Entries tagged with: Johnny Marr

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Morrissey in Austin earlier this year (more by Tim Griffin)
Morrissey

Morrissey has had quite the rollercoaster of a year: signing to a label, finally releasing a new album, saying he was never actually signed to that label, pulling his record from shops, canceled tours and some serious health problems. But, according to an interview given to a Serbian radio station B92 (he plays Serbia and Croatia this week), he's already got a new album's worth of songs written and hopes to record early in the new year. (Via Stereogum.) Releasing that album, well we'll see.

In other news, apparently UK network Channel 4 asked Morrissey to give an "alternative Christmas speech" that would be broadcast at the same time The Queen gives her annual one. Moz, who has quite a number of songs about his feelings towards The Queen, tells True to You that he declined the offer in the spirit of the season:

My view that the monarchy should be quietly dismantled for the good of England is reasonably well-known, but I don't think Christmas Day is quite the time to be trading slaps. The Queen should be allowed the impassioned trance of her annual address to the British people, if only to once again prove that, in her frozen posture, she has nothing to offer and nothing to say, and she has no place in modern Britain except as a figure of repression; no independent thought required. The Queen very well might be the most powerful woman in England, but she lacks the power to make herself loved, and the phony inflation of her family attacks all rational intellect.

All over the world highly civilized peoples exist without the automatic condescension of a 'royal' family. England can do the same, and will find more respect for doing so.

Happy holidays, Morrissey.

In double-related news, his old Smiths songwriting partner, Johnny Marr, had to cancel the remainder of his current North American tour (which hit NYC a couple weeks back) due to "serious close family illness." He added:

I'm really disappointed to not be able to play the shows. The touring has been so enjoyable for me and the band and the audiences have been great everywhere. If it was about just me being unwell I would've found a way to continue as I did when I broke my hand earlier in the year, but to not be there for one of my family is not right. Thank you to everyone for the kind messages. See you soon.
All canceled dates are listed below.

Continue reading "Morrissey says he's set to start making a new LP, turns down televised Xmas speech offer; Johnny Marr cancels tour"

Q Mag

Rough Trade were the first out of the gate with year-end lists but now long-running UK monthly music mag Q has just published their end-of-the-year issue (with cover star Ed Sheeran) which includes their Top 50 LPs of 2014. The War on Drugs' Lost in the Dream comes in at #1. Have you made your list yet? Check out the rest of Q's favorite albums of 2014 below...

Continue reading "Q Magazine's Top 50 LPs of 2014: The War on Drugs are #1"

photos by Greg Cristman

Johnny Marr @ MHOW 11/15/2014
Johnny Marr

While Marr's live show primarily draws on songs from "The Messenger" and "Playland," he does pepper the set with Smiths tunes. When he kicked off his run of American dates on Nov. 9 at Washington, D.C.'s 9:30 Club, there were reportedly five Smiths songs: "Panic," "Bigmouth Strikes Again," "How Soon is Now?" "Still Ill" and "There is a Light That Never Goes Out."

"The decision to do those songs was really very easy, something of a no-brainer," Marr said. "It'd be kind of weird if someone came to see me and I didn't play 'How Soon is Now?' in this day and age."

Marr said he chose to include Smiths songs in his solo show when he was on the road in support of his first solo album last year. "When we got to tour 'The Messenger' and we played all 12 songs, it was only natural that you give the audience some stuff that they know and, in my case, have grown up with and loved.

"And you know, that's a really, really nice thing. If you get to a certain age and you're (messed) up about your back catalog, then you're just thinking too much. Because, if you've got songs that you're known for 30 years after you started, then you're lucky." - [Asbury Park Press]

Johnny Marr's tour with Meredith Sheldon was in the NYC area for three shows last week, finishing up at Music Hal of Williamsburg on Saturday night (11/15). Like his shows last year, Johnny mixed up songs from throughout his career, including a handful of Smiths songs. Smiths bassist Andy Rourke (who played with Peter Hook last week), was at the show, but didn't join Johnny on stage like last time. Setlist and pictures from the show are in this post.

While in town, Johnny stopped by The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon where he played The Smiths' "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before" and "Easy Money" off his new album, Playland. Watch both, and check out more pics from MHOW, below....

Continue reading "Johnny Marr played three NY-area shows and 'Fallon' (video ++ pics / setlist from MHOW)"

Daddy

As everyone knows, James Franco can do everything. And he often does. That includes being in a band, Daddy, which is him and pal Tim O'Keefe. Daddy's new album, due out in 2015, is titled Let Me Get What I Want and if that title is ringing bells...it, like the album, is an homage to The Smiths.

The Pineapple Express actor recently published a book of poetry called Directing Herbert White: Poems and two sections in it are called "Poems Inspired by Smiths' Songs," which are reactions to Smiths songs, each poem baring the title of the Morrissey/Marr song that inspired it. Which then became the new Daddy album. These aren't covers. While a lyric from Daddy's "This Charming Man" may start "I would go out tonight," it finishes with "but I think I'll pass" instead of "but I haven't got a stitch to wear." Giving this project some legitimacy, they got Smiths member Andy Rourke to play bass on the whole album.

You can check out first single "This Charming Man" via its video which is part of an accompanying film that features the entire album as a seamless mix and narrative. The footage was shot by students of James' mother at the high school that James attended in Palo Alto. Students were given the poems and asked to shoot based on them. Watch the video below.

Speaking of Rourke, the bassist made an appearance at the Peter Hook & the Light show at NYC's Irving Plaza on Friday (11/7), coming out to play on New Order song "True Faith." You may remember that Rourke and Hook, along with Mani from Stone Roses, were part of Freebass that existed in the late '00s. Rourke also played with his former Smiths' bandmate Johnny Marr last year when he toured through NYC, maybe he'll do it again this week?

Video for Daddy's "This Charming Man" below...

Continue reading "James Franco's band Daddy releasing Smiths-inspired album featuring Andy Rourke on bass (stream a track)"

"One of my favourite guitar players Ian MacKaye of Fugazi, Minor Threat and The Evens, and a cup cake." - Johnny Marr
marr-mackaye

Johnny Marr's current tour kicked off in Washington, DC on Sunday (11/9) which is where the above photo with Fugazi's Ian MacKaye might have been taken. Maybe they were trading vegan cupcake recipes?

After playing Philly last night, Marr and his band are now in NYC where they'll play The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon tonight (11/11) ahead of three NY-area shows. Gramercy Theatre (11/12) and Music Hall of Williamsburg (11/15) are both sold out but you can still get tickets to Friday's show (11/14) at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ. Meredith Sheldon is opening for Johnny again but Johnny's son, Nile, will not be accompanying on guitar this tour.

As on the last tour, Johnny plays songs from The Smiths as well as his own solo albums. This tour he's added Meat is Murder opening cut "The Headmaster Ritual" to his setlist, so look out for that.

Johnny also features heavily on the new Bryan Ferry album. Video for Marr's single "Easy Money" from new album Playland, below....

Continue reading "Johnny Marr on tour, hung with Ian MacKaye, playing 'Fallon' tonight before three NYC-area shows"

Bryan Ferry @ Beacon Theatre, 10/1/2014 (more by Greg Cristman)
Bryan Ferry

As mentioned, Bryan Ferry's new album, Avonmore, will be out November 17. It features album-wide contributions from iconic guitarists Johnny Marr and Nile Rodgers. Marr can be heard on "Soldier Of Fortune" and Rodgers' distinctive Chic-funk riffing is prevalent on "Loop De Li," both of which can be heard below. The latter now has a striking video, directed by Aoife McArdle (who made Jon Hopkins' "Open Eye Signal"), which definitely throws back to the '80s Excess days of Jay McInerney and Bret Easton Ellis. Watch that (slightly NSFW) clip below.

In other news, Ferry's old band Roxy Music reformed in 2001 but have been completely inactive for nearly four years. If you were wondering what was the story, well they broke up again but forgot to tell anybody till now, informs guitarist Phil Manzera to Rolling Stone. There are plans for new Roxy boxsets next year. And more Bryan Ferry touring (hopefully in better health) to come.

Bryan Ferry is currently in the midst up a European tour and will be on the road in the UK this coming spring. All dates are listed, plus video and song stream, below...

Continue reading "Bryan Ferry shares new song and video from 'Avonmore' (streams); Roxy Music broke up again"

by Andrew Sacher

Weezer

Next week (October 7) is a pretty major album release week, which means a lot of major albums are streaming in full this week. We already posted full album streams from Zola Jesus, Godflesh, Iceage and Single Mothers, and here's a roundup of some of the other anticipated records coming out this Tuesday.

Aussie/UK's Allo Darlin make more of their charming indie pop on We Come From the Same Place, due out via Slumberland. You can listen to that one at Pitchfork. Their tour hits Glasslands in October.

A Winged Victory for the Sullen, aka the duo of Stars of the Lid's Adam Wiltzie and pianist/composer Dustin O'Halloran, release their droning new album, Atomos, via Kranky. Listen at NPR.

Dan Snaith's electronic psych dancepop return as Caribou, Our Love, is coming via Merge and can now be streamed at iTunes Radio. His tour with album collaborator Jessy Lanza hits Webster Hall twice in November.

Mary Timony's (Wild Flag, Helium, Autoclave) current band Ex Hex have been killing it as a live band for a while and their debut album Rips finally comes out next week via Merge. It's packed with ultra-catchy glammy punk and can be streamed at NPR. They're touring with Speedy Ortiz soon.

Justin Vernon associate Field Report brings in new synthy layers to his folk songs on Marigolden, due via Partisan. That can be streamed at Pitchfork.

Foxygen will release their wacky, long, psychedelic double album, ...And Star Power, in two weeks (10/14) via Jagjaguwar, but that one's streaming now too. You can listen via NPR. They'll be on tour soon too.

Former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr, who has also played in The The, Electronic, Modest Mouse, The Cribs and more, goes solo for his second time with Playland, coming via Warner Bros and following last year's solo debut, The Messenger. That can be streamed in full below via Spotify. His upcoming tour includes two NYC shows and a NJ show in November.

The great hip hop weirdo DOOM (aka MF Doom) seemingly never stops collaborating, and next week he'll be teaming up with the young impressive Brooklyn rapper Bishop Nehru for NehruvianDOOM, via Lex/Noizy Cricket!!. You hear that over at Pitchfork.

Brooklyn goth country collective O'Death have a super raw record, Out of Hands We Go, coming next week through Northern Spy. Listen in full (via CMJ) below. Theyll be on tour with Death Vessel and Stone Jack Jones soon.

Psychedelic duo Peaking Lights sound funkier than ever on their newest album, Cosmic Logic, coming out via Domino affiliate Weird World. There's an appropriately trippy album visualizer with the stream over at Domino's site. Check it out. They'll be in NYC to make four different appearances this week.

SBTRKT's new album, Wonder Where We Land, is weirder and less hooky than his last, and filled with an impressive cast of guests including Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig, Chairlift's Caroline Polacheck, Jessie Ware, A$AP Ferg, Warpaint, Sampha, Raury and more. Listen at STBRKT's site. His tour includes two Terminal 5 shows this month.

The newest installment of Famous Class' LAMC series of split 7"s comes out next week with Speedy Ortiz's "Doomsday" and Chris Weisman's "I Took It Off A Record." The Speedy song is more of their quality indie rock and Chris's track leans more on the folk side. Stream both tracks below. Speedy are touring with Ex Hex soon.

Steve Gunn's kinda-psychedelic folk and excellent guitar playing are intact for his newest LP, Way Out Weather, due via Paradise of Bachelors. Listen at NPR.

Stevie Nicks' newest, 24 Karat Gold: Songs From the Vault, which includes songs mostly written between 1969 and 1987, one from '94 and one from '95, can be streamed at Amazon. Fleetwood Mac's classic lineup is on tour now and hitting NYC for two nights at MSG in a few days.

Cult folk legend Vashti Bunyan sounds gorgeous as ever on Heartleap, her third album (following 1970's Just Another Diamond Day and 2005's Lookaftering), reportedly also her final album, and the first she produced largely on her own. It's coming out via FatCat in Europe and DiCristina in North America. Take a listen to this gem over at Pitchfork.

Wampire's new album, Bazaar, due via Polyvinyl, is genuinely weird but also genuinely rocking. Check it out for yourself, below. They'll be touring with TOPS and also playing CMJ.

Weezer have gone for the "comeback" album a few times already, and they're going for it again on Everything Will Be Alright in the End. Does it live up? Is it a return to form? (I'd say it's a return to Green Album, personally.) Hear it for yourself on iTunes Radio.

And lastly, this one's not a full album stream, but speaking of '90s bands making returns to form, Rancid definitely sound like they're doing just that with the three songs they put out from their new album, ...Honor Is All We Know, due out 10/27 via Hellcat/Epitaph. It was produced by Bad Religion guitarist/Epitaph CEO Brett Gurewitz (whose band is also riding the "do it like we did in our prime" train). Watch a video with those three tracks below.

Continue reading "stream roundup: Johnny Marr, Vashti Bunyan, Stevie Nicks, Peaking Lights, Speedy Ortiz, Weezer, Rancid, more"

IMAGE

Bryan Ferry, who is currently on tour in North America, has just announced his new album, Avonmore, will be released on November 17. The record features contributions from Johnny Marr, Nile Rodgers, Flea, Ronnie Spector, Mark Knopfler, Maceo Parker and others. It's also got a cover of "Send in the Clowns" and his and Todd Terje cover of Robert Palmer's "Johnny & Mary" which originally appeared on Terje's It's Album Time. You can stream opening salvo "Loop De Li" -- very much in the "Kiss & Tell" vein -- below.

Ferry will be in NYC next week playing Beacon Theatre on October 1. Tickets are still available.

Continue reading "Bryan Ferry announces new LP featuring Johnny Marr, Nile Rogers, Ronnie Spector, Todd Terje & more (stream a track)"

Johnny Marr

Johnny Marr's new album, Playland, will be out October 7 and he's just announced a fall tour which will bring him NYC for two shows: November 12 at Gramercy Theatre and November 15 at Music Hall of Williamsburg. There's also a show at NJ's Stone Pony on November 14. Tickets to Gramercy and Stone Pony go on sale Friday (9/12) at 10 AM with a Citicard Member presale beginning Tuesday (9/9) at 10 AM and a Livenation presale beginning Wednesday (9/10) at 10 AM. Tickets for MHOW go on sale Friday at noon with an AmEx presale beginning Thursday (9/11) at noon.

All dates are listed, and the video for Playland's first single, "Easy Money," below...

Continue reading "Johnny Marr announces fall tour w/ 3 NY-area shows (dates)"

Morrissey in Dallas in May (more by Tim Griffin)
Morrissey

Remember how last week Morrissey said he was dropped by his label, Harvest Records? Well, apparently the label says that wasn't true. Billboard reports that "a source close to the situation" tells them Morrissey was not in fact dropped and he still owes them one more album to fulfill his contract. (Morrissey: "I Don't Owe You Anything.") Not a great year for Harvest Records.

In less confusing Smiths news, Johnny Marr has released the first single from his upcoming second solo album, Playland, which is due October 7 via Warner Bros. The song's called "Easy Money," and you can watch its video (dir. David Barnes), below.

Continue reading "Morrissey's label says they did not in fact drop him; Johnny Marr releases single from new LP (watch the video)"

Johnny Marr @ Webster Hall in February (more by Dana [distortion] Yavin)

Johnny Marr will put out his second solo LP, Playland, on October 7 via Warner Brothers. This comes fairly quickly after Johnny's The Messenger last year. Says the former Smiths/The The/Modest Mouse/Cribs guitarist:

When 'The Messenger' came out I kept on writing. I liked that the band had a momentum going on tour and a connection with the audience, and I thought that energy would be good to capture on the new record.
No music has been shared yet, but the LP is up for pre-order now. Album art and tracklist are below...

Continue reading "Johnny Marr releasing 'Playland' in October"

by P Squared Photography

Spiderman

As you may have caught on our Instagram last night: "Holy mother. Supergroup of the year? Hans Zimmer. Kendrick Lamar. Alicia Keys. Johnny Marr and Pharrell Williams on drums jamming here at the Spider-Man 2 afterparty at Moynihan Post Office Station." The seemingly random group actually all appear on the new movie's soundtrack (Phosphorescent is on there too). Johnny Marr, who also worked with Hans Zimmer in the past, in particular told us about his role in a recent interview we did:

Spider-Man happened because Marc Webb and Hans invited me to do it. Right now we're in the thick of it. I'm sure it will turn out well, because Marc's an inspired person. It's a fun film as well. Of course it's very different from what we did with Inception, but me and Hans have kind of got a thing now. We have a sound that, funny enough, seems to be popping up in a few other movies. For the longest time you wouldn't hear guitar on film soundtracks. Inception seemed to kind of break that mold. I'll be going back there after this tour's finished to continue working on Spider-Man. From a working point of view, it's a very different discipline to writing rock songs and running a band. Mostly because you're given an emotional remit, and I actually really like that. I don't see it as a limitation at all. If anything, it makes things very clear. The great thing about doing movies is that you immediately know when it's wrong.
The band was called Hans Zimmer and the Magnificent 6 and was introduced by Jamie Foxx after Jamie and Pharrell performed "Happy" for the VIP crowd. They jammed on the instrumental tracks and then brought up Kendrick and Alicia for their new song from the movie and soundtrack. A few more pictures and some related videos below...

Continue reading "At the Spider-Man 2 premiere party: Kendrick Lamar, Johnny Marr, Pharrell, Hans Zimmer, Alicia Keys & more jammed"

photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin; words by Bree Roberts

Johnny Marr w/ Andy Rourke @ Irving Plaza, 11/16/2013
Johnny Marr
Johnny Marr

Johnny Marr's second tour of North American this year hit NYC on Saturday (11/16) at Irving Plaza. I didn't catch most of Meredith Sheldons' opening set set because the MTA decided that the L train shouldn't run again this weekend, which is a shame. A shame because the MTA is a wanker, and a shame because Meredith Sheldon is a beautifully morose, sulky kind of singer, and with Johnny Marr's son Nile on guitar she really made me wish I had of been there for the whole time.

I'm fairly sure every babysitter in NYC was hired Saturday, because this was the first show I've been to in a long time where I felt young. The average age of the crowd was mid thirties and everyone was out to have a good time, and get wasted on wine -- like classy people do. The Ipad sized phones held up the entire show to record things seemed unnecessary and were really irritating. I heard about two $400 tickets up for sale for this sold-out show on Stubhub three hours before the show -- and they got sold! (Tickets were originally $25).

Johnny was here tonight to promote his new album The Messenger. All the songs he played off that album were fantastic, including the title track, which is full of New Order-ish guitar driven melodies, singles "Upstarts" and "New Town Velocity" - which was lilting and lovely.

Response to the new songs was great -- unlike some shows like this, people seemed to have actually listened to his new album -- but the crowd got very excited for The Smiths songs (I won't call them covers, because Johnny cowrote them all) of which six were played, including "Panic," "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before," "Big Mouth Strikes Again" and, final song of the night, "There is A Light That Never Goes Out." (There was a LOT of singing along.) The crowd went totally nuts, though, near the end of the night, when Marr brought out his friend since childhood and Smiths bandmate Andy Rourke, much as he did at Music Hall back in May. When Andy and Johnny teamed up on the amazingly cool "How Soon Is Now?" and then "Please, Please Please, Let Me Get What I Want" -- goth 90s teen me definitely died a little inside. The crowd went appropriately wild. Video of both and pictures from the show, plus the setlist, are in this post.

My favorite tune of the night though, apart from the obvious Smiths Johnny and Andy collaborations, was "Getting Away With It" by Electronic -- his band with Bernard Sumner from New Order and Neil Tennant from Pet Shop Boys. Fucking genius. All in all Johnny seemed thrilled to be onstage in NYC and playing with Andy again, and he appeared to be completely in his element. Looking forward to him returning to NYC.

While in town, Marr (who we just interviewed) stopped by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon again to perform "Generate! Generate!" from The Messenger and then a web exclusive of "Please Please Please." You can watch both below and, as you can hear, Marr does a fine job singing Morrissey's lyrics...and that riff still thrills.

Johnny Marr's tour rolls on and if you'd like to see him at one of his remaining North American dates, we're giving away a pair of tickets to the show of your choice. Video of the Fallon plus more pics from Marr's Webster Hall show, below...

Continue reading "Johnny Marr was joined by Andy Rourke for two Smiths songs at Webster Hall (pics, video, setlist); Marr played 'Fallon' too"

Johnny Marr @ FFF Fest 2013 (more by Tim Griffin)
Johnny Marr

You're back in NYC on the 16th at Webster Hall. Now, last time you played here you had a very special guest and Brooklyn resident play with you. Any chance of seeing Andy join you for the show this week?

Well, you know...Andy and I have been friends since we were school kids, and he's always been one of my favorite musicians. We try harder and harder to keep our relationship special, and we've managed to do that against some pretty amazing odds, and we're both very proud of that, and we sound good when we play together. I hope he's not out of town [laughs].

Can we expect a Johnny Marr autobiography anytime soon?

There is gonna be one, yeah. I've had so many offers and so many people advising me that my story is worth it, but I understand it's something that I have to do. I'll do it in the next couple of years. I'm into from the stance that I want it to be so thorough that I don't make a record or tour whilst I was doing it. It is gonna happen, and I've already made an agreement with a publisher for it, so I will get it done.

Johnny Marr brings his current North American tour to NYC on Saturday (11/16) at Webster Hall. As our recent interview with the guitar icon notes, it might not be too surprising to see his old Smiths bandmate (and NYC resident) Andy Rourke come out for a song at the show. We're pretty sure he's in town -- he just DJ'd at Alison Moyet's NYC show last night. The Webster Hall show is sold out, but if you'd like to win a pair of tickets to see it -- or any other date on Marr's current U.S. tour -- we've got a pair to give away. Details, and his tour schedule are below.

Marr Merch at Irving Plaza in May (more by Dana [distortion] Yavin)
MERCH

We're also giving away a copy of Johnny's new solo album, The Messenger, on vinyl, as well as one of his "JOHNNY FUCKIN MARR" t-shirts. This is separate from the ticket giveaway. Details on that are below too.

Continue reading "win tix to see Johnny Marr on current tour, or vinyl & t-shirt"

photos by Tim Griffin

Slayer/Glass Candy/Polyphonic Spree/Slayer surfer @ FFF Fest 2013
Slayer

Walkmen
Slayer surfer

More pics from Day 1  HERE and HERE, pics from Day 2 pics HERE and HERE; and pics from Day 3 are HERE and HERE, Slayer included....

Closing Fun Fun Fun Fest, Slayer treated Austin to greatest hits and then some: "Raining Blood," "South of Heaven," "Dead Skin Mask," "Seasons in the Abyss," etc. They also dug out the aforementioned "Die by the Sword," a high point off their 1983 debut LP, Show No Mercy.

After fooling no one with a false ending of "South of Heaven," the third backdrop of the night unfurled at the back of the stage: a parody of the Heineken logo reading "Hanneman" and bearing his life dates. The top read "Angel of Death." Reign in Blood's terrifying opening track - and closing number on Auditorium Shores - now serves as an epitaph for Slayer's fallen co-founder. - [Austin Chronicle]

The eighth Fun Fun Fun Fest happened last weekend (11/8 - 11/10) at Austin's Auditorium Shores, hosting three days of music and fun (fun fun), with such acts as MIA, Deerhunter, Slayer, Television, Thee Oh Sees, Kurt Vile, Cut Copy. Johnny Marr, The Walkmen, Jurassic 5, Killer Mike and loads more. Many of them played again as part of the FFF Nites shows, including shows presented by BrooklynVegan and Invisible Oranges.

We were there in the thick of it and, as mentioned above, you can check out pics from Day 1  HERE and HERE, pics from Day 2 pics HERE and HERE; and pics from Day 3 are HERE and HERE. See you again in 2014 Austin.

by Jonathan Dick

Johnny Marr @ Fun Fun Fun Fest 2013 (more by Tim Griffin)
Johnny Marr

Having influenced everyone from The Stone Roses to Radiohead to Deafheaven, Johnny Marr's guitar sound is easily one of the most recognizable, unfolding and swelling its notes, layer upon layer, with a melody that's as dense in its bombast as it is playful in its simplicity. A mere twenty-six years after leaving The Smiths, Marr released his first solo record, The Messenger, earlier this year. It's not to say there wasn't anything going on for Marr during the time between, however. In fact, while much of Smiths fandom has continued to revel in mourning and reunion speculation, Marr has spent the time since simply defining the terms of his own artistic progression. Membership in bands such as Modest Mouse, The Cribs, Electronic, The The, and innumerable guest spots for those artists who mince no words concerning the obvious influence for them has allowed Marr to properly illuminate the evolutionary arc of his career as a thankfully unfinished piece. I had the opportunity to talk with Johnny, who is on tour now, about The Messenger as well as his creative process and what his thoughts are on writing an autobiography.

--
For The Messenger, I'm curious as to what kind of worked as a creative catalyst for you with the album. Why a solo album now? Was the creative process for the album different here than with your other projects?

Johnny Marr: Well, the reason the record happened when it did is because I had the ideas for the songs. I always have ideas for music and riffs and guitar parts, but over the touring years with Modest Mouse and The Cribs, I got a lot of ideas for things I wanted to sing about. It's a good start, so this album is actually driven mostly by lyrical concepts - ideas for what I wanted to sing about. That kind of ruled out the idea of me handing over the music to someone else to write lyrics, so it just fell together that way. It certainly wasn't my thinking that now would be a good time to do a solo record or have a solo career and then try and go about doing it. I just heard the songs first. I couldn't wait to get in the studio after coming off the road and just see if these things would turn into tracks. And the actual writing and recording of the record happened really quickly. I was demoing a song a day, and I ended up writing almost thirty songs - like, twenty-six or twenty-seven songs for it. It was a very inspired time. As for the creative process, I'd forgotten that I would be the producer. I was just working in the studio with my friend Doviak, and I had decided to do these songs. As I said, the demoing started to happen pretty quickly, and then I realized that the decisions of what microphones to put on the cymbals and what bass sounds to use was on me, and I'd not been in a position before where I was writing the lyrics and singing and playing the guitars and keyboards and finding the right microphones for cymbals. Technically, I was kind of a challenge I hadn't considered. It made me a bit of a grumpy person to be around for a couple of weeks [laughs]. Whereas in the past, you see, I was always fine with doing that - with being the first person in the studio and the last person to leave. It's a different thing when you're singing and writing the words. You need to be in a different headspace. I found that somewhat of a challenge for the first week or first few weeks. But now I've done it, and I'm proud that we managed to pull that off. I roped Doviak as co-producer to stop me going completely out of my mind or killing everybody in the building when I couldn't find the mic to put on the kick drum [laughs].

continued below...

Continue reading "an interview with Johnny Marr (on his own forthcoming autobiography, social media, Spider-Man, Andy Rourke & more)"

photos by Chris Tuite

Johnny Marr @ The Fillmore
Johnny Marr
Johnny Marr

Johnny Marr performed "The Right Thing Right" from his solo album, The Messenger on Conan on 11/5, four days after his North American tour with Meredith Sheldon (ALAMAR), which started on Halloween in Anaheim, hit The Fillmore in San Francisco, a show we have pictures from in this post. There's more of them below with the video from Conan too.

Johnny's next tour stop is Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin this weekend. NYC gets a show at Webster Hall on November 16 and tickets are still available. If you're going and want to keep the Smiths vibes going, save your ticket stub for an afterparty at Knitting Factory where your ticket will get you $5 off a ticket to see Morrissey/Smiths tribute band The Sons and Heirs play. You can also then yell, "That's not how Johnny Marr played 'Panic' earlier tonight!!!" If you want to be a jerk.

Dates, pictures and setlist from The Fillmore, and Conan video, below...

Continue reading "Johnny Marr on tour, played Conan & The Fillmore (pics, setlist, video); Sons & Heirs play NYC afterparty"

How many Neko Case bandmembers can you squeeze into a dressing room?
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We've already posted a bunch of videos this week like The Weeknd's Portishead-nicking new song, Earl Sweatshirt, Titus Andronicus covering "Glory Days", David Bowie, and more. But unfortunately we don't get to all the cool videos that come out during the week (or weeks), so here's our attempt at playing catch-up. Check out videos from FIDLAR (featuring more of Nick Offerman than you may be ready for), Johnny Marr, Braids, CocoRosie, Coliseum, Mikal Cronin, The Flaming Lips, Neko Case, one of Vampire Weekend giving advice to teenage girls, and more, below.

Continue reading "video round-up (FIDLAR & Nick Offerman, Coliseum, Vampire Weekend, Flaming Lips, Neko Case, BRGRTV & more)"

Johnny Marr @ Irving Plaza in May (more by Dana [distortion] Yavin)
Johnny Marr

Johnny Marr, who was last here in May, will be touring North America again this fall, promoting his first-ever solo album, The Messenger. (The one with The Healers doesn't count, apparently.) Those dates include a stop in NYC at Webster Hall on November 16. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (7/19) with an AmEx presale starting Wednesday (7/17) at noon.

The former member of Smiths/The The/Electronic/Modest Mouse/Cribs has released a new single from The Messenger, "New Town Velocity." The single's b-side, "The It Switch," can be streamed over at Pitchfork.

All tour dates are listed below.

Continue reading "Johnny Marr releasing new single from debut album; announces fall North American tour (dates)"

Fun Fun Fun Fest 2012 (more by Keith Marlowe)
Fun Fun Fun Fest

As discussed, Fun Fun Fun Fest is returning to Austin's Auditorium Shores from November 8-10, and now the full lineup was finally announced. It includes Television, Slayer (again!), Quicksand, Descendents, The Dismemberment Plan, Body Count, Jurassic 5, MIA, MGMT, Death Grips, Kurt Vile, Cloud Nothings, Snoop Dogg/Lion, The Locust, Subhumans (performing Cradle to the Grave), The Men, Title Fight, White Lung, Retox, Chromatics, XXYYXX, Mykki Blanco, Cut Copy, Washed Out, Merchandise, Lemuria, and many more.

Tickets for the festival go on sale today (7/10) at 10 AM CST.

Full lineup and flyer below...

Continue reading "Fun Fun Fun Fest 2013 full lineup & tix (Television, Slayer, MIA, Quicksand, Descendents, Dismemberment Plan, MGMT & more)"

Johnny Marr w/ Andy Rourke @ MHOW 5/3/2013 (via @fabiomoretti)

Johnny Marr played the second of his two sold-out NYC shows last night (5/3). The setlist was the same as Irving Plaza, but there was one big difference: he brought out Smiths bassist (and lifelong friend and current Brooklyn resident) Andy Rourke out to play on "How Soon is Now?" That's about as close to a Smiths reunion as we're likely to get these days. Video of that is below.

Continue reading "former Smiths bassist Andy Rourke joined Johnny Marr for "How Soon is Now?" at MHOW last night (video)"

photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin

Johnny Marr @ Irving Plaza, 5/2/2013
Johnny Marr
Johnny Marr

Everyone obsesses over why the Smiths broke up. But can you tell me about one of your happiest memories in that band?
Tons of them! When we gate-crashed Glastonbury festival '84 or '85 -- I can't remember the year, but I remember the situation. Glastonbury was very different then, of course, but it was nevertheless an alternative festival. And we were outsiders. We'd had a couple of hits by then, but just kind of stood out on our own. I felt part of something new. It's easier to be alternative at the Grammys. But to be alternative in a field full of English snobs was quite a feat. There were many, many amazing times that filled me with pride like that.

And all of a sudden, your following became fanatic. And legion.
When we gained success, we had that thing going, like a lot of bands did, where people jump out in front of cars and pull you off the stage. They climbed on the outside of hotels to try to get into windows. Those kind of things. Used to go on quite a lot, really. That was kind of freaky, especially because I was so young.

And now you're going to be 50. How do you plan to celebrate your birthday?
Probably in a tour bus between Nottingham and Liverpool. [Laughs.] I'm not freaked out by getting to 50. I never really paid too much attention to those things. But it's also because I've been able to mark out periods of my life with records and bands and those kinds of things. That's always what I've wanted. I have to say that playing the Inception soundtrack with an orchestra at the Cannes Film Festival was probably a bigger kind of marking point in this period of my life. I'll remember that more than a day on the bus with some candles. As long as people [book] me decent gigs, that's all I'm about, man. - [Vulture]

Johnny Marr's solo tour hit NYC last night at Irving Plaza, the first of two sold-out shows here. The former Smiths guitarist, who has spent time in Electronic, The The, Modest Mouse and The Cribs as well, is supporting his not-too-shabby solo debut, The Messenger, but wasn't shy about recognizing his past either. Irving Plaza got five Smiths songs: "Bigmouth Strikes Again," "London," "Stop Me If You Think That You've Heard This One Before," "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out," and "How Soon is Now?," which was the final song of the evening. And he did a bang-up job, too, and seems to be having a blast playing them. To quote our photographer, who has shot Moz more than once, "he sings them so much better than Morrissey!!!" Marr also did a few Electronic songs (his collaboration with New Order's Bernard Sumner), including their discofied hit "Getting Away with It." Setlist below.

Johnny Marr and tourmates Alamar play NYC again tonight (5/3) at Music Hall of Williamsburg (sold out). Seeing how it's his second night here, maybe he'll switch up the Smiths songs. Toronto got "The Queen is Dead" instead of "London." More pictures and the setlist from Irving Plaza below...

Continue reading "Johnny Marr played Irving Plaza (pics, setlist)"

by Bill Pearis

Johnny Marr @ Coachella 2013 (more by Dana [distortion] Yavin)
Johnny Marr

Guitar legend Johnny Marr is currently in NYC for two sold-out tour stops -- tonight (5/2) at Irving Plaza and Friday (5/3) at Music Hall of Williamsburg -- and last night he stopped by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to perform live. On the show he performed the title track to his new solo album, The Messenger. But then for the online exlusive, he and his band pulled out The Smiths' classic "How Soon is Now?" (aka "the indie Stairway to Heaven"). Marr is one of my heroes, and I love the Smiths as much as any sane person does, but it's a little strange (but not really so) to see him sing Morrissey's lyrics. I didn't watch his Coachella performances and wasn't expecting him to do any Smiths songs at all. He does a pretty good job though, and it's a thrill to watch him play those riffs for sure.

In fact he's also been playing a lot of Smiths on this tour: "Bigmouth Strikes Again," "London," "Stop Me If You Think That You've Heard This One Before" and "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out," in addition to "Getting Away with It," "Get the Message" and "Forbidden City" which he wrote with Bernard Sumner for Electronic. So expect trips down Memory Lane if you're catching him live.

Meanwhile check out those Fallon videos below.

Continue reading "Johnny Marr is here, played "How Soon is Now?" on Fallon"

photos by Wei Shi

Passion Pit / Alt-J / Purity Ring & Danny Brown / crowd
Coachella 2013 - Week 2 in Pictures - Day 1
Coachella 2013 - Week 2 in Pictures - Day 1
Coachella 2013 - Week 2 in Pictures - Day 1
Coachella 2013 - Week 2 in Pictures - Day 1

Coachella 2013 is currently going down in Indio, CA for its second weekend after kicking off this past Friday (4/19). We've already posted pics of day 1 (HERE and HERE), day 2 (HERE) and day 3 (HERE) from weekend 1, and now we've got pictures of day 1 from weekend 2 in this post. This time around we caught sets by Passion Pit, Earl Sweatshirt, Polica, Youth Lagoon, Purity Ring, (who were joined by Danny Brown, whose new album they appear on), Foals, Modest Mouse, Alt-J and more.

Check out more pictures from 4/19, along with a "Coachellavated" video of the festival filmed from the top of director Chris Crutchfield's head and a video of Passion Pit's full set from weekend 1, below...

Continue reading "Coachella Day 1 Weekend 2 in pics (Passion Pit, Polica, Earl Sweatshirt, Youth Lagoon, Purity Ring, Modest Mouse & more)"

photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin (more at BV Chicago)

Stone Roses / How to Destroy Angels / Johnny Marr
Coachella 2013 - Day 1
Coachella 2013 - Day 1
Coachella 2013 - Day 1

Coachella 2013 is underway and streaming live. if I had to choose a theme musically for day one (Friday), it would have to be new, solo and side projects. The NY Times agrees...

Friday's lineup was teeming with such line-jumpers, performing with various degrees of laurel-resting. Early in the day came the Shouting Matches, a shambolic blues-esque outfit whose sales pitch is that it includes Justin Vernon of Bon Iver. The group took almost a half-hour for sound check, and its set was almost as loose. Mr. Vernon, such a precise and processed singer in Bon Iver, was here far more at ease, pushing his vocals no harder than the amiable songs demanded.

Later, in the dance-centric Sahara tent, Dog Blood performed a loud but not thunderous set. It's a collaborative project of Skrillex and Boys Noize, and does not quite live up to Skrillex's typical punishment or Boys Noize's characteristic exuberance.

There was also Divine Fits (Britt Daniel of Spoon + Dan from Wolf Parade), Deathfix (Brendan Canty of Fugazi on drums), Grinderman with Nick Cave, Johnny Marr of the Smiths, Trent Reznor of NIN in How to Destroy Angels (who made their live debut days earlier), Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedys with his band The Guantanamo School of Medicine, and more. And of course reunions and britrock galore with Blur, The Stone Roses, Sparks, and Jurassic 5 all also playing Friday. Here are our pictures from day one (which do not include Polica, but check out our instagram for a shot of Justin Vernon joining them on stage).

UPDATE: Day Two pictures are HERE and Day Three pictures are HERE.

Day One pics continue at BV Chicago and below...

Continue reading "Coachella 2013 Day 1 photos (Stone Roses, Blur, Trent Reznor, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Divine Fits, Sparks, Johnny Marr, more)"

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