

    "I can't," I remarked.

    When we sat down, Hyde, the Futureheads' frontman and chief songwriter, cut right to the chase and thoughtfully unraveled the executional and philosophical approaches to the songs and harmonies on their just-released News and Tributes LP, exhaustively contrasting their latest effort with their critically-acclaimed eponymous debut.

    Assessing the Futureheads' rise -- and his scorn for their former label, Warner Brothers -- Hyde generously shed light on the inner-workings of a band that began, as he will admit, with few and simple expectations.

    If there ever was any uncertainty about their rise, Hyde et al affirmed his confidence, and the audience's high expectations, pushing the limits, lengths, and structures of their crafty cache of songs for almost two hours. It was an impressive set and, for your host, at least, the show dutifully proved why the Futureheads have garnered such praise from a growing network of famous friends, influential publications, bloggers, hipsters, and the rest.

    Downloadable PDF of Episode 41: The Futureheads

    Download Podcast of Episode 41: The Futureheads

  • Posted on 07 Sep 2006

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    John Roderick Explains <em>Putting The Days To Bed </em>Lyrics

    Over the last two years, The Long Winters have quickly become one of my all-time favorite groups. The pop songs have crisp and precise production paired with articulate and emotionally insightful lyrics. If possible, I could sit for hours talking with frontman John Roderick about his songs and the ingredients that make these records truly incredible.  

    Through a series of e-mail exchanges, Roderick has answered some highly specific questions concerning lyrics off the new record.  Putting the Days to Bed will be released July 25th on Barsuk Records.

    I have placed the lyrics in the order they appear on the record. Enjoy.

    Track 1: "Pushover" - "Unkind girlish walk, like a deed to the world without the talk"

    JR: Well... you know there are some coquettish walks, some flabbergastingly captivating gaits, which cross the line. They aren't innocent, they're wielded like a flaming sword, and they have the power to own a man for a period. That doesn't mean they're a force for good in the world.

    Track 3: "Teaspoon" - "You weighed your suitcase down, but it still wouldn't sink"

    JR: This happens to all of us at one point or another. We have a small suitcase worth of stuff, thoughts, feelings, recent events, that we would give anything to just sink to the bottom of the sea, but it's always that suitcase that refuses to go down. You can't just leave it floating there, so you have to take the damn thing home again.

    Track 4: "Hindsight" - "I'm baling water and baling water 'cause I like the shape of the boat"

    JR: I'm afraid that this lyric is already perfectly self-explanitory. When I say it's self-explanatory I'm not trying to be difficult, it's just to me nothing could be clearer than a lyric like that. It's a lyric about the small-scale, almost charming, tendency we all have toward self-destruction. If we weren't humans, if we were able to judge like computers or Vulcans, the only logical criteria for a BOAT would be that it floats without leaking. How it looks couldn't be less relevant to how it functions. Our humanity is revealed by our love for lost causes, for three-legged dogs and rusted-out "classic" cars, and there's something pathetic about us for that reason. The same eye that loves art and music will plunge us into buying a house with a cracked foundation, while a perfectly solid, and cheaper, house next door is rejected for being not as "cute". I celebrate this quality in people; it's what makes us interesting, and lovable, and individual, even if it means that we're doomed, somewhat. Why be in a relationship with someone? For love, comfort, support and encouragement. How many of us are in relationships that provide none of those things, but which we fight for against all odds?

    Track 5: "The Sky Is Open" - "My propeller tries to find the air"

    JR: Overtly, this is meant literally: the pilot is so high up and the air is so thin that his propellor is cleaving into the ragged edge of a vacuum. Indirectly it refers to the propellor in each of us which is always chewing up the air, taking us higher, hungry for sky.

    Track 7: "Clouds" - "False prophesy doesn't mean prophesies are true"

    JR: I'm continually amazed at how easy it is for people to recognize and laugh at the preposterous aspects of every religion but their own.

    Track 8: "Rich Wife" - "So tell me, is your high horse getting a little hard to ride -- and your little bit on the side getting harder to find"

    JR: You can be a snotty little brat all you want when you're twenty-five, but the day you turn twenty-seven you start to notice your friends don't think it's so cute anymore.

    Track 9: "Ultimatum" - "Crave translates into slave, No-one can harness the rain, And I can make myself into rain,You feel me on your cheek, And on your sleeve"

    JR: When you're in love it's very easy to start ascribing supernatural powers to your lover. "How can they make me feel like I'm about to explode, yet they seem so unperturbed?" I have felt so strongly about someone that I wouldn't have been surprised if they had just turned themselves into rain, so powerful did they seem and so inconsequential was my hold on them.

    Track 11: "Seven" - "Did you see me the way I imagined, every eyelash a picket or a wire?"

    JR: I see people in their teens and early twenties all the time who are blatantly shielding themselves from intimacy by wearing ridiculous costumes, or by talking constantly about themselves, or by being hyper-shy, or by a thousand other methods. When you get a little older you abandon those transparent ploys, because adults don't respond to them as well, but a great many people want to maintain their defenses and just shrink them down until they're an invisible veil over the eyes.

    Previously: IndieInterviews talked with John Roderick about Ultimatum in a December podcast.

  • Posted on 21 Jul 2006

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    15 Minutes with Peter and the Wolf

    Before his recent Dallas show, I had the chance to pull Red aside for an expansive interview and an impromptu recording session, which resulted in two single-mic performances of some of his most beloved songs, "Red Sun" from Peter and the Wolf and Adventure from MTV2's Wonder Showzen.

    Red Hunter isn't like most musicians I've talked with over the last year. Maybe that's because he's so willing to ponder, detail, even perform, his many diverse interests. He will tell you about playing shows in graveyards and dressing up like a Vet for a case study in audience reaction.  He will tell you about jokingly suggesting he and a peer tour in a sailboat.  He will cite Chomsky and address the perils of media propaganda and, in a twist, tie it all -- and convincingly so -- to independent music. He will offer perspectives, ideas, and insights that only hint at why he's one of the more compelling figures in underground music

    Peter and the Wolf - Red Sun (IndieInterviews) (mp3)

    Red Hunter - Adventure (Wonder Showzen cover) (Indie Interviews exclusive mp3)

    Upcoming Peter and the Wolf Dates
    7.06 San Diego, Scolari's Office
    7.07 Los Angeles, The Echo
    7.08 Los Angeles, Il Corral
    7.09 San Francisco, Hotel Utah
    7.12 Portland, Towne Lounge
    7.13 Seattle, S.S. Marie Antoinette
    7.14 Victoria BC, Orange Hall
    7.15 Vancouver BC Pat's Pub
    7.18 Seattle, live on KAOS at 9pm
    7.20 Salt Lake City, Vagabond
    7.21 Denver, Rhinoceropolis
    7.22 Omaha, O'Leavers
    7.23 Lincoln, Chatterbox
    7.24 Ames, The Practice Space
    7.25 Iowa City, The Hall Mall
    7.26 Columbia, Ragtag
    7.27 Columbia, Live on KOPN at 3pm
    7.27 St. Louis, The Ground Floor
    7.28 Chicago, Logan Square
    7.31 Ypsilanti, Banana Tina
    8.02 Kutztown, GoodVibes
    8.03 Charlottesville, Tea Bazaar
    8.04 Baltimore, Talking Head
    8.05 Philly, Avant Gentlemen's Lodge
    8.09 Portsmouth, Chutney Flatz
    8.10 Portland, Strange Maine
    8.11 Montreal, Green Room
    8.12 Toronto, Tranzac
    8.13 Rochester, The Bug Jar
    8.14 Kingston, KMOCA
    8.15 Northampton, Gallery THINK
    8.17 Boston, P.A.'s Lounge
    8.18 NYC, Goodbye Blue Monday

  • Posted on 06 Jul 2006


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