The Texas Gentlemen’s Daniel Creamer on the band’s debut album, ahead of Saturday’s Record Bar show

The Texas Gentlemen's Daniel Creamer on the band's debut album, ahead of Saturday's Record Bar show

The Texas Gentlemen's Daniel Creamer on the band's debut album, ahead of Saturday's Record Bar show

The Texas Gentlemen.Joseph LlanesThe Texas Gentlemen's debut album, TX Jelly, is straight out of the 1970s, incorporating elements of country, funk, singer...

Source: www.pitch.com/music/interviews/blog/20981649/the-texas-gentlemens-daniel-creamer-on-the-bands-debut-album-ahead-of-saturdays-record-bar-show

Steps of Faith’s Billy Brimblecom Jr. on raising funds through Thundergong & Give Steps

Steps of Faith's Billy Brimblecom Jr. on raising funds through Thundergong & Give Steps

Steps of Faith's Billy Brimblecom Jr. on raising funds through Thundergong & Give Steps

The statistics cited on the Steps of Faith Foundation's website are sobering: 500 people a day lose a limb in the United States, 185,000 persons a year e...

Source: www.pitch.com/music/interviews/blog/20981761/steps-of-faiths-billy-brimblecom-jr-on-raising-funds-through-thundergong-give-steps

Captured by Robots, Katy Guillen & the Girls, and Victor Wooten Trio are among November’s worthiest shows

Captured by Robots, Katy Guillen & the Girls, and Victor Wooten Trio are among November's worthiest shows

Captured by Robots, Katy Guillen & the Girls, and Victor Wooten Trio are among November's worthiest shows

Victor Wooten TrioYes, the weather is less agreeable these days, but the concert calendar isn't cooling off anytime soon. November gives you plenty of reas...

Source: www.pitch.com/music/forecast/blog/20981157/captured-by-robots-katy-guillen-the-girls-and-victor-wooten-trio-are-among-novembers-worthiest-shows

Apocalypse Meow X: Midwest Music Foundation on the organization’s goals

Apocalypse Meow X: Midwest Music Foundation on the organization's goals

Apocalypse Meow X: Midwest Music Foundation on the organization's goals

Back in 2008, the first Apocalypse Meow raised funds for musician Abigail Henderson's treatment, after she was diagnosed with Stage 3 inflammatory breast...

Source: www.pitch.com/music/interviews/blog/20980882/apocalypse-meow-x-midwest-music-foundation-on-the-organizations-goals

Jad Abumrad Q&A at the Pitch

[caption id="attachment_18769" align="aligncenter" width="540"]photo by Marco Antonio photo by Marco Antonio[/caption]
"At this point in his career, Radiolab host Jad Abumrad could rest on his laurels. In 2011, Abumrad received a MacArthur Fellowship and Radiolab — the public-radio program he co-hosts with Robert Krulwich — won Peabody Awards in 2010 and 2014. However, Abumrad’s inquisitive mind, which is one of the defining features of his work, has led to a new project — Radiolab’s first spinoff podcast, More Perfect. The new show applies the Radiolab model to exploring the importance of the Supreme Court."
Read my entire Q&A with Abumrad at the Pitch, published 6/14/16

Halloween Horror Marathon: Psycho

poster - psycho Each week, Halloween Horror Marathon does some themed posts. We kick off the weekend by seeing a movie in the theater. We call it Cinematic Saturdays. We were supposed to see Eli Roth’s new cannibal flick, The Green Inferno, with our brother, but he’s in Wichita watching a couple exchange tungsten rings for a wedding. Rather than sit by ourselves and feel grossed out, we’re going to talk an upcoming cinematic screening. I've had the experience of watching Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho in a variety of situations. I'm pretty sure the first time I saw it as a kid, I already knew the basic premise, but the film is so well done, it really didn't matter -- and, honestly, the real kicker is that even if you know the shower scene is coming, nothing really prepares you for its rapid and confusing savagery. Then, after said big to-do, there's still an awful lot of creepy, disconcerting film to come, made all the more odd by the fact that you'd become quite invested in Marion Crane as a viewer. Now what? Everyone knows the first part of the film, but while that's a bit of a crime caper, the vast majority is a typically taut and engaging Hitchcockian thriller. Calling Psycho a horror film is pushing the boundaries of the genre somewhat, but I feel that, as giallo and other psychological thrillers like Eyes of a Stranger have horrific elements to them, it's a valid inclusion. As a matter of fact, I saw the movie in not one, but two classes in college. The latter was a class called "Pop Culture of the 1960s," which makes perfect sense, but the first class was entitled "Literature of the Gothic." Psycho as Gothic seems almost more absurd than outright horror, until you consider Gothic's tropes. psycho house There's the uncanny, which is there in spades. There's what's referred to as "a pleasing sort of terror," meaning that you're frightened, but pleasantly so. And obviously, the double, as well as the idea of the architectural setting of the story reflecting the characters of the story. Given that the rather more modern Bates Motel sits below what is essentially a Second Empire home, there's a mirroring of modernity and the past. Add into that the fact that the interstate left the hotel on what is now a rarely-used side roaad, and there's another layer. Psycho is a film that offers up new things every time one sees it, and even though the basic plot points mean that seeing the big setpieces will no longer surprise even the youngest and most naive viewer, it's a gorgeous piece of economical filmmaking. Hitchcock's use of his television crew means that he gets the most out of a lean budget, squeezing every scene for the maximum allotment of discomfort. This is all a roundabout way of saying Lawrence's Liberty Hall will screen Psycho on the big screen tomorrow, Sunday, October 4, at 7:00pm. Tickets are $8.00, and more information is available here. It's also available as a quite-affordable, very loaded, extremely gorgeous Blu-ray, which you can purchase right here. [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ps8H3rg5GfM[/embed]

The 2015 Halloween Horror Marathon

T658363_03 The Halloween Horror Marathon returns to Rock Star Journalist, starting this Thursday. Once again, we're doing a weekly team-up with Liam O'Donnell of Cinepunx for his Journal of Fear. You can find the complete list after the jump. We're doing some thematic things this year: Resurrection Sundays, with zombie movies; New Movie Mondays, covering films that were released in the last year; Fulci Fridays, where we do a Lucio Fulci film with Liam; and Cinematic Saturdays, where we cover a film we saw in an actual movie theater the night before. GET HYPED. 1 Tourist Trap 2 Don't Torture A Duckling # 3 The Green Inferno ^ 4 The Dead Next Door + 5 It Follows * 6 Spookies 7 Witchboard 8 Slither 9 Zombie Flesh Eaters # 10 The Final Girls ^ 11 Living Dead Girl + 12 Housebound * 13 Dead & Buried 14 Frogs 15 Madman 16 Cat in the Brain # 17 Crimson Peak ^ 18 The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue + 19 Cooties * 20 Lurking Fear 21 Dead Pit 22 Dolls 23 The Black Cat # 24 The Last Witch Hunter ^ 25 Anthropophagus + 26 We Are Still Here * 27 Curtains 28 Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers 29 Eyes of a Stranger 30 A Lizard In A Woman’s Skin # 31 Scout's Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse ^ + Resurrection Sundays (zombie movies) * New Movie Mondays (recent releases) # Fulci Fridays (with Liam O'Donnell) ^ Cinema Saturdays (movies in an actual theater)

Josh Berwanger on his new split with Dwight Twilley

[caption id="attachment_4776" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Berwanger Berwanger[/caption] At this point, the output of the Josh Berwanger Band is starting to rival that of the bands for which Berwanger was formerly best-know, the Anniversary and Only Children. The band's just finished recording their second LP, and just release their third single -- a split with power-pop idol Dwight Twilley -- on Good Land Records. We asked Berwanger a few questions via e-mail about the split and his upcoming plans. The Josh Berwanger Band seems to follow an older release model: several singles, then an LP. What's the rationale behind that? I want to consistently have something coming out on a format to keep people interested until the next LP comes out. Back in the day, bands were able to put out a record a year and still be relevant. Nowadays, from recording the record to the time a label needs to set it up properly it takes nearly a year. cover - berwanger twilley split sinleWhose idea was it to do a split with Dwight Twilley? This was something I was talking to Jonny Phillip of Good Land Records about one day. We often talk on the phone about what albums we've been listening to, and then I mentioned how much I love Twilley's Jungle LP. Then from there the idea of doing a split with him spawned. Where does "Some Other Guy" come from -- was it recorded for this split, or a leftover from something else? We were in rehearsals for an upcoming tour, and in-between songs in our setlist Ricky started playing "Crazy Horses" by The Osmonds. After 15 minutes of jamming on it, we had the song down. The first day on tour, I thought when we get back we should record "Crazy Horses" at Element Studios. I booked the studio. As we were on the road we started listening to all the layers that song had and thought to do it right, we would need more then a day. So, we ended up recording "Some Other Guy" instead. When's the next album coming out? It's done. No word on when its coming out yet. The plan now is to play all new songs at SXSW and then we have a tour with Field Mouse and Lithuania (a Dr. Dog side band) in May and June. In that time, there should be a better idea on the release date. How did you come to work with Jay Shaw for all your releases? I've been a huge fan of Jay's work for some years now. When I was halfway done recording Strange Stains, I sent him an email with some songs as well as some images of early Eastern European movie poster art that I love. I figured he wouldn't respond or not have the time to work with me. But he wrote back and said he dug the tunes and also loved those posters, as well. We just kept talking and from there have developed a great friendship. It's very true: if you don't ask, the answer is always no. [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6oMHHmm_Pw[/embed] The Josh Berwanger Band plays an electric, full band set and Dwight Twilley plays acoustic as part of the release party for their split 7-inch this Saturday, March 7, at Love Garen Sounds in Lawrence. You can also purchase the Twilley / Berwanger split from Good Land Records on some gorgeous splatter vinyl, limited to 100 copies.

JD Wilkes on the Dirt Daubers and writing

[caption id="attachment_18282" align="aligncenter" width="560"]The Dirt Daubers (l-r): Rod Hamdallah, JD Wilkes, Jessica Wilkes, Preston Corn Photo: Joshua Black Wilkins The Dirt Daubers (l-r): Rod Hamdallah, JD Wilkes, Jessica Wilkes, Preston Corn
Photo: Joshua Black Wilkins[/caption] If there were a position for the artist most likely to cause a ruckus, it would be JD Wilkes. As frontman for the Dirt Daubers, to say nothing of th' Legendary Shack Shakers, the man's known for being a growling rockabilly frontman, and absolutely captivates when he's on stage. If you live in the Kansas City area, you'll get several chances to catch Wilkes in the coming weeks: JD Wilkes & The Dirt Daubers perform at Springfield's Outland Ballroom on Sunday, February 15, and then Wilkes performs solo several times during the 2015 Folk Alliance International conference, which runs Wednesday, February 18 through Sunday, February 22. Wilkes was kind enough to answer a few questions for us via e-mail in advance of these shows. How do you balance the expectations of those who saw you with the Shack Shakers with what you want to present with the Dirt Daubers? I try to be honest to the music in both bands. Hopefully our true fans will appreciate the depth of our commitment to both projects and understand that "the music must win" in the end (as cliched as that sounds). "It's about the music, man." (Said in a stoner voice) Do you feel as if people expect you to be some sort of shirtless rockabilly madman? Yes, but there are those who like the harmonica and banjo work too, as well as the lyrics and the songs I've worked out with my band mates. We're more faceted than what some knuckleheads can comprehend. But the tail shall not wag the dog & I'll keep doing what is true to my "vision". God, I'm full of clichés today! The Dirt Daubers' direction seems to be the roots of rockabilly itself. What acts inspired you to take this direction? I'm inspired by everyone from Dock Boggs to Tom Waits to Magic Sam. Blues is the basis for everything I attempt. The Dirt Daubers allows me to focus more on a more well-rounded approach to music for music's sake. There I go again! You're performing at the Folk Alliance International Conference. What things can folks expect from that performance? Me, a banjo and a chair. Playing as many shows as you do has to take its toll. When do you find the time to write? There's nothing but downtime when you're on tour. Driving, waiting around before the gig ... days off in a hotel room while on tour and weeks at home when you're off the road. Thank goodness for iPhones and voice recorders! You can drive and think and dictate ideas all at the same time. I just completed a novel, of sorts, too. 42,000 words linking all my song lyrics into one story. I'll publish it as soon as I can. These are the things you can do if you allow yourself the freedom to live a life of creativity. [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o899EgWDDxQ[/embed] You can find more information about JD Wilkes and the Dirt Daubers at their website, as well as their Facebook page.

33 1/3 editor Ally Jane Grossan talks about the series’ past and future

333 spines For those who love music and books, there's nothing finer than Bloomsbury's critically acclaimed 33 1/3, which examines individual, seminal albums, in pocket books that pack a punch. The 33 1/3 series celebrates its 100th book, on Michael Jackson's Dangerous, on Thursday, September 11 and will be having a party for its 10th anniversary on Thursday, October 2, at the Powerhouse Arena in Brooklyn. Ally Jane Grossan is a commissioning editor at Bloomsbury. She edits academic books in the realms of pop music and sound studies and is editor of the 33 1/3 series, taking over from founding editor David Barker in November 2012. She is also co-editor of the forthcoming textbook, How to Write About Music. We spoke with Grossan via e-mail about the series and its history. What was the impetus to start 33 1/3? Was there a particular book or piece of writing that was the inspiration? David Barker started the series in the early aughts. I know that he got the idea from another book series that the previous publisher, Continuum, had on contemporary novels. That series, Continuum Contemporaries, was comprised of short books about beloved contemporary novels like Disgrace, High Fidelity, and The Buddha of Suburbia, among many others. David was inspired to apply that same formula to beloved albums of music. How were you involved, and how have you stayed involved in the series over the last decade? I became involved with the series like any sensible college student terrified of unemployment -- as an intern. A college professor of mine had penned one of the early books in the series and he put me in touch with the series editor at Continuum. I had read a few of the titles in the series at that point and was elated to be involved. That first summer, I eagerly took on reading projects and if I remember correctly, the first 33 1/3 manuscript I got to read was Mark Richardson’s book on Zaireeka. That internship turned into a full-time job as an Editorial Assistant the following summer. I was promoted up through the ranks and eventually wound up as the music editor when Continuum was purchased by Bloomsbury. Now in addition to the 33 1/3 series, I edit academic titles in popular music, sound studies and political theory at Bloomsbury, the new home of the series. book cover - 333 master of realityIn addition to journalists and other writers, you've had musicians scribe installments. What do you find they bring? The books in the series by musicians have two audiences. Black Sabbath fans are sure to pick up the 33 1/3 on Master of Reality, but because of the fact that’s it’s penned by John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats, we've got a whole different fan base interested in that book. I now have a deeper appreciation for the Mountain Goats song "The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton" off All Hail West Texas. Master of Reality is one of my favorite books in the series and takes a radical approach to exploring an album: fictionalizing it. How has the series changed from its initial concept -- was fiction in the early planning, for instance? I think David Barker's original concept was to really get to "the heart of matter" of great albums. When the series began, he had solicited proposals from writers he admired, but by the time the tenth or eleventh book came out the proposals were flooding in. There were so many creative approaches: fiction, guidebooks, memoir, etc. that the scope was expanded. During the last open call in 2014, I received almost 40 pitches with a "creative" approach including novellas, screenplays, one-act plays and graphic novels. Which album proved most difficult to produce a book for? The Clash's London Calling. Three different writers have been under contract to write this book over the years and not one has been successful. Are there any books you're still crossing your fingers to see written? If so, what are they? Definitely. Look for a wish list during the 2015 open call on 333sound.com. book cover - 333 let's talk about loveWhich book has proved to generate the most commentary (it's Let's Talk About Love, isn't it?)? Yes, it's Carl Wilson's Let’s Talk About Love. That tiny book spawned a whole new conversation about taste and snobbery. It's widely taught in college classrooms in freshman seminars, creative writing classes and by pretty much any cultural studies professor who comes into contact with it. I think it’s so successful because students react so strongly at first with, "Why the hell have we been assigned a book about Celine Dion?" But then after reading it, their concept of highbrow and lowbrow culture has completely warped. There were so many interesting reactions to the book that we brought out a separate new edition that includes essays by James Franco, Mary Gaitskill, Nick Hornby and countless others. What do you think of series such as Music On Film, which have applied the research / overview / pocket book concept to other genres? I haven’t read any of the Music on Film books but I just might have to pick up the Spinal Tap one. Is there one on Monty Python and the Holy Grail? There should be. I do like it when the 33 1/3 apparatus of a tiny, focused study is applied to other genres. Our media studies editor has just started a series on video game design with the first installment covering Shigeru Miyamoto. Coincidentally, I've just signed up a 33 1/3 on the soundtrack to Super Mario Bros. In academic publishing, we call that synergy (rolls eyes). Do you have any wild plans for the next ten years? Yes, we're going global! The possibilities for the series are infinite. As long as albums are being made, there are 33 1/3rds to be written. I receive so many brilliant pitches on Japanese, Chinese, Indonesian, Brazilian artists; the list goes on. So I'm teaming up with musicologists with various region-specific specialties to expand the 33 1/3 series to cover the greatest albums released all over the world. While our wide 33 1/3 audience may have never heard of artist like Yellow Magic Orchestra or Cui Jian, their influence in their respective countries is huge. Their albums deserve the microscopic 33 1/3 treatment and they'll get it soon! For more information on the 33 1/3 series, visit their website. You can RSVP to the 33 1/3 tenth anniversary party and find out more details at the Powerhouse website. Also -- for the entire month of September, Bloomsbury has all books in the series for $10 (33 1/3% off!). You can get them at Bloomsbury's store.