Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Chris Mills Announces New Release, First Tour in Three Years

Chris Mills is one of those singer-songwriters who just melts your heart with his lyrics. Word came today that Mills will release a new record, Alexandria and start his first U.S. tour in three years come mid-January 2014. His new album features nine originals recorded in New York, Chicago, and Oslo, Norway, and mixed by Grammy award winning engineer Ryan Freeland (Tift Merrit, Ray LeMontagne, Aimee Mann). Mills will head to Europe for a run of dates in February before returning to the states to perform at SXSW in March. Other U.S. dates to be announced soon.

Chris Mills U.S. tour
 1/19 - Cambridge, MA - Atwoods
1/23 - St. Louis, IL - Off Broadway
1/24 - Chicago, IL - Schuba's
1/25 - Madison, WI - Kiki's House of Righteous Music
1/26 - St. Paul, MN - Amsterdam
1/29 - Yipsilanti, MI - Woodruff's
1/30 - Cleveland - Grog Shop
1/31 - Toledo, OH - Frankies
2/1 - Cincinnati, OH - House Concert
2/2 - Chicago, IL - Saki Store In-store
2/8 - Peacedale, RI - Roots Hoot House Concert

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Back in Business...

Hey friends, It has been some time since we've talked eh? Feel like I've been shooting and writing for so many other outlets, like here, here, and here, I haven't had the time to do much on my own. But I feel like the time has come as I've been shooting some amazing things as of late like...

Camp Freddy at the 9:30 Club  

Published article here, more photos here  

Nine Inch Nails at the Verizon Center
Published article here, more photos here

Paul McCartney at the Washington Nationals Baseball Stadium  
Published article here, more photos here

 I also got to shoot the The Replacements reunion at the Chicago Riot Fest. But that's a whole post in itself.

 Happy to be back in action. You're looking sexy as hell. Let's hang out!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lights That Flash in the Evening: Portlandia Tour @ 930 Club (2-22-2012)

I covered the Portlandia Tour stop here at the 930 Club last night for the 930 Club and the Washington City Paper. (WCP piece going up here later today.) Full of kooky humor, music, and special guests, like DC's own Ian Svenonius and Mary Timony, among others, it was just as entertaining live as it is on the show. Now if they'd only make the bit on the DC music scene an accessible video!

Additional photos from the show can be seen here.

Ex-Replacements Guitarist Slim Dunlap Suffers Stroke

Blurt-Online passed on a story today from the Star Tribune paper in Minneapolis that ex-Replacements guitarist Slim Dunlap suffered a stroke this week.

Minneapolis paper the Star Tribune is reporting that Slim Dunlap, late of the Replacements and still a musician on the Twin Cities scene, suffered a stroke this week and is intensive care. Wife Chrissie posted the details at Facebook:

"Bob is in the SICU at HCMC. I am not going to sugarcoat this -- this morning he suffered a right middle cerebral artery stroke. He then fell and hit his head, resulting in a left vertebral artery dissection and a right subarachnoid hemorrhage.

"The good news is that he is sharp and aware, his speech is fine, and all of the nurses and doctors have commented on his unique sense of humor. The bad news is that he cannot move the right side of his body and will be in for some serious rehab. They will be giving him more tests tomorrow to determine the extent of the damage. I will try to post updates as we learn more. Louie will be with him all night and I will be back there tomorrow. We don't need a thing but your good wishes for his full recovery."

Godspeed with that recovery, Slim.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Dave Grohl Addresses His Comments on Electronic Music at the Grammys

Gah what a week. But we return with this most awesome decree from our favorite and yours, one Dave Grohl, about the comments he made about electronic music at this year's Grammy's. It's baffling why folks thought he was referring to anything other than the "human element" especially as we had to suffer through his performance with Deadmau5 later-I don't think he did that at gunpoint, cmon.

Oh, what a night we had last Sunday at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards. The glitz! The Glamour! SEACREST! Where do I begin?? Chillin' with Lil' Wayne...meeting Cyndi Lauper's adorable mother...the complimentary blinking Coldplay bracelet.....much too much to recap. It's really is still a bit of a blur. But, if there's one thing that I remember VERY clearly, it was accepting the Grammy for Best Rock Performance...and then saying this:

"To me this award means a lot because it shows that the human element of music is what's important. Singing into a microphone and learning to play an instrument and learning to do your craft, that's the most important thing for people to do... It's not about being perfect, it's not about sounding absolutely correct, it's not about what goes on in a computer. It's about what goes on in here [your heart] and what goes on in here [your head]."

Not the Gettysburg Address, but hey......I'm a drummer, remember?

Well, me and my big mouth. Never has a 33 second acceptance rant evoked such caps-lock postboard rage as my lil' ode to analog recording has. OK....maybe Kanye has me on this one, but....Imma let you finish....just wanted to clarify something...

I love music. I love ALL kinds of music. From Kyuss to Kraftwerk, Pinetop Perkins to Prodigy, Dead Kennedys to Deadmau5.....I love music. Electronic or acoustic, it doesn't matter to me. The simple act of creating music is a beautiful gift that ALL human beings are blessed with. And the diversity of one musician's personality to the next is what makes music so exciting and.....human.

That's exactly what I was referring to. The "human element". That thing that happens when a song speeds up slightly, or a vocal goes a little sharp. That thing that makes people sound like PEOPLE. Somewhere along the line those things became "bad" things, and with the great advances in digital recording technology over the years they became easily "fixed". The end result? I my humble opinion.....a lot of music that sounds perfect, but lacks personality. The one thing that makes music so exciting in the first place.

And, unfortunately, some of these great advances have taken the focus off of the actual craft of performance. Look, I am not Yngwie Malmsteen. I am not John Bonham. Hell...I'm not even Josh Groban, for that matter. But I try really fucking hard so that I don't have to rely on anything but my hands and my heart to play a song. I do the best that I possibly can within my limitations, and accept that it sounds like me. Because that's what I think is most important. It should be real, right? Everybody wants something real.

I don't know how to do what Skrillex does (though I fucking love it) but I do know that the reason he is so loved is because he sounds like Skrillex, and that's badass. We have a different process and a different set of tools, but the "craft" is equally as important, I'm sure. I mean.....if it were that easy, anyone could do it, right? (See what I did there?)

So, don't give me two Crown Royals and then ask me to make a speech at your wedding, because I might just bust into the advantages of recording to 2 inch tape.

Now, I think I have to go scream at some kids to get off my lawn.

Stay frosty.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day, Pop-Ska Style

Happy Valentines Day from those of us here at BL&L and the happy sounds of Madness. Cause who wouldn't want to fall in love to a little pop-ska? (Truth? Always had a bit of a crush on Suggs, the lead singer of the pop-ska band Madness. Must of been the hair.)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Guided by Voices "Classic Lineup" Disbands...Maybe

The management company for Guided by Voices denies it, but word came today that sounds very much like the GbV "classic lineup" has, once again, disbanded.

Nada Mucho.com posted an interview with GbV guitarist Mitch Mitchell that spoke of the reunion, generated when "Matador Records came calling in 2010, inviting the “classic” GbV line-up to perform at the label’s twenty-first birthday party in Las Vegas." A year long tour was done (See our piece from the 930 Club show here), and the record, Let's Go Eat the Factory was released.

But two days after this very recent Nada Mucho interview, "Pitchfork and All Tomorrow’s Parties reported that GbV had once again disbanded and cancelled all of their 2012 dates. GbV’s management company promptly denied the break-up, and Mitch had made himself available for comment." Mitchell said the following:

I don’t think Bob’s feeling comfortable about a European tour, but I don't know if it’s permanent or temporary. I don’t know if we’ll play shows again or maybe we'll just record. There might be other records, you just never know. If it is over, it’s hard to complain. We had a good run.

Sure sounds like a break up to us. Sadness abounds.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Lights That Flash in the Evening: George Clinton & Parliment Funkadelic @ 930 Club

Glory be, the funk was on me. My piece on George Clinton and Parliment Funkadelic goes live tomorrow over at the WC Paper that is.... Update: Read all about it here.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Jim Lockey Creates "The Visible Tom Waits"

UK artist Jim Lockey created this amazing overview of what he envisions the insides of Tom Waits must look like.

Waits' latest record, Bad As Me came out in October. It is his first record of all new material in seven years. True to form, it includes many monsters indeed, all designed to make a body shimmy and shake.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Seen Your Video: Justin Vernon of Bon Iver Shows Up to Play "The World Cafe" with Kathleen Edwards

Philly.com reported that Kathleen Edwards was joined by her beau, Justin Version of Bon Iver, for a few songs last night in Philly on "World Cafe."

Edwards latest record, Voyageur came out last month, which Bon Iver also produced. She is playing the here tomorrow at the 930 Club.

Kathleen Edwards - Wapusk (featuring Bon Iver) by Kathleen Edwards