Saturday, June 30, 2007

CONTEST: 2 Tickets to see The Wildbirds @ Smith's Olde Bar, Atlanta, GA 7/08/07

If you'd like to go see The Wildbirds next Sunday, 7/08/07 at Smith's Olde Bar just leave me your name and email address in the comments, and I'll pick a winner on Wednesday randomly. Good luck!!

[MP3] The Wildbirds - 421 (Everybody Loves You) from "The Wildbirds" (via


Arizona will playing the 10th Annual Team Clermont "Athens Summer Festival" in Athens, GA on July 27 @ The 40 Watt with Castanets, Phosphorescent & A Northern Chorus. Check out "Thimble" from their upcoming EP, "Fameseeker and the Mono" two posts below this one.

It Covers The Hillsides:
So you all live in New York, but "come from many places around the country". Which places exactly? And, do you like New York better than where you came from?

Arizona: Nick is from Cincinatti, James grew up with Andrew in Marietta, Ga., Alex and Ben grew up in Long Island, which is where we get the Billy Joel and Dream Theater sides of our sound. New York is a place that challenges us and informs the band's identity. Some of us love it more than the others.

ICTH: Five guys in the band, huh? What, are you guys sexist or something? And by "something" I mean, do you dress really well?

Arizona: We actually don't dress well at all. Ben has initiated a style known as "Keith Richard-Dreyfuss" which basically looks like Gene Wilder after a schizophrenic meltdown. Nick looks like a 12 year old boy, James looks like the kind of guy who would touch a 12 year old boy. Alex Hornbake and Andrew Dunn are both known as the "hot guys" of the band and that's just because they are tall and don't look quite so strung out. When we record our albums, we wear sexy pajamas that look like this – it's the only way we can access the deep reservoirs of empathy and imagination that characterize our glorious sound. Oh yeah, and our manager Ian is pretty hot. He does dress well, because he's the only guy in the band who comes close to being "a hipster."

ICTH: Is this your first time playing Athens, GA? Because it's a pretty cool sports "The Tree That Owns Itself" and a place that only sells chicken fingers.

Arizona: This is our first time playing in Athens. We can't wait to see, let alone lick that tree. Let's get lunch at that chicken fingers place.

ICTH: On your newest EP, "Fameseeker and the Mono", you have a song called "Life is Great" which has some pretty positive things to say. Why is life great for you guys?

Arizona: That title is actually a little tongue in cheek. Many people don't know that we write, record and mix every song you've ever heard from us in about 36 hours from start to finish. What happened with that tune is, we were listening to Neil Young's "Living with War" as a band, and read an interview where he basically says 'man, I wish a younger band had the balls to make this record.' We all heart the shit he says on that record, and felt we'd take a crack at making a song that could encapsulate that record, and talk about modern issues with a bit more subtlety. We got started the second Neil's record stopped playing. It seems to have worked! The lyrics to the chorus are "This'll get better, this'll get better, let your inner golden heart out for a while, this'll get better." They're some of the simplest lyrics we've done; the golden heart thing is a clever tip o' the hat to Neil. Life is great because even during this time, America's darkest hour, the closest we've come to becoming the Nazis, people give a shit about music, everyone is out there mining for a heart of gold. We'll find it together, and this will get better.

ICTH: Why are you currently not signed to any label? Like, are you mean to people? Is that why? Do you guys have narcolepsy, and fall asleep before you sign the contract? Because your music is really good, so sucking can't be why.

Arizona: We're brutal bastards. We're also completely addicted to heroin, PCP and MDMA. We traffic sex slaves, which lots of people aren't into (but the ones who are pay well).

Really, there are just so many bands out there, and so few labels that have the resources to take a band like ours and bring them to the people in any meaningful, lasting way. Even the small labels are operating with the same calculating mentality as major labels, just with no budgets and even less flexibility. They are looking for a puzzle piece to fit snugly into their plans, not to change their plans to accommodate the creative abilities of an artist. We've found we love to score films and are good at it. We could do a major film score a month if someone would give us the work. We get some, and we love it. I'm not sure there are too many record labels who would be into the idea of us taking a solid chunk of our 'touring/record promoting' time to create scores for great movies, although it would be great money, exposure, and probably help sell a ton of records.

Many labels seem to want bands to walk this very tried and true path during a time when dramatic change is needed in order to prove that band-made-music is still a vital art. We are willing to walk, march, or run down the tried and true path carrying the banner of a terrific label, but we need to find one that is going to support us in being the change that our generation so deeply needs in order to keep rock music from getting as predictable and common as 12 bar blues.

We don't want to sign to just anyone, because really, who needs another band shoved through the system and down your throat? Our music will reach people and people will find out that what we're doing is different from what everyone else is doing. We've had the good fortune of making great human connections through our music and through the people that come to our shows.

With a lot of indie bands who are "doing well right now" you will find that they are empowered with much more exposure than we get, and that is usually because they have sold their balls into slavery so that they can be shoved down as many throats as possible. There are lots of brand new bands getting signed to prestigious booking companies, getting massive exposure on Pitchfork which can make (or break) a band overnight, introduced to all the right people, etc. With us, we've got much less exposure, but that exposure happens through good fortune and totally organic routes. The great bands we've toured with, like Band of Horses or the Slip, are artists who have stepped up themselves and taken us under their wing because they know we are chasing our muse. Being unsigned, being total outsiders is fun, because it means that every opportunity that we get comes to us because we earn it, and at the end of the day, we feel that much better about ourselves and can put that into our new music. The exposure would be nice, but we're in this for the long haul and have faith in ourselves that we'll get where we want to go and earn a meaningful place in the musical world.

ICTH: If you had to describe your music to a deaf person, what would you write down on a sheet of paper for them to read?

"Dear Deaf-person,
Hello there. We are Arizona, the rock band. We understand that you are a human being of the first order, someone who was truly picked by the Universe to be smart, special, substantial, and well meaning. You are just the kind of person we want to touch with our music, but you are deaf. If you'll indulge us, we'd like to describe our music to you and see if we can still find some sort of cosmic convergence between our two paths of life.
We strive to sound like falling in love for the first time, meeting with your favorite living author, watching the sun come up and paint Manhattan with the most heartbreakingly fleeting hues, walking hand-in-hand with God who assures you that 'masturbation is okay, and natural', coming to terms with death in your final moments, smelling freshly cut grass, saving a child's life, waking up one day and being able to dominate at any sport, mercilessly beating down someone who clearly deserves it, being able to time travel using only your mind, and being able to eat endless quantities of the favorite dish your mother (or whomever) used to make you without getting morbidly sick.
We hope that you don't take offense at our trying to reach out to you through these words. We'd really love to be friends. Perhaps we can share some lyrics, as we put as much thought into those as we do into our sound. Do you write poetry, or paint? If so, please share.

Yours truly,
Arizona the band"

ICTH: Which band(s) are you most looking forward to hearing/playing with at this year's Athens Summerfest/Blue Ribbbon Ball? Besides yourselves.

Arizona: Ben's personally really looking forward to Starlight Mints. We are all excited to check out how Castanets and Phosphorescent will merge to rock as one giant, Voltron: Defender of the Universe-style entity. It seems as though all of the bands playing are going to be real worth checking out and we hope to catch 'em all, Pokemon-style.

ICTH: So can we expect to see you all sporting sexy pajama outfits for this show? If not, is there something I could offer you (besides sex, 'cuz my wife already told me to stop doing that) to wear sexy pajama outfits for the show?

Arizona: We understand that there is a James Bond theme to this prom party, being that it's '007 and all. We were planning to have Nick come out as a Bond Girl, Alex come out as Jaws, Andrew as 'Q', Ben as an evil millionaire Bond villain with some horrible disfigurement, and James dressed to the nines as Bond himself.

If you'd rather see us prance around in silky pajamas, however, it can be arranged. Just let us know. We aim to please. Maybe you can start a poll on here.

ICTH: Finally, I'm pretty psyched to see you guys play live. Are you psyched to see me, see you play live?

Arizona: We're psyched. Foaming at the unmentionables.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Go see Sicko tomorrow, if you know what's good for you. I'm just sayin'.

Michael Moore's new movie about our deplorable health care system is released into theatres tomorrow, 6/29. I plan on seeing it twice, once with one group of friends then one more with another. I have to say I have been pretty impressed with everything he's done so far, both his films & his books. His determination is amazing, and his heart is bigger than he is...and his balls are even bigger than that. I have much straight-guy-man-love for you Mr. Moore.

GREAT NEW MUSIC: Black Before Red "Belgrave to Kings Circle"

So color me impressed. I was sent "Belgrave to Kings Circle", the debut album from Black Before Red today and told, "prepared to be impressed". But I still wasn't quite as prepared as I needed to be. Now I'm in the best mood ever, and I was really trying to cultivate some deep-seeded anger today but now that's all shot to shit. Between well-crafted melodies & amazing harmonies lies some really, really happy laid-back pop. In the best sense of the term. I don't want to diminish their music with comparisons because they really have found their own sound, but I can't help hearing little bits of Okkervil River, The Sea and Cake and even Stephen Malkmus & The Shins. And that little Okkervil River I hear might be because some of those guys play on the album, as well as members of Zykos & The Lemurs. If you're content to wallow in a depresssion, then leave this album alone, but if being "happy, happy, joy, joy" is where it's at for you then download those MP3s below. You can also pre-order the album from their Myspace page for $10, which comes out August 14th.

[MP3] Black Before Red - Matagorda from "Belgrave to Kings Circle" (via
[MP3] Black Before Red - Teenage America from "Belgrave to Kings Circle" (via

Black Before Red - Myspace | Label - i eat records

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

GREAT NEW MUSIC: Arizona "Fameseeker and the Mono" EP

This post will hopefully be followed shortly by an interview with the band. They're playing on Fri. 7/27 @ The 40 Watt with Castanets & Phosphorescent as part of Team Clermont's "Athens Summerfest/Blue Ribbon Ball" and I'm quite excited to see 'em considering I missed out on the sold-out Band of Horses show they opened for awhile back. I was recently sent this new EP, and I haven't stopped playing it yet (that's not "exactly" true, I did listen to the new Okkervil River for a sec...but it was right back to this!!). Beautiful, is how I describe it. Man, I really can't believe they're not everywhere right now. How they manage to stay below the radar, not have a label, and ridiculous amounts of praise in the press is really just beyond me. I personally think they would be right at home as part of the Elephant 6 collective...soaring pop, delicate psychedelic-folk/rock, on-point harmonies. Someone please sign this band!!!

[MP3] Arizona - Thimble from "Fameseeker and the Mono" (via

Arizona - website | Myspace

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Smashing Pumpkins: Greedy? Stupid? Both?

So I've been seeing/reading quite a few people's opinions on the new Smashing Pumpkins album "Zeitgeist" and the marketing promotion involving FOUR different versions of said album. What's the difference between 'em? Three of them come with a different bonus song each, and then there's the standard version. So will people really go buy three versions of this album, just to get these THREE songs? Probably not. Most will buy the standard edition, and then download the bonus songs off the internet somewhere. Does this ploy to get fans to purchase three different versions of his album, make Billy Corgan a greedy scumbag? Maybe. But what it really makes him is a really bad marketing strategist. I mean really, what idiot is going to shell out $40-50 just to get three extra songs. Not many, I hope. The real kick in the groin, is that these "exclusive bonus song" editions are being sold at Best Buy, Target & iTunes. To quote P'fork: "Billy and company would like you to know that they fully support the extinction of the American independent record store at the hand of large, faceless, little-guy-crushing big boxes." Hopefully it won't matter since most people will do exactly as I predict and buy the basic album and download the extra songs for free later. Has my respect for Billy and co. diminished? Most certainly. In the same way it has for The Police and other bands charging $75-$300 for nose-bleed seats to their concerts. They have forgotten who their fan-base is. It's definitely NOT people who can afford to spend $250 a ticket, or $50 for an album + three extra songs. These bands have spoken to their fans quite clearly: "If you don't have the money to keep me in the style I have grown accustomed to, then fuck off". Again, pretty stupid marketing strategy to piss on fans and expect them to buy anything. But if you are still planning to buy this thing, at least buy it at your local independent record store (I'm pretty sure it won't be hard to get ahold of those nifty bonus songs later!).

Monday, June 25, 2007

Okkervil River TOURS....about goddamn time!!

My nights spent wishing on falling stars & sacrificing virgins has finally paid off!!! Okkervil River is coming to the 40 Watt in Athens!! And while this is amazing news, I just had a shipment of virgins dropped off yesterday. What am I going to do with them now?

07-14 Concord, NH - Capitol Center for the Arts (Sneakers and Speakers benefit)
07-15 Providence, RI - Jake's Bar and Grille
09-03 San Diego, CA - Casbah
09-04 Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour
09-05 San Francisco, CA - Independent
09-08 Portland, OR - Berbati's Pan (MusicFest NW)
09-09 Vancouver, British Columbia - Richard's on Richards
09-10 Seattle, WA - Neumos
09-13 Denver, CO - Marquee Theater
09-14 Omaha, NE - Waiting Room
09-15 Iowa City, IA - Picador
09-18 Chicago, IL - Logan Square Auditorium
09-19 Urbana, IL - The Canopy Club (Pygmalion Festival)
09-21 Toronto, Ontario - Lee's Palace
09-22 Hamilton, Ontario - Pepper Jack's Café
09-23 Montreal, Quebec - La Sala Rossa
09-24 Burlington, VT - Higher Ground
09-25 Boston, MA - Middle East
09-26 Northampton, MA - Iron Horse
09-28 New York, NY - Webster Hall
09-29 Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's
09-30 Washington, DC - Rock and Roll Hotel
10-02 Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle
10-03 Athens, GA - 40 Watt
10-06 Houston, TX - Walter's on Washington

Blitzen Trapper TOUR DATES

I'm not sure what I think about the new Blitzen Trapper album "Wild Mountain Nation" yet. I like it, but parts of it remind me of the Grateful Dead, which I am most definitely NOT a fan of. I'll have to keep it in rotation for a bit and see. Anyway, those guys are going on a summer tour (most of it with David Vandervelde) that hits Atlanta on July 20th. I WILL however be going to that, mainly because a band's live show is as much a factor in my opinion of their music as their album is. Should be interesting.


06-23 Seattle, WA - Chop Suey #
06-28 Portland, OR - Music Millennium (in-store)
06-28 Portland, OR - Holocene (CD release party) !
07-11 San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill $
07-13 Los Angeles, CA - Spaceland $
07-14 Tempe, AZ - Stinkweeds $
07-16 Austin, TX - Emo's Lounge $
07-17 Dallas, TX - The Loft $
07-18 Houston, TX - Walter's on Washington $
07-19 Hattiesburg, MS - Thirsty Hippo $
07-20 Atlanta, GA - Drunken Unicorn $
07-21 Wilmington, NC - Bella Festa $
07-22 Washington, DC - Rock and Roll Hotel $
07-23 Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's $
07-24 Allston, MA - Great Scott $
07-25 New York, NY - Mercury Lounge $
07-26 Buffalo, NY - The Icon $
07-27 Ann Arbor, MI - Blind Pig $
07-28 Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
07-29 Minneapolis, MN - Triple Rock
07-30 Omaha, NE - The Slowdown
07-31 Denver, CO - Hi-Dive %
08-01 Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court
08-03 Seattle, WA - The Crocodile Cafe ^

# with Marnie Stern
! with the Shaky Hands, Pseudosix
$ with David Vandervelde
% with Smoosh, Aqueduct
^ with Jennifer Gentle

The Cure / 65daysofstatic TOUR DATES

The Cure are heading out on tour once again (all the goth/emo folks out there can start smiling again ;-)) and they're bringing electronic/post-rockers 65daysofstatic with them for most of the tour. I wouldn't mind seeing The Cure again, but my respect for them has deminished a bit stemming from those Unplugged Korn "duets" Robert did awhile ago. Korn? Why Robert, why? But who knows, if the tickets are under $25 then I might still go...unless they duet with Panic! At The Disco before then, then it's over.

07-27 Fuji, Japan - Fuji Rock Festival
07-30 Hong Kong, China - Asia World Arena
08-01 Singapore, Singapore - Singapore Indoor Stadium
08-04 Perth, Australia - Challenge Stadium
08-06 Adelaide, Australia - Entertainment Centre
08-08 Brisbane, Australia - Entertainment Centre
08-10 Sydney, Australia - Entertainment Centre
08-12 Melbourne, Australia - Rod Laver Arena
09-13 Tampa, FL - St. Petersburg Times Forum *
09-15 Atlanta, GA - Gwinnett Civic Center *
09-17 Charlotte, NC - Charlotte Bobcats Arena *
09-19 Washington, DC - Patriot Center *
09-21 Philadelphia, PA - Wachovia Spectrum *
09-23 New York, NY - Madison Square Garden *
09-25 Boston, MA - Agganis Arena *
09-26 Montreal, Quebec - Bell Center *
09-27 Toronto, Ontario - Air Canada Centre *
09-29 Chicago, IL - Allstate Arena *
10-02 Denver, CO - Red Rocks Amphitheater *
10-04 Salt Lake City, UT - E Center *
10-06 Mountain View, CA - Shoreline Amphitheater (Download Festival) *
10-08 Seattle, WA - Key Arena *
10-09 Vancouver, British Columbia - General Motors Place *
10-11 Santa Barbara, CA - Santa Barbara Bowl *
10-13 San Diego, CA - Cox Arena *
10-14 Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Bowl *
10-16 Houston, TX - Toyota Center *
10-17 Dallas, TX - American Airlines Center *

* with 65daysofstatic

VIDEO: Bright Eyes "Hot Knives"

Kinda reminds me of that Talking Heads video with all those snazzy, matching white suits.

Deerhunter "Whirlyball" 7" / Live MP3s of Deerhunter's Whirlyball Performance

Ahhh, I'm back. Busy, busy weekend. Alright, on to the good stuff. Henry over at Chunklet has re-printed the now infamous Deerhunter/Selmaniares/Coathangers/Carbonas "Whirlyball" 7" (sans ticket), in a pressing of 200 (100 black vinyl & 100 clear vinyl). Head over there and pick one of those up now & avoid the dreaded Ebay overcharge!! Also in Deerhunter/Whirlyball related news, the wonderful people over at Southern Shelter, have the live recording of Deerhunter's performance at the infamous Whirlyball show on June 1st, 2007 (once there, scroll down..the post with the Deerhunter MP3s was done on 6/03/07). Man, was that show fucking killer. Deerhunter is probably one of my all-time favorite live bands, and this was one of their best shows (at least of the ones I've seen). Enjoy!!