Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Holidays from Between Love and Like

2011 was a great year for a variety of reasons here at BL&L HQ, more so because the whole photography portion of things really took off. We shot a whole lot of photographs for Washington City Paper, The Vinyl District, and 930 Club this year, often so much that we didn't always keep things current here. So, FYI, we are going off the grid for a few days here but plan to have a great 2011 wrap up for the Washington City Paper by the year's end, which we'll also post here.

Coming up on our fourth anniversary here, we know we aren't always the place for breaking music news but do try to provide news that's never boring with pretty things to look at while you read. We are grateful to know our readers stay with us regardless, and keep encouraging us to continue with things. Thanks so much.

Here's hoping you get what you want for whatever holiday you celebrate. Happy holidays y'all.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Eric Bachmann Discusses the Background of "Web in Front"

The A.V. Club is running this great series called One Track Mind, where a classic indie song is discussed with its writer, and then the musician performs it live. There has been about nine episodes so far, and chats with people like Bob Mould on 'Hoover Dam' and St. Vincent on 'Surgeon'.

One of the latest installments is with Archers of Loaf frontman Eric Bachmann, and the song discussed is "Web in Front" from 1993's Icky Mettle. Bachmann clarifies a few things about the song, such as it's not really about anyone in particular ("There's not a specific person that it's about...that I remember. Bitch," he says chuckling), the first two lines were meant as a reference to the movie, The is Spinal Tap, and that contrary to some thought, the first line is not, "Stuck a peanut in your backbone." While the interviewer looks a bit like a deer in headlights-it must have been rough to talk to someone about such an iconic song only to find out it's really about nothing-Bachmann is his generally funny self. And no, that is not a ukulele that Bachmann plays during the performance, he really is just that big of a man.

Eric Bachmann of Archers Of Loaf discusses and performs "Web In Front"

Monday, December 19, 2011

Lights That Shine in the Evening: John Davis of Title Tracks @ Smithsonian's "Luce Unplugged" Series

I shot the Luce Unplugged December performance yesterday at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art. "Luce Unplugged" is a monthly series that has a local musician come play for an hour after chatting about one of the paintings in the area of his/her choice. It's a great idea, one that showcases the two things DC has a lot of: local musicians and free Smithsonian events.

The performer for December was Title Tracks frontman John Davis, who performed some great covers, as well as tracks of his own. My piece for the Washington City Paper is live here, and you can see additional photos from the performance here.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Office of Future Plans and Damon Locks Cover "Holiday in Cambodia" for AV Club's "Holiday Undercover " Series

I live in Washington,DC which is home to a whole lot of punk rock history. Fugazi, Dischord Records, Scream....the list goes on and on. I respect the harder stuff and will listen to it in small doses...but me, I'm more of a power pop kind of girl. A good hook and a catchy chorus that makes me want to dance around while listening is that which is near and dear to my heart.

So it was completely fabulous this year to discover a couple local bands with songs and sensibilities along those lines. The shimmering Beatles-like guitar sound of Title Tracks, and the rock with a side of pop hooks from the new J Robbins (of Jawbox)band, Office of Future Plans, have been wowing me since stumbling upon them. Title Tracks is the solo band of John Davis (Georgie James, Q and Not U). OFP got together as a bit of a lark, but it's great they did.

OFP just teamed up with Damon Locks of The Eternals for the A.V. Club's Holiday Undercover 2011 series. (AV brings in 10 bands to play a holiday-related song of the band's choosing.) Their choice? "Holiday in Cambodia" by The Dead Kennedys. Cause really, what says "Happy Holidays" more than rocking song about Pol Pot? It will rock your face off though.

OFP just released their self-titled first record on Dischord Records in November.

Office Of Future Plans and Damon Locks cover "Holiday In Cambodia"

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Jeff Tweedy and His Supplemental Hair Provide the Weather for Chicago Today

No we're really not joking, and yes, like you, we wondered whether Bizarro World had finally come to pass.

Jeff Tweedy of Wilco got his meteorological feet wet this morning at WGN, a Chicago-based news station, and delivered the 7-day forecast for the Windy City. "This is how it looks...You can read...I hope," to the laughter throughout the studio. We wouldn't count on Tweedy, "the hairy guy from Wilco," giving up his guitar for a green screen and weather patterns just yet.

You can see the clip here.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Seen Your Video: Wild Flag Performs "Romance" on David Letterman Last Night

Wild Flag rocked the snot outta Late Night with David Letterman last night. I've now seen them twice (SXSW and the Black Cat a couple months back), and last night's performance was nothing compared to the power they bring during a full club set. Wow...

Craig Finn's Solo Record, Clear Heart Full Eyes Out in January, Tour Dates Announced

The Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn made a solo record this year while The Hold Steady in on their break. Titled Clear Heart Full Eyes, the 11 tracks come across a tad twangier than the full on testosterone-laden rock normally heard in The Hold Steady.

Craig Finn - Honolulu Blues by Vagrant Records

Finn is touring behind the record as well. Tickets go on sale this Friday (12/16).

Craig Finn 2012 Tour Dates
2/01 - Dallas, TX @ Club Dada*
2/02 - Oklahoma City, OK @ The Conservatory*
2/03 - Omaha, NE @ Slowdown*
2/04 - Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock Social Club*
2/06 - Iowa City, IA @ The Mill*
2/07 - Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle*
2/08 - Detroit, MI @ The Lager House*
2/09 - Columbus, OH @ The Basement*
2/10 - St Louis, MO @ Off Broadway*
2/11 - Kansas City, MO @ Record Bar*
2/13 - Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge*
2/19 - San Diego, CA @ Casbah*
2/20 - Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour*
2/21 - San Francisco, CA @ Noise Pop at Bottom of the Hill
2/23 - Portland, OR @ The Doug Fir Lounge*
2/24 - Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile*
2/27 - Ringwood, NJ Live @ Drew's House
2/28 - Allston, MA @ Great Scott#
2/29 – New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge (Late Show)#
3/01 - Hoboken, NJ @ Maxwell's#
3/02 - Washington, DC @ Rock N Roll Hotel#
3/03 - Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506#
3/05 - Atlanta, GA @Earl#
* - w/ Mount Moriah
# - w/ Marcellus Hall

Finn talks some about his inspiration for the songs and the making of the record. Accompanying Finn in the studio were members of White Denim, The Heartless Bastards, Phosphorescent, and Centro-matic. About the title, he says, "I’m calling this record Clear Heart Full Eyes. It’s a juxtaposed reference to Friday Night Lights, a TV show that excited and moved me and also happened in Texas. Further, “Clear Heart” signifies honesty and transparency, and “Full Eyes” suggests experience. Thus, it’s about being optimistic and open without succumbing to the weariness or doubt that comes with age and experience. To me, that is what it’s all about.”

Craig Finn "Clear Heart Full Eyes" from Helms Workshop on Vimeo.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Weekend Announces West Coast Dates for 2012

When shooting a headlining band, and there is no photo pit, I have to get there when doors open. As such, that means hearing the opening act as well. This can span the tolerable-meter spectrum, anywhere from "god-awful" to "how have I lived this long and not heard these guys?"

When I covered and photographed Wire earlier this last year, the San Francisco-based Weekend opened, and I most definitely wondered the latter. Full of feedback and shoegazing thrash, I distinctly recall looking at the folks standing near me after, all of us having that same look of, "Holy shit, did you just see that??"

Weekend have been non-stop touring this year, supporting bands like The Kills and Talk Normal, but they announced today three headlining dates in the new year (sadly, just on the west coast).

02/01: The New Parish, Oakland, CA
02/11: The Loft @ UCSD, San Diego, CA
02/12: The Echo, Los Angeles, CA

Weekend released the 5-track EP Red earlier this year, their follow up to 2010's Sports.

Give a Listen: The One You Want-Weekend/Buy Red

Monday, December 12, 2011

Bruce Springsteen Plays "American Slang" with Gaslight Athem in Asbury Park on Friday

The NJ powerhouse The Gaslight Anthem did a show on the Jersey shore Friday, at Convention Hall in Asbury Park. If you've never been, Convention Hall is on the boardwalk, next to a Howard Johnsons foncy ponts supper club, and is probably as big as your grammar school auditorium with better acoustics. A show there in and of itself would be something. But the boys went one better and, as a holiday gift to fans, brought that other NJ powerhouse up to join them, the one whose Christmas shows at Convention Hall are shows of legend, Bruce Springsteen, for "American Slang."

I was supposed to shoot this show, and missing Gaslight at a place this small was a heartbreaker. But then hearing Bruce did show up? Let's just say it's good we Catholics believe suicide is a mortal sin. But thankfully, we got video of it!