Sunday, May 31, 2009

Linda Draper live @ Googies Lounge/The Living Room - 5/21/09

On May 21, 2009 Linda Draper played to a packed house at Googies Lounge (Upstairs at The Living Room) in support of her latest LP "Bridge and Tunnel".

Linda with help from her band: Anders Griffen (drums) and Scott Fragala (stand-up bass) breezed through tracks from the LP

The set included her single release "Broken Eggshell"

A video of this performance can be viewed here:

Other songs played were "Sharks And Royalty", "Time Will Tell", "Pushing Up The Day", "Bridge And Tunnel" among others. Draper also included a slew of new material - in particular her reading of the classic Odetta track "Sail Away Lady" which will be released this Summer via UK Magazine Wears The Trouser.


The music press worldwide continues to praise Linda Draper's latest effort - her latest single "Sharks And Royalty" is featured in MAGNET MAGAZINE's MP3 At 3 Spotlight. Read more:



The full set list played

In attendance were the Planting Seeds label founders

William Hickey and Neil DelParto

Next up: Linda will kickoff her mini West Coast Tour on June 4th playing in support of Cotton Jones & The Parson Red Heads - You can pick up advance tickets at TICKETWEB (TICKETMASTER). Linda's June 8th show @ Silverlake Lounge is also available for advance purchase - pick tickets up via IN TICKETING.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Gliss : 05.04.09 - 05.11.09: The New York Memoirs

We follow the Los Angeles based indie trio Gliss for three nights in New York City. Performing at the Mercury Lounge, Union Hall in Brooklyn, and Pianos on Ludlow Street we are there every step of the way. We present the NYC Memoirs with recaps of the NYC run as well as an interview from the depths of the Mercury!

Exclusive Pre-Show Interview:

Gliss is a post-grunge trio based out of Los Angeles, California featuring multi-instrumentalists Martin Klingman, Victoria Cecilia and David Reiss. During their live performances, the members swap their instruments around, creating dark, garage-rock reverberations that resemble the underground sound created by their L.A. predecessors. When Cecilia grabs the mic, she offers the same raspy harmony that placed another L.A. band, Hole, into the national spotlight. Complete with sharp, distorted guitar licks and simple drum beats, Gliss has recently released their second full-length album, Devotion Implosion.

I caught up with the relentlessly touring band prior to their first of what would turn out to be three New York area shows in an eight-day period. Sequestering them down in the bowels of the Mercury Lounge, the recorder went on as a barrage of questions were asked and answered.

DaveCromwell: I'd like to talk about your recently released album, Devotion Implosion. The opening track is fantastic. How did "Morning Light" come about and evolve?

Martin: It came together almost instantly. That was one of the songs written last.

David: Second to last. "Sleep" was the last one.

Martin: It was towards the tail end. We had already recorded half the record. We were probably just screwing around, like always.

Victoria : The song itself just sort of came together. We just started playing it and it was almost kind of like we knew it already.

So it just came out of a jam?

David: That's how most of our songs come about.

I was going to ask you about that. Does one person bring in a mostly completed song and then present it to the band for recording?

David: Rarely it happens like that. Usually when we try to force a song or an idea, or even a sound or structure, it hardly ever works out.

Martin: It sounds forced.

David: Pretty much 95% of the stuff we release just comes together as a jam, and it's got to come together almost effortlessly.

Getting back to "Morning Light" - the lyric, is it "when your high" or "in your heart" - or both?

Martin: "Heart"

At no time, do you say "when you're high?"

Martin: No drug reference.

Victoria : Not in that song!

David: We don't condone drug use of any sort (said in a stern authoritative voice).

I like songs that are open to interpretation, and don't necessarily say the same thing each time through.

Martin: It's very minimal lyrics. It's more about the mood. I feel like I could kinda sing anything over that song and it would work. It's very melodic and chordal and lush - setting a mood. The message is simple.

Alright, moving on - the song "29 Acts of Love" - what does that refer to? Are there, in fact, 29 specific acts of love?

Martin: There are, actually. I wrote each of the 29 acts of love. That was one thing that I did write and create. You live in a world where you need a little fiction sometimes. I'm actually not a big fiction person, per se.

So, you don't read much of it?

Martin: I read very little to begin with [chuckles from bandmates]. But when I do it's usually biographies. It's got to be something concrete. I have trouble grasping this made up stuff. Once in a while I'll create a little fiction, though.

The lyric is "look out world, here I am" or "here I come?"

Martin: Both

It has a sonically abrasive element to it. Is that a keyboard synth making the pulsing, bassy sound?

Martin: Yep.

Who played that?

Martin: Victoria , I think.

Victoria : What happens is, after we're done with our songs, we just kind of screw around with some keyboards, and see if adding something works. We put keyboards on every song, and then we delete most of it.

Martin: It's called going beyond. When you go beyond you sometimes realize it's taking something away. Then on certain songs it totally works, like on "Beauty". That came in later - it wasn't written in at first.

Victoria : We used to do it with acoustic guitar. Every time we recorded a song, this guy (points to David) was there.

David: She hates acoustic guitar, for the record.

Victoria : He'd be like 'let's throw an acoustic guitar on there,' and I'd be 'no, let's not do that!' And they'd be like, 'well, if it doesn't sound good, we won't use it.' But then when we'd be mixing, they'd say 'let's keep it in there.'

David: Because it sounds great!

I understand the whole concept that you can kill a song by adding too many things. In this current age of practically unlimited multiple tracks, the real challenge becomes knowing what to leave out. The fact that you self-produced this record must have presented those issues.

Martin: I felt like we kept it pretty minimal, actually. I mean, the record sounds bigger than it actually is.

It sounds massive.

Martin: There's really not a lot going on. There's a lot of space.

There's not a lot of instruments, but it just sounds so big.

David: We wanted to be able to recreate it live too. I hate to go see a band live who has this amazing record and then their live show doesn't even come close.

Your song "Sleep" is a dream-like, trippy groove. What was the initial inspiration behind that?

David: That riff. Just jamming on that riff.

Martin: That went on the record almost out of a jam. All I had was a vocal melody. I didn't have any lyrics - we only had some demos of us jamming. We knew it felt good, and we just recorded it without even knowing how long the verses or bridge were going to be.

Victoria : That was the best. While we were recording, we were just looking at each other, signaling.

Martin: So, once it was recorded, we then had to learn it. We kept arguing where it really started, and where the lyrics were.

David: That's why my guitar part follows you on the second verse and not on the first verse - because you go up before the guitar goes up.

In the quieter passages of the song, it reminded me of that Cure song "Snakepit." Do you know that one?

Martin: Off of Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me.

Right. It's got that slithering kind of groove.

Martin: That record was a big influence for me on this record because I wanted to try and achieve that massiveness. I don't know how they did it, but it was in my head the whole time.

Victoria : Yeah, like that first song off that album - it goes for like 10 minutes before they start singing. I love that.

Yeah, I love any kind of unconventional music like that, too. Now, there is this one guitar chord in that song, right before the bridge - is it a minor chord?

David: It's a jazz chord.

I like it a lot. It works well there.

Martin: It hits your ear and brings you in.

I feel obligated, at the very least, to mention The Jesus & Mary Chain - only because I have been accused of doing so in every feature I do.

Martin: Of course we know about them, but they're just not a huge influence on any of us.

You referenced a mutual influence, that being The Velvet Underground.

Martin: And the 50's and 60's music - the Phil Spector stuff. That's what I was thinking in my head when we were doing "Morning Light".

The Raveonettes fall into that ballpark as well. In their case, they do an Everly Brothers meets MaryChain and Velvet Underground and their own thing.

Martin: They're all great bands. All those bands are awesome.

I know you are a big Lou Reed fan as well.

Martin: All his solo stuff is incredible. I'm getting into Sally Can't Dance (1974) at the moment.

Victoria : Martin got a tattoo in Portland.

Really? What is it of?

Martin: Lady Liberty.

David: It's like a 1940's sailor's tattoo. It's pretty cool.

Is it like a hot chick?

Martin: Yeah, she's pretty voluptuous. Her name is Libby.

This is the first time you are revealing this?

Martin: Yup. You're the first to hear about it.

I'm honored. OK, getting back to your music, the song "Beauty" was released in advance of the album. It has a very poetic chorus that goes "you gotta save my soul, it's just an empty hole, there's no where to go."

Martin: In the heavy world we live in, sometimes we feel like that.

Oftentimes we feel like that.

Martin: That song came together just like "Morning Light" and "Sleep" -- through jamming. Then we taped a demo of it. Then we came back four months after and recorded it.

There was a report in the press a while back, where you took off your clothes at a UK show. What was that all about?

Martin: We were just getting tired of everything being safe, boring and predictable. Go to a show - see a band - good night. We were like, let's just muck it up.

Victoria : Let's have fun. We didn't realize it at the time, but there was a bunch of kids in the audience.

Martin: It was an all ages show. [Laughter]

Victoria : There were a bunch of moms with their kids.

Martin: There were a couple of 12-year-olds out there, seeing a naked woman for the first time.

Victoria : Ha, ha. It's true - I was their first.

David: 3,000 camera phones started flashing up in the air.

Where exactly was this?

Martin: It was this huge show in Norwich, England .

Victoria : There were 3,000 people. It was awesome.

Martin: Then we tried to do it again in England at The Forum and they wouldn't let us go on.

David: Not until we guaranteed them that we wouldn't do it again.

Martin: They stalled and stalled - told us all these lies that there were power problems - it was ridiculous.

Victoria : For the rest of the tour, we would get people screaming at us "take off your trousers!'"

Martin: It was fun.

I like the way you keep your fans updated with quickie, from-the-road video clips on YouTube. Recently we saw some incidents involving bottles of pee.

Martin: Sometimes you gotta' go. In San Francisco, the biggest bridge in the United States takes you from Oakland into the city. Right before we were about to get on it, I was already about to explode.

David: We were stuck in traffic and held up at a toll booth.

Martin: You have to be very relaxed to urinate with a couple of people a foot away from you.

David: Filming you. [Laughter]

You also seem to have a lot of crazy fun in bathrooms.

Martin: That's where the most fun happens. Lovers in the bathroom.

Ha. Which is another great song of yours. I take it there was a party at one point and people were doing it in the bathroom?

Victoria : Pretty much.

David & Martin together: Who hasn't done that?

Victoria : We throw a lot of bathroom parties after our shows.

Can you explain how the title of the album Devotion Implosion came about?

Martin: I wanted to capture the mood of the album. It felt like where we were at, and where the music was at.

But, did you feel like something in your life was "imploding?" - rather than an outward explosion?

Martin: There were times while working on this record that we felt like we were losing it, almost. Because it meant so much to us, we stayed completely devoted to it. So, those two words just sort of fell together.

With show time approaching the band left the comfort of the exposed, pipe-laden, basement hideout of the Mercury Lounge for a room buzzing with anticipation.

Gliss Live at the Mercury Lounge 05.04.2009 NYC



Two nights later, Gliss brought their traveling road show over to the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn, and the unique venue that is Union Hall.


Spy vs Spy

Gliss:: 05.11.2009 :: Pianos





For videos of this performance please visit:

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Lovetones/PSR Showcase, May 1 & 2, 2009

The Lovetones kicked off a US tour in support of their recently released album Dimensions with back to back shows in New York. Hailing from Australia, the Planting Seeds Records recording artists played Friday, May 1, 2009 at Pianos in Manhattan, and the following night at Cameo in Brooklyn.

The core of the band consists of frontman/vocalist/guitarist and songwriter Matthew J. Tow.
A second Matthew - Sigley plays bass, keyboards and provides vocal harmonies as well as an occasional lead vocal.

For the purposes of this tour, the band enlisted the help of Rob Campanella on second guitar and keyboards. Rob is a talented musician who has also played with the Brian Jonestown Massacre, his own band Quarter After, as well as mixing and co-producing The Lovetones latest album.

Rob provided essential keyboard melody lines at significant moments in a number of songs.

While adding guitar depth throughout the set.

Completing the quartet most capably on drums was Nelson Bragg,
who's road chops include time in legendary Beach Boy Brian Wilson's band.

Enough can't be said about the incredible harmonies the two principal members of the band engaged in throughout the show. With Matthew J. Tow's central, mid-range timbre, Matt Sigley would provide these perfect high tones that added an overall shimmer to the vocals.

Matthew Sigley is equally a most sophisticated bass player. His fingerwork and overall high-level of playing ability was a pleasure to witness.

Matthew J. Tow played this mysterious and wondeful sounding 12-string Vox Ultrasonic guitar. I leared from a fellow-blogger I met at the show that this was indeed something of a rare instrument.

However, it was the jams that really drove it all home for me.

Check this video clip out, and see what I mean:

The show's set list. Shot "blogger syle" (upside down on the stage - with a thirst-quenching beverage perched on top).

Catching up with PSR label boss Neil DiParto and his partner's lovely wife Christen.

Hanging out with PSR honcho William Hickey and longtime label artist, singer/songwriter Linda Draper.

Supporting the Lovetones for these shows was a tuneful and energetic band named
The Young Sinclairs

Getting a chance to chat with Matthew J. Tow at the venue.

Saturday night brought us over to Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

The venue was this interesting art space / back bar / stage called Cameo,
located in the back of a cafe/restaurant called The Lovin Cup Cafe.

Hovering over the stage like a giant pulsing sea creature was this incredibly unique piece of art sculpture. Quite simple in design, it actually served as a visual amplification source for the show's lighting. It reflected all the colors being projected on it, and made for something of a most unique and stimulating light show.

It gave the vibe of one of those Wharholian loft performances the Velvet Underground played around New York in the late 1960's.

The tightly packed, enthusiastic crowd were grooving out to jams and jingle.

On this night, the band would take their jams even higher.
Witness the improvisational greatness as they take the psychedelic trip further still - all under a pulsing, undulating, shimmering art sculpture light show. Of note, Matthew Sigley's manic keyboard work.

Matt Tow's vocals, songwriting and guitar playing shows depth and maturity. There is an acknowledgment and reverence for the classic 60's era music - while at the same time, a creative desire to push it past those initial boundaries.

Matt Sigley's bass playing is sophisticated without ever being intrusive or too busy.

The show had been building progressively throughout the set - becoming more intense and energy charged. Inspired by the responsive and raucous crowd, Matthew Tow charged into the audience while still playing his guitar for the shows final song. It was a surreal experience as he swung his wireless guitar around, still very much live - and started handing it to random people to chime its strings.

Check out the video evidence of this:

It was a true edgy rock & roll moment!

The Lovetones are a unique blend of traditional, structured, song-based music - combined with frequent sonic forays into extended tripped-out jams. It's an intriguing mix worth checking out.

The Planting Seeds braintrust - Neil and William.

Corporate charge card at the ready.

Web references: