"It wasn't necessarily, like, a super-erratic decision or anything like that," Parish tells the Cream. "I got into producing other bands and artists about four years ago. And actually, even before the band got started — when I was like 14, 15 — I wanted to be a producer before anything else. And then [Cage the Elephant] obviously took off and did more than what any of us could have expected."
Parish goes on to explain that his last performance with Cage the Elephant was Nov. 2 at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion's Buzzfest in Houston, Texas, although he'd made the decision to leave the band about a month before that. "Production is where my heart is" at the moment, Parish says, and he hopes to "make an honest attempt" at making that his primary career focus.
"Everybody in [Cage the Elephant] has been super-supportive," Parish explains. "I think they hated to see me go. It was one of those things where they were also happy to see me doing what my passion is right now."
Parish runs Talk Box Rodeo in Woodbine, and in the past he's recorded bands including Cream faves Penicillin Baby and Western Medication. Any bands interested in recording at Talk Box Rodeo can reach out via talkboxrodeo[at]gmail[dot]com.
You guys just did Madison Square Garden last week — and congratulations on that, by the way.
How does coming home to Nashville to headline Bridgestone Arena compare to playing Madison Square Garden as a milestone, personally and for the band?
I mean, I guess, honestly, to me they kind of feel really similar, because I feel just as nervous to be playing Bridgestone as I was to play Madison Square Garden. It's a lot of pressure in your hometown — you know you’re going to have friends there and family there, and it’s a massive place, but that’s going to be one of the last two shows of the tour, so I feel like if any show is going to be good, it better be that one because we’ve had a lot of practice.
Like the U.K.'s answer to R.E.M. ax man Peter Buck, Marr almost single-handedly ushered in an era of guitar-driven rock, inspiring a generation of followers in the '90s. But he spent the past 25 years honing as much as defying that sound as a sideman in bands ranging from English alt-rockers The The and American indie-rock stars Modest Mouse, among others.
"It was important for me not to be type-cast," Marr tells the Scene via phone. "No one wants to have a stamp put on their forehead at the age of 23, 24."
Now at 50, Marr's made The Messenger, his first (and rather excellent) solo album, and one that echoes the Thatcher-era Manchester sound of his Smiths heyday and seems a quarter-century overdue. It sounds like the album fans might have expected him to make after The Smiths unceremoniously imploded in 1987. Tonight he brings the songs from The Messenger and, for the die-hards, some Smiths favorites to Marathon Music Works.
Check out the full Q&A with Marr after the jump.
What’s it like to go from a war-torn background where music is often discouraged — and even outlawed in some cases, as with Niger’s ban on guitars — to recording and performing in America, where guitars and rock ‘n’ roll are very much a part of popular culture?
Well, I don't think there is really a big difference honestly. We in Niger love music in the same way that Americans love music. Tuareg guitar music was banned in Niger years ago because it held so much power. It was a very important part of our popular culture, and it became a threat to the government because of its power. It is like, maybe, rappers in America being banned on the radio or something like that. I think that has happened before in America.
One of Bowling Green's most successful exports, who have become major benefactors of the BG scene, are indie rockers Cage the Elephant. Most of the band has in fact moved here, and they've appeared on our radar pretty often lately; on Tuesday, it was a music video for the latest single from their new LP, Melophobia, and back in August, they invited us to check out a live preview of the record that doubled as a warmup for their opening slot at Bridgestone Arena with Muse.
They took their time with Melophobia, working as always with longtime Nashville musician/producer Jay Joyce. This time out, the team crafted a robust indie sound that stays grounded by Cage's neo-grunge leanings, and thankfully jettisons the pseudo-rap they dabbled in before. The new album finds a comfortable niche between The Flaming Lips and Arcade Fire, and is, to our ears, massive strides ahead of their previous work; longtime readers may remember we weren't fans. (Oh, the LOL-some days when every Cream post's comment section was a war zone of butt-hurt.)
Craig Fehrman spent several months researching Bowling Green and visiting Cage on tour. On Oct. 20, Fehrman published Home Grown: Cage the Elephant and the Making of a Modern Music Scene, an Amazon Kindle Single outlining what he learned. There's plenty in the short volume for both Cage fans and those whose interest is more academic, documenting the conditions that made it possible for the scene to develop, and the center-periphery tension between Bowling Green and Nashville that's both helping push BG's local acts to new levels of professionalism and providing access to important resources for taking the world stage. (Icing on the cake: a chapter devoted to master horror director John Carpenter, Bowling Green's most famous export ever.)
Fehrman kindly took a few minutes to talk with us about it. Read our Q&A after the jump.
Check out the Scene’s chat with Lovett below, in which the son of a Mumford sounds off on the philosophy behind Communion, balancing his full-time job with his rock-star responsibilities in his now-on-hiatus band and what it’s like to grow up loving Neil Young, No Doubt and Slipknot, plus some musings on selling Communion to the always-discerning crowd of musicians and music industry folk in Nashville.
What makes the shows in Nashville, and the Nashville Chapter of Communion, kind of different the collective’s events in other cities?
I think on a personal level, Nashville means a lot. I have a lot of good friends there, and I think it’s very rich in contemporary music, a lot more than people give it credit for. I think it’s a really important city in the world for emerging artists, and that’s kind of what Communion is all about. [Nashville is] pretty much the most important place to do it, and to get it right, it’s just taking a bit of time to educate people into the whole habit of the monthly concept. You know, we’re getting there [laughs].
Price, a sanguine, peppery-voiced veteran of the independent scene, predicts there’ll be more changes to come. But she and her bandmates are making the most of this present phase with a vinyl pressing of their new album, a music video for its longest track that they shot in the boonies and a release show at their hometown haunt, The 5 Spot, tomorrow night.
The Cream caught Price on a break from filming the video a couple of weeks ago and got her take on everything from D.I.Y. ingenuity to the popularity of “buffalo” as a band name.
Born in Brooklyn on June 29, 1943, Jeffreys is African-American and Puerto Rican, and has often written about the ambiguity of racial identity. Growing up in a family of jazz fans, Jeffreys got an early education in that American musical form — as he told me a couple of weeks ago from his New York City home, his uncle turned him onto Chet Baker and Miles Davis. As were many teenagers in the early '50s, Jeffreys was a fan of singer Frankie Lymon, and Jeffreys began singing in New York street-corner vocal groups. Intending to major in political science, Jeffreys went to Syracuse University, where he met an aspiring songwriter named Lou Reed. Jeffreys switched to art, and studied Renaissance painting in Italy before returning home to perform in New York City clubs.
The songs Jeffreys wrote for the Grinder’s Switch album reveal his debt to The Band — ”Sister Divine” and “Won’t Ya Come Back Home” are idiosyncratic country-rock amalgams. His 1973 self-titled debut is his most straightforward singer-songwriter statement, but the record combined reggae, blues and intelligent, observant lyrics in unpredictable ways.
By popular music standards, Oslin was right around the age at which a female act would be advised to give up on chasing hits and try to hang on as a legacy act — mid-40 — when she had her first commercial country breakthrough. There she was, a Southern-born singer with a couple decades of B-level Broadway and television ad work under her belt — and the clear, resonant vocal delivery to show for it — being given a second chance by a major country label. And the single that put her on the map was “‘80s Ladies,” a storytelling ballad about three resilient, experienced, 40-something women, accompanied by a music video best described as Designing Women-meets-The Wonder Years.
Oslin flies way below the radar these days, and rarely gives interviews. But a pair of upcoming performances (tonight’s Planned Parenthood benefit at the Rutledge with Gretchen Peters and a 25th anniversary show at the Franklin Theatre Nov. 15 with a band led by keyboardist Jimmy Nichols) gave us an excuse to get her on the phone and talk about how she’s exercised a woman’s right to choose in her life and career. See our interview after the jump.
Born Charlyn Marie Marshall in Atlanta in 1972, Chan Marshall took her stage name from the words on a trucker’s hat, and moved to New York City in the early '90s. She made a couple of records before she signed to indie label Matador in 1996. Along the way, Marshall became famous for her music — I think her Memphis-recorded 2006 full-length The Greatest is an often-compelling cross between the depressive tendencies of Big Star’s Third and the contemplative assurance of Al Green’s The Belle Album — and for her sometimes wayward performances. She has also recorded a couple of fascinating covers records, and I like her takes on the songs of Michael Hurley, Moby Grape, Lou Reed and The Rolling Stones, which can be found on 2000's The Covers Record and 2008's Jukebox.
In recent years, Marshall has weathered a well-publicized split with actor Giovanni Ribisi, and she has struggled with health issues that have been at least partly resolved. Sun has done well on the charts, and Marshall successfully combined the ice-cold textures of Autechre with the full-blooded approach of hip-hop and soul on the record, which is not exactly easy listening. Still, the total effect of Sun is bracing, even if my mind sometimes wanders amid the record’s repetitions and gnomic lyrics. Marshall simply does what she can do, and I admire her single-minded approach. As other interviewers have noted, Marshall possesses immense charm — she is both cryptic and cutting, not to mention vulnerable and tough.
Cat Power will play a solo set tonight at 3rd & Lindsley. Look after the jump to see our chat.
well fuck you anon! Go and Catch fire!
The guitar is a custom made Gretsch he used on the Raconteurs tours...sweet. I couldn't…
Sometimes I think snowman69 makes good points. But I think he's way off the mark…
You obviously don't have a clue what touring is actually like snowman69. We all know…