Tag Archives: the For Carnation

Ep. #99: Brian McMahan of Slint

Brian McMahan is a singer and guitarist from Louisville, Kentucky who has played with Squirrel Bait, Palace Brothers, the For Carnation, and perhaps most notably in Slint. This past April, Touch and Go Records reissued Slint’s second album, the masterful 1991 release, “Spiderland.” The new limited edition is a massive box set and includes: a lovely photo book with a foreword by Will Oldham; a compelling documentary by Lance Bangs called Breadcrumb Trail; a remastered edition of the record overseen by Bob Weston; and bonus material. Some people who ordered it received a light blue replica t-shirt. While Slint broke up before “Spiderland” was released, their legend grew as the album developed a life of its own. The band has reconvened to play select live shows in recent years and are touring a little bit, as we speak. Here, Brian and I discuss touring and Cleveland, how a band can get free admission into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, how often band members hang out outside of working together in Slint, who lives in Louisville and Slint’s long-term familial bond, playing old songs and peeling back time, what Slint tells us about the Louisville of 25 years ago, the impact the band has had on music made by others, Brian’s unique approach to narrative songwriting and vocalizing as a singer and the album format, Hank Williams and simplicity, the “Spiderland” box and where the ideas for it came from and whom it’s meant to satisfy, Bob Weston’s nuanced remaster, Brian’s take on revealing so much about the band to Lance Bangs for his film Breadcrumb Trail, whether the film actually captures the personalities in the band, the significance of Slint, the open-ended existence of the band in its current form, not creating new things and dealing with one’s own legacy, what Brian does outside of Slint, 3138, 1217, the song “don, aman” and then things took their natural course.

Related links: slintmusic.com vishkhanna.com


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Ep. #95: São Paulo Underground

São Paulo Underground is a cultural and stylistic collision between electronica, tropicalia, avant garde jazz, and punk, featuring Chicago Underground Duo’s Rob Mazurek on cornet, harmonium and various effects, and São Paulo’s Guilherme Granado on keyboards, synths, sampler and vocals, and Mauricio Takara on percussion, cavaquinho and electronics. All three men were in town last September for the 2013 Guelph Jazz Festival and we had a chat at a restaurant in Guelph called Ox, where we pondered their latest and fourth album, Beija Flors Velho E Sujo. Wavelength Toronto presents Chicago Underground Duo at the Garrison on Thursday May 1 so it seemed like the right time to dig into the interview archives and present this spirited conversation in which São Paulo Underground and I discuss vocal harmonies on “G-Ball’s Fantasia,” why the band keeps returning to Guelph for the Guelph Jazz Festival, G-Ball’s cheeseburger odyssey and Canadian generosity, their new band and the ol’ dirty hummingbird, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Sun Ra, and The Wizard of Oz, making an album with Greg “the Shark” Norman at Electrical Audio in Chicago, why SPU get along so well and the wisdom of Pharoah Sanders, G-Ball’s birthday, the band’s 10th anniversary, how São Paulo Underground came together and its connection to the Chicago Underground Duo, the experimental and punk music scenes in São Paulo, the tremendous impact Fugazi had on musicians in Brazil after they played a show there, Mauricio’s collaborations with Fugazi’s Joe Lally and Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo, Kenny from Wellington Brewery offers SPU an SPA, the story of Rob Mazurek, where the Exploding Star Orchestra came from, learning from elder musicians, why Chicago’s music history is out of hand and how the culture there impacted Rob’s wild aesthetic, Chicago bands like Tortoise, Sea and Cake, U.S. Maple, the For Carnation, Gastr del Sol, and the Smashing Pumpkins, bringing the ruckus, Rob’s involvement within numerous musical styles, how punk and jazz make sense together and galvanize people, punk rock free samba yoga, what’s coming up next for São Paulo Underground and Chicago Underground Duo and Rob’s love life, mental preparation before working with legends, beautiful vocal harmonies, the song “Ol’ Dirty Hummingbird” and a nice fade out.


Related links: cuneiformrecords.com/bandshtml/saopaulo.html vishkhanna.com

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