Grandfather in Cleveland Tonight


Grandfather is going to be part of a free bar show tonight at Now That’s Class. I wrote about them about a year ago when I was sucked in by their heavy, Steve Albini-engineered album Why I’d Try.



Showtime is 9 PM with Grandfather set to play at 10 PM. Come check them out. If you’re not in Cleveland tonight, they have a bunch more shows coming up around the country, including shows at SXSW.

3.05.12 – Cleveland, OH @ Now That’s Class
3.06.12 – Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups w/ White Wolves, Stella, Tenth Generation
3.07.12 – Akron, OH @ Annabelle’s w/ The Hobs
3.08.12 – Bloomington, IN @ The Gourley Hole w/ Otis and the Rufies
3.09.12 – Louisville, KY @ Spinneli’s Pizza w/ Otis and the Rufies
3.10.12 – Nashville, TN @ The Thunderdome w/Otis and the Rufies
3.11.12 – Memphis, TN @ TBA
3.12.12 – Little Rock, AR @ Super Happy Fun Land
3.13.12 – Denton, TX @ Violitionist Sessions
3.14.12 – SXSW in Austin, TX
3.15.12 – SXSW in Austin, TX
3.16.12 – SXSW in Austin, TX 3:30PM Show
3.17.12 – SXSW in Austin, TX 2:00PM Show, 7:00PM Show, 1:30AM Show (Pearl St. SXSSUX Show)
3.18.12 – SXSW in Austin, TX
3.19.12 – Houston, TX @ The Mink w/Giant Battle Monster
3.20.12 – New Orleans, LA @ TBA
3.21.12 – Pensacola, FL @ The Handlebar w/ The Helvetica Effect
3.22.12 – Birmhingham, AL @ TBA
3.23.12 – Atlanta, GA @ The BeAtlanta House w/ Big Jesus
3.24.12 – Knoxville, TN @ The Pilot Light w/ Mother Mange
3.25.12 – Charlotte, NC @ The Milestone w/ Herra Terra
3.26.12 – Richmond, VA @ TBA
3.27.12 – Washington DC @ The Velvet Lounge w/ Treble Lifter
3.28.12 – Baltimore, MD @ TBA
3.29.12 – Jersey City, NJ @ The Lamp Post
3.30.12 – Philadelphia, PA @ Motel Hell w/ Ladder Devils, Girlfight, Psychic Teens
3.31.12 – Brooklyn, NY @ The Shop w/ Psychic Teens + more.

Bits: Cleveland Confidential, Robert Pollard, Beastie Boys, Jay Reatard, The Dirtbombs, The Due Diligence, Grandfather, Record Store Day

  • While I was too late to alert you to the Cleveland Confidential Book Tour‘s stop at the Rockhall and its attendant webcast (which was great), the tour – which features Cheetah Chrome (Rocket from the Tombs, the Dead Boys), Mike Hudson (The Pagans) and Bob Pfeifer (Human Switchboard) reading from their respective books – stops at the Ann Arbor District Library in Ann Arbor, Michigan, tonight (April 12) at 7 PM. And if you’re in Los Angeles, California, on Thursday (April 14), you can catch the tour with featured guest Dave Thomas (Rocket from the Tombs, Pere Ubu) at the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live at 7:30 PM.
  • Speaking of Ohio, you can download a few mp3s from various projects of human music machine Robert Pollard.
  • If you somehow haven’t heard it yet, you can check out a leaked track, “Make Some Noise”, from the forthcoming Beastie Boys’ album Hotsauce Committee Part Two on their Tumblr.
  • Jay Reatard documentary Better Than Something will debut at the Nashville Film Festival this Friday, April 15 at 7 PM. (You can check out Waiting for Something a short documentary from the same filmmakers here.)
  • The Dirtbombs have announced a handful of tour dates, kicking off in Detroit, Michigan, at the end of May.
  • The Due Diligence will be playing a double record release show with the Shivers on May 29 at the Mercury Lounge in New York.
  • Grandfather will be playing a free show at The Shop in Brooklyn, New York, on April 23. This will be their first show with their rejuvenated lineup of Joshua Hoffman (vocals), Michael Kirsch (guitar), Phil Sangiacomo (drums) and Justin Mantooth (bass).
  • Record Store Day is this Saturday, April 16, and The Numero Group pop up store in Chicago, Illinois, has a unique offer available.

Grandfather: Down to the Dirt This Time

The line of separation between “That sounds interesting” and “I must listen to that again RIGHT NOW” can be a wide one. But after my first listen through Grandfather’s debut album Why I’d Try, that line was so thin it was practically invisible. I found myself hitting the “play” button again before my brain had even had the chance to fully grasp the music, to file it under a tidy banner, as brains are wont to do. The heavy, compelling rhythms, guitar that sounds a range from attack-dog machine-gun barking to high jangly space ambience and almost delicate melodies bore quickly and directly into some sub stratum in my brain, making my understanding of the music a bottom-up process instead of the usual top-down (“We’re a [genre] band”, “RIYL: [other bands that may or may not sound like this band]”) method. It was not unlike my initial experience with a band that went on to become one of my favorites: Shudder to Think, with their changed-the-game-for-me album Pony Express Record (a band Grandfather has been compared to based on their favoring of off-kilter time signatures and unusual melodies).

Grandfather – Tremors

How the end product of Why I’d Try came to be is an interesting story and an effective calling card for Grandfather – a three-piece made up of Michael Kirsch on guitar, Jonathan Silverman on bass and Josh Hoffman on drums and vocals. After messing around with their digital home recording equipment to the point where they didn’t feel they could trust their own ears any longer, they decided that the most freeing option would be to take all those digital options away. They would hand the engineering reigns over to someone else and record their album in an analog studio. And there are few more qualified to take those reigns than Steve Albini (and if you don’t know who Albini is – oh, honey – check out this list of albums Albini has engineered, including those by his own bands Big Black, Rapeman and Shellac).

Grandfather – It’s Good Enough Now

Decision made, Grandfather sold off their digital recording equipment, set up a Kickstarter campaign to make up the difference and booked time with Albini’s Electrical Audio studio in Chicago. In three days, Why I’d Try was recorded and mixed by Albini and mastered by Albini’s Shellac bandmate Bob Weston. (Michael Kirsch wrote a series of posts about the process and experience for SonicScoop that are well worth a read.)

Grandfather – Blood Theme (From Dexter) / Tremors from Big Ass Lens on Vimeo.

With the money spent and the hard work finished, Grandfather proceeded to give the album away for free (go to the official site link below for the full download). The trick of it is, once you hear the album’s sonic richness on mp3, you’ll want to hear it again on vinyl for the full experience of highs and lows and textures. Lucky for you that they had a limited number of LPs (and CDs) pressed to fulfill that need. All it’ll cost you is a ten-spot (and some shipping if you’re ordering online – I already have mine on order).

Grandfather Official Website

SonicScoop | How Grandfather Made A Record With Steve Albini In Three Days