All posts by connorxc

Upcoming shows in the capital district!

Believe it or not, there are some great shows coming up in the capital district. A few high-profile acts felt like they should come to Albany for some reason. Whatever that reason may be, we are reaping the benefits as music lovers.

St. Vincent at Upstate Concert Hall

Saturday March 7

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Annie Clark of St. Vincent recently won the Best Alternative Album Grammy for her excellent 2014 effort, St. Vincent. Tickets are still available for her show at Upstate Concert Hall in Clifton Park.

http://upstateconcerthall.com/calendar/st-vincent/

Taking Back Sunday and The Menzingers at Upstate Concert Hall

Sunday March 15

For fans of pop punk singalongs, both of these bands will not disappoint. Thankfully, the show is on a Sunday, which by now I would assume has been taken back.

http://upstateconcerthall.com/calendar/taking-back-sunday/

Sufjan Stevens at the Palace Theater

Wednesday April 15

With beautiful orchestral pop arrangements, and poignant, expressive songwriting, Sufjan Stevens is finally coming out with his first official non-Christmas album since 2010’s The Age of Adz. You can see him in April at what is arguably the nicest venue in Albany.

http://palacealbany.com/EventsandTickets/EventTickets/event.aspx?eid=e4cf1112-0927-4937-9d18-3cd0c5120691

Essential Albums: The Microphones- The Glow Pt. 2

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In the midst of a harsh, snowy winter, there are few albums that reinforce the feeling of bitter coldness as well as The Glow Pt. 2. The Microphones are the solo work of Phil Elverum whose desperate songwriting goes perfectly with the organic instrument sounds he created in the studio. Ambient noise runs consistently in the background behind spindly acoustic guitars which weave back and forth in the stereo field. There are crashing instrumental sections and periods of stillness, much like the schedule-halting snowstorm and the calm afterward. The album was recorded entirely without the use of digital effects on analog audio tape. There is a distinct warmth of tone present in the frozen soundscapes. An extremely interesting podcast for fans of how tracks are created, called Song Exploder, did a spotlight on the first track of the album, I Want Wind to Blow. It can be listened to here: http://songexploder.net/episode-13-the-microphones/

You Blew It! Interview

I got a chance to interview You Blew It! in Georgia over the summer on their tour with Say Anything, The Front Bottoms, and The So-So Glos. You Blew It! is Tanner (guitar/vox), Andy Anaya (guitar), Andrew Vila (bass) and Matt (drums).

Since then, the band released an EP of Weezer covers entitled You Blue It, and unfortunately had much of their gear stolen out of their van. They are still touring, however, with Citizen and Hostage Calm and have an upstate NY date in Poughkeepsie on October 7.

You can stream You Blue It! right here:

Where did you get your band name from? Does it have anything to do with the scene in Billy Madison when he screams ‘You blew it!!!’?

Tanner: Sort of. We started saying it to each other. It’s from a Tim and Eric skit. We used to have a really bad band name, not that this is a good band name. We were called Run Home Jack. We played one show and we we were like, ‘Oh, you blew it, you blew it, you blew it’ and then finally one day our old drummer was like, ‘Let’s make that the band name!’ I was like ‘You are a moron’ and then Billy Madison was on and that part came up…

How has the tour been so far?

Tanner: Sick as- are we allowed to say certain words? Sick as fuck! Holy shit dog!

Is it weird being the first of four bands on such a big tour?

Matt: No, it’s still a joy. Obviously there aren’t as many people in the beginning.
Andy A: There are still a shit ton of people.
Matt: Yeah, it’s about triple the amount of people we usually play to.

Do you still get nervous at all when you perform?

Matt: Yeah.
Andy V: Yeah.
Andy A: I don’t get nervous. (laughter)
Tanner: I didn’t think I did but the first show of the tour we did was a 1500 cap and they had a screen in front of the stage so you could walk on stage and set up your gear without people seeing you. Finally 8 o clock rolls around and the screen starts rolling up and there is a roar of applause. That first show made me nervous.

Who is the most fun to hang out with on tour?

Matt: We know the Front Bottoms the best.
Andy A: We did a tour with them in January so when we started this tour we were already buddy buddy with them, but everybody’s been super nice. There isn’t one person on this tour that I couldn’t have a conversation with or ask what’s the best burrito joint in town.

You mentioned at the show that you’re a big Say Anything fan. Do you have a favorite song?

Tanner: This is kind of a weird favorite song, but I really like Hate Everyone. It sounds kind of cliche but I can’t get that song out of my head.

How was having Evan Weiss from Into It. Over It. help record your album?

Andy A: He did an exceptional job. I think he helped us realize what we were doing. We owe a lot to him.

I know some dudes who were in a fairly popular band who told me that Evan Weiss is not the nicest guy to his peers. I love Into It. Over It. and was surprised to hear that.

Tanner: He’s one of those guys who takes care of the people that he likes, and treats them well, people that respect him, like give respect get respect. It sounds like stupid ‘cholo.’
Andy A: No that shit’s real dude, I completely agree.
Tanner He’s very… I feel like cliquey is the wrong word.
Andy A: Like once you’re with him, you’re with him.

How is being on Topshelf Records?

Tanner: Those guys were friends even before we signed, so the friendship continues on. But they didn’t follow my girlfriend back on Instagram so this is our resignation from the label.
Andy A: No dude we need to stay on their label!

I saw Modern Baseball in Philly a few weeks ago and Brendan told a funny story. He said the first time he crowdsurfed was at a You Blew It! show. Do you remember that?

Andy A: Shit! That was the summer. We played with Mixtapes and Lightyears and Modern Baseball. Yeah, that was fucking awesome. He looked so frightened but so happy.

Do you have a favorite city you like to play in?

Andy A: I have a two way tie: I love Montreal and I also love Seattle. Atlanta is great too. Matt: California is sick too. I love Cali.
Tanner: I love going to Seattle but I think I love playing in LA or Philly.
Andy V: I like Boston, that feels like a hometown show.
Andy A: Philly can get it too.

Do you have any opinions on Spotify and music streaming? Do you think it helps bands?

Tanner: Absolutely. If you do it correctly. Modern Baseball owns all their songs, them personally and they make a good amount of money off it. Nothing to keep them afloat the rest of their lives, but they did digital distribution correctly, they make their money off Spotify, but we did it wrong. We didn’t do that and Spotify fucks us. We’ve been on Spotify for two and a half years and we still haven’t seen one cent. It’s not really about the money. It’s sick as hell to be streaming to everyone.
Andy A: If someone hears our song and comes out to a show, that’s amazing.

Would you mind me asking how old you guys are?

Tanner: Yes I mind, fuck off. (laughter)
Andy V: You can’t ask my age or weight.
Tanner: I am 23 years old and 176 pounds.
Matt: I am 25 and 172 pounds.
Andy A: I am 24 and rockin’ 212.
Andy V: I’m 23 and sitting happy at 160.

Did school ever in the way of the band?

Andy V: Yeah well luckily I graduated. Me and Tanner got out of that jawn. Andy is in a pickle.
Andy A: Well I took a year and a half off of school to work. And then we did a big spring tour. Tanner was still in school. I took another semester off and I was like, ‘Yo, if this band is still doing shit, let’s go. I wanna go as far as we can.’ I keep putting it off. I went back for a year and I only have a small amount of credit hours to do. To be honest, I don’t really care at this point.
Tanner: I didn’t even take time off. I just told them I won’t be here on this class or this class, I’m gonna be on tour, sorry. C’s get degrees though.
Andy A: Somebody told me that UCF stands for U Can’t Finish and I’m starting to believe it.

Do you have any advice for kids trying to break into the scene with all of these great new punk bands like you and the Front Bottoms?

Tanner: Be genuine, do what you like to do, because it’s gonna show, and obviously fuckin’ push it. Not to the extent like ‘Hey dude here’s my record’ or stand in front of Warped with an iPod, but like play shows, do whatever you can do, don’t piss people off and that’s it.
Andy A: For any scene, not just ours, don’t stop. I’ve been playing shows since I was 15 and things are coming around 10 years into it. Just don’t ever give up. I’ve played every style of music, been in every different kind of band, just don’t ever ever give up because that’s what matters.
Tanner: There’s some really big parallels, if you read stupid Buzzfeed articles, like ways to get past the first 2-3 years in starting your own business, and everything they list is like everything that we went through with this band. You go through lulls, like you lose a lot of money, your car breaks down in Missouri, you have horrible times but it’s all worth it because obviously you enjoy what you do.
Andy A: I’m gonna say the cheesiest quote ever but it really does resonate with me and my brother says it to me all the time. ‘Every flower that ever bloomed had to go through a whole lot of dirt to get there.’
Tanner: And his brother was in Pitch Perfect! (laughter) Just end it there. No explanation.