- Justin Vernon goes Whitacre.
- At this point, if you date T. Swift, you’re just asking for a song about you.
- Dave Mustaine: certified crazy person.
- It’s safe to say that clinically un“hip Mitt didn’t actually make this song selection.
- Even for these guys, that’s not chump change.
- This is a chill session for the ages.
Like Lupe Fiasco, Billa Camp hails from Chi-Town, loves skateboard culture and is an exemplar of alternative hip hop. And here’s another similarity”both appeared in the video for Fiasco’s song Kick, Push.” Still, Camp’s got his own thing going on, like an encyclopedic knowledge of rock, for starters. On Grateful Dread, the rapper name checks dozens of artists, starting with Sublime, Radiohead and Nirvana before moving onto Talking Heads, MC5 and Flaming Lips. Even Phish gets a shout-out on the hypnotic track, which combines lashes of cymbals and droning textures that sound like a deviant version of Aphex Twin’s Windowlicker. Stylistically, Camp’s music runs the gamut”from surf guitars on California to a crackling samples of the 1950s hit Why Don’t You Believe Me on Show Time to the banging Beat Street with its hefty dose of Planet Rock by Afrika Bambaataa. You don’t know where you’re going when you put on a Billa Camp track, but you can be sure you’re gonna have a good time.
LCD Soundsystem announced their last show of their final tour a few weeks ago, as though you hadn’t already heard. On April 2nd, the band will grace the stage at Madison Square Garden for their sold out farewell show, capping off a valediction of both shocking and well deserved amounts of hype. They will play their swan song, they will leave the stage and that will be the end of one of the great dance-punk bands of our generation. We’re still bummed that we couldn’t get tickets to that show, or to any of the ever increasing number of gigs leading up to the MSG date (Side note: kudos to James Murphy for blasting the scalpers! Seriously, that guy is a class act).
But that’s beside the point. It got us thinking, LCD Soundsystem made a big deal out of this being their farewell tour but they hadn’t really earned their bonafides a live band du jour, as a touring entity, up until that point. Unlike LCD, there are some bands that have always made a big deal out of their live show, that seem to exist only to tour. Not that that’s a bad thing. Let’s take a look at some of the artists we hope never stop touring:
A rolling stone gathers no moss, and even though Dylan is old enough to have moss grow on him, there’s no stopping this man’s touring regimen. His tour schedule since June of 1988 has been dubbed the “Never Ending Tour“; this globe-trotting tour has Dylan performing around 100 days out of the year, and he’s kept up this pace in spite of the fact that he’s almost a septuagenarian. You’d think the man might want a break or a nap or something after so many years. Still, he’s already got April dates lined up in Australia. We should count ourselves lucky that we’ve heard so much from him, and we’ll probably be hearing more from Bob in years to come.
Reel Big Fish
These ska-punk workhorses have been at it longer than most of their ilk from the mid ’90s. You could’ve gone to see them at some festival in middle school, you caught them in the club when they headlined in high school and you went to their show again in college when you were feeling a wee bit nostalgic. They just wrapped up a tour with fellow goof-punk road warriors The Aquabats in January. So what do they have on their plate for the upcoming year? A European tour, you say? Suprise suprise.
This spot could have easily gone to Dave Matthews Band if they weren’t planning on taking 2011 off, kinda. And sure, some may cry foul as there was a long stretch when Phish didn’t tour, but we won’t count periods of band hiatuses/ breakups.
Phish’s reputation as a band is based off of their live show. Not only in how technically good it is or how “communal” (read: chemically altered) the atmosphere at one of their gigs is but also in how Phish fosters the live experience with their fans. For those who don’t follow the band, Phish’s fandom is reminiscent of the Grateful Dead’s and a lot of other prominent jam bands of yore. And a big aspect of that culture is bootlegging. I won’t go into the number of Phish phan phorums (I’m sorry) on the Internet; suffice it to say, they’re numerous. The online dedication to Phish is also unique in the number of ways fans can get their hands on live material from the band. You can find high quality audio recordings from nearly every live set the band has done on their Web site and the fan bootlegs and set lists for Phish shows spanning their entire career can be found all over the web.
The man has been in the solo game for about 5 years now and has taken to touring with a workmanlike approach. There’s no need to count his time in hardcore band Million Dead in his total number of shows played because his solo schedule is so impressive that it speaks for itself. Since Turner started flying solo, he’s played over 1000 shows at a rate of a little over 200 shows a year. And he’s still had time to record three LPs, a handful of EPs and demos on top of all that. I wonder if he’ll go out on the road behind his next album?
What artist would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments.
There’s no arguing the current phenomenon sweeping our nation. No, it’s not the KFC Double Down, or even Bieber Fever. It’s 3 dimensional viewing. Why watch anything in boring, old 2D like our parents when we can enjoy viewing everything from cooking shows to cartoons with an additional dimension. Three is better than 2, right? Luckily, we’re not limited to fuzzy children’s monsters and larger-than-life bugs to feel out of this world anymore. Musical acts of all varieties are jumping on the bandwagon, and this year a slew of HD 3D concerts will be assaulting your senses. And we’re not talking Miley Cyrus or the Jonas Brothers.
Now, there is one band that comes to mind when mulling the unlimited possibilities of 3D concert experience. Known for musical improvisations that ensure no two shows are alike and a fan culture that arguably surpasses any other following of its kind, jam band Phish are the perfect candidates. And wouldn’t you know, PHISH 3D premieres tomorrow (Friday, April 30th) in theaters across the country ” 3D glasses included.
The concert film features footage shot by AEG Live and Action 3D over the three days of the band’s Festival 8, which took place last Halloween weekend in Indio, California. We were lucky enough to catch an early screening of the movie on 4/20 (when else?) and we can promise you, this isn’t your little sister’s animated Pixar film.
The movie opens on the last night of the festival, November 1st, while the band is playing “AC/DC Bag.” The first thing you notice is the giant balloons bouncing throughout the crowd, nothing out of the ordinary for a Phish audience. However about a minute in you find yourself dodging one, and the stage is set for you to feel as if you are right in the middle of the awesome assemblage.
Ahmir ?uestlove Thompson, drummer extraordinaire and co-founder of the hardest working hip hop band, The Roots, talks with OurStage during a break from taping the Jimmy Fallon Show. Beside touring all over the world, The Roots also manage to be the house band for Fallon which has given ?uestlove recent insight into what it takes these days to make it in the music business.
OS: What advice would you give to a hip hop band that’s just starting out? Would you tell them to simply go out on the road and do as many shows live as possible, or would you tell them to hone their chops in the studio and build a fan base making mixes/demos/singles etc.?
?L: The answer will actually handle both of those together: I would insist that they rehearse for three to four hours a day. Real rehearsal. That is the key. This job with Fallon has forced us to do something that we’ve never ever done in our 17 years. We’ve never rehearsed. I know that’s weird to hear. We’ll do soundchecks, but that’s hardly rehearsal. It used to be where I considered Boise, Idaho, or St. Paul, Minnesota, as rehearsals, real shows would be L.A., New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Paris, major cities. What I’m finding out now is that with the show, that we have to rehearse hard for four hours, every day, we’re becoming better musicians, and we’re becoming way better songwriters. I feel like I’ve cheated us and cheated our fan base. All I can say is, damn, if we’d only rehearsed four hours every day since we started, we could have literally Lennon/McCartneyed the shit out of this industry. All our songs are based off a riff and a jam. If we really just applied that whole Malcolm Gladwell 10,000 hours of rehearsal thing, we’d be kings.
OS: It’s refreshing to hear you say that, because I feel artists just starting out feel that if they just play live all the time that their sound will grow organically.
?L: Having this job is making me feel like we’ve only been operating at 40% of our powers, when we could have really been kicking ass at 95%. Its gonna make you a stronger songwriter, socially it’s gonna make you stronger” well you still have to deal with the closeness of being in a band and seeing these people all the time, i.e. the social aspect”but from a creative standpoint, as a band, you will be better, and you know I’m not saying you’ll be the best in the world. I know Deerhoof puts rehearsal before performance, by no means of their imagination are they virtuosos on some David Murray/ John Coltrane thing, but you can tell that those guys practice and play together.
OS: It’s funny cause you mentioned Deerhoof, because I was actually spoke to them once about how hard they rehearse, it’s amazing how it all comes down to practice. Look at someone like Trey Anastasio from Phish. When that band was at its apex, it’s not because they noodled for 18 minutes on a song, it’s because those guys rehearsed, they said they would spend like 6 hours a day when their not on tour, just sitting in a room, they would play rehearsal games, they would turn off all the lights so you can’t look for visual queues, you have to listen. They would do this for hours. Trey felt that the whole dynamic fell apart because life got in the way. Kids, getting so big, interviews, tours, all the distractions that took them away from practice time as they got bigger” it may sound like we’re just improvising all this stuff, and a lot of it is, but really a lot of that improvisation comes from hours and hours and hours together in a room knowing where each other are musically.
?L: That’s why we do the Highline jam sessions as well. Tuesday, we played from midnight to four in the morning at the Highline. First of all, the pressure of practicing in front of an audience, that brings out an 7th sense that I didn’t know I had; that of an oppressor. The hardest thing about this gig is doing it each night. I guess I’m a perfectionist by nature, and I will say to all people that thought by taking this job and we were gonna phone it in from home. NO WAY! It’s funny when you mention the whole lights off rehearsal game, because we can’t all see each other during the show the way they have us set up, so this really does mean that we have to listen to each other. Which is always for the best.