You’ve probably never heard of Frog Holler. So why would you give up your evening and $7 to go see them? That’s a question that Lane Campbell, an independent tour manager, wants to answer for you. Or at least get you asking…
Unlike a professional tour manager, Campbell does not actually travel with the band, but he sets up the shows, arranges promotions, and helps with the travel plans. He does this in his spare time. From home. With a full-time job.
Glorious Noise wanted to demystify the whole idea of booking a tour for a fairly unknown band. Turns out it sounds like a shitload of work. But it’s not impossible. So if there’s a band that you love and you want them to come to your town, maybe you should help them set up a tour. Or at least offer them your floor to crash on.
What follows is the first in a series of essays we’re calling “Music That’s Changed My Life: GLONO Readers’ Real-Life Experiences.” These are stories that prove the whole concept of Glorious Noise: that rock and roll can indeed change your life. If you would like to share your tales of music’s effect on your world, get in touch with us…
Why I Love Shoes: A Rumination
By Mary E. Donnelly
I have been a fan of the Illinois band Shoes for going on twenty-five years. That seems like a long time, I know, but Shoes have been one of those bands that I forget about and periodically rediscover, as I am rediscovering them now.
It’s been almost a decade since the world first got to know Matt Sharp. He was the goofy bass player in Weezer, jumping around like a maniac and singing those falsetto harmonies. Within the Cult of the Weez, it’s understood that Sharp gave that band its soul, and things were just never the same after he left to focus his attention on his own band, the Rentals. Although his “side-project” was initially laughed off as a one-joke novelty act, their 1995 debut album Return of the Rentals has held up great since its release; it sounds better today than it did back then.
Your particular 3-point cred stance is powerless against the successful summer single. You might be a card-carrying avantist who listens exclusively to backwards-sounding Bruce Gilbert solo albums. Maybe the leftist worldbeat pop of NPR’s online shop is your bag. Doesn’t matter. Most every summer, there’ll be a song that transcends genre and demographics, spilling sticky icky icky sunscreen all over your precious pop culture cone of silence. At first it’ll be clicks and buzzes, wafting into your ride from the open windows of the driver education sedan stuck next to you in the traffic jam. But soon, it’ll start to take shape. Spins at wedding receptions, wafting through the mall where you buy your organic shampoo, slicing through the background din at that baseball game your brother-in-law made you attend. And before you know it, your badass hipster brain’ll be wondering: Just who did let the dogs out?
Edward Burch is everywhere in Chicago. If you’ve been out to a show that’s remotely related to the “alternative country” movement, you have seen him. Maybe singing backup with the Handsome Family. Maybe doing a solo acoustic thing in the front room at the Hideout on Monday nights. You’ve seen him.
His most high-profile gig has been his partnership with former Wilco multi-tasking wizard, Jay Bennett. The 2002 Bennett-Burch album, The Palace at 4am (Part I), got lots of press for a lot of reasons: some of them music-related, some of them due to the fact that Palace was released on the same day as Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.
Since then, Bennett and Burch released a limited pressing of an odd collection of demo versions, alternate takes, and acoustic versions of all the songs from Palace (in order!), plus two John Cale covers. In addition to his work with Jay Bennett, Burch is involved with the Kennett Brothers, the Viper & His Famous Orchestra, and a duo with Wilco’s LeRoy Bach. Despite his busy schedule, Edward took the time to participate in an email interview with Glorious Noise…
I just downloaded Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” from the Gnutella p2p network a few minutes ago. I’m listening to it as I write this, hoping it serves as a suitable jumping off point for my latest thoughts on downloading music. This is not only because it’s the most recent song I’ve “stolen,” in the RIAA’s parlance, but also because it was one of my first.
I was late to downloading, simply because I had a 56K modem and no patience. When I got a cable modem and took to downloading, Napster was in its death throes. But I did snag a poorly ripped version of this song, one of my favorite ’80s metal-lite anthems, and it has occupied three megabytes of my mp3 collection ever since. That is, until just now when it was replaced by a 256 kbps version. While the question of why someone would see Dee Snider worthy of such a staggeringly high bit rate is one for the ages, a more important question beckons. Why did I download the song in the first place?
If you have been to more than one rock show at a club in Chicago, you have probably seen him. You may have wondered, “Who is that weird old guy up there and what the hell is he talking about?” He’s Thax Douglas and he’s Chicago’s rock and roll poet laureate, best known for reading spontaneously written poems as introductions for indie rock bands at shows across the city. He’s been praised by Chicago icons from Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy to This American Life‘s Ira Glass, who said of Douglas’ Tragic Faggot Syndrome, “It’s shocking that such disturbing dark poems come out of such a calm decent-seeming man. I read with great interest, worrying about Thax.”
Glorious Noise had the pleasure to conduct an interview with Thax earlier this year.
I only recently discovered the Mountain Goats, but they’ve already made a big impression on me. The emotion that John Darnielle can get out of his acoustic guitar and legendary Panasonic boombox is nothing short of remarkable. Literary wordplay and intense emotionality tend to be mutually exclusive in the world of rock and roll, but the Mountain Goats pull it off.
On the Mountain Goats’ latest release, Tallahassee, John Darnielle left his trusty boombox in Iowa and headed to a real studio in upstate New York with producer, Tony Doogan, and a handful of other accompanying musicians. Glorious Noise had a chance ask Darnielle a few questions during a short break in the middle of the Mountain Goats’ world tour (see schedule). Continue reading Interview with the Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle→
Paul and Yoko duke it out once more, but for what?
So what’s the big stink? Paul wants to switch the order of names on the songs he mainly wrote. Who cares? Apperently, Yoko. Though I tend to see it as a lot of hot air, most media outlets have reported that Yoko Ono is investigating her legal options to force McCartney to switch back the names on later releases of his Back in the U.S. Live 2002 album. Is there any legal ground?