Friday, September 29, 2006

Fridee Musiks

really digging this new bonnie prince billy record "the letting go" (drag city)...less wispy than the last couple albums, just solid and beautiful arrangements, really cool sounding. going to Iceland to make a record has an appeal...for some reason i think it's funny that the pretty cover photo is of Hawaii.

also new but haven't cracked yet:

Aki Tsuyuko "Hokane" (thrill jockey) - comes in a hardback book with illustrations
Solomon Burke "Nashville" (shout factory) - meeting Burke in LA at a post-Grammys party made going to the Grammys worth it! he was cordial and asked about North Carolina.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Pop Montreal / Future of Music

yes, next weekend the future of music will be determined! i'll let you know what they decide.

anyway, it will be discussed, by yours truly among others who know much more about these things, in Montreal at the Future of Music Policy Summit and i'll be on a panel on friday at 11:30 AM, check out their site for more info!

conveniently, the night before i'll be doing a Portastatic solo set at La Sala Rossa as part of the Pop Montreal festival, along with Snailhouse, Hot Springs, and Tokyo Police Club, who apparently aren't from Japan and aren't even actual law enforcement officers, but will be enforcing the rules of ROCK AND ROLL. or something, come and see.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Austin and home

great night at the Parish in Austin on saturday, Matt Ward & band playing a great long encore to a pretty raucous crowd (from the picture here you can see that drummers Rachel and Jordan are so good that they only need to practice with one stick apiece), and the Parish is a great-sounding room. typically bittersweet last night of tour -- glad to be going home (margaret and i flew back to NC yesterday), sad to not be getting on the bus to do more shows (the band continued west)'s the austin setlist, i think:

Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You (w/ M.Ward on electric guitar)
Center of the World
Angels of Sleep
Sour Shores
You Blanks
Noisy Night
White Wave
San Andreas
I Wanna Know Girls

thanks to our friend Ashley for the pad and the breakfast tacos! and to the people behind us on the plane for SPEAKING LOUDLY FOR 2.5 HOURS.

and sincere thanks to matt and everyone in his band and crew (JacobDanaRachelJordanMikeAdamDutch) for being so nice to us on the tour. go see them!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

In the Heat of the Night

hot times in North Texas, 90-something outside and humid, where we spent some time, some might say too much time, in Denton. perhaps luckily for me, i didn't find the great used bookstore with an insane used jazz vinyl collection until late in the day yesterday, still found some great stuff there (Recycled Books) on the square in downtown Denton. hot inside Hailey's, too, fun show though, and M.Ward Band really kicked ass. here's our set:

Smothered in Hugs
Autumn Got Dark
Sour Shores
You Blanks
Drill Me
Naked Pilseners
Noisy Night
Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You (w/ Matt Ward on electric guitar)
I Wanna Know Girls

young kids and drunk frat-y vibe to the crowd but it was kind of endearing (as endearing as that vibe can be).

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Nahville, the Athens of the South

wait i thought that was in Georgia? anyway, Athena came to the show last night, or at least a 42-ft high statue of her did.

nice crowd at the Bellcourt, and John Smith the 25th played a surprise opening set that was funny and great. here's what we played:

You Angel You
Truckstop Cassettes
You Blanks
Spying on the Spys
You Know Where To Find Me
Noisy Night
White Wave
I Wanna Know Girls

the Clientele were at the show, they're in Nashville finishing up a record with Marky Nevers that's going to be awesome, they've taken to southern living nicely.

on to TX....

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Merge Mania 9/19 Carrboro

what a great show last night -- Lambchop w/ Tosca String Quartet brough the house down with songs from Damaged as well as old favorites (Nashville Parent, Old Gold Shoe) and a REALLY old rarity from How I Quit Smoking (We Never Argue), just sounding beautiful and heavy. MWard tore it up as usual, powered by two awesome drummers these days. we started the night off kinda early (8:15, early for rock shows i guess) but the crowd was already half in by then, and quite quiet to boot...we had special guests galore -- Carrie Shull on oboe for two songs, Tony Crow on piano, and Matt and Jim joined in for a full-band last song...good times:

Noisy Night
Center of the World
Getting Saved
Drill Me
You Blanks
Black Buttons
San Andreas
I Wanna Know Girls

rode overnight on the bus, didn't get much sleep but we're here in nashville and found coffee immediately, then walked to see the Parthenon, which i'd seen before but never been on the inside, pretty great.
Lambchop photo by Enid Pressley!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Wahoos Represent

drove up from Chapel Hill to Charlottesville today, listened to the new Mastodon record and a John Irving audio book, highway 29 is nice and did you know there's something called the Danville Expressway? neither did i, but it's fast. Margaret drove down from NYC and we had a brief rehearsal in the afternoon. the club (Satellite Ballroom) is the nicest i've been to in this town (though Tokyo Rose has a place in my heart) and the crowd was great for us...some folks new some songs, the others were patient if chattery. setlist for our first duo show since Other Music last year:

Center of the World
Angels of Sleep
Sour Shores
Black Buttons
Drill Me
White Wave
You Blanks
Bye Bye Pride
San Andreas
I Wanna Know Girls

i forgot to say something about what a huge asshole George Allen is (saw plenty of campaign signs on the highway today, tho i saw some Jim Webb signs too) onstage.

matt ward is playing a beautiful version of Let's Dance right now....i gotta go!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Vamos A Espana

how do you make a tilde up in this piece? i don't know. anyway, the lineup for the 2006 Tanned Tin Festival in Castellon, Spain, has been announced and Portastatic will be performing there as a duo with myself and Margaret White speaking the international language of rock. Dave Grubbs, Carla Bozulich, I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness, and many other fine artists will be there too, the festival runs from the 9th-11th of November and Portastatic is playing on the 11th.

i love Spain and i'm really looking forward to this...thanks to Acuarela (the label putting out the Portastatic album over there) for setting it up!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Rainy Wednesday Listening

Antena - Camino Del Sol drum machine bossa nova and French girl singing, low-impact but nice
Boris - Boris At Last Feedbacker when i saw Boris last weekend (awesome) they had all these cds i'd never seen before, i got the one with the coolest art (sucker for velum) and i'm not long "piece" with a great feedback section in the middle
Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes - Wake Up Everybody what's not to like?
Bill Evans - The Last Waltz beautiful live music recorded a week before Evans died

More Surfing Yetis To Go Around

hey thanks to anyone who pre-ordered the Portastatic album from Merge so far…there was a great response yesterday and this is just a note to say that we’ve added 50 more copies of the “Some Small Things You Can’t Defend” demos cd to be given away, so now the first 100 people will get one.

if you miss that cut, you’ll still be able to buy the disc from us when we tour, above see the great cover art by Megan Whitmarsh (check more of her great stuff at ...

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Be Still Please preorder alert!

sure, release date is nearly a month away (oct 10 to be exact) but as of today you can PRE-order the new Portastatic album Be Still Please. ok, i can hear you now, "why commit so far in advance? what if everything changes between now and then and i hate music? what if pitchfork gives it a 5.2 for not being freakfolk or mainstream rap?" well put those questions out of your mind and you won't be sorry, unless you really do hate music in a month, but what are the chances?

plus you get bonus items for getting on board now -- a whole album of demos, outtakes, and covers called "Some Small Things You Can't Defend" will be given to the first 50 preorders, and the first 25 will ALSO get a set of 4 coasters featuring photographs by Phil Morrison from the sessions for the album cover.

Merge is where you need to go to preorder the album! Thanks.

Enough Chatter

enough chatter yesterday to last you another 5 years so i laid off.

Sour Shores EP is out today, check it on emusic... it's also available on the merge site and itunes (though itunes store was out of order earlier when i looked). glad to have finally found a place for "Portraits From Before the War," which we recorded for Bright Ideas but something about it didn't fit with those songs (plus i was adhering strictly to a 10-song rule on the album).

also on the internet is this site MOG where i've got a page up now... it's got some cool features like seeing what everyone is listening to, or at least has in their music library in their computer. unfortunately my own playlist on there is kind of anemic as i don't particularly like listening to music on my computer, but i still inevitably do sometimes. i like stereos.

for instance, playing on my stereo right now: Planet Waves

Friday, September 08, 2006

Friday Afternoon Listening

Boris - Akuma No Uta japanese "metal" trio is playing here in chapel hill tomorrow night, i'm bringing earplugs.
Broadcast - The Future Crayon i think they've only gotten better since their stereolab-lite debut, this is all b-sides and stuff yet still highly enjoyable.
Bob Dylan - John Wesley Harding he totally rips Dan Bejar's look on the inside pic
Marcos Valle - Vento Sul man you can find great stuff on the internet
V/A - Ladies of the Canyon does the Numero Group ever falter? not as far as i can tell.

have great weekends....

Bowling for Rock

ok not bowling, but bowling pins. that have been retired. and gently defaced... The Troika Festival is happening in October, Portastatic will be performing as part of the whole shebang, and they run the festival as a non-profit venture, so to augment the incredibly cheap ticket revenue they auction off bowling pins that have been decorated by various artists, visual and otherwise. The Pin Projekt is the name of this enterprise and you can see what's up for auction (and last year's pins) by going to the site. My pin this year is based on a drawing that our 3-yr old daughter did over and over for a couple weeks there, when she saw my replication of her drawing i think it blew her mind, she asked me not to do it again!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Portastatic Sour Shores EP Next Week!

the new Portastatic album comes out October 10th and is called Be Still Please, but there will be a preview made commercially available next week when an EP is released digitally, that's right, all the internets will be carrying it, and the tracklisting will be thus:

1. Sour Shores
2. And I Was A Boy From School
3. Portraits From Before the War
4. Sour Shores (acoustic demo)

the first track is the album version, track 2 is an acoustic cover of the great Hot Chip song, track 3 was recorded at the time of Bright Ideas but for whatever reason didn't fit with the rest of those songs (i remember -- it was too FANTASTIC! so you should probably get it now), and track 4 is the demo for the title track of the EP...
the EP will be available from from all your favorite online sources (iTunes, emusic, et al) as well as directly from the Merge site!

Wednesday Listening

Pulp - This is Hardcore (there's supposed to be deluxe versions of the Pulp records coming along soon...maybe already out in the UK?)
Eccentric Soul - The Deep City Label man the bassline on the first song is insane
Loren Connors - Night Through 3xCD box on Family Vineyard, really digging this, especially the tracks from a Table of the Elements 7" called "Five Points"...great liner notes too by William Ferris, a professor of folklore at UNC Chapel Hill
Yo La Tengo - I Am Not Afraid of You And I Will Beat Your Ass i've got my season pass and this thing rules; prepare to have your ass beaten and handed to you and all that.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Dewey Redman 1931 - 2006

Texas tenor Dewey Redman died yesterday, never got the attention of his cohorts Ornette (with whom he went to High School), Charlie Hayden, Keith Jarrett etc but made some powerful music over the course of decades -- his records with Ornette are classic and Impulse records like "Ear of the Behearer" are great but as recently as 1999 he made one of my favorite modern trio records with Cecil Taylor and Elvin Jones, Momentum Space, and he played on one of my favorite Randy Weston records, also on Verve, The Spirits of Our Ancestors.