Blog

Chatting With Barenaked Ladies’ Ed Robertson( w/ Premiere ), Plus Paul Simon Plays Des Moines

Category: Blog
252 0

THE NICE GUY’S SOUNDTRACK EXCLUSIVE

The Nice Guys Original Motion Picture Soundtrack The Nice Guys/ Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

According to the folks behind the scene…

“Lakeshore Records in conjunction with iam8bit return to 1977 with the release of a special 2xLP 180 gram colored vinyl Collector’s Edition of “The Nice Guys–Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” later this month. The movie is an irreverent detective caper starring Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling set in the ‘7 0’s porn underground. As such, the music becomes a whole other character in the film, drenching the audience in an revelry of sexy, smooth, jangly, trumpeting, rhythmic atmosphere. This soundtrack is the real deal, rallying 15 legendary ballads to create an era-setting super album. The track listing includes The Bee Gees, The Temptations, Kiss, Kool& The Gang, Earth, Wind& Fire and many more. The package also includes a nude 3D centerfold, 3D glasses, The Nice Guys business card, liner notes by director Shane Black, adults-only XXX wrap, one of six double-sided pin-up posters and a download for the digital soundtrack. The album can be ordered from www.iam8bit. com.”

For more information visit: www.lakeshorerecords.com.

The Nice Guys hittings movie theatre May 20.

The Nice Guys Collector’s Edition album encompassed The Nice Guys/ Collector’s Edition

Barenaked Ladies’ BNL Rocks Red Rocks album cover Barenaked Ladies/ BNL Rocks Red Rocks

A Conversation with Barenaked Ladies’ Ed Robertson( plus Lyric Video Premiere)

MR: How have you been, sir?

ER: I have been deluxe.

MR: Yes, you surely have! So traditionally, invention has been a staple for the group, whether it’s in the minutiae of the lyrics, production, videos, or stage act. Do you have a preference when you’re creating and delivering music? Is it live or is it Memorex?

ER:[ giggles] I like all aspects of music. I love writing anthems, I love, like you said, get into the minutium of the lyrics. The lyrics are so important to me. I want everything to be just right. I want the ballad to run, I want the emotional centre of the song to be clear, and I entirely love that process. Then it’s like a gear shifting and you go into recording, and I love that process. Then it’s about servicing of the anthem and trying to do what you think might be the best version of that ballad. Then you shift gears again and go into live, and what is necessarily the best version of the ballad on the record is not inevitably how the ballad will work best live. So you figure out an entirely new approach to a ballad sometimes, or maybe it just evolves over time, live. And that’s a process I enjoy, too, but above all of those, I enjoy ultimately the performance. The chance to get out in front of people when you’re confident in your ballads and you’re confident in your performance and only have fun with the crowd? That’s the best part. I know lots of artists who don’t love to perform. They love to write and they love to record and performing is sort of something they have to do to promote the record. I’m the opposite. I live to perform and all of the other things that I do serve that performance.

MR: And that was obvious on BNL Rocks Red Rocks. Most of the situated was taken to that third level, all of the sungs having altered or grown over the years. It seems like that’s really the pleasure of the procedure to be followed for you guys, where a lot of acts get stuck on playing a anthem live exactly the style they recorded it.

ER: Yeah! For me, that’s what elevates a live record from just a Greatest Hits package. It is, for all intents and purposes, a collect of some of our greatest makes, but it’s those sungs taken into a live arena, and people can see what the band does with them. Sometimes the harmonic structure is a little different; sometimes the arrangement is different; sometimes we just put a totally different spin on a anthem. The band has always been known for our live indicate. I think it’s a huge asset and a strength of the band. Doing a big record at an iconic place like Red Rocks, it’s sort of two things: It allows people to go, “Holy s ** t, Barenaked Ladies headlined Red Rocks? I didn’t realize that! ” and it’s also, “Wow, this is a good live band.” We’re genuinely fortunate that we have a huge audience of people who come to see us over and over and over again, but we’re not done trying to win people over. We love to play lives and we want more and more people to come watch us.

MR: So performing at Red Rocks was important to the band. Did that affect the performance level that night?

ER: Definitely. Red Rocks is one of those venues that has its own personality. There are a few genuinely iconic venues. Red Rocks is among the top places on the planet where people want to go. People want to go to see a show there, let alone to get to headline a prove there. It’s one of those places where you step out on stage and you’re like, “Holy s ** t, I’m at Red Rocks.” You think about the “Sunday, Bloody Sunday” video being filmed there, and you walk to the stage past photos of Eric Clapton and Prince and Sting. Your whole procession to the stage is basically, “Every iconic and influential artist ever has played this building and had one of their favorite shows.” It’s such a magical place.

MR: Were any of the songs that you played that night especially special performances for you, as in, “We’re not going to beat that any time soon”?

ER: Curiously, I think that every night. You have to! As a live musician, you’ve got to give it everything you’ve got. We work genuinely, really hard on our live depict. The worst reveal we ever did is a good present. When we’re on, it’s great, and some nights it’s f ** king fantastic. But we work so hard that, at worst, it’s really good. I think at a place like Red Rocks we all go way overboard to make sure it’s awesome. Everybody’s trying to fire on all cylinders. Then add to that you’re recording that night. We were videotapeing a TV special as well, so everybody’s like, “Let’s f ** king rock this tonight. Let’s do this.”

MR: Closing the thing out with “Rock& Roll” was pretty inspired–a little nod to Led Zeppelin, but also a nod to one of your favorite covers.

ER: Yeah. We’re still trying to decide what we’re going to do this summer. We’ve changed it up. That’s our second Led Zeppelin closing cover. We did “Whole Lotta Love” the year before. I think we’ve got to go outside of Led Zeppelin this year. We’ve been bantering a few things around but we haven’t quite figured it out yet. It’s a chance for me to get up on the drums, but more importantly, it’s a chance for Ty[ drummer Tyler Stewart] to get out and run the stage, which I always love, because he’s an amazing front man.

MR: You had Colin Hay join you for “Who Can It Be Now? ” and also Blaise from Violent Femmes reached the stage with you guys.

ER: Yeah, he joined us on sax. That, for me, was one of my favorite moments of the whole tour. And again, it’s like, “Holy s ** t, I’m playing Red Rock, singing a Men At Work ballad with Colin Hay! ” It was just great. Then he came out afterward in the depict and joined us on “Pinch Me” as well. The synergy on that tour, with Violent Femmes and Colin Hay … We all became really great friends. We merely assured Brian{ Ritchie] and the Femmes guys. We played together in Memphis, so Brian and his wife Varuni came to our hotel after the present and we hung out to the wee ours. It’s a bit surreal for me that I’m friends with the Violent Femmes guys now, because I wore a groove into that record[ Violent Femmes ].

MR: In my intellect, I always had you guys in the same category. It’s wild that it’s only now that you all came together.

ER: They were a massive influence on us. Massive.

MR: All the energy and partying and antics that happen on stage, you guys still like each other after all these years, don’t you?

ER: Yeah, and I would say, actually, more than ever. I think we have such a deep appreciation at this phase in our career that we are continuing to get to do this. There’s a definite sense of gratitude around the band that we get to do this still. We only played Memphis in May at the Beale Street Music Festival. We got to play on this stage that Neil Young headlined the night before. I still haven’t lost that help feeling that we’re kind of underdogs. I approach that reveal and I suppose, “We’ve got to win these people over.”

MR: In some instances, you may be in more households these days. You were being reverent to Neil Young, but you’ve got millennials who know and discovered your material not only through your iconic reaches, but also because you supplied the topic to Big Bang Theory. Dude, you’re in everybody’s home once a week, and with reruns, even more!

ER: Big Bang Theory has been huge for us. Huge! That’s the moment in the show when I look out at forty thousand people or however many we’re in front of, and all the phones come out when we start[ the anthem] “Big Bang Theory.” Everybody wants to get a recording of that. That’s cool. That’s something I wrote in my shower at the cottage. Now millions of people see it every day. It’s incredible.

MR: And, apparently, energizing!

ER: Entirely never having a notion that song would be a hit for the band. “I’ve been asked to write a theme song for a science-y sitcom.” Who thought that was going to be a bit hit. But it was a great experience to write it and working with Bill and Chuck on the song was great. The fact that the present has become so huge, I never could’ve imagined it, and now that’s a bona fide reach in our reveal. It’s bigger than “One Week, ” which went to number 1! A number 1 Tv show is way bigger than a number one song.

MR: Millions of homes every night, buddy. You guys have had other projects on your radar too. One of my favourites was Ben& Jerry’s “If I Had A Million Flavors.”

ER: Yeah!

MR: Bernie Sanders had a flavor too, so you’re in his realm now.

ER: Yeah, I know! That’s a crazy thing. They asked us if we’d are keen to having an ice cream flavor. I thought, “Hell yeah! ” We donated all of our royalties, and continue to, to literacy in Canada. ABC Literacy. That’s been a great relationship. People run buy ice cream and it helps people learn to read. That’s been a great thing.

MR: You also had Barenaked Planet for getting people environmentally conscious.

ER: Yeah. That comes from our relationship with Adam Gardner from Guster, who we’ve known for twenty five years now. He started Reverb as a style to start transforming the boulder& roll industry into a much greener place. We hopped onboard right away, we’re one of the founding groups, with Willie Nelson and Bonnie Raitt. It’s part of the Green Music Group and we’re just trying to do everything we can to leave a little smaller footprint when we roll from town to town.

MR: Nice. And aren’t you and Adam in that group, Yukon Kornelius?

ER: Yes! That’s another thing where Adam and I merely smile at one another all night saying, “Can you f ** monarch believe we’re on stage with Dee Snyder and Sebastian Bach singing an AC/ DC ballad? “

MR: Ed, what advice do you have for new artists?

ER: Play live, play live, play live, play live. And do not spend a bunch of money on your first record, because within a month of inducing it, you’re going to detest it. Lots of bands record first; they record too early, they record before they’ve figured out what they even sound like. Play live, take every gig you can, and figure out who you are as a band and as novelists. Attain a s ** tty recording but good enough to be a demo tape to give a club owner or to give a record company to give them an idea of where you’re going with your music. But don’t try to attain Sgt. Pepper’s before you even know what your band is.

MR: You didn’t have that road when you started, did you?

ER: No, we didn’t. We did what I recommend. We took every gig, and our first couple of cassettes were built on a four-track recorder in our basement. We giggled our heads off and overdubbed things and made a silly recording and then we just played hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of presents. By the time we actually went into a studio and recorded a four-song demo, we had already done five hundred shows.

MR: Are there any anthems that remained under the radar, that stimulate you say, “I wish people had heard that one”?

ER: I have tons of those, actually. I suppose I’m a little bit of an anomaly among artists that I talk to though. I fulfill lots of people who various kinds of resent their reaches because maybe they drew attention away from the ballads that are closer to their heart, that resonate more with them or are more personal to them. “Pinch Me” is one of the sungs that I’m most proud of that I’ve ever written. I feel it’s a great demonstration of my sensibility, my guitar playing, and simply my approach to writing. Lucky for me, it became a big hit. But when I pick up a guitar, to this day, if I want to know what the guitar sounds like, I play “Pinch Me.” It’s a very Ed Robertson guitar lick. It’s percussive; it’s kind of interesting, kind of circular. I like that about it. But in terms of other ballads, one of my favorite’s is called “Tonight’s The Night I Fell Asleep At The Wheel, ” from Maroon. I love to perform that one live. There are loads. There are only a handful of anthems in a twenty-seven year career that don’t truly resonate with me anymore, so we just don’t play them because we have two hundred and ninety-five other songs to choose from.

MR: And I imagine you have a fan base who are just as loyal to the lesser known ones as they are to the hits.

ER: And that’s an amazing thing.

MR: How do you think the audience has grown with you?

ER: There’s a huge number of people who have grown with us. There are also a lot of people that merely fell off. But we’ve been fortunate in that we’ve continued to grow our fans through the years. There are people now that are into the band that don’t know anything about our early nineties career. They haven’t been with us for twenty years because they’re twenty-two. That, to me, is altogether cool. What’s difficult as a band that’s been around this long is when you hear people like, “Oh, I wish they’d do more of their old stuff.” I love our old stuff too, I’m proud of it, but that was a quarter of a century ago. I continue to write songs, I continue to perform, and hell, we still play that stuff live, but I have no desire to be that band anymore. I don’t want to stimulate Gordon II, I want to build our new records. Gordon’s still there. You love it? Go back and listen to it.

MR: How do you think the band has grown the most between Gordon and Silverball? And what does the future bring?

ER: I think if you listen to those two records, there’ll be a very stark contrast in where the band is willing to go sonically. I guess with Gordon we tried to adhere to a very strict interpretation of what we were; this acoustic, folk-influenced rock thing. We were really pushing the harmonies and actually pushing acoustic instruments and hand percussion. We truly wanted to capture that and I think we did a good job. I guess now, we’re only a lot freer to just serve the song , not be afraid to do whatever the ballad involves regardless of where that takes us sonically and what that says about us as a band. We’ve got such a catalog at this point and it’s so diverse that I think it frees us up to go wherever we want as long as it induces the anthem better. And for where I ensure us going, I’ve actually already started to write for the next record, which we likely won’t start record until the late autumn or even early wintertime. But I’m actually stoked about the band moving forward. I’ve get twenty-six anthems started, I suppose. It just feels like a really creative, truly positive period for the band.

Transcribed by Galen Hawthorne

Simon Does Des Moines

photo courtesy of Concord Records Paul Simon

Paul Simon and his band adrenalized Des Moines’ Civic Center on Wednesday, May 18, like it was the high levels of his Graceland period. Wait , no, the level of musicianship and energy on that stage atomized those days. Every ballad was revamped or juiced-up as he and his entourage relaunched career staples such as “Mother And Child Reunion, ” “Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard, ” “Spirit Voices”( complete with hallucinogen backstory ), “The Cool, Cool River, ” “The Obvious Child, ” a facelifted “5 0 Ways To Leave Your Lover, ” and an instrumental version of “El Condor Pasa( If I Could) ” that bled into the sublime “Duncan, ” its trademark flute part tastefully improved with an accordion. Another major highlight was the first set closer, “You Can Call Me Al, ” that had hundreds of Des Moinian, Woodstock-era oldsters literally dancing by their seats like they were back in Bethel.

Oh, about that. The crowd’s age averaged around sixty, my 15 -year-old being the youngest human in the room, though his demographic was treated to a pair of compositions from the new Stranger To Stranger album–“The Werewolf” and Paul’s playful “Wristband, ” that word sung about a million times, the artist jokingly reiterating the title at the song’s finish in case someone missed it. Not truly to that point, but Simon was quite conscious of his audience’s senescence as he quipped about the theater’s seating arrangement that provided no aisles in the middle, commiserating with his fans over their rest room access challenge.

Beginning with an instrumental version of “Proof” that was chased by a “Boy In The Bubble, ” Paul and his cronies powered through the catalog that included even more Graceland pieces than the previous mentions, such as the tipsy “That Was Your Mother” and elegant “Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes, ” whose slick phonics and melody in the payoff line “…by the bodegas and the lightings on Upper Broadway” still evokes comfort and a laughter. Realizing that ballad was written during just one of Paul’s many creative phases–each epoch the dearest to at least a hundred attending fans–it reached me about halfway through the concert that Paul Simon’s musical career and history is all about the “Rewrite, ” which, yes, he also played. His material is always fresh, taking so many creative left turns since–and during if you count his English residency–the Simon& Garfunkel era, a period he somewhat glossed over. Sure it would have been nice to hear “Bridge Over Troubled Waters, ” but this wasn’t that Paul Simon. The closest this Paul Simon got to him was by singing “Homeward Bound, ” which seemed perfectly natural Garfunkel-less, and it was one of only 3 S& G standards. And I’m kind of glad about that.

On the other hand, some pretty key … Rhymin’ Simon anthems were absentees such as “American Tune, ” especially with a foreboding Age of Trump on the horizon. But a reveal can only last so long, and there are only so many hours the audience can go without going. On the other, other hand, I was sad that “Kodachrome” was MIA, though if it built the decide, I would have been stuck stroll back his line, “When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school” to my high school kid, so we’re good here.

Omissions truly didn’t matter since the show was perfect the way it was. Long day conspirator, guitarist Vincent Nguini, summoned the angels in the architecture; Andy Snitzer blew like it was Gabriel’s horn, if it were, you know, a saxophone and in Des Moines on a Wednesday night; and guitarist/ cellist/ Renaissance man Mark Stewart added a whole bunch of instruments that musicologists one day will decipher from the, hopefully, inevitable 4K Ultra HD release of the tour. All the musicians super-shone, thus that whole fawning thing in the first paragraph. And I’m pleased to report the first of two encores included his hit “Still Crazy After All These Years, ” that title now requiring a serious updated to Still Genius After All These Years.” Hey, did someone just say, “Best living American songwriter? “

To the relief of my 15 -year-old and internal organ, Paul ultimately aimed the concert with a second encore and the last of three Simon& Garfunkel nods, his poignant “Old Friends/ Bookends.” Never has the song’s line, “Preserve your memories, they’re all that’s left you, ” been more appropriate, all things held. And I–and I’m assuming most attendees–will try to preserve the memory of this concert for as long as we can. Except, of course, for that aching bladder part.

TOUR SCHEDULE

5/20/ 16 Denver, CO Bellco Theatre 5/22/ 16 Salt Lake City, UT Maverick Center 5/23/ 16 Boise, ID Botanical Gardens 5/25/ 16 Portland, OR Schnitzer Concert Hall 5/26/ 16 Vancouver, BC Queen Elizabeth Theatre 5/28/ 16 Woodinville, WA Chateau St. Michelle 5/29/ 16 Woodinville, WA Chateau St. Michelle 6/1/ 16 Los Angeles, CA Hollywood Bowl 6/3/ 16 Berkeley, CA Greek Theatre 6/5/ 16 Santa Barbara, CA Santa Barbara Bowl 6/11/ 16 Kansas City, MO Starlight 6/12/ 16 St. Louis, MO Fox Theatre 6/14/ 16 Minneapolis, MN Orpheum Theatre 6/18/ 16 TBD 6/19/ 16 Rochester Hills, MI Meadow Brook 6/21/ 16 Toronto, ON Sony Centre 6/22/ 16 Montreal, QC Place Des Arts 6/24/ 16 Boston, MA Blue Hills Bank Pavilion 6/25/ 16 Philadelphia, PA Mann Center for the Performing Arts 6/27/ 16 TBD 6/28/ 16 TBD Gillian Ula Ruth Kira Small Goldfeather Massy Ferguson Resh Sulfur City

Leave a comment

Categories

  • No categories
STAY UP TO DATE
Register now to get updates on promotions and coupons.
%d bloggers like this: