Watch: The Postal Service Documentary By The Creators Project

July 25, 2013 by  
Filed under Excelsior's Exclamations

From the initial long distance collaboration between Ben Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello that created 2003′s sleeper classic Give Up to the current reunion tour celebrating the platinum album’s 10th anniversary and packing houses from New York’s Barclays Center to the Greek Theatres of Los Angeles and Berkeley… The Postal Service has now had its unique journey examined and chronicled by The Creators Project, a partnership between Intel and VICE. Viewers are given an intimate look at the band and its process: from the dressing room to the digital (re)construction of the music to the moment the band takes the stage.

Directed by Justin Mitchell, this is a one of a kind look at one of the most beloved acts of the past decade. Mitchell says of the project: “I’ve been looking for a project to use prisms on for a while and much like the multiple frames, I think they help to support the story of the band. For me the prisms represent a gathering of all the disparate energies that propelled the album upwards and onwards during the last ten years. The band might be the center of the image and the focus but for ten years they allowed Give Up to live its own life and somehow, all that outside energy resulted in a platinum album. Now, as Ben says, they get to reclaim it and I think the prism (which just looked so much cooler in slow motion) helps to show that.” Read the rest of the interview with Justin Mitchell on The Creators Project: http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/blog/capturing-the-postal-service-on-their-reunion-tour

The Postal Service On Tour:

07/24/13 – Los Angeles, CA – Greek Theater ^
07/26/13 – Berkeley, CA – Greek Theatre (SOLD OUT) %
07/27/13 – Berkeley CA – Greek Theater^
07/30/13 – Kansas City MO – Midland Theater #
07/31/13 – Kansas City MO – Midland Theater (SOLD OUT) #
08/02/13 – St. Paul MN – Roy Wilkins Auditorium #
08/03/13 – Chicago, IL – Lollapalooza
08/04/13 – Chicago, IL – Metro

# Mates Of State support
% Big Freedia supports
^ Divine Fits supports

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Pitchfork Festival Reveals Daily Schedule

June 20, 2013 by  
Filed under Excelsior's Exclamations

Hitting the Pitchfork Festival this year? Here’s your schedule:

2013 PITCHFORK MUSIC FESTIVAL SCHEDULE:

FRIDAY, JULY 19 – gates at 3pm
8:30pm – (Green) Björk
7:20pm – (Red) Joanna Newsom
6:25pm – (Green) Wire
6:15pm – (Blue) Mikal Cronin
5:30pm – (Red) Woods
5:15pm – (Blue) Angel Olsen
4:35pm – (Green) Mac DeMarco
4:15pm – (Blue) Trash Talk
3:30pm – (Red) Daughn Gibson
3:20pm – (Blue) Frankie Rose

SATURDAY, JULY 20 – gates at 12pm
8:45pm – (Blue) Rustie
8:30pm – (Green) Belle & Sebastian
7:45pm – (Blue) Andy Stott
7:25pm – (Red) Solange
6:45pm – (Blue) Low
6:15pm – (Green) The Breeders play Last Splash
5:45pm – (Blue) Ryan Hemsworth
5:15pm – (Red) Swans
4:45pm – (Blue) Metz
4:15pm – (Green) Savages
3:45pm – (Blue) Merchandise
3:20pm – (Red) …And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead
2:50pm – (Blue) Parquet Courts
2:30pm – (Green) Phosphorescent
1:55pm – (Blue) Julia Holter
1:45pm – (Red) Pissed Jeans
1:00pm – (Blue) KEN Mode
1:00pm – (Green) White Lung

SUNDAY, JULY 21 – gates at 12pm
8:45pm – (Blue) TNGHT
8:30pm – (Green) R. Kelly
7:45pm – (Blue) Glass Candy
7:25pm – (Red) MIA
6:45pm – (Blue) Evian Christ
6:15pm – (Green) Toro Y Moi
5:45pm – (Blue) Chairlift
5:15pm – (Red) Lil B
4:45pm – (Blue) Sky Ferreira
4:15pm – (Green) Yo La Tengo
3:45pm – (Blue) Waxahatchee
3:20pm – (Red) El-P
2:50pm – (Blue) Blood Orange
2:30pm – (Green) Killer Mike
1:55pm – (Blue) Autre Ne Veut
1:45pm – (Red) Foxygen
1:00pm – (Blue) DJ Rashad
1:00pm – (Green) Tree

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Pitchfork Music Festival Announces Remaining 2013 Lineup

March 26, 2013 by  
Filed under Excelsior's Exclamations

The 2013 Pitchfork Music Festival (Friday, July 19-Sunday, July 21) at Chicago’s Union Park, rounds out its lineup with a diverse group of emerging artists and established legends.

Added to Friday’s lineup are Wire, Mikal Cronin, Woods, Pissed Jeans, Daughn Gibson, and Frankie Rose. Saturday sees more performances by Andy Stott, Solange, Merchandise, Ryan Hemsworth, Metz, Low, Savages, Parquet Courts, Julia Holter, Ken Mode, and White Lung. And Sunday now includes Glass Candy, M.I.A., Evian Christ, Yo La Tengo, Autre Ne Veut, Waxahatchee, Blood Orange, and DJ Rashad. It’s the summer’s most adventurous festival.

Three-day passes are currently on sale for $120 and single day tickets are available for $50 each. Three-day passes always sell out very quickly. As previously mentioned, for the full price three-day pass, the festival is offering a special layaway program that allows fans to purchase the pass in three installments.

THE 2013 PITCHFORK MUSIC FESTIVAL LINEUP:

Friday
Björk
Joanna Newsom
Wire
Woods
Mikal Cronin
Angel Olsen
Pissed Jeans
Daughn Gibson
Trash Talk
Frankie Rose

Saturday
Belle & Sebastian
Solange
The Breeders play Last Splash
Savages
Swans
Rustie
Low
…And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead
Phosphorescent
Andy Stott
Mac DeMarco
Ryan Hemsworth
Julia Holter
Parquet Courts
Merchandise
Metz
Ken Mode
White Lung

Sunday
R. Kelly
M.I.A.
Yo La Tengo
Lil B
Toro Y Moi
TNGHT
El-P
Killer Mike
Chairlift
Foxygen
Sky Ferreira
Glass Candy
Autre Ne Veut
Evian Christ
Waxahatchee
Blood Orange
DJ Rashad
Tree

PURCHASE PITCHFORK MUSIC FESTIVAL TICKETS HERE:

http://tktwb.tw/Vnn09y

Visit http://pitchforkmusicfestival.com and http://facebook.com/PitchforkMusicFestival for more information. Follow @pitchforkfest for the latest news, announcements and exclusive content.

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Brilliant Corners Of Popular Amusements Begins This Friday At Chicago’s Riverfront Theater

September 18, 2012 by  
Filed under Excelsior's Exclamations

This Friday marks the first evening of Brilliant Corners of Popular Amusements, a series of events that boast an incredible line-up of musicians, comedians, and circus performers at Chicago’s Riverfront Theater. Icons like Velvet Underground founder John Cale, R&B legend Bobby Womack, and Laurel Canyon songwriter and Beach Boys’ Smile arranger Van Dyke Parks mingle with younger rising stars like Conor Oberst, Zola Jesus, and Helado Negro. Leading local comedians like Brian Babylon, The Puterbaugh Sisters, and James Fritz perform alongside national names like Jon Benjamin (Bob’s Burgers, Home Movies, Archer) and Seaton Smith. And where else but at Brilliant Corners can all this be found alongside the amazing and always unexpected performances of El Circo Cheapo’s supremely talented aerialists, acrobats, jugglers, and clowns?

Tickets are still available and can be purchased at http://bcopa.com. Keep in mind that the circus matinee on Saturday is free for those who have purchased tickets to the marquee musical performance, as well as children under 12, and every Late Night Comedy Show is FREE for all!

BRILLIANT CORNERS OF POPULAR AMUSEMENTS SCHEDULE

Friday, September 21st
7PM – Zola Jesus
8PM – John Cale
10PM – Late Night Comedy Show (Seaton Smith, The Puterbaugh Sisters, James Fritz, Brandon Wetherbee) FREE

Saturday, September 22nd
5PM – El Circo Cheapo Cabaret (FREE for children under 12 and with purchase of marquee performances tickets)
7PM – Van Dyke Parks
8PM – Conor Oberst
10PM – Late Night Comedy Show (Jon Benjamin, Drew Michael, Megan Gailey, Brian Babylon) FREE

Sunday, September 23rd
7PM – Helado Negro
8PM – Bobby Womack

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LCD Soundsystem’s “Shut Up And Play The Hits” Coming To iTunes

August 21, 2012 by  
Filed under Excelsior's Exclamations

After selling out movie theaters nationwide on July 18th during a special one-night-only screening event, Oscilloscope Laboratories is proud to bring SHUT UP AND PLAY THE HITS exclusively to iTunes.

On April 2nd 2011, LCD SOUNDSYSTEM played its final show at Madison Square Garden. LCD frontman James Murphy had made the conscious decision to disband one of the most celebrated and influential bands of its generation at the peak of its popularity, ensuring that the band would go out on top with the biggest and most ambitious concert of its career. The instantly sold out, near four-hour extravaganza moved the thousands in attendance to tears of joy and grief, with New York Magazine calling the event “a marvel of pure craft” and TIME magazine lamenting “we may never dance again.” SHUT UP AND PLAY THE HITS is both a narrative film documenting this once-in-a-lifetime performance and an intimate portrait of James Murphy as he navigates the lead-up to the show, the day after, and the personal and professional ramifications of his decision.

PULSE FILMS production of a film by Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace
Produced by Lucas Ochoa, Thomas Benksi, James Murphy

iTunes.com/shutupandplaythehits
www.shutupandplaythehits.com

IN THEATERS

08/17/2012 Lansdowne, PA Cinema 16:9- ONE WEEK ENGAGEMENT
08/24/2012 Columbus, OH Gateway Film Center
08/24/2012 San Francisco, CA Roxie
08/30/2012 Burlington, VT Palace 9
08/31/2012 Chicago, IL Facets- PLAYING THRU 9/1
09/06/2012 Indianapolis, IN Indy Film Fest
09/08/2012 Philadelphia, PA Trocadero Theatre
09/13/2012 Syracuse, NY Westcott
09/14/2012 Boston, MA The Brattle
09/20/2012 Winnipeg, MB Cinematheque -9/26 SHOW ADDED
09/21/2012 Tucson, AZ The Loft

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Ghostland Observatory

February 7, 2010 by  
Filed under Interviews

MTT and Ghostland discuss capes, sexual dancing, James Brown, Daft Punk and more while at Lollapalooza.

Interview with Ghostland Observatory

Thomas Turner, Aaron Behrens, Monty “Moe” Wiradilaga
Friday, August 3, 2007
Lollapalooza – Chicago, Illinois

Moe: We’re sitting backstage with Thomas and Aaron from Ghostland Observatory. How you doing guys? That was one of the best sets I’ve seen in a long time.

Thomas: Thanks a lot.

Moe: You guys started off with three people right?

Thomas: I think Ghostland, like the first official Ghostland show, we used two people. We were in other bands before but…

Moe: How did you guys get together, what was your meeting?

Aaron: We just met in the bands previously that we did. He answered an ad in the paper and we hit it off. The other guys went and took a break for a while and me and him just kept going at it and we found what me and him love to do together, you know?

Moe: Absolutely. You guys are from Austin correct?

Thomas: Yes, yeah.

Moe: And they’re saying that it the “live music capital of the world.” Is Austin really that strong of a live music scene?

Thomas: When we tour other cities, you can kind of tell like, in Austin, you can go out almost every night and see any kind of genre of music you want to, at almost a hundred different clubs. And most cities don’t have that you know. If want to see blues you can see blues, you wanna see rock, indie rock, punk rock, electronic, DJ shit, whatever, you know, you can go see it in Austin almost any night of the week.

Moe: You guys definitely have an interesting combination of styles. First of all, what’s with the cape? I gotta know what the cape is man! (Laughs)

Thomas: My wife made it for me, so I wear it you know, I sport it.

Moe: I was lookin’ for what stage you guys were playing on, I saw the cape and said, ‘Oh there they are.’

Thomas: (Laughs)

Moe: What did you guys grow up on, what were you really listening to? ‘Cause it sounds like you go from little bit from the dance genre, but then you go from rock, then you have a little rap, just a combination of so many different styles. Aaron, what’s your take on this?

Aaron: I grew up listening to, you know, my dad had a lot of like seventies, sixties-seventies rock, like Jimmy Hendrix, Zeppelin. Grew up listening to them… And then I got into eighties, and my mom had like Huey Lewis and The News, Prince, you know, all that good stuff. And then, you know, in the nineties I got into gangster rap…

Moe: There you go. (Laughs) NWA!?

Aaron: Snoop Dogg, NWA, Onyx…

Moe: Eazy-E! Yeah, there you go!

Aaron: Eazy-E, yeah all of them.

Moe: What happened to Onyx anyway? (Laughs)

Aaron: I don’t know dude. I think Sticky Fingers got into acting for a while, so I don’t know… But then I, you know, then I moved to Austin, and Thomas introduced me to electronic music, so yeah.


Moe: Yeah, it’s just the blend, the blend happened right there.

Aaron: Yeah… The beautiful blend man, you know, so..

Moe: Did you listen to a lot of James Brown?

Aaron: Oh, a lot, yeah, I love James Brown… I love James Brown… Yeah.

Moe: I know you know everyone says it… They draw your dancing style to James Brown…

Aaron: Oh, that’s a huge compliment, I love J.B…

Moe: It is. Those are big shoes to fill, but, tell you what… You never stop, you never stop! (Laughs)

Aaron: Oh man, I’m tryin’, I’m tryin’. (Laughs)

Moe: I could tell through the set, people were getting into it more and more. You guys know everything was just starting to build up, and I don’t know if you noticed the crowd, but the hands started going up and by the end everyone was just rockin out. Ahh. It was great.

Aaron: Yeah! That’s good!

Moe: You guys basically just leave it out, all on stage, just balls out…

Aaron: Yeah, we really try. I mean, like I said, me and Thomas, “The Wizard” over here, dude. You know, he just throws down all this, it’s just, everything crazy on top. And it’s just, like we’ve said before it’s like, he just allows for me to get crazy on top of that, but he’s just pushing me man. With all those sounds…

Moe: Just feeding off each other.

Aaron: Yeah! It’s just real feeding back and forth. It’s just not talking, it’s feeling between both of us, you know.

Moe: What do you feel about the musicians that are doing that little shortcut with laptops and all that in their music?

Thomas: Yeah, I guess people do whatever they’re comfortable with. Maybe, you know, they started out with a laptop, and using virtual synths and things like that, and that’s just how they do it. I mean, I don’t hate on them for doing that. I just prefer having a synthesizer and, like, really getting inside of a synthesizer, and learning it inside and out. It’s the harder way to do it. You know, that’s just what I feel comfortable doing, and I like it. I enjoy it a lot.


Moe: Did you grow up more with the rock stuff, ’cause you’re playing drums, and you’re doing the synths, doing them together, just meshing the two. Did you grow up more in rock, or did you grow up more in the dance styles?

Thomas: Well I guess when I really started getting into music I really fell in love with electronic music, that’s where my heart is. But I played drums when I was younger… I used my knowledge of playing the drums and creating beats, but I never thought that I’d have to play drums again. It just so happened that I got the opportunity, and we just rolled with it, you know.

Moe: Does it feel natural though? I mean, if you were doing the drums, and you were doing the beats… Was the going back and forth, working with the synths and the drums… Was it natural, or how’d that work in?

Thomas: Yeah, yeah I think so. It feels good to be able to do both, you know? I like it.

Moe: Well like I said, we’re gonna see you guys at Vegoose… The rest of my crew’s coming tonight. What should they expect when they see you guys for the first time? How would you describe your set?

Thomas: You just have to be there to witness it. I would say, go in expecting nothing, and be the judge for yourself, and see how you feel when you leave. Hopefully, you’ll really, really love it. Or you’ll really hate it. There will be no in between, like ‘Ahh… It was okay.’ None of that. Its either you’re really into it or you’re not, you know.

Moe: Aaron, your dancing is obviously very, very sexual.

Aaron: Yeah.

Moe: You don’t doubt that right?

Aaron: No.

Moe: Not whatsoever. (Laughs)

Aaron: It’s a very powerful energy!

Moe: Yeah, so what’s the craziest thing a girl has done to try to get in your pants after a set like that? (Laughs)

Aaron: Well, honestly, I haven’t really had to deal with that, because I really don’t put myself in situations to deal with it, you know. A lot of times people will try to get on stage, and you know, dance with me and stuff. But the thing is, it’s like, that’s cool, but I’m like in my own world. I mean I definitely do it for the people and I like entertaining up there, and it’s wonderful that they get inspired to get down with me and everything. A lot of it, it’s a lot of personal release. You know, it’s a lot of personal energy getting out, flowing out of me. So, I really haven’t had anything crazy, you know, or anything like that. And I think a lot of my fans know that. A lot of our fans know that. They respect it. And it’s the same thing; I don’t expect anything from them after the show.

Moe: However, you should have heard the comments from those girls that were standing next to me. Oh shit, you would’ve been like…(Looks and points) Yeah, point to em’… (Laughs)


Aaron: (Laughs) Girl, you’re dirty! Girl, you’re nasty!

Moe: Yeah exactly!! They were getting dirty nasty, that’s right. You guys are very independent…

Thomas: We don’t have a manager. We hired a publicist just for a short period of time, just to help promote the upcoming festival season, the new record that’s coming out, and just like to help the press-related things kind of go our way as opposed to just random things happening… Have a little bit more control of that. But, yeah, we’re very independent. We don’t answer to anyone. We agree on things and that’s what we do. And we just stick with that, you know. And we really don’t do many press-related issues either you know so…

Moe: Well, thanks for… thanks a lot, I appreciate that!

Thomas: Yeah! Yeah! So we stay under the radar, we basically leave the people to decide whether they like our performances or like our albums, and that’s that, you know. We just let them figure it out for themselves.


Moe: I definitely see a trend in music today. “They” want control of their catalog. I spoke to Ziggy Marley at Bonnaroo, and he went independent now. He was saying how he wants control of his things. Slightly Stoopid, who I just spoke to, also said the same thing. So, what do you guys think about the trend of music? Is it people taking the power back from the labels? Why is the trend like that?

Thomas: I don’t know. There are some bands that are very comfortable being on a label and they enjoy that lifestyle and the perks that come along with it, and having tour support, and having a marketing team and publicists and everything like that. And than there’s other people, they just really wanna do things their own way. And I think if you really want to do your own thing bad enough, you’ll find a way to make it happen, and I think that’s what a lot of bands are doing.

Moe: So you have a new album coming out soon?

Thomas: Yes, yes. We’re finished writing. Now we gotta get into the studio the end of August, early September and then bang it, bang it, bang it, bang it!

Moe: Yeah man. If you guys could collaborate with anybody, Aaron who would you collaborate with? Anybody, doesn’t have to be dance-related, anybody. You’re biting your finger; you’re probably like, ‘I don’t know.’


Aaron: I really don’t… I really don’t know. Because, it wouldn’t be the same, you know? The thing is, I think, Thomas and I enjoy the kinship we have with our music you know.

Moe: That’s a good thing.

Aaron: To add another person in the room, or someone else in the collaboration, I don’t know if we’d function the same, I don’t know if… It breaks up the connection.

Moe: Do you think it would water it down?

Aaron: I think it would water it down. I don’t know. Certain circuits run a certain way, Thomas and I have to be alone and in silence, and if anybody’s added in there it doesn’t work the same. It doesn’t.

Moe: So when you guys are doing your writing sessions, is it just like you’re on stage? You guys just start rocking out?

Aaron: There’s a lot of silence and then a lot of sound.

Moe: A lot of rockin?

Aaron: Yeah!

Moe: You guys definitely have a real big sound for just two guys. I thought you guys were gonna blow out the PA system, did you hear it popping at one point?

Thomas: That’s good! I like that! (Laughs)

Aaron: Yeah, that’s good! (Laughs)


Moe: Yeah! I heard it, I was like, ‘Oh shit, there goes the set.’ ‘Cause you guys did blow out a set, where was it?

Thomas: Sasquatch.

Moe: That’s right!

Thomas: We blew out the entire power in the whole freaking festival.

Moe: No shit.

Thomas: Yeah… It wasn’t too fun though when it happened. We were like, ‘Oh, that’s not good.’ You can’t even talk in the microphone, nothing.

Moe: Did they get it back and going?

Thomas: Yeah, but it took a while. It was just like, at first, it’s cool, like ‘Oh, yeah they blew out the power’, but then you can’t crank it back up you know, you gotta wait. Then they get the power running again and you’ve got to start over and try to get back to where you were. But the crowd seemed to respond really well to it, so it ended up working out.

Moe: That’s cool. So you guys gonna be around for Daft Punk tonight?

Thomas: Man, we have to play another show tonight! So we gotta go sound check…

Moe: Oh, where is that by the way?

Thomas: Schubas? So we gotta go sound check right now.

Moe: Maybe I’ll show up for that one, after I figure out where the hell it is.

Thomas: If we can’t make it, we’ll try. Man, we drove all night to get here, and it’s pretty crazy, yeah.

Moe: (To Aaron) If you we’re gonna be there, you should be on stage as a dancer for Daft Punk, and suddenly you show up on stage, and people are like, ‘What the fuck is going on here!

Thomas: (Laughs)

Aaron: (Laughs) They would probably blow me up with their electronic stuff. And that’s the same thing, ya know… Daft… They would, yeah… I don’t know what would happen. (Laughs)

Moe: (Laughs) You just might have to show up for just like a couple minutes and then head out! Guys, thank you very, very much. Can’t wait to see you guys at Vegoose…

Thomas: Thank you!

Moe: And maybe we’ll see you guys tonight.

Thomas: Okay, sweet deal man!

Moe: All right guys, thanks a lot. Appreciate it.

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G. Love & Special Sauce

February 7, 2010 by  
Filed under Interviews

Philly meets Philly when The Tracks interviews G. Love backstage while in Chicago at Lollapalooza…

Philly Meets Philly – Interview with G. Love

Garrett “G. Love” Dutton and Monty “Moe” Wiradilaga
Friday, August 3, 2007
Lollapalooza – Chicago, Illinois

Moe’s Intro: When you think about Philadelphia, you think about a few things… Philly Cheesesteaks, the Eagles, the Flyers, the Phillies… And when you think about music from Philly, you think about G. Love.

Moe Train’s Tracks Podcast had the chance to sit down with G. Love backstage at Lollapalooza in Chicago, Illinois, where we talked about his music… the advent of the “hip-hop blues,” the Summer Haze Tour with Slightly Stoopid, G. Love & Special Sauce, and Ozomatli, and even a bit about Philly.

Make sure you check out the Summer Haze Tour when they hit your area! So here’s the Moe Train’s Tracks interview with G. Love at Lollapalooza…

Moe: G… What’s up, man? How ya doing? I’m Moe. Nice to meet you.

G. Love: Hey, how you doin’ man? Yeah, how ya doing man?

Moe: Philly meets Philly!

G: Woo! You from Philly?

Moe: Yeah man. Well… From the ‘burbs.

G: Right on.

Moe: Definitely been listening to your music for a long time…

G: Thanks.

Moe: It’s finally good to meet you. Got your new DVD out right? What, it was released this week right?

G: Yup, it just came out. It’s called A Year and A Night with G. Love and Special Sauce. It’s really cool. It’s definitely like an in depth look at the band on the run, you know, like a band on the grind. ‘Cause we’ve been grinding it out for like fourteen years so…

Moe: You’re always touring right?

G: Yeah. We do like 150 to 250 shows a year. And so that’s a lot of time in the bus, and as we did eight years in a van to start out, so definitely…

Moe: A bus is nice!

G: Yeah. A bus is great! I’ve definitely seen this whole country, man.

Moe: Yeah. I’m really noticing a progression in your music, but than again, recently it seems like you’re going almost back to your roots. Tell me about the beginning of G. Love and the “hip-hop blues.”

G: Okay. You know, I grew up listening to hip-hop, just like any other kid. You know, like, the Beastie Boys, and L.L. Cool J, Run DMC and you know like a whole lot of other stuff too. And I was like, grew up in Philly, which had a pretty strong hip-hop culture so… You know, we were getting into trouble and like writing graffiti, and break dancing, and skateboarding, and doing all this kinda like city stuff and, playin’ basketball. So that was like one side of me. And the other side of me was I had played acoustic guitar since I was like eight years old. I got really into the blues, the Delta Blues, when I was in high school. I was always kinda searching for something original, and when I found the Delta Blues that was like, no other kid in my high school was playing the Delta Blues. I had something that, you know, was making me stand out from the crowd, which I think is like really important you know. Now basically one night, I was a street musician, and I was just shuckin’ on the guitar, and I started rappin’ Eric B. and Rakim… Paid In Full

Moe: Paid In Full!? (Laughs) There ya go!

G.: Yeah… (Laughs) And I was like, ‘Oh that was something.’ And then I wrote my first rhyme like that week and then I was like ‘Okay, you know, I can do this,’ and I felt like, you know, it was real. It was like a real expression for me. Also at the time, the early nineties, like that was kinda when hip-hop was like at it’s peak, you know, like the late eighties, early nineties, so that was what I was listening to.

Moe: Right. Well, you play a lot of improvised chords don’t you? Lots of blues chords, not the real standard chords…

G: I basically got a lot of my chords from… I would try to learn like a Lightning Hopkins record, or Muddy Waters, or Robert Johnson, or whoever blues, you know. There wasn’t like you could Google ‘Robert Johnson Tablature,’ when I was in high school, so you had to learn that shit off the record. (Laughs) Yo, you don’t know what tuning he’s in, so got to make up these weird chords to try to find the sound that he’s getting! So, I had all these weird chords so, I’d always make these chords and then I just be like ‘Oh that’s cool.’ Then I’d make a song with them ya know.

Moe: Well, you’re saying you’re always performing… Do you think the live performance is the way to hear your music?

G: Yeah, I mean, definitely. You know, we love playin’ live and that’s what it’s always been about for us, you know, and being in front of people and…

Moe: Your albums are recorded a lot live aren’t they?

G: Yeah, well, what we do, we record in the studio live, you know. You can get something different on a record than you can get live, it’s all about what you like to, you know like, certainly there’s nothing that beats… Oh, Slightly Stoopid’s just going on…

Moe: Yep.

G: Nothing beats, but you know like, but you know there’s also nothin’… To me, I’d rather listen to a record than a live recording.

Moe: Yeah.

G: Except my new live recording which comes with my DVD!

Moe: That’s right. (Laughs) Explain ‘Everything’s a hustle.’ I heard you say that one time, you said that ‘everything is a hustle.’ That’s definitely Philly-style, the streets… You used to play a lot on South Street didn’t you?

G: Yeah.

Moe: I remember that. I think I saw you actually a couple times, yeah.

G: Really!?

Moe: Yeah… Explain ‘Everything’s a hustle.’

G: You know, I mean, it might not be the most positive outlook on life, but I mean, you know, like I think people are in inheritably selfish you know. So, it’s like, you gotta hustle for everything you get. And you gotta realize that people most likely wanna get something outta you, so, you know, you gotta make sure you don’t get hustled. And everything’s a hustle, like whether it’s the music business, or your job, to get a job… It’s a hustle to practice your guitar and get good enough to play, but you gotta hustle to get that gig, man! You know, and then once you get on stage you gotta let it be about the music, but the music business is all about the hustle you know. And then everything’s a hustle but love. When it’s real love, you know, and neither party’s trying to get up on each other. It could be love for music, or love for a person, or whatever you know what I’m sayin’.

Moe: Right… Well that seems like the mentality of independent music these days.

G: Yep.

Moe: People… They’re taking back the power from the labels and doing their own thing… More so, I guess it’s a hustle to take back that power.

G: Yep.

Moe: The question is…Pat’s, Gino’s, Jim’s, or a big ol’ slice of Lorenzo’s pizza?

G: (Laughs)

Moe: (Laughs)

G: Jim’s and a slice of Lorenzo’s pizza.

Moe: Wiz or without? Or “witout?” (Side Note: There IS a proper way to order a Philly Cheesesteak.) Excuse me…

G: Well, no… I get provolone. Provolone, onions, hot peppers on the side, baby!

Moe: (Laughs) What the hell is going on with Philly sports these days?

G: (Whistles)

Moe: Are we ever gonna win something? Is McNabb gonna stay healthy?

G: I don’t know I just…

Moe: Ryan Howard gonna do something?

G: I don’t know. We’ll see what happens. But I just moved up to Boston ’cause my kids up there and they just got Kevin Garnett and I’m like… We just got rid of A.I.! (Allen Iverson) (Laughs)

Moe: My co-host said to say to you that he ‘loves your music but Charles Barkley doesn’t beat Larry Bird.’ (Laughs)

G: (Laughs) No, but we said that Charles Barkley dissed Larry Bird.

Moe: Oh, okay.

G: It’s basically like, well Dr. J and Charles Barkley are the, I mean Dr. J and Larry Bird had the fist fight. But I think at the time Charles Barkley dissed Larry Bird somehow on microphone… I don’t know… I don’t know what he did! (Laughs)

Moe: All right, one last thing. You always give love to Philly…

G: Yeah!

Moe: How’s Philly been treating you?

G: Well, you know, Philly’s like a hard-love. Philly has hard-love. They show kinda hard-love I think, but you know that’s where I was born and raised, and that’s where my studio is, and I still live there part-time, and Philly’s a great city. Philly shows its love, man! We sold-out two Electric Factory shows last year.

Moe: There ya go!

G: And this summer we’re doing the Festival Pier (In Philadelphia). So, I gotta say, it’s still one of our best cities to play, and you know, it always means a lot to come home.

Moe: We’ll be bringing a crew to the festival pier to see you guys.

G: Ok, cool!

Moe: And good luck on your tour.

G: Thanks!

Moe: We’ll see you then…

G: Cool… All right…

Moe: Thanks a lot… Appreciate it, man.

G: Cool, man, appreciate it.

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Thoughts On The Current State Of Music Festivals

May 27, 2011 by  
Filed under Excelsior's Exclamations

Music festivals have always been the life-blood of Moe Train’s Tracks. Ever since our inception, we’ve been hitting several music fests a year all over the US. We’ve hit Las Vegas, Chicago, Tennessee, Michigan, and more. Each festival has its own culture and draw, which always causes for a unique experience.

This festival season will be light for The Tracks, as both B and The Train are extremely busy taking care of personal business. We’ll be hitting Rock the Bells in NYC in September, so if you’re going, let us know! 

Anyway, within the past five years, we’ve seen some amazing music, done many “dream” interviews with massively acclaimed artists, met thousands of great people, made new friends, and business associates. We’re certainly missing not hitting up our usual fests this year. But, the future will hold more big things for Team Excelsior.

We’re very fortunate to be able to see all aspects of a music festival; from the planning, to the set up, the crowd interactions, and everything in between. Some festivals are more media friendly, some make it all more accessible, and some… Well… They could get tips from other fests.

After all these consecutive years of attending music festivals in a media capacity, I can help but to notice that some festivals have started to rest on their laurels. Same setup, same artists year after year, etc… We really took note of this last year. There’s something to be said about consistency, yet, they can’t be the coolest thing since sliced bread if the bread has gotten stale and is starting to wilt.

The freshest feeling festival that we’ve experienced was Madison House’s first year of Rothbury. Great music, amazing atmosphere where people could readily escape the sun and heat, a lakefront club and beach(!!), and more. They took aspects of several different festivals and wrapped them into one great package. This opened our eyes to the fact that first year festivals have a great chance to blow away other established festivals in an inaugural year. Every few years, the big festivals need to think back to when they were first coming onto the scene, and create a fresh experience for their devoted attendees. There are a multitude of ways to recreate “newness” outside of the box, the promoters just need to reach deep and do so.

Maybe next year we’ll see a rejuvenation of the music festival scene. Who knows… We could be desensitized to the pure awesomeness of it all. Believe me, we love the scene and the people. Some music festivals just need a little soap and Scope to freshen up their images.

We’d love to hear your thought about the state of the festival scene and any stories that you’d like to share. Feel free to email us through the site, or add your comments on the site!

The MTT staff hopes you all have an amazing and SAFE summer festival season. Remember to drink tons of water, get rest and rock it out! (Have a few shots for us too…)

- Moe and B

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