Tag Archives: Steve Albini

Ep. #224: Ian MacKaye & Steve Albini (Part II)

Ian MacKaye is known for being in bands like Minor Threat, Embrace, Fugazi, and the Evens and he co-founded the Washington D.C. based label, Dischord Records. Steve Albini has sung and played guitar in bands like Big Black and Shellac of North America and he owns and operates the renowned recording facility, Electrical Audio, in Chicago, Illinois. In this second of a two-part moderated conversation between Ian and Steve, we discuss the Independent Rock Music Label Festivals organized by Heather Whinna in Chicago that featured Fugazi, Shellac, the Make-Up, Blonde Redhead, and the Ex, Jay Ryan, the Rainbow Roller Rink and the Congress Theatre, confidence versus leadership, Ian on Steve’s interviews, how disempowered people feel, Ian doesn’t talk shit about people like Marc Ribot, exemplars, why Steve might call someone out on a position or argument, critiquing your own community, relating to “political correctness” today, the Reagan Revolution and ‘to care is selfish,’ being decent toward other people, biases and presumptions, the Fugazi song “And the Same,” which includes the lyric, “Yes, I know this is politically correct…,” derailing progression, charity was selfish and greed was good, growing up in D.C. without encountering many Republicans, Democrats can’t go radically left, why musicians play music, being attacked by others, Sylvester Stallone, the Urban Outfitters/Minor Threat thing and aquarium warfare, online pile-ons and Henry Rollins and Robin Williams, Steve defends Henry, internet distractions, making sense of the age of outrage, access and speed, super communication and one-way communication and real-life communication, anonymity, the Butthole Surfers, metrics, I can’t even, Steve belongs on twitter, the way Ian demonstrated how to be a decent, thinking person, the punk rock lawyer, creeping professionalism, custodial and active responsibilities, Dischord Records and Electrical Audio, the music scene in Chicago, it’s nice to be right, work and love, people don’t own their own time, the big payback, “The People’s Microphone,” and that was that phone call.

Related links: dischord.com electricalaudio.com vishkhanna.com

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Ep. #223: Ian MacKaye & Steve Albini (Part I)

Ian MacKaye was once in bands like Minor Threat and Embrace and is currently in the bands Fugazi and the Evens. He also co-founded and continues to oversee the excellent label Dischord Records, which is based in his hometown of Washington D.C. Steve Albini has been in bands like Big Black and Rapeman and is currently in the vital and wondrous rock trio, Shellac of North America. He’s a very well-respected recording engineer who owns and operates the Electrical Audio facility in the city of Chicago, Illinois, where he has lived for a good long time. In this first of a two-part moderated conversation between Ian and Steve, we discuss how they first met via either the late John Loder or Corey Rusk, Steve’s harshly written published review of the Rites of Spring record, Big Black playing D.C., machines and heartbeats, the formalization of punk, the influence of Minor Threat, punk violence, the Butthole Surfers, one-upmanship, explaining Pailhead and how Ian came to work with Al Jourgensen, the significance of John Loder, his company Southern Records, and its role in distributing underground music, Ministry, Revolting Cocks, Wax Trax! Records, Strike Under, punk to electronic music, Paul “Ion” Barker, the Blackouts, Bill Rieflin, drumming, Chicago’s drug scene, Minor Threat’s ferocity and execution, the time Pailhead employed an Ian MacKaye impersonator at shows, Adrian Sherwood almost working with Big Black, the story behind the In on the Kill Taker sessions, staying in London and missing John Loder, why Fugazi recorded in Chicago, how the greatest session ever yielded the saddest demo tapes, Fugazi let its guard down, Steve’s magical rapport with bands, Fugazi goes hard, how Steve bonded with Fugazi during their session together, stifling your fandom as an engineer, treating people you record with respect and trusting their vision, Ian teaches Steve how to double vocals, Ian’s phrasing, single vocals are just fine, trumpets, Ian as a prolific producer, the first Teen Idles recording session with a mean engineer, how Terrie from the Ex obtained his first guitar, Skip Groff and Don Zientara, Inner Ear Studio, Round Raoul Records, resisting technological trends when running a studio, how the In on the Kill Taker sessions with Steve ended up circulating publicly, Fugazi tried to bury it, how records leak, the song “Great Cop,” and that was the end of part one.

Related links: dischord.com electricalaudio.com vishkhanna.com

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Ep. #197: Nels Cline

Nels Cline is an American multi-instrumentalist and one of the world’s most renowned and inventive guitar players. Best known these days as a member of the popular Chicago band Wilco, Cline has collaborated with hundreds of musicians, most often within the realm of jazz or improvised music, but also touching upon almost every music genre human beings currently comprehend. Near the beginning of this century, Cline started a new free jazz ensemble called the Nels Cline Singers, featuring drummer Scott Amendola, bassist Trevor Dunn, and percussionist Cyro Baptista, and to date, they’ve released six albums, including 2014’s Macroscope. The Nels Cline Singers are playing at Guelph, Ontario’s Hillside Festival during the weekend of July 24 and here, Nels and I discuss being back in New York City after playing Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival, MassMoCA and the state of Massachusetts, Chicago music festivals, 318 Canadian music festivals, catching up to Europe, music and social skills and community building, punishment, curating Solid Sound, Jeff Tweedy and Tony Margherita, the new Solid Sound documentary Every Other Summer, when the Nels Cline Singers get together to play, the expanded NCS, Marc Ribot’s open letter to Steve Albini about copyrighting art, the vague notion of making the latest NCS album Macroscope, the 1970s and high school, the Weather Report, Herbie Hancock, MIles Davis, Yuka Honda and Cibo Matto’s new record Hotel Valentine, playing in Cibo Matto, being a dad and not knowing or being able to do anything, proteck ya neck, a terrible nerve pinch, being there when ‘there’ is in Wilco, more people are coming out to see Nels play outside of Wilco these days, the Grand Canyon Suite by Ferde Grofé, hearing classical Indian music in grade 10, hearing Jimi, an entire side of Ravi Shankar goes a long way, visiting India, touring modern, his guitar style or lack thereof, classical Indian sitar elements within his playing, various influences, drones, rising music stars and great younger guitarists, buying new CDs, Julian Lage, the forthcoming double-album of orchestrated ballads called Lovers that Nels has been working on for two decades, at least one of these ballads is by Sonic Youth, it should be out by January, working with John Zorn, new Singers stuff, scoring a new documentary about veteran suicide with Yuka, trying to guess how many records Nels has appeared on, new Wilco recordings and their state of completion, the Mack Avenue record label, the song “Respira,” and so the raga is over.

Related links: nelscline.com vishkhanna.com

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