Friday, December 31, 2010

Important New Year's Eve Update

Hey gang. Are you ready for a New Year's surprise? Tonight's show has been moved! It WILL NOT be happening at the Ridgewood Masonic Temple as previously advertised. It WILL be happening at 285 Kent Avenue. This is in Williamsburg, at the intersection of Kent and S 1st street. This is the same block that Death by Audio and Glasslands Gallery are on, if you have been to those places. If you are taking the subway, this place is closest to the Bedford Avenue L train or the Marcy Ave. J-M train. All the tickets for this event have been snatched up, so apologies if you wanted to come! So yeah, to recap -

TITUS ANDRONICUS! REAL ESTATE!
JULIAN LYNCH! ANDREW CEDERMARK!
NJ IN NYC FOR NYE! NOW HAPPENING AT:

285 KENT AVENUE!
8 PM! ALL AGES! SOLD OUT!

For more info, visit ToddPNYC.com. See you tonight!

Yr friend,
Patrick

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A+ Gold Star

Hey gang. My brother brought this video to my attention - an exercise in 'kinetic typography' made by a young man named Andy Gattis for his course, 'Motion Graphics,' at the University of North Florida. Pretty cool, I say! Bravo, Andy! Check it out.

A More Perfect Union by Titus Andronicus - Kinetic Typography from Andy Gattis on Vimeo.

That was awesome! Okay, that's it.

Yr friend,
Patrick

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Final (Half) Hour Approacheth

Hey folks. As you may have heard, if you really have yr ear to the ground on this crazy internet, there is forthcoming a new episode of universally acclaimed web series Titus TV. The final chapter of the series from hot young filmmaker/master of the library sciences Alex Tretiak of Glen Rock, NJ, it is called 'Ted Leo Strikes Back.' Here is the bone-chilling trailer:



It is fitting that this should be the final episode should chronicle our June 2009 tour with Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, as the very first episode of the show detailed a tour that we did in Autumn of 2008 which was intended to be with TL/RX, but ended up being lonely and soul-crushing - here is the trailer for that saga.



Coming very full circle, no? Episode five should be online within the next couple of weeks. Keep yr eyes on this site for further info. Embedded below is the first episode of Titus TV, "Absolute Zero," conveniently divided into three manageable parts, to bring you up to speed. Enjoy!

Yr friend,
Patrick

TITUS TV EPISODE ONE: ABSOLUTE ZERO





Monday, December 6, 2010

And one more thing - NYE

Remember how I told you guys we would announce more shows soon? Well, that day came a lot sooner than I thought - in fact, it is today. So, we hereby invite all of you to help us ring in the New Year with an indie rock blowout at the Ridgewood Masonic Temple in Brooklyn, NY with the greatest all-star cast of upper Central-Western Bergen County, New Jersey ever assembled. Besides ourselves, Titus Andronicus, we will be joined by Glen Rock's own Andrew Cedermark; Ridgewood will be represented by the twin pillars of modern relaxation excellence, Real Estate and Julian Lynch. Jesus Christ - Jersey is TAKING OVER, baby! People from all these bands went to high school together, you see, but these particular four bands have never, ever played a show together, so perhaps it will be good for us to look back to the early '00s as we stride forward confidently into the teens. This show will be presented by Todd P.

So yeah, to recap - NEW YEAR'S EVE! RIDGEWOOD MASONIC TEMPLE! BROOKLYN, NY! TODD P PRESENTS TITUS ANDRONICUS/REAL ESTATE/JULIAN LYNCH/ANDREW CEDERMARK! FIFTEEN BUCKS! ALL AGES! 8 PM! WOW!!!!! JERSEY ROCKS!!!!!!

Coming Up Threes, plus Viva Ybor City

Hey gang. We are back home now after a very magical and memorable weekend in Florida at the Tampa AM skateboarding extravaganza, but more about that later. The previous weekend was yet more magical, as we made our first visit to Ireland and took in its many charms. We got to ride a boat as a band for the first time, most certainly a great rite of passage (literally). We had our spirits stirred by news of one of Ireland's largest ever demonstrations, where some 50,000 citizens took to the streets to demand more equitable treatment from their government, or so I understood it. We emerged from the musty heat emanating off of the rowdy and lovely Dublin audience to the bitter cold of that city's lowest recorded temperatures ever, a triumph of Old Man Winter punctuated with a heavy snowfall just as we had to make our departure from the club. Wild stuff. A scenic drive through the majestic Irish landscape followed the next day, as we journeyed to Cork. Still more warm friendship and generosity to be found there. The less said about our arduous journey back to America the better, but certainly a memorable experience, to visit the land of mine and Dave's ancestors, and a place whose musical spirit has been a constant source of inspiration.

Speaking of beloved music from Ireland, we are thrilled beyond words to reveal that in March of the New Year, we will embark on a short tour supporting The Pogues, culminating in a St. Patrick's Day concert in NYC. Wow, what to say about an impending honor such as this? I have read a lot in the papers that Titus Andronicus might very possibly get many of their ideas from the Pogues, and their is no denying a certain truth to these allegations. So yeah - pretty fucking psyched about that! The dates are these:

3/3/2011 - Chicago, IL - Congress Theatre
3/4/2011 - Royal Oak, MI - Royal Oak Theatre
3/7/2011 - Baltimore, MD - Ram's Head
3/8/2011 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
3/11/2011 - Boston, MA - House of Blues
3/12/2011 - Boston, MA - House of Blues
3/15/2011 - New York City, NY - Terminal 5
3/17/2011 - New York City, NY - Terminal 5


Yes, very exciting prospect indeed. Why not join me in my excitement about this seminal band and check them out in the below video, playing "I Fought the Law" with yr boy Joe Strummer. Neat!



It is convenient for me that March 10th happened to be a day off on this schedule, for that night, a band calling itself 'Crass' is going to be having a concert at Santo's Party House. Further research has shown that while Steve Ignorant is the singer of this band and they do play Crass songs, the other four members weren't members of 'Crass' as such from 1977-1984, the time period which is the focus of the current group's repertoire. Is this going to be good? Probably! I mean, come on. The music of Crass is no artifact, not something to gather dust in some stuffy punk museum - we should all get together and enjoy it and listen to this guy sing it! Right? At the same time, Crass always had kind of a "fuck-the-past" sort of attitude, which may have been a big part of what made them great - can a version of the band looking to the past have the same effect? Or does the appearance of a band like this really demand that we take pains to contextualize it, or is it possible for us to accept the performance on its own merits, as songs about human issues being sung in an effort to increase critical thinking? Or are we so jaded by this point that any sort of revisiting (or revising?) history tour that we have to dismiss it outright as just another 'crass' [tee hee] capitalist money-grab?' Is that something that somebody like Steve Ignorant would do? Would that take away from the power of Crass' songbook if it was? I dunno, lots of questions, not a lot of answers. All will be revealed though, and I am pumped.

Speaking of bands that have returned after long hiatuses (hiati?), one of the most magical elements of our Florida getaway was the presence of the seminal indie rockers Superchunk, with whom we played, along with Florida punks New Bruises, at a place called Czar Ybor. These folks really knew how to kick ass, and we were fortunate to get to hang out with them a little bit and food them a quite good-hearted and amicable sort. Another band that I was thinking about this weekend was the Hold Steady, who, as you may know, set a lot of their greatest songs in Ybor City, which appeared to us this weekend as sort of a Florida version of the Jersey Shore, a true party paradise. Anyway, with all these thoughts swimming around, upon arriving back home, I spent yesterday afternoon recording this song, a cover of a Hold Steady song in the style of Superchunk. Sounds sensible, no? This particular song is called 'Crucifixion Cruise,' from their 2005 album Separation Sunday. I know that this is the internet and you guys like up-to-the-minute content, so please enjoy.



Speaking of people whose integrity was apparent, at the skate contest, a group called Girls Riders Organization had a table at the event, and were hard to work trying to make the skateboarding world a more inclusive place, besides providing resources for some fun arts and crafts. Perhaps you could look at their website, GirlRiders.org, to learn more, if you are so inclined.

Okay, I guess that is all for just now. We shall have some more announcements soon, about shows and stuff, and there are plenty of others things to discuss too. Until then!

Yr friend,
Patrick

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

New viral video, housing update

Hey gang. By now, you have surely heard about Kanye West's "secret show" at Brooklyn Bowl a few weeks back, and were impressed to hear about how Titus Andronicus played at the show also (since immortalized by the good people at Pitchfork.com in six fancy angles)? I know what yr thinking - "Man, I thought Titus Andronicus was cool before, but playing at a secret Kanye show? That is cooler than a polar bear in a refrigerator."

Yes, I thought so too, but then I learned about another surprise Kanye performance, this time on a plane . Titus Andronicus did not perform on this plane - in fact, we weren't invited to participate in any way! All right, Kanye - you thought that Titus Andronicus wasn't going to get a piece of this action? Guess again!

Truth is, this is the perfect opportunity for us to throw our hat into the viral video ring, so please, check out the below video, produced just this morning by Eric and myself, and marvel at the grace and ease with which Titus Andronicus navigates disparate corners of our modern media. Feel free to "tweet" or "like" this video or whatever else in our quest to reach one million views!



As long as we are talking, let me take the opportunity to thank all the good people who have offered to put us up during our forthcoming UK travels. We still have a few holes, though - we desperately need shelter in NEWCASTLE, SHEFFIELD, and CORK! Can you help please? Let me remind you, that if you agree to invite us to yr house as yr guest, YOU will be invited to the show as OUR guest, that is, FOR FREE! You can bring a couple friends too. What a deal! Please e-mail TitusAndronicusTheBand@Gmail.com if you can help.

Okay, great! That's all for today - you guys take care now.

Yr friend,
Patrick

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Overseas

Photobucket


We seriously need places to stay, Please email us Titusandronicustheband@gmail.com

Whoever invites us over to sleep at their house gets into the show for free

Monday, September 6, 2010

In Recognition of Labor Day

Courtesy of our friends at PBS





Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Reminder: NAG Benefit @ Glasslands tomorrow

Hey gang. This is just to remind you that we will be performing tomorrow night at Glasslands Gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, near the intersection of s 2nd and kent, just around the corner from Death by Audio. The concert is a benefit for a very admirable organization of local activists called Neighbors Allied for Good Growth, or NAG for short, who have been protecting North Brooklyn from the cruel march of "progress" for sixteen years now, whether taking the form of their legendary battle with and victory over a garbage incinerator to the contemporary concern of greedy over-development and so forth. A very worthy cause indeed, say we. Learn more about the group at their website, nag-brooklyn.org. We will be performing with Bad Credit No Credit, one of the scene's very finest up-and-coming bands, and Bottle Up & Go, who I don't really know anything about, but I am sure they are very good. As this is, for all intents and purposes, the first show of our Fall 2010 North American tour, it will be yr first opportunity to observe our up-to-date repertoire; forgotten favorites will abound, the perfect antidote, we hope, to all you who grow weary of the same old T. Andronicus setlist. Tickets will be fifteen dollars, the entire proceeds going to NAG. You can buy tickets here if you are really feeling saucy. The show is for people twenty-one and over - sorry, we know that is lame, but that is the rule at Glasslands, and if you underagers really want to see us, there are still plenty of tickets left for our show at Webster Hall on the 25th of September. Okay, great. See you tomorrow night!
Yr friend,
Patrick

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

TV Party

Hello friends. It is with great wonder that we announce to you now that our humble rock and roll band will performing this Thursday night on reputable network television program Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Yes, for three and a half glorious minutes, Titus Andronicus will invade the living rooms of America, sweep out all the cobwebs of our bankrupt society and replace them with the seeds of a glimmering punk utopia. Right? The show will air on the National Broadcasting Company, which was Channel 4 the last time I checked, at 12:30 am - also appearing will be "Rescue Me" star and singer-songwriter behind perrenial classic "Asshole," Dennis Leary, a man as smart and funny as Dennis Miller and as subversive and challenging as Timothy Leary, or something like that.

So yeah - that should be pretty interesting. You can be a part of this historic event too, if you so please. There is such a thing on the show as a "band bench," I have learned - the musicians perform on a stage which is unlike the stages we usually perform on, in that there is standing room for the audience above, rather than below, the performer. It can be you that has this bird's eye view on the proceedings, if you follow the instructions at this here website. I encourage strongly all of you Titus Andronicus fans to join in, lest we be surrounded by ambivalent tourists fresh out of Mars 2112 or the ESPN Zone or whatever it is.

I'll say this about Jimmy Fallon. He was never exactly my favorite Saturday Night Live cast member (though he certainly got his share of chuckles out of me) and I don't like how he made fun of my favorite local coffee shop, Cafe Grumpy (where I sit even as we speak), when they made available a $12 cup of coffee (as though he had never spent as much or more on an equally or more frivoulous item, but I guess that's comedy, right?). He did do one thing, though, that I thought was pretty remarkable. Remember the big fuss back in 2008 when the race for the White House was in full swing, Tina Fey did her seminal impression of Sarah Palin, and a lot of people theorized that this impression, as it was so convincing, did much to sway the public's perception of the real Sarah Palin? And remember how this raised so many questions about our post-modern condition and the ever-widening gap between public perception and reality and all this? Well, that was certainly an impressive feat by Tina Fey, but I believe that Jimmy Fallon did it first, albeit on a smaller scale - think of him as John the Baptist to Fey's Jesus. I am referring, of course, to the classic Celebrity Jeopardy skit wherein Fallon played Adam Sandler. This is a post-modern quaqmire to begin with, as Sandler too was an SNL cast member, and it could easily be argued that Fallon was his aesthetic successor. What made this skit, and Fallon's performance, so special was how, to my friends and I, at least, it successfully inserted itself into the "Sandler canon," if you will. I speak not of his films or his many great sketches on SNL or even his underrated and still-enjoyable comedy albums, but rather, the long, rich succession of one-liners and catch phrases, which have been repeated ad infinitum by youngsters for decades now. There are too many to list, but you know what I am talking about - "That's something that could have been brought to my attention YESTERDAY!" "That's quacktastic!" or even the humble, "GOOO!" In today's world, where Twitter and Facebook and all of our "youth technologies" scramble to compress our Earthly existence into bite-sized, instantly digestable nuggets, perhaps it is this sort of canon that will be the greatest indicator of an "artist's" success. Anyway. Fallon, as Sandler, had two dynamite moments - the first was when he said, in a voice which began in a bumbling mumble and crescendoed into a manic bellow in classic Sandler fashion, "One time I was out with my friends on a boat and this guy on the boat was, like, 'COME TO THE BACK OF THE BOAT!'" The second was his answer in Final Jeopardy - "Abby dooby." Both these things are funny things to say, in their own right, and can stand alone as funny things, but in the years that followed, as my friends and I indulged in our favorite Adam Sandler quotes, it was easier to insert these particular "Sandler" quotes, even though Sandler himself had never spoken them - they became as common as "Nudie magazine day!" or "He spit in the cooler." I guess the point I am trying to make is this - when James Bond says something like, "You know what I can do with my little finger," it doesn't really matter that much whether it is Daniel Craig saying it or Pierce Brosnan or Sean Connery or whoever else, in much the same way that when "Sarah Palin" says something foolish on Saturday Night Live, it might not make much of a difference to the public whether it was Sarah Palin or Tina Fey saying it, just as it didn't matter whether it was Sandler or Fallon doing "Sandler." Is it true that actors, or any public figures, though they are human beings, are becoming characters? Becoming recognizable "brands" that are not necessarily attached for all time to their human progenitors? It would seem that Jimmy Fallon proved it was so, by doing "Sandler" as well as Sandler, by the standards of the "canon" discussed above. Whoo, kind of a roundabout way to say that, no?

Speaking of Tina Fey, there is something I have been meaning to tell you for a while. On an episode of "30 Rock" from last season, entitled "Argus," the Jenna Maroney character describes a new boyfriend, saying that he "works for a bankrupt circus." This immediately brought to mind the Silver Jews song "Horseleg Swastikas," from their great 2001 album Bright Flight
, wherein David Berman sings of "working for a bankrupt circus on the wrong side of Saturday Night." Of course, I immediately reached out to my pal Andrew Cedermark, who is as much of a Silver Jews fan as myself, and pointed out that David Berman and Tina Fey had in common the distinction of having graduated from the University of Virginia, he in 1989, and she in 1992, making for one year of them sharing the campus. Did they ever meet? Ever develop a friendship? Or perhaps even a romance? Or did Tina Fey learn of Berman as a common UVA grad and develop a long-lasting appreciation for the Silver Jews that would result in such an allusion? Maybe none of these things, and it is just a coincidence. I dunno, just something to think about.

Okay, so, what else is going on. Thanks to all of you for snatching up all the tickets to our show with Free Energy at Maxwell's on the 19th of August. With luck, we'll soon surpass Luna as the Band to Have Sold Out the Second Most Shows at Maxwell's (no sense in trying to compete with Yo La Tengo). There are still tickets available for our August 18th show at Glasslands Gallery in Brooklyn, where we will play with Bad Credit No Credit and Bottle Up and Go. The show is a benefit for Neighbors Allied for Good Growth, so please come and support this very worthy cause.

Still more tickets are available yet for our show at Webster Hall on September 25th. This show is also with Free Energy, and the last show where we will potentially be selling a limited-edition, tour-only seven inch, which has us on one side and Free Energy on the other. Our contribution is a cover of "Anixety Block" by Television Personalities, from their wonderfully rewarding record They Could've Been Bigger than the Beatles, while Free Energy gives us their version of the highly underrated Bruce Springsteen tune "I'm Going Down," from the nigh-perfect B-side of Born In the USA (Sorry, Sarim, but "My Hometown" is just not it). I think there are going to be, like, three to five hundred of these things. Surely no record collection will be complete without one. This is an exciting prospect, though listening to our side makes me a little sad, for it is one of just two recordings made by the short-lived Titus Andronicus 4.0, which included Andrew Cedermark and Ian O'Neil on guitars. Man, imagine what that group might have accomplished. Oh well, onward and upward.

All right, I guess that is all for now. Must go and meet my friend Kevin, for an afternoon of playing Guitar Hero. Woo hoo! See you soon.

Yr friend,
Patrick

Friday, June 25, 2010

The untold story of last nights Wavves' afterparty @ Shea Stadium

Okay, gang - if you guys keep up with the blogs that talk about indie rock and the like, maybe you have heard about how last night's party at Shea Stadium, celebrating the success of the performance by Wavves, Dom and Cloud Nothings at the Knitting Factory earlier that evening, hit an enormous snag when some rascal threw a bottle off of Shea's scenic balcony and shattered the back window of a police car. Believe it or not, I was scheduled to act as a DJ at this party, sharing wheels-of-steel duties with Ryan Schrieber of Pitchfork Media fame. I arrived late due to various public transit mishaps, as the police were seemingly just cooling down from their earlier rage(and who could really blame them?), and were on their way out. It looked at this point like the party might be DOA - the organizers were unsure if there was going to be any sort of DJing at all, which was annoying to me because I had schlepped all of my pedals and my four track and so on (I use these when I DJ, for reasons that are still unclear) all the way from Greenpoint, which isn't the end of the world or anything, but not the sort of thing I do at one am for my health. Whatever the fate of the party, those few who were still in attendance seemed to be in a big hurry to get out. Before long, Shea Stadium held probably not more than ten or twelve humans, myself included, and Ryan Schrieber was nowhere to be seen.

Once things were quiet and peaceful enough, Adam Riech, the great guy who runs the space, allowed me to set up my stuff, probably mostly out of pity, and I did my thing for about twenty minutes to an audience of maybe four or five. Ryan Schrieber turned up again too, and spun a good mix of 80's and early 90's indie classics, leaning heavily on ethical punk - "Merchandise," "Rebel Girl," "This Ain't No Picnic," etc. The six or seven people listening to him looked to be having a great time, and even I couldn't deny it when he dropped "Self Esteem" by the Offspring at around 4 am or so. That song is just timeless.

Adam, Alex from the So So Glos and I talked for a long time that night about how much it sucks when people try and do good things for the kids, only to have one of those kids end up pissing all over it and ruining it for everybody, and I suppose I could go on and on about how the kids are all such dumbasses and want nothing more than to act as such and start trouble even though they have great guys like Adam doing so much to entertain them, but, well, hasn't that already been said time and again? [Also, wow, what a run-on sentence! Been reading too much William Faulkner, or just a dumbass myself?]

So, in the name of focusing on the positive, let me share with you some of the happy memories I have of that evening - clicking the link below will allow you to download a recording of my set which I did on the aforementioned tape recorder. Music by Professor Green, Ben Kweller, Surfer Blood, Weezer, EMF and Barenaked Ladies, spoken word by Tracy Morgan, from his awesome audiobook, I Am the New Black. Live "remixing" by yr boy. I also included, as a special bonus, a cover version of "You Shook Me All Night Long" by AC/DC that I performed this afternoon at Shea for an audience of just two - Eric and Sean, two of the people behind the great internet TV series The Flavorpill Fix.

Patrick Stickles Live @ Shea Stadium

Point is, don't be afraid of Shea Stadium! It is a great place to hang out and enjoy yrself, and we can have it to enjoy if only we show the minimum of necessary respect to Adam and all the other people who help run the space, the neighbors, and the fuzz. It isn't that hard, you dumb kids! Why not let the healing begin tonight? The So So Glos, the Beets, Asa Ransom and Electric Tickle Machine are all playing, and one other band too, I think. Don't forget either about seeing our main man Andrew Cedermark play there tomorrow night, along with our other big bro Ducktails. Go there with an open heart and even the littlest bit of basic human decency, and you will have the time of yr life, believe me.

Okay, that's it for now. See you tomorrow at Newtown Barge Park, right?

Yr friend,
Patrick

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The MONITOUR Phase Four: "A New Birth of Free(Energy)dom," plus Phase Three and other Friendship Updates

Hello dear friends. It is our distinct pleasure, this day, to announce what will likely be the last leg of the proper "Monitour," the ongoing promotional exercise behind our latest record, The Monitor. Monitor + tour = "Monitour," remember? Thus far, it has taken us all over these United States, and over a reasonable chunk of Western Europe, and this Autumn, we will fumble across the beautiful American landscape once more to entertain you. A daunting task, we know, for yr palate is sophisticated and yr standards elevated. You deserve the best, and happily for us, we have been able to enlist five of the most entertaining and straight up party rocking young people in all of rock and roll to travel with us and spread the good news about the electric guitar. Who could I be referring to but Philadelphia's number one neo-classic rockers Free Energy?

Our relationship with Free Energy goes all the way back to the Autumn of 2009, when we had just completed our "Bring on the Dudes" tour with our BFFs the So So Glos. We agreed to tack on a show at Georgetown University in DC at the end of the tour. Naturally, after forty or so days of slugging it out on the American indie rock circuit (and putting up with all the SSG's antics), we were dead tired and ready for an evening of zombie-esque behavior. This was until the opening act at the show, a group we had never heard of before and assumed must have been made up of Georgetown students who tinkered with guitars between their Poli-Sci midterms or whatever, began kicking out the tastiest grooves and melting our faces with the sort of badass guitar wizardry that we had always assumed to be only the stuff of legend.

Mutterings of, "Hey, these guys aren't bad," quickly turned into MySpace visits during personal time, which turned into the Free Energy MySpace becoming the official party playlist of me and my roommates, to breathlessly anticipated concerts at Brooklyn Bowl, to show-flier-on-the-refrigerator declarations of superfandom. Next thing I knew, I was waiting on line for the bathroom at the Rolling Stone SXSW showcase gushing to Paul, their singer, about how much Free Energy, and especially their self-titled anthem, had taken over my music-listening life. That night, Titus Andronicus 6.0 forged our friendship forever in the fires of a Free Energy dance-a-thon. Here's a video of them doing their thing that magical night, along with an informative interview.



Soon, an advance cassette of their fantastic debut, Stuck on Nothing, was on permanent rotation in Blue Thunder, a rare-consensus builder in the often highly partisan world of Titus Andronicus Van Music Selection. Endless debates about the true meaning of the lyrics to "Bang Pop" (Suicide? Achieving long-sought sexual nirvana by doing it with an alien? Innocent popcorn making?) ensued, and before long, I would put money on the Titus Andronicus chapter of the Free Energy Fan Club being among the most active and enthusiastic. Stuck on Nothing was indisputably THE soundtrack of the first phase of our MONITOUR, and now for the last, we have the men that made it. Absolutely fantastic. Here are the dates - those were Free Energy will join us are marked with an asterix.

08-21 Boston, MA - Royale *
08-22 Montreal, Quebec - Il Motore *
08-23 Ottowa, Ontario - Mavericks *
08-25 Ithaca, NY - Castaways *
08-26 Columbus, OH - Summit
08-27 Toledo, OH - Mickey Finn's
08-28 St. Louis, MO - LouFest
08-29 Memphis, TN - Hi Tone
08-30 Little Rock, AR - Rev Room
08-31 Dallas, TX - Sons of Hermann Hall
09-10 Vancouver, British Columbia - Biltmore Cabaret *
09-11 Portland, OR - Backspace / MusicFest NW
09-12 Seattle, WA - Tractor Tavern
09-13 Boise, ID - Neurolux *
09-14 Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court
09-15 Denver, CO - Bluebird
09-16 Omaha, NE - Waiting Room *
09-17 Minneapolis, MN - Triple Rock Social Club
09-19 Newport, KY - Southgate House *
09-20 Atlanta, GA - The Earl *
09-21 Durham, NC - Duke Coffeehouse *
09-22 Charlottesville, VA - Jefferson Theatre *
09-23 Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church *
09-24 Washington, DC - Rock and Roll Hotel *

We have some more of these to announce soon, so don't get yr knickers in a twist if it doesn't seem like we are coming to yr town - it is definitely within the realm of possibility that we have a few more tricks up our sleeve, and we are just unable to talk about it right now for whatever silly reason that probably doesn't have anything to do with indie rock. Soon enough, my pretties.

Information about any age restrictions on these shows can be found on our MySpace. The shows in Atlanta, Boise and San Francisco are 21+, a fact of which we are not proud and somewhat ashamed, but I am afraid there is very little that we can do about it. Underagers, don't worry - we are going to half ass those performances big time (Hey, legal adults - I am just kidding, we are gonna rock), so don't sweat it. Any other age restrictions would be in the 18+ category, or 19+ in Canada. The shows in Toledo, Newport, and Durham can all be yrs for less than ten dollars. I put the ticket prices up on MySpace as well, but they are all for the advance sales - if you buy yrs the day of the show, it may be two dollars more. I don't know, man - data entry is pretty soul-destroying, and the new interface for entering show info on MySpace is way shittier than the old one was. Also, isn't it funny that the only way I can think to make a difference in that sphere is to start a FACEBOOK group called "Bring back the old MySpace show info entry interface" or something? The world, circa 2010, is a bizarre and often frightening place.

Well, as long as we are talking about tour dates and bands that we love, let's speak a little bit about the little-blogged Phase Three of the MONITOUR, which doesn't really have a funny name like the other three did. I can only be so funny, you know? Anyway, this leg of the tour is going to be an especially short one, but especially epic in spite of its brevity, for we are going to be joined by some of our oldest associates, Boston's finest indie rock band Hallelujah the Hills. We have been tight with Jah Hills for a few years now, and various members have made considerable contributions to both The Monitor and The Airing of Grievances, but we've only played together a handful of times - at South Union Arts in Chicago on our first tour ever, at a Brooklyn DIY space called Loftasaurus Rex, a bowling alley in Jamaica Plain, and twice at Great Scott in Allston, MA, once in 2008 with Times New Viking and earlier this year with the Babies. Thankfully, this year's Pitchfork Festival gave us just the push we needed to correct this flaw of history. All the below dates will feature Hallelujah the Hills both as the opening act (save for the P4k Festival itself), and as auxiliary members of Titus Andronicus, helping to give a touch of class to our sound by means of cello, trumpet, and additional luxurious keyboards. Whoa, that is gonna be sick.

07-10 New Haven, CT - Lily's Pad
07-11 Northampton, MA - Pearl Street
07-12 Albany, NY - Valentines
07-13 Buffalo, NY - Ninth Ward
07-14 Toronto, Ontario - Horseshoe Tavern
07-15 Grand Rapids, MI - Intersection Lounge
07-16 Chicago, IL - Subterranean (Pitchfork Music Festival Afterparty)
07-17 Chicago, IL - Pitchfork Music Festival

It is fitting for Jah Hills to join us for these dates, as they have long been ardent supporters of and allies to our cause. On a personal note, you may have heard that the narrative of The Monitor deals in part with a period in my life when I lived in Somerville, MA, a town typically lumped into Greater Boston. Well, this is true, and when I lived there, the men of Hallelujah the Hills were very literally my only friends. It was actually pretty pathetic. Actually, it was awesome, because they are great guys - they even allowed me to play some relatively un-classy guitar on their fantastic song "You Better Hope You (Die Before Me)," on their most recent album, Colonial Drones, recorded at the Soul Shop in Medford, where bits of The Monitor was recorded and... well, I could go on and on and on, weaving a dense and intricate web to illustrate to you just how interconnected Titus Andronicus and Hallelujah the Hills have been and will be, but by now, you probably get the picture. Take this shit seriously - Jah Hills obviously are, as they have posted two new songs for you to download for free in preparation for yr mind to be blown by them at the aforementioned concerts. If you decide you really love it, they are playing headlining concerts at Great Scott in Allston on 7/8 and Union Hall in Brooklyn on 7/9. Get on it!

All right, as we start to wind down this blog, let me remind you that this coming Saturday, we in Titus Andronicus will be performing at the annual Northside Festival, which celebrates all things North Brooklyn (or NoBro, as I have taken to calling it) and indie rock. If you haven't already heard, we will be playing the first ever concert at Greenpoint's Newtown Barge Park with Cults and our big homies Male Bonding, who really lived up to the promise of their name and became our dear friends upon running into them several times on our last Euro Trip. Did I forget to drop a "Hot Video Alert" on their jam, "Year's Not Long?" Well, if I did, then fucking Hot Video Alert!



Extra props for making optimal use of indie rock sex symbol extraordinaire Juan Vigoda, as you've never seen (but definitely imagined) him before. Yum! Anyway, that show is gonna be sick. It starts at 1:00 PM, because at 4:00 PM, we gotta hand over the reins to the still-undisputed kings (and queen) of twenty-first-century punk rock, Fucked Up, who are doing a show of their own at the very same location with Liars and High Places. Neat!

Don't stay too long though, because two of the most luminous graduates of the mid-'00s Bergen County scene are playing at Brooklyn's Shea Stadium that night, erstwhile TA guitarist and best bro for life Andrew Cedermark, and Ridgewood, NJ's Matthew Mondanile, aka DuckTails. Don't get caught sleeping on that show! Get jazzed about it by watching this video of Andrew and his crack band, Buffalo Wild Wing, playing "Ad Infinitum," the opening salvo from his forthcoming debut LP, Moon Deluxe. I remember fondly playing the keyboards on this song in a short-lived, Andrew-fronted band called The Mighty Oak way way back in 2006. Those were the days. So young and beautiful, we were. Anyway.



I feel like I am going to have a lot more to say about Andrew soon, which is probably going to fit into some larger discussion of my friends from high school and what their music has meant to me throughout the years and what it has come to mean now and will mean in the future and so on... who knows. Point is - go to that concert. Hell, go to all three of those concerts. Also, the So So Glos play Shea the night before - go to that too. Might have something to announce for the night before THAT, as well, though not any sort of Titus Andronicus concert or anything.

All right, that is more than enough for now. See you on Saturday! Take care.

Yr friend,
Patrick

Friday, May 21, 2010

Additional entertainment

I almost forgot - you have probably been listening to The Monitor non-stop for about two months now, and The Airing of Grievances for about two years, stopping only to listen to The Monitor, and, well, you are probably understandably exhausted. Happily, two "new" (or new-ish) packages of Titus Andronicus music ae now available for you, for free!

Firstly, the internet's greatest Titus Andronicus website TitusAndronic.Us has posted for download a compilation of some "rarities" - b-sides, songs from out-of-print seven inches, live recordings, etc., from our early years entitled The Feats of Strength. This is funny for me, because every holiday, my cousin Connor suggests to me that The Feats of Strength has to be the name of our next album. Now I finally have a proper excuse for him! Frankly, part of me wishes at least one of the songs on this compilation would have never seen the light of day (cuz it suxx), but that is okay. It is still cool. It sort of reminds me of Naked Baby Photos by Ben Folds Five, although it doesn't have any songs as good as "The Ultimate Sacrifice." Download the compilation here, and tell all yr friends, "See? I told you they sucked!"

A slightly more up-to-date representation of the sort of noises we make has been made available by that always great internet resource NYC Taper. This great guy made a good quality recording of our most recent show at Maxwell's in Hoboken, NJ, and you can download it here. It has all the hits on it, and us playing "Waking Up Drunk" by the Spider Bags WITH the Spider Bags! Neat! One disclaimer: on the site, it says that I told Greg (the NYC taper himself) that this show would be a good one to record. That wasn't what I said. What I said was that the show was probably going to be a lot better sounding than the last one that he taped, which sounded like shit. Don't go looking for that one. You should peruse the site though, and check it frequently - great recordings get posted all the time. I am especially fond of listening to their recording of our pals the Babies at Glasslands a few months ago. Great!

Of course, all this is moot until you get yr fill of watching the new Free Energy video, which, if you are like me, will be never. Great video? Or greatest video? Both, of course!

Bang Pop

FREE ENERGY | MySpace Music Videos


These guys are opening for Juliette Lewis in Paris tonight, something we did last night. I could say a lot of stuff about that concert, and I really want to, but I won't. Okay, gotta go now. Take care.

Yr friend,
Patrick

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

MONITOUR spiel pt. 2, plus North American YouTube Wrap-Up

Hello friends. Greetings from Ghent, Belgium. I know it has been a long time since we have spoken here - some 55 days or so. It isn't because I don't care about you - things have just been busy lately, and time is always finding new and better ways of slipping through my fingers. I'm sorry - I shall try to be more dilligent. I have detailed some of our adventures in a tour diary for the website of Paste magazine - you can read the most recent of those (which itself isn't all that recent) here. I will write another one soon to close the book on the tour that it is concerned with, which I would just do now, but this Belgian keyboard on which I am typing has got me totally baffled, mostly because the A is where I think the Q should be, and vice versa. Crazy! Should you ever get tired of waiting for me to get it together, our always quotable guitarist Amy has got plenty of her thoughts flooding the internet these days - you can hear a lot more about our adventures, among other things, by reading her Twitter or Tumblr. Hey, those two words kind of sound alike! I wonder. She also made a very fine record called "For the Sky" under the name Solanin which you can listen to and learn all about here. Yes, Amy's control of the internet is truly masterful, though she doesn't embed enough YouTube videos for my taste. After all, isn't that what blogging is really all about?

So, as I said, we are in Belgium now. Ghent is a nice city, a college town; some 60,000 students live and learn here. Probably a nice place to do so - lots of nice castles and old churches and other such architectural jewels. I got the pleasure of listening to two older gentlemen, who had a violin and an accordion, play such chestnuts as "Down by the Riverside" and "If I Were A Rich Man" from Fiddler on the Roof - very pleasant listening. I also saw some kids fencing in full regalia - that is something young kids do over here, it seems! Our concert here last night was kinda cool. We played with a local band of youths who called themselves the Curvy Cuties Fanclub. Here is a video of them playing their song, "Nasty Sound."



We have been on this continent for about a week now. We arrived in London a few days prior to any scheduled concerts, onstensibly to speak to the press or something, though very little like that actually materialized (priceless video-game playing-ti,e squandered!). We did, however, go to see a concert by popular British rock group the Big Pink. You have to understand - the Big Pink's knob-twiddler or "electronics player," or "Knight of the Square Table," as our boy Pete would call him, is one of the owners of our British record label, Merok, and so when we are in London, he generously lets us stay at his house in Dallston (where Penny Rimbaud and Gee Vaucher of Crass apparently now live, though I haven't seen either of them around). So yeah - we went to go see the Big Pink play at this greqt big concert hall and there were lots and lots of strobe lights and fog machines and all that sorta thing. It was pretty cool when they covered "100%" by Sonic Youth, so here is a video of them doing just that, though at a different concert.



The real news of our stay in London, though, was Double Dagger, beloved heroes of Baltimore and truly one of the greatest punk bands in the world. Of late, I have been enormously enjoying their new EP, Masks, available now from the good people at Thrill Jockey. In what is becoming a recurring motif, it is another massive leap forward in DubbDagg's artistry, simultaneously growing in both melodicism and intensity, with their messages becoming directer and more effective. All in all, a great little slab of badass rock. As happy as I was to welcome this music into my life, I was equally upset to learn that I had recently slept on a DubbDagg concert at Death by Audio which occurred a couple of weeks ago, so when I found out that we would have the opportunity to see the band make their London debut on one of the nights where we had no other obligations, of course I just about jumped out of my skin with excitement. Indeed, they did not disappoint. The whole climate of the performance was exemplary of DubbDagg's magical powers - the audience started out happy to reinforce stereotypes of London punters, with their arms-folding, "prove it" sort of attitude, but between the gnarly riffs and Nolen's extremely confrontational stage presence, it wasn't long at all before the room was a tornado of sweaty glee. Mirabile visu! Truly, Double Dagger doesn't take "no" for an answer, and thank God for that. Besides that, the company of the men in the band was as pleasurable as ever (did you forget that Nolen designed the artwork for our most recent album?), and we all enjoyed the adventures on the steel wheels of DJ Genuine Guy, who kept us dancing the night away. Awesome. Haven't seen any videos online from this concert, but that is probably because the DubbDagg live experience is so engrossing and visceral that trying to capture it on yr cell phone is as fruitless as trying to catch lightning in a bottle. I did see that someone dared a couple nights previous in Cardiff, so here they are, performing "Surrealist Composition With Your Face," from last year's excellent long-player More.



Speaking of Double Dagger, I saw the film Hype recently, a documentary about the alternative rock explosion that consumed Seattle, WA in the early nineties. Remember that? No, me neither. Anyway, one of the artists featured in the film was a group not from Seattle, but rather Olympia, called Some Velvet Sidewalk. At first glimpse, they seemed to have a lot in common with DubbDagg. Observe:



I had read that in DubbDagg's press materials for Masks, they list 74 bands they have been compared to in the press, so I was sure that I'd find this Some Velvet Sidewalk band somewhere on that list, since the similarities were obvious - manic, bespectacled man fronting a bass-and-drums duo who play badass riffs. They weren't on the list though, so either I was smarter than any journalist on Earth, or there was more to this Some Velvet Sidewalk than met the eye. I did some more research, and it turns out, their other music doesn't really sound like Double Dagger at all, but that is okay, for it totally rocks all the same. You know how indie rock historians are always talking about the Olympia-DC axis? That's fair enough, ideologically speaking, but Some Velvet Sidewalk actually makes noises that suggest a cross-pollination of musical ideas as well. To me, they bridge the K Records and mid-80's Dischord aesthetics pretty seamlessly, combining great earnestness with typical K foppishness... or something like that! Fuck if I know. Their song "Peel" should demonstrate what I mean, in addition to totally rocking you.



Okay, that kicked ass. Speaking of kicking ass, when arriving in the Netherlands, we got to play a show with the Canadian band Think About Life, who I had seen open for Wolf Parade several years earlier. They didn't sound very much the same, but they were still pretty cool, and their singer, Martin, was one of the most affable fellows you'd ever like to meet. What a ray of sunshine that guy was! In honor of his kindness, and in remembrance of the group's earlier sound, now largely abandoned, here's a video of them performing their song "Paul Cries," which used to be my jam back in the day.



A couple of days later, our paths crossed with "alt-bro" phenoms Surfer Blood, which was cool, because we spent a lot of time around the house listening to their record when it came out. Sweet. We played a concert with them in Amsterdam, and a good time was had by all. They were real nice fellows. So young! The world is truly their oyster, and they played a new song which was easily the equal of the material on their album - looks like everything is falling into place for Surfer Blood. Good luck, lads. Here's a video of that new song as performed at the concert.



Well, that's pretty much the scoop. In Paris, we will play a concert with Juliette Lewis, of Natural Born Killers fame. Wild, huh? Before we go though, let me share with you the three most beloved "viral videos" of our North American tour. Man, are they awesome. Enjoy!

3. Slack-Jawed Cat Can't Believe Its Eyes



2. "OOBE: Out of Body Experience" by Joe Sandler



1. "A Glorious Dawn" by Carl Sagan f/ Stephen Hawking



Those videos started out funny, but then they turned out to be just awesomely life-affirming. Fuck yeah. Okay, let's speak soon. Take care now.

Yr friend,
Patrick

Thursday, March 25, 2010

MONITOUR Spiel pt. 1, plus Manifest Destiny, plus MONITOUR Phase Three: "Farewell to the Star-Spangled Banner"

Hello, my little chickadees. Greetings from West End Espresso and Tea, a very fine coffee shop in the very fine little city of San Luis Obispo, CA. Today is day eighteen of the MONITOUR, which has proven to be every bit the magical adventure that we had been hoping it would be. There is much to cover, so let us not mince words. After all, brevity is the soul of wit, so here we go!

Firstly, it is with enormous excitement that we announce the MONITOUR fulfilling its destiny (its manifest destiny, as it were), for now we can finally declare that we have closed all the gaps in our schedule and made our "childish obsession with not taking days off," as my father calls it, a reality. The final shows added to the MONITOUR itinerary are as follows: On March 29th, we will be playing a house show at 540 Van Buren Street in Eugene, OR. Okay, great! Then, on April 3rd, and this is really fucking awesome, we will be playing at The Retired and Enlisted Association in Rapid City, SOUTH DAKOTA! That's right, baby - we are hitting both Dakotas on this tour. Rapid City is also a short twenty minutes from MOUNT RUSHMORE - hello!! That is going to be the bomb, even if it means two ten hour drives right in a row. Who cares, right? This puts the totality of the American MONITOUR at 54 shows in 48 days. You heard it here first, kids - taking it easy is totally bunk!

Yes, there is no doubt about it - America is a many-splendored paradise. Yet, though we love America the most, we acknowledge the needs of punks the world around to be entertained, and with that, it is our distinct pleasure to announce what will be the final leg of the MONITOUR, roughly two weeks of high-octane rock and roll madness on our second favorite continent, Europe, leading up to and including the Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona, which we have already heard about (remember? Pavement?). On this tour, we will be taking a couple of days off, because Europe is a huge and baffling continent. Those shows are as follows:

5/15/2010 - Utrecht, ND - Da Helling - Club Radar
5/16/2010 - Rotterdam, ND - Rotown
5/17/2010 - Amsterdam, ND - Bitterzoet (w/Surfer Blood)
5/18/2010 - Gent, Belgium - Charlatan
5/20/2010 - Paris, FR - La Fleche D'or
5/21/2010 - Liverpool, UK - Sound City Festival
5/22/2010 - Glasgow, UK - Stag and Dagger Festival
5/23/2010 - Leeds, UK - Cockpit 2
5/24/2010 - Manchester, UK - Ruby Lounge
5/25/2010 - London, UK - City and Arts Project

and of course...

5/27/2010 - Barcelona, Spain - Primavera Sound Festival w/ PAVEMENT

Okay, that sounds like it is gonna be a total gas! As is our way, we throw ourselves at yr feet, at the mercy of yr generosity, our European comrades, and ask that perhaps you consider inviting us over to yr house after the show to let us sleep on the floor. Europe is a nice continent, but yr hotels are soul-destroying. If I never set foot in another Etap again, it will be much too soon (although we have stayed at some nice ones in the Netherlands, admittedly). If you can find it in yr heart to assist us in this, we will gladly let you and yr friend come to the show for free. E-mail TitusAndronicusTheBand@Gmail.com if you are interested.

Okay, so... what else is going on. As you may know, we began this tour by making a series of appearances in some of America's more admirable independent record stores, and that was a lot of fun. I gotta tell ya, when I was first told about this idea, I thought it was the dumbest thing I had ever heard. Historically, I have always hated playing in record stores - so awkward! I was pretty sure this whole record store trip was going to be pure punishment, but I am happy to admit that I was dead wrong - it was actually a ton of fun! Wheee! Here is us having some of that awesome fun at Ear X-Tacy in Louisville, KY, a great store, and workplace of the friendliest man who has ever lived, our new friend Sean. What up, Sean!!


Yeah, it was pretty fun, all right. Thanks to all the folks who came out to see us, and all the great people at all the stores for treating us with so much kindness and respect. Top drawer, everybody! Another awesome thing was, because we were mostly playing in the afternoon or early evening, our nights were free to do whatever we pleased. This usually meant going to bed at a reasonable hour, but when we were in Chicago, we delighted to learn that our old buddies Ted Leo and the Pharmacists were playing a concert! Thanks to those guys for getting us in and entertaining us so thoroughly. I also had the distinct honor of singing a couple songs with the band, another one of those things that would make my teenage brain explode. Here is the last song of the night, "Angelfuck" by the Misfits, a very appropriate thing since earlier that day, no less a reputable source than the New York Times published a very nice article about the state of indie rock and roll in New Jersey, using our two bands as subjects! Wow! The Misfits are from New Jersey too, you have to understand. Bon appetit:


There is another video floating around the internet of this same crew playing "Merchandise" by Fugazi with this guy named Ralph, but I shall not post that here because Ralph is a much better singer and dancer than myself. A quite similar scenario played itself out the following night in St. Louis, MO, where we played a last-minute, "secret" show with our buddies Deer Tick, starring erstwhile Titus Andronicus guitarist and once-and-future best bro Ian O'Neil. They generously invited me onstage with them to help sing "Authority Song" by John Mellancamp. It looked pretty much exactly like this:


We also played a couple of normal concerts, which were pretty cool too. One of those was in Athens, OH - here's a picture of us just pretty much hanging out there, because that is something which we really do. Hanging out, I mean.
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Damn, that shit is real! We played in Tulsa, OK too, which was also cool. After the show, we stayed with some more super-nice acquaintances of ours, Bart and Emily, who were very accommodating, and whose company was extremely agreeable. Serious Titusheads will remember them as the people whose hamster we buried in Episode 4 of Titus TV, "Super Maximum Overdrive." They had a funny ash-tray man made out of a beer can and a bunch of bottle caps, who had a funny penis that could be revealed to hilarious effect. Look at this thing:
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They also had a pretty badass tree fort out back, which you can see below, with Ian standing on it like a true king. Dust yr shoulders off, Ian!
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So yeah, phase one of the MONITOUR pretty much went like that. Let us move on, then, to that event which indie rocks nationwide look forward to every year with the sort of feverish anticipation usually reserved for kiddies awaiting the arrival of Santa Claus, the South by Southwest Music Conference in Austin, TX (hereafter referred to simply as SXSW). We had a lot of fun at this conference last year, but this year was even more of a blast. Is it okay if I tell you all about it now? Okay, I will!

Perhaps the best way to understand our experience objectively would be to read this great article, written by our new friend Patrick Caldwell, which details the excruciating minutae of our daily lives, in this case, on the day of March the 18th. It ran the following day in the Austin Statesman, and there are some cool pictures for you to look at here.

Early that sweltering Texas morning, we had the opportunity to break bread with some of the brass up at Extra Large Recordings, including our main man Kris Chen, who, as luck would have it, was wearing a shirt identical to Ian's! Look at these awesome twins, and understand that much better the strength of our bond.
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Another serious highlight of our time in Austin was playing with the great band Free Energy at the Rolling Stone showcase. I have seen them a couple of times previously, but on this night, they were really blazing. Totally awesome. They also hooked us up with a cassette of their fantastic album, Stuck on Nothing, which has gone into extremely heavy rotation in Blue Thunder. I couldn't find any videos of that particular performance, so here is them kicking some other asses at a different show. I mean, it is pretty much the same shit, right? Just enjoy.


I also must say that it was a distinct honor to play not one but two shows with the greatest punk band of our young century, Fucked Up, one of which was their own showcase at Red 7. Maybe the most "fucked up" thing about this band is how nice they are, even though their music is so intense and often terrifying! They really treated us very kindly and had us feeling wicked good following all of our interactions. Thanks, Fucked Up! Annoyingly enough, our busy schedule precluded actually seeing them play at either of the shows we played together, but happily, our ace booking agent John Chavez, who also books FU, was able to get us into their performance at the Fader Fort on Thursday, where we all delighted in seeing them tear it up. Here they are playing "Son the Father," the opening salvo on their brain-melting masterpiece, Chemistry of Common Life.


So, what else did we do... some of the conference's corporate sponsors had some sort of rocker oasis set up on 6th Street, where we were rewarded for a brief interview with all the snacks we could eat and all the ping pong we could play. Here are Amy and Ian going at it:
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Sadly, I was too out of breath to enjoy any of this as much as I might have, as I had just run to and from a performance by Demolished Thoughts, an 80's hardcore cover band fronted by Thurston Moore and featuring J Masic and Jonah from Fucked Up on guitar and bass, respectively. Two other people were in the band too, but shit if I know who they were. Here is this awesome band playing "I Hate Sports" by 7 Seconds, from their epochal seven inch, Skins, Brains and Guts.


Back at the place with the ping pong, Eric captured Dave in quite a candid moment of badass behavior, dramatically removing his coat ala Neo from The Matrix. We sure do get a kick out of this picture, and we hope you do, too!
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Well, that is enough about that particular conference. Let us discuss the proper tour now. It has been going pretty well, so far. We have been traveling with a very fine band of British youngsters called Let's Wrestle, who are pretty much killing it. They are real nice lads too, even if they WALK AROUND GAS STATION BATHROOMS WITHOUT ANY SHOES OR SOCKS ON! Ewwwwww! So gross! Good band, though. Here is them strutting their stuff at the Bootleg Theater the other night in Los Angeles.


That was a cool show. We actually sold all of the tickets - only the third time that has occured in the history of Titus Andronicus. Thanks, LA! Also, we got to hang out with our man Doug after the show! Shit yeah! Doug is awesome. You might remember him as the fellow who did that stirring reading from Titus Andronicus (the play) on our album, The Airing of Grievances. Yeah, all things considered, it was a pretty fun night. Here is us playing our song "Four Score and Seven" at that very same concert.


Still not convinced this show was good? Okay, fair enough. Before you really make up yr mind though, why not read this quite nice article that ran in the Los Angeles Times the following day? They wouldn't say all these nice things if they weren't true, would they? WOULD THEY?!?!?

Here's some other massive news. The other day, just outsude of Phoenix, AZ, our beloved van, Blue Thunder aka Art Vandelay aka Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj, hit the magic 200,000 mile mark. We celebrated by listening to "Blue Thunder" by Galaxie 500 and doing a van-centric madlib. It was awesome. Here's the proof:
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If I had to pick one moment of this tour where I really achieved transcendence, though, it would have to be a few nights ago in El Paso, where we found ourselves playing second on a four band bill, after our pals Let's Wrestle, but before this band called Nice Nice (not named after the club from the Lifter Puller mythology, I found out), who I had never heard of before. Long story short, THEY ARE FUCKING AMAZING. As a guy who has never been shy about his lack of patience with the excessive glut of "drummer and guy with a loop pedal" bands and how they usually suck, I can safely say that this band renders all those others moot and quadruple-handedly justifies the whole genre. Also, they use their technical virtuosity for good rather than evil, which is just unheard of. I will not bother trying to describe their music, as it was wild, nor shall I plug any record by them, as they truly have to be seen to be believed. They look like this:
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Man, they rock. All right, well, I have to go and meet the others at the San Luis Obispo Arts Center to prepare to attempt to rock the faces off of whatever punks happen to show up. Why are we working so hard, you ask? Well, isn't it obvious?
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BALLIN'!!! Okay, talk to you kids later. Stay safe.

Yr friend,
Patrick

Friday, March 5, 2010

Dreams come true

First of all, a super big thank you to all the good people who made this Saturday's record release show the second-ever Titus Andronicus headlining appearance to sell all of its tickets! And a full two days in advance! Unbelievable. If only my teenage self could see me now, he whose life was so transformed within the walls of the Bowery Ballroom by the likes of the Arcade Fire and Ted Leo/RX and the Fiery Furnaces and Against Me! and all the other greats bands that me and my buddies have seen there. In fact, you all deserve two thank you's, since I promised myself that if that show sold out, I would buy myself a Playstation 2 (yes, 2 - the place isn't that big). Liberty City, here I come!

Speaking of my wildest dreams coming to brilliant life, could that version of myself, who, at sixteen, was never far from his Discman (remember those?) with the ever-present Slanted and Enchanted or Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, ever imagine that this summer Titus Andronicus would be playing with PAVEMENT not once but TWICE?!?!? Okay, those mindfucks will be going down at big-ass festivals where oodles of bands will be sharing in the unfathomable honor, but shit... remember Pavement? Seriously, though. Pavement! Okay, yeah, Silver Jews are better in a lot of ways (we can not live on smirking alone, after all), but shit - IT'S PAVEMENT, FOR GOD'S SAKE! We have already heard about the Primavera Sound Festival, so I guess what I am trying to say is that we are going to be playing this summer's Pitchfork Music Festival, which in itself is another surreal thing, since I can remember fondly road tripping out to Chicago with all my buddies (big shout out to Kevin, Doug, Andy and Tretiak!!) to see the first installment of that festival way back in 2006 and being bowled over by the Walkmen and the Futureheads and so on... damn, that shit was dope. We played the festival ourselves in 2008, which was one of the funnest weekends ever, and so of course we are looking forward to this very much! I have a feeling it is going to look sort of exactly like this:



Sounds like life is pretty great these days, but wait - it gets better. It is our profound honor and privilege to announce the band that we will be traveling with for the final nine shows of the MONITOUR. This is not just any band, kids, this is the Greatest Band in the World. This is the band that made the greatest record of the '00s. Hell, this is the band that made the two greatest records of the 00's. This is the only band that every member of Titus Andronicus can agree on. This is the band that, if there is any sort of justice in this world, yr kids are going to make fun of you for not spending yr whole life listening to. Of course, I could only be referring to Chapel Hill's own SPIDER BAGS.

What can I say about Spider Bags that I haven't said before? Probably nothing, so I am just going to keep it real! Spider Bags are the best. They prove definitively that musical intensity must not come at the expense of emotional resonance. Spider Bags lay it all on the line every time. Their singer, Dan McGee, is the best songwriter working in America today. He also blessed us with a beautiful vocal performance on the song "Theme from 'Cheers'" on our new record, which surely must be the most thorough and blatant attempt to rip off Spider Bags yet done by humans. What's more, they are upstanding and good-hearted men. For almost as long as we have been traveling to North Carolina, Dan McGee and his lovely wife Cordon have been opening up their home to us and seeing that all of our needs are met. I think our little buddy Liam hit it on the head when he tagged Dan with the title of 'wise king.' What band could ever rock so hard, pull so strongly at yr heartstrings, and do it all with a magnanimity worthy of Santa Claus?

But hey, don't take my word for it. Marvel at the video below, where you can see Spider Bags murderin' it at the Tip Top Bar and Grill in Brooklyn this past December. In that same video, you should also be able to see 60% of Titus Andronicus staring in wide-eyed wonder at these godlike geniuses. Wow, I am laying it on pretty thick, aren't I? Crazy thing is, it's all true. Anyway, this song is called "Long White Desert Rose," and its from their 2009 album, Goodbye Cruel World, Hello Crueler World.



So yeah. Spider Bags rule. Pitchfork Fest and Pavement are great. This Saturday's show is going to be the bomb. Life is beautiful.

Yr friend,
Patrick

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Beatles were for sale - we give it away

Speaking of instant gratification, it is about time we took that concept to its logical conclusion. If you head over to our MySpace (OurSpace?) you may now stream our new album, The Monitor, in it's entirety for free, just because we like you guys so much. I have been trying very hard over the past hour to put the songs in order, but it just isn't happening. How annoying. Anyway, you already know what the tracklist is, so you shouldn't have too much trouble. This streaming thing is only going to be happening until the 3rd, or maybe just until the 2nd. I never know with this sort of thing. Just to be safe, you better listen to it right this second.

Hey, stop reading this. Didn't I just say to go listen to our record on MySpace right now?

Well, as long as yr here, we might as well talk about some of the appearances we are going to be making at this year's SXSW music conference. We already heard about the Fucked Up Saves Music showcase that is going down on the 20th at Red 7 Patio, but did you know that we are also going to be playing with Fucked Up at a BrooklynVegan day party on the 17th at Emo's? Two shows with Fucked Up - how lucky are we? Fucked Up is one of the greatest bands in the world, even though my father doesn't approve of their name (nor Fuck Buttons, for that matter). Speaking of the world's greatest bands, Japandroids is playing at that show too. See what I mean about being so lucky? It is a little bittersweet, though - that show is probably going to make me really miss my beautiful girlfriend Emily, since Japandroids and Fucked Up are our two favorite bands to listen to while enjoying our morning cup of coffee. Sigh! Still going to be pretty great, I bet.

Anyway, we are also going to be playing the Rolling Stone showcase at the Beauty Bar Annex on the 18th. Deer Tick is also playing this show, which is neat, since that band currently features erstwhile TA guitar-slinger Ian O'Neil. I wonder if he'd want to play a song with us... hmm, I guess we'll find out. Truth is, we haven't really discussed it! He played a song with us at Glasslands some months ago. Anyway. We'll play at a party hosted by Frontgate Tickets on the 19th. This show isn't going to be as loud as the other ones. What that means specifically, I can't say at this point. It just can't be all that loud for some reason. Shit, I dunno! Again, we shall wait and see.

Then, of course, there is that in-store performance at Waterloo on the 18th, but you knew about that already.

So, what else is in the news... I just read online that the Shout Out Louds are playing at Piano's tomorrow. Reading that really took me back. Back in freshman year of college, the Shout Out Louds were one of my favorite bands. That album that they had, Howl Howl Gaff Gaff, was the fucking jam. I even made a fake ID with help from some friends to get into a show they played at the Mercury Lounge. My name was Patrick O'Brien. It looked like shit, but it worked! I sure felt cool. I can't go to the Pianos show, because we have to practice (we like you so much that we want to sound really good when next we see you). You should go though. Also, the singer looks a lot like Jason Schwartzman, which is just fine by me.

In case you were wondering, due to the vehement protest of a certain member of the group who shall remain nameless, Titus Andronicus will NOT be covering the greatest punk song of all time, "Racism Sucks" by 7 Seconds, on our forthcoming tour, so let me take this opportunity to explain to you why I think it is so great. It is obvious the sort of youthful inclinations that inspired its creation - a love of hollering, the thrill of foul language, general snottiness. It sounds like what it was, a gang of teenage miscreants bashing away, too new to the game to lose that spirit which is so essential to rock and roll, and especially punk. It bubbles over with giddy joy and palpable adolescent frustration, and yet, they channel it in such a positive direction! Are there not a million songs just like this one, only about girls or beer or some other nonsense? 7 Seconds decided to stack their chips with a simple and very unsophisticated sentiment, a sentiment that doesn't need to be sophisticated! I mean, it's simple, right? "Racism sucks! Racism Sucks! RAY! CISM! FUCKING! SUXXXXXXX!!!" What more is there to say than that? It's true, isn't it? Racism sucks. Wonderfully unpretentious and good-hearted and innocent. It is like seeing a sad kid sitting by himself and then seeing another little kid come over to share his toys and be friends. Just beautiful. We should all be more like this song. But hey, don't take my word for it - just look!


So great. We are still looking for a place to play April 3rd between Missoula, MT and Fargo, ND. Come on, gang - don't leave us hanging.

Well, that's enough for now.

Yr friend,
Patrick

Friday, February 26, 2010

Instant gratification

When my brother and sister and I were kids, our father tried to teach us the value of delayed gratification. If we went on some outing, like to the zoo or a museum or wherever, he would allow us to pick out one souvenir, but we would always have to wait until it was time to go home before we could make that decision. That way, he thought, we'd figure out that, by waiting, we'd be able to determine what we really wanted and not miss out by being rash. It was his hope that we'd learn the value of long-term planning, being goal oriented, look at the big picture, that sort of thing, a lesson that would surely serve us well throughout life.

Well, forget that. Everybody knows delaying yr gratification sucks. With that in mind, let Titus Andronicus give you what you think you want right this second, damn the consequences, in the following two ways.

Firstly, it is our pleasure to share with you another song from our forthcoming record The Monitor. It is the first song on said record, and it is called "A More Perfect Union." You know, as in, "We, the people, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility..." and so forth. You know, the preamble to our United States Constitution, that most beautiful and beloved of documents. Get it? First song... preamble... come on, it makes perfect sense. What is that, you don't know anything about the preamble? Well, we can fix that, and have fun doing so!


Wow, that was great! I do wish Jack Sheldon had sung it though... what were we talking about again? Oh yeah, that mp3 you can listen to. Here it is.

Titus Andronicus - A More Perfect Union

You're pretty much loving it, huh? Well, that's great. Let's go ahead and make yr life a little easier still, with help from our old buddies at Extra Large Recordings. Those great folks have made it so that, if you elect the pre-order The Monitor from their web store, you can have the mp3s of said album RIGHT NOW! This is really a good deal for you - for one thing. they are selling this 2xLP set for only fourteen bucks, which is just unheard of. Straight up bonkers. On top of that, you can have the mp3s to listen to or put on yr iPod or whatever without having to even wait until the record actually comes out! Sounds like a slam dunk to me. Take advantage of their generosity here, and do it now - don't think about it for a long time, just do it!

I should also mention that the grand finale of our forthcoming tour of in-store appearances will come to an electrifying conclusion on the 18th of March at Waterloo in Austin, TX. We are also going to play a place called Skull Alley in Louisville, KY on the 21st of April. Spooky! Did I already mention that last item in a previous blog? I guess I could go look at them and see if I did... nah, fuck that. Also, please note that the place we are going to play in Vancouver on April 1st (Amy's birthday!) isn't Cobalt like I said it was, but rather 917 Main. Why not, right? It is the same location and everything, just a different name. No big deal!

All right, that's enough blogging for now. Too futuristic! Enjoy the weekend.

Yr friend,
Patrick