Hey folks – I recently got the chance to have a chat with the folks at Up to Your Ears. We chatted about TPE, my current band Stag, and my obsession with 70s polyester suits. It’s a good laugh.
So we tried to do this thing, where we’d listen to Babble, and then talk about it. This was after we did the Manic Pop Thrill listening party. (Oh – that reminds me – I could post that as well… huh…)
Anyhow, it didn’t go so well… until it sorta did. The day before I tested everything and it was working great. We were going to use Zoom to get all the Petrols on video, and use the chat and Q&A, and then rebroadcast that to Mixcloud for folks who didn’t want to sign up for Zoom accounts or download software. Simple, right? I’m an expert, right?
On the morning of the party, not so much. Remember, 7PM UK time is 11AM my time, so… yeah. Anyhow, we decided to postpone the listening party, but we decided to have a chat nonetheless, and enough people hung around on Zoom that it turned out pretty well. Here it is, if you’d like to give it a listen.
The good news is that I’ve figured out a way to do this for next time, and next time we’ll do even more testing. We’ll announce the next one of these soon.
Hey Folks –
It’s probably old news to most of you, but the reason we’re on hiatus is because I’m a new dad and consequently have my hands full. Thelonious James Mack was born 7/24, to the sounds of “Up For the Down Stroke” by Parliament. Yes, I was DJing.
Theo is a wonderful little guy. He’s got his first tooth, and he’s babbling (ahem) up a storm. I won’t bore you with the gushings of a new father – if you’re interested he has his own website where I do that.
So for the short term, there’s not going to be a lot of action in the TPE camp, at least not all together. I’ve been jumping around with some friends in Seattle (more about that in another post), and rumour has it that another Petrol might be playing out with some new songs – but I’ll let him announce when he’s ready.
Happy holidays, all, and we hope to see you all again sometime soon. I’ll leave you with my favorite photo of Theo, taken when he was about one month old. Swoon!
Hey all –
It’s that time.
I’m doing a massive cleanup, and have stumbled on a bunch of boxes of Anodyne CDs. For those of you who don’t know, that’s the group I formed with Harris Thurmond when I moved back to Seattle. If you haven’t heard it, ask around in the forum – I haven’t met a TPE fan yet who didn’t like it. Pretty much what you’d expect from me writing with a guitar player from Seattle.
If you’d like one, send me an addressed puffy envelope with some postage. I’d imagine it would cost about $1.50 or so in the States, say a couple of pounds to the UK and 3 Euros to the continent. Just drop a few coins into the puffy envelope. Don’t worry about sending me foreign currency – I’m back and forth all the time and will use it to buy beers next time I’m there!
UPDATE: Okay, I miscalculated a bit on postage. Don’t worry if you’ve already sent an envelope. I’ve got you covered. But if you’re reading this, postage should be as follows: $2 for US, and 5 Euros/Pounds elsewhere.
Here’s a sample to help you make up your mind:
Send ’em to: 523 26th Ave., Seattle, WA 98122
Happy new year from us all here at TPE Headquarters.
It’s been quite a year for us, as you all know, starting off with a bang at South by Southwest, and ending on a high note at the Bell House in Brooklyn. Funnily enough, we had some equipment challenges at both, but somehow it all worked out and the gigs were a blast.
Thankfully, courtesy of the incredible NYC Taper, you can hear for yourself. He’s made a great recording of the Bell House gig, and offers free high quality downloads at his awesome site. You can download good quality MP3 files, or even lossless FLAC versions of the entire gig, here.
A big shout out to NYC and everyone who came – you were great as always! Here’s looking forward to 2010.
We’ll post these as we find them, and try to post pictures and whatnot from the tour. So for now, take a look at the review on the Culture Northern Ireland web site.
Last night was great.
Hell, if I didn’t know better I’d say we were on our way to the top.
We were a bit apprehensive about the gig, seeing as how it was a club night and the average age was easily half of our own. We figured folks would be far more interested in getting drunk and laid rather than watching a band their parents loved. So imagine our surprise when we went on to thunderous applause and shrieking!
The KoKo is the newly remodeled Camden Palace, and they spared no expense with the PA system. We actually had an inkling that the gig was going to be really good during sound check. I arrived a bit late and walked in on the rest of the boys running through “Believers” and it sounded FANTASTIC!!! The on stage monitors could possibly be the most powerful I’ve ever heard.
Of course it was only 1PM – we had eleven hours to kill before we went on. Combine that with my jet lag and I wondered if I was going to make it.
I needen’t have worried. The audience were so amped they could have jump-started a pickup truck. We fed off their energy and added a bunch of our own. We saw a lot of familiar faces (Morris, Steve, Kari, Patrick, Rob…) and a whole bunch of new ones, including our good friend Claire’s daughter Luna, who is as lovely as her mother. (Claire did the voiceover in the middle of Blind Spot on Manic Pop Thrill.)
Thanks to everyone who came last night – I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!
4) – Which of the three 2008 gigs did you like the best, and why?
Raymond: All three shows definitely had a different dynamic for me. The EP was undoubtedly my favourite as that was the show we had actually reformed for in the first place and that stage felt like the most natural for a band of our past reputation and stature to be standing on. If that gig had gone badly or indeed if the atmosphere hadn’t been as vibrant, expectant and loving, or if we had experienced some terrible, unforeseen technical hitches or received a poor or muted response at that particular moment, then ultimately it wouldn’t have mattered how well the other two previous smaller shows had passed off and we wouldn’t be writing these questions now. Luckily there was magic in the air, we played a blinder and came off feeling like kings. It actually took me about six weeks afterwards to come down off the high from all the shows but most energy was expended on this particular one.This was the one which mattered the most.
However saying that, the other two shows were wonderful too. London was a great way to kick off proceedings, on home turf in front of family, friends and the invited from this very site. On the night the atmosphere was very warm and heartfelt, I felt like we were just surfing a tide of goodwill and good vibes.I wasn’t nervous in the slightest for once (rare for me) and as such was just able to enjoy everything about the whole event – the happy faces, how good we still were and watching Steve’s crowdsurfing!
I was a bit apprehensive about Dundalk beforehand for reasons which seem silly now, but that turned out to be very enjoyable also. The youtube footage of that night (chemicrazy) was interesting for me to see. I’m not actually on camera for virtually all of the song however I appear at the end coming off stage and I am just beaming – that in itself tells the whole story. Storming version too!
I feel like we belong on the larger stages all the same although obviously we’re comfortable playing anywhere. Over the years we have learned and honed our stagecraft – we know how to project, plus we have the most dynamic and watchable front person in the business.The music possesses a beatific power and a positive energy which can uplift,move and entertain any audience or any number of people big or small.
I still have big ambitions for us. I had a dream a while back that we were playing a triumphant show at Madison Square Gardens. Some may laugh at this perhaps but never underestimate the power of dreams, if you have a pure desire they may well just come true…..
Steve: That’s tough. On the one hand, the Electric Picnic was so incredible, because there’s something undeniable about 5,000 people screaming. That was the moment for me when I realized my recollections of the past weren’t rose-tinted, that we were a powerful band that could move a crowd and in fact still could. The fact that teenagers were chasing us afterwards for autographs was icing on the cake. Hey, if the kids still get it, we’ve still got it. And on the opposite end of the spectrum, London, because it was explosive. It was fourteen years of pent-up rock angst. People fainted. It was like church, a spiritual experience. Magic.
But that’s not to discount Dundalk at all, either! I had relatives there who had flown all the way from Florida, and we rocked so hard that chunks of plaster came off the ceiling. I only wish I had been able to join in the shenanigans after the gig. My wife ended up drinking with the staff until 4AM, by that point in her jammies (our bus was parked outside the venue). Me? I was deathly ill with the flu and sweating my brains out in my tiny little bunk. The show must go on!
Some of you may remember that the fans put together a list of questions to submit to the band last year after the first set of reformation gigs. Well, it has only been a year, and we’re finally getting around to it. The idea is to answer one of these every few days. Think of it as a sort of TPE Advent calendar, if you will.
As the list grows, I’ll put them all on a special page, but for now they’ll just be on the blog. So! Without further ado, let’s get this started:
5) – It’s general agreed that those gigs were incredibly tight considering the band hadn’t performed together for 14 years, do you think you’re better musicians now than in the TPE days of yore ?
Ciaran: While its not really for us to say ….I absolutely agree. Steve’s voice sounds stronger and the band don’t push quite as hard as we used to – i.e. we are still v. tight but there’s a kind of looseness happening which lets the songs breathe and groove a bit more. Probably due to a) getting a bit older; b)not playing all the time and therefore making a routine of it; c)listening to a wider variety of music over the years when we’ve been having a break. Every show since we reformed have been winners.
Steve: Aw shucks. It’s not just me – I think we’re grooving better as a band now than we ever did back in the day. Without wishing to sound too cliched, there is a certain power to maturity, knowing that less is more, that showing restraint can be far more powerful than losing control. Speaking of losing control, there were a lot more stimulants involved back then, legal or otherwise. And finally, after having spent a decade and a half _not_ playing together, I think we’ve all come to realize the unique combination we are. The sum is much greater than the parts, and I think we’re all much better able to understand that now, and cherish it accordingly. By letting go and surrendering to the whole.