Written by: Matt Wardlaw
Tuesday afternoon, I happened to check the ATV email account and found an email that sent my personal geek-out meter soaring sky high, and if I lived in a Looney Tunes cartoon world, I'm pretty sure that the meter would have snapped right off. I had an interview request from a media outlet that you could call slightly high-profile.
Before you get concerned, I assure you that you won't be subjected to my music loving mug on television any time soon (perhaps that's the next email), but chances are good that you'll likely read a few words that will be attributed to me sometime in the next few weeks. It was my second interview in the past week (I spoke with Overnight America last Monday for the fine folks at Popdose), which found me spending a nice half hour on Thursday afternoon talking about various music mediums and my own personal preferences.
I always get a little bit amped up going into something like this, wondering what kind of questions will come up. For this interview, after we had been on the phone for quite a while, talking about nearly everything I've ever wasted spent money on as it relates to my music collection, he had one more question that caught me a bit off guard:
What do you collect?
Where to begin? We'd talked about vinyl, CDs, cassettes, hard drives filled with music, and the things that I loved about each. But at this point as a lifelong music fiend, what do I really collect? I'm constantly acquiring new media, whether it is vinyl, books, DVDs, CDs, etc. But this far down the path, my attachment to any of it is minimal. I've become more of a file guy in the past few years, probably as a result of moving all of this heavy musical stuff that one accumulates from one house/basement/attic to the next.
How often do you go to a record store to buy new music?
This was starting to feel like an intervention. I realized at the top of this new year, that in the past year, I've acquired/purchased the musical collections of two different friends. Because I need more CDs, right? The most recent acquisition was partly to help a friend, and also motivated by my desire to take the collection and do something with it, instead of watching it slip away via an under-valued sale as a single lot on Craigslist. My friend realized this, telling me last week that she was really happy that I had ended up with her collection, because I'd take the time to sell the stuff that I didn't want, while enjoying the really choice items that were worth holding on to.
There were things that I knew, and things that I had forgotten. She's a soundtrack nut, so I now own nearly every soundtrack that came out in the '80s and '90s, which is only a slight exaggeration. Score of the lot for me personally - finally grabbing a copy of the Encino Man soundtrack with The Smithereens' cover of "Wooly Bully," an oddball track that at this point remains unavailable on any 'Reens collection. Another discovery within the stacks of CDs - she apparently really liked Billy Idol a lot, or perhaps just got a copy of his CD catalog for free. With former radio folks, it's hard to be sure, but I'll choose to believe that she still carries a torch for 'ol Billy.
Things I still need: a copy of the So I Married An Axe Murderer soundtrack - anybody have a penny that I can borrow?
I'll keep ya'll posted when the interview goes online. In the meantime, you might enjoy checking out my recent interview (+ "outtakes") with David Lowery of Cracker, and also my thoughts on that new-fangled Heritage Dr. Pepper stuff.
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
Oh my God, it's like we opened up the souls of a thousand rock and rolls.....
If the Freedom Rock guys from the 80's were around today in 2009 promoting the new AC/DC rarities box set Backtracks, I'm thinking it would look something like this video featuring Billy and George of AC/DC FanNation.
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
Let's Clear The Air premieres tomorrow night (7/25) on Comedy Central at 11pm EST, and then hits stores and online outlets on DVD this coming Tuesday (7/28.)
In the midst of the full-on promotional swing for Let's Clear The Air, we got word that Jim was available to do custom video IDs by request. Whatever you wanted Jim to say, you could submit your request, and whammo! you could then look forward to your personalized video from Jim.
We asked Jim to do a bunch of our favorite celebrity impressions, and dang it, he did exactly that in this video that is 52 seconds of complete awesome.
Kudos to our pal Brian who used his moment in the spotlight to have Jim take a nice little shot at us.
Hey Brian - well played, bro. Why didn't we think of that?
Don't worry - it's not like we're going to retaliate or anything.
We'd never do that!zero
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
Well, what did we learn during last week's battle royale? We learned that a whole lotta people LOVE "Hungry Like The Wolf" by Duran Duran, and not nearly as many are affectionate towards Def Leppard and "Rock of Ages." I was kinda surprised.
This week, we've got a battle pending that is sure to cause debate and plenty of name-calling.
In the left corner, we've got Cheap Trick, hanging out with a little ditty called "Tonight It's You."
In the opposite corner, Go-Go's lead singer Belinda Carlisle, who taught us all in 1987 that "Heaven Is A Place On Earth."
Allow me a bit of personal reflection:
I hold a bit of a grudge against Carlisle, for the night that I spent watching her perform at a casino in Milwaukee in early 2003. On that same night, Eric Johnson was also playing in a venue in town. The Dirty Dozen Brass Band were in town, and there were a few other shows playing as well. My friend was working at the local ticket broker, and had a leftover pair of tickets for Carlisle, so off we went to check out the show.
I was kind of stoked at the chance to see Carlisle run through her 80s solo hits, and Go-Go's material. But then that didn't happen - Carlisle came out and performed with instrumental backing tracks (and perhaps a keyboard player on stage as well) and did a bunch of new material, and very few hits, and maybe ONE Go-Go's song. My one evening in Milwaukee, totally wasted.
But that's okay, because later that same year, she got some nice payback from those same backing tracks when there was a little problem with the tapes.
Justice is mine!
Still, in 1987 - I was all about "Heaven Is A Place On Earth," "I Get Weak," "Circle In The Sand," and I think you get the picture.
Carlisle came to mind, because there is an anniversary legacy edition thingamabob on tap for Heaven On Earth, paired with a concert video re-release from the Heaven on Earth tour, on DVD for the first time.
Now, about Cheap Trick - who can say a bad word about Cheap Trick? "Tonight It's You" is a favorite - and I saw them play it live last summer when they were on tour with Journey and Heart. Journey keyboard player/vocalist Jonathan Cain came out to play keys on the track.
You can probably imagine how great it was. But hey, let's get to it, shall we?
The choice is up to you - Cheap Trick vs. Belinda Carlisle - what's your pick? Lemme know in the comments!
Here's the original video for "Heaven Is A Place On Earth" since embedding is disabled.
An interview with Belinda about "Heaven Is A Place On Earth"more
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
It's been a fun week!
Wednesday night, I went to the Rock Hall with my pals D.X. Ferris from Scene Magazine, Sirius XM personality Dusty Street, and Pale Hollow drummer Nick Perry, for an evening of Q&A with drummer Joe Vitale about his book Backstage Pass.
If the goal is to leave 'em wanting more, Vitale did exactly that on Wednesday night at the Rock Hall, and certainly sold several stacks of books to everyone that was in attendance that no doubt wanted to fill in the gaps of what they had heard.
The hour 1/2 chat with Vitale flew by, and he had some great stories, including a classic story regarding the recording sessions for Joe Walsh's classic solo hit "Life's Been Good" with producer Bill Szymczyk. I've heard the track a million times over the years, and once I knew the story behind it, everything made a lot more sense.....for a Joe Walsh song, anyway.
My takeaway from the evening? I need to track down a copy of the Crosby Stills and Nash Allies album, which allegedly is being reissued on CD (for the first time domestically) later this year. I've got my fingers crossed that that is true! I also need to get my hands on a copy of Vitale's 70s solo disc Roller Coaster Weekend, and I'd love to track down the followup Plantation Harbor as well. The true work of a music geek is never done!
Speaking of that, how PSYCHED are you that Record Store Day is tomorrow?
Here are a few links to get you primed for the experience:
Prefix Magazine have a guide with everything you need to know to have the BEST Record Store Day ever.
My buddy Brian is missing Record Store Day because of work, but he's got thoughts to share....
What are you going to do when Record Store Day is over? I'm guessing that you'll probably have a lot of awesome tunage to listen to (and watch.) And hopefully you will continue to visit your indie mom and pop record stores...because every day should be Record Store Day! If you're looking for some good reading material, I would suggest that The Vinyl Countdown might be just what the music-lovin' doctor ordered! Thanks to Jeff at Popdose for the tip!
It seems inevitable that CB and I will cross paths and maybe (*gasp*) even hang out. I'm not making any promises....but it has potential!
I'll be hitting up Music Saves and possibly Time Traveler Music in Cuyahoga Falls as well, depending on my schedule. Later that evening, I'll meet up with Bear and a few others for Jonah Koslen and Stage Pass Now at The Winchester.
Speaking of Music Saves, here is the latest and greatest informational rundown from TEAM MUSIC SAVES. Music Saves gets the 2009 award from me for the indie store that put the most effort into making RSD '09 really, really cool for Cleveland. Hopefully, all of you that are not in Cleveland have something cool going on in your city at your favorite local store that is comparable to Music Saves!
For all of the Music Saves Record Store Day deets - click here
You can also click here for a printable PDF version of the above information.
Other details from their latest email:
The other Record Store Day street events we know of so far (we’ll have flyers with a final event list strewn around Waterloo on Saturday):
Blue Arrow Records is offering 10% off everything in the store (except furniture - from noon-10pm) and hosting a FLOOR CONTEST to win a vintage Derek Hess poster!
This Way Out is offering 10% off everything in the store (from noon-8pm)!
If you spend $10 or more at MUSIC SAVES, This Way Out, or Blue Arrow Records, each of those 3 receipts is good for $1 off a beer in the Beachland Tavern! The Tavern will open at 11am with a special lunch menu PLUS the brunch cocktail menu!
At Shoparooni, bring in a mixtape (or mixCD) formed after one of these 3 themes: Porkchops & Awesome Sauce (Marlee), Glitter & Sequins (Steve), or Caught on the Spot (Heather) and get 30% off your purchase PLUS they’ll have a photo booth set up!
Expect the Arts Collinwood Gallery, Low Life Gallery, and the Waterloo 7 Gallery to all be open AND look for the debut of the new WATERLOO CAFÉ!
Announcing RSD Bonus WILCO Concert Download:
The news just keeps getting better. As an exclusive bonus to customers who purchase the DVD, Ashes of American Flags, at RSD participating stores, you will be able to download one complete concert drawn from the shows featured in the film. This exclusive concert download will only be available via an embedded link on the DVD from 4/18-4/27, before the DVD goes to wide release. This bonus concert download will disappear from the site at 11:59 p.m. on 4/27/2009. This is in addition to the 20 full songs featured in the DVD which are available to all customers via download!
SONIC YOUTH BuyEarlyGetNow preorder NOW at MUSIC SAVES!
WHAT YOU GET:
- pre-release stream of album on April 28
- bonus limited exclusive vinyl live LP on street date WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!
- bonus limited-edition poster on street date
- bonus exclusive MP3 outtakes and live tracks
The Eternal 2LP $49.98 list, YOUR COST $37.99 and CD $28.98, list YOUR COST $26.99
Only regular, dependable customers will have the option to pay later! The rest of you gotta pay when you preorder, sorry!
3/24 - preorder begins through indie stores ONLY!
4/28 - BEGN goes live with album stream
5/12 - First bonus MP3 on BEGN site
6/2 - Second bonus MP3 on BEGN site
JUNE 9, STREET DATE - pick up the album, your bonus live LP, AND bonus poster
That's enough for today, ain't it? We'll pick the winner of the Jane's Addiction vinyl early next week. And guess what, we'll have another contest after that. I'm going to try to keep the contest machine rolling on a regular basis.
Have a great weekend, all....and ENJOY RECORD STORE DAY!more
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
Good morning kids!
Have you registered for your chance to win the Jane's Addiction vinyl yet? Get it done!
The rules of this game are simple: My co-worker Michael and I pick two songs, and we put 'em up against each other in a fight to the death, grudge match, last man standing doesn't necessarily win kinda thing. And from past history, this could be ugly.
Today's question: "Hungry Like The Wolf by Duran Duran or "Rock of Ages" by Def Leppard: Which one is your favorite?
P.S. - Here's the original video for the DD tune, which is linked here, because embedding is disabled.more
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
Even though I don't have an Iphone (yet?) I was happy to see the announcement of the new Nine Inch Nails Iphone application NIN: Access, which is available now as a free download. The NIN team have posted a video walk-through of the app featuring Trent Reznor with NIN art director Rob Sheridan and special guest Kevin Rose of Digg. As a tech nerd, I can watch videos like this all day long!
Updated with Digg Dialogg interview - see below!
P.S. - Just stumbled across a 40 minute interview that Digg mastermind Kevin Rose did with Trent Reznor, using questions that were submitted by Digg users. The interview is the latest episode of Digg Dialogg, a new web series that is described as a series that "lets you submit your questions to notable leaders and luminaries. Rather than editors or journalists, the Digg community decides the most popular questions to be posed in the interview."
That's fine with us, and there are certainly some good questions for Reznor! Great job, internets!one
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
This one requires a bit of set-up: I'm going to ask you to vote for two different songs - one by Fleetwood Mac, and one by Hall & Oates. Before we get to that, let's cover the backstory on how we got to this point.
I'll have the occasional musical debate with my good friend and co-worker Michael, who is based in our New York office. Usually, these discussions start around a work topic of someone that he is looking to book for a run of radio interviews, and the discussion spirals deep into Top 40 hell. We certainly have fun with what we do for a living.
As the person that amassed a collection of every 80s charting top 40 single on 45 rpm, (a collection that I now own, thanks to Michael,) he knows a few things about music.
And as someone with a similar musical sickness (actually, probably worse,) it makes for an entertaining discussion.
Today's discussion started with a Fleetwood Mac reference after I had gotten several emails worth of work-related requests from Michael at the end of the day..
Matt: you're starting to piss me off. I'd hate to have to fist fight a Fleetwood Mac fan
Matt: but your love of average F. Mac songs doesn't help matters
Michael: bring it. anyone who thinks Kiss On My List is worth quoting can't be much of a problem.
Matt: I can't help your apparent lack of musical taste
Michael: dude, two words:
Matt: One more word
Michael: let's go outside and start lining up the Vera fans vs. Fleetwood Mac fans
Matt: haha - I'll admit, that you could get the Vera fans in a rented SUV
Michael: In fact - let's line up the Fleetwood fans vs. the Hall & Oates fans
Matt: now there, you might have competition
Michael: Are you saying "Never Going Back Again" is a mediocre F. mac song? (I had given him crap about having a lyric from the song in his FB status update.)
Matt: not completely
Michael: You, who likes almost everything!
Matt: but it worked for the argument
Matt: sometimes I like to incite trouble and riots
Michael: you do it well
Michael: Let's do an MTV Friday Night Video Fight: Gypsy vs. Family Man
Matt: I'd quote Secondhand News and Monday Morning before I'd quote that one
Matt: Family Man would win without a spin
Michael: I don't compare their songs. They're all different and brilliant.
Michael: hmmmmm what makes you so sure?
Matt: I don't think your average person could hum Gypsy
Matt: while I think most know Family Man
Matt: not a bash on Gypsy, I think that's just fact
Matt: Where did Gypsy chart?
Michael: #12 I believe (Correct, and from memory no less. He's like that. Sick.)
Matt: I'm putting it to the test - posting it as Facebook status and Twitter status as well
Michael: you're putting the songs up against each other on FB & Twitter?
At this moment, the combined totals from responses on FB and Twitter are close, with only a couple of positions separating the two.
The reaction was quick - I got my first Twitter reply about 10 seconds after it was posted:
No contest. "Gypsy" all the way. Mirage is, IMHO, the greatest Buckingham-era Mac LP bar none. Maximum relistening power.
And then the Facebook comments started rolling in - here's a sampling of several of them:
1. Gypsy, hands down. Not even close.
2. H n O baby
3. Hall & Oates Family Man.... don't like Fleetwood Mac and never did..
5. Family Man is one of the worst Hall & Oates songs ever........
6. I would choose Hall and Oates over Fleetwood Mac, but in this case, you took a decent song from Fleetwood Mac over the 2nd worst song in the history of H&O (one on one being the worst).
What's your vote: Fleetwood Mac "Gypsy" or Hall & Oates "Family Man?
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
I loved reading this email from Moby tonight, sent to Bob Lefsetz. I'm that certain kind of music fan who still avoids contact with the singles so that I can hear the album for the first time as a whole album....even if it is U2 or Springsteen. And I'm also someone that often loves the albums that didn't sell that many copies, the albums that not nearly enough people heard.
Here's a little not-so-secret-secret for you all....those albums, are often the best ones. The ones that got away. And if you don't have a list of those albums, you really need to start expanding your musical collection. Just don't expand it as much as I have....all of this stuff takes up a lot of room!
It's inspiring to read stuff like this from Moby that are doing what they do, for the right reasons. He completely nailed it.
By the way, I love that there are still people like Moby trying to make music that sounds cool in the headphones! Total bliss.
yup, it's me from danbury/darien/stratford/storrs/stamford connecticut (my mom and i got around a bit).
the new record is melodic and fairly mournful.
lots of strings and very open and spacious.
see, i had a quasi-epiphany last year when i heard david lynch talking about creativity (and forgive me if this sounds new age or hokey).
he talked about how creativity in and of itself is great, and i realized that he was right.
and i realized that, ideally, the market should accomodate art, but that art shouldn't accomodate the market.
i know, it sounds idealistic.
i had been trying to make myself happy and make radio happy and make the label happy and make press happy and etc.
and it made me miserable.
and i also don't really aspire to selling too many records.
see, my friends who are writers sell 20,000 books and they're happy.
my friends who are theater directors sell 5,000 tickets during a run and they're happy.
i like the idea of humble and reasonable metrics for determining the success of a record.
and i like the idea of respecting the sacred bond that exists between musician and listener.
again, i know this sounds hokey, but it's where i am at present.
i also really like records. i know that 90% of the people who listen to my music download individual tracks, which is fine, but i want to make cohesive albums in the hope that someone might listen to them from start to finish.
for even one person to make the effort to listen to music that i've made is pretty remarkable, and i need to be humble and respectful in the face of that.
some people can be larger than life rockstars, and i love them, but i'm just a bald jerk who makes music in his bedroom and hopes that someone might listen to it.
oh, i also mixed/produced the album (it's called 'wait for me') in a very old-timey way, with extreme stereo panning and analog reverbs, etc.
it sounds AMAZING in headphones, if i do say so myself.
Link to original postmore