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Yeah, definitely. It’s not in any way, joking. It’s not like LMFAO or anything. It’s music, it’s art. It has more in common with Leonard Cohen probably than with Parliament. I put together a different group of people to help me record it, there’s a different sound. There’s mandolin on some songs, pedal steel guitar and slide guitar. It’s a departure from Paralytic Stalks and a departure from False Priest. Everything I’ve basically been working with for the last five or six years. Musically, it sounds very different. Lyrically, I guess it’s pretty close to Paralytic Stalks, if anyone paid that much attention to the lyrics. It’s much more intimate. We recorded on the 24 track tape machine, so that was different too. When you’re working on the computer, it’s basically unlimited how many tracks you can use.
Initially with my friends recording music, it was always analogue. It was on a set four track and I eventually worked my way up to one inch tape machines. I haven’t used tape machines in a long time. I kinda forgot, it’s funny.
For the last five or six records, I did basically everything in the studio myself and then we had a group of people that would go on tour and play the songs live. It wasn’t really that much of a collaborative thing.
I wanted to get a different sound, so I just kind of picked people that I thought would help me carry out that vision. It is an of Montreal record, and in a way, it’s probably the most collaborative of Montreal record in seven or eight years. The touring personnel will change for the tour in October, but for now it’s still the same group of misfits. It’s not like we’re breaking up the band, basically it’s just for this one tour in October.
We filmed a show on the Hissing Fauna tour, and we hired these people to shoot it. And then we never used it. It just became bigger and bigger and more ambitious. Jason Miller, the director, took it upon his shoulders to create a more engaging and comprehensive document of the band.
It’s funny too, because with the new record coming out, it’s hard to stay current. There’s always new things happening. There’s no real bookends, yet.
For the first basically five, six years of our existence, we were basically unknown. Just touring the circuits, coming back to our crappy jobs. It was a lot of bad memories for me because it was such a struggle. But now that we’re past it, it’s a little insane to look back. And it’s kinda cool, to see all those faces again. It’s not really for me. I hope other people enjoy it, but it’s not like I’m going to be sitting watching it every day.
Yeah, definitely. Neutral Milk Hotel has reunited and they’re going to be playing two nights at the 40 Watt Club, which is a club that everybody still plays. It’s interesting how things kind of come and go. But the scene itself, I’m not really a part of anymore. I was, back in the late 90s. Everybody was into home recording, and discovering 60s psychedelic pop and 70s prog. It was great to be a part of the culture like that, it was really inspiring.
It was also great to see Neutral Milk Hotel and Olivia Tremor Control get more popular, play bigger venues and get good write ups, and all that stuff. It could happen for you too.
Most college towns aren’t going to have major bands like Neutral Milk Hotel and Olivia Tremor Control, REM and the B-52s come out of them. That’s why we just feel really lucky.
It’s a lot more accessible, people are more approachable. It’s not really ego music, it’s very down to earth, but at the same time, very fantastical, personal and wild.
Michael Stipe’s house is like three doors down from where Jeff Mangum was living. Everyone was kind of living in the same area that I was living, like a block away. If you’re living in Athens, you’re probably like two blocks away from everybody else. There’s not a great divide, really.
The music represents what I wished was happening, and the lyrics represent more what is happening in my life. In a way, it’s kind of like spiritual music, where people who are totally broke, don’t have anything, but if you listen to their music, it’s really uplifting. They’re trying to elevate their lives with their music. I think it’s similar to that.
I think it’s true. There’s nothing wrong with that style of writing, I’m a big Rolling Stones fan. But I think that’s what attracted me to Lou Reed and David Bowie, and maybe to a slightly lesser extent Iggy Pop and Mark Bolan. I think that it just makes it better. If the lyrics aren’t completely trite and vacuous and predictable, it just makes for a more interesting experience. It’s one more thing to throw labor over, and it’s more satisfying than just writing whatever came to my mind.
In the 60s, there was probably only a handful of people that were actually writing good lyrics. But I feel like nowadays, people have cracked the code. Not that it’s necessarily easier writing good lyrics, but it’s easier to avoid writing bad lyrics. It’s kind of a funny thing. To develop your own personal style as a writer is extremely difficult. It’s even harder lyrically, on a certain level, because it’s so rare to come across somebody that is truly gifted in that sense. Also, it’s so awkward to fit within the meter. That’s why with me, poetry can be kind of awkward. I can’t stand bouncing along with the words. I’d rather read it and be surprised by the pace of it. I’m not a big fan of rhyming verse. It’s just a fun challenge.
Some of us first discovered Allison Weiss as an internet sensation that serenaded Youtube with acoustic covers of her favorite indie and punk rock songs. Since Weiss’ first EP release in 2007, she has moved to Brooklyn, toured with Lou Reed, and is hitting many stops this summer on the Vans Warped Tour.
Weiss recently signed to No Sleep Records, an independent record label based in California which features bands like Into it.Over it., Balance and Composure, Touche Amore and The Wonder Years.
Her music has seen a steady transition from the stripped down acoustic style of her early EPs An Eight-Song Tribute to Feeling Bad & Feeling Better and The Only Girl at an All Boys Pool Party, to the electronic touches of her second album Teenage Years. Weiss’ third album, Say What You Mean continues on this trajectory, using a more sophisticated sound with all of the heart and confusion of her earlier releases.
I first found your music in 2011, when you posted a video of yourself covering “Future 86” by Bomb the Music Industry. Are you still a fan?
Oh, yeah. I mostly know the first few records. I always love everything Jeff does, he is such a good musician.
Do you have a favorite BTMI record?
It’s a tie between Album Minus Band and To Leave Or Die In Long Island.
Your new record, Say What You Mean sees a much different production style, from your earlier minimalist production style. What prompted the change in sound?
I think it’s mostly because I was just performing solo because it was easiest. On all my past records, those were songs I was already playing out for years. Say What You Mean is the first time I actually wrote songs for a record, so most of the songs for the record were never played live with a band until after the whole thing was already made. I really spent a lot of time trying to think of the best parts for the songs. It was the first time I had the opportunity to explore some musical territories. And it wasn’t just whatever we came up with on the spot, it was figuring out what parts work best for each song in general.
How important is it to you for your music to be relatable?
I would say it’s pretty important. I personally relate most to songs that are about relationships and love and all that sort of stuff. I sort of use my songs to figure out my own problems, and the hope is that by finding a new way to talk about an old feeling, then maybe somebody else can get help or satisfaction by listening to my music.
I saw that you reblogged Grimes’ feminist statement earlier this week. Do you feel like this is an important time for women’s rights? How would you describe your experience in the music industry as a woman? Do you feel like you’ve gotten different treatment, as Grimes’ statement implied?
I reblogged Grimes post because everything she said is absolutely true. I feel like my experience as a woman in the music industry is not unique, because if you’re a woman in the music industry, you’re going to experience all that stuff. It sucks that that’s just the norm, and the way it is. We’re supposed to just accept it, and I don’t think we should just accept it anymore.
I consider myself to be the sort of band leader, who, I know what I want out of the musicians that I play with. My mom said I was demanding, and then that spiraled off into a discussion about how when you call a girl demanding, people automatically assume that she’s a bitch. But you’re supposed to be demanding as a guy. It’s stupid that there are these stereotypes either way. If you’re a girl, you’re not supposed to be as demanding about the type of music you want, or you can only be successful if you have a pretty face. Pretty much everything Grimes wrote down, she can say it a lot better than I can right now.
In Paste’s review of your new record, they compared you to Tegan and Sara. How do you feel about the comparisons?
I love it, Tegan and Sara are one of my favorite bands. I know a lot of people have been saying it lately, which is cool. But it’s almost weird because their new record sounds nothing like my new record, so it’s just pretty obvious that growing up I listened to a lot of Tegan and Sara records.
I’ve definitely been wondering lately if a lot of the comparisons are because I’m a gay lady with brown hair. Back when I had long hair, I got compared to Lisa Loeb and Ingrid Michaelson. So I think a lot of people confuse music styles with the way people look, which is unfortunate.
But if people want to compare me to Tegan and Sara, then it’s cool. I like it.
Well, to put those comparisons aside, what were some of your inspirations on this record?
Oh man, I was listening to a lot of Tegan and Sara’s So Jealous, Paramore, Rilo Kiley, a lot of Weezer. Even bands like TV on the Radio, to Robyn.
With the altered sound on this record, do you feel like there is still a different sound that you would like to experiment with?
I think on the next record, I definitely want to add a lot more electronics. Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of St. Lucia and Stars. I like what they’re doing and I’ve always loved Postal Service and synth-y bands. I think this record is definitely more so than the last one. I want to find a way to combine the two. Mix an 80s rock sound with this new, hip synthesizer, like EDM, I don’t even know what that means.
In an interview with Punknews.org, you call yourself a pizza connoisseur. What is your favorite style/region of pizza?
I don’t know that much about Chicago pizza. I had deep dish once, it was delicious. I’m pretty partial to the pizza I get in Brooklyn. Whenever we’re out on the road, I feel like people always want to take us out to their pizza place and they’ll say ‘It’s just as good as New York pizza’, but it never is as good as New York pizza.
What would be your dream tour?
Probably getting to open for a band that I love, like Rilo Kiley, Tegan and Sara or Robyn. I don’t even know if I fit on any of those tours. Rilo Kiley, are they ever going to tour again? Who knows?
Honestly, my dream tour would be playing for a ton of people who are paying attention every night. Tegan and Sara, Rilo Kiley, and then I get to open and try to get people to like me.
Record Store Day is an important day for the music community. A celebration for the record stores that are still alive and kicking. After all, the music industry is certainly on its rebound. In fact, this year's vinyl record sales are at their highest since 1997.
The participating record stores for Tampa this year included Seminole Heights' Microgroove and North Tampa's Mojo Books and Music.
Mojo celebrated with free, live music from several local bands, photographed below:
The Gasparilla Music Festival celebrated its second birthday on March 9th.
Lord Huron, lead by Michigan-based Ben Scheider, is still early in his career. After releasing a trio of EPs in 2010, Schneider released his debut record Lonesome Dreams this year. The new record explores themes of the Old West and self discovery. The Guardian described Schneider's style in the debut effort as "a folk-rock Thoreau", and Consequence of Sound described the record as "impressionistic, world-bent Americana" with inspirations from Animal Collective. Lord Huron made a stop at Gasparilla Music Festival before playing California's coveted Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival later this year.
The festival's national artists also included California's Best Coast. Their surf-rock inspired songs of yearning and romance earned the title of 'Best New Music' from Pitchfork Media. Their second album, 2012's The Only Place received less critical acclaim, but it did help the band land a tour opening for Green Day.
It seemed almost inevitable for Dr Dog to play Gasparilla Music Festival this year. After a cancelled tour date at the State Theater last November, this opportunity seemed an ideal return for the band to the Bay Area. Their indie psychedelic sound brought the enormous crowd together as the band played tracks from across their discography.
Not to be out-done, the festival's climax and come-down was delivered by official headliners The Meter Men featuring Page McConnell. McConnell, formerly of acclaimed jam-band Phish, joined established New Orleans funk band The Meter Men have been playing since the 1960s and performed with Dr John, Robert Palmer and Sir Paul McCartney.
Hymn for Her put on a great live show. They've been together since 2011, touring on their first
record Lucy & Wayne and the Amairican Airstream. While their first album was evocative of
classic country and western influences, their new album is heading in a more rock 'n' roll
direction. The band play USF's new concert series The Sunset Series this Thursday night.
What is the story behind your name?
It’s a love song about a guy going after a girl, and there are these obstacles that he comes across.
Do you have any religious affiliation?
We’re spiritual, but not religious at all. We’re spiritual in that we believe that music is God.
What inspires your live performance?
Pent up in a van all day from driving. Just that outlet of sharing with other people after being in close quarters for such a long time. That’s the biggest inspiration, just people and energy and sharing the energy.
While you were initially from Philadelphia, you have played a lot of shows in Florida. Do you officially live here now? What prompted your initial stay in FL?
We’re actually leaving in April on tour, and we’ll be gone for seven months. We’re officially just a band on the road.
Do you feel like your music got better reception in Tampa, as opposed to Philadelphia?
Only because we do more shows here.
Is there a story behind your stage names?
We changed our names to Lucy and Wayne. We both wanted to change our names, and connected with them. They were good rock n roll names, and made us laugh too. They’re silly and funny and rockin’.
Is there anything that people should know about you that they don’t?
I’ve realized as our daughter is in school for the first time, that we’re not really a normal family. Just as she’s going to school and we’re meeting other parents, I’m really starting to see how different our lives are. I’m starting to see how she has to adjust to fit in, because she’s been raised on the road.
Hymn for Her's facebook page notes your music as a combination of several different genres. Do you consider different genres when making music?
It’s just however it comes out. Whatever we are playing at any given moment is just the style of music we are.
I saw that you have a Kickstarter campaign set up for the new record. What can you tell us about the new album?
It rocks really hard. It’s a wild-eyed mashup of country, blues and punk. The previous album was more down the road the road of bluegrass than this album. It was a bit more banjo and jangly, and this is more rock’n’roll.
Big Harp are one of the cutest bands to come out of Omaha, Nebraska. Straddling the line between being musicians and parents, the band has been known to take their children on tour with them.
Well indoctrinated in the Saddle Creek music scene, married couple Stefani Drootin-Senseney and her husband Chris Senseney have played with many famous Saddle Creek artists including The Good Life and Bright Eyes. Taking a chance on a project of their own, Big Harp have recently released their second album Chain Letters.
Experimenting with their style, Stefani Drootin-Senseney admitted, “we’re still learning a lot about playing together now, so it’s been a positive experience.” This sentiment is important to the band, giving sway to the importance of artistic freedom rather than limiting goals. Lead singer Chris Senseney noted that “I feel like in some ways we’re still kind of trying to figure out what kind of band we are. And I hope we never figure it out, because it’s fun just kinda stumbling along and going wherever it takes us.”
And the stumbling has gotten Big Harp recognized on a national level. Their new album Chain Letters was streaming on AV Club and their hit “You Can’t Save ‘Em All” was available for download on Rolling Stone, and their music video for “Everybody Pays” premiered exclusively on the Independent Film Channel (IFC). The band is currently touring the country in support of their new record, Chain Letters.
Saddle Creek has been instrumental to building up Omaha’s music scene. How did you get involved with the record label?
Stefanie Drootin-Senseney: I have been involved with them for years and years. I was in The Good Life, and I did some pretty extensive touring with Bright Eyes. They’re really good friends, and I’ve also lived in Omaha, Nebraska for years.
I interviewed Denver Dalley of Desaparecidos earlier this month and he mentioned the big corporate expansion of Omaha made him feel like a stranger when he was back home. Have you had a similar experience?
Chris Senseney: The city’s definitely changing, there’s a lot of construction going on. There’s a lot of gentrification of certain neighborhoods. But it’s probably a little different for us because neither one of us grew up in Omaha. We don’t necessarily have an attachment.
Stefanie Drootin-Senseney: I don’t think it hits Chris and I as hard because we’re not originally from there.
What is your favorite Saddle Creek label mate?
Stefanie Drootin-Senseney: Oh my god, that’s like picking your favorite child. Honestly, I love all the bands on the label.
Chris Senseney: I feel like I have to say The Good Life.
Stefanie Drootin-Senseney: There’s so many different kinds of music on the label and they’re all so good.
What’s your favorite part of going on tour?
Stefanie Drootin-Senseney: Just being free from work and household duties. Just being free and traveling around, waking up in a different place every day. Letting the kids experience different places.
Chris Senseney: It’s a good feeling when you’re driving out of town.
As you are touring with your children, do you have any special pre-show traditions?
Chris Senseney: We have a glass of whiskey.
Stefanie Drootin-Senseney: We like to make sure we’re at the club at least an hour before we play, and then that’s when we’ll pour ourselves a glass of whiskey and get into show mode. That’s usually when we leave the kids at the hotel.
The single’s music video for your this album premiered on IFC. Did you initially think of the music video as a short film?
Stefanie Drootin-Senseney: Not really, I think it just kind of landed there. IFC showed interest in it, and maybe they did because it can be film-like.
Chris Senseney: We had a friend of ours, Kim Hager do the video, and we just had the basic idea of the video, and she just made it into a thing that I think is really cool.
Stefanie Drootin-Senseney: She did a video for the band Tilly and the Wall years and years and years ago. Nick from Tilly and the Wall was playing with the Bright Eyes band as well and he showed me the video backstage, and I remember thinking that I would love to use her for something sometime in the future. Then when we were coming up with the video, Chris had some ideas about stop-motion and Claymation and I remember that [Tilly and the Wall] video came out amazing. I just think she does beautiful stuff, I love her.
Which music video was it?
Stefanie Drootin-Senseney: It was their very first release on Team Love.
Will you be performing at SXSW this year?
Stefanie Drootin-Senseney: We sure are.
Matt Pond’s sound is evocative of 70s California folk music scene. His music is tends to focus on an effortlessly harmonic sound that often deals with relationships and personal struggle. Starting out in the late 90s, some of Matt Pond’s first shows involved opening for indie rock bands such as Superchunk.
Growing up in New York, Pond lived near the infamous Bearsville Records, where he would eventually record his own albums. Set against the trends and angst of the music of New York City, Matt Pond’s sound is largely inspired by The Band. His dream tour would involve opening for legendary musicians like “John Lennon and Harry Nillson.” After producing several acclaimed records, Pond made it clear that he is still honing his craft, “I just want to do one thing well, and I’m waiting for that one.”
His new record, The Lives Inside The Lines In Your Hand was released on February 5 was reviewed by Paste and Consequence of Sound. The release coincided with a tour with fellow New York-via-Philadelphia folk band Jukebox the Ghost.
I saw that you recently played on Jimmy Fallon with Orlando artist Tierney Tough [of The Pauses]. How did you meet her?
She did an interview with us years and years ago. I knew her on and off, and she promoted a few shows of ours. And then I spent a lot of time in St Augustine, which isn’t too far away from Orlando. It all made sense.
You’ve played with a lot of great and popular musicians over the years. Which artist has been your favorite to play with?
You know, there was this tour that we were on with a lesser known band called Dios Malos.
I love this tour that we’re on with Jukebox the Ghost. It’s mostly when you like the person’s music and their personality and they treat you with respect. Those are the greatest things you could look for in a tour.
Is there anything that people should know about you that they probably don’t?
I think everybody knows that I can only be myself. That it’s my best quality and my curse, that I’m stuck.
Do you consider yourself to be your own worst enemy?
Absolutely. I am the devil and I also have the ability to have a good heart.
Do you feel like it’s affected your career at all?
I push myself sometimes to do the right or the wrong thing. It’s only the next day that I realize ‘That was great’ or ‘That was awful’. I should use a little more forward thinking in some of my approaches.
What’s one of the weirder things to happen with your band on tour?
The xylophone jam session we had the other night was amazing. It was this installation of outdoor xylophone music. Our band and Jukebox the Ghost somehow collaborated and we orchestrated xylophone music. That was pretty cool at 2 in the morning.
You’ve recorded several albums in New York’s Bearsville Studios. The studio has also been used by famous artists such as The Band, Jeff Buckley, Cheap Trick, Foreigner, New York Dolls, REM and more. What got you involved with Bearsville?
Our management had good connections. I also went to school near there. So when there was a possibility of recording there, I jumped at it. Then of course, there’s the history of it. Recording up there is amazing, or it was. It’s all gone now.
Do you have a favorite Bearsville artist?
I’m going to go easy here and just say Levon Helm. I love The Band. I know it’s not a fashionable thing, they’re really one of my favorite bands of all time. Nobody could play the drums like him.
You’ve covered a number of songs over the years. What is your favorite song to cover? What is your aim when doing a cover?
The point of doing a cover is an homage, it’s out of respect. I think that it’s become somewhat of a lost art, in the way some people do covers as a joke, or really tongue in cheek. But if you have to cover a song, you should do it properly. Unless you’re like Weird Al or something.
I think that “Hollywood” was one of my favorites that we’ve done. It’s just one of those songs that people love so completely and then you get to change the gears on it. It’s not for everyone, but I’m proud of the direction we took with it.
And it was great the way that you did that with My Chemical Romance’s “I’m Not Ok (I Promise)”.
I actually like My Chemical Romance. Sure, they’re a huge pop band but they write good pop songs. I actually have a few of their records. It wasn’t tongue in cheek, we really like that song.
What is your favorite My Chemical Romance record?
I like the first one, and I like The Black Parade too. I’m not listening to it for introspection, but I don’t listen to music all in the same way.
Are you going to SXSW again this year?
We are not, we’re skirting around it. I love South By Southwest, but it’s also a cluster of madness. As much as I want to see other bands, and I love to play, sometimes it’s a relief do not have to deal with it all.
What inspired the title of your most recent album, The Lives Inside The Lines In Your Hands?
I’m not the most comfortable with hugging. I like physical contact, it just doesn’t come as easy for me. There’s a lot of physical contact, and I guess hands on me. I guess there’s a certain point where you’re forced to reach out to other people and other people are forced to reach out to you.
“Love to Get Used” narrates a cynical view of romance. How much do you identify with the lyrics and how did they come to you?
I guess I do a bit of history bashing in that song, personal history bashing. People should approach their relationships without a lot of their historical baggage. We should keep out eyes open for the interactions that we have with people’s feelings, or my interactions at least.
Typically, opening bands can have a harder time engaging with the audience, often because the audience hasn’t heard of the band before. However, Joyce Manor had an edge, as the audience was well aware of the band’s music. One could suppose that touring with Against Me!, Hot Water Music, Touche Amore, Titus Andronicus, Andrew Jackson Jihad and Ceremony within the last two years may have helped. Their last album, Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired received positive acclaim from respected alternative music blogs Alter the Press!, PunkNews.org and AbsolutePunk.net.
Opening with “Beach Community” from their self-titled album, the crowd rushed into a mosh pit that didn’t disband until after Conor Oberst left the stage.
Ending their set with “Constant Headache”, the lead singer had the audience sing the last verse, from their debut self-titled album. Though it initially seemed like Joyce Manor was opening for Desaparecidos, the energy and crowd’s response to Joyce Manor’s set made it obvious that the band was co-headlining.
After several teases from The Beacham’s sound system, Desaparecidos set was pre-empted started with a speech from the president of the National Rifle Association which vilified gun control advocates. The intense, right wing speech said that people who want to regulate the gun industry and potentially ban assault weapons were the most dangerous kind of person. Then, the speech faded out and bright, brass music blared as the band walked onto the stage. Their first song was a newer track called “Left is Right”, aptly debating the comments from the opening speech and sympathizing with the Occupy movement (“If one must die to save the 99/Maybe it’s justified/The left is right.”) While the audience’s singing was quieter during the newer material, the mosh pits and fist pumping did not slow down at all.
Some notable differences between the Desaparecidos of 2002 and 2013, the studio versions of the new songs have a fuller sound with clearer vocals. Also, the songs off of their initial album dealt with broad issues that were affecting Omaha, while their newer songs have focused more on specific national issues. For instance, “Backsell” is a critique of Clear Channel radio and the changing landscape of the music industry. Also, “Left is Right” sympathizes with the Occupy movement and “Anonymous” was dedicated to the international hacktivist group.
During the show, the old songs blended in seamlessly with the tracks from 2002’s Read Music/Speak Spanish. Just as Denver Dalley mentioned in our interview, Desaparecidos time apart didn’t hurt the band at all. The band’s soaring guitar riffs and head banging carried just as much energy and vitriol as it would have ten years ago.
As much of Desaparecidos’ short catalog deals with criticizing corporations, suburban developments, banking and an indirect reference to Disney World, it was fitting that the venue was so close to many of those institutions.
“This song is about having compassion, and helping each other out”, Conor Oberst said, introducing “Manana”. Oberst also later ‘made it rain’ for those close to the stage when introducing “$$$$”, asking if anyone in the audience was “a high roller.”
While punk music can often be criticized for raising concern for societal problems with no realistic solutions, Desaparecidos have always focus more on themes of self-improvement as well. Their first album Read Music/Speak Spanish was named for a goal of Oberst’s back in 2002. Realizing that change is both personal and political, Desaparecidos music, particularly their lyrics for “Hole In One” at the end of the night:
“Well I should talk I'm just the same...
buy my records down at the corporate chain
I tell myself I shouldn't be ashamed...
but I am.”
Back in 2002, the country was going through a lot of changes. We were dealing with the aftermath of 9/11, issues with the economy, the prospect of war, and there was a lot to be discussed in the national media. Desaparecidos’ reunion is coming at a time when most of these issues have been resolved, but in the spirit of self-improvement, they are arguing that there is still a lot we can do for ourselves and our country.
While the band recently released two new EPs, there is no information at the moment about a new album.
Gasparilla Music Festival is one of Tampa’s best, if not youngest music events of the year. Capping off the almost South by Southwest-like compilation of parades, movie festivals, a 5k and much more, the Gasparilla events are not to be missed. This year’s festival takes place on March 9th at Curtis Hixon Park includes headliners Dawes, Best Coast, Dr. Dog, The Meter Men featuring Page McConnell of Phish, Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears and many more.
For an authority on the best artists to watch out for, Bulls Radio asked some of Tampa's top music journalists and show promoters for their most anticipated set of Gasparilla Music Festival this year:
Sean O'Brien, co-owner of Tampa's Broken Mold Entertainment:
“I'm most excited to see Lord Huron, I love all the other bands as well, that's why we booked them!! Lord Huron is the only one I haven't had a chance to see live before though, that's why he gets my vote.”
Ray Roa, Staff Writer at Suburban Apologist:
“Although Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears are a very very close second, I am really excited to see how Ben Schneider & co. [of Lord Huron] play songs from their debut LP on stage. If weather is anything like it was last year, then hearing songs from LONESOME DREAMS, then I expect to have one of the best live experiences in recent memory. Lofty expectations yes, but the LP's folk dreamscapes (which Schneider says here inspired by nature anyway) combined with view of the Hillsborough River and UT's minarets is going to be amazing. Kind of like Deer Tick's set last year except less dingy rock & roll and more quietly transcendent.”
Melanie Cade, co-owner of Mojo Books & Music:
“I would've said Dr Dog, but instead I'm going to say Lord Huron. I don't have a favorite song, because I only just discovered Lord Huron while browsing the Gasparilla lineup, then playing a few songs on youtube. Like the instrumentals and the interweaving of elements. Very interested to hear more in person.”
Leilani Polk, Music Editor at Creative Loafing:
“I'm super stoked about seeing Phish's keys maestro, Page McConnell, jam with New Orleans mainstays The Meter Men. Though they've never recorded any material together officially, I imagine they'll get the funkin' and groovin' dance party started for sure.”
Desaparecidos is the post-punk side project of Saddle Creek scene leader Conor Oberst. After recording several solo efforts, as well as a few records with indie bands Bright Eyes and Commander Venus, Oberst and some of his childhood friends decided that they needed a political outlet. Many of the songs on their debut record Read Music/Speak Spanish critique consumerism, corporate greed, and the development of their native Omaha. As sharp as their commentary might have been, many of the addressed issues have (arguably) intensified since the album’s 2002 release. This album could easily be a contender for getting the Pitchfork’s revisionist memory treatment, as Desaparecidos’ album Read Music/Speak Spanish initially received a mere 4.6 review. After all, Desaparecidos isn’t the only indie staple of the early 2000s that is coming back.
However, the band doesn’t abandon the more human themes either. In our discussion with the band’s guitarist Denver Dalley, he mentioned that “obviously Bright Eyes is way more intimate, but I think we touch on some of that stuff, like damaged goods.”
The band’s recent return has gotten attention for speaking out about current issues, such as Arizona’s immigration policy, Occupy, the Anonymous hactivist movement as well as the changing nature of the music industry. Desparecidos will be headlining at The Beacham in Orlando on Feb 19, you can find more information here.
I don’t know if a lot of things have changed. I think some things have gotten worse. We’re very privileged in the world that we live in as Americans, but that doesn’t mean that we should ever stop trying to improve.
We had talked for years about getting back together. We got back together for a reunion show in 2010 for the Concert for Equality, and it felt really natural, like we picked up where we left off. I think that really encouraged us to do more shows and just be a band again.
In some ways, it’s like we haven’t matured at all in the last ten years, but that’s impossible.
Before we’d just go out in the van and it was just chaos. But now, we have a really solid crew to run the amps and monitors, the sound is just way better. The performance is tighter but it’s still every bit as energetic , angry and chaotic and fun, if not more so than it was in the past. Especially the new songs, they’re a little bit more energetic and angrier than the original ones.
Before when we were recording Read Music/Speak Spanish, the main thing we wanted to capture was to have a live chaotic sound instead of a polished album. I think we did exactly that. Maybe we went a little bit overboard with it. But I love how this album came out, it’s a very nostalgic album for a lot of people. We don’t want it to be quite as muddy. The influences and the inspiration is there, but we’re doing it just a little bit better now.
Oh no. I have to check that out now though.
We all kind of live around different places and Omaha is still our home base. It’s very much expanding, and it’s even been rated as one of the top places to move to because of the expansion. I don’t live there full time, but you can really feel like a stranger in your hometown sometimes. But the people are there, and the people are awesome. That’s really what matters.
I guess I have the most control with Statistics. But I definitely think about Desaparecidos as my first love. I almost don’t like having that much freedom, it’s nice to have four other sets of ears to kinda balance things off. There’s something kind of unique about our band and the way that we just kind of connect and see things on the same page.
We all grew up together and to be honest, I can’t think of one thing that we’re that different on.There was one thing though. In “Marikkkopa” , we did talk about the part where Conor uses a racial slur as the song is supposed to be sung from the perspective of a racist. We all stopped and discussed it. But we ultimately decided that yes, absolutely this is something we should do. It’s the same way that Lennon used a racial slur in the title of one of his songs. It is necessary and it is powerful. It does make you feel something and I think it’s an appropriate time to use it in that context.
These days it the keyboard or the mouse that’s mightier than the sword. I admire that group and what they do, it’s just another form of standing up for what you believe in and taking the power back in your own hands. We all really respect that.
We’re as curious as everyone else. We don’t want to commit to anything and feel like we’re obligated. Basically, we don’t want to force any songs. With the new ones, we’ve been releasing them as 7 inches and digital downloads. We’re slowly building another album, but as for right now we don’t have any concrete plans as to when we’re going to release it.