Tag Archives: interview

How the Lumineers Took Over Folk-Rock with Two Sounds and a Snappy Pair of Suspenders (via Indy Star)

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Indy Star — Rarely have clomping feet and two onomatopoeias made a bigger splash than they did in “Ho Hey,” the evocatively old-timey and globally ubiquitous single from the self-titled debut by the Lumineers — you may remember it if you turned on a music machine in 2012. In not even three minutes, the world’s leading melancholy folky foot-stomping breakup anthem both threw more coal on the folk-Americana fire and vaulted the Lumineers from the Denver coffeeshop circuit to arenas, other continents and festivals full of people who like to clap and stomp together. Jeremiah Fraites — the one without suspenders — spoke by phone from an early tour stop in Chicago about “Ophelia,” opening for U2’s “Joshua Tree” tour and how to make a hockey arena feel like a Colorado coffeeshop.

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Henry Rollins on His Favorite Indiana Bands, This Stupid Election and Why He Writes Like He’s Running Out of Time (via the Indianapolis Star)

Works more than you do.

Works more than you do.

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Indianapolis Star — Spoken-word artist, actor, former Black Flag frontman, activist, authoritative-opinion owner and self-described “vinyl cat lady” Henry Rollins is a guy who — to steal a line from a musical about another American overachiever — writes like he’s running out of time.

Rollins, 55, and his endless-bordering-on-insane work ethic has positioned him not just as the “aging alternative icon” he jokingly called himself in the past, but as a harder, steelier critic on a culture that offers no shortage of material. His current spoken-word tour, featuring shows that routinely hit the three-hour mark, visits Indianapolis shortly after Election Day, so there should be no shortage of material.

Rollins checked in via email in September from a tour stop in Australia, weighing in on his approach to the election and what his audience means to him now:

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Question: Obvious yet sincere opener: Who are your favorite musicians/bands from Indiana? 

Answer: The Ink Spots. I got introduced to their music in the late 1980s.

Q: You’ll be here shortly after Election Day/Recount Week/The Fall of the Republic. What’s your mood been about the election?

A: Indifferent. I will vote and live with whatever the result is. President Obama tried to make things better. Congress and the USA were not interested. To be overly concerned with a country that obviously isn’t motivated to confront global climate change, renewable energy, health care or education is a fool’s errand. Marriage equality, something easily covered by the First, Fourth and 14th amendments of the Constitution, had to go to the Supreme Court. USA lost me. I just pay my taxes and obey the law. Past that, I hope I don’t get shot.

The full interview at the Indy Star.

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Chris Cornell Has an Absurd Number of Songs (via Indy Star)

chris cornell

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Indy Star — Great Caesar’s ghost, Chris Cornell has a lot of songs. Technically his current solo acoustic tour supports “Higher Truth,” his sterling fifth solo record and one that’s powered not by the thunderstorm roar of Soundgarden and/or Audioslave but an acoustic guitar — though, happily, his valkyrie four-octave voice hasn’t gone anywhere. (If you haven’t, check out “Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart,” a near-perfect single and a fine on-ramp into where he’s going with this.)

But Cornell’s show, which visits the cozy environs of the Murat on July 9, also draws from a galaxy of work that includes — deep breaths — grunge pioneers Soundgarden, the rhythmic and raging Audioslave, the Seattle supergroup Temple of the Dog and his previous four solo records (including that one with Timbaland). Throw in a James Bond theme, his contribution to “12 Years a Slave,” a cut from the “Singles” soundtrack, a track from a second Seattle supergroup Mad Season and a Donald Trump spoof called “Make America Great Again” and we’re dealing with a pretty huge grab bag.

But more than shining a light on his catalog, this tour serves to reinforce just how powerful Cornell’s voice remains. At 51, he’s applying it to reframed versions of “Black Hole Sun,” “Blow Up the Outside World” and “Doesn’t Remind Me.” But he’s also throwing in material from his recent round of killer viral covers, including a room-flattening “Nothing Compares 2 U,” a rewrite of “The Times They Are a’Changin’,” (in Cornell’s version, they aren’t) “Thank You” (something that probably happens after three solid decades of Plant comparisons) and a live mashup of Metallica’s “One” vs. U2’s “One,” which sounds like it has no right to work and then totally does.

Here’s how he makes his picks, via the Indy Star.

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Luke Bryan Is About to Play to an Awful Lot of People in Indiana (via Indy Star)

636028018097583505-PR-shot-A-Jim-WrightIndy Star — If you’re a fan of beach-country megalith Luke Bryan, you are in the right state. This weekend, Bryan plays back-to-back nights at the Klipsch Music Center, the only act pulling a double-shot there this summer. In October, he’ll bring his eighth annual Farm Tour back to picturesque Spangler Farms near Fort Wayne. All told, in the next three months, Bryan will play to something like 65,000 people in Indiana, after having done basically the same thing last year. (If you’re counting, he also performed in Evansville in February.)

Of all the seat-fillers (and shakers) in country, Bryan is one of the most astonishingly reliable; he and Kenny Chesney could easily spend an evening comparing stadium-show statistics. But for all his success singing of the party life, there are hints of change: Bryan retired his series of annual beer-splashed Spring Break concerts and EPs last year, which was both cause for sadness among his Coppertone-and-bikini-topped fans and probably a solid idea, as — let’s be honest — he’s knocking on 40, married to his high-school sweetheart and raising three kids.

More from one of country’s most reliable draws at the Indy Star.

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Trevor Noah Comes to Indy, Has Some Thoughts on That One Guy (via Indy Star)

trevornoah

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Indy Star — As luck would have it, Trevor Noah calls precisely four seconds after the phone bings to announce President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, a move that will inflame the already preeeeeetty well inflamed political universe for the next seven hours — the exact time that Noah and his team will be expected to gauge, parse and tear apart reaction on “The Daily Show.” Happily, Noah is reassuring when I mention the terrible timing: “Don’t worry about that,” he says with a chuckle, “In this election cycle, every day’s terrible timing.”

Indeed, in six months as host of “The Daily Show,” Noah, 32, has been expected to not only assume control of the mothership of American political satire but also inhabit the spirit of its previous host, all while dealing with the unhinged nuttiness of what everyone keeps calling a presidential race. He arrived with a strong pedigree — Noah was a rock star in his native South Africa and had spent years on the American comedy circuit — but his nomination was still a huge surprise, the christening of a new face who’d quickly earned Jon Stewart’s blessings but had actually appeared on his show all of three times. It’s an insanely demanding position, and not one you’d think would lend itself to jetting around for stand-up dates.

More from the Daily Show host. 

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He’s the DJ: Jazzy Jeff on the Fresh Prince Reunion Tour, the NWA Movie and His Old Name (via Indy Star)

He's the DJ.

He’s the DJ.

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Indy Star — In case you’re wondering if famous people ever do this sort of thing, yes, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince will occasionally find themselves staring at each other like, “Can you believe this?”

“It’s like you’re in this taxi on this amazing ride, and you don’t know when it’ll be over so you just learn to sit back and enjoy the view,” says DJ Jazzy Jeff. “I never got used to this. I’ll never be used to this.”

By day, Jazzy Jeff is the the exceedingly humble 51-year-old Jeff Townes of Philadelphia, who talks like a guy who’s sold about 5 million fewer albums than he has. But he spent the beginning of his 30-year career as half of one of hip-hop’s most recognizable mainstream duos and the rest evolving into a godfather among DJs and a turntablist who continues to drop jaws. “(Music) has taken me around the world 50 times over. I’ve gone to places I couldn’t pronounce when I started,” he says. “And I can’t help but go back to the idea that it’s two turntables, a mixer and some records that put me here.”

More at the Indy Star.

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Ask Me Anything: Jamie Hyneman, Outgoing MythBuster (via Indianapolis Monthly)

JamieHyneman-357x500

Jamie Hyneman, MythBuster and Indiana guy

Indianapolis Monthly — After a 14-year run for Discovery Channel’s MythBusters, January marks the beginning of the final season for the series that brought viewers duct-tape boats, rocket-powered Chevy Impalas, and all manner of explosions. While fans might be disappointed, the show’s serious special-effects impresario—a Columbus native and Indiana University grad—is looking forward to the peace and quiet.

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You just wrapped up filming. Are you going out with a bang? 

I have a couple of days, and then I take off for the Mythbusters live tour. It will in all likelihood be my last time in the public eye. Something will likely pop up here and there, but for the last 14 years, I’ve been only a few days or weeks away from a camera crew. It’s odd—I’m someone who is not very gregarious, doesn’t crave attention, doesn’t talk much and am not that good at it. And yet for the longest single period in my life of doing one thing, that’s exactly what’s been required of me. That’s why I’m often told I seem cranky on-camera. But it also seems to be a prominent part of the on-screen chemistry between me and Adam [Savage].

The full Q&A at Indianapolis Monthly.

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Five Nights in the Life of the Drive-By Truckers (via Live Nation TV)

Patterson Hood (Erika Goldring/Getty Images)

Patterson Hood (Erika Goldring/Getty Images)

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Live Nation TV — The banner men of southern rock Drive-By Truckers just released a marquee live album this fall. The deluxe version of It’s Great To Be Alive runs three-plus-hours, and comes packaged as a 3-CD behemoth (or 5-LP, if you prefer your behemothing more analog) that includes 35 songs drawn band over the last two decades. And even though the band has played over 2,000 shows since they formed in 1996, co-founder Patterson Hood feels that now’s the perfect time to document it.

“We’re glad people seem to be excited. You never know when it could be, ‘Ugh, these guys again,'” laughs Hood, calling from his new home base in Portland, where he and his family moved this year.

It’s Great To Be Alive, recorded last fall over three nights at the Fillmore in San Francisco, was designed to approximate the loose, rambling feel of one of those 2,000 shows. (A one-disc best-of version titled This Weekend’s the Night! is coming, too.) The band never actually operates with a setlist, so they cull from all corners of their sprawling catalog, from a pre-Truckers track called “Runaway Train” to material from last year’s sterling English Oceans.

“We wanted it to be like an ultimate playlist, from our point of view and the fans’,” Hood said. “I had so much fun getting all geeky about that shit.” Here’s what they came up with.

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5 Nights in the Life of the Zac Brown Band (via Live Nation TV)

Pictured: Zac Brown, and 4,000 phones.

Pictured: Zac Brown, and 4,000 phones.

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Live Nation TV — At this point in their career, Zac Brown Band’s rolodex weighs a ton. Originally a promising country outfit with a quiver of early singles and a killer fiddle player, the group quickly outgrew its country trappings to become not only one of the liveliest bands on the road, but one whose list of known associates is quite expansive. They claim Alan Jackson, Kenny Chesney, Dave Grohl, and Jimmy Buffett as collaborators, as well as Chris Cornell, Sara Bareilles, the Allman Brothers, and James Taylor. And earlier this year, the band set a record when they sold out three straight back-to-back concerts at Boston’s Fenway Park.

“We were embraced by country radio and fans, and we’re proud and happy about that,” says drummer Chris Fryar. “Country fans are rabid, but musically, we always sort of ran the gamut of influences. We never considered ourselves to be an exclusively country band, just a band.”

Of course, one doesn’t simply “break out of country.” It takes a career full of ups and downs, navigating a minefield of risks and failures, and just the right amount of luck. As such, we asked Fryar to recount his five most memorable shows from the band’s storied history. 

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The 5 Best Faith No More Concerts, According to Faith No More (via Live Nation TV)

Pretty flowers. (Photo / Jonathan Cohen)

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Live Nation TV — When Faith No More started playing gigs in seedy San Francisco clubs three decades ago, the idea that they’d one day headline arenas was almost as absurd as the music they were making. But their 2015 comeback, like pretty much everything they did throughout the ’80s and ’90s, has exceeded expectations.

“People seem to like the new record,” says the 52-year-old founding keyboardist Roddy Bottum. “Of course there’s the nostalgia factor, but we also see people who heard about the band but never saw the band, who maybe feel like they missed something the first time around.”

Bottum shares five memorable shows fans might have missed over at Live Nation TV.

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