Addicted To Vinyl Musical thoughts from the open road, with headphones on


The ATV Interview: Behind The Wall with Kipp Lennon of Venice

About a month ago, I spent some time talking with vocalist Kipp Lennon of Venice, the California based band of brothers and cousins (and longtime ATV favorites).  Three out of the four Lennons (Kipp, Pat and Mark) are currently on the road touring as backing vocalists for the  Roger Waters tour celebrating the 30th anniversary of the classic Pink Floyd album The Wall.

In a two part interview, I spoke with Kipp about the tour and also spent some time digging into a lot of Venice stuff.  You can check out the first part of the interview here (plus some additional "outtakes") focusing in on the Waters side in a piece for the Riverfront Times.  Here's the rest of the interview with some more Waters tidbits and plenty of Venice chat.

Venice will play a sold out homecoming Christmas Show in Santa Monica this Saturday during a day off from the Waters tour.  A newly released DVD featuring a full live show from 1990 (!!!) will be available at the merch stand that night (or if you're far away like me, you can pre-order a copy).  Enjoy this conversation with Kipp!

Let's talk about how you came to be involved with one of the year's biggest tours. As I understand it, there was a mutual love of the Beach Boys involved.

We just found this out ourselves - when Roger wrote the original Wall album as far as background vocals, he wanted a departure from their usual thing. They usually have women sing on a lot of that stuff or just David Gilmour. On this album, he wanted it to have a feel like Beach Boys vocals over Pink Floyd music. And you can kind of hear it in things like "Goodbye Blue Sky," "The Show Must Go On" and a few things, there's almost a doo-wop kind of vibe in a lot of the music on The Wall as well that people wouldn't necessarily pick up on, considering all of the themes in it. But in fact, there's a lot of doo-wop/street singing kind of stuff in the whole show. When Roger called Jon Joyce, who is one of the original singers from the original album and tour, and from the revival show in Berlin in 1990, he called Jon and said "I'm putting the band back together and we're going to do this tour. Jon said "well, the original background vocalists that you hired are all retired now, but I know a band that's perfect, because they're brothers and cousins and they sing like the Beach Boys."


Rebuilding The Wall: Looking inside the new Roger Waters tour

It's an event that ATV pal Peter Chakerian said was a really good just took a while for Roger Waters to see the light.  Now with that light fully illuminated, Waters is putting The Wall back up with a 30th anniversary tour celebrating the classic album, a tour that opened earlier this week in Toronto (and eventually will land in Cleveland on September 28th).

The tour is bait enough to draw me out to see Waters for the first time in nearly 10 years.  I wasn't a huge Doyle Bramhall fan, so my previous Waters experience was marred quite a bit by the presence of Bramhall on stage.  This time around, I'm intrigued by the vocal inclusion of my longtime faves Venice, with three-quarters of the band enlisted to provide the background vocals for The Wall tour.  Looking at that key nomination as well as the rest of the members selected by Waters to make up his 2010 touring ensemble, I knew this was going to be a show that I probably wouldn't want to miss and with the information below, my thoughts have now been confirmed.

My pal Matt Levitz, webmaster of the official Venice website received the ultimate job perk (can you really call something that you don't get paid to do a job?) when the Venice members offered him a pair of tickets to check out a full dress rehearsal run-through of the tour setlist last weekend in New Jersey.


Site News: Add Two More Names To The Guest List

Pardon my interruption in your regularly scheduled Addicted to Vinyl, but I'd like to let you know about a couple more site changes/additions that are pending here at ATV. And by "pending," I actually mean stuff that is happening, as of today. Hopefully you have all had the chance to get at least a little bit acquainted with Mel and Kevin, the recent additions to the ATV staff. Both Mel and Kevin have turned out some great stuff already, and they've got further fun in the works and on the way.

I am pleased to announce a couple more great people that will join Mel, Kevin, and myself in the quest for the complete musical nerd overload here on Addicted to Vinyl.

First up, say hello to my good friend Peter Chakerian!

Thanks to the magic of Twitter and Facebook, I've had the opportunity and pleasure to get to know Peter over the past 8 months, after reading his byline in various local publications in the past 15+ years. We met for the first time after the Matthew Sweet concert at the Beachland this past fall, and traded initial getting-to-know-you type chit-chat during the post-show meltdown with Cobra Verde offering plenty of decibels from the Beachland stage to help us hear the overall conversation that much better. A few months later, we reconvened to properly geek out further with conversation enhanced this time by wings and Cavs basketball. Peter threw down the observation that we had probably been in the same room for Cleveland concerts at least 300 times, and we commenced discussing those concerts, to identify and catalog our mutual musical likes and loves.

Among his many activities, Peter is managing editor for CoolCleveland.Com, and recently published his first book The Browns Fan's Tailgating Guide. Peter will publish his second book this fall, and also contributes TV and film stuff to Popdose, and I think you are all aware by now that Popdose is my favorite website on the planet. Since 1991, Peter has written for gads of media outlets including The Plain Dealer, Akron Beacon Journal, New Times and Village Voice Media, Pittsburgh City Paper, BlogCritics, America Online and The Boston Globe.

Peter reached out shortly after I made the last announcement and let me know of his interest to contribute some music-related items to ATV, with a primary focus on some Cleveland-related concert/musical memories. We've had some fun brainstorming potential topic ideas, and I think that you will all enjoy Peter's contributions to Addicted to Vinyl.

Here's the picture that Peter uses to make me jealous, from the time that he met Henry Rollins.


Hello New Jersey!

With my love of Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi, you had to know that it wouldn't be long before I added a New Jersey voice to Addicted to Vinyl.

Kurt Torster is one of my oldest online friends, and our friendship stretches back nearly 15 years. That's 15 years of trading New Jersey sucks/Cleveland sucks barbs back and forth in email, via IM, and the occasional alcoholic carrier pigeon. We formed our initial musical bond via a mutual love for power pop, groups like The Verve Pipe, the great group of musical brethren known as Venice, and a mutual appreciation for the genius of Owsley. Kurt and I first met when he realized that he could unload John Waite's entire 90's catalog output to me for some much-needed cash. "Sucker" was his thought as he packed up those John Waite albums and prepared to mail them to Cleveland.

Music fans have been privy to Kurt's musical musings online since the early 90's when he launched the weekly music newsletter SFK which Torster published weekly on Mondays through most of the 90's. With SFK in a dormant stage since late 2006, Torster turned his focus to Kurt's Krap to continue sharing his musical likes, loves, and hates with the world in blog format.

When I first started thinking about adding a couple of voices to ATV, Kurt was the first person that I got in touch with. He needed some time to ponder the damage that might be done by adding ATV to his writing resume, and after some careful deliberation, he got in touch with me to let me know that he was ready to contribute. Kurt is promising to share musical time capsules here on Addicted to Vinyl that will focus primarily on 1975-1985, the formative years that are responsible for all of the Krap that he loves.

Check out Kurt's first entry here, and look for further entries from Kurt about once a week, or so.

I'm very happy to welcome both Peter and Kurt to the Addicted to Vinyl clan, and I'm appreciative for the opportunity to know both of these gents, and to have the forum to share their writing gifts with all of you here on ATV. From this moment on, I'll be focusing in on that previously discussed site redesign in an attempt to add something that resembles "organization" to make contributions from the five of us easy to locate, read, and enjoy.

Stay tuned, and thank you all so much for your continuing support of what we're doing here on Addicted to Vinyl!