I was really excited to get to speak with Tina Weymouth, the bass player of the Talking Heads and a multi-instrumentalist and singer in the group Tom Tom Club. Tom Tom Club’s song “Word Rappinghood” is one of my all time favorites (yes, I liked that song before Chicks on Speed covered it) and I have loved them since I was lucky enough to score their records in used bins. Lucky for us all they are reissuing a live record they made several years ago that only had a very limited availability. I got to speak with Tina Weymouth about Tom Tom Club’s 30 years and what has changed and what has stayed the same. Check out the full story on Venus Zine here.
I went to see Corin Tucker’s band at the Bowery Ballroom on Tuesday night. I really had to prod myself to go there after Economics class, but like most things you make yourself do, I was glad I went. The atmosphere was surprisingly mellow- nothing like the super charged feeling of a Sleater-Kinney show. Aussie singer-song writer Darren Hanlon was a great opener and told stories of traveling through middle America and begin offered “vegetarian” scrambled eggs with only a “little bit of bacon” in them. While the opening bands were cool, everyone was clearly waiting for Corin. She arrived on stage looking ravishing in a shimmering silver vintage dress and, of course, cheers broke out.
The set itself featured songs from her new record “1,000 years,” which I wrote about for Venuszine. Her opener, “Thrift Store Coats,” a rumination on the recession, felt especially chilling live, and the air felt charged, expectant and unexpectedly low-key. The band slowly picked up the tempo and and delivered pure rock perfection. However, the band and the audience both seem wiser from age. A common commentary I heard (and felt) was “I am going to be late for work tomorrow,” accompanied by a yawn. This is not to say the show was not perfectly engaging. It was simply more intimate, mature, and understanding of life’s limitations and triumphs, both large and small.
A nice surprise was the band’s cover of the Au Pair’s “It’s Obvious,” with the hard hitting chorus, “You’re equal, but different!” taking on new significance with the greater wisdom that (just a little bit of) age brings. Another treat of the set was drummer Sara Lund’s (of Unwound fame) work. She did double duty, playing with openers Hungry Ghost, and then changing into a cocktail dress for her appearance with Corin’s band. As anyone who listens to Unwound knows, she is the kind of precise, melodic, but absolutely rhythmic drummer that is very rare in rock music.
Want more photos? Check out my flickr stream.
If you were like me and grew up in the 1990’s and loved punk rock and feminism, you loved Sleater-Kinney. It’s no longer the 90’s (though with all the plaid coming back this season and all the reissues of classic grunge records you might wonder) and I’m no longer a teenager, but I still love Sleater-Kinney, punk rock, and feminism. I still have not yet found a band as compelling as Sleater-Kinney (though Electrelane filled the gap after Sleater-Kinney disbanded in 2006, but then they broke up too!). I liked S-K long enough to get over my initial teenaged rock star worship and went from buying a ticket to a show in Boston I was too young to go to and hoping for the best to being impressed with their guitar chops on their last record The Woods. They were just a really solid band. Every album brought an innovative approach to their sound. Their live shows were breathtaking and the members were well spoken and stylish to boot. All this to say that despite my ambivalence about music lately I was very excited to hear that Corin Tucker has a new project (and with Sara Lund from Unwound on drums no less!) and jumped at the chance to interview her and write a profile for Venuszine. Her new record, 1,000 Years, is solid as ever and as always, she is always thinking deeply about what’s going on in society and her personal life and working that into her songwriting. Please check out the full profile on Venuszine here.
I think that Ms. Frankie Rose is one of the coolest women in Brooklyn right now. She plays drums and guitar, she writes songs, she’s committed to her professional life and her music, and she lives a grown up yet still punk rock way of life. I got to interview her about her band’s new (self-titled) album and wrote a profile for Venus Zine, which you can read about here.
I’ve been listening to Seattle-based singer-songwriter Jen Wood since I was in high school. At that point Jen had already been making feminist and indie oriented acoustic music for years, notably with the riot grrrl related Tattle Tale (which also featured Madigan on cello). I remember being so inspired by Wood’s song writing that I painstakingly typed out the lyrics to her song “Bullet Box” and taped them onto the cover of my math folder, along with the photo from the cover of Wood’s album Getting Past the Static. When I got the chance to see her play live (I think at 17 Nautical Miles in Portland, if memory serves? How’s that for the 90’s! That’s old-skool Todd P. right there) and dorkily had her sign her CD for me.
I was pleasantly surprised to hear that Jen Wood has a new album out and excited that I got the chance to review it for Venus Zine. It’s more full band oriented than her older albums and she’s reduced the length of her songs from about 6 minutes average to 4 minutes. These are both very positive changes! Read the full review of her album on Venus Zine’s website here.
It’s been ages since I have updated this blog and I am sorry. Corita is playing a show tomorrow (Thursday, July 8) at Fontana’s on the Lower East Side, making it almost a year exactly since we played there last! Some really nice person caught our tweest song “The problem with alcohol (is)” on video at our last show during the NYC Popfest. Check it out!
I am sure my 18-year-old-self would be jealous of me right now not because I’m about to hammer in the nail on the coffin of my twenties, but because my post-punk band of my dreams Corita is playing a free show on Saturday afternoon, May 22nd as part of the NYCPopfest. As a teenager I loved indie pop as much as I loved punk and post-punk and wished I was part of a cute, cardigan sweater wearing community. We might leave the cardigans at home on Saturday, but we’ll for sure coordinate our outfits and wear the spiffy shoes Corita is becoming known for (I hope we are also becoming known for our good songwriting, but we’ll see). We play at 3 p.m. at Spike Hill in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on Saturday May 22nd and its FREE. We’re profiled on the NYCPopfest blog here.
I got to profile German “indietronica” act Lali Puna, of my favorite bands, for Venuszine.com. I spoke with Valerie Trebeljar, Lali Puna’s main lady, over on a transatlantic telephone call and I had to control my enthusiasm while speaking to one of my favorite musicians. The feature highlights their latest album Our Inventions. Check out the profile on Venuszine.com here.
The nice guys in Cobretti put some good pictures on their blog, including some of Mt. Olympus, who totally f’in shred and are the nicest guys to play with. The let us use all of their equipment, which led me to making an awkward analogy how their band was our band’s boyfriend… uh, whatever, but awesome show!
Note that Mike of Mt.Olympus is riffing in the crowd (Aileen is looking on) and Dickie’s hair is totally out of this world. He is my guitar hero.
Corita got one of our first reviews ever from the wonderful Eve (whose Tumblr blog is called wunderfemme, truly a kindred spirit) after our show on Monday at Death by Audio. Check it out here. Eve also took this nice picture!