10/29/2009

EXITMUSIC interview




EXITMUSIC
Interview by Alexander Laurence

EXITMUSIC is Aleksa Palladino and Devon Church. They both play guitar and
sing. They lived in both New York City and Los Angeles. I spoke to them in
Brooklyn during the CMJ Festival. That week they played a show at Cameo
Gallery with some other bands on the Manimal Vinyl label. Their album is called
The Decline of The West (2007). More people should hear their music and go see
their live show. Check it out now!

AL: When did the band begin?

Devon: The band technically began when we moved to Los Angeles. We started
messing around on the four-track in New York before we moved. We tried to
collaborate but we never quite came up with anything. We were both writing
songs. We were both private as songwriters. Gradually we tried to meld it
together. It was a long process. When we got a computer and started
multi-tracking. We decided on a project and a name. That was five years ago.

AL: When did you start playing shows?

Devon: We recorded our album first. It was finished already. Then we put
together a terrible band. We started playing shows about two years ago. We
started out as a five piece, and now we are a two-piece.

AL: Was there a song that you thought “We have a band here?”

Aleksa: The thing with us is there was never a big plan that we were taking
steps toward. We worked on things for a long time before we were ready to
share it with anyone. At first, we were doing it, because it’s just what we
did. It is a natural part of being. I have been writing music my whole life.
When we started writing together, it moved to the next level. We realized
then that it was worth sharing. We were just speaking with Voices Voices. They
told us that they booked a show before they even had written a song. We are
totally the opposite of that. We had finished doing our first album before
we had booked a show.

Devon: The performance is the last piece of the puzzle with us. We write
and record stuff, and then figure out how we are going to play it live.

AL: When you are recording, are you laying down tracks all the time?

Aleksa: Yes. It’s all a process of layering, right as you hear it. The more
you add to it, the more it tells you a story. Sometimes we have certain
ideas about a song. Sometimes that will get in the way. The song will go where
it wants to go.

AL: You don’t grab an acoustic guitar and play some chords?

Devon: It’s happened, but it’s really not our process.

Aleksa: The best thing for us is when things start out with one sound. For
some reason that speaks so much. From that, you start adding all these other
sounds to it.

AL: How do you know when there is too much going on in a song?

Aleksa: I don’t think we knew that for a long time actually. (laughter).
How do we know that now? I guess it’s when you lose the clarity of the
feeling. It gets too busy. Also the vocals dictate what is working or not working.

Devon: We use less layers. Performing it, we try to do more with less.
Before we would layer a lot of guitar parts. We became better at playing live
and mixing recorded parts with two guitars.

AL: You used to have a drummer in the band. What happened to him?

Devon: He is visiting Afghanistan. We write on computer. Computer sounds are
part of what we do. We like the different textures you can get from
electronic drums.

Aleksa: The kind of people that we are. There is a full vision. We are not
nice and trusting, and want to give something over to someone else, to add
their thing to it. The world is a mess. We control what we can. We know what
we want to have on the album cover.

AL: Who did that picture?

Aleksa: My grandfather. He’s an amazing artist. We are very involved with
everything.

AL: Are you playing some shows soon?

Aleksa: We always love to tour.

Devon: We will probably tour next year. We will be playing a few shows in
New York in the next few months. Aleska is doing a show on HBO for the next
six months. So we will be on the East Coast. We will be releasing our next
record next year at the beginning of summer.

AL: So, most of the time you have played in LA?

Devon: We played a ton of shows in LA the past year, with Warpaint, Miranda
Lee Richards, and Voices Voices.

AL: How is the new record coming along?

Aleksa: It’s finally going. It’s hard. It took us a while to find the next
identity, or overall statement, of what the next record is going to be. The
Decline Of The West was such a strong vision. It takes a while to exhale
one project, and begin something new. I think that we just got there in the
past few months. We are halfway through the next album, in terms of writing.

AL: Will it be a continuation of the first album, or a new vision about
where you are right now?

Devon: It’s a different sound. Things are dictated more by what we want to
express rather than the form and the gear we are using. It’s a little early
to say what the new album is about. There is this theme of earth being used
up.

Aleksa: It’s starts with sounds. But our songs are only really about a
couple of things. We have a bird’s eye view. It’s a view of life, rather than
specific details. We are stuck in life, with all this beauty, and there’s the
impossibility of being human.

AL: Are there any other influences on your music?

Aleksa: Everything influences you, whether you know it or not. I think
sometimes music is the last thing that influences music. I am influenced by
decay and abandoned buildings. Empty spaces.

AL: Haunted places?

Aleksa: Not haunted. Just that sense of being alone. There are places
filled with silence. It mirrors the place in me that I come from when I am
writing. I am attracted to that. There is something in loneliness that I find
gorgeous. There are all these abandoned structures that earth has reclaimed. T
here is fresh life growing on abandoned cars. It’s that feeling of something
new coming in a space that was dead.

Devon: There is more life in decay. Abandoned places have lost all their
pretensions of culture. All the things that are supposed to be important are
not important there.

AL: It’s not for sale?

Aleksa: It shows how easily all our achievements and efforts can be
forgotten. There’s something painfully stunning about human effort amounting to
nothing. It’s heartbreaking and so beautiful.

AL: What else are we going to do? We know there’s failure, but we can fail
in a beautiful way?

Aleksa: We are all in a boat, and we know it’s going to sink. But we know
we have to sail. We know what the end of the story is.

AL: What is the end of the story?

Aleksa: We all die.

AL: And the spirit may live on. Is there any room for spirituality in your
world?

Aleksa: I don’t know. That is a weird word for me because I don’t live
with religion, or a way how things are going to happen. The only spiritual
impulse I have is to get out of my own way, and be a person who can help in some
way. I think the most important thing you can do with your life is help
animals and people. My whole family are artists. There is a strain of humanity
we are trying to defend and protect. My family has always felt the power of
being human, and the ability to give back beautiful things back to the
world.

AL: It’s good to surround yourself with inspiring people and people who
care what you are doing?

Aleksa: We should just take care of one another. That is so lost in our
culture.

AL: We are so disconnected from one another.

Aleksa: Absolutely. Most of the time when I walk down the street people
don’t even recognize that I am a human being. There are so many feelings that
come from that, because I am in their way. It takes us away from the real
experience. It’s just looking at someone, and sharing this daily human thing.
That is spirituality for me.

AL: You must try to connect with people on a daily basis.

Aleksa: Just smile at someone and you change their day.

Devon: A lot of our music is about the falling away of pure experience.

AL: Music is it’s own language.

Aleksa: It’s so hard to say what your music is about because it’s a
mixture of everything that you are going through. Sometimes for us, that
experience is a little heavy, because there is this desire to be more connected in
general. It’s a long-standing ache that people can’t remember why they are
aching. Our music is about everything and nothing. I don’t know.

AL: Listen without fear.

Aleksa: Or with fear.

AL: Because you are scary people.

Website: www.myspace.com/thedeclineofthewest



Gallery is here. All photos taken by Angel Ceballos.


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10/28/2009

Voices Voices @ cameo gallery

Voices Voices

VV2

Live photos by Angel Ceballos
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10/27/2009

Warpaint





Gallery is here. All photos taken by Angel Ceballos.


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10/24/2009

CMJ Update 2

A few photo sessions down. It was time to explore and see some bands. There was a lot of excitement surrounding the XX. They were playing the Apple Store. Did I want to stand in another long line? I passed on that to hang out in Williamsburg with Rai. We had an early start. We ended up going back and forth between Cameo Gallery and Music Hall of Williamsburg. We saw So Many Wizards, Golden Silvers, and Goldhawks. Somehow we missed Mumford and Sons again. At Cameo Gallery, we threw down some drinks.

I had a few sliders. At some point we saw some awesome bands: EXITMUSIC, Voices Voices, and Corridor. I didn't stay for the Warpaint late show. But I saw them hanging outside. It was a great drunken night for music in W-Burg. I haven't been to any of the venues there in years. It was awesome.

The next day I had a hangover. It was a cold Friday in NYC. We all met in Tribeca for a photo shoot with Voices Voices. I was half asleep. In the cold afternoon I journeyed south to Santos Party House. I saw Alessi's Ark play under the disco lights there. I decided to head home, and take a nap. I fell asleep for good, and missed late night shows by Amazing Baby and School of 7 Bells.

Saturday was a heavy photo shoot day. I still caught Alessi's Ark at Living Room. It was a rainy day. But it was warm. Later I saw a cool show by Zaza at Webster Hall. That was it. I missed many bands. I looking forward to seeing Darlings, Das Racist, Lovvers, Atlas Sound, Immaculate Machine, Cold Cave, Dead Pixels, and Girls. Maybe I will see them when they come to LA?
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10/22/2009

CMJ update

We are a couple days into CMJ. It's finally in the swing of things. Maybe I should have arrived on Monday? I missed some events on Tuesday. I barely got my badge on Tuesday night. I had to take a cab directly to Washington Square Park. I checked into my friend's condo on Union Square. I was able to make the Broadcast show on Tuesday night at La Poisson Rouge. This is a new venue on Bleecker Street, that ended up being amazing. Broadcast has two sides: a more poppy side, and a more experimental side. They focused on the more noise side, which was closer to Throbbing Gristle and other acts on the Warp Records label. Broadcast was down to a duo. They had amazing visuals. It was very bizarre show to start thing off with. It was packed and difficult to get into. After that we headed to the Suffolk, to catch Fool's Gold. They canceled, so we saw a bit of Rumspringa, which was fun.

On Wednesday, I saw the line outside the Mercury Lounge for those people who were determined to get into the XX. I was one of the last people who they let in an hour before the show. The XX is an interesting act. They create a calm mellow cool vibe. It's very quiet and slick. They are playing a few shows at CMJ. They are definitely a band to check out. I wandered around the corner to see Zaza at Cake Shop. Their brand of psychedelic rock is truly unique. They definitely rocked the packed house in the basement below. After that we wandered over to Bowery Poetry Club, and saw Golden Silvers and Fool's Gold. These are two happening bands that are blowing up right now. Definitely got into some good shows so far.

Tonight: looking forward to Mumford & Sons, Voices Voices and ExitMusic.

Also want to see School of Seven Bells, Amazing baby, Alessi's Ark, and Vandelles.
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10/19/2009

A Place To Bury Strangers




A Place To Bury Strangers
Interview by Alexander Laurence

A Place To Bury Strangers is a band from New York City. They started in
2003. They gained some attention opening up for Brian Jonestown Massacre three
years ago. Soon they played with Jesus and Mary Chain and Nine Inch Nails.
Two years ago saw their first album, self-titled, A Place To Bury Strangers
(2007). The band played many festivals including Coachella and Siren Music.
Their second album is called Exploding Head (2009). The band members are
Oliver Ackermann (guitar/vocals), Jonathan Smith (bass guitar), and Jay Space
(drums). I got to speak to Oliver for a few minutes before their LA show.

AL: It seems like your guitar playing is all over the place. The bass
guitar and drum play the basic structure of the song. What do you think about
that?

Oliver: People often say that they don’t know what the hell is going on
onstage. Even the sound guy for this tour was describing all these sounds he
was hearing. I was going “Really?” For me, I am hearing all this stuff that
maybe people aren’t listening to. I am controlling all these sounds. Maybe
people get it and maybe they don’t. What I am doing is in contrast to the
driving rhythm.

AL: How do you write songs in the band?

Oliver: All different ways. Some songs we all write together. Some are
ideas that come to me, and I write it down and record it. Something I am
experimenting with sounds. I am building electronics. I am listening to sounds. You
hear something and go Wow! Some sounds are an inspiration for something.
Some songs are based around some words that you write. You write a song around
it. Sometimes it doesn’t work out. You have to tell yourself when you
realize when it doesn’t work out. You can be critical.

AL: Some songs get cut out?

Oliver: All the time. Some songs I didn’t want to put on the first album. I
wanted to wait to re-record them, and do it for real.

AL: Do you use any loops or electronic stuff?

Oliver: There are no loops or pre-recorded things. I like to play around
with things. I like to change around the set. I want to change it up anywhere
at any time. We are constantly playing with those sounds. I would not want
to be constrained to something that is already pre-played. It’s all guitars,
bass, and drums.

AL: It sounds like you have some keyboards on there.

Oliver: I build effects pedals for a living. I have my own company. I
can build stuff that no one can have. I am working on stuff all the time. We
make expensive gear. But you can make music with any piece of junk.

AL: Do you have the “gear nerds” looking at your effects pedals at gigs?

Oliver: All the time. It’s ridiculous.

AL: It’s 2009. You will probably be touring all the way to next summer and
beyond. Are you just playing songs off the new record?

Oliver: We are playing old songs. We are playing songs that no one has
heard before. Some oldies. I like to keep the sets as fresh as possible, and not
play the same songs every night.

AL: Did you play some festivals this summer?

Oliver: We played Reading and Leeds. At those festivals you see some really
big bands. We saw My Bloody Valentine and Jesus Lizard. There are tons of
awesome bands. There is a whole new fresh band scene that is going crazy.
They are young, wild, and smaller.

AL: Your band is fairly new. Are you still in that “crazy” period?

Oliver: When you play those festivals there are bands like Fall Out Boy and
Faith No More. It’s ridiculous stuff. That is one end of the spectrum. You
travel around and play places like Ricky’s Basement. It’s ten people and
someone’s mom.

AL: Did you play All Tomorrow's Parties yet?

Oliver: We played the Pitchfork Media one. We are playing the upcoming one
in December curated by Kevin Shields. It was at Camber Sands.

AL: Are you inspired by books?

Oliver: Everything is an inspiration: movies, books, and the places we go.
We get to have crazy adventures all the time. We get to hang out with people
in all these little towns. It’s super-fun.

AL: Do you see a lot of bands play?

Oliver: Yes, on tour. I also see a lot of bands play in Brooklyn where I
live. I live in an illegal warehouse. There are ten of us who live there. We
have a studio. Some friends of ours built a maze in the space. We have played
in different parts of the maze for the whole month.

AL: I haven’t been to NYC for a few years. Am I going to be shocked at all
the changes when I go there for CMJ next week?

Oliver: It’s always changing to some degree. You are not going to be
shocked. There are condos in Williamsburg.

AL: Are you touring to any new places?

Oliver: We are going to Greece soon. Never been. It sounds fucking amazing.
We would like to go to Australia. Soon.

AL: Do you write the setlists down?

Oliver: We have to write it down, because you have to have some idea of
what is going to happen. Sometimes you don’t know what the fuck is going on
onstage. At different places, I can’t hear what the other guys are doing. I am
struggling to barely hear them. You are trying to make the sounds as good as
you can.

AL: Is loudness still a factor in the band?

Oliver: To a degree. I like to hear things and play them really loud. It
helps me get into it. There are some places like Switzerland were the decibel
limit is 100. You just have to push it as much as you can. We will try to
break the rules, and some people get pissed off.

AL: Do people get sick because it’s too loud?

Oliver: Sometimes. We will try to make it as annoying as possible, if you
are watching. We have a bunch of strobe lights. People can handle a little
more.

AL: Do you like to give the audience some pure white noise?

Oliver: You might perceive the whole thing as white noise.

AL: Where does the name come from?

Oliver: It was our old drummer. He got it from an Aleister Crowley poem.
That was the name we put on the first flyer. Some people like it, some don’t.
I didn’t the name for a long time. There’s something to be said about
rising above something that you don’t like. I think that is cool. I think some
bands have risen above some bad band names.

AL: The Stooges was a bad name.

Oliver: Exactly. The band’s fucking awesome. You can easily think that was
a dumb band name, and they suck. The band is fucking wicked. You’re like
“Fuck yeah, the fucking Stooges!” You know what I mean.







Gallery is here. All photos taken by Angel Ceballos.





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10/18/2009

MGMT @ Treasure Island





all photos by Alexander Laurence
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10/14/2009

Some bands playing CMJ this year



WARPAINT



AMAZING BABY


SCHOOL OF SEVEN BELLS
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10/13/2009

John Fante: Downtown LA Writer John Fante to be Honored with a Square outside the Main Library




Downtown LA Writer John Fante to be Honored with a Square outside the Main
Library

LOS ANGELES- Yesterday in City Hall, Los Angeles City Councilmember Jan
Perry put forward, and Jose Huizar seconded, a proposal to name the corner
of Fifth and Grand, outside the Central Library, JOHN FANTE SQUARE -- an
overdue and fitting honor for a great writer who for too long has been more
famous in his father's native Italy than in his own adopted home of Los
Angeles. The request now goes to the Public Works Committee for final
approval. Soon, Fante lovers can hope to see official city signs designating
JOHN FANTE SQUARE erected at the base of the writer's former home on Bunker
Hill.

John Fante (1909-1983) was Charles Bukowski's favorite writer, his "Ask the
Dust" was the book Robert Towne wanted to film after "Chinatown" (it finally
was made in 2006 starring Colin Farrell, Salma Hayek, and Donald Sutherland)
and he is honored with an annual festival in Italy‹but in 21st Century Los
Angeles, his name often gets a shrug. That's too bad, because Fante might be
the funniest, most heartwarming, honest and appealing writer to ever take
this city as his subject.

Colorado-born, first generation Italian-American John Fante arrived in Los
Angeles at the start of the depression, and found a room on Bunker Hill, the
now-lost Victorian neighborhood above Downtown where he met and mingled with
the fascinating characters who would come to inhabit his fiction.
Desperately poor, the young writer would walk down Grand Avenue from his
apartment in the Alta Vista (called the Alta Loma in "Ask the Dust") to the
newly built Central Library (1926), where at no cost he fed his passion for
poetry and the novels of Knut Hamsun. For this reason alone, it would be
fitting that corner of Fifth and Grand be designated John Fante Square.

But the Central Library would go on to play a still greater role in Fante's
literary legacy. First, in the 1940s, a young Charles Bukowski found "Ask
the Dust" on the shelf in the main reading room and was transported. In
Fante, Bukowski found a naturalistic, self-deprecating Los Angeles voice
that inspired him to become a writer, and to listen to the voices of the
ordinary people in the bars and on the streets. Many years later, Bukowski
would mention the great John Fante (he called him "my god") to his publisher
John Martin, who was unable to locate Fante's out-of-print books. So
Bukowski went back to the Central Library, took "Ask the Dust" off the
shelf, and photocopied it for John Martin. Martin promptly bought the rights
and the Black Sparrow Press edition fanned the embers of Fante's small fame
until it burst into renewed flames in the 1980s.

Now almost all of John Fante's novels and short stories are back in print
and selling steadily in Europe and America. "Ask the Dust" was finally
filmed, with Bunker Hill built as a set in South Africa. He was the subject
of Stephen Cooper's acclaimed biography, an annual John Fante literary
festival is held in his father's hometown of Torricella Peligna (Italy), the
bus adventure company Esotouric dedicated a tour to following in his
footsteps, and on the occasion of the writer's centennial in Spring 2009,
UCLA Special Collections obtained his papers.

And with the naming of a prominent Los Angeles intersection in his honor,
John Fante joins the august company of the city's most celebrated scribes,
including Raymond Chandler (whose Square is at Cahuenga and Hollywood) and
Billy Wilder (whose Square is at Sunset and La Brea).
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10/12/2009

School of Seven Bells




School of Seven Bells
Interview by Alexander Laurence

School of Seven Bells is one of the most interesting bands this year. They
are based in New York City. They met in 2004, when Secret Machines and On
Air Library both played with Interpol on tour. They quit those bands, to form
a new one. In the band we have Alejandra Deheza (guitar/vocals), Benjamin
Curtis (guitar/effects), and Claudia Deheza (keyboards/vocals). They have a
definite original sound, and create an interesting atmosphere. I spoke to them
recently on their US Tour, with the band Warpaint. I spoke to them in Los
Angeles in early October 2009. Their album is called Alpinisms.

AL: Secret Machines and On Air Library are often associated with the New
York scene that started ten years ago. What do you think of New York today and
the new crop of bands?

Ben: Yeah. The difference is the new bands in New York are a lot better.
It’s really exciting. I feel more in touch with the music right now than I did
ten years ago. When I first came to New York, everything was raw and
stripped down. It was very basic. Guys wearing jeans and rocking out.

AL: Back in the 1990s, there was Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. And there
were all these bands like Toilet Boys and Lunachicks. Then you had Blonde
Redhead and Calla, then The Strokes.

Ben: It was very retro. I feel like now it’s very progressive. The styles
are very disparate. It’s more exciting now than it was ten years ago. Maybe
it’s not rocking the establishment as much.

AL: There are some new bands like Chairlift and Amazing Baby. What do you
think of them?

Ben: I am not familiar with them. There are too many bands now. I can’t
believe how many bands there are now. There are some great ones. When we first
heard Magic Wands we thought they were incredible. We like Phantogram. We
would be in Paris doing an interview and they will ask us about New York bands.
Who is that? They’ll tell us “Oh, they are from Brooklyn.” We were hanging
out with a French journalist. He interviewed us and he thought he was going
to get the grand tour of New York. I know there are a lot of bands here,
but many of them are on tour. There is no secret room where they all hang out.

AL: I just ran into David Sitek (from TV On The Radio). Some of those older
New York guys are moving to Los Angeles.

Ben: There’s an LA exodus. There are a lot of artists in New York. The
value goes up. Things get expensive and they get priced out.

AL When did School of Seven Bells start happening?

Ben: We met in 2004. We were supporting Interpol on the US tour. We met in
LA. That was the first time we had heard of each other. It’s another example
of New York bands not knowing about other bands. We didn’t quit right then.
We kept going, doing what we were doing. We just synchonistically stopped
what we were doing, and started doing something else. At that moment, School
of Seven Bells was a good idea.

Alejandra: January 2007.



AL: It all happened very fast?

Ben: It happened pretty fucking slow.

AL: Was it a studio project first?

Ben: Yeah.

Alejandra: It was a studio kind of thing. We were experimenting. We were
seeing how we wrote together, and how it worked. And the chemistry was just
immediate. The way we wrote the first song, all three of us, was bizarre. We
sent something to my sister. It was really informal. Check this out. Claudia
came up with something immediately. Then we thought: “Hey man, it should be
the three of us.”

AL: What was the first song?

Alejandra: The first song we all wrote together was “Conjur.”

Ben: Yeah. But the first song we made as School of Seven Bells was “White
Elephant Coat.” We had a lot of tries that are buried in history. We had a
lot of false starts. Many of the songs on Alpinisms were song ideas that have
been around since the idea of the band.

AL: Some of these songs seem to have complex rhythms. It’s not
straight-forward rock drumming. You never thought of having a live drummer?

Alejandra: We tried it out. The beats are electronic. So there is no reason
to throw in a live drummer into the mix, just to appease those purists.

AL: A few songs sound like live drumming.

Ben: We have one song on the record with Simone Pace, of Blonde Redhead.
Until we can get Simone to come on tour with us, we are going to do it like
this.

AL: What is Blonde Redhead up to?

Ben: I think they are doing a new record. It’s an aesthetic decision. If
you do a whole album on French horns, there is no reason to do it on guitars.
If we have electronic beats, why are we appeasing some old men who need to
see sticks moving?

AL: I know that I am old. Don’t have to rub it in.

Ben: You don’t care because you are a music fan. Mentally there is that
thing where they say, “That’s not real.”

AL: Since Flaming Lips playing along to the tracks ten years ago, on The
Soft Bulletin, people have become more used to drum machines and computers.
The Flaming Lips played all those recorded parts too.

Ben: My friend Michael Rother used to play in this band Neu! With Klaus
Dinger. He told me the first time he went onstage he had two tape decks. He
pressed play of these two guitar tracks. The audience bottled him offstage,
because they thought it was fake shit. They are playing tracks. His point is:
“I played the music. What is the issue here?” Times have change.

AL: You mentioned Blonde Redhead. Your music sometimes reminds me of the
4AD stuff of the 1980s. Do you listen to that?

Ben: Moreso now when we first started. We got into it more recently.

Alejandra: It was after many people mentioned it. I took it as a huge
compliment. It was usually from people who loved 4AD bands, so they wouldn’t
compare us to bands that they didn’t like.

AL: Your record has been out a while. You have toured all over. This is
like your final tour on this album. What is the plan for the future?

Alejandra: We are recording a record right now. You are going to hear a few
new songs tonight. The new record is called “Disconnect From Desire.” We
want it to be out early next year.

AL: You have been playing all these festivals this summer. How did you like
Japan?

Alejandra: It was awesome.

Ben: They like us in Japan. In the US, they can’t make their mind up.

AL: As the lead singer, you have to connect with the audience. Don’t you
feel like confronting someone in the audience who is lukewarm. “Hey you,
what’s your problem?”

Alejandra: Yeah.

Ben: We try our best not to insult the audience.

AL: You don’t have jokes in between songs?

Claudia: We are not really storytellers if you know what I mean. It’s very
visual. We aren’t very witty.

AL: It’s just music. Let it wash over you.

Ben: You are just supposed to go to a show, and have an experience. When peo
ple tell jokes, it just snaps you out of that dream state. You should get
in the mood, and glide, and then come back down to earth.

AL: Is the new album more of the same, or a radical departure?

Alejandra: It evolved. It won’t be shocking when people hear it. It’s not
a noise record. It’s hard to separate myself from it.

Ben: It’s a little bit more personal. It’s about specific human emotions.
It’s more sentimental, but it’s also heavier.

AL: Is it influenced by the live show, or is it just a recording of where
you are at right now?

Ben: It’s totally influenced by the live show. We have played so many
shows. Our playing has changed. There is a visceral aspect to our music that we
have discovered this year. We weren’t aware of it before. We are more in
touch with it now, and can bring it out more. We know how it fits in with our
style. So that is the difference.

AL: Are there any bands that you have played with that we all should check
out?

Alejandra: Phantogram.

Ben: Killing Joke. Great new band. We played with them at All Tomorrow
Parties. We are also playing this upcoming ATP with Kevin Shields.

AL: How was the tour with Bat For Lashes?

Alejandra: Amazing.

AL: Are you reading any books, beside “The Driven Life?”

Alejandra: You saw that? That is for the cops. We are reading out loud The
50th Law: the philosophy of 50 Cent. It’s written by Robert Greene. It’s
more his take on the life of 50 Cent.

AL: Are there any principles?

Ben: There are many principles.

AL: Can you share one today?

Alejandra: Fluidity. It’s all about developing your hustler side.

AL: These are all things that you should be made aware of in your life?

Ben: It’s boldness, fluidity, unpredictability, and hood alchemy.

AL: Hood alchemy? This word “alchemy” used to be so exotic. Now every
rapper is like DJ something alchemist.

Ben: Hood alchemy is taking a negative and exploiting it to your advantage.

AL: I haven’t been to New York City for a while. I am going there in a few
weeks to go to CMJ. Am I going to be shocked?

Alejandra: Williamsburg looks like a mall.

AL: I heard about the Meat Packing District. There used to be the Cooler
and that Steak Place, and nothing else.

Ben: You know what? It’s great. It’s all changed: boutiques, Apple Store,
high end. You know what stayed: the stench.

Alejandra: I think it’s the rats. It’s old meat and blood, and rats.

AL: Has the rat problem improved? I remember seeing this rat army cruising
down the street in the East Village.

Ben: The rat levels are peaking.

AL: There are news articles about this?

Alejandra: You don’t even need an article. I was walking down the street in
the East Village last week, and I swear to you, there are as many rats as
people on the street. They are bold. They have no fear. It is scary.




Gallery is here. All photos taken by Angel Ceballos.


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Polvo @ Spaceland Oct 10th

Photobucket

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The Flaming Lips

Flaming Lips


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THE FLAMING LIPS POP-UP STORE LAUNCHES "EMBRYONIC" ON OCTOBER 15, 2009 FOR ONE DAY ONLY WITH SPECIAL LIVE MYSPACE SECRET SHOW

THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH CONAN O'BRIEN SHOW CONFIRMED FOR OCTOBER 13.

Oct. 12, 2009 - (Burbank, CA) - Warner Bros. Records celebrates the release of the brand new, long-awaited album, EMBRYONIC, by one of the world's most influential bands, THE FLAMING LIPS. The double disc -on both CD and vinyl-- in deluxe formats will be birthed on October 13, 2009. On October 15, for one day only in Los Angeles, THE FLAMING LIPS POP-UP STORE will open at the Nike / Ricardo Montalban Theater located at 1615 Vine St. in Hollywood 90028.

Not only will fans have the opportunity to get their hands on unique artifacts available on this day and location only but the THE FLAMING LIPS have planned a very special, intimate MYSPACE SECRET SHOW performance just for tickets winners at this small venue guaranteed to blow the minds of the lucky few well beyond the third bardo. This might be the only opportunity to see the band in full-blown, maximum hysteria in a minimal space ever again. Get your furry freak on for this one time only psychedelic Hollywood happening. You won't get the change to see the LIPS live again until 2010!

Hot Fudge Made Out of Vaginas
http://www.vimeo.com/6981309
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10/08/2009

Circlesquare


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10/07/2009

Semi Precious Weapons







Gallery is here. All photos taken by Angel Ceballos.


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10/04/2009

Thom Yorke @ Echoplex October 2nd 2009





Thom Yorke @ Echoplex
October 2nd, 2009

by Alexander Laurence

I was sitting around the house one day, avoiding any real work. I came
across a posting on Facebook by Bill Silva productions that Thom Yorke had
announced a show at the Orpheum. I reposted this item, and many people I knew
seemed interested. I saw a posting on the Radiohead website that Thom Yorke had
put together a little band with Flea, Joey Waronker, Mauro Refosco, and
Nigel Godrich. They were going to play some of Yorke’s solo work. This sounded
interesting.

The next day, tickets went on sale, and all my friends seemed to be buying
tickets. I wasn’t a big Radiohead fan, but I liked the Eraser album. I
haven’t even heard the latest Radiohead album. I couldn’t name one song of it. I
thought “Maybe I should put in a media request to review the show?” I had
dropped the ball at Michael Jackson funeral, and here was a big event. The
publicist said that I could possibly attend, so there was a chance.

A few days passed, and then there was a rumor that he was doing a “secret”
gig at Echoplex on Friday. I ran into some people who worked at Spaceland,
on Wednesday, and they were laughing about it, but couldn’t comment on it.
By Friday, I just figured that I would have to buy a ticket, if I wanted to
go to any show. I was sitting around the house again, late on Friday, not
planning on going out. Then I get an email: “You are on the list tonight. Doors
at 8pm, show at 9pm. No plus ones.” Great.

I got ready, and drove over. I hit a bunch of traffic on the 101. I saw the
line, which was very long. I cut in line, when I saw Kevin Haskins, from
Bauhaus. We spoke about gigs coming up. The people who were there were some
hardcore Radiohead fans who somehow bought tickets that went on sale that day
at noon. The website crashed after five minutes, and probably only 500
tickets were sold. There were a lot of celebrities, bands, bloggers, media, music
industry people, and mover and shakers. It took almost an hour to get
inside, and the show probably started around 930pm.

All the hardcore fans that probably lined up early that day, were crowded
up front. If you walked around the venue, it was slightly not a full house.
Everywhere you turned around, there was some celebrity or band member. I saw
Kim Gordon, Har Mar Superstar, Danger Mouse, Ellen Page, Rick Rubin, and
members of Muse.

It was very intimate. Even though I was standing off to the side, I was
twenty feet from Yorke. Being in the back of the Echoplex was like being in the
front row of the Hollywood Bowl, or some other recent Radiohead venue.
Yorke came out and was very in the moment. He said “This is a rehearsal.” The
band played The Eraser album in order. Yorke was pretty much center-stage, on
piano, and the rest were in the shadows. Flea gradually moved up to the
front of the stage by the second song. Yorke moved to guitar on “The Clock”
and the band really took off.

The songs from The Eraser are very complicated rhythmically. On “Skip
Divided” Flea played Melodica. “Harrowdown Hill” was one of the highlights of
the night. It was a heavy funk song, that was reminiscent of Gang of Four.
Yorke was dancing frantically on this song, and it was cool to see him and Flea
up there together. Flea has started to become “Mr. LA” recently, after a
lot of guest spots, including one with Patti Smith.

Yorke was very down to earth. He flipped the bird to someone when they
requested some Skynyrd. He said: “Maybe I should be playing some Stone Temple
Pilots. You could be more current.” When he played some quiet songs, by
himself, the audience started talking. He said “If you want to have a chat, go
fuck off outside.”

If you stood back and looked over the crowd, you could see about 100+
iPhones taking pictures and recording video. You can now see all the youtube
videos. It got to be obnoxious after a while. I remember when I went to a CMJ
gig in 2002, and thought all the twenty cameras in the front row was
excessive. Now it’s like the whole audience is recording the whole thing instead of
watching the show. Yorke played Eraser, some solo stuff, then some new songs,
including another highlight “Feeling Pulled Apart By Horses.”

It lasted almost 90-minutes and was amazing. There have been a lot of
supergroups recently, but this one had a bigger purpose and was more focused, and
pairing Flea with Thom Yorke was genius. People should expect a good night
here. There are some amazing musicians and some great songs here. I can
imagine Yorke touring this show for six months to a year.
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The Soft Pack







Gallery is here. All photos taken by Angel Ceballos.


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Chairlift







Gallery is here. All photos taken by Angel Ceballos.


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10/03/2009

Thom Yorke




Thom Yorke played:

'The Eraser'
'Analyse'
'The Clock'
'Black Swan'
'Skip Divided'
'Atoms For Peace'
'And It Rained All Night'
'Harrowdown Hill'
'Cymbal Rush'
'Open The Floodgates'
'Lotus Flower'
'Skirting On The Surface'
'Judge, Jury, Executioner'
'Paperbag Writer'
'The Hollow Earth'
'Feeling Pulled Apart By Horses'
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10/01/2009

Miike Snow @ echoplex 10/4

Miike Snow
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