Posts Tagged ‘Braid’

Discorder June 1999 - Interview with Braid by Jeremy Baker and photos by Jay Douillard
Well isn’t this neat. As I was telling you the other day… I’ve been on a bit of a Braid kick.  And I remembered interviewing the band during their final tour before splitting up  in mid-1999.  I emailed Discorder Magazine and Chirag found the article and scanned it for me! What a stud.

So there ya go (click the image to make it big)… Braid in 1999 talking to a 19-year-old college radio kid at The Starfish Room months before the breakup.  I can’t remember the exact date of the concert but the interview ran in the June 1999 issue of Discorder.  I also got a copy of that TAKE ACTION Punk rock sampler… neat, advertising works.

The show was rad and the guys were great…. The band would end up splitting up after the summer.  Bob Nanna would form a new group called Hey Mercedes.  Just as the whole emo thing started to swell they’d end up on one of the alpha emo record labels, Vagrant.  They released a couple records including 2003’s Lost Control.

Go with thy self.

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I have returned from Atomic City, USA to the radio factory.  Lots of emails, radio theory, and music to catch up on.

Vegas is a fun town, but not a music town.  I have heard these tales of Vegas being the EDM capital of THE WORLD!  And it might be, but I’d never know because I just can’t pay $50 cover charge and $20 (or more) for booze listening to house music.

The rest of the time, Vegas is just never ending loop tape of classic hits and basic top 40 club-DJery.  I heard Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” a lot.

There are always wonderful exceptions.  I was wandering the Flamingo and some classic punk was blaring.  I was drinking at The Griffin and they had Arcade Fire’s “The Suburbs” jamming.

I packed some music with me… I meant to dive into Majical Cloudz, but his sad piano & vocal music was more suited to the rain days of Vancouver Island.

But plucking around my iPhone I saw that at some point I had dropped Braid‘s 1998 record Frame and Canvas on there.

One of the first bands I ever interviewed (Headstones were first) for the radio.  I went to see them during their 1999 West Coast Tour when they played for 20-or-30-some-odd folks at The Starfish Room.  I might have been the only “media” there, so the boys were exceptionally kind to 19-year-old snot-nosed me.

During some down time, in my room on the 16th Floor overlooking Caesar’s Palace on The Strip I buried my head and hit play.

A weirdly fitting tune for Vegas… Nathan Detroit was a character from Guys & Dolls that ran an illegal gambling operation.  Neat.

Go with yourself.

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The Victoria Record Club will be meeting Tuesday, April 24th at Smiths.  And I guess we’re feeling pretty basic because it is Top 5: side one, track one night.  Everyone in the club is supposed to come up with their favourites…then we’ll play selections from the lists at Smiths for a couple hours.

What does “side one, track one” mean?  Basically its a hipster way of saying… song number one on a record or album.

To me, side one, track one is hugely important and needs to do one of (or all of) three things.

01) It should be your best song.
02) It should be ripper.
03) It should introduce the listener to your album.

Breaking this down… rule number 1 is vitally important if your band is new to the world and I’ve never heard of you.  Your first song needs to immediately  grab my ears or you’re gone.  When I hosted the Morning After Show in the days when the internet was still new, it was hard to learn about bands and music streaming was not really out there.  I had to actually put your CD in the CD players and in real time listen.  If your first song was some artistic fuckery, as rad as you probably are… I just skipped to the next CD.  Cold.  But that is how it was when I had a pile of wannabes wanting airtime at 3AM on a 1000 watt FM in Vancouver.

Now… if your band has some history, or track one truly is some great studio fuckery… then jam on rule 3 and have the song be a great movie-esque introduction to your band.  A song that did not make my list (but was close) was The Appleseed Cast‘s “Ceremony.”  Huge jam, instrumental.  So perfect and sets the tone for a great album.

Instrumentals and studio fuckery is not your style?  I respect that.  and what?  Your best song is a ballad and maybe not the best side one, track one? OK (if you’re not an indie band… indie bands should still always put their BEST song first) then rule number 2 applies to you.  A ripper.  Hit my head holes with sonic choiceness.  And I will love you and grind through the dip of your shitty song two (and maybe three) to revel in the emotional depth of your stunning ballad.  Snow Patrol‘s Eyes Open kinda does this.  They want to save the jam for the single and track 2 “Hands Open” then bust your heart open with track 3, “Chasing Cars” so you get the highly energetic and lead single “You’re All I Have.”

wah wah wah…. here is my list.  If you’re a regular reader on my blog, there shouldn’t be too many surprises.  And actually, maybe you could leave me a comment if you think I screwed up my own list.  Keep in mind, the purpose of this exercise was to dig through my collection of records… so my rule was, I have to own the record.  if you think, “fuck this guy’s list! Imma make my own!”  Awesome, share the link in the comment section so I can check it out.

01) Smashing Pumpkins – “Cherub Rock”

Making a list of favourite music is always a personal experience and so I begin with some personal history.  Siamese Dream is a hugely important record for me growing up and a vinyl I only recently added to my collection.  “Cherub Rock” invokes rule 2 of Jeremy Baker’s Rules of Side One Track One.  Not the best song on the album, but the best song to hook you into the fuzzy reverberated world of Billy and company.  “Cherub Rock” is number one on my list because it does an exceptional job of telling the story of the album.  You can hear this song… and probably make your mind up whether you wanna stick around.  The album is great because if you do, you get rewarded with a collection of interesting and classic alternative songs.

02) Interpol – “Untitled”

The great albums like the great baseball teams have a strong lead off batter.  Its a role player who gets on base so the power hitter can drive in a run and the team as whole wins.  To me… I am hearing rule number 3… “Untitled” sounds like the opening credits to Turn on the Bright Lights.  Its mysterious.  Paul Banks barely sings anything… but its so emotional.  It reminds me of American Beauty when Kevin Spacey breaks the third wall and talks to the audience and says that his character dies.  Then the movie really starts.

“I will surprise you some time.  I’ll come around. When you’re down”

What an intriguing promise.  Now deliver… and they do with a masterpiece record that to this day remains Interpol’s best.  This song is not only side one track one of an album, but side one track one of their discography.  whoa…

03) The Replacements – “I Will Dare”

My favourite song from my favourite band.  And it happens to be track one, side one off their album Let It Be.  This song has done a lot to make my life better.  It was the first replacements song I heard that got me to explore more about the band.  It has gotten me through some ups and some downs in my life.  Repeated listenings as I ride this rock around the sun year-after-year bring me renewed appreciation and different interpretations.  I will probably love this song forever.

I’ll say this a rule 1 song.  Best song, Right up front.

04) Mission of Burma – “That’s When I Reach For My Revolver”

Another rule 1 song on our adventure of my Top 5: side one, track one.  The best MOB song at first listen.  The beauty of the great bands… once you’re hooked, other songs emerge as “favourites.”  But it is undeniable that “Revolver” is a powerful hook to demand attention.  You give it and the song is rewarding.  Stay with the record and you’ll quickly find other amazing songs on Signals, Calls and Marches.

I must have the Rykodisc 1997 track listing… not the original and not the Matador reissue in the 2000s.  Huh.

Up to this point, it was actually pretty easy.  I almost went right to my record pile and pulled these four records out and knew in my heart this was the list.  Then the 5th pick.

I hmmmm’d and hmmmm’d some more on a few records.  Its pretty late so my kid and Coral are sleeping.  I have my headphones plugged in (and I noticed Madelyn was playing ‘records’ because there is some damage to Numark… MADELYN OLIVIA!!!!)… and this was actually fun… playing a whole bunch of record in my pajama pants trying to find the right 5th… in the end, it came down to The Appleseed Cast, Braid’s “The New Nathan Detroits,” Japandroids and a couple Band of Horses and National LPs… but in the end, I could not deny….

05) Bon Iver – “Perth”

Side one, track one off Bon Iver’s Bon Iver record is just so god damned pretty and lush.  Another number 3 type of lead off track…. Bon Iver is doing the Bon Iver thing to introduce you to the album.  Then he gets to the jam, but only after you eat your bread.

And its called “Perth” and I have a weird romantic fascination with that far off city… that actually know nothing about and will probably never go to.  But a song called “Perth” gets my attention…. silly reason to be on my list, but its true. (and not the only reason)

After you listen to this song, you should be pretty primed to listen to the whole album.  And if all you hear is “Perth” well… you get the idea of what Justin and his band of merry Wisconsinites are all about.

And that is my list.  If you took the time to read this far and listen to some of the songs, thank you for indulging me.

Tomorrow I reckon I’ll get into the new Jack White if I have the time or talk about another great song I heard on Sons of Anarchy.

Go with yourself.

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Last night was the Victoria Record Club Meeting 06 at Talk’s Cheap Record Store downtown on Pandora.

As I am always on the search for new and fun 45s to add to my collection, I decided to buy three last night.  I am loving all my selections today.

Stream from Mixcloud: Spin 45s >> There is a treasure inside you
Download MP3 >> TreasureinYou

DJ Notes:

01) The Selecter – “The Selecter”
02) The Specials – “Gangsters”
03) Vivian Girls – “I Heard You Say”
04) Vivian Girls – “I Won’t Be Long”
05) Girls – “Laura”
06) Girls – “Oh Boy”

The first 45 up is 1979’s debut single from 2 Tone records… a split single called “Gangsters vs. The Selecter.”

I began the set with the instrumental cut from The Selecter.  I bought this record because I love the Jamaican word for DJ… “selector.”

The record also includes an early recording from The Specials.  They’d go on to have a long and storied ska career.

Changing gears and eras, but staying with a lo-fi type vibe, I have the new single from Brooklyn all-girl dream poppers, Vivian Girls.

The a-side is an interesting retro inspired teen melodrama.  Lots of harmonies and pretty sounds all recorded to sound olden tyme like.

the flip to “I Heard You Say” is a more uptempo stomper, “I Won’t Be Long.”

Fun fact: Vivian Girls are signed to Champagne, Illinois record label Polyvinyl Record Company.  That is groovy to me for two reasons.

1) Japandroids are also on Polyvinyl! awesome.
2) One of my fave records from the olden days is Braid’s Frame and Canvas… the first “big” record to come out on Polyvinyl. neat.

The set ends with San Fran’s Girls. I already have their 2009 record Album so I am familiar with the single I bought.  “Laura” is a pretty cool jam.  Also has a retro style.

Nice song about wanting to be Laura’s friend.  awwww.

“Oh Boy” calms the set right down with a ghostly lo-fi vocal and lullaby guitar. That selector, he always saves the slowest song for last…

EMOTIONS! – go with yourself.

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