Hailer: Anyway I Can [Single]

HealerAlthough Hailer may have a reputation for simple psychedelic rock and roll with some sort of strange derivative of the obscure scattered amongst their tunes, any wondering if these cats could create a pop-fused masterpiece should be completely dismissed as any chance of being fact when “Anyway I Can” begins to splinter your ear drums.  This is a song that could serve as the “interesting music in the background of any independent film from the 1990’s”.  I can only imagine how much Cameron Crowe would approve of a band like Healer.  This is grandiose stuff, this is fun.

Yes, this is an Australian act.  This fact almost makes me feel bad about the fact that their style reminds me of some of the classic English fuzz pop bands (specifically from Exeter) that I have become such a fan of over the last few years.  But, I will be damned if I didn’t feel as enlightened by their lyrics and mad rush fortitude that I find just as impressive as acts like Simon Bish and National Pastime.  Save for the more hardcore innuendos and electric guitar skills, the sound is similar and simply just as brilliant.  Yes, Hailer is a band that is been killing it for a while, but it definitely feels as though they have truly found their voice and skill.  This a band that the modern ages should listen to, and feel proud that something this phenomenal can still exist in this, our time of dying.

James Lough shares This Ain’t No Holiday Inn: Down and Out at the Chelsea Hotel 1980-1995 in Portland, OR [Event]

ChelseaThere really is no other hotel quite like New York’s Chelsea Hotel. During its heyday from the 1960s to the 1990s, the Chelsea Hotel was a home and safe haven for Beat poets rubbing shoulders with machine-gun toting gangsters, performance artists partying with con artists, and film directors riding elevators with directors of drug rings.

This Saturday (June 29th, 2013), author James Lough comes to Portland, Oregon to share his oral history of the Chelsea Hotel “This Ain’t No Holiday Inn: Down and Out at the Chelsea Hotel 1980-1995.” The reading takes place on Saturday, June 29th at the Jack London Bar in SW Portland (529 SW 4th Avenue) at 6:30 p.m. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. for a special free lecture for hopeful authors. Lough will be joined by actor Murri Lazaroff-Babin, best known for his portrayal of Sid Vicious from a stage adaptation of “Sid & Nancy.”

We took a moment to sit down with James Lough to learn a little more about why he decided to write the book, and what makes the Chelsea Hotel such an interesting subject for a book.

Why did you decide to write this book?

I decided to write the book when my brother-in-law, Robert Campbell, kept asking me things like, “Hey, y’ever heard of Herbert Huncke? He was the first Beat writer. I used to live next to that guy at the Chelsea.”  I did know the Beats, but I’d never heard of Herbert Huncke, so I figured he was a very minor figure, peripheral to the movement. Then, two weeks later, while reading a book review, I saw The Collected Works of Herbert Huncke. Turns out Huncke WAS the first Beat writer. He had turned Kerouac and Ginsberg onto the mean streets in Times Square, and as a result they dropped out of Columbia and hit the streets.

From then on, when my brother-in-law said things like “I knew Dee Dee Ramone — I was in a band with him at the Chelsea,” I started to take him more seriously. After grilling him about these things, and phoning people he connected me with, I realized I had great material for a book.

Who are some of the more famous people that you feature in this book?

The most famous people featured in the book are beat writers (Herbert Huncke, Gregory Corso, Marty Matz) punk rockers (Dee Dee Ramone and Johnny Thunders) and various other artist/writers/musicians like playwright Arthur Miller, composer Virgil Thompson, Warhol scion Viva, jazz bassist Jaco Pastorius, writer Thomas Wolfe, musicians Tom Waits and Phillip Glass, photographers William Eggleston and Louis Faurer.

What made the Chelsea Hotel such an interesting subject?

The Chelsea was so interesting because it was the biggest, longest-lasting artist’s colony in US history, maybe the history of the world. It provided an encouraging, even libertine atmosphere that encouraged artists to create great art (and to burn out spectacularly if they made some shaky choices.) Not only that, but because management looked the other way when the artists got a little crazy or debauched, it was also an attractive place for criminals. So Beat writers rode the elevators with gangsters, con artists with performance artists, film directors with directors of drug rings.  And this makes of interesting stories galore.

About The Book.

A complete oral history of the famed Chelsea establishment during its grand, final days, “This Ain’t No Holiday Inn: Down and Out At the Chelsea Hotel 1980-1995” (Schaffner Press, July 2013) by James Lough peers behind its iconic façade and delves into the mayhem, madness and brilliance that emerged from the hotel in the last decades of the 20th Century. First-hand accounts from former residents and visitors provide a unique and vibrant, behind-the-scenes look at one of New York City’s most celebrated cultural landmarks, and a window with a view of the latter years of Bohemian New York. Residents like Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, Mark Twain and Thomas Wolfe, Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol loved the Chelsea for its libertine atmosphere, where they didn’t have to put on masks or airs. And it didn’t hurt that Bard was rumored to accept paintings and scripts in lieu of rent past due.

For More Information, Check Out This Facebook Event.

Alela Diane: About Farewell [Album]

alela-diane_about-farewellA few years ago, my favorite band released an album that has never left my thoughts and iTunes playlist to this very day.  That band was/is Blitzen Trapper.  I love these guys, and I have expressed this time and time again.  But, what I may have never mentioned is that the star track from their album was heavily and heavenly assisted by one woman who has become another dear favorite of mine, and is an obvious influence on, not only myself, but my favorite band.  The song was “The Tree”.  And the illustrious woman was Alela Diane.  Saying that this woman has the voice of an angel would be as insulting as saying the Pope is simply a man of God.  Alela is an Americana treasure that we should all be so lucky to have ever none.  Yes, Lady Diane is a woman who gets the human psyche better than any of us can imagine, and has the beautiful pipes to tell us about ever so sweetly.  And on her latest full length effort About Farewell, she shines brighter than one could ever imagine.

Much like my beloved Eric Earley, this is a woman who can write a song that just touches my heart in all the right places and make me feel whole at heart and completely disheartening all at the same time.  The way she speaks of the desolate smoldering on “The Way We Fall” just kicks me in the memory banks and makes me resent and retort all of the past mistakes I can manage to conjure up from the thoughts best left behind.  This is a woman who sings about life, love, and the pursuit of decency amongst broken hearted thieves.  Yes, Alela Diane is a genius with the written word, and a masterful musician.  Furthermore, she is the obviously the mastermind behind the finest album of 2013.  Hands down, this is the best album to be sent down from the heavens to us this year.

About Farewell is available now in the digital form today, and the physical world on July 25th.  Discover more details right HERE.

STRFKR: Miracle Mile [Album]

STRFKR-MiracleMileOh sweet holy fires of hell, the new aged funky bunch is back with a vengeance with their latest disco laced, funk driven, and extremely solid album Miracle Mile.  In some senses, this is simply a continuation of the pleasure they have always provided their fans, but in so many ways it is different.  At the very least, it is an improvement from an already amazing style and sound that drives home the space shuttle of spunk and soul we have all grown accustomed to hearing from STRFKR in their continuous odyssey to get on down.

Miracle Mile‘s track list is solid in its entirety, but of course we are going to find a stand out track somewhere.  And fans and critics alike are finding “While I’m Alive” to be an obvious stand out track amongst a plethora of killer tracks.  But, who can simply look paced a track like “Say To You”, which sounds The Beach Boys, meeting The Beatles, meeting that crazy blue crystal meth from Breaking Bad.

The solidarity of Miracle Mile is what is so damn impressive.  As we have come to expect from the fuckers of stars, this is a crew that draws from the depths of sorrow to rediscover what it is that enlightens us at the exact moment we need to be revived from the depths of hell, to learn to party our way through a disruptive existence, and just let it go.  And by no stretch of anyone’s imagination, this is not only the finest work from STRFKR to date…but, it is definitely one of the finest albums you will adore in 2013.

Pick up your own copy of Miracle Mile at Polyvinyl Record Co. NOW!

And be sure to catch STRFKR live, as they are continuously on the move.  The band will be hitting the road for a cross country road trip starting at the Capital Hill Block Party in Seattle, and continuing across the great lands.  Find out more information HERE.

29 (More) Great Love/Missing You Songs [Exclusive]

I have to say that I am extremely surprised by the amount of attention our first installment of 29 Great Love/Missing You Songs (which you can check out HERE).  The amount of Google searches for things like “miss you songs” or “missing you songs” is almost astonishing!  We have even made the 1st page for searches, which as we all know, is the only ones we really look at.  This sort of makes me sad.  But it also makes me happy.  It is a juxtaposition between wondering if the hundreds of people looking something like this are either missing somebody they love and are currently associated with, or if they lost somebody special that they can never get back.  And in all actuality, both are fine reasons to find solace in music to sooth one’s soul.  Therefore, I am overall a very happy man to know that so many people are sharing and enjoying my wife and my opinions on great songs about love and longing.  So with that being said……

Today, as this post goes live, my wife and I are celebrating our 10 year anniversary as a married couple.  That’s right, an entire decade of togetherness.  And if you remember the prouess of the last list of great tracks to miss some one to, it was for my wife’s 29th birthday (so systematically disregarded, but ultimately obvious).  And it doesn’t take a algerbra fanatic to understand that this means that my wife and I have been married since we were teenagers.  Well, you can know that of her, and assume the same for me.  Actually, I am 10 months younger than my wife (and yes, I rub it in her face every day we get closer to 30!), meaning I was 18 years old.  In fact, I was married to my wonderful wife exactly one week after I graduated from Kelso High School in 2003.  So yes, it has been a long time, and through thick and thin, we have prevailed as lovers and friends.

And so celebrate our love, and to share it with all of you, we have both conjoined thoughts and created another list of great songs to miss the one you love, or simply love the one you love.  I also obviously want to extend a warm and loving Anniversary announcement to my beautiful wife Melissa Trembath.  You are the countess of my heart, and my reason to intake oxygen and exude energy in any manner.  I am shit without you.  I hope you know this day in and day out.  I love you.

And the rest of you…….Enjoy!

Also be sure to check out our original 29 Great Love/Missing You Songs from last April.

*as always, this is not all inclusive, and in no apparent order.  i also realize that some of these choices might be a bit too “obvious” to the hipster crowd out there.  that being said, feel free to leave a comment or two with your own choices and maybe they could make the next round, should we have another round.  so again, enjoy!*

A Band of Horses

A Band Of Horses – “No Ones Going To Love You”

Andrew WK

Andrew W.K. – “She Is Beautiful”

Avalance City

Avalanche City – “Love, Love, Love”

Banana and Louie

Banana and Louie – “Come Home Baby”

Beach Boys

The Beach Boys – “God Only Knows”

Blitzen Trapper

Blitzen Trapper – “The Tree”

Cake

Cake – “I Want To Love You Madly”

Cerny Brothers

The Cerny Brothers – “Don’t You Run Away From Me”

Death Cab For Cutie

Death Cab For Cutie – “I Will Follow You In To the Dark”

Decemberists

The Decemberists – “I 4 U & U 4 Me”

Eagle Eye Cherry

Eagle Eye Cherry – “Save Tonight”

Elliott Smith

Elliott Smith – “Say Yes”

Everclear

Everclear – “I Will Buy You A New Life”

Good Old War

Good Old War – “Loud Love”

Head and the Heart

The Head and the Heart – “Honey Come Home”

Iron & Wine

Iron & Wine – “Love and Some Versus”

Lotte Kestner

Lotte Kestner – “Halo”

MGMT

MGMT – “Electric Eel”

Motley Crue

Motley Crue – “Without You”

Pete Droge1

Pete Droge – “If I Don’t Love Me (I’ll Kill Myself)”

Pete Droge2

Pete Droge – “Beautiful Girls”

Pete Townsend

Pete Townsend – “Let My Love Open the Door”

Ray LaMontage

Ray LaMontage – “You Are the Best Thing”

Ryan Adams

Ryan Adams – “Wish You Were Here”

Tonic

Tonic – “Sugar”

Trespassers William

Trespassers William – “Different Stars”

Velvet Underground

The Velvet Underground – “I’m Sticking With You”

Ween

Ween – “I’ll Miss You”

The Young Immortals

The Young Immortals – “Photograph”

Lian Lunson [Interview]

Lian Lunson Head Shot 1

Like so many other folks I know, I find that Netflix can be overwhelming at times.  There are just so many options to choose from.  Do I re-watch the episodes of Arrested Development since it came back around?  Or do I watch the “dark independent comedies featuring a strong female lead” that they always seem to recommend, much to the dismay of my manhood?  Nah, I think I will just watch another random documentary.  And alas, I found quite the gem recently with Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man.  If L.C. wasn’t awe-inspiring before watching this film, he sure got to me after!  This is one of those documentaries that is far from just a simple biography told through the lips of random individuals.  This was special!  Half concert, half doc, full on awesome.

I loved this film so much I felt I desperately needed to reach out the creator of this fine gem and ask her a few questions to gain just a little more insight on how she managed to produce what should be considered a classic, and will be in due time.  So ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the lovely and talented Lian Lunson.  Enjoy!

 

What made you want to develop Horse Pictures, and transition from the world of acting to documentarian?

I actually just always loved films..when you are young and a girl, the first thing you think is you want to be in them. Going to Drama School was very good for me..I think it gave me the confidence to pursue what I really wanted to do. I didn’t set out to make Documentary Films..It’s just what happened. I won’t make them forever..but I will always pursue the subjects that I am most passionate about.

What sort of process do you go through whilst watching hundreds of hours of photage and deciding how to condense it down to a normal length film?

I think the process involves letting the film make itself a lot of the time..and following your intuition. When you have a lot of footage and ideas, there is so much choice..how do I start the film..how do I finish?

They are the two elements I tend to start with..and the title..those three parts to me are the key…Once I have those and I know in my heart they are the right choices, the rest of the film falls into place.

What would you say is your greaest non artistic inspiration?  What keeps you motivated?

I would have to say the Unknown. I study Metaphysics..and Film Making and the Metaphysical world are very connected…they feed off each other..also the lives of animals. I am very inspired by animals, they teach you something constantly..so these are the things that keep me busy and happily motivated.

Leonard Cohen & U2 as seen in Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man

Leonard Cohen & U2 as seen in Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man

What was the most interesting fun fact you learned about Leonard that others might not have known during the making of I’m Your Man?

That he is more mysterious than anyone could possibly imagine.

Who are some other folks, musicians or not, that you would like to profile and have yet to do so?  

I never talk about those subjects until they cross my path or knock at my door.

Can you tell us a bit about your upcoming project entitled The Boom Boom Room?

It is a script that I have written..it is a beautiful story about Faith Love and Family…I have tried really hard to get it made..now I am not trying. The film will get made when the time is right and all the forces are lined up in it’s favor…then it will have the best opportunity to be the most visible.

Lian Lunson - Rufus and Martha 1

Rufus & Martha Wainwright as seen in Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man

Magic, endless possibilities, et l’amour et l’appréciation de cette belle vie!

What wast he last thing that made you smile?

The transformation of my last rescue dog..seeing her face change when she realized she was now loved and no harm would come to her.

Guilt Monkey: Revolution [Single]

Guilt MonkeyGuilt Monkey is one of those bands that I usually don’t find myself falling in love with.  Although I do enjoy the occasional “hard rock” act time and again, I am generally a softy looking for lovely little melodies that calm the soul.  But, like anyone else, I get a little upset from time to time.  Especially when I see all the violence, hatred, and re-distribution of insanity that occurs on what seems to be a daily basis.  So like many others out there, I find solace in a little bit of politically driven, fist in the mouth hard rock.  And thankfully, there is a gem of a group hanging around Brussels known as Guilt Monkey that is making Rage Against The Machine seem calm and steady.  They are out for blood.  They want the world to hear them.  And if they continue upon this path of construction in which they have laid for themselves, soon the world is going to be all knowing of the power frontman Brin Addison and company have to compel the minority, and to destroy the majority.

In with all that comes their delightfully in your face single “Revolution”.  The message of “Revolution” is clear, simple, and concise.  “Take back your freedom” is a line that can mean so many things, but shouldn’t be too confusing.  And in the Occupy Wall Street and Arab Spring movements, it isn’t news, really.  Dictatorships are becoming as useful as VHS tapes these days for those who care to see the world advance.  Even in some “democracies”, we are finding hoards of folks who have realized that not all is well in this day and age.  So the message is simple: there are millions upon millions of us who are affected by the evil deeds of only a few thousand or so, so fucking do something about it!  If only more people would be willing to take some time out of their lives to change the world, we might not have these issues arise.  Sadly, this beautiful theory is without a doubt, bullshit.  But, if there is no fight, there is no chance (i.e.  “a fighting chance”).  The world has never been changed by those who only saw only a light of defeat at the end of the tunnel, it has been changed by those who didn’t care if they ever saw the end of the tunnel.  The world is changed by those who may never actually see the change, but chose to live their lives in a fighting stance, no matter what the future holds.

And the good old boys from Belgium know this is of upmost fucking importance, and want you to take action.  And what can a rock and roll act really do to help?  Well, they can make bad ass tracks that get you hyped and ready to “take back your freedom”, the same way Bob Dylan had the hippies wondering what the hell was just “blowing in the wind”, or the way that Rage made us question was worth “killing in the name of…”.  And better yet, in this new day and age, they will give it to you…..ABSOLUTELY FUCKING FREE!  That is right.

Guilt Monkey World on a ThreadFollow this link HERE and get “Revolution” absolutely free.  For visual stimulation, check out the OFFICIAL VIDEO.  And then  be sure to check out the rest of their sophomore release, World on a Thread, for even more politically driven tracks that are not only thought driven, but fucking beautifully played.  This is hard rock music for people who think they don’t like hard rock music.  Guilt Monkey is loud with reason, and sullen with heart felt melodies that leave you paralyzed with both exuberance and delight.  This is just plain beautiful music with a great reason to get up and shout.