Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Hanukkah

Today is the first day of Hanukkah, beginning at sundown.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Lucero - Barley's - Knoxville - 2/21/09

Lucero returns to Knoxville on Saturday, February 21st, for what is becoming their annual show at Barley's in the late winter/early spring months. What can be said for them that hasn't been said already? Nothing. One piece of advice: be prepared for a night of the saddest country songs, some dive-bar rockin', and to be completely covered by the time the show is over in a combination of some or all of the following: sweat, PBR, blood, High Life, cheap whiskey and tears.

If there were ever types of beer that best described Lucero's sound or their type of music, and that tasted distinctly like their music, they would be PBR and the High Life. I can't explain it, but if you have ever heard Ben and the boys in Lucero, you know exactly what I mean. If you haven't seen them, or don't know what I mean, then I suggest you be at Barley's on February 21. In all honesty, I suggest you be there either way. Put it on your schedule now- you have plenty of time.

On a side, but related Lucero note, Ben Nichols is set to release his first solo album, The Last Pale Light in the West, in January. You can snag the title track of that album here, courtesy of Aquarium Drunkard...and because I still haven't figured how to upload mp3s here for y'all to steal, err, preview for educational purposes (let me know if you know how to...). But the album is as phenomenal as seven songs can be. It sounds like the soundtrack to an old timey western movie. Check it here. You can actually "pre-order" from their site and get it now, rather than waiting for it to come out in the stores in January.

So grab a beer, or a whiskey, and settle down with Ben and give him a listen, once it "officially" comes out...or come over to the house with your favorite bottle and I'll put it on fer ya.


Morrissey tickets are now on sale here for his Monday, March 9th show at the Orange Peel in Asheville, NC. These will go fast, so get them now while you can.

From Lost Highway Records: Years of Refusal will be available in the U.S.via CD & LP February 17, 2009.

1. Something Is Squeezing My Skull
2. Mama Lay Softly On The Riverbed
3. Black Cloud
4. I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris
5. All You Need Is Me
6. When Last I Spoke To Carol
7. That's How People Grow Up
8. One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell
9. It's Not Your Birthday Anymore
10. You Were Good In Your Time
11. Sorry Doesn't Help
12. I'm OK By Myself

The Deluxe Edition will feature a collection of televised performances, previously unreleased music videos and an interview with Russell Brand (apparently 2008's Johnny come lately).

Preview #5 and 7 on Moz-space. Non-Morrissey fans may dig these a little more than some of his solo records, and definitely alot more than his earlier work, as these new songs are more rocking and less crooning/crying, and they don't have Johnny Marr on them.

Conversely, some of the old school fans may not dig this because these new songs are more rocking and less crooning/crying, and they don't have Johnny Marr on them.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Jamey Johnson

Last week, another one of my new favorites of 2008 made his debut on Letterman. Check out Jamey Johnson above, and check out his 2008 debut album That Lonesome Song. This album will more than likely be in my top albums of '08 (list to come). "In Color", the song performed above, is his most radio friendly song on his album...and sappiest as well, other than "Women" maybe. However, the rest of the songs stem from somewhere else.

Johnson rides that coat tails of the Country Outlaws of years past, and even worse, the wave of Outlaw shtick that has been overplayed as of late by the likes of the faux rednecks, toughnecks and roughnecks in "country music" today. However, when hearing Johnson sing his tunes of the good times, the bad times, and even of the ones he can't remember, you can't help but actually believe him when he tells you about it. He sounds rough, he looks rough. He is rough. With songs like "High Cost of Living", "Angel" and "Mowin' Down the Roses", Johnson sings the truth, and you know it.

With his Possum attitude, his Cash-like sense of humor, and a sound like Waylon, Jamey Johnson reminds us all of what we truly miss in Nashville, and that we are being inundated by "pop music with a cowboy hat". Johnson yearns for the olden days, where country music was "three chords and the truth". A time when Nashville wasn't slick...and it certainly wasn't pretty...well, at least the guys weren't. They weren't good looking; they weren't groomed; they weren't sober; they weren't always nice. They were real. And kinda scary.

While Johnson's music, and appearance, may not make anyone turn and run, he does succeed in reminding the listener that country music can be fun and a little dangerous at the same time. But what Johnson is best at is reminding us of what we missed out on when our Daddy's were coming up in the '60s and '70s. That sound. That swagger. That bar fight. The Truth. Sadly, those times are gone. But at least we have Jamey Johnson doing his best to carry on the tradition of the true Outlaw sound...and it's still not slick or pretty. It's simply just the truth.

Songs for Soldiers

Send a song or two to the troops overseas in the US Army this holiday season. Billboard is making it possible, and it won't cost you a dime, just a little time.

Go here, fill out three or four quick boxes, and give the gift of music to those that probably need an escape the most right now. It seriously takes 5 seconds to do. You don't even have to put your email addy in, so don't worry about getting spammed for being a do-gooder.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Holiday Music with Hayes Carll

Hayes Carll and Lost Highway Records are giving away a free tune...just in time for the holidays.

Grab Hayes' performance of "I'm Grateful For Christmas This Year" from his performance on Imus in the Morning here. Enjoy!

Monday, December 15, 2008

IN CAHOOTS: Matt Kelly of Dropkick Murphys

Last month, after twelve-plus years on the road, the Dropkick Murphys made their debut in Knoxville, playing to a packed house at the Valarium. Having been a fan of the DKM since high school in the late 90s, it was a great pleasure to finally get to see them...and to top it off, I was able to catch up with the Dropkicks both before and after the show, for a bunch of questions, some tips on a few musical groups to check out, a couple geographical spots to hit in Boston and a lesson on a confused and misunderstood cultural/social movement in England and America.

With that being said, we'll get down to it. Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present to you: The Dropkick Murphys.

SDB: First of all, it is an honor to interview y'all, so thank you for your time and willingness!

DKM: Thanks a lot! We're psyched to come to a new town. By the way, all answers by Matt Kelly, drummer and eleven-year pain in the Dropkick Murphys' asses.

SDB: Knoxville is really excited about y'all coming to town on November 9th to the Valarium, which is a very cool place to see a show ( I don't know about playing there- I never'll have to let me know afterwards). Forgive my ignorance, as I don't recall and I couldn't seem to find any record of y'all playing here before. Have y'all played Knoxville before? (if so, when/where and with whom?) Knoxville has a pretty big DKM following and even a Knoxville Fan Club chapter. I'm sure it's going to be a packed show,with plenty of rowdiness to go around.

DKM: Well, I'm pretty sure we've never done Knoxville. If we did it would've been on the BOSSTONES "Boston On The Road" tour in '97. I was a bit new to the world then, so it all seemed like one big blur (so if anybody saw us in Knoxville, chalk up my mistake to youthful stupidity!). Either way, we're looking forward to the gig; it's always a thrill to play somewhere we've never (possibly) been.

SDB: Where are some of your favorite cities and venues to play?

DKM: Without boring the shirt off you, I'll just give a few favorites over the years: The Rathskellar in Boston, Coney Island High in NYC, Ancienne Belgique in Brussels, Trocadero in San Francisco, Paradiso in Amsterdam, the Congress Theater in Chicago, Brixton Academy in London, and plenty more that slip my mind at the moment.

SDB: I have been a fan of the Dropkick Murphys for about 10 years, after the singer in my high school punk band played me y'alls rev-ed up version of"Amazing Grace". Since then, I was hooked. Y'all sound is your own, but I'm sure y'all have borrowed things and were influenced by other bands. Who were some of the biggest influences back then, and what did you take from them?

DKM: Of course, the wheel has already been invented. I think the influences have pretty much remained the same but the ability to PLAY has gotten a little better over the years. Being able to articulate ideas and influences into simpler songs from "Get Up" to more complicated ones like "The Warrior's Code" draw from many of the same influences. I guess our biggest influences(in no particular order) are THE CLASH, THE RAMONES, STIFF LITTLE FINGERS, THE POGUES, DUBLINERS, AC/DC, THE WHO, THE ROLLING STONES, THE SEX PISTOLS, THE MACC LADS, GENERATION X, THE JAM, etc. We draw a lot of influence from early US and Brit punk, Oi!, Irish traditional and folk music, and the band that we owe almost our existence to, the SWINGIN' UTTERS.

SDB: Are there any present day bands that y'all draw influences from?

DKM: I think present day bands will more inspire us than influence us. Touring with bands like the AGGROLITES, SICK OF IT ALL, AGAINST ME!, AGNOSTIC FRONT, BOUNCING SOULS, etc., have inspired us to play as hard as we can every night regardless of circumstances.

SDB: What bands have y'all influenced that you are aware of?

DKM: I don't really know; I mean, there are bands out there that remind me of our sound, but they could have similar influences. I'm not going to call out band names and assume that they're influenced by us; I suppose that could be construed as egotistical. They could be coming from a different angle and arriving at a similar place as us... eh, who knows...

SDB: How's the tour going? Any surprises or stories that you are dying to share?Any anecdotes from the road?

DKM: Everything's going as smoothly as it could right now. The only "surprise" I could share is that we're busting out a cover version of a favorite solo artist of ours and I think we really do it justice. I'm really fired up to play it live.

SDB: I don't believe we had any cover songs at the Knoxville show, did we? However, y'all entered the stage after a very long song Celtic ditty that sounded eerily similar to Sinead O'connor. What was that? Am I correct?

DKM: Hmmm, since we change the setlist almost every night, I'm not 100% sure. However, the other dudes concur that we covered Elvis Costello's "What's So Funny About Peace, Love, and Understanding?" Our intro tunes are as follows: "Alternative Ulster" by SLF, "There's Power In the Union" by Billy Bragg, "Wolfpack/Bible" by DYS, and "The Foggy Dew" by the Chieftains with Sinead O'Connor on vocals (from their album "The Long Black Veil"). You, my friend, were pretty damned close... good ear!

SDB: Where all are y'all covering on this tour? Any new places?

DKM: We're going from the Northeast to the Southeast and wrapping around to Texas and back up through the Midwest. There are a few places we've never played before: Orono, ME; Knoxville; Corpus Cristi, TX; Urbana, IL. Some of the other places, like Louisville, KY, we literally haven't played since 1997! I remember getting $5 in change and after getting ready to shake the promoter down, he took us to White Castle for supper and we called it even after that. But haven't been there since... I hope the White Castle is still there!!!!

SDB: Y'all were in Europe this summer- how is it different than touring the US?

DKM: Well for the most part, we were playing big open-air festivals. These festivals aren't really anything like Warp Tour or that sort of thing over here. In the summer in Europe, it seems like countries just shut down and everybody goes to festivals... it's a really cool atmosphere, and now and then there are even bands that I'd like to see playing with us, but for the most part you're stuck in a frigging field.

SDB: What's the feeling and thoughts about America that y'all observed overseas?

DKM: People we talk to are typically smart enough to know that we're not official ambassadors of the United States or our government... but now and then there are people who can be hyper-critical of anything spawned from the good old USA. You'll once in a great while run into envy, contempt, and sometimes(very rarely that I've observed) hostility. As far as I'm concerned, if they don't like us, they can hit the bricks.

SDB: Y'all had some shows with the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, another fellow Boston band, this summer too? How much fun is it to play with a hometown band and share the road with guys that I assume y'all have known for years?

DKM: It was a real pleasure to tour with those guys again... It'd been eleven years since that "Boston On the Road" tour. Those guys took us, an unknown band with no full-length album, on a US and a European tour at the height of their careers-- they were a platinum-selling band at the time --and treated us like peers. That really hit home with us and I think taught us that you can say all you want and preach all you want... but leading by example is the way to do it. We owe a big part of our early popularity to the Bosstones, and we'll be forever grateful for that.

SDB: Is there another city that compares to Boston, or that you always look forward to going to more so than any other?

DKM: There are a few. When we go to Chicago, Detroit, NYC, SF, LA, Denver, Austin, etc., we get to hang with friends we've known for years and it can (for better or for worse) turn into a nightly party. Basically any major city we get to has a built-in set of old friends.

SDB: What other Boston bands, known and unknown, are out there that we should check out if we don't know about them already?


SDB: There seems to be a more underlying themes than just the music with y'all. My observation is that there is this camaraderie and a brotherhood amongst the group that extends out to your fans...and we feel that is stretches back to y'all from us as well. DKM, as well as alot of other bands especially in the "punk rock genre", are usually seen as a tight unit (despite some of the most publicized and nasty break ups of all time). Essentially, if someone has a problem with one of y'all, they will get the whole group. The lyrics to "The Gauntlet" have always stuck out in my head as a perfect example of this feeling: "Stand up and fight and I'll stand up with you. We shall succeed." That song goes a little deeper, and I don't know if that is exactly what the song was intended to be interpreted as, but to me, that is a perfect example of the bond and unity that I believe your music stands for and one of the many reasons that there are so many DKM fans out there, and that it gives us a feeling of somewhere to belong with someone who will have our back. Would you agree with that, or am I way off?

DKM: Well yeah, when you spend as much time with people who aren't your blood, you do form a very "familial" relationship with them whether you like it or not. As far as "The Gauntlet", that's basically the idea, as well as an old AGNOSTIC FRONT ad lib from the song "United Blood" off their "Live At CBGB's" album: "It's called Unity. U-N-I-T-Y. Fighting the outside world and not with each other. The power to succeed, and we've all got it". That kinda sums it up. If one of our guys gets some stick from somebody, of course we'll back him up... so watch out, there're seven of us!!!!!

SDB: There have been several personnel changes over the years, including lead singer and guitar, and the addition of extra instruments and members here and there. How have these personnel changes affected DKM?

DKM: I'd say for the better. The funny thing is, the band got up-and-running from the word go. Most bands don't play out in their first 6 months or so... we were playing out immediately. So my point is that bands "tweak" their lineup in the garage or basement. However, we did it in the spotlight. Basically, we were cutting the fat and honing our craft from the get-go, and the latest lineup is the one most focused on actually doing the band. Guys who fell by the wayside were either too busy with either not making enough money, having kids to attend to, wanting to open a recording studio, or playing hippy music. These days we're seven guys who work better together than ever... it makes touring easier when EVERYBODY is on the same page and there's not one guy who wants to do something else.

SDB: Obviously, these changes were made for a reason, mostly for the better one would assume, but what is different now than before?

DKM: (basically answered above)

SDB: How did y'all go about moving forward with new members, a new singer, sound/voice, etc?

DKM: We just got going. Even in the very early days, Ken wrote and/or articulated the vocals/vocal patterns, so after Mike bailed we just kept going business as usual. When Al came in it was obvious that he was the choice--- plus it helped that we were big BRUISERS fans to begin with and thought his voice fit the band better than anyone.

SDB: Do y'all still talk to Mike McColgan of the Street Dogs?

DKM: He's living in Los Angeles, so it's a bit hard. We're parochial like that I guess, haha...

SDB: I found this interview with him online-- any comments?

DKM: Ummm.... Well done? Haha.

SDB: What was everyone's reaction when he quit to become a firefighter?

DKM: I know that story sounds romantic and all that, but he didn't quit to become a fireman. He didn't do that until a few years AFTER leaving the band. Before doing the band full-time, he was a pressman at a local newspaper and was making good cake-- so life on tour wasn't as glamorous as he thought it'd be, especially the money aspect. When you're used to a standard of living, you don't want it to diminish, and being in a touring Punk band was definitely a step down for him. I can understand that; people have different priorities. Anyway, this happened ten years ago; so I vaguely remember being relieved that he was finally leaving and psyched to get someone who was committed to the band.

SDB: How is the DKM and Street Dogs relationship these days?

DKM: These days that stuff is water under the bridge. We're in Boston, and they're in California and Texas, so it's not like we go "down ye olde pub for a pint of the black nectar".

SDB: Any specific or particular preference of black nectar that you are referring to, or should I go out on a limb here and guess Guinness?

DKM: You've got it, my man. Oddly enough, John Rioux(S.Dogs' bass player) came to the San Antonio gig. There was no Guinness cracked between dudes, but we may have enjoyed a 12 oz. bud or Lonestar between us.

SDB: Ever played with them?

DKM: We did the Warped Tour one year together. That was a lark!!

SDB: Any plans to in the near future?

DKM: I wouldn't think so. Two bands with very similar instrumentation and an increasingly similar sound would be two hours too many of fiddly-diddly-dee for even the staunchest green-teeshirt-wearing, be-scally-capped, mom's-tablecloth-stealing, drunk-on-Guinness d00d.

SDB: One of y'all's pre-show songs that plays when the crew is setting up and tuning y'all's guitars and other instruments was the Street Dogs cover of Billy Bragg's "There is Power in a Union". Coincidence that that played or no? Which is the better version: Street Dogs or Bragg, and why?

DKM: Referring to my answer above, that was the Billy Bragg original in our intro music. We've had those songs as an intro for about seven years. The Street Dogs cover is decent, but as I've always said about 99% of covers (including our own), why not go for the real McCoy?

SDB: Tell us a little about your latest album, last year's The Meanest of Times. It grabbed alot of attention, and was your highest charting album. How does it compare to your past albums, sonically, content wise and overall?

DKM: I think it's a nice mixture of all our various "sounds" mixed together. I think it's a return to form in the sense of the aggression of the earlier albums, but it includes the things we've learned over the years. Songs like "The State of Massachusetts" are a good example: It's heavy, aggressive, and has big singalong choruses, but you have traditional instrumentation via the accordion, banjo, and tin whistle. The album has a lot of muscle despite its varied instrumentation-- it's not a 'skip around the clover with an Irish knit sweater on' album. It's a little dark in sound and theme, but still sounds hopeful, too. I don't know, I'm probably starting to sound like a pompous ass right now, talking about my own record!!!!!

At end, it was the easiest album we've ever written. We pumped out twenty-one originals and two cover versions before we knew it... really weird that way... plus we were playing songs like "State...", "Vices & Virtues", "The Thick Skin of Defiance", and "Johnny I Hardly Knew Ya" months and months before we recorded them. The songs got to their peaks BEFORE we recorded them as opposed to the usual scenario for bands: You write and record a tune, and then tour on it--- a year later you listen to the original recording and it's almost a different song.

SDB: In 2006, DKM were featured in Scorsese's 2006 Academy Award winning film The Departed with the song "I'm Shipping Up to Boston". How did the success of such a tremendous movie and a great song affect y'alls career at that point? Has the crowd changed at shows? Are there more fans now due to them being unaware or unfamiliar with DKM before the film hit?

Y'all's song "Tessie" was also featured in Fever Pitch, with Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore. "Tessie" was also the Red Sox's official song from 2004. Also, y'all received alot of coverage playing in Boston at Fenway Park during game 7 last year when the Red Sox went on to win the World Series. Sox pitcher Papelbon even joined y'all onstage (Surely y'all didn't teach him that dance?). Did y'all notice a significant change in fans and awareness of y'all music after the series?

DKM: "Shipping" being in the Departed really sealed the deal with us being locally recognized. We always did well as far as pulling numbers at gigs in Boston, but after "Tessie" with the Red Sox and then "Shipping", it really took off locally. Some of the guys in the band even get stopped for autographs and all that weird stuff just while around Town. Very, very surreal. Yeesh. I think the crowd has broadened, but the core fans are whom we really play to. Sure, it's nice to enjoy popularity with the fleeting music fan, but they're just that: fleeting. Our true fans(like yourself) have followed us for years and it's not just some "flavor of the month" thing. It's easy to spot the fair-weather fans, too. Just watch the front row at a gig, and you'll see a couple kids that look bored out of their skulls getting banged around for the whole gig... then we play "Shipping..." and they go friggin' nuts and leave. Sad really, haha.

SDB: I have to ask this-- what happened to the Sox this year??? and Manny? As long as the Yanks and Mets don't make it, I'm fine. I'm a Braves man really, but going for the Rays...a la '91 Braves "Worst to First" style...

DKM: Hey, it just wasn't our year. Go BRUINS !!!!!!!

SDB: How about Pedroia winning AL MVP? Does that mean anything to you/y'all?

DKM: The man deserved it. What a great frigging player! Of course that means a lot to us. How could it not?

SDB: I thought punk rockers weren't supposed to be into sports? Ha. It seems like y'all are into at least all the Boston sports. Is that a sign of support for your town, or have y'all always been fans of sports? Y'all have been included in sports video games too. I'm sure that has helped gain new fans, especially the younger crowd and the teenagers that might not have knownabout y'all before.

DKM: I'm not a punk, I'm a skinhead, bub! And if a punk isn't supposed to be into sports, then by all means, GET INTO SPORTS! Punk is about bucking trends, not mohican haircuts and spikes. Some of the guys in the band are "into" sports in general, some don't care about them at all, and then there's me who is definitely more of a "Boston sports" guy... I follow NHL, MLS, and English Premiership, but I'm a avid BRUINS and RED SOX fan. As far as the video games, they're a worse waste of time than surfing the internet. I suppose it's gained us a few fans, but I can't say in what amount!

SDB: Ok, explain to our readers what you mean by "Skinhead" please, for clarification, of the common misunderstanding with it's alignment with racism and hate versus its original meaning of a short haircut and its wearers affection for fashion, music and lifestyle. I know the origin, but I will let you explain it better.

DKM: Although I've been a skinhead since 1990, I don't consider myself any sort of authority, per se. From my experience in that scene and being exposed to the scene in East London and having met many original '60s Skinheads, this is my take on it. The Skinhead is a (typically white) working class gangster. With that being said, it sort of falls in between the US media's portrayal of the "all skinheads are racist" attitude and the utopian, benign, yay-reggae, "Spirit of '69" skinhead ideal that a lot of people take as Gospel truth. There are different 'factions', and have been since(and probably before) the British National Front and BNP signed some of them on in the late '70s as their footsoldiers. There are skinheads of all stripes. The far-right wing ones say they're the REAL skinheads, and the far-left ones claim THEY'RE the real ones.

The thing is, they're all skinheads. It's like language: there was proto-Indo-European, which diverged into your Latin, Celtic, Germanic, etc., languages. Just because they don't use the same words doesn't mean they can't be called languages. Different groups of skinheads "moved on" from the original... but they're all skins. I mean, taken quite literally, the "Mod" factor of skinhead means "Modern", I.e. contemporary, staying footed in Modernism. Skinhead is best explained as a White equivalent to Rastafarianism, minus a religious aspect. There are white, Latino, Asian, and Arab Rastas, and it's just the same with skinhead, but the actual mode of style, gang mentality and such are rooted in East London. The original heads took the more streamlined, hard-mod look, mixed with the Jamaican Rudeboy style and music, mixed that with the dockworker and factory worker style, swagger, and outlook, throw in a splash of Teddy Boy, and you've got Skinheads. It was at first an amalgamation of already-existing and somewhat outdated subcultures boiled down to one. Some say that the Jamaicans were the first Skinheads. They weren't. Some say that the Jamaicans had nothing to do with it. Bullshit.

It was definitely just a logical evolution of East London street gangs and the influences that surrounded them, all grounded in working class and family values. Like any British subculture, a big part of it is putting on the appearance of living above your station in life. Also, like any cross section of society, with skinheads you're going to have your racist, non-racist, liberal, conservative, White, Black, Jewish, carpenter, lawyers, et cetera. Pigeonholing them in one category is as stupid as saying the general public is of one opinion and one mindset. One could argue that Skinhead was a very time- and place-oriented subculture and doesn’t belong outside London, but it's spread across the globe and takes its place alongside Mods, Rockers, Greasers, Rockabillies, and as some call them, Casuals.

SDB: What's next for the DKM? Another live album, dvd, a new album, a break from the
road, or perhaps a VH1 Behind the Music special?

DKM: We just finished up a two-month break from touring and playing together-- the first of the kind in about ten years! We're refreshed and rejuvenated and ready to tear it up on stage. We'll concentrate on touring for now, but there may be a few tricks up our sleeves that I hope don't involve VH1, MTV, or that crap.

SDB: Haha...I was joking about the VH1, by the way. I'm sure it would make a great story though.

DKM: Haha totally... The thing is, we're the most boring bunch of dudes ever! There's no scandal, very few shenanigans, etc. It'd be the lowest-rated program since "Bass Masters"...

SDB: Besides already having a fairly extensive catalog (a handful of albums, a couple of EPs, tons of compilations and a long list of splits), without blowing your showmanship secrets and giving away surprises for the show, do you play covers or do anything in particular to surprise the crowd with that"Oh, Wow! I can't believe they are doing that" feeling and moment?

DKM: Yeah, for better or for worse... We've done a million covers over the years, recorded or not. More recently, doing "Baba O'Reilly" by the WHO was a bit of a showstopper, and friends would come up to us flabbergasted and psyched that we pulled it off, and then there's ROD STEWART's "Maggie May". We absolutely LOVED doing that song, and some people dug it, but there were kids that were literally angry that we did it, funnily enough. Things like, "Why did you do THAT song?! I hate that song!" were said. We just did it for St. Paddy's this year to change things up for people going to multiple gigs. We have one up our sleeve right now that should be awesome.

SDB: What's your favorite thing about performing live?

DKM: The chemistry between bandmates, and also the chemistry between the band and crowd; the reciprocity of energy between both... it's adrenalizing and euphoric. Plus I can drink copious amounts of beer and retain my girlish figure without dieting!

SDB: How does being the drummer affect your perception, feeling and energy level for you of a show? Everyone else gets to move around, jump up and down, and get to interact more with the crowd.

DKM: I've been drumming in bands since I was about thirteen. I'm more than content to be in the background and do my thing. I'd rather work on being a good drummer than be a monkey for peoples' amusement. Believe me, I have all I can do to just stay conscious up there with the segue after segue and nary a moment for a sip of water. Sometimes it's hard for me to judge how the crowd is reacting, so I just do my thing and give it as much energy as I possibly can no matter how big/small receptive/bored a crowd is.

SDB: ...especially when y'all bring up the ladies for "Kiss Me I'm Shitfaced".

DKM: As far as the bringing the ladies thing up goes, it started off as trying to level the playing field between the guys and the girls. When we do "Skinhead on the MBTA", you have a bunch of maniac dudes up there, but there was never a chance for chicks to do that, as they get tossed around like ragdolls up there by unsuspecting guys during that tune. The idea was less of a chance for girls to show of their wares than to just come up and be maniacs like the guys.

SDB: Obviously you are ok with sitting in the back, but don't you ever want to be up front, jumping around?

DKM: Nah. A drummer is in the back, and that's that. I'd rather the other guys got the attention. I like the fact that I can go to any gig and not be hounded for autographs and such like some of the other guys in the band. I'm a regular guy and I cherish the fact that most people realize that.

SDB: Do you have a favorite song to play live, and if so what is it and why?

DKM: "Wheel of Misfortune". I'm not alone on that one. I think it's just a really good song. The lyrics are great, and the music is heavy but melodic. It just "hits" me for some reason.

SDB: Do you/y'all have a favorite song that you've written? If so why and is itthe same as your favorite one to play live?

DKM: I really like "Perfect Stranger" and "Last Letter Home". "Stranger" because it just rocks, and "Last Letter" because it has a lot of meaning behind it and it has an "epic" quality to it.

SDB: Is there a song out there that you love that you/y'all didn't write and wish you had?

DKM: Every song on AC/DC's first six albums.

SDB: What do you think about AC/DC's new album Black Ice? People are saying it's their best album since Back in Black in 1980. Have you heard it? (I can send you a copy if you want, not that I am promoting copying music and not purchasing it though the proper channels, especially at your local record store.)

DKM: Give me a break. Who is saying it's the best since "Back In Black"? Their publicist? Hahahaha.... I tell you what: I ordered the double LP from the band's website, and have only 'actively' listened to the first LP. On tour one of our guys has had it on while setting up, and there are some classic riffs. I really haven't formed a full opinion on it yet. Gonna have to throw it on the steel wheel when I get home!

SDB: What are 5 artists/records that you've been digging on lately that you might suggest to our readers?

SUPERYOB- "Quality Street", "Aggrophobia", "Machine Guns'n'Alcohol", and "Ghetto Blaster"
THE ENEMY- "We'll Live And Die In These Towns"
THE CLASH- "Live At Shea Stadium"
STRONG STYLE- ???(it's in Japanese)
TOMMY & THE TERRORS- "Unleash the Fury"

SDB: Where's the best local record shop in the Boston area to get these records from?

DKM: Tough one. There used to be a whole bunch. Right now it's of course Newbury Comics(local chain, excellent for that fact), In Your Ear in Harvard Sq.(Cambridge), Loony Tunes in Central Sq., and that's about it. Now it's a lot of mail order or buying when on tour for me.

SDB: If any of our readers are ever in Boston, what are 5 other places they need to visit?

DKM: The USS Constitution, The Boston Common, the Museum of Fine Arts, Liberty Bell Roast Beef in South Boston, and McGreevy's on Boylston Street.

SDB: Finally, my fellow blogger "Davy Vegas" and I have a theory that the single greatest sound on the face of the earth is that of a well-played steelguitar...but I know y'all are big advocates of the bagpipes, which are definitely cool too. Both are not traditional instruments in "rock", but seem to be incorporated more and more these days. Does the steel beat out the pipes? Is this a theory you can support or do you have other thoughts on the subject?

DKM: The Steel guitar got a bad rap when garbage bands like the EAGLES used it. I think it definitely has its merits and may outshine the bagpipes in versatility in music. The pipes can only be played in B flat and E flat, whereas the steel guitar can play in any key. Plus it's not as A-B-R-A-S-I-V-E as the pipes! I think the ol'steel guitar wins in this contest.

SDB: I'm surprised that the steel won in this round, but that's awesome. The steel is 4-0 so far, and the undisputed heavyweight badass of the musical instrument world. And tha makes my soul feel right.

DKM: Hey, it's way less abrasive than bagpipes, what can I say!!! I'm predicting a whole army of Pedal-steel-driven Punk Rock bands in the future!!!!

SDB: Thanks Matt, and we look forward to the next time. When will that be?!

DKM: My pleasure. Good questions! Thanks for the interview, and we'll see you, I hope, in the not-too-distant future. I can't say when that will be though. Thanks again!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Wolverine preview Monday, December 15

Ok, nerd alert. I know. But I can't help it. Wolverine is bad.

Check it out.

The Gaslight Anthem

Last week, The Gaslight Anthem, one of my new favorite bands from 2008, was on Letterman. They performed their song "The '59 Sound", which, if you haven't heard, you need to check it out above. I would advise listening to the album version too, especially if you are not too impressed with their performance here (the album is better...).

The Gaslight Anthem are from Jersey, and uncoincidentally, sound like a punk rock version of The Boss, if they had Social Distortion, Against Me! and the Killers' bastard love child of rock playing their music and singing with Springsteen writing the lyrics.

I started with 2008's The '59 Sound, but those that I have talked to that have been a fan for a little while have told me to start with 2007's Sink or Swim and go from there. The Gaslight Anthem's The '59 Sound will be in the top of my list for '08, so keep an eye out for that.

Bettie Page: 4/22/23 - 12/11/08

RIP, Bettie Page. You will be missed.

Learn what you don't know. Remember what you do.

, Pics and more Pics!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

David Byrne - Knoxville recap

Last Sunday, David Byrne returned to Knoxville, and this time he wasn't site-seeing like last fall in 2007. Byrne was here to play the songs that he and Brian Eno wrote, recorded and produced on this year's Everything That Happens Will Happen Today. If you do not have this album yet, you should go ahead and pick it up...It is well worth it.

Byrne opened the show with "Strange Overtones" and worked over several more from Everything That Happens... including "Home", "One Fine Day" and "I Feel My Stuff". He played more, but I didn't take notes or grab a setlist either, and I sure can't remember now...sorry. Let me know if you know what all he played, or what all I missed.

Now, this show would have been nice to hear if it was just music alone...but I would have advised to just stay home, grab a couple of Byrne's solo records and mix in a few of your favorite Talking Heads songs, and call it a night. But, he incorporated some of the strangest, and unique, dancing into the show- and it made it worth all the while. Byrne even participated in the dance show, which was a sight to see itself.

After about and hour and a half, Byrne and crew called it a night, after blazing through "Once in a Lifetime" as the crowd exploded!

Afterwards, the stage cleared, only to be summoned back out onto stage for the first of three encores, including some of the more familiar songs...

After three finales, David Byrne reappeared in a tu-tu, finally got down to what everyone was waiting for: "Burning Down The House":

Other related posts

BTW: All pictures by yours truly.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Lonely Island video debut

The first single from The Lonely Island featuring SNL's Andy Samberg. The Lonely Island's debut album "INCREDIBAD"will be in stores 2/10/2009. This video features guest appearances by Molly Sims, Jamie Lynn Sigler, and Justin Timberlake. The Lonely Island is Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone.

As always with Samberg, this is too funny.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Return of Moz

Along with the announcement on his Myspace last week that:

'Years of Refusal' will be released on 16th February 2009 on Decca/Polydor, preceded by the single 'I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris' one week prior. The single will be supported by two new songs 'Because Of My Poor Education' and 'Shame Is The Name', the latter featuring additional vocals by Chrissie Hynde.

Morrissey will make a stop at the Orange Peel in Asheville on Monday, March 9th in support of Years of Refusal. Tickets go on sale on Friday, December 19th at Noon here. Tickets are $40 in advance. Eli "Paperboy" Reed will open the show.

If you missed last summer's Moz show at the Tennessee Theatre, you missed out. Don't miss this opportunity to see the Pope of Mope, especially up close and personal in a club setting.

Years of Refusal is Moz's follow up to 2006's Ringleader of the Tormentors, and will be out in the US on February 17th, not the 16th as it will be in the UK.

"Wannabe in LA (pins version)"

Here's the alternate video version for the Eagles of Death Metal's new fuzzy foot tapper, "Wannabe in LA" from their latest release Heart On. This version features the pinbox that was popular about ten years ago. You could find it at the mall. Remember?

It's the toy that all the kids would press their hands on and leave an imprint of the bird. Then their parents would fix it back to normal, or maybe make a peace sign if they no one was looking. I wonder if they still make those, where they are at, how much they might cost, and what they are actually called.

Anyways, check the video out, or you can see the original video version here.

EODM Myspace

Sunday, December 7, 2008

TONIGHT: David Byrne
Tennessee Theatre

You don't have too many chances to catch legends anymore, so you have to take advantage when you can. I would suggest taking advantage of this opportunity here in Knoxville on Sunday night at the Tennessee Theatre.

David Byrne will perform songs from his latest album, Everything That Happens Will Happen Today, the collaboration with famed Talking Heads producer Brian Eno. Although Eno will not be present, I'm sure Byrne will do just fine on his own, as he has been for the last two decades.

Tickets are still available here, which is actually kinda sad to see, but at least you still have a chance to see and hear the songs of David Byrne and Brian Eno.

See other Byrne related posts here.

Friday, December 5, 2008

TONIGHT: The Dirty Guv'nahs
free show @ Valarium

Catch local up and comers The Dirty Guv'nahs at the Valarium. The show is free, as a thank you to Knoxville from the Metro Pulse, the local weekly. The Guv'nahs have been drummin' up support along the trail with their campaign of classic Stones-y rock and Black Crowes-y blues sounds, mixed with a bit of funk, with about six parts of high-energy. They are in the process of recording a follow up to 2007's The Dirty Guv'nahs Don't Need No Money, at Chase Park Transduction Studios in Athens, Georgia with producer David Barbe (Drive-by Truckers, Son Volt, Bright Eyes, Whigs).

Be on the lookout for these guys as they come to your town. They'll shake your hand (and your ass) and kiss your baby (and your ol' lady too). Watchout.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

TONIGHT: The Misfits w/ American Plague
The Valarium - Knoxville

Be there.

Bonnaroo 2009

There's nothing like short notice. Tickets go on sale tomorrow at Noon for Bonnaroo 2009. Regular general admission tickets start at $209.50 (plus fees) for a limited time and will increase periodically. If you are going, I suggest saving a buck or forty, and get your tickets now.

The good folks that put the 'Roo on have realized that times are tough right now and have set up a ticket financing option too, if that is something that interests you. Pretty cool if you gotta go, but don't have the cash flow now.

No lineup announcement yet, but it will come...

(Thanks to KC for the "Bonnaroo-dolf" picture. Go vote for her Bonnaroo graphic creations here in the 2009 Holiday Design Contest! She might win a pair of tickets to 'Roo '09...maybe she'll take you.)

Smashing Pumpkins - "G.L.O.W."

Check out Smashing Pumpkins' (if they can be called that anymore) new tune "G.L.O.W.". Ironically, this sounds more like the Pumpkins of yore, and not the split personalities of soft, industrial and electronica that they were prone to producing in their latter days. See what you think.

I guess if Axl can come out as GNR still, Billy Corgan can continue the same too, despite there is only half of the original members now, but it sounds like old school Pumpkins with a modern updated sound.

More New Boss - "My Lucky Day"

Here's more new Boss for you, from his upcoming album Working on a Dream. As we reported here, the new record will be out in late January. While the single "Working on a Dream" hasn't been as well received as one might think, "My Lucky Day" seems to be more of a classic Springsteen tune, complete with prominent keys and sax, driving drums, a good hook, and of course that "Bruce rasp" that we all love.

You know, the voice that made him The Boss.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Kevn Kinney - Asheville 2007

Kevn Kinney & Friends
Asheville, NC
@ Jack of the Wood
"Warren Haynes' X-Mas Jam By Day"

Download the show here.

Find out more about Kinney, and his other band...Drivin' N' Cryin', here.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Jason Isbell readies new album

Jason Isbell is ready to release the follow up to his 2007 debut Sirens of the Ditch. This will be his first record with his band, The 400 Unit. The self-titled release was recorded at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama (if you don't know about it, do yourself a favor), and is set for a February 17th release date on Lightning Rod Records, with a 2009 tour to be announced soon.

The track listing is as follows:

1. Seven-Mile Island
2. Sunstroke
3. Good
4. Cigarettes and Wine
5. However Long
6. Coda
7. The Blue
8. No Choice in the Matter
9. Soldiers Get Strange
10. Streetlights
11. The Last Song I Will Write

"Seven-Mile Island" is now playing on Isbell's myspace, so check it out. If the new album is anything like Sirens, it will for sure prove to be a great record. Couple that with Jason having the advantage of recording the album with his everyday band? Shew, son. Dare I say the first great record of '09 possibly?

We shall see...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

MUSINK Dates Announced!

Tour dates have been announced this week for the Musink Tour in early 2009. Check out for dates and cities. Tickets and venues are TBD still, but we'll keep you posted. The closest stop on the tour is the Atlanta show, set for Sunday, March 1. Umm, count me and the crew in on this venture.

In case you aren't familiar with Musink, or missed the previous post, Musink will feature the music of Social Distortion and Motorhead, amongst others yet to be announced, along with some of the biggest names in tattooing in the world like Kat Von D (who is presenting the tour apparently) brace yourself for the loudest show of all time, along with plenty of inkin', drinkin' and rock.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thank God, and Be a Pepper

Well, the supposed Apocalypse came, and went, this weekend, with no instances that I know of. Now, I haven't actually held a copy of Chinese Democracy in my hands, or even seen an actual copy of it yet, but the word on the street is that it indeed came out yesterday...and we all survived.

And Thank God that we did because we get a free Dr. Pepper today! DP promised earlier this year that if Axl released Democracy this year, everyone would get a free Dr. Pepper. Ironically, as long as it took for the album to actually come out, you only only have until 6pm EST tonight to get your coupon here for your free 23 flavors of goodness. (The promotion was only supposed to last through yesterday, but their site went down due to the traffic and they extended the promotion through today to accommodate the Doctor's orders.)

So enjoy, and Be a Pepper, at 10, 2, and 4.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Ultimate Time Spender/Waster

Every video from your childhood...just about.

Yes, probably even ___(fill in the blank with the most obscure, random, stupid, silly video that you are ashamed and too embarrassed to admit that you liked)___.

You know that you would wait for hours for JJ Jackson, Kennedy, Jesse or even Carson, to play your video...or you were up all night waiting for Alternative Nation or Headbanger's Ball to come on on the weekends to play that loud rock n roll that you couldn't listen to with your parents around. Hell, we even waited for YO! MTV Raps to come on too, with Ed Lover and a different Dr. Dre. (that always confused me then that there were two different Dres...)

Here are a few of my old school videos that I'm not necessarily ashamed of, but I don't brag about liking them (at the time) either: 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5. My friends (at the time) made fun of me for #4, but now it's cool again. I look at it like I was an early adapter in the 10/11 year old age group that didn't have an older sibling at the time when that song came out.

I couldn't find this or that though, but that's why we have YouTube to fill in the gaps.

With this great power, careful you must be.

Don't say I didn't warn you. This will bleed your time to death.

You're welcome.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Let's Not Jump the Guns Just Yet

Love 'em or hate 'em, or you're just plain tired of hearing about it, but we are all interested to hear what the 15 year wait (AND FUSS) is all about. Guns N' Roses' Chinese Democracy is the most anticipated album of all time. It's hard to imagine waiting this long for an "active" band's follow up to three of the biggest rock albums in the last twenty years of popular music- a wait that is almost three times longer than the original members were in the band together. It's even harder to believe that the world has been waiting on this album for nearly a third of the time that rock and roll has existed (think about that for a minute).

If you haven't heard the leaked tracks, or the various versions of Chinese Democracy that have been floating around since China actually regained control of its territories from the UK back in the mid-late '90s, you can (be one of the last to) preview the album tonight starting at midnight EST on GNR's myspace.

Of course, there is no way in the world that this album can be as good as it has been hyped up to be. How could it be? With the breakthrough success of Appetite, and it's double barrel blast of a follow up with the Illusions, then a half-assed covers album that really isn't considered to be a part of the GNR legacy as it shouldn't be. Chinese Democracy since its many "first" conceptions, has been destined for greatness, and failure...mostly failure, and let down. And here's why: a brief history- a somewhat fairly accurate timeline between 1993 and 2008 all from my memory, because let's be honest, it really doesn't matter now in what order it's listed in- every stage and step of the album happened a couple of times as Axl pined over, slaved on, and beat his Democracy into submission with his dictating iron fist, and lungs.

Democracy was recorded, hyped up, set-to-be-released, delayed, re-recorded, members thrown out, new members brought in, recorded some more, a single released on a movie sound track, set-to-be-released again, delayed again, recorded some more, re-arranged, leaked to the internet, more band dismissals, more band hirings, lawsuit, MTV Music Awards, a failed tour attempt, a subsequent revolving door installed in the multiple studios to make it easier on the cast of this colossal record to come and go (but mostly go), recorded some more, leaked some more, tweaked some more, remixed some, lawsuit, set-to-be-released, delayed, set-to-be-released, now. Again, I'll believe it when I see, err, hear it.

The only way that Axl and company could follow up with those initial three records would be to produce the biggest, baddest, loudest, hard rocking-est, balls and cockin'-est, mean-machinin', boozin' and bruisin', spillin' out of the bar room out to the back parking lot brawlin', son-of-a-bitch record of all time. And that is just the music. Axl has to be the baddest bitch on the block for this record to work; to even have a shot at living up to half of its hype, and to make it the wait somewhat plausible.

Will it be? Your guess is as good as mine. I have heard most of the tracks here and there, but not all together, not in album order. Hell, I'm not sure that they are the final mixes and masterings. Knowing Axl, they probably aren't. So I decided to wait, just like everyone else, so I know for sure what I am listening to, and also, because, I am a little bit excited too, that this record is about to see the light of day, and the laser reader in my car. But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Chinese Democracy is set to come out finally on Sunday through Best Buy stores "exclusively", but I bet your local neighborhood indie store will find a way to have a few copies there for your (dis)liking...I'll believe it when I see it though. However, if you do so choose to G-N-R it up this weekend or later on, please shop locally, especially this holiday season, and help your fellow brothers and sisters out:

Find your closest independent store and support your 'hood, yo-- Represent!

DBT - "Perfect Timing" video

The Drive-By Truckers premiered their new video yesterday for "Perfect Timing", off of Brighter Than Creation's Dark. The video features Scott Baxendale, maker of Baxendale Guitars at the Colfax Guitar Shop in Denver, as he rushes to finish his Wes Freed-inspired guitar for turns out to be a beautiful guitar too. Check it out, along with a special appearance by The King.

Check out Baxendale's work here...and his very impressive client list. Some of the notables, along with DBT and Jason Isbell, are Hank III, Joe Walsh, James Burton, Willie Nelson, Guided By Voices, Nashville Pussy, Steve "The Colonel" Cropper, Travis Tritt and a ton more.

By the way, did I mention that the DBT are coming to January...on the the Valarium...?? Hmmm...I believe I did.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

IN CAHOOTS: Chris Phillips of Squirrel Nut Zippers

A few weeks ago, SDB caught up with Chris Phillips of the Squirrel Nut Zippers a couple of days before their Knoxville show at the Bijou Theatre on October 30th.

We asked Chris a bunch of questions, and of course, in typical drummer fashion (and sense of humor), we received some not-so-serious responses to our questions. Chris's responses were better than what I was really looking for, so it made for a great interview- see what you think. By the way, check out Chris gettin' down in the original video for their hit song "Hell" at the 1:15 least I believe that is Chris bustin' a move.

Oh- and since the show has already passed, if you didn't go, you have to buy their new album in 2009. If you did go to the show, you know it was awesome. Re-live some of it here and here...and yes, you too, still have to buy the new album in 2009.


SDB: Knoxville is really excited about y'all coming to town. Y'all were slated to perform last summer here, but if my memory serves me correctly (which it doesn't from time to time), I am fairly certain y'all ended up not playing. What happened? Despite that, we are glad to have you this time and are looking forward to the show.

SNZ: You sir are incorrect. We did in fact play and had an awesome time. Just because your bitter about missing the experience is no reason to pretend we didnt play. We did. And we had the best night of our lives. Now stop insulting me and get on with some real questions.

SDB: Y'all are no strangers to the road and touring, coming back on tour last year after a hiatus. How's it all going, especially after being off the road for a time. How is touring now different than before. Any surprises or stories that you are dying to share? Any anecdotes from the road? What are some of your favorite cities and venues to play?

SNZ: Well, touring now is vastly different than the old days. It used to be all done in Conestoga Wagons. You remember them. They were hard on the ass and short on comforts. I remember the first one we rented from this touring company. It had a seperate outhouse that we towed behind us. Everytime we wanted to pee we had to stop and go get in the outhouse. Then Indians were always attacking us. Once I even had an arrow come through the outhouse wall while I was leaving my mark. Crazy days. Now things are much better. We all have our own steam locomotives.

SDB: I am a new fan of Backyard Tire Fire, who y'all are touring with starting next week...How did they get hooked up with y'all? Did y'all had pick them out? Tell us about the Old Ceremony too, who y'all have been playing with this year. What are they like?

SNZ: Yes, BTF has paid us a huge amount of money for the privilege of opening up for us. Really the kind of money we are making off of them is obscene. More than we actually make for the concert. I am considering buying a brand new Locomotive just for the tour. It will have wonderful brown racing stripes down the side. I shall name it "The Brown Streak". We often use The Old Ceremony fiddle player, Mr Gabriel Pelli. He doesnt have his own locomotive however.

SDB: There have been several personnel changes over the years. How have these personnel changes affected SNZ? Obviously, these changes were made for the better, but what is different now than before? How is SNZ better now?

SNZ: As I recall, there are only two ways out of this band. Death or punitive legal action. Those who have left us by the first method are sorely missed to this day. Those who have moved on to pursue their legal careers are not missed at all, but do make us sore. These changes are all just part of an evolution. I cant say better or worse. Just a different beast. Strange things always happen in this band. The cool thing now is that we have perspective on our career. We can look back at the race track and see where were ahead and behind. Its better now because we all get our retirement benefits to supplement our income. AARP is sponsoring this tour in fact.

SDB: Tell us what's the plans for SNZ after these tour dates. Any talks of a new album? It's been a few years to say the least since Bedlam Ballroom.

SNZ: The band has been working in our laboratory concocting new hilarious hits, capers and operas. Even as we speak plans are being laid to make history with a brand new recording medium - an unbreakable 78 RPM CD!!! We have a live record which is going to be awesome. Great photo book, live video, interviews, mustard and relish. The works.

SDB: What else is on the horizon for y'all, both as a group and individually?

SNZ: We are planning on new studio recordings next year. We will do some touring next year also, but mainly will focus on getting or spring vegetable crops in. Then there is always the fall pruning to contend with. So any touring has to coincide with natural breaks in the harvest schedule.

SDB: During the hiatus, most of y'all had other "side" projects ranging from solo records, running recording studios, and working with other artists like the legendary Buddy Guy, William Reid of Jesus and the Mary Chain, and the Dickies.You were even the composer of Comedy Central's "Lil' Bush" show. Tell us at least about your part in these ventures and how they came to be. Obviously, these were a little different from what y'all were doing before in the Zippers. What did you take from these jaunts and bring back to the band, and what did you learn as a musician that helped make you better. How did you get the "Lil' Bush" gig? (That show was hilarious by the way!)

SNZ: Most of these projects were just extensions of who we already are. I mean, I grew up playing in punk rock bands. Jimbo is from the delta, where blues reigns. They were great things to do while we could let the dust settle from heavy years of being too busy. But as things mellowed out, we began to be interested in performing as SNZ again. So all the little things we had learned in the break have been sneaking into our new reality. Im now a cross dresser, Jimbo wears overalls, and Katharine just stands around and yells a lot. Its perfect. SNZ's sound is quite it's own, especially these days with so many groups sounding more and more the same. There's not much going on, at least around these parts, that sounds like y'all. But there seems to be more interest in the old-timey, jazzy-blues-roots music from the old days.

SDB: How did y'all get into these styles of music, and do y'all think of yourselves as revivalists for the movement in the last 10-15 years since SNZ "broke" out and really started to gain and draw attention to this type of music?

SNZ: Its funny, Jimbo and I were working in same restaurant. He and I just happened to be exploring turn of the century jazz at the same time. So like any good courtship, we started trading tapes. We made a lot of assessments from what we couldn’t hear. I mean, the recordings were primitive and you couldn’t always hear what was going on. That’s what the Zippers are doing – filling in the missing information, or at least what we imagine it to be. And that’s certainly how we play – between the lines.

SDB: Who/what are some of your biggest influences, and what did you take from them?

SNZ: [John Henry] Bonham!!! Unfortunately I was able to take much from besides being louder than anyone else in the band. God I love Zep. Hillbilly Zepplin, that’s how I think of SNZ

SDB: How did y'all's homebase of Chapel Hill, NC affect the musical interests of you and the rest of the group when y'all were forming back in the day? How did the town react to your throwback sound, especially as the end of the grunge era, just before it bottomed out, and the revival of swing, big-band and neo-jazz hit big across America? Was there an old-timey music scene up there, or just a normal college town with a little bit of everything?

SNZ: Chapel Hill was a very special breeding ground for us. At the time, Ben Folds Five, Superchunk, Southern Culture on the Skids were all quite busy. So we would all see each other when we were in town, or in exotic locales such as Peoria. That town (Capel hill, not Peoria) was very very sweet to us. We had almost immediate support. Everyone wanted us to play their weddings. Now we mainly play divorces. We are a huge divorce band. You know, like a wedding band, but not.

SDB: Besides already having a fairly extensive catalog (several albums, an EP and a couple greatest hits collections ), and without blowing your showmanship secrets and giving away surprises for the show, do you play covers or do anything in particular to surprise the crowd with that "Oh, Wow! I can't believe they are doing that" feeling and moment? Any trick or treats that y'all will be serving up to Knoxville on All Hallow's Eve?

SNZ: We usually perform along with the great Ghost of Stephen Foster video, which is pretty spooky and fantastic. There might be a Cat Power cover. And of course as we say – “Ladies and gentlemen, one night only, performing all their hits…The Squirrel Nut Zippers”

SDB: Just a couple more questions for ya... What's your favorite thing about performing live?

SNZ: Taking my pants off after the concert

SDB: Do you have a favorite song to play live, and if so what is it and why?

SNZ: She’s So Fine – Cause it makes me feel sexy inside.

SDB: Do you have a favorite song that you've written? If so why and is it the same as your favorite one to play live?

SNZ: I didn’t write it, but Hanging Up My Stockings, from our storied "Christmas Caravan" record is a beautiful thing to me. My grandfather wrote it in the 50’s. Then Jimbo gave it a new arrangement. Very sweet.

SDB: Is there a song out there that you love that you didn't write and wish you had?

SNZ: Any Led Zeppelin

SDB: What are 5 artists/records that you've been digging on lately that you might suggest to our readers?

SNZ: I love the Allison Krauss/Robert Plant Record, because Robert was in Led Zep.

SDB: Are "Nut Zippers", the candy that y'all got your name from, still around? I am not familiar with it-- Are they any good?

SNZ: They are great! Chewy caramel. Teeth pulling goodness. And yes, they are stil around. We talk to the company regularly.

SDB: Lastly, my fellow blogger "Davy Vegas" and I have a theory that the single greatest sound on the face of the earth is that of a well-played steel guitar. Being that you are well versed in many genres and instruments, I assume, and are an obvious fan of "old sounds", is this a theory you can support or do you have other thoughts on the subject?

SNZ: I can definitely get behind this. According to our research here in the SNZ Laboratories, Steel Guitar has been rated highest in over all audience satisfaction. When you factor in a can of cold Miller Highlife, the odds are that the listener will either urinate himself or herself, or explode in a spontaneous human explosion. Does that answer the question? Just ask our opening act in Chapel Hill this week. Dashawn Hickman, a sacred steel player. Rock on!