Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Motherfish #24- Turkey HOBL HOBL HOBBL

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I was inundated with work this week so I didn't get to finish my review of The Great Misdirect (which will be next week). However, I got this for you:

It's a playlist. One that I've been digging lately, hopefully you'll enjoy.


1. My Body is a Cage- Arcade Fire
2. The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth- Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
3. Videotape- Radiohead
4. Slow Hands- Interpol
5. Fire It Up- Modest Mouse
6. 7/4 (Shoreline)- Broken Social Scene
7. 16 Military Wives- The Decemberists
8. Is This It- The Strokes
9. Off the Record- My Morning Jacket
10. Cape Canaveral- Conor Oberst
11. The Good That Won't Come Out- Rilo Kiley
12. Have You Forgotten- Red House Painters
13. Lately (I've Been On My Back)- BOAT
14. Blackout City- Anamanaguchi
15. Let Go- Edison Glass


Enjoy, and enjoy your day of stuffing turkeys, your faces, and your women. Bam.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Motherfish #23- Thanks Bryan

There are billions of people in the world who are cooler than me. Fortunately, I happen to be friends with many of them. One specific friend/person who is cooler than I will ever be and also longtime Motherfish support is my friend Bryan. You may remember him as the bloke who drove my spare keys down to me over the summer when I was too busy being a babbling idiot outside of Starland Ballroom to remember not to lock my actual keys in my car. Bryan's always been a great person to talk music with; I'll frequently bounce ideas off of him or chat him up about what I've been listening to lately, and he straight up tell me if a review is bad or if some band I've been obsessing over is actually trash. So, today I want to give Bryan the best shout-out I can by featuring some of his work. This isn't an album review but is a snippet from an interview Bryan had with none other than Keith Buckley from the band Every Time I Die (I told you Bryan is cooler than me, the most famous person I've ever interviewed was YOUR MOM). Enjoy the fuck out of this, I know I did.


Bryan: Alright, so you are Keith

Keith: Yes, I am Keith. I’ve got some ID to prove it.

Bryan: Hopefully that won’t be necessary. So you guys are on the Epitaph tour now. How’s that going and what’s it like touring with Bring Me the Horizon?

Keith: Awesome! These shows have been some of the best we’ve ever played, and we’re playing places that…I hadn’t thought about a headlining tour and I never would’ve imagined played them because they’re just incredible, like the House of Blues in Boston yesterday- we had almost two thousand people. It was fuckin’ nuts, so, I’m really excited. It just validates the record, really. I mean we put out the record a few weeks ago, and people are obviously liking it, ‘cause they’re coming out and watching us and singing along.

Bryan: You’re a big touring band, and at the shows you maintain the intense sort of screaming you put on the record. How do you manage to keep that up?

Keith: I think a lot of it’s mental actually. I don’t subscribe to the whole like, “after the show you don’t talk”, “you gotta drink eight gallons of water a day”. I just feel like being confidant is all it takes- and staying hydrated and making sure you get sleep. Today my voice is going a little bit so, I think my body knows, like I said with it being mental, I think my body knows that we have tomorrow off so it’s starting to shut down, cause tomorrow I won’t do anything. I definitely think just being confidant and…y’know…I advise drinking beer before playing. It’ll make you a little mucusy and that always makes for a better-sounding scream.

Bryan: It’s also probably also terrible Long Island weather. That can’t be helping…

Keith: That’s true. We are getting back to the cold weather, which is gearing us up properly for Buffalo.

Bryan: Recently you guys lost Mike (Novak) on drums. What happened? Was it a pleasant parting or is there animosity between you guys?

Keith: I dunno…I know that he didn’t leave on the best of terms. He was kinda forced into leaving, but I dunno man, it’s not like there’s any ill-will really. I mean, he’s gunna do something. I think he’s trying to get back into a band, so…good for him. We don’t really have anything in common so there’s no reason for me to pursue a friendship afterwards. Just kinda went our own ways.

Bryan: That’s good I suppose. I was actually watching a bunch of interviews of you guys…

Keith: to get geared-up?

Bryan: Yeah and, I can’t remember in which one, but you mentioned that a big inspiration on The Big Dirty was watching Federico Fellini’s 8 ½, which is a wonderful movie. I was wondering if there were any pieces of cinema that spurred on New Junk Aesthetic.

Keith: Y’know, I’m not too sure. I definitely think that Rosemary’s Baby was one of them. Just kind of the idea of it, and that kind of spawned ‘Roman Holiday’…

Bryan: Which really is a big departure, sonically…

Keith: Yeah, it is! I’m very excited about it. I think that the idea of stoner rock like that- just kind of like slow, drudgy stuff. We all listen to it but we’ve never really incorporated it, so I was really glad that we got to this time. I think that was due in part to the fact that our drummer, who usually puts the kibosh on any new idea we have, really stopped caring about the recording process, so we were able to experiment a little more. As Far as movies, I dunno…8 ½ was definitely a big one. Another Fellini movie, La Dolce Vida, was a big one for me too. I guess if there’s any movie that kind of sums up this record, it’s that. I mean, it translates to ‘the sweet life’ and there’s a song (on the record) called ‘the sweet life’. That was a big part of it. It’s like, refusing to grow up when everyone around you is, and the disastrous effects it has- just being the last dude at a party, just breaking someone else’s stuff…was kind of the theme that stuck with me when writing.

Bryan: Haha, that’s a great image. As far as recording the album, what’s it like working with Steve Evetts?

Keith: He’s a great dude. He knows where we’re coming from, and knows what we hope to achieve through the music. Very hands off. He’ll propose amazing ideas but if we don’t like them, he doesn’t push them, he just lets us feel out our own vibes. We appreciate that. He’s guiding us- he’s not making us go in any direction, he’s just making sure we get across the road safely.

Bryan: Now, on a lot of your albums you have a lot of big-name guest vocalists- Howard Jones from Killswitch Engage, Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance, Daryl Palumbo from Glassjaw…

Keith: Howard wasn’t even in Killswitch back then! He was in Blood Has Been Shed. I made him!

Bryan: crafted him with your own two hands

Keith:*joking* If it wasn’t for that guest spot he wouldn’t be in Killswitch!

Bryan: Do you invite people that you’re already friends with to sing on albums, or do you make friends through it?

Keith: I have never made friends through doing it- it’s all people I know. I was actually attempting to make friends with one guest spot- I wanted William Elliott Whitmore to be on the record, I had never met him before- it didn’t pan out. But, I’ve known all the people that have been on them, and they’re just people I admire, one way or another- musically, artistically, sometimes just socially, where it’s just that I love the dude.

Bryan: I know you’re very close with Dallas Green- which category does he fall into?

Keith: Finding his music, City and Colour, was at a very optimal point in my life. We were in Europe, and I was super fuckin’ homesick, I was losing my mind. Shitty shows, shitty weather, shitty conditions I was on the fuckin’ brink of losing it and quitting the band. Found that CD in our tour manager’s collection, and it was just the perfect thing to calm me down…hate to say the fuckin’ cliché but it spoke to me. So, we got home, and then we did the Warped tour and they were on it, so I met him through that and we ended up becoming friends. I think he’s one of the most incredible voices out there, I mean he’s got more soul in a dude that size than ive ever seen in my life. Little Canadian dude, he’s got so much soul, it’s amazing…

Bryan: Any bands that you’re getting into now, listening to a lot while you’re on the road?

Keith: Right now I’m listening to M. Doughty, who used to sing for a band called Soul Coughing. So that’s what’s on right now.

Bryan: Man, I listened to the cassette of Ruby Vroom (Soul Coughing’s debut) until it broke!

Keith: Oh yeah? I love that stuff! Golden delicious- his solo stuff- is awesome. But the thing is, it’s a lot of Howard Stern, so…

Bryan: On the M. Doughty record?!

Keith: Oh, no no! In the van. Pretty much exclusively. Band of Horses, I can’t stop listening to that. Kings of Leon I fuckin’ love. Just recently I purchased a new Health record…a Stone Roses record…the new Mute Math record…and Def Jux Presents 4 compilation.

Bryan: Any final words for anybody trying to start up and band and get into the music scene?

Keith: If you want to start up a band, you’ve gotta have nothing. You really can’t get into this game with everything and expect longevity. Pretty much start from scratch, and build it up from there. I mean, you can buy your way in, and there’s plenty of bands that have, but nobody takes them seriously. Just be willing to fuckin’ be twenty-nine years old, sitting on a bed that people probably shit on *gesturing again to tour trailer*, in fuckin’ early October, when you could be home, comfy on your couch if you wanted to be. Give it all up.


Thanks Bryan for hooking me up with that interview, Keith seems like as much of a down to earth guy as you can get, not to mention a total fucking badass. Check out Every Time I Die's latest album New Junk Aesthetic in stores now. Hopefully the Large Hadron Collider won't obliterate the universe before next week when we turn the metal up even more as I put Between the Buried and Me's new album The Great Misdirect under the microscope.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Motherfish #22- Le Poisson d'Avril

So I’ve got more than just an album to discuss today, and over the next couple of months most likely. Myself, my roommate, and our good buddy have begun the arduous process of adapting Forgive Durden’s Razia’s Shadow for the stage. It’s going to take a while, but we hope to perform it here at school. And while many of you don’t know what I’m talking about, or don’t care, the project is interesting enough that I’ve decided to share with you. Who knows, maybe you’ll actually enjoy it. Today’s album is… odd, to say the least. Odd because I can’t understand it. No, I’m not an idiot, it’s just in French. Or Spanish. Or both. I think it’s both. Well at least one track is in French and the rest are Spanish. Regardless, it’s good.


Este Mundo by Rupa & the April Fishes

Rupa and Co are quite a musical collection. I’m working with very little experience (none) with their previous endeavors, but I honestly don’t think that’s necessary. Este Mundo is not for everyone, that’s Fer Sure. Lead singer/guitarist Rupa Mayra has a background just about as diverse as Epcot minus the fireworks. She makes me feel super inadequate; I’m spending all this time in school attempting to master English, the language I’ve been speaking since I crawled from the womb, and here we have this lovely musician who decided that while she was in med school (yeah, fucking med school) she would not only start an internationally renowned band and tour the world, but would write songs in every language she knows. How many languages does Rupa speak? Well, the album has some Spanish and French and, that’s right there’re more, English, not to mention Hindi and the Roma language. Damn, girl. This raises an interesting issue; whether the music loses its validity when you can’t understand the lyrics. Hands down, the message is lost. But the idea is still there. What Rupa brings to the table with Rupa & the April Fishes is a multicultural experience drawing influences from the many different locales that she frequented growing up, and that comes across beautifully on the album. You can hear a pinch of France in C’est Moi, the second song, which relies heavily on the accordion to carry the melody. The same can be said for the title track, Este Mundo, and its Spanish-influenced horns. I can’t exactly reflect on how poignant or smart the lyrics are, she could be babbling about monkeys and wheat bread for all I know. But, when you consider how effectively Rupa achieves her musical goals, Este Mundo is no less of a success than, say, The Earth is Not a Cold, Dead Place, an album by Explosions in the Sky totally devoid of any vocals whatsoever. I enjoyed the album immensely; it’s a nice break from the archetypal band configuration of guitar-bass-vocals-drums. If you enjoy Gogol Bordello, you might want to give Rupa & the April Fishes a listen.

The Razia’s Shadow stage adaptation is an interesting project. We are working with the story presented in the lyrics of all of the songs from the album plus the narration and from that attempting to construct a rich epic focused on some of the specific themes like envy, disappointment, destiny, and love. Doesn’t that sound cute? Right now we’re in the process of writing the first draft of the script, which is progressing slowly but surely. Even though we have a lot of source material to work with, we’re still pulling a lot straight from our asses. Though the narrator provides us with some dialogue to work with, most of what our characters say is entirely made up. While this is fun and gives us a lot of room for creativity, at the same time it presents the potential to royally fuck up what is an amazing story. Some of the characters, specifically O, are more difficult to write for than others; they have such distinct quirks and tendencies that come across on the album that are very challenging to keep alive in our written in scenes. I can’t tell you how many times Ahrima has come off as an insensitive douche bag rather than a jealous lover. Also, as we write we’re jotting down notes for the choreography that goes along with the songs. This forced us to realize that the culmination of all of the theater training we have translates to jack shit. If you know anything about choreography and you’re interested in this project, email me at motherfishmusic@gmail.com, subject line Razia’s Shadow.


Alright that wraps up my portion of today's post. A few things from around the world that you all should be aware about-


The Jagafest has undergone a few changes and is currently not going down on November 20th. Keep your ears open folks, I'll update you when I know more. BUT!!! Tonight at Rutgers they are hosting some AWESOME workshops that you should DEFINITELY check out if you're in the area. Hit up their website (www.jagazineonline.com) for more info!



My roommate's band who made it to the Top 2 for this year's MTVu Best Music On Campus!