@ZackTeibloom If you had asked me what my ideal last hurrah of my 20s would have been, I would have said Jack White would have to be involved. Nope. It had to go down like this. With Dave Grohl at the center of it all. We go back a ways, me and Dave. The first time I ever visited Austin with Andy for ACL 2008, we were so blown away by the Foo Fighters’ Sunday night show, I decided I had to move here by SXSW. Two years later we saw Dave doing what he does best, drumming for Them Crooked Vultures, as part of the best rhythm section we’d ever seen. In 2011 we watched them play Lolla together in the pouring rain with my arms around Caitlin, singing along to “Everlong.” In 2013 Caitlin and I came nice and early for his inspiring SXSW keynote speech. But it wasn’t just that it was Dave. Every bit of how tonight went down was so textbook 20’s me, down to the little details.
Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category
@ZackTeibloom Last week, a co-worker walked by my cubicle and said, “I have some questions for you,” when he saw a copy of Courtney E. Smith’s new book “Record Collecting for Girls” on my desk. What I should have said was, “Shut your ignorant mouth. It’s not like I have The Babysitters Club’s “Boy-Crazy Stacey” paperback* dog-eared. This is a book for music nerds and it is by no means for girls only. Also, you proudly own a signed copy of a Sarah Palin book, so really, who are you to say?” Instead, all I could muster was “Oh, I’m interviewing the author. And it’s a really great book.” The subhead for “Record Collecting for Girls” is probably more accurate than the title itself. “Unleashing Your Inner Music Nerd One Album at a Time” really cuts to the heart of the book. Having worked at MTV, breaking bands like The Shins and Vampire Weekend, Smith is a huge music nerd and a bit of an Internet snob**, and this is coming from one of the snobbiest nerds ever unleashed upon The Internet.
As I read, I found myself either in a constant state of nodding along in agreement or nerding out so hard in disagreement that it made the author nervous. After we couldn’t find a time to talk record collecting over an in-person digging trip in Austin, we decided to avoid the awkwardness of two writers on Skype and just have an e-mail interview. It turned into this: “Hey @ZackTeibloom do you realize the interview questions you sent me total up 1,816 words? #nervouslaughter #wow.” To be fair, a couple of them weren’t even questions. It was just me ranting about why I didn’t get her snobbery over The Shins getting big, when that was her intent and then a stupid-long non-question rant about vinyl that led to her just saying “Thanks for sharing.” I’d like to offer a far less sarcastic “Thank you for sharing” to Courtney for opening up in this wonderful book. She spills her guts on how music has been integral for her in everything from sitting around, arguing over top-5 lists, how to judge someone before you date them and how to deal with your feelings after you date them. In between, we find out why Britney couldn’t be the next Madonna, why The Rolling Stones need to stop and why Yacht rock is cool.
@ZackTeibloom It’s a bit cocky to name your comedy album Good One, but cocky isn’t really Tig’s style. The “Good One” robot is just a character from Tig’s impressive arsenal. She doesn’t tweet, she’s not in your face and she’s pretty low-key, but she’ll surprise you. You probably know Tig best from her role as a cop on “The Sarah Silverman Program,” and you’ll get a brief taste of Sarah if you listen to the album, as she intros Tig. It’s obvious why Silverman is such a champion of Tig. Whether she’s doing an impression of a clown horn, or even an impression of an impression (below), she’s got a unique soothing voice that swallows you up with its monotony, but reels you in for her punchlines. Her extremely long, no-way-did-that-actually-happen Taylor Dayne story and self-defense against sharks stories are painfully awkward and repetitive, but really deliver. Make sure you get out to see her Monday night.
It’s sure to be a: Good one.
@ZackTeibloom Austin’s The Boxing Lesson sends their outer space EP Muerta into the stratosphere officially today on iTunes (Buy Muerta on iTunes) and they’re in a happy place these days. My girlfriend, Caitlin, and I met Paul and Jaylinn at Peter Pan golf for 18 holes to relax and talk after a day of floating the river. If you’re wondering, yes we were still a little drunk and yes, it was hard to take notes and play mini golf at the same time, but it was a blast. At Peter Pan, they have you pick the hard or easy course. We chose the hard course, but decided to break our interview into two parts, with me taking the 9 difficult holes and Caitlin taking the easy 9 holes on Austin Writes Music.
Here’s 9 of the toughest holes The Boxing Lesson have struggled through: Warning- there is a picture of the most gruesome finger injury you’ve ever seen. Read the rest of this entry »
@ZackTeibloom Interview a band about the recording process on their new album and you’ll hear the same shit over and over. Either they went for a grander production on the album with a big producer they can’t wait to name drop, or they insist they aren’t selling out and are going for a new direction, yadda yadda yadda who cares. Completely different story when I interviewed The Boxing Lesson’s Paul Waaclawsky and Jaylinn Davidson by the side of my car last week*. The story of their new album captivated me so much, that when anyone asks me what I’ve been up to this week, first I talk about Halloween, then I tell the story of Fur State. It’s scary good.
In 2004, The Boxing Lesson recorded an album** that they never intended on releasing. The album is full of dreamy synthesizers, acoustic guitar, drum loops and bizarre “field recordings,” left vocal-free despite having lyrics and song titles for all songs. It was mixed on cassette for Paul and Jaylinn to take psychadelics, trip out and just blast it for their own enjoyment when no other music was deemed suitable. They listened to it non-stop for months and then hid the tape away in a closet for six years, afraid to ruin the only copy of the master tape. In August of this year, Paul was listening to Ariel Pink and thought “Wait a minute, I’ve made this album,” dug out the tape and was crushed to find it unplayable. He texted Jaylinn “OMG the tape is broken. I’m devastated!” Read the rest of this entry »
@ZackTeibloom I don’t think either of these Austinites would want to be compared to the other, but they do have more in common than being the two most famous bearded men in town. Brutally poor men who live for their art. For Leslie, living as a legend, living is the hardest part. And at this time last year, that was in serious question. Thax came to us from Chicago just over a year ago and is as vibrant as ever, reading poems for bands 5 nights a week and growing into legend status in Austin more every week. Thax sleeps on the floor of an art museum. Who knows where Leslie sleeps. I ran into each of them at various points in the festival, and both graciously agreed to video interviews.
Leslie was funny and tragic without intending to be, as he always is. Thax was poignant and insightful, and a little beyond me, as he always is. Read the rest of this entry »
@ZackTeibloom “I know we’re out of time, but I’ll answer this one. If we were to be any dynamic hip hop duo, I’d say we’d have to be Jay-Z and Beyonce” Matt says to whoever is interviewing him on the phone before me. Matt and Kim are on such tight schedules, I was only given 10 minutes with Matt between interviews and sound check for their show tonight in Madison. Thankfully, he has boundless energy and gave me more than enough with time to spare in the 10-minute chat. The duo has been unavoidable in the last couple years, with their VMA-winning naked romp of a video in times square and their music being featured in previews for “Community” and Bacardi ads just to name a few.
And we didn’t even mention the constant touring and bombastic live festival shows. How does Matt have the energy to come out balls-to-the-wall every night while battling Bronchitis and a brutal tour schedule? He credits it to a full night sleep and today’s mix of Honey Nut Cheerios and Cinnamon Life, which he says are two of his favorite cereals. Read the rest of this entry »
@ZackTeibloom That Third Man Record club membership finally paid off. In a big way. Jack White jumped on the video chat to hype the new singles from his label, Third Man Records. As he put it, “This is a paid commercial announcement from the president of Third Man Records to his favorite people, on The Vault.” He even answered some questions and he picked three of mine. Yes, my hands are shaking.
Zack Teibloom: I heard you turned down Slash because he wanted you to sing. Who do you want to play with next? Read the rest of this entry »
@ZackTeibloom If you go to concerts regularly in Chicago or Austin, you know Thax Douglas. The only rock n’ roll poet around. Strands of hair from his gray beard have shed onto his inside-out 3XL sweatshirt we meet at an IHOP 6 blocks from the art gallery Thax works and lives in. He sleeps on the floor. He likes it that way. He’s slept on the floor for years. He just feels more comfortable there.
Thax had trouble getting comfortable at IHOP, as we moved booths due to a draft and switched sides because the sunlight bouncing off car windshields in the parking lot reflected into his visibly smudged bifocals. He seems comfortable in Austin though. He hasn’t worked in 12 years, he doesn’t own anything and doesn’t travel, but he’s happy to be in Austin reading his poetry before bands take the stage on an almost daily basis.
Just look at his schedule of his readings in a sample week in the first month he’d been here: Oct. 25th: Disco Doom, Built to Spill, Oct. 26th: Underground Railroad to Candyland, Oct. 27th Givers, Dirty Projectors, Oct. 28th: Sea Wolf, Oct. 30th: Rachel Goodrich, Oct. 31st: The Black Angels. The 52 year-old estimates he reads 25 nights a month and has to remind himself to take a night off. Did I mention he doesn’t even get paid for any of these gigs? Read the rest of this entry »
@ZackTeibloom An article on Cover Bands originally for FLYP Media that never ran. Since I’ve been in Phish album cover mode all week, I figured I’d let you read it.
“People would sooner pay $10 to see four guys pretending to be KISS than $5 to see four guys playing original songs nobody had ever heard before.” –Chuck Klosterman from his essay “Appetite for Replication” in Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs Read the rest of this entry »