Sunday, November 20, 2011


BECAUSE we are now at war
BECAUSE our dear Mother Earth herself screams out for justice
BECAUSE our beautiful Declaration of Independence and our sacred Constitution have been dragged through the dirt by those sworn to protect them
BECAUSE we can no longer depend upon the authorities to defend our basic human rights
BECAUSE they worship a god of greed who feeds the rich while poor people starve
BECAUSE the most devastating blow to the cause of freedom and liberty in New York City since September 11 has been dealt from within
BECAUSE the Earth is a common treasury for all
BECAUSE in the America promised to us by our founding fathers, everyone gets a fair shake
BECAUSE in the America we were promised, there is no limit to how high you can rise with hard work, discipline, and ingenuity
BECAUSE with that freedom comes great responsibility
BECAUSE the freedoms that we wish for ourselves must be shared by all if they are to be enjoyed by any
BECAUSE until the table is large enough to seat us all, we shall all starve
BECAUSE that promised America can, and must, be made real, by whatever means necessary
BECAUSE no one person can do it all, but because every person must be called upon to do all that which they can, with the strength, resources, and tools they have, however great or small

8:00 PM







"How are you going to act like you are all righteous? All yr doing is what yr managers and booking agents tell you to do!"

Actually, no. I just got out my cell piece, buzzed my man Ted Leo, told him that war had broken out, heard him say that he saw it also, pooled the strength and enthusiasm of Titus with that of him and his Pharmacists, quickly came upon an agreed course of action, and that was it. No managers, no booking agents, no handlers, no advisers, no publicists, no nothing. Just some Jersey boys seeing that the world is fucked up and pledging to devote whatever meager strength and energy we may have to its correction, as is the charge of every person who has enjoyed the birth right which is our beautiful Earth.

"How can you have this show at Shea Stadium? This bill could fill a bigger place. Why are you denying people who would want to see you play, or, for that matter, turning away more money?"

Because real, sustainable change will only ever begin at home, amongst communities of people who know each other, who trust each other, and who love each other. I like the people who keep, say, the Music Hall of Williamsburg open for business - I like them very much - but I do not love them. They are friends, for sure, but real change must be made with family.

Furthermore, a solitary evening at Shea Stadium demands administrative costs of zero dollars. If there was any other place in town that could maybe make a promise like that, that would be one thing, but I somehow guess that, because they are legitimate businesses (and I respect capitalism in the context of local business), there would have to be some kind of overhead. Because the times are so dire and the urgency of the situation so serious, to allow even one dollar to get mislaid is poison to our hearts.

Besides that, Shea Stadium is, bar none, the best venue in New York. It has all the charms and righteous virtues of the DIY scene and the technology to compete with any place in town sonically. Done.

"Why are you giving yr money to the National Lawyer's Guild? Aren't they all working pro bono anyway?"

Well, yeah, but the fact of the matter is that human rights need to be defended by someone, and it has become excruciatingly clear that the NYPD lacks both the ability and the wherewithal to even attempt to do so. If the police will not defend our rights, we will find someone else who will. These lawyers have been massively generous, and we will look forward to putting three thousand dollars into their pockets, so that they may eat, be sheltered, be clothed, and so forth, while they are putting aside their own capitalist dreams for a cause bigger than themselves. We should all be so brave and so generous as these lawyers.

Also, my father was a lawyer for many years, a corporate lawyer, and it was this work that paid for the many privileges I enjoyed as a youth (most relevantly, the privilege to devote much of my mental faculties to my own development as a musician, rather than say, the toilet scrubbing I may have had to do to keep myself alive had I been born to different circumstances). Basically, no lawyers, no Titus. Admittedly, much of my father's work involved moving money around from one massive corporation to another, but he is a truly righteous man, and has since left the law to work as Principal of the economically depressed catholic high school from whence he graduated way back in 1966. I might not think all that much of money changing for my personal tastes, and it is near certain that I will never pursue a career in any field of law, but I kiss my father's feet for the way he busted his ass to make a better life for me. He grew up poor, but he grew up in an America where a man like him, born into poverty, but hard-working, smart, determined, could rise up as high as he wanted, and build a better life for his children. He fought and clawed his way out of Roselle Park, NJ, to the ivy-covered walls of Princeton, to Columbia,
through decades of unending exertion, grunted and sweated through the ranks of school administrators, through another degree (this time law, at Rutgers), up through the ranks of two law firms, all the way to two senior partnerships, and all the way to a life where his son could be given every advantage his own father never could have given him. This was the America my father made himself in. This was the promise that brought my Irish ancestors to America, and this is a promise that I WILL make to my own children, because I REFUSE to let it die, or should I say, to stand idly by and watch it as it is murdered.

"Are you pumped to be playing with Ted Leo/Pharmacists? What about So So Glos?"

FUCK yeah. They're the two most righteous punk bands I know! Besides Bomb the Music Industry, of course. Shouts out to those guys.


Yr brother,

Monday, October 24, 2011

Amy's Greatest Hits

In honor of Amy's recent graduation, let us talk a quick look back at some of her most sterling contributions to the life of Titus Andronicus.

Firstly, here is a world premiere music video for the song which shall tragically stand as the totality of Amy's contribution to the Titus Andronicus canon of recordings as guitarist and vocalist. It isn't even our song! It is Nirvana's "Breed," recorded at the request of Spin magazine for their 20th anniversary celebration of Nevermind. In this video, you'll also get to see Amy's talent as an extra, in her scene-stealing performance as "The Ghost."

In our live set, Amy would occasionally sing the lead vocal on a cover song when the feminist content of the lyrics would suggest a woman's touch to be prudent. Here we are playing "Oh Bondage! Up Yours!" by X-Ray Spex at the Black Cat in Washington, DC this past April.

This video, filmed in Chicago in the summer of 2010, should do much to display Amy's skills on both the guitar and violin. Playing the harmonized guitar solo at the end was always a favorite of mine during our time together. The song is "The Battle of Hampton Roads."

Titus Andronicus | FOR NO ONE from FOR NO ONE on Vimeo.

Something a lot of people don't realize is, while Amy did not play on the Monitor, she did play on The Airing of Grievances, contributing her distinctive electric violin to two tracks. Sounds like a good enough reason to reinvest in the video for "Upon Viewing Brueghel's 'Landscape with the Fall of Icarus,'" and keep an ear cocked for that high and lonesome fiddle.

As I said yesterday, when there was business to be done, Amy would let nothing stand in the way of her smacking it down. Watch the music video below and marvel at Amy performing through a recently-sustained concussion. The song is "No Future Part Three."

I wanted to embed a video from Amy's second show (and David's, for that matter), an office party at Pitchfork headquarters in Brooklyn in February 2010, but the embed code is sassing me and I don't really know anything about HTML, so here is a link. The song is "Fear and Loathing in Mahwah, NJ."

Lastly, it's another world premier. Earlier this year, when we toured as the opening act for Okkervil River, Amy would sometimes join the bosses on stage to play her fiddle on their song, "The Valley" (funny, isn't it, that Amy has a song of her own with that same name?) Her is that very thing going down on the last night of the tour, at Jake's in Lubbock, TX.

Yeah, we really did have some good times. Obviously, I could go on and on, but now is the time to look into the future! For punks, the past is prologue, and I am already late for the first practice of Titus Andronicus 6.0. Let's get it!

Yr friend,

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Still yet another fond farwell

As many of you may have already heard, Amy Klein is no longer a member of Titus Andronicus. Shocking, I know, but true. Even I can barely comprehend it; she has become that vital a part of the band's very identity. Strange, and sad, to think that never more may we warm ourselves by the fire of her endless enthusiasm, or that she takes with her the dream of a Titus Andronicus album complete with her certain kind of magic. Anyone who has seen her on stage can speak to this intensity, the passion for rock and roll, as those who have met her know she has for life, that has inspired many of us, within the band organization and without. Yet, with this admiration must come respect, and it is dutiful respect that we will show to her decision to leave Titus Andronicus behind to devote her considerable energies to her ever-growing list of projects and passions.

Why was Amy compelled to make this decision? Probably best to let her tell you herself, via her Tumblr, which would probably be a good place to keep up on her various doings in the future. To be frank, knowing what I do about her prose style, I was expecting 4 or 5000 words more on the topic, but there you have it. Brevity is the soul of wit after all, I suppose, not that I'll let that stop me when my turn comes.

I've noticed a lot on the internet lately that when people allude to other blogs and such, they often quote a piece of the text. I'll try that here.

I just got back from my last tour with the band Titus Andronicus. Yes, it’s true. As of today, I am no longer a member of the band.
No, there was no big fight or anything—no wild partying, drug, or alcohol addiction leading to me getting fired—no dramatic story—nothing like that. It is just time for me to move on.
read more

For my part, and as a representative of the organization, I more than reciprocate Amy's feelings of gratitude. Having her in the band has been an enormous blessing, as she is a rare and visceral talent. Onstage, she can rock more thoroughly and with less fear than most anyone I can name, and to stand next to her night after night and try to not be totally swallowed up by her light has been one of the greatest challenges, and privileges, of my career. Many was the time when I wondered at a transformation the likes of which an indie rocker's eyes had rarely seen, when Amy, sick and weary from life on the road and ready to crawl off into some hole and die (as any sensible person would be), would plug in her guitar and reach inside herself and always find the strength to deliver the goods; if there was an audience, any audience, she would never fail to give them everything that she had, and I mean never. Her contributions as a musician, whether playing guitar or violin or singing, were exemplary, and her value as a friend was greater than gold (amidst many changes, the latter remains true). We wish her the fullest success on all of her future endeavors, though she needs no one's well wishing; such is the strength of her talent and her conviction and her character that we are sure she'll do just fine on her own.

If you still believe that this is a place to spare words, consume information like a greedy, hungry pig, then shit it out and on to the next, feel free to navigate to any of the other fine pages that the internet has to offer, for I must effuse, as I am both sentimentalist and symbologist. Come back tomorrow though, and I'll reassure you about Titus Andronicus' future (we have a new guitarist and everything and we have lots of grand plans), or just follow the Twitter account I today created in an attempt to fill the void left by the former @AmyAndronicus.

As a lover of serendipity, which is to me like the bird to a birdwatcher, I recall a night in 2009, the 24th of October, when I attended a concert at Death by Audio in Brooklyn. The future of my musical career was uncertain at the time (ok, the future is always uncertain); Titus Andronicus had recently completed an American tour with our great friends the So So Glos, which, while fun, and rich with memories I wouldn't trade for anything, didn't really reflect the growth that perhaps we thought the band had made earlier in the year during the promotional exercises for The Airing of Grievances. It also didn't help morale when Titus Vandronicus, then known principally as Blue Thunder, had blown out one of it's piston's fifty miles outside of Austin, calling for a whole new engine to be installed to the tune of some five thousand dollars, for Titus Andronicus to limp home with half of it's membership sweating it out in the back of a Budget truck, and for the psyche of long-suffering “responsible one” Ian Graetzer to endure yet another devestating blow via the punishing 1,750 mile drive from Austin to New Jersey following the completion of the repairs some weeks later (you recall that he would hold out for about another 14 months, plus another four for tax season, before devoting himself full time to his career in the visual arts). My anxiety was further compounded by the fact that I was still reeling from the loss of my Guitar Dream Team of Andrew Cedermark and Ian O'Neil earlier in the year, not long after thoroughly crushing their spirits with said promotional exercises via The Tour That Wouldn't End (January-March 2009, 63 shows in eight countries in 72 days). The band survived with the helping hands of erstwhile guitarist Liam Betson, and of Dinowalrus mastermind Pete Feigenbaum, but I was still short two first-class guitar slingers. Such was the state of my on-again/off-again love/hate affair with the beautiful and intoxicating and infuriating spirit of Independent American Rock and Roll as I passed through those well-consecrated doors on S. 2nd Street.

The band was Double Dagger. I had first seen them in 2007 at the now-long-gone construction worker cafeteria beside the then-in-construction Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, now looming over northeastern industrial Greenpoint, recalling nothing less than the Death Star in it's sleek and foreboding futurism (learn more about the creek and the plant here). The crudely hewn shack had been appropriated into one of those all-ages DIY-type spaces you always hear about and christened Uncle Paulie's. I was there to see a Japanese post-hardcore/psychedelic band called Green Milk from the Planet Orange, whose album, City Calls Revolution, I had been enjoying thoroughly the past few months after seeing them at 3rd Ward, and playing their ten-to-twenty minute jams frequently on my college radio show on 95.3 WRPR (perfect for cigarette breaks). I never saw them again after that night, but the opening band made an impression that would last to modern day. The singer screamed in my face (MY face! Personally! Still a shocking thing to a green boy from New Jersey like me) about (I would later learn) typography and modern art and their place in modern life, whilst pulling the hood of my sweatshirt up over my head without my consent. The beats and riffs were pure punk ass-whupping, a drums-and-bass duo that helped shape ideas of who was really disposable in the classic power trio setup (better luck next time, regular guitar!). Titus Andronicus would later play with them and the So So Glos later that year at Dead Herring in Brooklyn, the night before I was to take the GRE's, which would deliver me from rock and roll into the next stage of academia, and onto a sensible, sustainable life path. It was early the next year when, by chance, this insane frontman turned out to be the very same Nolen who had set up our very first show in Baltimore at the Charm City Art Space, during Titus Andronicus' second ever tour, dubbed “The Deep Freeze.” The night of hospitality that followed cemented the friendship, and over the next 18 months, I (along with others in TA) became a bigger and bigger fan of the band, and their concerts in New York were never to be missed. In describing them to the uninitiated, I would throw around terms like Best Working American Punk Band and Best Frontman in Rock and Best Live Band, and probably would have gotten around to Best Punk Rhythm Section of All Time as well, had I not only recently coined that term to throw around whilst describing contemporary Fucked Up. I was so enthralled that, just a few months earlier, I had asked Nolen to both design the album art for our album The Monitor, and also act on the record, reading a passage from William Lloyd Garrison. My enthusiasm for them became synonymous inside me with that same fire I had spent my entire adult life up to that point chasing. They were the very spirit of rock and roll, which, as it were, happened to be the very thing I was looking for.

There amongst the crowd was a face I recognized from the past, almost like a ghost. I had known Amy Klein in my college days, when she was classmates and musical collaborators with my then-girlfriend at their place of study, the noted President machine and Galaxie 500 incubator (not a small consideration for a G5C superfan like me, considering I had gone so far as to consult Dean Wareham via e-mail to seek his counsel on the quagmire of rock and roll dreams vs. graduate school, which I knew his seminal band struggled with – nice guy!) of Harvard University (just to give proper context, I was at the time studying at Ramapo College of New Jersey, a fine school, but most noted for ranking #2 on Men's Health's list of “Fattest Small Colleges”), and had been impressed by the energy she displayed in her punk band, Plan B for the Type A's, a refreshing antidote to the self-conscious half-rocking common of most college-age guitar slingers; her ability to play a sharp-looking, blue, electric violin, and her distinction of being from Glen Ridge, New Jersey, also stuck with me. I had not seen her for two years, however, as she graduated and moved off to Japan (to make a documentary film about underground rock music, particularly psychedelia, as it were); equidistant between that event and this night in 2009 was the dissolution of the relationship which was the lifeline of our friendship. While she had certainly made an impression on me, it wasn't her face that I expected to come across amongst my brothers and sisters in the thrall of the Baltimore renaissance (Future Islands also played this show, beginning Nolen's greatest challenge yet for the Best Frontman title – his own pal, and now mine, Sam). Still, there she was.

Turns out she'd moved back to America, Brooklyn, as it were, Fort Greene, and she was working busting crooked cops for the city, racking up an office-best 50% completion rate. She was there on a date with a fellow she hadn't known for long, but was certainly handsome, and definitely a good dancer. Now, I wasn't the temperate teetotaler that I am today, so invincible with grape Four Loko, the spark of remembering that she could play guitar was enough to light my desperate powder keg, and I eagerly let out an invitation for her to join Titus Andronicus, along with a sloppily detailed rundown of the band's plans for the next year, as well my current fixation, the 100 Show Guarantee (if you do 1, you have to do 100). Most folks probably would have taken one look at a display like this and ran for the hills, or at least the bathroom, but Amy wasn't most folks; if she were, I wouldn't have wanted to have anything to do with her, as a fellow who deals in trying to bottle that fire that we were all there at Death by Audio that night chasing, in one form or another. She told me she'd think about it. That night, I cooked Double Dagger frozen waffles at my still-unfurnished apartment on Greenpoint Avenue and wondered what the future held. A third of a mile to the east, the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant glowed an eerie purple.

She thought about it, and further discussion and careful consideration followed, and on the evening of November 5th, what remained of Titus Andronicus gathered at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple, including, for the last time, Pete Feigenbaum, to open for leading Canadian punk gods Fucked Up, yet another bright beacon whose light is of that oft-mentioned fire, who were performing their Polaris-Prize-winning masterpiece The Chemistry of Common Life in it's entirety, with no less a supernova of rock and roll exuberance than Andrew WK on keyboards, and our old buddies, a great band besides being a shining example of the strength of women in indie rock then and now, the Vivian Girls on backing vocals. It was here that I bent the ear of my assembled comrades and told them I had found the guitarist we had been looking for, or should I say, the benign indifference of the universe delivered her unto me. Ian remembered her from when she played that electric violin of her's on The Airing of Grievances; Eric had to go on my strongly worded recommendation.

It wasn't long after that, we were back in the pool house behind Ian's parents' Spanish-style residence in Glen Rock, with Amy and David, Eric's friend and former roommate from their days at Bloomsburg University, going over the chords for “Titus Andronicus” the song with yet four more new hands. Titus Andronicus 5.0 played it's first show at New York's United Palace on January 17th, 2010, opening up for Extra Large Recordings' golden geese, Vampire Weekend, who counted among their members Montclair, NJ's Ezra Koenig, who, as a child, was given piano lessons by the same teacher as the young woman from nearby Glen Ridge, who stood on that stage that night for the first time as a member of Titus Andronicus.

On Thursday night, October 20th, Amy Klein played her penultimate show with Titus Andronicus, opening for the Thermals at the Olympic Community Hall in Halifax, Novia Scotia, Canada, as part of the Halifax Pop Explosion festival. 866 long highway miles away, Double Dagger played their last show in Brooklyn, back one more time at Death by Audio, having decided to break up after nine years (almost exactly nine years) saying goodbye to old fans, and, I'll bet, turning on some new ones as well; hey, maybe there were even a couple crazy kids by the bathrooms starting to cook up a plan for what would turn out to be the greatest adventure of their lives. Double Dagger was that sort of band.

On Friday night, October 21s, Amy Klein played her last show with Titus Andronicus, a “secret” performance at the bar Tribeca, also part of that Pop Explosion. Down in Baltimore, Double Dagger played their last show at Ottobar, where a couple years earlier, dear, sweet Nolen had watched us play amongst an audience of maybe 15, whose echoes, rattling around all that empty space, threatened to overpower the band, and told us we were a “powerhouse.” Happily, more people than that came out on this historic evening.

If you live in the greater New York area, yr first chance to see Titus Andronicus with our new guitarist (secret identity forthcoming), and to peer into our crystal ball, will come on November 11th, when we will be the opening act at Le Poisson Rogue for Fucked Up performing their album David Comes To Life in its entirety (unless you don't already have tickets, because it is sold out). Hopefully, it will be a good night to take a chance again (wow, ok, that was too much). Fucked Up, of course, being the headlining band on the night when I saw Double Dagger for what turned out to be the last time, at NYU in February of this year.

Tomorrow's October 24th, and that'll be two years since Amy Klein walked back into my life that fateful night at Death by Audio. What do these numbers all mean? Nothing, of course. They're only coincidences, as everything is, but as Amy's brother in existentialism, I am bound to remind you that the world has never held beauty but for that which eager eyes willed themselves to see, and it is each of our duty's, even in hard times, or especially then, to search for meaning and majesty and mystery wherever we may find it. If numbers be a way to remind myself of that, if I can find some glimmer of hope in their strange grace, then they are beautiful indeed.

Two years. Two years in a young person's life is a gift that you can only give a precious few times, and it only gets more precious as time passes. Amongst everything else, Amy gave this gift to Titus Andronicus, and can word or deed every repay such a blessing? If they do, I doubt I have the brain to find the words or the strength to do the deed, but I do thank you, Amy. You are forever our sister. I wish you good journey, and hope that we should meet again, if not in this life, then in Valhalla.

Yr friend,

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

TALLC PRESENTS: Andrew Cedermark, Dustin Wong, Family Trees and Zombie Orgy @ Shea Stadium 7/23/2011

Hey gang! Remember back, oh, about two months ago, when I was telling you about this awesome concert with Diarrhea Planet, Liquor Store, and Battle Ave? And about how it was the first of an ongoing series of concerts presented by Titus Andronicus (LLC) at Shea Stadium in Brooklyn? And how it was part of our efforts to show respect to the musicians that we so admire? Sure, you remember. It was an awesome time for everyone. Best of all, it was punctual.

Anyway, here it is, two months later, and it is time for the next installment of "TALLC PRESENTS" at Shea Stadium! It's going down this Saturday, July 23rd, and this time, it is a summit of guitar geniuses unseen since the original G3.

The guitar virtuosity of ANDREW CEDERMARK has captured my imagination and my admiration for more than a decade now, and with the release of last year's Moon Deluxe (still available from the good folks at Underwater Peoples), many more have come to see the writing on the wall. With angelic beauty and visceral terror emanating forth in equal measure from his Jazzmaster, and the hearty support of his band of cohorts BUFFALO WILD WING, Cedermark is a true juggernaut. Below, find Andrew and BWW performing "Ad Infinitum" at Random Row Books, in Thomas Jefferson's old stomping grounds of Charlottesville, VA, the town this modern master calls home.

There are not many guitar slingers who would be up to the challenge of sharing a stage with such a titan of the instrument, but then again, Baltimore, MD's champion DUSTIN WONG need shrink from no challenge, or challenger. He has been melting faces around the globe since first coming to prominence with seminal '00s spazz rockers Ponytail. Since that outfit's untimely demise, Dustin has been performing loop-based music under his own name and releasing albums such as last year's lovely and immersive Infinite Love. His ever-wandering, dare I say, picaresque guitar leads grab hold of you tightly and take you for a wild ride, as he constructs massive sonic sculptures so dense you get lost in them. In listening to Dustin build his loops, one almost gets the feeling of being guided through a dense and mysterious wilderness by some sort of benevolent shredding Pan-type creature or something. Sounds crazy, I know, but this guy really has to be seen to be believed. Check out this video, and you will see, sort of, what I mean. This is Dustin performing at the Silent Barn (more on them later) back in May.

[I couldn't resist posting this video of Dustin performing in front of projections of Mario Kart 64, considering Andrew C. and myself used to always love playing that game back in the day in our buddy Doug's basement. Man, those were the days.]

When this show was first being conceived, way way back, Andrew Cedermark's right hand man (whether that hand is plucking a bass or tickling the key of a synthesizer) Jacob told me that they were down with a band from Brooklyn called FAMILY TREES. That cosign was all it took to get me psyched to see them play at this show. I can't claim to be any kind of expert on this band, but it seems like they should please fans of the hazy, mellow side of modern garage rock. Watch the video for the song "No One Will Ever Know" to learn more.

FAMILY TREES no one will ever know from amanda finn on Vimeo.

Finally, a special reunion of the band that lit up the Ithaca, NY punk scene with its unique blend of the jubilant and the grotesque, ZOMBIE ORGY. Don't miss this rare opportunity to hear such classics as "EYES (They're Eating Your Eyes)" and "Teenage Zombie Love" in the [rotting] flesh. The video for "Coffee >> God" should illuminate things even further, should you have the daring to look below.

All this for the low, low price of seven dollars! I think you'll agree that you won't find a better offering on Saturday night anywhere in the greater Metropolitan area. It all kicks off at 9 PM at Shea Stadium, located at 20 Meadow Street, near the Grand Street L train. RSVP at this convenient Facebook invite!

So, just to recap:

9 PM! $7!

All right, that sounds great. See you there!

Yr friend,

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Tour photo dump

Hey gang. Our tour with Okkervil River wound down about a week ago, and I am now feeling suitably decompressed as to share with you some media that will enhance yr understanding of what it was like. Firstly, here is a video of us in Toronto doing our thing - this should be a reasonable enough representation of what our performances were like on this tour. This video was taken from the blog of one Chris Eclectic, who has got some more videos and nice pictures and a summary of the concert and all that.

Yep, that's us, all right. Below, you'll find a video of OR's mouthpiece Will Sheff performing "A Stone" from that perennial '00s classic Black Sheep Boy. Man, I'll tell ya - back in the day, that record was my jam. Freshman year of college, I was as big an OR fan as you'd be likely to find. In fact, most of the good ideas on that old Airing of Grievances album were lifted straight from BSB - listen to our song "Fear and Loathing in Mahwah, NJ" and you might see what I mean. "To Old Friends and New" is another OR-influenced song from that era (even if it was released on an album later). Damn, if only that confused little man could see me now. Anyway, here's Will singing "A Stone" in Seattle. A full-band performance might be a little more representative, but this clip has got good audio and video quality for ya.

Of course, I have to also give mad props to Julianna Barwick, the supernaturally gifted singer who rounded out the bill for a little while. I've been enjoying her great record The Magic Place since we've been home - highly recommended for the next time you want to space out and float off into supreme relaxation. Also, you might not necessarily guess from her music, but she is a wonderfully light-hearted and affable pal who is great to goof around with when off the clock. Sounds like a winning combination to me! Here she is doing her thing at the beautiful Bluebird Theater in Denver (big shouts to my cousin Janelle who came out to this show - hey Janelle!).

If you seek to be still further illuminated, this time with words, head on over to Amy's blog, where indie rock's pluckiest journalistic investigator took the time to interview Okkervil River's primo guitar slinger, one Lauren Gurgiolo, as well as Iowa rock heroes the Poison Control Center, with whom we played a few dates on our way home. Neat! Informative!

So here's something crazy. I had a camera with me on this tour, for the first time (OK, I had a camera on the last tour we did, but I abandoned it in Milwaukee - some employee of the Riverside Theater is making some good-ass home movies). Now, I am no great photographer, but the machine did allow me to capture some magic moments. Let's start with funny t-shirts. One kid was wearing a shirt of a "Communist Party" - tee hee. Here it is.


Then this other time, this kid was wearing a t-shirt with our guy Abe Lincoln fighting a gang of tough looking bears. No sweat for Abe, who, as a young man, won the trust of the people of New Salem, IL with his supreme wrestling skills. Doubt not the gangly rail splitter, for he was strong as an ox.


That is tight. Then there was this other kid in Minneapolis who made this funny t-shirt, which tried to bridge the cultural divide between our latest hit single and the latest rap music phenomenon to sweep America. I respect this guy's ingenuity, even though I am no fan of blindly hateful music. We DO need to escape from that bullshit, know what I'm saying? Here's the cool shirt.


There is little in the world I love more than walking into some Titus Andronicus concert and seeing a homemade TA shirt. What a great way to show love! Never fails to warm my heart. Hey! Next time you come see us play, why not wear a homemade t-shirt? That's fun, and it sticks in the craw of the evil t-shirt industry. Also, I'd like to go on the record and say that wearing a Titus t-shirt to one of our shows is definitely NOT a lame or stupid thing to do - we welcome "that guy" with open arms. Homemade, or bought from us, whatever! Let the colors fly! Show us, by yr shirt choice, that you are ready to get down!

On our Photobucket page, you can see full body shots of the guys who modeled these shirts. Handsome boys!! Loving it!!!

Now, where my dogs at? First, here is an awesome painting that now hangs on the wall of my old friend Lucie's house in Seattle - apparently, this masterpiece was found face down in the street! No respect! Thank heavens a goodly art patron happened upon it at the right time. I mean, look at this thing - it's great!


Then there was this one other time, when we were at a coffee shop or something (I do believe it was in Omaha, Nebraska), when tied up outside there was this dog. Look into the eyes! They're two different colors, baby!! Big props to this dog for being a most excellent and cooperative model - my furry friend allowed me to take lots of good shots with the wild eyes staring right into my camera, and indeed, into my soul.


Later on, we were graciously invited to spend the night at the home of Lauren Gurgiolo's parents in the greater Dallas/Fort Worth region. Great folks, remarkably generous and inviting - no suprise that young Lauren is such a pleasure to be around. Anyway, they had some dogs too, including this little rascal, who also had those crazy eyes! This pooch wasn't as much of a photo shoot pro as his Nebraska counterpart, but it's all good. Man, I love dogs. Great animals!


Here's yr boy stunting on a dinosaur, at the great rest stop in Little America, WY.


Here I am again, doing it big on a pink elephant. I forget where this was.


Later on in the tour, after these pictures were taken, I came upon a pink dinosaur near the club we were playing - I think this may have been in Arizona? Who knows. Anyway, I said, "Man, if I get a picture with that, it'll be the perfect thing to complete my series with the other dinosaur and the pink elephant! YES!" Then I forgot about it, or did some other shit, and soon, it was too dark to take a picture. Oh well!

One of the ways in which Okkervil River showed us kindness and respect was by letting us sometimes spend the night in their hotel room. You see, fancy bands like OR often spend the night tearing up the highway in their tour bus, so the hotel rooms they might get to shower, or to let the bus driver sleep, or whatever, would otherwise end up going to waste after the show. Naturally, we in Titus Andronicus were always most grateful to make sure each bed was full of happy, sleepy bodies. Thanks, OR! One night in Boise, I observed that there was some other kind of weird mirror by the more traditional mirror, and so I set it up to take this crazy photo - does this freak you out at all?


Lastly, here is a "class picture" taken on Future Islands' last night with the tour, when we were partying big time outside of Minneapolis. These guys sure are great - can't wait to kick it with them again at the Hopscotch Festival in their native North Carolina! Look at us having fun:


By the way, second from the left in the back row is our main man Joel, brother to FI singer Sam and the man to talk to if you want to get one of their hot-ass t-shirts. Getting to know him, and taste the sweet fruit of his friendship, was an unexpected treat. Even less expected - my man can straight up RAP. Check out the music he makes under the name Plucky Walker.

All right, well, that's probably enough for now. I'll be back on here soon, maybe with some videos for y'all! That'll be fun, yeah? Great. See ya then!

Yr friend,

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Future Islands: The Movie









Wednesday, May 25, 2011

From an Omaha Coffee Shop

Hey gang. It is yr old buddy Patrick here, writing you at the end of a short break from the daily grind in Omaha, NE, following the completion of the first leg of our tour with our new best pals Okkervil River and Future Islands. Wow, what fun we have all been having. Okkervil River are pros without being total assholes (yes, it can be done), and Future Islands have been keeping us in stitches whenever they aren't cutting us to the bone with their razor-sharp sincerity. Good times. Future Islands are headed back home now, and they'll be dearly missed. Shout outs to Balkans and Spider Bags for hooking us up with places to sleep along the way. You guys haven't been e-mailing us with invites to come over to yr houses - what's wrong? Don't you want to come to the show for free? Do you want Titus Andronicus to have to sleep in some horrible motel and probably get bedbugs and/or murdered?

All right, so what else is happening? This is going to be one of those times when I ignore the by-now-well-established rules about internet content turnover (I prefer an apple turnover), and tell you guys about some shit that pretty much happened a hundred years ago. What is up with the internet? It is like informational bulimia - you take in more of it than you can handle, and then you have to regurgitate it right away, and none of it does any good or makes you any healthier. Whatever! I like my old-fashioned schedule of letting things settle for a week or two and then writing about it. It is charming, dammit!

So yeah, what I mean is, about a week or a month or a year ago, we had the distinct pleasure of participating in Our Band Could Be Yr Concert, an event celebrating ten years of Michael Azzerad's seminal indie rock text, Our Band Could Be Yr Life. Our contribution honored the Replacements, who taught TA much about the spirit of rock and roll and its many freedoms and attendant dangers, and how drinking too much is stupid and wasteful and not really cool or romantic at all. RIP Bob Stinson - that man should still be shredding! Having a few beers is okay, though. Learn more, and listen to the whole thing, here. Below, find us performing 'Kids Don't Follow' and 'Raised in the City.' Shouts to our boy Craig Finn for representing Minneapolis.

Before I show you a video of us playing the quintessential Replacements theme tune, 'Treatment Bound,' you have to know that this most recent performance is only part of the story! For years now, this song has been beloved by yr boy and revered as probably the best song about being in a rock and roll band (not for want of trying on the part of O. River, who sure do have a lot of songs about being in a band - damn, baby). I first tried to use some of this magic for my own sick, selfish purposes back at the record release show for The Monitor way way back on 3/6/2010. I had hoped that the beautiful song might say something about the adventure the young TA 5.0 was then gearing up for. Listen up!

Titus Andronicus - Treatment Bound (3 6 2010) by titusandronicustheband

Props to the other #1 website NYC Taper for furnishing this mp3. Don't download the recording of the show it's from, though - that shit was abominable. Totally my fault, for the record - I didn't know how to keep a guitar in tune in those days. NYC Taper has a good recording of a show we did some six weeks later at Maxwell's in Hoboken that has got all the same songs and more and guitars that are mostly in tune. That's what's up.

Here is a recording of us rehearsing the song in the apartment where David and I live. This is myself on guitar, harmonica, and vocal, Amy on guitar, David on keyboard, and Julian on bass and vocal. Eric wasn't there because our apartment is a no-drum-set zone.

Titus Andronicus - Treatment Bound (5 19 2011) by titusandronicustheband

Julian did a fine job singing the harmonies on those choruses, but he did a pretty crappy job of showing up on time to this rehearsal. As such, here is a free form jam in good old E that we did whilst waiting for him to arrive. Yes, folks - we are a jam band now.

Titus Andronicus - Jammin' in E (5 19 2011) by titusandronicustheband

So yeah - after all this, TA was ready to perform the song for real. Look!

The Replacements. What a band. Honoring them in this way was a great dream come true. So was having our picture taken by our new buddy Daniel Corrigan when we were at First Ave in Minneapolis back in April with Bright Eyes. You might remember Daniel as the man who took the iconic cover of Let It Be. I hate to reduce him and his long and illustrious career to one snapshot, but damn if I didn't spend plenty of my youth looking at those boys goofin' off on that roof and wondering. Here is one of those pictures that Daniel took.


The internet's number one website has got some pictures. They also make this worthwhile point to stick in yr craw:

"I think it says something about Michael's curatorial intent (and the state of indie music currently) that 9 out of the 14 acts featured women playing the very male-centric music of the original bands. Still, that thoughtfulness doesn't necessarily stop guys in the audience from catcalling when a woman takes the stage at a punk/indie-rock show, as was the case here. Azzerad points out the disconnect between bands and their audiences in the book (Black Flag vs. its fans is a memorable one), so perhaps this echoes that, and I guess it's not really a surprise that male rock nerds still have a problem dealing with women artists, but alas - one bummer of the otherwise inspiring night."

If this makes you mad, yet you are drawn to reading it because of its relation to yr interest in indie rock, then you are probably ready to start reading our beloved Amy's Tumblr, where you can find all the fuel you need for that fire. Good website, this one - especially considering the essays there are generous in size, ready to have yr teeth sunk in, not the sort of in-one-ear-and-out-the-udder web nonsense. The internet is so massive!! Why does everything need to be teeny tiny? So yeah, check it out. There's other topics discussed besides feminism and indie rock too - you'll see.

Speaking of Amy's ongoing crusade, did you all see this feature in leading feminist periodical Bust? That shit was pro. Also, the writer is named Amy as well - a real house of mirrors. Look at it now:


If this Permanent Wave sounds like something you could be interested in learning more about, they have got a Tumblr as well. Dig it!

Speaking of Tumblr, Amy's not the only employee of TALLC who is making waves on the web in their spare time. Have you seen Eric's comic blog? It is sure to make you laugh until you cry. Here is a cartoon he drew about a very annoying and bewildering passenger-seat-driver. Did I choose a cartoon by our drummer Eric involving a car in tribute to the late KISS drummer Eric Carr? You bet yr ass I did.


All right, speaking of members of TA gone wild on the internet, it is time for another installment of HIT LIST/SHIT LIST, wherein stuff that is cool goes on the Hit List and stuff that isn't cool goes on the Shit List. Got it? Great.

On the HIT LIST this time is the scorching hot Nashville, TN punk scene. Over the course of this tour, I have been hooked on the new album We Are The Champions by reigning kings JEFF the Brotherhood, as well as the new heat 1971 by Natural Child (I gave these dudes props once before, and that was even before I could've known they'd go on tour with the homies Liquor Store). Sick bands both, but my favorite is still Diarrhea Planet. Man, I love that band. Listen to their recent NYC debut at Shea Stadium, organized by none other than Titus Andronicus LLC, right hurrr. Nashville is straight BURNIN right now!! It's worth noting also that Tennessee is one of the most beautiful of the United States. Rolling through it's natural majesty is a soothing balm that likes of which my soul has very rarely known. Too bad it is also pretty much the most homophobic state going. That reminds me -

It hurts me deep inside to mark down onto the SHIT LIST my one-time favorite TV comedian Tracy Morgan, whose homophobic ravings are old news to all of you by now. I don't know what part of this story is the most disgusting, whether it's the horrible rant itself, the pathetic back-pedaling and bending-over-backwards T.Mo is doing to cover his ass now that he sees that nobody is going to have his back when he wants to act like a total shithead, trying to pass off straight up hate speech delivered with no comedic merit or visible humorous intent as "just joking," or, of course, the classic, and classically FUCKIN' BULLSHIT, move of trying to pass off hate as "being a good Christian" or whatever nonsense they're trying to sell us.

Man, what the fuck is going on with the world nowadays? Are we so bored and desperate for "edginess" that we are looking at basic respect and decency between humans as boring milquetoast? I don't care if you are the star of 30 Rock or the hottest rapper on the best record label XL Recordings (yeah, I said it) - using homophobia, or any kind of blind hate, to sell yr shitty product is straight up loathesome and dispicable. Even if yr "just pretending" or it's okay because "words don't mean shit," don't get it twisted - yr hate speech validates real feelings in the hearts of real Americans who might only need the littlest bit of validation to take their madness to the horrid next level, whatever that may be.

And hey! All you studious white bastards who look at this kind of bile as a return to "authenticity" or "real danger in art" or whatever the fuck, you are just as big idiots, and worse, yr a bunch of chickenshits who want to get off vicariously without getting yr hands dirty with all yr "think pieces" and so on. Shame on thee!!

Also on the SHIT LIST, for much the same crime, is bastion of decent journalism TIME Magazine, who kicked off their interview with Chaz Bono with the question, "Changing genders - are you crazy?" Fuck you, TIME Magazine! What kind of invalidating nonsense is that?

Damn, yr boy is getting riled up. I am going to need some pro-queer fire to get me smiling again. With that in mind, find below the official summer anthem "Imma Homo" by Rainbow Noise, and the big homies Free Energy performing their uplifting classic "Hope Child" for the website the New Gay (I did an interview with these dudes too - lots of love).

All right, well, that is probably enough for now. We must be getting over to the concert anyway. Let's speak again soon, all right?

Yr friend,

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tom Scharpling Strikes Again

Hey gang. By now, you have all seen our new music video for our song, "No Future Part Three: Escape From No Future," a loving tribute to TA's homestate of New Jersey, directed by Garden State lifer Tom Scharpling. What is that, you haven't seen it? Well, here it is.

"Huh, I don't get it! What was that supposed to be exactly?" Well, I thought it was pretty clear, but okay - here's an article that ran in a serious, adult newspaper around the time of the shoot, the same great newspaper that broke the news about Selective Eating Disorder, but that is a story for another day. Point is, I received this cryptic message from Mr. Scharpling earlier with instructions to pass along to you guys, so read on, if you dare.

He writes, "I have in my possession a live clip of Titus Andronicus performing an AMAZING version of "A More Perfect Union" shot in New Brunswick during our one-day tour of New Jersey as documented in the "No Future Part Three: Escape From No Future" video that we dropped a couple weeks ago. You can watch the "No Future" video by going HERE.

I will put the new clip online if we can get the "No Future" video to 100,000 views before Titus Andronicus play New York City on June 7th. But if we don't get to that goal, the only video I will release will be one of me DELETING THIS VIDEO FROM EXISTENCE.

I am not joking about this - on June 8th you will either get a video of Titus Andronicus rocking out, or you will get a video of me sending this footage to the great trash icon in the sky. The choice is yours, and if you want to see some new Titus Andronicus action, you need to get the "No Future Part Three" clip to 100,000 views by June 7th!"

Well, there you have it - a chilling vision of things t come, as it looks like old T.S. wants one more jewel for the crown as far as this whole music video project goes. I can't deny that we at Titus Andronicus LLC have at times lusted after the prospect of internet fame, as you remember from "Kanye on a Plane," which we expected to have well over One Million Views by now. "What's Kanye on a Plane," you ask?

Besides, would Scharpling really be so diabolical and senselessly cruel to delete this innocent video when the internet is so vast, it's embrace, so inviting? Has any entity ever lived up to the promise of the Statue of Liberty as much as the internet? Why deny this video the same love? With a man such as Tom Scharpling, you can never be sure what is really going on, so to be on the safe side, we better go along with what he says and just do whatever it takes to blast this music video into the next echelon of online dominance. If it sweetens the deal, in this video, I will be wearing a sweet t-shirt of Glen Rock, NJ's all-time greatest punk band, VCR.

Okay, well, that's all for now. Let's speak again soon.

Yr friend,

Thursday, May 19, 2011

TALLC PRESENTS: Diarrhea Planet, Liquor Store, Battle Ave @ Shea Stadium 5/23/2011

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Okay gang. Remember a few weeks ago when I told you about the ongoing series of concerts that Titus Andronicus LLC is going to be putting on at Shea Stadium? And how the first one was coming up on May 23rd? Well, with that date approaching ever faster, I felt it behooved me to dash out a few words to remind you guys of all the pertinent information about the show and share some of the many reasons why it is going to be so great.

Firstly, the facts. The show is going down this coming Monday, May the 23rd. Shea Stadium is located at 20 Meadow Street in Brooklyn. The easiest access route for a lot of you will probably be taking the L Train to Grand Street, which is a short walk from the spot. Check out this Google Map for more info. The price is seven American dollars, and it all starts at 7:00 PM.

Why is Titus Andronicus doing this anyway? Well, there are a lot of reasons. For one thing, we recognize that we are in possession of a certain amount of “cultural capital,” on account of us being Young Gods of this indie rock game. We know that this sort of capital, like any other, is as Dolly Levi described it – similar to manure in that it is worthless unless it is spread around, encouraging young things to grow. It is our hope, with this concert series, whatever love you may have for Titus Andronicus will persuade you to open yr heart to some bands who have touched ours, so that you may learn to love them as we do. Thusly will the love spread and grow and cover the Earth.

What's that you ask? Just who are these bands that could inspire such flowery speech? Well, our featured attraction upon this eve will be the New York City debut of one of the hottest bands yet to pop out of the ever-expanding-in-awesomeness Nashville punk scene, Diarrhea Planet. These young guns run four electric guitars deep and specialize in the sort of life-affirming, fist-pumping jock jams that would be equally suited to scoring yr next kegger or yr next Iron Man Triathalon; call it “Posi-Party-Punk” - I do. Or call it “American Oi,” or “Yeah Rock” - just don't call 'em on Tuesday, because it'll be too late and you will look (and feel) like a dumbass. RIYL: Japandroids, JEFF the Brotherhood, Misfits, Andrew WK.

Check out their blogspot for all the info you could need, and find the video of the band playing at Glenn Danzig's House below. Also, check out the TA YouTube channel to find playlists of two complete DP concerts in Nashville.

[UPDATE: It has been brought to my attention that a video with the focus more on DP's songcraft and singing and stuff might be more persuasive, so here they are playing another awesome jam, "Babyhead."]

Keeping with the “scuzzy” and “lotta guitars” theme is Liquor Store from Glen Rock, NJ. Hardcore TitusHeads (aka Andronikids) will recognize frontman Sarim Al-Rawi as our original drummer, but when he left the band to pursue a college degree, we knew it was only a matter of time before he burst back onto the scene like Zeus out of his own head, a thunderbolt for every hand. Liquor Store is his golden chariot, featuring survivors of Glen Rock scene kings Above All Hope and Motown rockers the Mahonies at the core of their constantly expanding/contracting lineup (expect at least two electric guitars – prepare for as many as five). They recently completed their debut full-length record under the watchful eye of producer Kevin McMahon (TA, Swans, Real Estate, the Walkmen) and are sure to grow in the hearts of scumbags and scoundrels across Long Island, Jersey, and beyond. RIYL: reading websites like Terminal Boredom or the Goner Records message board, genres whose names include the word “stoner.”

Here is Liquor Store's MySpace page and blog. A video of them hacking it up to their generation-defining anthem, "Showdown at Wookie Lake," at Death by Audio is below. More such videos can be found as “Favorites” on the TA YouTube.

Finally, kicking off the festivities will be a promising young group out of the Catskills region calling themselves Battle Ave. Their twisting, turning tunes will drag you along a windy and wild road, from quiet, desperate singer-songwriter ruminations, to math-y workouts, to shimmering crescendos that will split the sky even as they split yr skull. They too have recently completed a record with that guy Kevin McMahon (Liquor Store), which promises to make “post-pop-punk” the next “swag.” RIYL: Frog Eyes, Explosions in the Sky, Cap'n Jazz, Say Anything.

Here is their Bandcamp page and learn more about the band and their mission from the Kickstarter video below.

Whatever you do though, don't let yr jaw drag on the floor for too long, as you will need it for laughing at the comedy stylings of our master of ceremonies, Mr. Matt Miller. Matt will keep the festivities moving and the funny bones a-ticklin' throughout the evening with his observations on the madness of modern life and the freaky foibles of the American Family. Learn for yrself why people are already calling him 'the half-black Seinfeld.' [FULL DISCLOSURE: In addition to being the original keyboardist of Titus A, Matt is also my cousin, and I am the only person yet to call him the 'half-black Seinfeld,' but that doesn't make it less true]

So, that pretty much covers it as far as the entertainment is concerned. At this point, you may hear yrself saying, “I am a NYC-DIY vet – now that I know the bands playing, I know this show like Bo knows baseball.” Guess again, smart ass – this time around, we are putting the DIY scene on notice and letting everybody know how it is done FOR REAL. Okay, maybe that is over-stating it but we are taking the hard line on one particular issue. That's right, folks – TALLC is hereby putting the “Punk” back in “Punk-tuality.” Unlike any all-ages show you have ever been to, this one is going to start and end at a reasonable hour. The doors will open at 7:00 PM and the first band will begin promptly at 8:00 PM, with bands to follow at 9:00 and 10:00. “Man, that is so lame,” you may say. “BK doesn't party on that old-person schedule! This ain't Florida!” Well, friend – let me explain to you why you are a doofus.

For too long now, the DIY scene in Brooklyn has been accused (often rightly so) of being insular and classist, and nothing more clearly exemplifies this issue, in my eyes, than the lax, downright irresponsible attitude towards scheduling that is so pervasive. I can't tell you how many times I have gone to an all-ages DIY space to see a band I love or am especially psyched on, only to either have to leave before they play or feel so beat by the time that they do get on stage that fully enjoying the performance is no longer an option. Implicit in this is the belief that the people who are deserving of a solid evening's entertainment are the ones who can stay out until all hours of the night. This may sound to some of you like the romantic, glamorous ideal of the City That Never Sleeps -- well, maybe the city doesn't sleep, but people need to, especially when those people have jobs. If we really believe that art, particularly the great American art form of Punk Rock, is really and truly for “the people” rather than a play-thing of the kept children of the ruling class, who use it to fill the holes in their lives where “responsibilities” or “obligations” would usually go, then why let a show run until the wee hours hours of the morning, when a working person must be in bed to get the rest necessary for their continued survival and prosperity? Punk Rock should be an inclusive and an adhesive agent, it's spirit a common treasury for all to share. By letting their schedules run wild as a wicked weed, the leaders of the DIY scene are submitting to the preconceptions held by so many on the outside – that inclusivity and righteousness are no more than a different set of clothes that these brats throw on like it just came off the rack at Beacon's Closet, that we could really give a fuck about reaching out to those of the community who don't fit the typical “trust fund baby” model. To this, TA LLC says, “No more!” We call for a new commitment to punctuality on the DIY scene that will allow for all of those who would seek to warm themselves by the fires of independent art to get a fair chance to do so, whether they be a millionaire transplant from Connecticut or a born-and-bred Brooklynite getting up at the crack of dawn to clean some toilet. On the punk scene, which takes such pride in the rejection of society's basest values, these two should be equals. By embracing Punk-Tuality, we can take a step closer towards making that possible. Sounds nice, right? We think so.

With the music wrapping up by eleven or so, you may go home, or hang out to shake yr whatevah to Titus Andronicus Superstar DJ Soundsystem Yadda Yadda Yadda Rocksteady Ruffinready Crew, spinning the hottest jams until those wee hours we were talking about before. Okay, maybe for like, one hour.

To reward you for yr Punk-Tuality, we will be having a Happy Hour from “doors” (7:00 PM) to the start of the first band (8:00 PM), where you will be able to buy an ice cold beer (Miller High Life, pending further notice) for ONLY A DOLLAR. A GOD DAMN DOLLAR. How many nightlife options include THAT? What's that you say, virtually none? I thought not. I know you guys are going to be drinking responsibly, but you may as well do it for cheap, right? I'll say it again: BEER FOR A BUCK. Get there early and get yr money's worth!

Speaking of money, the show is only seven bucks. Two Georges and an Abe get you three great bands, a steady stream of laughs, access to the cheapest beer on the scene, and the option of a good night's sleep to follow. If you find a better deal on this Monday night, then please wake up, because you are in a dream world, and we need you back in this one.

So, to recap:


Sound okay? Feel free to RSVP to this here Facebook event. All right, great! See you then!

Yr friend,

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Getting involved with our music video, plus general Tour Spiel

Hey everybody. Titus Andronicus is out in the desert right now - we're trying for a vision quest, or something LOUD I can feel through all the Chantix. We're doing this sort of thing and just generally having an awesome time.

This tour has been awesome so far. We did it big in upper New England and southeastern Canada with the big dogs Dinowalrus, and made fast friends with a great band from Portland, ME called Brenda. Damn, that was sick.

We continued to get down with the sickness in Toronto, when we were blessed with a surprise appearance by the reigning Greatest Punk Band on Earth, the young gods of Fucked Up, who melted everyone's faces with a set full of songs from their new record, David Comes to Life. This instant classic has since sustained Titus Andronicus on many a long and soul-crushing death drive. The blessings kept rolling when Damien, or "Pink Eyes" as he is sometimes known, joined us on stage for the uplifting punk classic, "If the Kids are United" by Sham 69 - a touching moment of Canadian-American punk solidarity. Behold:

At this point, we thought our lives couldn't get any better. Little did we know we were about to be taken under the warm wing of the chillest band of all time, muthafluffin' Bright Eyes. Jesus Christ, was there ever a group of people (band, crew, the whole scene) who were kinder, more gregarious, more generous of spirit? Though we were strangers, from the get-go, they made us feel like family, that we mattered, that we were deserving of the decency and respect and consideration that is the lifeblood of any productive human relationship. I can't tell you how affirming it is to see an indie rock band doing it big, pretty much as big as it gets, without getting a giant stick up their ass - yeah, you know what I'm talking about. It was all so validating, that I couldn't say no to getting up in Big C's grill on our last night together in Portland, OR - dig it.

This shit was heavy for me, and here's why: this jam, "Old Soul Song," is about that famous protest that popped off right around the start of the war in Iraq - learn about that immortal day here. I attended this event as a young teen who didn't really know shit about shit (I still don't, but I'm not a young teen anymore), but I did know that my brother, a pilot for the US Navy who, in those days, specialized in the deactivation of anti-aircraft missile launchers, was very possibly not coming back. You can imagine how fortunate I felt watching this show with him at my side - he now lives in Anacortes, WA with a wonderful wife and two beautiful babies, but man, all those dreams could have been erased in a fucking second! Life is crazy. Check out dear Brendan (who also taught me to play the guitar, BTW) with his sleepy son Jack (born 25 years to the day after myself, FTW) before Bright Eye's guitar stash.


Speaking of that historic day, it was that night that I was first properly introduced to the spirit of Punk Righteousness at a concert by the dearly remembered Sleater-Kinney, which remains, to this day, the most inspiring and exciting concert experience of my life - read a little about that here. Guess what? They're from Portland! (Olympia?) Serendipity doo dah.

All right, well, enough babbling. Let's get real for a second. Remember when we told you about making that music video for our song "No Future Part Three: Escape from No Future?" Well, we did it. Big shouts to everybody who came out to contribute. Were you one of them? No? Wow, you must be pretty upset. Don't fret though - you can still be a part of this epic adventure.

These days, when bands put out a video, it goes up on some blog or some music website or some such shit - BORING!! Titus Andronicus can't be doing no dull-ass thing like that, and you can help save us. As you may know, the music video celebrates the New Jersey heritage of our band/brand. In keeping with this theme, we are inviting any citizen of that great state to premiere the video on April 29th. If you have got a NJ-positive website, if you've got a basement rec room with a big flatscreen, an awesome independently owned and operated record store, whatever you've got, we want to enable you to host yr own premiere and join in the fun of bigging up our home state. If you e-mail, the good people at Extra Large Recordings will hook you up with a DVD or a Quicktime file or an embed code or whatever you might need. We will cap off this day of Nu Jeruz love with a performance at our favorite NJ venue, Maxwell's in Hoboken. Sounds fun, yeah? We think so too - so get involved please!!

Okay, one last thing just! You know that Titus Andronicus down 'til death with Shea Stadium. You also know that TALLC is always looking for new ways to expand the brand. Thusly, we put two and two together, found four, and now we are ecstatic to announce the first installment of "Titus Andronicus LLC Presents" or whatever we will call it. It will hopefully be a semi-regular series of shows at Shea where we can swag out some bands that we know you are going to love, and we are kicking it off on May 23rd. The bands are Diarrhea Planet (Nashville posi-party punk on their first trip to NYC), Liquor Store (NJ stoner punk featuring original TA drummer Sarim Al-Rawi), and Battle Ave (post-pop-punk epics str8 out the Catskills), and maybe one more to be announced soon. I am not going to let you forget about this sure-2-b-magical evening, so stay tuned for more updates. Watch a video of Diarrhea Planet slamming their hit single "Where Are You?" and get ready to party the shit out of yrself.

All right, we gotta get back out to the Polo Field (uhh... what?). Be safe.

Yr friend,

Friday, February 18, 2011

Music video shoot this Sunday!

DISCLAIMER: The below information can be found in much more condensed terms here, if you, like, have something better to do (you don't).

Hey gang. I've got something important to tell you. I wanted to tell you a couple of other things before I told you this, because there are still some things to discuss, but the speed at which this modern world moves is forcing me onto a new schedule. I might have wanted to reveal certain things to you in a nice linear fashion, but you know these blogs - everything has to be new and up-to-the-instant and yesterday's news isn't worth lining birdcages with. Right? Anyway.

Remember all those great music videos we have made over the years? Yeah, me neither. Something about Titus Andronicus pretending to rock out in some kind of cool environment? Well, point is, it is that time again, time for us to once more pretend to rock out in some kind of cool environment. This time, though, the power is in yr hands to take our pretend rocking out and make it real. How can you help yr beloved Punk Pinnochios? Here's how.

This coming Sunday, February the 20th, we in Titus Andronicus will submit ourselves to the will of famed NJ independent radio fixture and up-and-coming music video director Tom Scharpling in the interest of making some moving pictures to go along with our song, "No Future Part Three: Escape From No Future." This our song about how you will always be a loser, remember?

The concept of the video is quite simply a one-day tour of the great state of New Jersey, a place that Titus Andronicus is often wont to sing about, and somewhere much beloved by Tom Scharpling to boot. We will run around the state in our van, hop out to rock out, and then on to the next. Get it? Our fondest dream is that when we get to our various locations, you will be there, chomping at the bit to jump up and down in some approximation of punk-ish enthusiasm. Chances are, once we get there and see that you are really nice, we'll probably play a couple other songs for real, just because we live to entertain you. Is that okay? Will you be there?

"Where is there?" Fair question. "There" is here, at these times:

11 Pinewood Drive
Little Egg Harbor, NJ

Asbury Park Boardwalk Casino
1150 Boardwalk
Asbury Park, NJ

Roof Of The Iron Monkey
97 Greene Street
Jersey City, NJ

So you will come? You will? And all yr friends too?!? Wow, thanks so much! Just one more thing though - can you go to this Facebook event page and RSVP? Tom and his elite squad of producers are hoping for an "accurate head count." Thanks so much.

Now, some of you little bastards may be saying, "Who the hell is this Tom Scharpling guy? Some radio DJ? What does he know about directing music videos?" Okay, first of all, check that attitude. If that is how you approach life, we don't even want you to be in our video! Secondly, what rock have you been trapped under where you haven't seen the two videos embedded below, both directed by Mr. Scharpling? Cut off that arm already and watch these things - they are hilarious!

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - Bottled in Cork

The New Pornographers - Moves

So yeah, that is basically the scoop. Please find it in yr hearts to get jazzed about participating, tell all yr friends, then RSVP and show up! Then in a couple weeks or something, you can watch the video in question and know that you helped in its realization. Should be good times.

Although, truth be told, I don't even know why we are making a video for this song - these guys already did it!

Okay, I guess that is it. See you on Sunday, yes? Great!

Yr friend,

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."