April 7, 2009

Tour Dates: Merge Records Turns 20

North Carolina based indie-label Merge Records has a big 2009 planned to celebrate their 20th anniversary. The label, which is home to acts like Neutral Milk Hotel, She & Him,

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HT Interview: Oklahoma’s The Ugly Suit

The mythos of Rock and Roll is deep and entangling. A puzzle as sensuous as it is mystifying, the legend seems to grow as each person takes his or her turn trying to unravel what it means to them, to their lives and even further – to people as a whole. The more you dig for answers, the more you want to know, until you come to on a freeway towing a trailer full of used gear to the next gig that doesn’t pay wondering where the last ten years have gone. That’s right, junior…you belong to rock now. There’s no escaping it.

The Uglysuit – “Chicago”

But it’s not enough to want it. It’s not enough to have rich parents. It’s not enough to have connections. It’s not enough to know how to play music.

Sure. No band has ever really made it without at least one of these attributes, but these are all just part of the smokescreen. To truly forge your own voice, to truly get in touch with the spirit of it all, you have to completely disconnect from life as you knew it. You have to put the blinders on. No one can tell you shit. Not your beautiful girlfriend who probably saved your life. Not your parents who raised you and gave you everything, not your teachers, your elders….no one. The only thing that matters is leaving it all out there on that stage every night; nailing the changes and developing the sound. Life becomes those moments and thus imitates art, hopefully often enough to make a living at it.

Enter The Ugly Suit. Together for just four years, hailing from the not-so-happening Oklahoma City scene, these psychedelic warriors bang it out, night after night, forsaking it all for a sound that is anything but ugly. Tube amplified static gives way to thumping bass lines and raging chord progressions. There is a fine line between soothing and blistering and these gentlemen have found the balance. In an age of beaten down indie rock formats they pirouette between grandiose rocking peaks and cricket-like atmosphere that would make Brian Eno blush. The Ugly Suit is your hot, bi- polar, rocker chick girl friend that you just can’t dump because the sex is that good. READ ON for an interview with the guys from The Ugly Suit…

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Cover Wars: And The Winner Is…

Last week, we were down to the final two contestants for our first annual Cover Wars March Madness tournament in which we pitted 16 previous CW winners against each other.

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The Beatles Catalog Gets Remastered

After years of waiting and suffering through sub par version of their albums on CD, the entire Beatles catalog will finally get remastered. All 12 albums, plus two new Beatles box set collections, will hit stores on September 9 – the same day as The Beatles: Rock Band video game arrives.

(Photo Courtesy Of: © Apple Corps Ltd, 2009)

READ ON for the full details of what’s sure to be a historic day…

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The Dead Weather To Debut In NYC

Last month, wild-haired guitarist Jack White debuted his latest project The Dead Weather to a small crowd of family, friends and industry folk in Nashville with a short five tune

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Hidden Flick: Slivers of Delusion

Ever stayed up way past the dawn? Ever stayed up for several days straight? Ever stayed up so long for that Long Gig of the Imagination where one can no longer function properly—physically or emotionally? Ever stayed up, beyond the pale, a stranger in a strange land, as the strangeness seeps into the skin, exposing small slivers of delusion in the psyche?

In Erik Skjoldbjærg’s debut film, the young Norwegian director explored the outer regions of a Swedish detective’s mind as he travels from his own Scandinavian country to another in pursuit of a suspect who has brutally murdered a young girl in the northern Norway town of Tromsø. The intersecting themes of isolation, paranoia, memory, and relationships are explored in this week’s Hidden Flick, Insomnia.

Stellan Skarsgård plays the main character and chief mind fuckee, Jonas Engstrom, in this solemn, disturbing and ethically flexible tale. Skarsgård has been seen in numerous American and international productions, as well, namely Good Will Hunting and Ronin. Being Swedish, he plays cold really well, and that isn’t meant as an insult or a joke. The part demands that the actor find some pretty dark places to lumber through, and Skarsgård reaches inside these weird catacombs of the soul with chilling ease.

READ ON for more on this week’s Hidden Flick, Insomnia…

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Matt Butler Hits The Hot Buttered Rum

Yet with change comes the development of fresh ideas and music. Hot Buttered Rum has always been innovative in their pursuit of pushing their own musical evolution, and since the break up they have added Everyone Orchestra Drummer/ Conductor Matt Butler to sit in as another piece to their dynamic musical puzzle.

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