Entries tagged with: The Smiths
photos by Greg Cristman
Johnny Marr @ MHOW 11/15/2014
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."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.
"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]
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....
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...
Nine Inch Nails at Jones Beach in August (more by Greg Cristman)
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2015 nominees have been announced including The Smiths, Green Day, Nine Inch Nails, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Bill WIthers and Sting (who's also in the Rock Hall with The Police), all being nominated for the first time. Additionally, there's Lou Reed (who's also in the Rock Hall with the Velvet Underground), NWA, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Chic, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Kraftwerk, The Marvellettes and The Spinners.
To be eligible, your first release has to be at least 25 years old, and this year both Green Day and Nine Inch Nails are on their first year of eligibility, for the 1,000 Hours EP and Pretty Hate Machine, respectively.
Last year, Nirvana, Kiss, Peter Gabriel, Hall and Oates, Cat Stevens and Linda Ronstadt were all inducted.
by Andrew Sacher
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Morrissey in Dallas in May (more by Tim Griffin)
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.
photo by Danny Krug
Though The Drums are mainly the concern of founding members Jonny Pierce and Jacob Graham, they've had various live members over the years including current guitarist/bassist/backing vocalist Johnny Aries. Aries is also a solo artist who will release his debut album, Unbloomed, on August 26 via Frenchkiss. Its new single "Ambulette" isn't a million miles away from the strummy guitar pop of The Drums' earlier material (though maybe not so much like their new single), and fans of that -- or The Smiths -- should find something to dig here. The song premieres in this post. You can stream it, with another LP cut plus Aries' cover of The Smiths' "Back to the Old House," below.
Around the time of the release, Johnny Aries will play four NYC shows: Palisades on August 18 with Vamanos, Winstons and Dark Tea; Cameo on August 23 with Ponyhof (tickets); August 26 at Pianos during the Rey Pila residency and also with Boytoy, The Fluids, Wand and Shark Week; and Glasslands on August 30 opening Salt Cathedral's EP release party (tickets).
Meanwhile, as previously mentioned, The Drums will release their new album Encyclopedia this year (due 9/23 via Minor Records) and are going on a tour with Beverly that hits NYC on 9/16 at MHOW (tickets) and 9/20 at Bowery Ballroom (sold out).
Johnny Aries song streams below...
"There was a certain amount of science to it. An entire week of work experience students left the office thinking that cutting-edge music journalism in 2014 mostly involves calculating which bands have been mentioned most in NME in the past two years, then hunting out references to the bands that influenced those acts online and finally adding up the number of times each influence came up. This gave us a rough list which our editorial team - heads swimming with all of the bands that Wolf Alice (or whoever) have raved on about over 4am ciders - then took to the pub, tore into shreds, fought and shouted about and finally reconstructed in the rundown of 100 you see in the mag today. The Beatles didn't make it. Sorry." [NME[NME went ahead and listed who they think the 100 most influential musicians and bands are (their latest cover story). Radiohead topped the list. Read the rest with justifications at NME, or just look at their full list below...
Those charming men: Phil Anselmo & Dave Hill enjoying breakfast...
To quote Housecore Records' YouTube posting, "After screening their Metal Grasshopper project at One Eyed Jacks in New Orleans, this happened..." WATCH BELOW...
by Bill Pearis
Bruce Lee watches Morrissey in Lincoln, NE last night (via @jmbiersmith)
You may have already heard the title track to Morrissey's upcoming World Peace is None of Your Business and now you've got a second song to listen to till you get your mitts on the whole LP. "Istanbul" is a funky groover -- or as close as he gets to that -- and you can stream it via Spotify and watch the accompanying "spoken word" promo video (part of a series) below.
Judging from these two songs, Joe Chiccarelli's production seems a little more in sync with Morrissey's style than the blunt rock sound Jerry Finn brought to 2009's Years of Refusal. (Finn did better, or at least the material was better, on 2004's You Are the Quarry.) The sitars in "Istanbul" seem a little too on-the-nose given the lyrical content but otherwise there's some welcome space in the mix.
In other news, after all the excitement last week of "Morrissey is Tweeting" and the disappointment that "It wasn't actually Morrissey tweeting," Morrissey's verified Twitter account has now been deleted.
And in other news, Morrissey turns 55 on Thursday (5/22) and what better birthday present could there be than Miley Cyrus covering The Smiths' "There is a Light That Never Goes Out" live in Dublin, Ireland? (Maybe you remember this tweet?) Video of that is below if you want to watch.
Streams and videos below...
by Bill Pearis and Andrew Sacher
still from Kevin Drew's "Good Sex" video
It's been a while since we've done one of our video roundups, but there were just too many good videos this week to pass up the opportunity. (Plus, in honor of Valentine's Day, there's some v-day-themed ones worked in here.) We already posted a bunch this week, like Little Dragon, Thurston Moore, Metronomy, The Notwist, Thundercat, OFF!, Marissa Nadler, Arctic Monkeys covering The Beatles, Mission of Burma covering The Beatles, Polica, DTCV, La Femme, The Marked Men's return to NYC, and more, yet there were still plenty of cool ones we didn't get to. Check out recent videos from Kevin Drew, The National, Ariel Pink & Jorge Elbrecht, Phantogram, La Dispute, The Front Bottoms, Guided by Voices, Blouse, Chelsea Wolfe, S. Carey, Death Grips, Quilt, Shellshag and Twin Shadow & Samantha Urbani covering The Smiths, below.
by Bill Pearis
Throw your arms around Paris in this lovely sweater...
Hanukkah is behind us, and Christmas is two weeks away and we know what you're thinking -- "my shopping is done except for my Morrissey-obsessed friend/coworker/child/parent." If there's something you'd like to
try buy, we're here to help. We've scoured the internet for 14 cool gifts that even the most fickle Moz fan would want, from records to books to clothing and more. There is probably a "shoplifters of the world" joke to make here, but there's probably enough Smiths lyrics quotes in the guide already, which you can peruse below.
Morrissey also just played that Nobel Peace Prize concert in Norway, performing "People Are The Same Everywhere," "Irish Blood, English Heart," and his cover of Lou Reed's "Satellite Of Love." Video of that is below as well...
"To Me You Are A Work of Art" is a photo project in search of anyone with tattoo(s) related to, or inspired by, Morrissey and/or The Smiths. The photographs will profile fans and all their tattoos from various cities across the country over the course of the next few months. All photos will be taken by Toronto based photographer Patrick Moore.Someone tell Chris Gethard! More info in the flyer below...
The New York City date is this upcoming Sunday, November 24th and will be held at the Rocks Off offices in the Lower East Side (195 Chrystie St #401B) between 2pm and 4pm.
For any additional information - email YouWorkOfArt@gmail.com"
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin; words by Bree Roberts
Johnny Marr w/ Andy Rourke @ Irving Plaza, 11/16/2013
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...
Johnny Marr @ Fun Fun Fun Fest 2013 (more by Tim Griffin)
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].
photos by Chris Tuite
Johnny Marr @ The Fillmore
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...
by Bill Pearis
Things are going great for Morrissey whose new book is selling like crazy. The new Issue of NME, as you can see from its cover above, features "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time." The UK music weekly picked these for the Top 10:
1. The Smiths - The Queen Is DeadJust keep in mind these are mostly British people making this list. Outkast's Stankonia is #500 if you were wondering, and the Top 50 are listed in this post. If you're wondering how NME came up with this list, here's what they said:
2. The Beatles - Revolver
3. David Bowie - Hunky Dory
4. The Strokes - Is This It
5. The Velvet Underground & Nico - The Velvet Underground
6. Pulp - Different Class
7. The Stone Roses - The Stone Roses
8. Pixies - Doolittle
9. The Beatles - The Beatles (White Album)
10. Oasis - Definitely Maybe
It means emailing a vast array of alumni from across the NME generations, from the sixties swingers through the hip young gunslingers of the 70s right up to today's troupe of rock'n'roll toreadors, and begging/bullying them to submit lists of their favourite fifty albums of all time. Some joined in, others were too busy/famous now, but we managed to gather together around 80 voters to submit lists, at which point the serious number-crunching began.One of those 80 was '90s-era NME editor Johnny "Cigarettes" Sharp, who talked to The Quietus about how he came up with his ballot (and these kind of lists in general):
I and the rest of the NME alumni were simply told to vote for our 'favourite' albums - Ideally a top 50 but really anything we could rustle up by the following Monday.The mag does have a sense of humor about all this. The bottom right corner of the cover has a picture of Morrissey saying "...until the next 500." NME is publishing the whole list -- in not annoying slideshow format -- throughout the day and you can click through 500 - 401, and 400 - 301 right now. Their top 50 are listed below....
And herein lies a flaw inherent in all such lists: The results are bound to be slanted towards the choices of the voters who they happen still to have contact details for, which will inevitably be the more recent contributors (Still, having first written for them over 20 years ago, they didn't do too badly tracking me down).
Inevitably, with the whole thing being a bit last-minute and no-budget, the votes were also those of individuals who could be arsed to sweat over a difficult task in their free time for no financial reward. Welcome to 21st century publishing.
Not only is the book real, it's selling really well:
Morrissey's memoir has outsold the latest Bridget Jones novel to top the best seller charts in its first week.Content in the book (not to mention all the lyrics on the first Smiths album) has left some wondering if Morrissey is homosexual. Morrissey, master of coy semantics, has since clarified via a statement that reads: "Unfortunately, I am not homosexual. In technical fact, I am humasexual. I am attracted to humans. But, of course ... not many".
The paperback, called Autobiography and published by Penguin Classics, sold just short of 35,000 copies according to sales figures in trade magazine The Bookseller after its release on Thursday.
Helen Fielding's new Bridget Jones novel, Mad About the Boy, sold around 32,000 copies. [Belfast Telegraph]
Is Morrissey's autobiography any good? Amy Lamé, Tim Lott and Jon Snow try to decide in the video below...
Gaz of Supergrass
What happens when you mix Roxy Music, The Smiths, Supergrass, and Suede? You get Chaz Chance And The Prophets, a supergroup made up of, respectively, Phil Manzanera, Mike Joyce, Mat Osman and Gaz Coombes who collectively explore '70s glam as part of a UK drama TV series called The Records, which delves into the world of the music industry. The band has recorded a trio of songs for the show, including the very T.Rex-y/early Bowie track "She's A Queen" available in video form in this post. Judging by the track, let's hope that this band becomes a reality -- and that someone will air this groovy-sounding show in America.
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.
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin
Johnny Marr @ Irving Plaza, 5/2/2013
Everyone obsesses over why the Smiths broke up. But can you tell me about one of your happiest memories in that band?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.
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 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...
by Bill Pearis
Johnny Marr @ Coachella 2013 (more by Dana [distortion] Yavin)
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.
by Bill Pearis
As mentioned before, Johnny Marr's solo debut, The Messenger, is out February 26 and finds the guitarist pointing the spotlight on himself after years of taking a backseat in bands such as The Cribs, Modest Mouse, The The, and Electronic. (The Smiths were okay too.) Unlike his band The Healers from 10 years ago who made Oasis-style Britrock, the tracks released so far off The Messenger have some of the flair that made Marr one of the most influential guitarists of the last 30 years.
The new single off album is "Upstarts" and the video for that track just debuted and you can watch it below. For more on Johnny Marr, check out the February issue of MOJO which has him on the cover. A North American tour is in the works as well.
Johnny's old songwriting pal Morrissey just played his first-ever Brooklyn show.
"Upstarts" video is below as are two other tracks from The Messenger, plus album tracklisting.
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin; words by Bill Pearis
Morrissey at BAM, 1/11/2013
Morrissey made his first trip to Brooklyn on Friday night (1/11) for a show at BAM, the second of four shows the former Smiths frontman is doing in the NY area this month. Opening the show with new-ish song "Action is My Middle Name" (which he performed recently on Letterman) and a handful of different oldies ("How Soon is Now," "Please, Please, PLease," "November Spawned a Monster") swapped in, the setlist was different enough for Moz fans to justify going to see him again after he was just here in October. (Setlist is below.) Of course for some, the only justification needed is he's playing. And those are the people who try and get on stage and hug him.
Like the shows in October, Kristeen Young opened. Morrissey plays House of Blues in Alantic City tonight (1/12) and The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester on January 19.
In other Smiths-related news, Morrissey former co-writer Johnny Marr is on the cover of the new issue of MOJO. The issue comes with a CD featuring many of Marr's colaborations over the last 25 years, including Sandy Shaw's somewhat rare version of"Hand in Glove" which she recorded with Marr and the rest of the instrument-playing Smiths in 1984. It's also got "The Right Thing Right," the opening track from Marr's upcoming solo album, The Messenger (out Feb. 26), and you can stream that below.
More pics and setlist from BAM and that Johnny Marr song stream are below.
J. Mascis / Frank Black
Throughout the 90s and the first half of the 2000s, Dinosaur Jr. was one of the last rock groups you would have expected to get the old band back together, go on tour, and record new music--not to mention new music that's every bit as good as anything the original lineup made in the 80s. When J Mascis unceremoniously kicked out Lou Barlow, his high school friend and longtime bandmate, in 1989, it seemed like a mercy killing of the original lineup, which had devolved into a psychodramatic mess, marred by lack of communication and irreconcilable personality difference between Mascis and Barlow. ("It makes me sick that I spent six or seven years putting my heart and soul into that band," Barlow told Cut zine in 1990. "They're sleazebag snob pigs like no one I have met in my entire life. J's always been an asshole.") Mascis and Murph, and then just Mascis, went on to record a string of major-label records throughout the 90s that, though inconsistent, contain some of Dinosaur Jr.'s best and most well-known songs.
When Mascis killed Dinosaur Jr. in 1997, it seemed inconceivable that, a decade later, Mascis, Barlow and Murph would reunite. Time heals all wounds, I guess. It's perhaps less surprising that the band would be able to ably reprise their sprawling, melodic, blitzkrieg guitar-rock sound. Three records in to the latter-day reign of Dinosaur Jr., the band sounds as good as they ever have.
On Saturday at Terminal 5, Dinosaur Jr. celebrated the 25th anniversary of the release of You're Living All Over Me, their second album and the one that made nonchalance cool, made the extended guitar solo cool (again), and wedded melodic tendencies with noise and feedback in a theretofore unheard of fashion in the indie rock underground. The band opened their set with "Thumb," from 1991's Green Mind, with Suzanne Thorp of Mercury Rev guesting on flute, before Mascis matter-of-factly announced that now they'd be playing You're Living All Over Me in full.
A sleepy-looking Lee Ranaldo came out to share vocals with J on "Little Fury Things." Guests, some announced ahead of time, would be a recurring theme throughout the night, but not until later. Dinosaur Jr. ripped through the songs on their best album as if it were 1987 all over again. "Sludgefeast" was a punishing onslaught of guitar and staccato, gunfire drums, with Mascis's high lonesome whine cutting through the gain and distortion. "Tarpit" set off joyous dancing, propelled by Barlow's chunky bass chords and a deafening roar from Mascis's Jazzmaster that threatened to draw blood from the ears.
Watching Barlow and Mascis play on stage, it's not hard to extrapolate the personality differences that created their rift. Barlow, with his black Rickenbacker slung low, literally bounces from one foot to the other when playing, the joy at doing just this very thing--playing to an audience--so evident. He smiles, he cracks jokes, he acts as if he's living through the music. Mascis, on the other hand, with his laconic, slowhands style and deadpan announcements ("All right. Thanks a lot. That was side one."), plays as if the music lives through him. He's the hermetic savant tuned in to a frequency no one else can hear.
Barlow brought out a ukulele for "Poledo," the "awkward end to the amazing record," in his words. The cavernous space of Terminal 5 made the strident desolation of the song even more acute.
The second half of the show is the stuff legendary bootlegs are made of. A succession of guests filed onstage to help Dinosaur Jr. play their songs, or to transform them into other bands entirely. The first was Frank Black, who sang and played guitar on "Almost Fare," from this year's I Bet On Sky. Next, the band plus Black covered one of Black's songs--"Tame," from The Pixies' Doolittle. Black roared the chorus, tossed a painting into the first rows of the crowd, and exited. Kurt Vile, whose band opened the show, and Al Cisneros from Sleep were next. Cisneros took over bass duties from Barlow for a couple of songs, including the doom metal glazer "Alone" from 1997's Hand It Over. Harvey Milk's Kyle Spence took the drums for that one.
Smiths and Modest Mouse guitarist Johnny Marr and Broken Social Scene guru Kevin Drew emerged to play "The Wagon" with J, Lou and Murph. Then they covered Smiths track "The Boy With the Thorn In His Side," the words to which J was, uh, a little unsure of. Melvins drummer Dale Crover relieved Murph behind the kit for a skin-searing rendition of "Training Ground," a song by Mascis and Barlow's pre-Dinosaur hardcore band, Deep Wound. Don Fleming of Gumball and Dante Ferrando of Iron Cross helped the band cover "Crucified," and Kim Gordon gave a tempestuous performance on "Don't", Barlow's song from Bug that directly addresses the fractured relationship between him and Mascis. Gordon screamed, bellowed and cooed the song's one lyric ("Why don't you like me?") over and over again, dropping to her knees and falling to the stage like she was having an exorcism. It was intense. If Sonic Youth is over, she should start a hardcore band.
The encore began with a cover of the Stooges classic, "T.V. Eye," with Tommy Stinson on bass and Fred Armisen (whose show, Portlandia, will feature an appearance from J Mascis in its upcoming third season) on drums. Dinosaur Jr. closed with two classics: "Start Choppin" and "Freak Scene," the song that invented the slacker generation. It was a poignant, circle-closing moment. "Because when I need a friend," J sang, "it's still you," we all responded. The night was an amazing tribute to a great band, 25 years removed from their (so-far) signature achievement and, improbably, still going strong.
More pictures, some videos, and the setlist from the show (which also counted John Petkovic of Death of Samantha as a guest), below...
by Dave Hill
Dave Hill (or Oscar Wilde) asks a question, Radio City Music Hall 10/10/2012
We already ran photos of Morrissey's Radio City Music Hall appearance on Wednesday (10/10) and you can see more of Chris La Putt shots here. But we asked Moz superfan Dave Hill (who has hosted Smiths Speed Dating before) to review the show for us and his fully-clothed report follows...
Wednesday night I saw Morrissey at Radio City Music Hall here in New York City. A lot of people think they like and/or "get" Morrissey as much as I do but they are wrong. This was my (insert number of times you or anyone you know has ever seen Morrissey and then add at least one)-th time seeing Morrissey live and I was pretty excited about it because every time I see him he ends up singing all of the songs directly to me no matter where I'm sitting. Somehow he just knows.
Kristeen Young, one of Morrissey's favorites, opened the show but I missed her because they took forever getting my order right at Burger Heaven around the corner so I was a little late. When I got to Radio City and showed the usher my ticket he was like "Wow- this the best seat!"
"Thanks," I said. "I know."
Then the usher pushed a bunch of people out of the way, throwing some of them to the ground even, and showed me to my seat which was basically on stage with the band. As soon as I got settled, Morrissey and his band walked out, which was awesome. Morrissey's band all wore matching T-shirts that said "killjoy" on them, which was crazy and confusing but whatever. Everyone in his band has short hair and look like they do crunches a lot except for the guitarist Boz Boorer, who looks like he does whatever the opposite of crunches are but he is so awesome it's like fuck it.
Once everyone had their instruments on, the entire band including Morrissey seemed to look at me briefly as if to ask "Should we start?" Of course, I was like "Fuck yeah!" so they launched into "Last Night I Dreamt Somebody Loved Me" by The Smiths, Morrissey's old band who are basically the best ever, even better than Def Leppard. Also, Morrissey had on a sort of light teal shirt, which looked great and really complimented the cool outfit I was wearing.
Morrissey in Shirt #1 @ Radio City Music Hall
After Morrissey finished singing the first song, a big picture of me with a word bubble asking "Who Is Morrissey?" was projected on the big screen behind the band. It was a nice touch, but totally unnecessary. I was just happy to be there so that was totally above and beyond.
The rest of Morrissey's set list consisted of about 1/3 Smiths songs, a bunch of his solo songs, and a sweet Frankie Valli cover. Given the fact that between the Smiths and his solo material Morrissey has about a bazillion hits, there were times when I was thinking "Hey, Morrissey, maybe you should play more of those songs, you know, mine and everyone else's favorites (though mostly mine)" but I realize that this is my own problem and not Morrissey's and I'm sorry for even bringing it up.
During the song "Meat is Murder" (by the Smiths, duh), they played scenes from the meat-based documentary Meet Your Meat. I saw Motley Crue a couple years ago in Columbus, Ohio and they had a bunch of video projections going too, but this stuff was really, really different from that. It featured a bunch of cows and chickens and stuff being tortured and it was really upsetting and would not have worked with "Girls, Girls, Girls" or really any Motley Crue song I can think of right now. At one point, they even showed a bull getting his nuts cut off. Fuck. I have no idea what they were selling at the Radio City concession stands, but I can't help but think sales must have really taken a hit after that song. Also, it should be noted that the original "Meet Your Meat" documentary is narrated by Alec Baldwin even though everyone knows that guy loves chicken wings so much it's actually kind of weird.
Morrissey wore a total of four different awesome shirts over the course of the night. Toward the end of the show, he ripped off the third shirt of the night. Even as I type this, I still can't decide which one of us works out more, but it was still great. After he put on his fourth shirt of the night, Morrissey and his band came back on stage and played one encore, "Still Ill", one of my favorite songs by the Smiths (mentioned earlier) and then I levitated over the entire audience and went home in a cab that the driver didn't even end up charging me for. I kind of wish Morrissey would have played like nine more songs but, again, this is my own hangup mostly.
Speaking of the Smiths, there are a lot of rumors flying around that they are reuniting next year. I would like to confirm that these rumors are, in fact, true. However, the Smiths will be reuniting for one show only, which will take place in my apartment and will be attended by just me and maybe like six of my friends. Sorry.
Morrissey plays tonight (10/12) and Saturday (10/13) at Terminal 5. Both shows are sold out. Check out more pictures and the setlist from Radio City.
And pick up a copy of Dave Hill's book Tasteful Nudes now!