Saturday, December 01, 2007

The Weakerthans @ Astoria 2 (Mean Fiddler) 25/11/2007

It's November which must mean it is the Weakerthans, who I believe I have only ever seen in November on each of the three occasions I have managed to catch them, but I digress. Touring with a new album (at last) to promote - 'Reunion Tour' - it was great to see that John K Samson and the boys still rock live. Licking off with a duo of 'Our Retired Explorer'/'Civil Twilight', I knew from the off this was going to be a good one. I was not disappointed.

JKS is not the most chatty front man, but we did learn that a trip to a London gallery had inspired 'Night Windows'; and that 'Tournament of Hearts' was about that great sport curling (never played but it was prime time on sunday afternoons in Scotland when i was growing up). Also any man who can write lyrics such as "yes a penguin taught me French back in Antartica" (Our Retired Explorer) has my respect.

Set list was base heavily around the new album and the previous record ' Reconstruction Site' (which was fine by me) Still we still had space for the likes of 'Aside', 'Left and Leaving', My Favourite Chords and 'Pamphleteer'

Highlights included 'The Reasons'; 'Plea from a Cat Named Virtute' / 'Virtute the Cat Explains Her Departure'; 'Reconstruction Site'; 'Tournament of Hearts' and one of my favourite turn up to 11 songs, 'Aside'

My girlfriend - not overly impressed with them on record - thought that they came alive as a live band ... and sounded like REM. Er, well, yes I suppose in some instances they do sound like REM at their best.

Great gig, hope they're back again soon.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Bourgeois Todd

Retro Dan has an interview with Brent Bourgeois (Bourgeois Tagg) who has this to say on working with Todd.

retroDan: Since you’re a music producer yourself, i thought it’d be interesting to hear your take on all the major producers you’ve worked with in your career- namely Todd Rundgren, Danny Kortchmar, Charlie Peacock?

Brent: Todd Rundgren is much more of a musical influence than an ‘in the studio’ influence. He taught me something very important: to be really honest lyrically. His chord changes and melodic sense have obviously influenced my writing as well. As a producer in the studio, he was a disappointment. His idea of a compliment was a heavy sigh and something like, “That didn’t bother me.”

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Hold Steady & Weakerthans

Pitchfork has an interview between Eddie Argos of Art Brut, and Craig Finn of the Hold Steady. Finn talks about the new album ( coming late Spring/Summer 2008) and touring the UK. He also mentions the excellent John K Samson of the Weakerthans ...

Craig Finn : That's one of the greatest things. If someone like John Darnielle (of Mountain Goats) says "God, that's a great lyric," you feel, "Whoa!" That's a great compliment. Where it's not like some college journalist saying "this album rocks!", you know? It carries a lot of weight. Like, John Samson from the Weakerthans, another one of my favorite lyricists. Right now.