A Radio Station You May Like (very much!)

This is a quick post since I must sleep if I am going to wake up for my lovely time slot of 3 to 5 am.

I have recently started working for KVRX Austin, the University of Texas’ student-run radio station. We play none of the hits, all the time. If you are someone who is constantly looking for new music or if you have a specific taste that must be catered to, go to kvrx.org and stream our sounds.

And if you’re nocturnal, check out my show Monday nights (or Tuesday mornings) from 3 to 5 a.m.

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The Wave Pictures (Part 2)

Don’t interview a band you really love. It’ll be awkward and you’ll make weird comments that are a result of trying to both hide back your admiration while still winning their approval. Or maybe that’s just me.

It happened with The Wave Pictures. I was a mess. So I threw out the video footage of the interview and the footage of the show and thanks to that wreck I now have a picture show.

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The Wave Pictures (Part 1)

An Interview with The Wave Pictures at SXSW 2010 in Austin, Texas

I walked in to the Red River bar, Barbarella, just before their set. I was excited enough just to see their show, let alone get an interview, since this Spring had been The Wave Pictures’ first set of gigs in the U.S (outside of NYC). If you spent your adolescent years in the suburbs, the sounds of David, Franic and Jonny place you right in to some grimy, underground bar where everyone is chain smoking in British accents. If you’re not a suburban teen…then I don’t know what it does, but I can’t get enough of them. David’s lyrics paint pictures that stick to your mind and he sings them in to memories that you always thought you had. I had a thousand memories from The Wave Pictures and I was grateful to watch them play on that foggy, London-like day in Austin, Texas.

Can you guys introduce yourselves and what you do?

David: I’m David Tattersall and I play the guitar and sing in The Wave Pictures.

Jonny: I’m Jonny and I play drums.

How is SXSW going?

David: It’s been okay, it’s been a bit hectic for me

Jonny: Yeah I’ve had a good time… it’s a hectic place.

You guys have put out a lot of albums. I think it’s crazy that your music is just now getting over here (the U.S).

David: Well we did a lot of stuff independently. We just made CDR’s and sold them at shows so a lot of our albums haven’t been released. An album called Sophie (SP) was released on a small record label called Smoking Gun in the U.K, which does a lot of very good music, but it’s a very small label. So we never had the money to really tour America or put out an album in America. We have been to New York a lot of times, we have a lot of friends in New York and a lot of great bands in New York that we’ve done stuff with. So we’ve been there a bunch of times, but nowhere else…this is our first time really venturing out.

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Frightened Rabbit at SXSW 2010

So I am a poor internet user… and a procrastinator. But I have been thinking, creating, and traveling.

First off, I did the whole South By South West thing in my beautiful college town Austin. It was an overwhelming mess and I learned a lot for next year. I managed to get some interviews, the biggest one being Frightened Rabbit which is done and I’ll post below. Yeah… it’s June, I’m a little late.

I finished my first year of school and am now writing this blog from a busy street corner in the East Village. I’ve come to NY for the summer to frolic around with my best friend, do a lot of yoga, and work as an intern for Rolling Stone. I just started this past Tuesday and still don’t know how I managed to get this job (unpaid)- I’ve even got a swanky I.D card with my photo on it. Perhaps I will blog about this later.

So Frightened Rabbit. This was definitely the biggest interview I was able to land due to my unorganized, procrastinating, overwhelmed self. Scott was a great guy to interview, friendly and down to earth. They had just played a show at the conference center. Despite the awkward setting, the audience in rows of chairs that start about 10 feet from the stage, they played a pretty powerful set. The manager gave me about 10 minutes to do the interview so we rushed down stairs to find a quiet place to stand, which is a lot harder than it sounds. The two things I enjoyed most about this particular interview:

-my friend Amanda was shooting free hand which made for a much more interesting view

-Scott’s scottish accent

So whether you’re into the chill sounds of Frightened Rabbit or not, you can’t help but enjoy listening to Scott speak about all the things it is that we speak about. Note specifically at 4:24 when he says “robots”.

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Port O’Brien

This interview was shot on Friday March 5, 2010 at Paparazzi Pizza before Port O’Brien’s show at The Parish in downtown Austin. They’re on a United States tour, opening up for Portugal. The Man (also a ridiculously awesome band). I got a few quick minutes with Van Pierszalowski, front man and original creator of the band Port O’brien, which was formed in 2005 with Cambria Goodwin.

There was only about 45 minutes to spare before Van was supposed to get on stage so we rushed to find a quiet spot on 6th street where we could set up the shot. I nomed on some cheesy pizza and we talked about Van’s sea legs, this current tour with Portugal. The Man and the new album Threadbare that was released in September 2009.

Though it didn’t make it in to the video, I asked Van about their music videos, in particularly the video made for “I Woke Up Today”, the single off of All We Could Do Was Sing, released in 2007, which looked like a lot of fun to make.

“That one was not fun at all actually,” Van replied, “we did a really great job of faking it, but we shot that video in one day in this dirty porn studio in LA because it was the cheapest studio we could find. We were there at like 2 in the morning, totally pissed off that we had to be there and they were throwing buckets of water on us, right before we had to drive home, like 4 hours away.”

Another video that looked like a lot of fun to make and actually was, was a video by Le Blogotheque, shot in New York City in 2008. I’m a huge fan of the site, created by director Vincent Moon, and was really excited to be able to talk to an artist that had done a Take Away Show.

“They had this idea to do it in a karaoke bar, which was awesome. At first the guy who owned the bar in China Town was not gonna have it, totally not interested in us being there at all, but Cambria went in there and convinced the guy that we could do it if we all bought at least two drinks. So he made money, we got our video, and that was good.”

You can check out that Take Away Show and a billion others at:

http://www.blogotheque.net/Port-O-Brien,4192

Van was a great interviewee, it was a lot of fun to shoot, and the show was an awesome time. Listen to Port O’Brien! Here’s their website:

http://www.portobrien.com/

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Off With Their Heads

Off with their Heads at Emo’s in Austin, Texas on Saturday August 29, 2009

The doors at Emo’s in Austin, Texas opened at nine. I walked up to the corner of 6th street and Red River around nine-thirty expecting to see a decent crowd of people. I found no one by the door and only a handful scattered inside. Where were all of Austin’s punks on a Saturday night?

I sat in a corner and watched as the bar got fuller and the younger kids filled in, X’s on their hands, waiting for the show to start. Three hours later, the last band turned up their amps. The four guys on stage emulated a fitting paradox of apathy and incitement.

“We’re Off with Their Heads and were pretty fucking drunk.”

The kids started to move and push while the drunks stumbled and danced, others just watched from a distance. The crowd did not match the energy coming from the band and I felt disappointed, not in the music but in its listeners. Even as they rushed the stage, fists in the air, belting “I don’t think I’ll ever make it out alive/I might as well kill myself tonight,” lyrics from “Fuck this…I’m out,” I didn’t buy it. I wondered what had become of the “punk” scene, or what “punk” even was at this moment. I tried to think that maybe it was just Austin, or maybe Crass had been right. Ryan Young, lead singer and guitarist, and Zack Gontard, back up vocalist and guitarist, crashed on a bench with me after their set and gave me a glimpse in to their lives amidst the “punk” scene.

What is your idea of a great show?

Zack- If there’s just a good atmosphere, and if it’s not five people in a basement smashing the microphones in our face then were generally happy.

You guys are all from Minneapolis, but you’re on the road a lot, what is home for you guys?

Ryan- Were only home for five days every two months, so nowhere really. We live in a van that is broken down… well right now a rental car and it fucking sucks.

What do you do when you get home?

Ryan- We don’t do anything. We have that time to sit and do nothing and it’s kind of awesome.

Zack- Having alone time to do nothing is at a premium right now with all of us so we just kind of enjoy doing nothing.

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