Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Indie Rock is Dead, Long Live Indie Rock

Firstly, I gotta give a big shout out to Extra Large Recordings, who, as we have surely all heard by now, are enjoying their first ever number one album in the form of Contra by Vampire Weekend. I feel like there is something to be said about this and what it means for our band and for indie rock in general, but I am sick as a dog right now and not feeling my most loquacious. I will simply say that this news merely reaffirms what we at Titus Andronicus LLC have long known to be true - Extra Large Recordings is the best record label. Fresh for 2010, you suckas.

So, speaking of alternative rock bands who have had number one albums, here is some good news for people who like bad news. I was thinking today about the tour that we are going to do in a couple months, and so I thought I'd see what was going on with the Monolith, an all-ages, DIY show space in Tulsa, OK for which I have great admiration. Imagine my disappointment to see on their MySpace that the space closed a long time ago due to "an inability to communicate effectively amongst ourselves in addition to a lack of turnout the past few months." Shit, what a fucking drag! The Monolith was a super-cool storefront with a comprehensive library of alt literature and was operated by a bunch of very cool, caring punks, and the show we played there back in January was one of the highlights of that particular tour. There is little that is more inspirational to a band such as ours than traveling into what are, for us, hitherto uncharted territory and finding such an oasis of ethical fun. You can see a little bit of that show, and a subsequent impromptu prop comedy performance by Eric and myself, in the video below.

It is a harsh truth that running a space such as the Monolith (the late, great Spazzatorium Galleria of Greenville, NC also comes to mind) is too often a thankless task and, thus far, the formula for making such a great idea financially sustainable outside of an established indie rock hub remains elusive. Doubtless we in the greater NYC area are spoiled by the wealth of all-ages DIY spaces and can't properly appreciate what a space like the Monolith closing means for a community like Tulsa. I feel, again, that
there is something to be said about this and what it means for our band and for indie rock in general, but, again, too sick and stupid. Maybe later on. Rest in peace, Monolith. You were too good for this world.

In other news, am I the only who sees stuff on the internet about this band the Besnard Lakes and immediately thinks of Barenaked Ladies? Not that they have anything to do with each other musically, but in, like, a Felice Brothers - Pernice Brothers kind of way. I don't really have a point, but I still love Barenaked Ladies. Would you believe I have seen them live FOUR times? They were also my first ever concert, at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ on the Stunt tour. That shit was awesome.

Also, am I the only one broken up about Stephen Page quitting the band? Feels like the end of an era. Get the whole story here.

I guess it is time to move on. Maybe the answer is this band Free Energy. Do you guys like them? Me and my roommates do, a lot, and can't wait for their show at Pianos tomorrow! Whee! We played with them at Georgetown University back in October, and they rocked. Surely, they will do the same tomorrow. Maybe we'll see you there? Look at this video if you are unconvinced.

Free Energy - Free Energy from DFA Records on Vimeo.

All right, I guess that is all.

Yr friend,


In The Fridge said...

Ah! This is far too crazy! My first concert was the Barenaked Ladies on their stunt tour (at Riverbend in Cincinnati, OH) and I then went on to see them four more times and own all their albums (up to and including Everything to Everyone, at which point Saddle Creek bands had totally overcome me, as they do to so many people that age). But yeah, all the Steve Page news is truly heartbreaking. If you haven't checked out the few solo concerts he did with an orchestra, I HIGHLY recommend them. Dude does all sorts of chamber pop/opera covers by everyone from Leonard Cohen to the Weakerthans. Those concerts are floating around the internet somewheres. Good to know I'm not the only one broken up about the end of the classic BNL lineup.

Also, for what it's worth, I met you before a show in Bloomington, IN at a house venue called State House. I was wearing a gray hoodie. That show killed.

Unknown said...

You mentioning the Felice Brothers made me smile even more than Titus Andronicus already does. I've loved that band since the first time I heard them a few years ago.

Kid Dactyl said...

talking about ur label isnt tru punx 4 lyf

just kidding yall, I can't wait to hear the record and good luck with the tour, hopefully I can sneak into wherever the show is if you grace Atlanta