Tag Archives: Touch and Go Records

Ep. #120: Steve Albini

Steve Albini is a world-renowned recording engineer and the owner and one operator of the stellar Electrical Audio recording facility in Chicago, Illinois. He is also one of three singers and one of one electric guitarists in Shellac, one of the most significant and influential underground rock bands of the past 25 years. On September 16, Touch and Go Records will release Dude Incredible, the fifth official album by Shellac. Here, Steve and I chat about a cool Chicago July and the Polar Vortex revival, his recent interview with High Times who care a lot about drugs, how smoking weed is a young man’s game, how certain things should be experienced by all of us who wish to relate to everyone else, the last time he tripped balls, rolling fatties, Kevin Goldstein and getting the royal treatment at a recent White Sox/Astros game in Chicago, meeting Steve Sparks and talking about knuckleballers, living in Houston, being on-field for batting practice, the Cubs are really embarrassing statistically and otherwise, Wrigley Field is cool but Sox games are more fun, the Steve Bartman incident, baseball and curses, National League versus American League baseball, when he first fell in love with baseball as a kid, the Cincinnati Reds in the 1970s, why baseball might be the most appealing, compelling, and distinctive major team sport, pulling the goalie, participating in events like the World Series of Poker, welcome back Gabe Kaplan, why poker can be so engaging, oddly complex games like baduci, winning, tells in poker versus the dramatic arts, interpreting behaviour, reverse psychology, and pantomime, the honesty of Jamie Gold, streakiness, the significance of the Ramones, laughing at the Clash, the Jesus Lizard’s BOOK, David Yow and cats that demand respect, Gary the cat, making At Action Park 20 years ago, taking time with Shellac, the Shellac albums don’t need to be remastered, why Shellac haven’t released singles in a while, contemplating a Shellac singles compilation album, a one word encapsulation of every song on Dude Incredible with a slight elaboration on that one word, the Evens, his upcoming Pop Montreal speaking engagement, recording symposium with Howard Bilerman, and a cooking exhibition, making a record in Winnipeg this fall, and that’s the end of radio/podcasting.

Related links: touchandgorecords.com electricalaudio.com vishkhanna.com

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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

slint-spiderland

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Ep. #91: The Jesus Lizard Week with Duane Denison

The Jesus Lizard Week celebrating the release of Akashic Books’ BOOK continues with graceful, eclectic, and powerful guitarist Duane Denison. Here, Duane and I chat about where BOOK came from and why he hoped they could do better than an average rock band bio, how he’d written a lot about the band’s history already when the Jesus Lizard’s catalogue was reissued in 2009 and wanted to ensure he avoided repeating himself, how Duane’s role in creating the book eventually declined due to his touring schedule with Tomahawk, how I’m the only one who seems even vaguely interested in the odd chronological structure of the book, whether he discovered anything about his bandmates via BOOK, how David Yow and Mac McNeilly never married each other, his interest in informing and possibly educating other musicians and talking about the work, how the Jesus Lizard’s audience was very smart but rowdy as hell, the fact that indie or underground music now is more pop-oriented and metal fans are gravitating towards the Jesus Lizard, the backlash after the band left Touch and Go Records for Capitol Records, how the band fought for everything it had and was legitimate, the laughable amount of money the band received and were vilified as sell-outs for, why Steve Albini is given moral high ground when it comes to underground integrity even though he worked with major labels on a regular basis, how Duane is sick of talking about certain things and would like to get going actually, what a ‘re-enactment’ tour really is, what he sees as the future of the Jesus Lizard, the fact that I don’t know of a good album by Magazine, and then it’s all over.

Related links: akashicbooks.com/catalog/the-jesus-lizard-book/ vishkhanna.com

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