the crush list 2012.

sharon van etten: I’d say nick cave, thurston moore, pj harvey, and patti smith. I met thurston moore under the most embarrassing circumstances. mike watt asked me to sing for his book release this year. it was for iggy pop. they were doing stooges stuff. and I was going to do “dirt.” and it was like, j mascis, mike watt, pete shelley. it was freaking me out. I was like, “yeah, I’ll do that. so I’m emailing back and forth with j. because I met him through jagjaguwar and he played on a song live one day with us. so he gives me this time for soundcheck and when to show up to sing with everybody. and I guess I had it wrong, or misinterpreted his email. I thought it started at this time and it was ending at that time. I’m walking down the stairs to lpr [le poisson rouge] and thurston moore is just sitting there on a bench and he’s like, “are you sharon? you missed soundcheck.” and I was like, “oh no, this is how I’m meeting thurston moore? this is the worst.” then he was like, “it’s fine, I don’t think anyone cares about any of this.” it was great. no one took themselves too seriously.

stephin the magnetic fields: drew daniel (matmos).

stephen the real tuesday weld: cate blanchett.

andrew eggs/talk it: sleep.

corin tucker: tommy lee jones.

frankie rose: ooh, I can’t say that!

pete paphides: all of butcher boy.

gail cf: john fahey, mark duplass, tim cohen, michael tomasky, wyatt cenac.

fran cannane: um today….brian cox, most musicians over 80, professor mary beard, hilary mantel, the apollo astronauts, michael mori.

hannah grass widow: grimes, just like everyone else.

gaylord cf/wfmu: I’ll adopt ernie k-doe’s sage tactic, as laid out in the song “a certain girl,” and affect coy reticence.

lillian grass widow: gary oldman really does it for me.

allen clapp: mike crabtree (husband of the legendary jim ruiz group’s bass player and vocalist charlotte crabtree and singer-guitarist for the carpetbaggers). the guy built a guitar with a bottle opener installed next to the volume controls. genius.

rachel blumberg: jeffrey underhill.

(legendary) jim ruiz: dandy livingston, june miles-kingston, and (secret) mick talbot.

matt lorelei: those handsome boys of weekend. too cool. sanae of moon duo (who are the closest I’ll get to seeing something as good as snapper).

erin a girl called eddy: jack donaghy, dr. eric kandel.

daniel handler: julia stiles, stick insect, this girl at four barrels coffee who wears a jumpsuit.

dawn cf: who isn’t…

tim dagger: sarah cracknell (we share the same birthday).

janice cf: archer prewitt, always.

shaun brilldream: amelia fletcher, fountains, joanna gruesome.

jennifer o’connor: amy bez.

james dump/yo la tengo: doona bae, shiina ringo, jennifer o’connor, annette peacock.

michael white: I can’t say, for they are almost certainly reading this.

clarissa cf: the coilhousers, mustard gas, lisa fewer reasons to get out of bed than ever.

joe pines / foxgloves: I am still available to write all scarlett johansson’s campaign speeches. or if this question is about 1992, then harriet wheeler’s.

 

an interview with scrawl!

scrawl
scrawl!

it is an honor and a privilege to present a long-overdue interview with scrawl. gilmore tamny (the yips, wiglet fame) chatted with sue harshe in november and got the scoop on the trio’s recent reunion and other stuff.

chickfactor: how was ATP? highlights? lowlights?

sue: ATP NYC was a lot of fun. we played very well, we had a nice place to stay, we saw a lot of long-time dear friends. I can’t ask for much more than that. for me, there were two highlights: watching these two young men sing every single word of every single song we were playing. I sought them out after the show because I was so shocked and touched. the other highlight was watching marcy sing “my curse” with the afghan whigs. she looked so beautiful and tiny up there and when she began singing, the whole place erupted. I was bawling like a baby. I can’t really think of any low points. I wished there had been more people there but more for the bands who had to play on the indoor stage during the day. it was a little cavernous. ¶ I’m glad I got to see afterhours, an italian metal band with violin. truly amazing. and I was able to see about half of dirty three’s set, which I liked very much.

cf: I see you played with cobra verde at ace of cups—very exciting! you have more shows coming up? how are you pacing it?

sue: we just played with cobra verde and tim lee 3. we (I don’t think) had ever played with cv before, which is odd, considering they live in cleveland. tim lee 3 is from knoxville and we’ve known tim & his wife susan (who plays kick-ass bass in tim lee 3) for years and years. it is always so much fun to play in columbus and to play at marcy’s bar. the sound is always good, the vibe is great, and most bands (unless they’re prima donnas) leave there pretty happy. ¶ this has been an unusually active year for scrawl. we usually play once every couple of years. this year, we’ll have played 8 shows in 6 months. that’s a veritable world tour for us! being asked to play ATP NYC and also being asked to play ATP UK has been a dream, something we feel proud of because you can’t submit to play; you have to be invited. and the two bands who knew us best (afghan whigs and shellac) did the asking. that makes me happy. so, we leave for england after thanksgiving for a week and then play a new year’s eve show in cincinnati with the afghan whigs, and then it’s goodbye 2012.

cf: columbus has really changed in the last 20 years, including the music scene. could you talk about that at all? interesting happenings? things that are irritating? etc. I think too of ace of cups (which I’ve been enjoying seeing video of shows shirley posts from time to time) and how that’s opened, etc.

sue: marcy is better positioned to talk about the columbus music scene because she sees more of it, owning the bar. I think in some respects the last few years have been very healthy and robust (times new viking did well), but I’m just old enough now that I could slip into that very annoying back-in-the-day sentimentality, so I best keep my mouth shut. same with your question “most irritating” (faux folk revival). oops.

cf: I’ve been prowling around the internet—forgive me if I’ve missed an article etc.—but I’ve (long) wondered what has been your songwriting process with scrawl?  how has it changed?

sue: we don’t write much these days, though we have about three or four newer songs, but the process is very much the same: play a riff one thousand times in practice, add and take away, rewrite and rewrite, and then the lyrics are usually added as the last sprinkle on top. we’ve always put a lot of work into songwriting and so, for us, there’s no getting around the sometimes arduous process.

cf: how has playing live changed (presuming it has)?

sue: playing live feels very different for me now. I think it’s just a mindset, but it feels liberating in a completely different way, now that I’m pushing 50. a little more zen, a little less stroppy. regardless of why/what/how, it’s a total blast for me right now.

cf: any chance of a new scrawl record?

sue: we will never say never. I could play music with marcy until I’m 95 and be perfectly happy.

cf: who has been (some of) the most unlikely or unexpected scrawl fan(s)?

sue: hmm. for a while, we attracted very young men to our shows, who would come up to us afterward with tears streaming down their faces. that was always a little disconcerting.

cf: when / why / where you wrote your first song and what was it about?

sue: I can’t even remember. I think it was a hardcore song.

cf: do you come from musical families / upbringing?

sue: my family wanted to be musical but really wasn’t. the best thing my mom did musically was force me to keep taking piano lessons. she said that I would thank her one day. she was absolutely right. she also tap danced and played ukulele as a teenager. I think that’s pretty great.

cf: what are you reading these days?

sue: my husband found half-dozen old classics in the hallway of his office, waiting to be thrown out, so I vowed to read them all this winter. the first one I read was of human bondage by somerset maugham. fantastic! it is so over-the-top. next is tristam shandy by laurence sterne. after that it will be tom jones by henry fielding, and then david copperfield by dickens. If I’m not reading books rescued from the trash, I’ll read the scandinavian crime writers (mankell, larsson, nesbo, alvtegen).

cf: who do you have a crush on and you are welcome to take that in traditional sense or artistic sense or metaphysical sense etc. etc. etc.!

sue: my perennial 25-year crush is on the actor gary oldman. and, after seeing leonard cohen perform a year or so ago, I’ll include him too.

cf: any artists—bands, visual artists, writers, poets, dancers etc—you’re nuts for/intrigued by right now? pourquoi?

sue: there’s a woman from dresden germany called anna matur, who is very intriguing. she’s part performance artist and all musician. I very much like wussy’s record buckeye as well. It’s damn near perfect.

cf: sue, you have a new (fort shame) record coming out? how is that going? are you still scoring films as well?

sue: I haven’t scored any film music lately, but I was invited (along with 11 other composers) to write music for “finding time: columbus public art 2012,” in conjunction with columbus’ bicentennial celebrations this year. that was pretty exciting. and fort shame just released its first CD. it took forever to make but I’m very proud of it.

hear more from scrawl here. photo courtesy of scrawl.

chickfactor international travelog: fairbanks, alaska!

fairbanks, alaska!

by anne kristoff, a photographer, writer and artist (and formerly a music publicist for missy elliott and ac/dc!) whose work has appeared in travel + leisure, bust and budget travel, among others. she sells photographic prints on etsy: poof NY and anne kristoff: capture + release.

best venues: the marlin, the pub, college coffeehouse, the blue loon.

best record stores: vinyl albums hidden at the secondhand stores around town. local music: college coffeehouse.

best vintage / thriftstores: some folks would say the transfer site. also, search at value village and definitely chartreuse (sheri does a great job of curating the collection there)

cheap eats: sam’s sourdough café, miguel’s.

not so cheap eats: turtle club, lavelle’s.

vegetarian-friendly eats: thai house, pita place.

best neighborhood: taiga woodlands.

cheap haircut: fort wainwright PX barber shop (men), elements day spa (women).

best drinking holes: the mecca, the big I, the howling dog.

best coffee or tea houses: college coffeehouse.

best radio station / web station: KSUA and KUAC.

cool cinemas: the blue loon.

best used bookstores: gulliver’s and forget me not.

best place to see art: well street, alaska house.

best local bands: young fangs, phineas gage, thought trade. artists adam ottavi, briana reagan, mark leon, mark fejes. writers gary black. designers sue sprinkle.

parks and green spaces: the triangle (new greenspace downtown), ester park, granite tors.

unmissable highlights: UAF museum of the north, biking along farmer’s loop, paddling down the chena river, breathing in 40 below zero air, fireworks on new year’s eve, rainbows at 3am in the summer.

 

huge thanks to all the bands that played our shows this year!

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we had a pretty fabulous 20th-anniversary year, with 12 nights of amazing events: two nights at artisphere in arlington, va. one at maxwell’s in hoboken. three at the amazing bell house in brooklyn. one at bunk bar in portland, oregon. one at bootleg bar in l.a. one at the rickshaw stop in s.f. three in london: horseshoe pub, bush hall and the lexington. thanks to the bands (quite a lineup if we do say so), the audiences, the soundpersons, the merch sellers, the amp bringers, the putter uppers, the drink getters & esp hangover lounge, other music, mike slumberland, and todd abramson for everything!

the aislers set

allen clapp

amor de días

black tambourine

bridget st john

dan searing

daniel handler

dot dash

dump

fan modine

frankie rose

franklin bruno

gaylord fields

hangover lounge djs

harvey williams & josh gennet

honey bunch

the jim ruiz set

joe pernice

john lindaman

kim baxter

ladybug transistor

ld beghtol

the legendary jim ruiz group

lilys

lois

lorelei

the lois plus

mark robinson

musical chairs

the pines

pipas

pam berry

the pastels

paul kelly

phoebe summersquash

rose melberg

the real tuesday weld

selector dub narcotic

small factory

the softies

the starfolk

stevie jackson

sukhdev sandhu

tender trap

versus

would-be-goods

photo by tae won yu

 

 

exclusive world premiere of a brand-new amor de días track!

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Listen: Amor de Días, “Jean’s Waving”

(Merge Records)

chickfactor is thrilled to present a new song from from London supergroup AMOR DE DÍAS, featuring Lupe Núñez-Fernández (Pipas) and Alasdair MacLean (the Clientele).

“I have no idea what it’s about,” says MacLean about the song. “Maybe describing a movement away to suburbia, leaving behind the eerie/bohemian life in the city. The song wrote itself.”

Their second long player The House at Sea is every bit as tremendous as 2011’s Street of the Love of Days. The combination of Spanish guitar, English melancholy, the spirit of Gal Costa and a touch of cinematic magic makes them one of the most intriguing songwriting pairs working today. They recorded it in nine days because they liked the idea of a quickly made, minimally arranged, no-fuss record. Plus: the musicians on board nailed their takes quickly. Amor de Días will tour the U.S. in February and will play some Spanish dates.

The album will be released on January 29, 2013. Pre-order The House at Sea now in the Merge store. LP Preorders will include a free Merge Records LP slip mat and a poster. Preorders will ship to arrive on or around the release date of January 29, 2013. Don’t forget . . . the Merge Holiday Code works on pre-orders, too!

 

 

the chickfactor & gaylord fields pop quiz!

pop-quiz

the first night of our chickfactor london 20th-anniversary party featured a screening of paul kelly’s ace documentary take three girls: the dolly mixture story followed by a pop quiz created by the zine’s cofounders gail and pam and gaylord fields (wfmu dj who also MCed the saturday show at bush hall and DJed upstairs at sunday’s show), who also presented the questions. the questions and answers for the quiz are listed below! the event took place at the horseshoe pub in clerkenwell on friday, november 16.

part one: lyrics to identify

  1. “I crawl like a viper through these suburban streets / make love to these women languid and bittersweet’’

answer: steely dan, “deacon blues”

  1. “when we groove on into town / charles atlas he starts to frown”

answer: josef k, “sorry for laughing”

  1. “nibbling on bacon, chewing on cheese / sammy says to susie ‘honey, would you please be my missus?’ ”

answer: america, “muskrat love”

  1. “it is your blood I crave / I am the bitch goddess from beyond the grave”

answer: future bible heroes, “I’m a vampire”

  1. “your eyebrows may be the best thing in town/I’d like to shoot ’em up and make ’em frown”

answer: dolly mixture, “how come you’re such a hit with the boys, jane?”

  1. “don’t throw your hand / if you feel you’re alone / no no no you are not alone”

answer: r.e.m., “everybody hurts”

  1. “oh but being with you is like killing bob dylan / if I had to do it I would die”

answer: pipas, “cruel and unusual”

  1. “beetles and eggs and blues and pour a little everything else / you steam a lense stable eyes and glass”

answer: cocteau twins, “cherry coloured funk”

  1. “it’s the singer not the song / ‘something’s gone wrong’ said the spider to the fly”

answer: belle and sebastian, “chickfactor”

part two: trivia questions

  1. what was the first single on caff records?

answer: east village “freeze out” / cath coughlan “Im’ long me measaim”

  1. what record store did slumberland records boss / black tambourine member mike schulman work at in the u.s.?

answer: vinyl ink, mod lang

  1. what band recorded the largest number of peel sessions?

answer: the fall (24)

  1. what dance troupe replaced pan’s people on top of the pops?

answer: ruby flipper

  1. what motown offshoot released only one single by sammy davis jr?

answer: ecology

  1. who were the three founding members of biff bang pow?

answer: joe foster, alan mcgee, dick green

  1. what is the name of nick drake’s home in tanworth?

answer: far leys

  1. what was the flexi only label matt haynes ran that preceded sarah records?

answer: sha-la-la

  1. what fanzine did katrina tender trap publish in the 1990s?

answer: charity shopper

  1. what was the original name of the clientele?

answer: the butterfly collectors

  1. what band played the bowlie weekender and is also playing chickfactor 20: for the love of pop! london this weekend?

answer: the pastels

part three: audio clips (the kids only got to hear a few seconds of each)

  1. sugarcube” — yo la tengo
  2. alone again (naturally)” — gilbert o’sullivan
  3. try” — delta 5
  4. she cracked” — the modern lovers
  5. ce petit coeur” — françoise hardy
  6. the most beautiful girl in the world” — prince
  7. candy” — the magnetic fields
  8. it’ll never happen again” — tim hardin
  9. call me maybe” — carly rae jepsen
  10. linus” — birdie
  11. working girls (sunlight shines)” — the pernice brothers
  12. long hot summer” — the style council
  13. bigmouth strikes again” — the smiths

the pipas & amor de días team won the quiz, which may be a bit unfair since there were two questions involving pipas and the clientele, but the momtch/travis table took home most of the prizes (chickfactor london posters designed by tae won yu and badges designed by lupe pipas) and non-vegan treats.

quiz photo courtesy of mark pipas!

chickfactor poll: phones and camera phones

how has the proliferation of phone cameras changed your approach to live performance?

gordon the fan modine: hasn’t really. but I do feel a sense that scotty is available more-so now.

corin tucker: I’m much more conscious of the fact that everything is being recorded. no unrecorded original material can just be messed around with onstage, which I really really miss.

stephin the magnetic fields: they’re just another aspect of the unpleasantness of playing live.

hannah grass widow: it’s definitely a big deal. there’s the show itself and then there’s the mediated show—the photos and tweets and blogs and facebook response etc. it really bothers me when people are on their phones while we’re playing even if they are tweeting or texting something positive. I would love for people to be present with us and for us all to share an experience. when phones are out at our show, it kind of sends me a message that this moment isn’t worth that person being completely there for. They’ll re-hash it later when they post to their flickr or tumblr or twitter or whatever. I like it when I feel like everyone is in the moment and really enjoying it without feeling the need to broadcast with their avatar.

bridget st john: I haven’t thought much about it – they have no bearing on how I prepare for a gig.

daniel handler: remember when there were signs up saying they’d eject you if you took a picture? that seems fainting-couch quaint.

michael white: I’d rather deal with them than the cigarette smoke that was part and parcel of going to a gig in 1992.

stephen the real tuesday weld: never leave a dressing room without a jacket.

jennifer o’connor: they haven’t. it is sometimes annoying, but what can you do?

matt lorelei: our performances are usually too loud to capture on camera phones. also, I try to ensure that laundry day and gig day do not align.

james dump/yo la tengo: your style’s gotta be tight all the time in 2012.

tim dagger: I loved bringing my throwaway cameras to gigs in the ’90s and getting the photos developed…phone cameras just aren’t the same.

joe pines / foxgloves: I am glad that people have filmed one or two of the pines’ performances for posterity. the other half of the pines may not agree.

shaun brilldream: if you want to watch a gig through the lens of a camera phone, you are an idiot.

allen clapp: made me want to lose 10 pounds! enrolled in bikram yoga classes. done.

fran cannane: it is dreadful but one has to ignore it. even when I am at a concert there is a temptation to film/photograph instead of just enjoying.

andrew eggs/talk it: I’m definitely thinking harder about my stage attire. no more shorts.

pete paphides: I don’t use them, but it doesn’t bother me if other people do.

gail cf: it makes me want to knock people’s phones out of their hands. also: if you are looking after a child/animal, look at the child/animal every once in a while instead of your stupid phone.

 

chickfactor poll about chickfactor.

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how is chickfactor different from mainstream media?

jennifer o’connor: it digs DEEP. it has HEART.  it is MORE FUN.

matt lorelei: in every way possible. would the mainstream media ever run a review as brilliant as: “S*H*I*T S*A*N*D*W*I*C*H”? I think not.

gaylord cf/wfmu: chickfactor wouldn’t know how to be market-driven if it tried. and it doesn’t.

michael white: it doesn’t make me want to abandon all hope in humanity. also, to my knowledge, mainstream media has never acknowledged the existence of—much less interviewed—the cannanes.

daniel handler: CF decides, you report.

shaun brilldream: it’s more open to express ideas rather than sell product.

stephen the real tuesday weld: it’s not owned by rupert murdoch?

clarissa cf: the only points of similarity are cosmetic.

corin tucker: better photos.

fran cannane: on the whole a lot better.

andrew eggs/talk it: I’d like to hear from your mom on this one, gail.

janice cf: it’s copy-edited!!! <3

stephin the magnetic fields: I don’t know, all I read is BUTT.

dawn cf: more intimate, engaging.

the legendary jim ruiz: it’s honest, it looks better and I read it cover to cover.

ian musical chairs: it’s more passionate and less snobby.

james dump/yo la tengo: CF has more photos of the would-be-goods.

tim dagger: you guys write about bands I like/love.

joe pines / foxgloves: it is a fanzine, and it sometimes prints words that I have written.

 

chickfactor poll: music-related apps

do you use any music-related apps? which ones?

stephin the magnetic fields: just voice memos. it’s simple and convenient.

james dump/yo la tengo: funkbox, filtatron, and animoog. all are useful, and fun.

hannah grass widow: garageband.

stephen the real tuesday weld: tune in radio. fire field recorder.

corin tucker: not really…

kim baxter: I have the bandcamp app on my facebook page. on my phone I have a guitar tuner and a metronome.

matt lorelei: songkick to keep track of shows coming to town. starting to play around with introducing some elements from an ios device. I quite like playing around with tonepad to generate ideas.

fran cannane: oh lots—instruments and the like.

andrew eggs/talk it: I like spotify, amplitube and rebirth.

erin a girl called eddy: I use a great app on my laptop called tapedeck for songwriting. It has the look and feel of an old cassette recorder, but without the vulnerability of tape. there is no romance in trying to scotch tape together old cassettes anymore.

pete paphides: I have an app which tells me where the nearest record store is.

bridget st john: no.

joe pines / foxgloves: I don’t really know what ‘apps’ are.

allen clapp: I use an iPad app for mellotron sounds live. it beats carrying a 200 lb. instrument to shows, but it’s still not as cool as a real mellotron!

ian musical chairs: I use spotify at work and iTunes.

jennifer o’connor: I use spotify.

gordon the fan modine: I write and demo on the iphone using voice memo and fourtrack. I also use the guitar toolkit—which is great; and a protools remote.

 

chickfactor poll: reunions, part two

what bands pulled off a successful reunion? which ones did not?

janice cf: successful: the aislers set! black tambourine! the softies! unsuccessful: pavement at matador 21.

ed shelflife: good: aislers set, black tambourine, pipas, small factory, devo. bad: peter hook / joy division, omd, gang of four.

james dump/yo la tengo: mission of burma; no one else.

michael white: the stone roses were successful because they had nothing to live up to: they were awful then and are awful now. alternately, prefab sprout’s reunion was unsuccessful because it never happened.

daniel handler: the soft boys did it really well, but nobody noticed, nextdoorland is one of my favorite pop records of the last decade. the go-betweens made their best albums post-breakup, there, I said it, rachel worth and oceans apart are even better than before hollywood.

gaylord cf/wfmu: I was not only pleasantly surprised but also genuinely pleased with the recent beach boys reunion and album. the primitives’ reunion show and album were also pleasurable. I’m holding out hope for the upcoming mike-present/davy-free monkees concert.

gordon the fan modine: really enjoyed the feelies at ATP. any reunion is successful. good on those who can muster and make it happen, I say.

stephen the real tuesday weld: did: blur. did not: paul mccartney.

corin tucker: I saw the go-gos, which was great. pavement was fantastic, the portland show was great.

the legendary jim ruiz: I finally got to see honeybunch in brooklyn, loved it!

hannah grass widow: I’ve seen the raincoats and the vaselines in the past few years and they were amazing! we played a show with zounds and I was really excited but those guys were kinda weird. they got our name wrong when they thanked us for playing and it was an overall disappointing experience especially because “demystification” is one of my favorite songs. oh well.

stephin the magnetic fields: throbbing gristle. the spice girls.

dawn cf: successful: black tambourine, lois, small factory, codeine. not successful: pavement @ matador 21.

shaun brilldream: the only band I’ve seen pull it off are the pixies.

matt lorelei: I was skeptical of going to see gang of four years ago at the warfield but it was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. they delivered. also, the aislers at bell house were as tight as a band could hope to be at any time. ridiculous.

clarissa cf: successful: mission of burma: great because they never claimed to be kids, & got better at listening to each other; unrest: great because all they have to do is show up and do what they do, and time freezes. not successful: any band that once prided itself on having new material all the time and no longer bothers to come up with any.

fran cannane: the buzzcocks were pretty good. I am looking forward to even as we speak playing in november in sydney.

joe pines / foxgloves: the commotions 2004 and black tambourine 2012 both seemed to know when to leave people wanting more. I would like to note for posterity that archie moore introduced “dream baby dream” by telling a brooklyn crowd: “hey, new jersey, here’s a bruce springsteen song for y’all!”

tim dagger: good: mission of burma, scratch acid, dino jr.

bridget st john: successful: the aislers set.

pete paphides: pentangle. that was pretty unbelievable. their london lyceum show was one of the best shows I’ve seen by anyone.

ian musical chairs: did: soft boys, go-betweens. did not (sadly): VU, television.

andrew eggs/talk it: in the last couple years I’ve seen the vaselines, the dismemberment plan, and pavement. all shows were pretty good!

gail cf: did: black tambourine! small factory! did not: the pavement boys got me down. if you really hate each other, don’t do it.