If you’ve ever seen The Heavy Guilt play — and, given the group’s knack for drawing big crowds around town, chances are you have — you’ve probably noticed songwriter/multi-instumentalist Al Howard. Continue reading…
Gabriel Rodriguez of San Diego’s Boomsnake initially met our Poetic Memory request with skepticism. In his own words, “I naturally become enthralled or influenced by the artist more than a record…I like becoming immersed in the creator: to view the world from their perspective, whatever it may be.” He adds, “The major influences of my life are probably those of most music listeners. Yes, I delve deep into the obscure, but those are not ‘life’ influences.”
For Rodriguez, though, the bottom line is this: “I enjoy music. All forms of music. If you put on ‘Thriller’ at a party, I’ll be dancing; ‘War Pigs’ at the bar, I’ll be drinking happily; ‘Sex in the Kitchen’ while making out, I’ll get freaky.”
Rodriguez’s list chronicles records that “strike the very being of the listener; records that play as if they were written for you.” His Poetic Memory is below. Continue reading
This fall, Vic Chesnutt will tour to support At the Cut, his latest effort. Chesnutt’s touring band will feature Guy Picciotto (Fugazi) and members of Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Silver Mt. Zion. The album (also featuring Piccioto and Co.) is a follow-up to 2007’s North Star Deserter, which SPIN called “disturbingly palpable dread-folk.” At the Cut comes out September 22 on Constellation Records.
At the Cut was recorded by Howard Bilerman (Arcade Fire) in Montreal. Its opening track, “Coward,” was written for director Jem Cohen’s Empires of Tin, and the song’s success evidently inspired Chesnutt to create a whole new album. The album will be released on CD and LP with artwork curated by Jem Cohen.
Chesnutt has released 15 critically acclaimed records; my favorite is West of Rome (especially the remastered edition). Songs from Rome have been featured, many, many times on the Owl and Bear podcast. Chesnutt has also been covered by a number of artists, including R.E.M., the Smashing Pumpkins, Sparklehorse, and even Madonna. He was also subject of the 1992 PBS documentary Speed Racer and he appeared in the Oscar Award-winning film Sling Blade. Quite an interesting fellow, this Chesnutt. Saw him perform back in 2005, and it was an affair to remember.