The Day the Music Lived
By Christopher Gray,
1:29PM, Fri. Feb. 2, 2007
WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE: It's unlikely Feb. 2 will go down in music history the same way Feb. 3 has. Tomorrow is the 48th anniversary of "The Day the Music Died," the Clear Lake, Iowa, plane crash that claimed Buddy Holly, J.P. "the Big Bopper" Richardson, Richie Valens, and, if not for a lucky coin flip, Waylon Jennings. But today is still kind of momentous around the Chronicle music department, as it's the day we come down with the Internet-borne flu known as blogging. Like any self-respecting virus, the blogging bug slips into your system unobtrusively, but before you know it, it's taken over your life. (And there's no vaccine, either.) Since we're new at this, TCB thought for the first installment he would throw out a few of the things you might see over the next few weeks as he hand-cranks the propeller and tries to get this TCBlog contraption off the ground. Let's hope it says aloft. Please, please, please send any questions, comments, criticisms, corrections, or other feedback to email@example.com. News, sports, traffic, and weather after the break.
WEB SLINGING: According to Columbus, Ohio-based music blog DoneWaiting.com, one of the intrepid sites out to unveil as many SXSW bands as possible before the Festival finally gets around to it (and which turns 4 years old this weekend ... Herzliche Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag, yo), its post commenting on TCB's interview with SXSW's Brent Grulke is "well on its way to break the 'most comments to a post in one day' record held on the site." As of noon Friday, it was up to 36. Is that a lot? It sounds like a lot. It's here.
TCB's Grulke interview is here. And no, there's no band list yet.
TCB was nosing around the Merge Records forums yesterday and may have stumbled across a possible title and release date for the next Spoon album: If you believe the author, who in turn cites MetaCritic.com, it's Stroke Their Brains, due sometime in late spring. Or it could be Fish Fingers. Either way, while you're there, peruse Spoon's bio, written by longtime champion, onetime boss, and (fairly) recently minted Austinite Gerard Cosloy in the form of a letter to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Hey, they've got TCB's vote. Telephono came out in 1996, so only 14 more years to go!
PitchforkMedia.com spills the beans today on the forthcoming album from locally and nationally beloved indie-pop darlings Voxtrot. Frontman/songwriter Ramesh Srivastava would seem to create sparkling melodies as offhandedly as other people, um, blog, but it ain't necessarily so. "I wasn't overjoyed with the way [2006 EP Your Biggest Fan] sounded, because it all had to be done in this very rushed environment," Srivastava, now mixing the quintet's album in New York, says. "I think when that came out, I was overly terrified of critical response." That's like Dave Eggers worrying people aren't going to love his next book. Srivastava, in turn, shouts out Austin's Finally Punk and Yellow Fever in the interview. The as-yet-untitled album is tentatively due May 22 on Beggars Banquet/Playlouder, and Tosca String Quartet appears on several tracks. If you can't get into Voxtrot's SXSW show(s), fear not, they'll be back at Emo's May 25. See it all here.
The Austin Music Foundation, now celebrating Love Austin Music Month and bringing musical freshness into your living room via ME Television's Emerging Artists Series, is considering starting a nighttime day-care (huh?) program for musicians and scenesters who'd love to see more shows but can't always find a babysitter. TCB is in favor of anything that gets more hot single moms out there. Sound off at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NIGHTCLUBBING: Avoiding Red River for any length of time is like leaving food under your bed: When you go back, all sorts of gnarly things have sprouted up. Last night, after only a week's absence, TCB stumbled across five local groups for the first time and, amazingly, enjoyed them all: the dirty Gang of Four groove of the Noise Revival Orchestra Experience at Club de Ville, Interpol-ish Diagonals (featuring Dazed and Confused's Wiley Wiggins) at Beerland, Anglicized prog-pop of AUX at Beauty Bar, blues-tinged CBGB punk of Big Black Smoke back at Beerland, and, finally, the tenderhearted noise-rock of Ringo Deathstarr at Beauty Bar (think Love & Rockets, Jesus & Mary Chain, Kim & Thurston). Naturally he missed the bands he originally planned to see, but everybody knows Manikin and Horse + Donkey are awesome and will be next time.
LIFE IS A PLAYLIST: A few weeks back, Ye Olde Music editor asked TCB to ease up on the Big Tracks (XM 49) of classic rock cranking from his nearby cubicle. In the rough-and-tumble environment of the Chronicle editorial bullpen, this is like yanking away a toddler's security blanket. (Literally. TCB gets mighty cranky without his REO Speedwagon.) However, it was a fine opportunity to explore new territories of the XM Nation, and he has since been spending a good deal of time at the dark end of the Soul Street (XM 60), with side trips to Bluesville (XM 74) and America (XM 10). Ethel's house (XM 47) is pretty cozy, but nothing beats lounging at Fred's (XM 44). Working on this blog alone, TCB has heard the Violent Femmes' "Add It Up," OMD's "If You Leave," Depeche Mode's "Everything Counts," Pixies' "Wave of Mutilation," and U2's "Gloria." Each, as Ricky Bobby might say, has won a Grammy for Best Song Ever Made.