Aug. 11 • Riverbend Music Center
0 Comments · Tuesday, August 6, 2013
The group’s centerpiece is undoubtedly
Joey Bada$$, an MC whose style of smart lyrical firepower harkens back
to 1990s Hip Hop, even though Bada$$ didn’t exist until the middle of
by Amy Harris
Legendar rocker to perform 'Thick as a Brick' and more at PNC Pavilion Saturday
Jethro Tull's unique sound — which eloquently combines
Rock, Blues, and Classical music — continues to outlast Father Time and
thrill legions of dedicated fans. Leader/singer/Rock flautist
extraordinaire Ian Anderson performs the classic Tull album Thick as a Brick (and more, including Thick as a Brick II) at Riverbend's PNC Pavilion Saturday night at 8 p.m., continuing the legacy of Tull’s self-proclaimed “music for grown-ups.”
CityBeat was able to speak with Anderson this week about protests, social issues and his thoughts on performance art.
CityBeat: Why did decide to bring the flute to Rock music?
Ian Anderson: When I was a young aspiring guitar
player in my late teens I became aware of Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and
Richard Blackmore, who were the hot-shot guitar players down in London,
and I decided maybe I should switch from guitar and find something else
to play. The shiny precision of the flute, the ergonomics, the design,
the manufacture — it’s kind of like a Swiss watch. It appeals to my
sense of physics and engineering. For a particularly good reason, other
than the way it looks, I decided I would give that a go. I learned to
play it by trying to imitate the lines I played on guitar — solos and
rifts. So I became the flute player in a Blues band and I was the only flute player in a Blues band, which gave me the difference that helped Jethro Tull stand out from the crowd.
CB: One of my favorites on Thick as a Brick II is “Adrift and Dumbfounded.” Can you tell me a little bit of the story behind that song or how it came about?
IA: Having been picketed a couple nights ago in
Kansas City by the Westboro Church, the “Godhatesfags.com” people … I am
seen as a fag-hyphen-enabler according to that unworthy organization. I
don’t think I am a homosexual, but I am a supporter of gay rights and a
lot of my friends and people close to me are gay people and I find that
the prejudices and difficulties faced by young people, particularly in
post-puberty, where they are sometimes questioning their gender and
their physiology because some people are just born that way … so, it is a
difficult time for relationships with parents and for society around
It’s difficult now. Back in the ’60s, it was really scary.
So at the time when homosexuality wasn’t just a predilection but an
actual crime, punishable by the courts by incarceration, being gay was a
difficult position for any young person to be in, so I decided I would
write a parent’s perspective of what that may be like — to lose a child
through lack of communication and understanding with the parental, to
lose that child to drugs and to, essentially, male prostitution.
That is an extreme scenario but it happens out there in
the world. These are issues that face society today. These are issues
that have faced society throughout the history of mankind. These days I
suppose we are more able to talk about it and to examine the
possibilities themselves. I always have to think when I was 15 years old
and a little unsure of myself, maybe that could have happened to me. I
try to use some of my personal history with my parents, with the lack of
communication, particular on matters of sex. I try to extrapolate a
little on my own limited experiences in that world.
CB: The Westboro Baptist Church never ceases to amaze me. How did you handle it that day?
IA: I was rather hoping to see them in the flesh.
Unfortunately, I had my spies out. I had my spies out to try to keep an
eye out because I tried to get a photograph opportunity with these
people. Unfortunately, at the time, I guess they showed up when the
audience was coming in or going out. When the audience is coming in, I
am busy in my dressing room changing and tuning up my guitar.
Afterwards, I am busy changing again and packing up my instruments.
Unfortunately, I did not get to see them. That is very disappointing. I
was really hoping to have the opportunity to have a nice smiling
photograph with them and their evil representatives.
CB: Why did you choose this tour to play the Thick as a Brick albums in their entireties?
IA: When you are planning any kind of stage show,
your first obligation is to keep it on a level that will engage people
and keep it interesting for them and present them with a lengthy piece
of musical work with a 15-minute intermission. You have to put your
thinking cap on and try to construct everything to keep the audience
with you, especially if you are playing a lot of music (with) which the
audience is unfamiliar, you have got to make it work the first time
around. It is not the result of hearing it many times so you have to
make it a piece of working entertainment.
It seems to be successful because I have yet to see, when I
go onto the second half of the show, any empty seats as a result of
people leaving at halftime. Normally people stay until the end of the
show and they seem to follow the momentum of the whole show. You get a
personal sense of achievement when you present a large amount of
relatively unknown music and you keep people engaged and enjoying the
I don’t think many bands would attempt to do that. I can
afford to do it because, a) I am prepared to take more risks musically
and, b) I am really kind of doing it for me more than I am doing it for
the audience anyway. I have always been a musician who has gone out
there to make myself happy. You have to really have your own personal
goals you achieve every night in performance. Primarily, I will say, it
is nice you folks are here as well, but if you weren’t here, I would be
doing this anyway. I am just doing this for fun.
CB: You have seen music change in the way it is recorded over many decades. Do you think it sounds better or worse today?
IA: Music has evolved in the terms of recording
techniques over a period of about 60 years, hugely. It goes back to the
early stages of monophonic and stereophonic tape recorders, which is
what it was when I was a teenager.
When it got to the mid-’60s, it was becoming possible to
create the simplest multi-track recordings, usually using two-track
recorders, but bouncing back between the two to get a four-track sound.
The very first Beatles recordings were made that way. By the time they
got to Sgt. Pepper, they were recording with four-track and shortly on the heels of that came eight-track.
The first album I recorded was done on eight-track in
1968. That quickly evolved into 16-track and then to the most often used
standard of 24-track, which continued through the late ’80s and even in
some cases into the ’90s.
Frankly, the digital age really came about not in the ’80s
or the ’90s but in the last 10 years, because that technology began to
support 24-bit audio recording, which effectively mimics the human
hearing to detect the difference between that and the original audio
signal. We have 24-bit 96k recording, which is essentially all we need.
We don’t need to advance upon that standard. We’d have to grow new ears
before we could benefit any further resolution of earlier technology.
It is the same thing as when cameras hit the 10 mega-pixel
mark … essentially equal (to) the very best film quality of film
cameras in the last 50 or 60 or 70 years. We have now fairly commonly
cameras that will deliver resolutions of 24 megapixels, which will be
essentially much better quality you or my eye could fully appreciate.
We are there with audio and visual. We have now reached,
during these last four or five years, human physiology would have to
change for us to benefit from any increase of the resolution of the
technology we are working with now. It is as good as it needs to be. We
are there. We are done. We have reached the limit in terms of audio
recording and digital recording.
CB: Was there a single incident that changed how you approached music?
IA: Well, I suppose a single incident was the first
moment I played notes on a musical instrument, because I was aware as a
small child of music as church music and music of Big Band Wartime
Jazz, which my Father played on 78-rpm records.
It wasn’t until I was 9 years old and I acquired for a
couple of dollars a plastic Elvis Presley ukulele and I strummed my
first simple chord on the ukulele. At that point, even though the
instrument was a rubbish piece, I could actually strum some little
chords and sing along with it, and that was the magic moment of making
music the first time.
I suppose that was the single most important moment of
discovering music. There are a lot of people who never learn to play
anything on a musical instrument and I feel like they are missing out on
something. But some of them might be bungee jumpers and they feel like I
am missing out on something, because I haven’t thrown myself off a
bridge attached to a long piece of elastic.
CB: What is your ideal day look like these days?
IA: It depends if I’m on tour. My ideal day is to
wake up around 7 a.m. and be driving rather than flying and getting to
another city, another hotel by lunchtime, finding a Red Lobster or
McCormack & Schmidt and (eating) some seafood or that sort for lunch
and then having a rest and getting my e-mails in the afternoon before
going to sound check.
That’s kind of normal practice. If I am at home, I wake up
a little earlier, usually around 6:30 a.m. and I usually, again because
of working in different time zones, it’s a good time to check e-mails
from last night, generally prepare, shower, play with the cats, let the
dogs out. If it’s the weekends, I have to go and feed the chickens.
In my ideal world, it would be a mixture of sitting at my
office desk, playing a little bit of music and having a little bit of
time to walk around the garden and sit and talk to my cats.
CB: What is the biggest difference in touring in 2013 versus 1970?
IA: The biggest difference is you can take a little
stress (out) as you are touring easily because of more organization.
Twenty years ago and 40 years ago, travel was a lot more disorganized
that it is today. We can now be planning the next tour while we are
doing this one.
Later today and tomorrow morning when I have a little time
off, I shall be booking some internal U.S. flights for the next tour,
looking at the various cities and suggesting to my U.S. travel agent
some hotels I would like to get quotes on. Generally speaking, doing
that planning exercise, when it comes to doing the tour itself,
hopefully everything is in place. Everybody knows where everybody will
be on most hours on most days.
You can take the stress out of things these days, where it
was not so easy many years ago. We had to employ tour managers and
people to carry our bags and people to herd us like sheep through
airports. These days, people have their virtual boarding pass, which
they can collect online from the booking reference code, which was on
the tour itinerary, and they can print out their own boarding pass and
head straight to the gate. I think things are easier these days, not
because of the level of security we face now that we didn’t face 40
years ago, even 20 years ago. That makes lines a little more stressful
and perhaps a little longer in the course of the day. We allow for two
hours at airports from flight times to be safe these days, not knowing
how long security queues may be or what indignities we may have to
suffer to keep ourselves safe from the bad guys.
CB: Do you have any fond or crazy Cincinnati tour memories from the past?
IA: Probably with a Holiday Inn, Hilton or a
Marriott or two. My bonds tend to be with what my particular life throws
at me. The airport, even after all these years, is strangely familiar. I
have been tracking the evolution of the airport from the late ’70s —
when we were accosted by the children of God, doing their evangelical
work, trying to hand out bibles and stuff — all the way to today.
Airports quite often have that sense of déjà vu, even that nostalgic
memory for me — certain hotels, certain venues of course, iconic venues
we still play today.
CB: What was your favorite live performance ever?
IA: It is probably the show in an American venue
near Washington D.C. called Wolf Trap. It is my favorite because it is
the one I am going to be doing tomorrow and the one I have to focus on
and prepare for.
Past shows are in the past. I don’t dwell on those. I
don’t have favorites. I don’t have preferences, except for a couple
iconic venues, as I suggested. My favorite show is the one I am about to
go out and attempt to do because I always have to think it could be my
last. Walking on stage is not a God-given right; it is a privilege to be
able to step out there into the spotlight another time. I just take
each show as they come. My next show is always the best show of my life.
CB: What can the fans expect here in Cincinnati this weekend?
IA: They can expect all they like, but it won’t
vary one iota in delivery to them. Their expectation may be many and may
be varied, but we try to make a point of emphasis to play Brick 1 and then Brick 2, then a long call of classic repertoire.
We have a very tightly organized show. If anybody starts
shouting out during the quiet moments of the show, they will be
studiously ignored. I don’t even have time to admonish them. It happened
to me last night when I came on stage, I was astonished to hear two
female voices shouting at me in one of the spoken words sections with a
delivery of theatrical passion. You wouldn’t be considered cultured to
be shouting and whistling during a Shakespeare play — please don’t shout
and whistle during the performance of mine because I am here to do the
work. You are here to listen and if you don’t like it get up and leave.
Don’t start interrupting me.
Once in a while you get a drunkard out there that gets to
shout at your band, but it happens so rarely these days and it strikes
me as so being incredibly curious. I think our audiences do understand
this is not a regular Rock show but a theatrical presentation (for
which) they have to sit and let me do the work. That’s what I am there
for. I may be 66 years old but I am there to do a man’s work for two and
a half hours, where you can sit back and, if necessary, bring yourself a
comfy cushion and maybe a sandwich because it is a long show.
Increased collaboration made Wilco’s latest release the sum of all the band’s parts
0 Comments · Wednesday, July 3, 2013
While Tweedy is the band’s songwriter and he makes the call in
terms of what songs end up on the band’s albums, Wilco is far from a
Wiz Khalifa adds new dimensions to his tales of “smoking, chillin’, partying and feeling good”
0 Comments · Tuesday, July 2, 2013
O.N.I.F.C. feels like the logical
next step in Khalifa’s development and ability to blend Hip Hop
mentality with Pop melody. Tracks like “The Plan” (featuring Juicy J),
“Let It Go” (featuring Akon) and “No Limit” are among the songs that
feature sleek, synthesized melodies that flow around rapped vocals.
by Mike Breen
Two very different traveling music fests will be coming to Riverbend this summer
A pair of interesting local package-tour concerts were announced today for Riverbend's summer season. • On Saturday, July 6, Bob Dylan and his band are headlining the Americanarama Festival of Music when it comes to Riverbend Music Center. Dylan tours a lot, but making this jaunt extra special are the extra special guests — Wilco and My Morning Jacket. Other acts are to be added to round out the fest-like bill (show starts at 5:30 p.m.). Tickets for Americanarama at Riverbend go on sale this Saturday at 10 a.m. through Ticketmaster. Tickets range from $30-$80; between April 27-28, fans can buy lawn tickets for the show for just $20 (plus all those sketchy ticket fees). Read more about the tour here.• For local fans of modern Hip Hop, mark your calendars for Aug. 11. That's when the second annual Hip Hop tour, Under the Influence of Music, will be coming to Riverbend. The show is headlined by Wiz Khalifa and A$AP Rocky and will also feature B.o.B., Trinidad Jame$, Joey Bada$$, Pro Era and Berner and more. The Cincinnati stop is the last on the tour, which always makes for a fun time for the performers (and, thus, the audience).Tickets go on sale this Saturday at 10 a.m. through Ticketmaster. Click here if you'd like to RSVP for a chance to buy tickets early. Citi card members get access to presale tickets beginning tomorrow at 10 a.m. Riverbend is offering $15 "Early Bird" tickets through April 28. And here is some info on getting a jump on the public on-sale. Here's an interview with the headliners about the tour.
by Mike Breen
Celebrating the 12th anniversary of the CityBeat/Jimmy Buffett shitstorm
A dozen years ago, I was asked to come up with something for CityBeat's annual summer preview "Hot Issue." At the time, easy-groovin' singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett was the king of Cincinnati's summer concert scene, selling out his shows in minutes and routinely winning the "Best Concert" award in CityBeat's "Best of Cincinnati" readers' poll. So I figured that, five years into CityBeat's existence, it was time to weigh in on the Parrothead phenomenon. I've told the story of the backlash a few times in the past (apologies if you've heard it before). After the article was published, I received the most hate mail I've ever seen for a story appearing in the paper. My colleagues printed out the emails and wallpapered the area around my desk; it covered a good quarter of that room in the old CityBeat building on Seventh Street. I expected some of it (and probably deserved some of it, too; as a young punk-ass writer, I was an even bigger dick then). But the sheer amount of correspondence was kind of a shock. I soon discovered it was the result of a cheap Buffett fan website that literally told its members to attack. In the vein of anti-abortion activists publishing the names and home addresses of doctors who dare provide abortion services, the site ran Mike Breen's home address. I probably would have filed a police report were it not for the fact that the site ran the wrong Mike Breen's home address. Some other poor Mike Breen in Cincinnati probably received a few house-eggings and tree-TPings (hopefully nothing worse). I sent the site owner a polite note advising them that they had the wrong Mike Breen's address and invited them to publish CityBeat's business address for anyone who'd like to chime in with a letter. (They already had our email up there.) Eventually, they removed the innocent man's address. Out of the 300 or so emails of protest sent, about 10% simply suggested that Buffett concerts are just good fun and I shouldn't criticize how people get their ya-yas out (fair enough). About 5% were supportive of my comments. Around 2% said they were indeed Parrotheads, but found my article amusing and felt the pilers-on were being stupid and taking it all too seriously (my favorites).The rest of the emails were the opposite of Jimmy's good-time, laid-back vibe. Most just called me rude names (totally fine). Some wished death on me (not cool!). The only one I remember with any kind of clarity was the note that said, "I hope your children are raped by drug dealers in Over-the-Rhine and get AIDS and die" (come near my family and I WILL cut your balls off). Included in many of the death-wishes and "Fuck you, asshole!" comments were a few people who trumpeted Jimmy's great contributions to charity. I applaud that, as well as the efforts of the Cincinnati Parrot Head Club, who also work good deeds into their good times. Buffett and I also share a lot of the same political/cultural/social views (I can find no evidence, but I'd be willing to wager that Jimmy's NOT anti-gay marriage and he is definitely a Democrat). I also thought it was kind of funny/cool that Jimmy got booted from an NBA game for passionately (and good-naturedly) sticking up to the refs that were giving his team (the pre-LeBron Miami Heat) the shaft. I also thought it was really cool that Jimmy found Bill Paxton's fairly scathing parody of him (as "Coconut Pete") in the Broken Lizard film Club Dread to be hysterical. (On the DVD commentary track, the filmmakers say Buffett asked for permission to perform some of the parody songs on tour.)Here's Paxton doing Coconut Pete's hit "Pina Coladaburg":I'm unsure how Jimmy feels about South Park's much rougher treatment in the show's own parody (pictured above). (For the record, I think the spreading of quotes from and footage of Buffett fans being bigoted is really unfair, in a Breitbart kind of way.)So, as I've matured, I've found at least five things I like about Buffett. If I drank, I bet he'd be fun to have a beer with and talk politics and sports. (Drop me a line, Mr. Buffett; I'll be designated driver!)There are still tickets available for tonight's Buffett concert at Riverbend, which would have been impossible to imagine 12 years ago. When the Radiohead concert earlier this summer was announced, I had a chat with our publisher about how fast it would sell out. When it didn't, we bemoaned the fact that Buffett's show would still sell out in minutes. It didn't. Is the Parrothead era over in Cincinnati? Here, from the May 25, 2000 edition of CityBeat, are the "Ten Things I Hate About Buffett." Feel free to chime in with your Buffett support and call me a few names if you'd like. (But threats will be taken seriously this time around and if you come near my family … well, see above.) I sincerely hope that, if you're going, you have a great time. Just be safe! I have to imagine that cops see Buffett visits as a good chance to make a few extra DUI arrests. Like death, taxes, Who reunion tours and Wolfen sequels, one
certainty every year in Cincinnati is a local summer appearance by the
master of mediocrity, Jimmy Buffett. If you live here, it's as
inevitable as the changing of the season: Buffett brings his plastic
palm tree and awful music to Riverbend, and thousands of morons flock to
see him. We've resisted writing about this "phenomenon" in the
past. It's kind of like making fun of Kathie Lee Gifford or Kenny G --
it's just too cheap and easy. Of course, CityBeat is nothing if not cheap and easy.
So, here, we bring you the only press you will ever read about Jimmy
Buffett in this publication. Unless, of course, there's a shooting spree
in the middle of the concert or Riverbend sinks into the river. 10) His music
It's sorta tropical, sometimes Country-ish, sometimes "silly," and
always boring. It's music for people who don't like music: background,
laid-back fluff. It's easy listening for Boomers.
9) His lyrics "Blew out my flip flop/Stepped on a pop top/Cut my heel, had to cruise on back home." "So he took her to this movie called Body Heat/She said, 'The Junior Mints were mushy and the sex was neat.' " "Fruitcakes in the kitchen/Fruitcakes on the street/Struttin' naked through the cross walk/In the middle of the week." "Evolution can be mean/There's no 'dumb-ass vaccine.' " Apparently not.
8) His album titles A White Sport Coat & A Pink Crustacean. Last Mango in Paris. Off to See the Lizard. This guy makes "Weird Al" look like Oscar Wilde. 7) He recorded a cover of "Purple People Eater" "Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" is bound to be next. 6) He likes to sue aspiring restaurateurs Buffett's
lawyers have gone after entrepreneurs for calling their new bistros
things like "Margaritaville" and "Cheeseburger in Paradise." Hey, if
they're that stupid ... 5) He was a fratboy No doubt. At the University of Southern Mississippi. Shocker! 4) He wrote and staged a musical (Don't Stop the Carnival) Rock stars shouldn't do that. 3) He tricked Brian Wilson into recording one of his songs "South American" on Wilson's Imagination record. Hasn't this man been taken advantage of enough? 2) His CDs don't even make good coasters I proudly own one Jimmy Buffett CD -- 1999's Beach House on the Moon, which I use on my desk to set my drink on. Damn things keep slippin' off. 1) Parrotheads Fans
of Buffett use his summer concerts for an excuse to get completely
obliterated and "partay." It's like Mardi Gras with tasteless people in
stupid hats and Hawaiian shirts. Not so amazingly, his strongest cult is
here in Cincinnati. Like we need some other cultural crisis to be
by Mike Breen
The 18th annual Punk/Metal/Hip Hop/etc. traveling fest winds down after today's Cincy stop
The Van's Warped Tour might not be the most financially successful summer package tour of all time (the promoter and performers work together to keep an ego-free environment and low ticket prices), but it's hard to argue that it is not the most successful overall, especially in terms of longevity. Now in its 18th year, Kevin Lyman's eclectic traveling festival has outlived all of the roving music events that sprouted up around the same time (from Lollapalooza to Lilith Fair) by creating a "customer friendly" experience that's also very "artist friendly." The tour's 2012 finale is this weekend in Portland, but before shutting things down for the summer, the fest makes its annual stop at Cincinnati's Riverbend today. Doors open at 11 a.m. and music kicks off shortly after. The show ends around 9 p.m. Tickets at the box office will cost ya $42 (about a dime a band, by my estimation). Click here for more local show details, including info on how you can "Skip the Line" and walk right into the venue. The set-times for each act are decided just prior to the gates opening; if you're going, look for the giant inflatable Warped logoed amp to see when your favorites are playing. I also highly recommend grabbing the official Warped Tour app.Be sure to support our local music scene reps — The Few The Fallen, Heres To The Heroes and Let It Happen will play the Ernie Ball Stage. Check out Let It Happen's recent video for "Bridges" from the great release, It Hurts, But It's Worth It.Here is who's playing where (via Riverbend's site). (Welsh rockers Lostprophets are also on the bill, though not listed on Riverbend's site; all info is subject to change.) MAIN STAGE: Taking Back Sunday, All Time Low, New Found Glory, Streetlight Manifesto, Yellowcard, Piece The Veil, Four Year Strong, Of Mice and Men, We The Kings, Breathe Carolina, Miss May I, Falling In Reverse, Blood On The DanceTBD STAGE: Every Time I Die, Mayday Parade, blessthefall, Chelsea Grin, For Today, Memphis May Fire, Motionless In White, Rise To Remain, Sleeping With Sirens, The Ghost Inside, Vampires Everywhere!, Title FightTILLY’S STAGE: Senses Fail, Vanna, Polar Bear Club, We Are The Crowd, Man Overboard, A Loss For Words, Funeral Party, I Fight Dragons, Machine Gun Kelly, Oh No FiascoTBD STAGE: Echo Movement, G-Eazy, Stepdad, The Constellations, Ballyhoo!, Champagne, T. Mills, Tomorrows Bad Seeds, Mod Sun, The Green, AmystERNIE BALL STAGE: iwrestledabearonce, Born Of Osiris, Chunk! No Captain, Fireworks, Transit, Cold Forty Three, The Scissors, The Few The Fallen, Here's To The Heroes and Let It Happen. KEVIN SAYS STAGE: Make Do And Mend, Matt Toka, Tonight Alive, Skip The Foreplay, Sick of Sarah, Mighty Mongo, Captain Capa, I Call Fives, Hostage Calm, The Silver Comet, Twin Atlantic, The Darlings, Dead SaraACOUSTIC BASEMENT: A Loss For Words, Koji, Brian Marquis, Rocky Votolato, Transit Owen Plant, Anthony Raneri
by Amy Harris
Motörhead are Metal gods. They’ve been rocking arenas and
stadiums for 37 years and are currently out on the Mayhem Tour with
Anthrax and other major acts of Heavy Metal and Hard Rock. They’ve
released 21 albums and have played in front of millions across the world
with the loyal support of their super-fans, the Motörheadbangers.
CityBeat spoke with guitar player Phil Campbell to
preview their set today Riverbend. They spoke about how life in the band
continues to thrive on the road after so many years and his impressive
collection of guitars. Mayhem Fest will rock Cincinnati Tuesday and will
also feature Anthrax, Slayer, Slipknot and The Devil Wears Prada.
CityBeat: What has been the craziest story from Mayhem so far for you guys?
Phil Campbell: We had a good party the other night.
It was a costume party. All our band and crew went dressed pretty
strange. There were quite a few strange costumes there. I think Lemmy
and his assistant went as the Blues Brothers. I dressed as a clown.
Mickey dressed as a frog. One of our crew dressed as Larry King. That
was pretty good. It was a good party anyway. We are just too busy to get
wild at the moment.
CB: You guys are famous for your pranks on the road. Have you played any pranks on any of the other bands yet?
PC: No not yet. We leave that for the end.
CB: What is the best and worst part of being out on the road now? You guys have been touring for 30 years.
PC: You are home for three weeks and then you are
ready to come on the road for two months. You are dying get back home.
We are not really complainers. One of the worst parts obviously is not
having your family there, home comforts and your dogs and things like
that. The food can be tough because you really don’t have much choice.
That’s not particularly good. The best part is you don’t have to get up
early in the morning anymore. We sleep in until really late so that’s
CB: What is your favorite guitar to play?
PC: My favorite guitar? I just bought a 1957 Les Paul a couple weeks ago so that is probably my favorite now.
CB: I know you have over 260. Do you
rotate them in during the shows or do you pretty much stick with the
same ones for the live performances?
PC: No I have about 12 on the road at any given
time, so sometimes I rotate a couple. Some of the real amazing ones I
don’t really want to take on the road. They are safer in different
storage locations, but I have plenty to choose from.
CB: Any regrets through the years?
PC: No, not really, none. It has been pretty good.
It has been a privilege to be able to play music for people who enjoy
our music. No, no major regrets, no.
CB: Supergroups are very popular right
now with bands like Chickenfoot and musicians doing side projects. If
you could put together a dream supergroup who would you want to play
with from any band?
PC: Elton John, Adam Jones from Tool, David Bato on the drums and Victor Wooten on bass.
CB: That’s pretty good. I know your children are also in bands. Have you thought about recording with them anytime in the future?
PC: Yeah, they are doing really good. I have some children in a band called Straight Lines.
They have their second album out and they are doing lots of shows. They
have great reviews in all the magazines and everything. Hopefully they
will be doing the Warped Tour next summer. Another is in a band called Inside the Trees but they changed their name to The People’s Poet
and they are recording their new album now, as we speak. It’s a quite
different kind of music. They have their own sound as well. They are all
doing really well.
CB: Do you ever play with them?
PC: I used to when they were younger but they won’t let me play anymore. I’m not good enough.
CB: They tell me you are a Lord. How did that process come about to become Lord Axesmith?
PC: I applied. The title goes back 500 years, Lord
of Axesmith. It’s on my credit cards now and everything. I am an
honorary member of the Knight’s Templar of Brittannia. It is a bit of
fun when the crew has to call me “My Lord.”
CB: I was going to ask you what the best part is of being a Lord but that’s probably it, people have to address you as Lord.
PC: When we are at restaurants and they ask for the
name of the party, if you say Lord Axesmith then you know they will
give you a good table. Even before I became Lord Axesmith, I was told it
did the trick.
CB: What can the fans look forward to from the Motörhead show in Cincinnati on Tuesday?
PC: Just another killer Motörhead
show. It is only going to be about 50 minutes long because we have to
have all the other bands on. So it will be loud and nobody will be
by Mike Breen
If the early onset of mugginess hasn't already, Riverbend presents a great concert tonight to get you ready for the summer, as The Beach Boys bring their 50th anniversary tour — featuring Brian Wilson on stage with fellow Boys Mike Love and Al Jardine for the first time in decades — to Cincinnati. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $21.50-$91.50. The band is rounded out by members Bruce Johnston and early guitarist David Marks, as well as several auxiliary players, many from Wilson's flawless solo band. The Boys have been playing shows that have lasted close to three hours (with an intermission), performing songs from throughout their career, including big early hits like "Little Deuce Coupe" and "409," as well as Pet Sounds cuts like "God Only Knows" and "I Just Wasn't Made for These Times," a couple of deeper album cuts (like "California Saga: California," a Jardine song from 1973's Holland album), songs from their new album, That's Why God Made the Radio, and "Kokomo," one of their worst tunes and also one of their biggest. Here's one of Wilson's mini "teenage symphonies for God," "Heroes and Villains," which has also been performed on the tour. Read our interview with Love and Wilson here. • If you like your music a little darker, all-female "Garage Goth" troupe The Black Belles are playing a free show at The Comet in Northside. The band's self-titled debut full-length came out last year on Jack White's Third Man Records and the group even collaborated with Stephen Colbert on his 7-inch single for Third Man, "Charlene II (I'm Over You)" (the Belles performed the song with Colbert on his show). Local rockers The Lions Rampant are also on the bill for tonight's free, 10 p.m. show. Here's the video for the Belles' second single off their eponymous debut, "Wishing Well."• Also on the "free, high-quality live music" tip — tonight's "American Roots" concert on Fountain Square. The every-Tuesday events spotlight local partakers of the various strains of Americana and Roots music. Tonight, it's a little bit Country, a little bit Rock & Roll, as local Kelly Thomas and the Fabulous Pickups and The Kentucky Struts join forces. They should be comfortable sharing a stage — Thomas and Ky. Struts frontman Todd Lipscomb perform together in the trad Country project, The Tammy WhyNots. The show runs from 7-10 p.m.
by Amy Harris
Classic, reunited rockers bring 50th anniversary tour to Riverbend Tuesday
The Beach Boys have been blessing audience’s ears with happy and fun tunes (with occasional blasts of melancholy) for 50 years. As they embark on a 50th anniversary tour, they are preparing to release their 31st album, titled That’s Why God Made The Radio, which is also the title of the first single. Almost anyone who listens to music can think a happy thought as it relates to Beach Boy classics like “Good Vibrations,” “Kokomo,” “Surfin USA” or one of their other countless hits.I was able to speak with Mike Love and Brian Wilson before the tour kickoff and it proved to be one of my toughest interviews to date when I spoke with Wilson.There were moments when you had to wonder why he is speaking to the press at all and others when you remembered the pure genius inside his head as he spoke about mixing harmonies on the new album and just being happy to play again with the band that made him a legend. We reached a nostalgic and introspective point as the legends looked back on a remarkable career.The Beach Boys' 50th anniversary tour comes to Riverbend Music Center this Tuesday.CityBeat: If you were writing “California Girls” today, how would you describe them and what are the big changes?Mike Love: The thing about “California Girls” is that it is a riveting song saying, “I wish they all could be California Girls,” and then talk about all the places around the country. I don’t think there would be much changing to do. Of course our original fans are now California mothers and grandmothers. I believe it is all the same.Brian Wilson: No, I would do it the same as it was.CB: What has been your process for putting together the set list of songs for the shows coming up?Brian: We all got together and chose the songs together and we finally narrowed it down to two hours or two and a half hours of songs. Mike: I’ll tell you what, there are several songs that we absolutely do at every single show we do — “California Girls” being one of them, “Good Vibrations” being another, “Kokomo” being our biggest hit of all. “Good Vibrations” was our biggest hit that came out in 1966, until “Kokomo” came out in 1988 and apparently surpassed that. And then there are songs like “I Get Around” and “Fun Fun Fun” and “Surfin’ USA” and “Help Me Rhonda” — we are always going to do those big hit songs because we believe people are going to come see you for what you are known for. We are most famous for those big hit recordings we have had. Then there are other songs we are doing on our set list called album cuts that are a little more subtle, a little more esoteric. Then there is a song called “Why Do Fools Fall in Love” originally done by Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers during the ‘50s. My cousin Brian came up with a really great vocal arrangement so we enjoy doing that song. Whether it is a point of view of doing a song we feel hardcore fans know or the Beach Boys music that I can recall, we like to do some songs that will please them as well so we balance the songs, the set list, the selection of songs all throughout the years, up to and including our newest record which is called That’s Why God Made the Radio.CB: On the new album there are fun and upbeat songs, as always, but there are also songs embracing some melancholy of the past like “Pacific Coast Highway.” Why was it important to have both on the album?Mike: I think there has always been melancholy and upbeat aspects to our songs. For instance “Surfer Girl” is slower and romantic. “In My Room” is kind of introspective, and if you will a little melancholy like ("Warmth of the Sun"), which is also a beautiful, slow ballad, but I think mainly it is the result of the collective nature of all of us. There is the obvious sun part of life that we have here in Southern California growing up, you know with the featured years and when we recorded “Barbara Ann” and “Lookin’ For Romance” and then “California Girls” and going around the world and experiencing upbeat and positive things like car songs or surfing songs. There is that aspect of it. Then there is also that more internal, introspective aspect of things. So there are definitely both types of music in the Beach Boys catalog, definitely. There is the melancholy and the happy and upbeat. I think that is how life is. Sometimes, people experience moods or situations in life that are not so much upbeat or fun, death of a loved one or breaking up with somebody. There are situations in life that lend themselves to the more serious or somber or melancholy. Then there are the activities and situations in life that are far more upbeat and fun.CB: What is it like having three generations of fans singing along at the shows now?Mike: It is pretty amazing. It is really wild how well people have responded to us all being together. It re-establishes the theorem from math that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Brian Wilson has been doing his own solo projects and recordings and touring for the last several years. I have been touring as the Beach Boys with Bruce Johnston and occasionally David Marks, our original guitarist. Al Jardine has been doing his own thing but we all got together because of the specialness of the 50th anniversary of the Beach Boys. That is the real catalyst that got us together. In addition to that remarkable milestone, there is the fact Capitol Records gave us an opportunity to record a new studio album, so we all got together, a lot of time had passed since we last did an album but it was kind of weird how familiar the whole process felt and how normal it sounded when we were listening to our performance coming back through the speaker in the studio. A lot of time had passed but not much had changed really in terms of Brian’s ability to structure the harmonies and chord progressions and our abilities to harmonize and perform the songs. It was really cool, the two things together, the 50th anniversary and going out to tour together along with doing the new record, those two things, gave us the encouragement to get together and do this together. And the response from the public and so many places have been phenomenal, the Hollywood Bowl in Southern California sold out 17,500 seats.