Hangin’ Out After School With TEEN
Date: 22 April 2014
TEEN crafts slippery psychedelic songs that bite and bounce through gorgeous, gossamer harmonies. Kristina “Teeny” Lieberson, a fierce and ferocious songwriter and the former keyboardist for Here We Go Magic, is joined by Boshra AlSaadi, and Katherine and Lizzie Lieberson (deft daughters of famed composer Peter Lieberson) in this fabulous foursome.
Lucky us, the gang of four brilliant women are playing at our next WCP show with Lawrence Rothman, and we’re pleased as punch to introduce them to you by way of a snazzy little interview with Ms. Teeny herself. So here goes.
Q. A fair amount of odd adjectives have been thrown around when it comes to describing your sound, from “modern R&B,” “electric post-punk,” and an “all woman rumblette,” to Wikipedia’s assertion that you play alternative rock. How would you categorize yourselves at this very moment in time?
A. I’m pretty satisfied that people are having a hard time placing us. I think what we do is original and the fact that we’re not easily pinned as one particular genre is a testament to that. Our music sounds like us. That’s the best I can do.
Q. What kinds of fans do you like to see at your shows? The kids who kick it in the back, nodding their heads? The clandestine potheads who hide in the middle while they light up? Or that one old dude with the swivel hips in the very front?
A. Any fans are the best fans! We want to cultivate the most diverse audience possible, as long as people are into it and enthusiastic (the old dude is usually the most amazing).
Q. A little while back TEEN used Kickstarter to fund the Carolina EP, and you surpassed your goal! Nice work team TEEN! How was that process for you?
A. It was a little nerve-racking, but we were pretty confident we were going to meet our goal. We’ve been really lucky with support from family, friends, and fans. I think that fundraising can be a great tool, but you have to know how to go about it. You’re asking people for money so you have to be prepared and as professional as possible.
Q. How’s 2014 looking so far? Any grand plans to stop climate change, achieve world peace, or make another fist shaking, knee popping, psychedelic album?
A. Ha! All of the above? At the moment, we’re touring a ton and working on getting our live show to its greatest potential. We are also talking about our next record. Feels like we’re on a roll and could keep churning out new songs.
Q. Since the majority of the band is related and from Halifax, Nova Scotia, what did you Haligonians used to do during your summers growing up?
A. Halifax summers are the best. The province is a peninsula — it’s surrounded by water. There are endless lakes. When it finally gets warm in July, you’re swimming everyday. Then usually partying at night. It’s a pretty vibrant city. Luckily, lake water is a perfect hangover cure.
Q. Are you the type of group who goes out together to see other local and touring artists perform live or are you too busy cooking up your own creations to make it out on the scene every night?
A. Both. We rehearse constantly, and for many hours at a time. After that, we’re usually wiped. Still, it’s important to stay connected and inspired. I go to shows all the time when I’m not exhausted.
Q. Do you have any specific rules you set for yourself when song writing, such as no songs about religion or True Religion jeans? Is any topic fair game?
A. No rules. As a songwriter, I tend to stick to a more abstract approach and take lyrical content or the melody outside of myself. If something feels too personal, it can be distracting or make me self-conscious. We are not a big fan of definitives — there are always new ways of writing and sounds to stumble upon.
Q. Lightning round: Coffee or coffee ice cream? Fog or Mist? Navy Blue or Black? Atlantic or Pacific? Tattoos or ink free? Kazoo or harmonica? George Washington Carver or Harry Burnett Reese? Roller skate or roller blade? Falcor or Pegasus? Time machine or teleported?
A. Both. Fog. Black. Atlantic. Tattoos. Neither. GWC. No thank you. Falcor. Time Machine.
Let’s Get Physical: Record Store Day 2014
Date: 16 April 2014
Audiophiles, rejoice! The 6th incarnation of Record Store Day is nearly upon us, with 400+ specialty releases dropping this Saturday and more than 2,000 independent record stores participating across the world. That’s a lot of wax to bite into, so we built you this handy little guide to RSD. Here’s what you need to know:
The ambassador of this year’s Record Store Day is Chuck D of Public Enemy, and he plans to bring the heat by repping hard for independent record stores. Here’s a portion of his official statement:
"In this age where industry has threaded the music sound with virtual sight and story I am honored to be called upon to be Record Store Day Ambassador of 2014. With the masses, neck bent into their smartphones, let all of us music lovers GPS our way into a reality that is the Record Store. It’s worth a great try, let’s do this…" (Check his full statement here and read other artist statements here.)
Ambassadors before him included Iggy Pop, Josh Homme of Queens of The Stone Age, Ozzy Osborne, and Jack White.
The WillCall Shortlist:
With so many releases coming at us on a single day, we thought we’d throw down a few of our personal faves:
- Joy Division – An Ideal for Living
- Nirvana – Pennyroyal Tea/I Hate Myself and I Want to Die
- The Flaming Lips – 7 Skies H3
- LCD Soundsystem – The Long Goodbye (LCD Soundsystem Live At Madison Square Garden)
- Notorious BIG - Life After Death
- The Doors – Weird Scenes Inside The Goldmine
- Pinback – Pinback
- The Velvet Underground – Loaded
- Outkast - Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik
- Tame Impala - Live Versions
Here’s the full list:
For the Homies In SF:
Amoeba Records is the place to be in SF for this Record Store Day. With loads of DJs, live silk screenings, free ticket giveaways, and 20% off all DVDs, Blu-Rays, turntables, and posters, it will be a day to remember. Find out more here.
For the Cool Kids in NYC:
Rough Trade NYC will host a multitude of bands and DJs including Milagres, Hospitality, Perfect Pussy, and more! Find out more and check out the full line-up here.
For the Chillers in LA:
More from Amoeba Records whose Hollywood branch features a Chuck E. Weiss DJ set, Little Dragon, and DJ sets by Cherry Glazerr and Robert DeLong along with all the same deals as its SF sister. Find out more here.
Oh, and the Fastest Record Evaaah:
Jack White will break world records (heh, a pun) by recording, pressing, and releasing a single all in one day for the title track of his upcoming album, “Lazaretto,” at the headquarters of his label, Third Man Records, in Nashville.
For more info on Record Store Day and events in your area, here’s the official website, Facebook, and Twitter.
Meet Lawrence Rothman: The Dark Shapeshifter
Date: 15 April 2014
A man of many guises, Lawrence Rothman has appeared in his videos as a battered hipster (above), a golden toothed prisoner matted in black and white paint, and the beauty of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Elizabeth Taylor. We caught up with this chameleon to talk about his visual style and range of musical influences before he busts open the Bootleg Theater with TEEN.
Q. You have worked with the director of darkness, Floria Sigismondi, for many of your recent music videos and you are now signed to her label, Mamaroma. She has created unsettling videos for Interpol, Muse, The Cure, The White Stripes, Marilyn Manson, and even good ol’ David Bowie. How did you get involved with her?
A. I’m a great admirer of her work, the stars aligned and she got on board with my music and visuals.
Q. What was it like to throw on a dress and become Elizabeth Taylor in your video for “Montauk Fling?”
A. I filmed the video at the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles, in a room many old film stars slept in including Elizabeth Taylor. We shot from 8 p.m. ‘till 8 a.m. running around the hotel, it was a surreal and haunting experience especially during those hours when the hotel was asleep.
Q.Your music has been likened to a sort of gothic electro-pop, the work of a dark and modern Leonard Cohen, and a combination of Ariel Pink and Odd Future. What is the best description you have heard of your own music? And how do you describe your sound yourself?
A. Interesting, well with so much great music influencing me from both new and old artists, across many genres, and with new genres even being invented monthly I don’t really have the ideal description. I enjoy creating music that is a mix of all the varied things I listen to, concentrating on one particular sound is not something I’m focused on.
Q. The Guardian, Stereogum, and others have listed you as an act to watch out for in 2014. What are your plans for blowing people out of the water?
A. Ha, well I plan on releasing more music and videos this year, and a full length album sooner rather than later. Plus, I plan to tour a lot, as I enjoy playing live shows more than being in the studio.
Q. We hear you’re obsessed with director and photographer Cindy Sherman. Can you tell us a bit about her influence on your work?
A. I write music from a visual place first. A film or a person staring at a wall in a Denny’s will spark a song idea. Many of my songs are about friends and family in my life who have come and gone — so I’ll write a song about them and then become them visually for a live performance or video. I like transforming into the entire being of a song subject.
Q. If you could have anyone perform with you on stage (we mean anyone) who would you choose?
A. I would say Tupac Shakur with Fela Kuti’s band backing us.
Q. As someone to watch out for this year what other acts do you think we should keep our eyes on?
A. I think Mas Ysa is an amazing new band.
Grab your tickets for the show here: getwillcall.com/rothmanresidency
MEET THE WILLCALL FAM: LAUREN
Date: 11 April 2014
Tough as nails in a pair of heels, our resident fast-talking Aussie curates WillCall’s show list, gives our venue partners love on the daily, and makes sure every WillCall Presents party runs smooth like butter. She’ll go down in WillCall lore as the lady who threw together a sold-out SXSW shindig in a single afternoon. In order to get a clue about how she became such a music mystic, we enlisted intern Huck to catch up with her (not an easy task) and jam about her Aussie origins, favorite tunes, and legendary office dance parties.
Huck: So it’s no secret that you’re WillCall’s favorite Aussie. Tell us a little about what you did in the land down under and what attracted you to make the big move to the city by the bay.
Lauren: I’m a Melbourne girl, born ‘n’ bred. It’s my home and always will be. Sue and Steve Kish still live there, and they’re pretty much the best parents this side of the Milky Way. But before setting sail for the states in 2010, I was working for a music distribution company in Melbourne, running their e-commerce operations. I’d lived abroad previously, and was hankering for another excuse to explore a different city. I packed up my apartment, visited Mongolia en route to the US, road tripped with some babe friends along the West Coast in a 10-seater van, spent a few months in New York, worked in Toronto for a stint, but settled in Oakland. Love brought me to Cali, but jeepers, that’s a whole other story.
Huck: From our past conversations, you come across as quite the globe trotter. Every time I bring up a location I’ve been to you seem to be a regular. What’s the best vacation you’ve ever been on and why?
Lauren: Being from Australia, we generally experience what’s known as the ‘the tyranny of distance.’ We’re so damn far from everywhere [save for New Zealand which is beautiful, but just full of sheep, snow, and hobbits], that our natural instinct is to get the hell out of Australia as soon as we can. As kids we went on holiday to Bali and Fiji, which are beautiful, tropical locales. This obviously instilled the travel bug in my sister and I because we’ve been traveling ever since. I lived in London for 2 years which was a glorious and hedonistic time. Spent some time in Canada, which was cold, and have since managed to explore several states and cities in the U.S. On the holiday tip, Berlin is a magical city, and Siem Reap in Cambodia definitely has something otherworldly about it. Sometimes I keep myself up at night, overwhelmed at the prospect of not being able to visit all the places in the world that are on my travel bucket list.
Huck: You’re obviously a music junky, but do you think there is any particular genre you most identify with? Who are you bumping these days and which acts in particular will forever hold your heart?
Lauren: I don’t usually think of music in terms of genre. I oftentimes hear something, and would never have the nous to identify it by a pre-defined category. As a kid I suppose you could say I identified with grunge and alt-rock. Not Creed, obviously, but Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, Hole. Maaaaaaaybe a little Tool and A Perfect Circle. Definitely wore corduroy trousers and flannel. I dabbled in electronic music, and definitely went to my fair share of raves to see Jeff Mills, Roni Size, and Laurent Garnier in the late ’90s. These days it’s Death Grips, Grimes, Sun Kil Moon, Mykki Blanco, Savages, Adalita, Royal Headache, Teeth & Tongue, and Tinariwen. To be honest though, I tend to always go back to old faithfuls on the regular — Patti Smith, PJ Harvey, Kate Bush, Betty Davis, Neil Young, Fugazi, and Joy Division.
Huck: Since music is obviously a driving motion in your life, you choose to surround yourself with it, have you ever dabbled in playing a bit of your own? Is there a Lauren Kish solo project that I’m unaware of?
Lauren: I played the violin in grade 3, does that count? Oh, and I was in the recorder group. We used to go and perform in suburban shopping malls, playing Cat Stevens’ songs, and Pachelbel’s Canon really badly. Me and my pals had a go-go troupe called Les Go Go Soeurs, where we choreographed routines to Ween and The Darkness. But that’s pretty much the extent of my live musical output. Plus I’ve been told I’m tone deaf, so you probably don’t want to be in a private karaoke booth with me, or request that I become the lead singer of your band.
Huck: The WillCall office is obviously the best place to work on Earth. I don’t think I’ve seen a day go by where you weren’t skipping or dancing around the office. What’s your favorite thing about this company?
Lauren: I’m a bit of a maniac when it comes to energy. I do tend to bop around a little much. What can I say, I’m ‘vivacious.’ [Others have definitely called it ‘crazy.’]
The best thing about WillCall is that the world is literally our oyster. No idea is too big, or unattainable. It’s such a treat to have a supportive, ridiculously intelligent team to rely on, and who instills confidence in you. It’s pretty, pretty fun.
Huck: How about that playlist?
Lauren: Check it out!
HELLA Coachella 2014
Date: 7 April 2014
Whether you’ll be camping out on a polo field all weekend or snuggling up to your laptop and YouTubing the whole whacked wonderland; Coachella fever is breaking out and ain’t nothing can cool us down!
Dedicated to stunning visitors with visuals arts, phantasmagorical performances, and fresh-as-fuck fashion statements, this arid affair single handedly brought the American festival circuit into the current century. Continuing to flabbergast fans for almost 15 years, Coachella is the shish kabob of chic and we at WillCall tip our caps in the format of a 60+ song playlist featuring some of our favorites to grace the stage this coming weekend. Party on Wayne! Party on Garth!