Diamond Doves, Brooklyn Bowl, 8.19.11: “We Always Want People To Dance”

 

NTSIB friend and cohort Joy Wagner kindly offered this sweet little interview/show review to us and the good dudes at Citizen Dick. Check out Diamond Doves’ music at their MySpace (and then entreat them to get off of MySpace).

 

 

The odds are good that, if you’re a regular follower of this blog, you’ve already heard of the Diamond Doves. They’ve backed up and opened for several popular acts: A.A. Bondy, The Felice Brothers, Elvis Perkins. In fact, they were Dearland, as in “Elvis Perkins In.”

These days, they’ve struck out on their own, but they’re not trying to ride any coattails. The Doves are doing this all themselves.

“With our band, we’re trying to break every rule we set for ourselves [in the previous band],” says Wyndham Garnett (guitar, trombone, vocals).

Brigham Brough (bass, vocals, saxophone) agrees. “Our past material taught us what we’re capable of and what we wanted to do. But we’re trying less to build off of that platform than to create anew.”

Which isn’t to say that they’re arrogant — just that they’ve learned from experience. Nick Kinsey (drums, clarinet, vocals) maintains “We’ve hit … Continue reading

A Conversation with Austin Lucas, Part II

NTSIB friend Michelle Evans (Dear Ben Nichols, The Vinyl District: Washington, D.C.) concludes her conversation with Austin Lucas. If you’re in Seattle, you can catch both Austin and Drag the River this Friday at SoundFest

 

 

It seems both Austin Lucas and I are quite the chatty pair, which is great for y’all, because we discuss the country music scene, Lucero, Cory Branan, and everything in between.

So what are your thoughts on country music?

I listen to a lot of country radio. I appreciate the songwriting, even though most people hate the songwriting, but I listen to it, and I’m like, “This is so catchy. This person is such a clever, intelligent songwriter.” What a lot of people don’t understand about pop music, in order for something to stay with someone after hearing it one time, it has to be extremely catchy. The average music listener isn’t really a music fan. They want image. They want to lust after somebody who’s a star. So the thing is, if you don’t reel them in with a really, really catchy hook, they’re not interested. Trust me, writing … Continue reading

A Conversation with Austin Lucas, Part I

We continue our interviews from good NTSIB friend Michelle Evans (of Dear Ben Nichols and The Vinyl District: Washington, D.C.) with the first part of her chat with the lovely Mr. Austin Lucas. Check out Austin, Drag the River and many more at SoundFest in Seattle, which starts today and runs through Sunday.

 

 

I was able to catch up with Austin Lucas just after his tour with Willie Nelson’s Country Throwdown. We talked about punk rock. We talked about bluegrass. We talked about the music industry. We talked so much, in fact, that we’re splitting his interview over today and tomorrow, when we’ll resume talking about things like his current tour with Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, his experience with the Country Throwdown, and Cory mother-fuckin’ Branan.

I’m of the ilk that while I want the people I love making music to do well and sell records, I wouldn’t wish fame on anyone. It just seems like the worst fate imaginable to me (but that’s just me). One of the things I appreciate most about you is your accessibility. Is that something you make … Continue reading

A Conversation with Jon Snodgrass of Drag the River

 

NTSIB’s dear friend Michelle Evans of Dear Ben Nichols and The Vinyl District: Washington, D.C. has graciously allowed us to share her recent interviews with Jon Snodgrass of Drag the River and, tomorrow, the lovely Mr. Austin Lucas. Catch both gentlemen at SoundFest in Seattle, Washington, August 17-21.

 

 

Drag the River have been one of my favorite bands for quite some time, so imagine how stoked I was to hear they are selling their albums in a “Pay What You Can” style. On top of that, they’re back on tour and joining the likes of Lucero, Austin Lucas, and Larry & His Flask at this year’s SoundFest in Seattle. Catch ’em while you can.

So what made you decide to sell the entire Drag the River catalog in a “Pay What You Can” style?

To be honest with you, the only jobs I ever had, ya know, that I never got fired from, were record stores for years – two or three different ones – and it always seemed weird to me, CDs cost $13.99, $15.99, but once it gets unwrapped and comes back, ya know, records are … Continue reading

Introducing: Chris Marshall

Chris Marshall is from Portland, Oregon. As the son of a preacher that founded his own church, Marshall grew up with religion at home and even played and led the church’s music.  Then, after several years of floating around the indie music scene, Marshall gave himself an ultimatum: make a record before you turn 30. With help from bassist Allen Hunter (The Eels), drummer Ezra Holbrook (The Decemberists), and pedal steel player Paul Brainard (Richmond Fontaine), he made it just under the wire, releasing August Light in 2010, at age 29.

The record has a strong country core with ribbons of western swirling through the bottom and indie-rock grace notes on the top. It’s a complex and fascinating mix, and after a couple of listens I decided I wanted to know more about the man behind the sound. Here’s what I asked, and what I found out:

 

What were you doing, musically, before you decided it was time to fish or cut bait, as it were, and make a solo record? Did you jump directly from church music … Continue reading

Strangers: Dark Pop and Twisty Soundscapes

Raife Hacking (drums; left), David Jones (vocals, keyboards; right);

not pictured: Glen Nicholls (producer, programmer, keyboardist, crafter of twisty soundscapes,  and international man of mystery).

 

I’m intrigued by your sound. So, tell me more about the band. Who are you, collectively, and what’s your story?

David: Well the band is a trio, myself and Raife Hacking started working with Glen Nicholls, the producer and also third band member in October last year. We are from the Midlands in the UK originally, but now work from Glen’s studio in North London.

We came together through a love of dark pop music, stuff like Depeche Mode, some Bowie stuff, The Cure, Nine Inch Nails (you’ll hear that coming out more in our new stuff). Glen is a producer/remixer and has worked with bands such as White Lies, Prodigy and Unkle amongst others, and I have been songwriting for a few years, inspired by my love of dark uplifting pop songs. I use the word pop loosely, I guess.

We’re aiming for a big … Continue reading

A Conversation with James Leg

 

John Wesley Myers, a.k.a. James Leg, gives off a vibe that reaches across a crowded bar. Stepping into the Happy Dog, a popular neighborhood bar on Cleveland’s west side, packed wall-to-wall with the usual cast of St. Patrick’s Day goofy, green-clad revellers, it took less than a second to spot Myers at the bar. It wasn’t that he was better-looking or more nicely dressed than most anyone else in the place – though there might have been that, too – it is more a natural air that says, “You should pay attention to this guy.”

And you should. From his band the Black Diamond Heavies to his work with the Immortal Lee County Killers and contributions to albums by Scott H. Biram and Left Lane Cruiser on up to his new solo album, Solitary Pleasure, Myers is partially responsible for doling out some of the dirtiest, howlingest, most searing punk-ass blues ever produced. And he’s got more just waiting to pour out.

After a full-on drunk young man screeched excitedly in Myers face (to which Myers, never less than cool, turned to me and simply said, “St. Patrick’s Day”), we made ourselves comfortable on a … Continue reading

Get More Gritty: Again and Again

Ladies and gentlemen, please meet Again and Again, of Seattle, who I learned about from Twitter. After I had poked around their website a little bit and listened to a couple of songs, I was intrigued and wanted to know more. After getting past some technical difficulties, drummer XwesX (Wes Keely) (center) and I had the following email chat:

 

Who was in which band, previously, and how did you get together to form Again and Again? And who does what in Again and Again – did anyone switch roles (or instruments) from previous bands?

OK, well, to start this off, Dutch VI (above left) plays guitar, Geoffrey C Walker (above right) sings, and I play drums. We had a few other members over the years, but at the current moment this is the core group, and we have a few fill in bass players that go out on tour with us from time to time. Geoffrey used to sing in the Victory Records band called On The Last Day based out of Seattle, … Continue reading

London Calling: Good Dangers

This band’s information floated over our transom with the following e-note appended:

We wrote these songs in our living rooms

We recorded them

We moved to north london so it was easier

We didn’t always agree

but that’s ok

We made some art to go with the music

We made videos which took longer

We have all been in other bands – this is our favourite

Good Dangers is – Maxim, Gavin, Johny, Jenny & Howard

I listened to their songs and watched their video(s), and later, upon adding Abigail to my daily playlist (listen to it streaming at bandcamp), I found myself humming along and tapping my pencil to the beat while I worked. And then I took it upon myself to do some further investigation. Lead singer Gavin (top right) expanded as follows:

Naturally the first question is going to be: Which bands were you in before?

That’s a bit of a secret, we like mystery.

Where … Continue reading

Rock ‘n’ Roll Photog: Love Crushed Velvet

 

We are crazy with the interviews here all of sudden. Today, Jennifer talks to A.L.X., singer of Love Crushed Velvet.

IMG_7623A.L.X. and Love Crushed Velvet at Crash Mansion

Love Crushed Velvet, last seen on NTSIB participating in the Beatles Complete on the Ukulele event, will be putting out a new record in the middle of April. Recently, I sat down with lead singer A.L.X. to discuss a variety of musical topics:

During the Beatles Complete on the Ukulele event I thought I heard someone say you were from Austria. That’s since been cleared up – you were born in East Germany and later moved to the United States – but in the process of straightening that out, you dropped a tantalizing reference to having briefly been a cult celebrity in Austria. What was that all about, because it sounds like a good story.

It was one of those weird things about being in the right place in the right time. I ended up living there back in the ’90s – I was actually a student at the time.  Even though I was born in … Continue reading