Thursday, January 27, 2011

New Tour Dates! Plus: For The Love of Pete

"It's time for us to grow up and be men, not little boys... I'm going to California. You know, I've got the bug."
"Yeah, I think I've got a touch of something too."

Hey gang. What's going on? That's cool. Me? Just hanging out at home, watching some Seinfeld on DVD. We're going to be heading over to the Mercury Lounge in just a few minutes, to play that benefit concert for Willie Mae's Rock Camp for Girls that everyone has been talking about, but before we do, there were a couple of things I wanted to tell you real fast.

First things first: we are going on tour! Why are we doing that again? Shit, didn't I tell you guys that we are playing that Coachella festival everyone is always going on about? No, I didn't? Well, we are - big time. Thing is, that festival is really, really away, so we might as well make a month long adventure out of it, wouldn't cha say? As long as we are doing that, we might as well take a couple days and open for the man himself, the Big C, Conor Oberst, aka Bright Eyes, and demonstrate once and for all that his music and the music of Titus Andronicus really don't have that much in common (not that there's anything wrong with that!). Sounds like a plan, yeah? It'll all go down something like this:

03-29 - Portland, ME - Space Gallery
03-30 - Burlington, VT - Club Metronome
03-31 - Montreal, Quebec - Il Motore
04-01 - Toronto, Ontario - The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern
04-02 - Gambier, OH - Kenyon College, Horn Gallery
04-03 - Milwaukee, WI - Riverside Theatre
04-04- Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue *
04-05 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue *
04-08 - Vancouver, British Columbia - Commodore Ballroom *
04-09 - Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom *

04-10 - Seattle, WA - Vera Project

04-12 - Reno, NV - Holland Show Space at Rainshadow

04-13 - Oakland, CA - The New Parish

04-14 - Santa Cruz, CA - Crepe Place

04-15 - Indio, CA - Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival

04-18 - Phoenix, AZ - Rhythm Room

04-19 - Santa Fe, NM - Corazon

04-20 - Dallas, TX - Club Dada

04-21 - Austin, TX - Emo's

04-22 - New Orleans, LA - Circle Bar

04-24 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl

04-26 - Norfolk, VA - Jewish Mother

04-27 - Washington, DC - Black Cat

04-28 - Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church

04-29 - Hoboken, NJ - Maxwell's

04-30 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg

* opening for Bright Eyes, baby

I am pretty pumped about this tour, because it is getting us a few big steps closer to completing our dream of visiting all the lower 48 United States (What up, Maine! How you feeling, Vermont? How's tricks, Nevada? What's new, New Mexico?). The biggest pothole in that road, as ever, remains the great state of Wyoming - why is it so hard to play there? We'd love to make a stop in the northern part of the state on the 6th or 7th of April - does anyone set up shows around there? What's the punk scene like in Cody? Gillete? Sheridan? Has Yellowstone got, like, a bandshell or something we can play in for a while? Please e-mail if you can help. Please don't e-mail us saying that we should come to Laramie though - I know it's the popular opinion that Laramie is the rock capital of the state, but it is just too far out of the way! If you are in doubt, do some Google mapping and know that we in TA can't add too many hours onto the trip from Minneapolis to Vancouver. Let's do this!!

Hmmm, so what else is going on... oh yeah! Remember that time Titus Andronicus had that guitarist named Pete Feigenbaum? It was a blink-and-you-missed-it sort of thing, but memorable, and he was a great sport about driving the Budget truck that was our vehicle when the van broke down in Austin that one time. Anyway, after that one magical tour, he went back to his day job, being the brain behind face-melting futurists Dinowalrus. They have been kicking ass all over town lately; I just saw them crush it at Shea Stadium in the middle of a blizzard. They are recording a new record (their 2nd) as we speak, and it is sure to garner much acclaim, both critical and commercial. Pete hasn't stopped contributing to the Titus cause though - behold below, the first ever TITUS ANDRONICUS REMIX! On this banger, Pete takes "A More Perfect Union" some twenty-five or thirty years into the past and three thousand or so miles to the east.

Titus Andronicus - A More Perfect Union (DINOWALRUS factory mix) by titusandronicustheband

Whooo! If you like that, dig this remix of a song by Yvette that Pete also did, or check out Dinowalrus' recent live performance on WFMU here.

If you like the second of those links, maybe you will like hearing our main man Julian Lynch hack it up on the very same radio station! Like it right here, right now. Remember how great he was on New Year's Eve? I do.

You know who else loves WFMU? My man Ted Leo. He is always performing on Tom Scharpling's Best Show and what not. Well, guess what, guys - I learned recently of a performance that TL and his Pharmacists did on a radio station in Boston called WERS. Holy shit, do they murder it on this one. Don't believe me? Check out this version of that Tyranny of Distance classic, "Stove by a Whale," where Teddy and Jimmy achieve Celtic guitar nirvana.

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - Stove By A Whale (live on WERS) by titusandronicustheband

You love it, right? Download the entire set (half full band, half TL solo)

You will notice that I have embedded these mp3s using this "Soundcloud" website everyone is using. I noticed that the Greatest New Alternative Rock Music Website of the Decade So Far,, was using it, and so I made an account for us. I will be posting some awesome, great, wonderful stuff on there, so check it periodically if you are looking for something to do.

Jesus Christ, is it 7:38 already? I gotta go!

Yr friend,

"You're not really going to go to California, are you?"
"Up here... I'm already gone."

Monday, January 17, 2011

Titus TV: Ted Leo Strikes Back

Hey gang. This is just to say that the final episode of Titus TV, 'Ted Leo Strikes Back,' is now available for yr viewing pleasure over at our YouTube channel. Enjoy it alongside such modern classics as 'Kanye on a Plane,' or simply watch below.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The shocking truth about NYE and yr jacket

Hey gang. Remember the other day when we were talking about our show on New Year's Eve at 285 Kent? Yeah, that was a blast, except for the part about a lot of people losing their coats! It was originally believed to be the work of some burglar, you know, one of those bad apples that ruins the scene for everyone, but now it seems that the threat to yr warmth might be even closer to home! Right under our noses, as it were.

I received word from Todd P, the fellow who organized the show, that despite all these rumors of coat plundering, there remain a great surplus of unclaimed outerwear still at 285 Kent. Don't believe me? Behold this picture, and know the truth:


Is one of these yr coat? Is it possible that you thought it was stolen but maybe you went a little too far with the hooch and probably couldn't find yr nose let alone yr jacket? I am not judging you, but could it be so? Even though many of you judged Todd P or the DIY punk scene which maybe you think he represents, mercy will be shown unto you - this Friday, January 7th, there will be an "open house" at 285 Kent between 5:30 and 7:30 PM for anyone who lost their coat/jacket/sweater/gloves/whatever to come and claim them. That should close the issue once and for all, no?

There are a lot of lessons here, I feel. For starters, people getting drunk, doing something stupid, and then trying to pass the blame onto someone else - is there a more tired story than that? Come on, folks, this is 2011. That weak shit isn't going to cut it anymore! I know how it is - on New Year's Eve, everyone feels like they have a license to kill (their brain), and man, they've got Four Loko, and this could be the last chance to drink it, and wow, it is pretty loud and dark in here, isn't it, and hey, where's my coat anyway? Shit, is it really three in the morning? Okay, fine, that's yr prerogative. When that doesn't work out for you, though, it is a shitty move indeed to turn around and try and pin all the blame on Todd P, who sticks his neck out on the reg so that everyone can have a good time that is good for you, and has taught a whole generation of NYC punks how to do the same.

Todd P is a great American. He offers his punters levels of freedom that more traditional NYC promoters wouldn't dare or dream. Ticket prices are always extremely reasonable, ditto drink prices, all ages are always welcome (standing up against an obviously discriminatory practice that few seem to be at all concerned with), and people are generally made to feel that they can be themselves and act accordingly. Maybe you feel this manifests itself most apparently in practices like indoor smoking and beer smuggling, but what it represents is important. He, and those who follow his example, invite us to participate in a grand experiment, to be a part of a community, even if only for an evening, where it is believed that we don't necessarily need a bunch of rules and regulations, that a night of music can be more than an opportunity to sell marked-up alcohol, that old-fashioned capitalist infrastructure is not necessary or even advisable for rock and roll. What people fail to recognize a lot of the time, it seems to me, is that with this freedom comes a lot of responsibility! If people are assholes, then an asshole with more freedom is a bigger problem than one with less. If a person can practice responsibility and accountability, however, then granting them greater freedom can be a beautiful and wondrous thing, especially when punk rock is involved, with draws all of its strength from that freedom and the power of which I need not explain to you. I guess the system that Todd P and his acolytes offer us a stake in is just the same as any other system - it will be as good or as a bad as those who chose to participate in it. If we continue to approach the scene with our usual sense of entitlement, then we will continue to fail to recognize that we are accountable for its success or failure and it will just be a failure.

You see what I am getting at here? I feel like I could articulate myself a little better, but I don't want to start talking in circles either. I will assume you guys get my drift - basically, don't talk shit about Todd P or anybody else who creates this opportunities for us to get together and celebrate punk and all of its freedoms, but rather show yr gratitude for the trust and respect they afford you by deserving it and taking pride in yr contribution to the scene! This need be nothing more than a conscientious concert-goer who looks after his or her business and the business of their friends and doesn't start running at the mouth behind the warm anonymity of the internet when things fail to go their way. I hate sounding like some grumpy old dad, but fuck, man - this is a good deal we have got here. Let's not mess it up!

Yr friend,

Monday, January 3, 2011

Another fond farewell

Hello friends. Happy New Year to all. I hope that it is a healthy and prosperous one for you all, thus far. We were fortunate enough to ring in our new year on a positive note with all of our old Jersey buddies this past Friday night - thanks to all of you who came out to that show, and our sincerest apologies to those who had their belongings tampered with or carried off by unseen malefactors. There is some lesson here about personal responsibility and looking after the good of the community, but I will leave it to you to decode - smart kids like you shouldn't have too much trouble.

If you were at the show, you also maybe heard me saying something about how it was our dearly beloved bassist Ian Graetzer's last show with the band. Well, the reason that I said that was that it was true - Ian isn't in the band anymore. Shocking, I know, considering that Ian has been in the band since the very beginning (in fact, he and I were the two guys who decided to form the group) and been present for every glorious victory, every bitter defeat, and all the innumerable, interminable hours in between. Not anymore, gang.

"What is the deal?" you may be asking, "Do you guys, like, hate each other now or something?" No, we don't hate each other. In fact, the months since Ian announced his departure plans (yes, the months!) have been some of the happiest and friendliest in all of our organization's history. The simple fact is that Ian is a man of multitudinous passions, a man who is full of ideas and ambitions and who is always generating plans and schemes and million dollar ideas, a man for whom the road of life is going to be long and carefully, considerately trodden, with many rewards and adventures for the picking along the way. For the past five and a half years or so, we were blessed to have the use of this brain, to be the beneficiaries of these passions and this unstoppable iron will. Ian gave more to our organization than most any band could ask of most any man, but now the time has come for him to spread the wealth around, give some of his other interests and aspirations a chance. Between his future plans (which is not for me to speak of, besides that I don't fully understand them, but I can say that they have something to do with the world of visuals rather than sounds) and his ongoing position of power and responsibility at the venerable Kingsland Printing, there just aren't going to be six months of this new year where Ian can put all of his concerns aside and sit around the van like we have always done - at this, his heart would make a mighty protest, and far be it from Titus Andronicus to make another protest at that protest. Know what I am saying?

I guess what I am trying to say, for the record, is that we still have great love for Ian, and the appreciation we feel for his efforts over the years would be slighted by any attempt to condense them into a pithy, internet-ready sound byte. We are still friends, though - in fact, he has agreed to continue making our t-shirts, so you need not fear going to any TA concert in 2011 and being made to feel like you should be a t-shirt that wasn't Ian Graetzer quality. We shall continue to peddle these shirts because we shall continue to believe in the man, and offer him our sincerest support and best wishes for all of his future endeavors.

What does this all mean for the future of Titus Andronicus LLC? Well, it certainly does raise a lot of questions, most of which are presently without answers. Besides being the bass player, Ian historically handled the lion's share of our business operations, so his departure leaves two rather gaping holes. We will take moves to fill them swiftly and expediently in this new year, but I don't have any particulars to share with you now. Soon enough.

How soon? Well, I can tell you this - it has recently been revealed that we, Titus Andronicus, will be playing a concert on February the 10th, 2011, at the Mercury Lounge in NYC, a benefit for Willie Mae's Rock Camp for Girls. Our Amy has been involved with this organization for a while, and it will surely be a great pleasure for us to lend our support to this most worthy of causes. I mean, come on - taking young kids who maybe have been taught their whole lives that they shouldn't be loudly expressing themselves and giving them the tools and the support to loudly express themselves? Sounds awesome to me! Also appearing will be Care Bears on Fire, Toy Sugar, and Deux Chattes. Tickets are twenty bucks, and rightly so, because hey - teaching the young ladies to express themselves isn't free (it will be when I am president, wait and see)! You can buy them here. This will be yr first chance to see Titus Andronicus' new bass player in action, whoever that turns out to be. We are sorry to reveal that this show is 21+ - never a fun thing, but shit, it is for the money. Really, this time, it is!

All right, so. To summarize: Ian is not in the band anymore because he wants to do other stuff, and we hope that doing all that other stuff brings him a great deal of happiness and success and fulfillment. We shall continue to think fondly of our time together and remember all the things he did for us with considerable gratitude. For our part, Titus Andronicus will stride boldly into the future. Stay tuned to see us doing that.

Yr friend,