Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cursive's in the studio again

Before Tim Kasher releases an EP and heads out on a solo tour, he's jumping into the studio again to record with Cursive.

Kasher, Matt Maginn and Ted Stevens are picking up Patrick Newbery from Conduits as well as Cully Symington from Okkervil River on drums (even though Clint Schnase is performing on drums with the band at Maha on Aug. 13).

Anyway, they're working with producer Matt Bayles over at ARC Studios right now. Bayles has produced albums by Mastodon and Minus The Bear (he was also a former member) and he was also an engineer on albums by Pearl Jam and Soundgarden. Bayles should be a pretty good guy to have behind the board.

The album is a follow-up to 2009's "Mama, I'm Swollen," which was critically acclaimed and saw the band take on an aggressive tour schedule opening for some decently big names.

No release date yet, but my guess is that the album will be released in early 2012 since Kasher's going on tour in August and September behind a new EP, "Bigamy: More Songs From The Monogamy Sessions."

As mentioned previously, Cursive will perform in Omaha on Aug. 13 at Maha Music Festival. Kasher will perform a solo show on Sept. 10 at The Waiting Room Lounge.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Rock Candy Interview: Nick Hexum of 311

311 is, from left, Chad Sexton, SA Martinez, Nick Hexum, P-Nut and Tim Mahoney.

311's celebrating the release of its 10th album, "Universal Pulse," with a trip back home.

After forming in Omaha 21 years ago to open for Fugazi, the band will play the main stage at Red Sky Music Festival on July 19, the day the album drops.

They'll also be doing a midnight record signing at Homer's Music, the same place that sold their local albums and tapes back in the '90s.

As for "Universal Pulse," it's the best thing the band has done in several years. Only eight songs long, the album's more like an EP, but it's lean and without all the filler. (Listen to "Sunset In July.")

Old fans of the band will be satisfied, especially since this record recalls older material that was more rock in its focus and less like the reggaeish stuff featured in some later efforts.

Last week, Nick Hexum called from Los Angeles to talk Omaha and the band's formation, "Universal Pulse," fans and the band's upcoming Pow Wow Festival.

Q. You’re releasing “Universal Pulse” the same day you’re in Omaha. Were you excited when you found out about that?

A. It was a great fortune that that happened. We saw that the routing was going to happen to be in Omaha and we were like, “What a perfect serendipity that that’s how it happened to be scheduled to go back to our home.”

Plus my dad’s 70th birthday, I’ll be home for. It all happens at that same (time). We’re really excited for it.

Q. Is there anywhere you feel like you have to go in Omaha?

A. I just like to walk aroudn the old neighborhood where I grew up because it just really brings me back to walking to school each day and the smells and the sights and to see how everything has changed. I really get a kick out of walking the neighborhood around Swanson Elementary.

Q. It sounds like you guys set up “Universal Pulse” for the live performances?

A. I think there’s been a general revelation within the band that the core of what we do is the live setting. That’s kind of what we prefer because live music — as far as one person performing an instrument and other people listening to it and dancing to it — that’s existed for 30- 40,000 years where recorded music has only been around for maybe 100.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Rilo Kiley is no more

As Spinner is reporting, Rilo Kiley called it quits. A few years ago.

The former Saddle Creek band hasn't done anything as a group since touring for 2007's "Under The Blacklight," though Jenny Lewis has emerged as a popular solo artist and has been doing great things with boyfriend Johnathan Rice as Jenny And Johnny.

But as RK guitarist Blake Sennett told Spinner, the band hasn't been on hiatus. They're broken up.

"I just felt like there was a lot of deception, disloyalty, greed and things I don't really want to submit myself to," Sennett said. "I had related that frustration to music but I just thought, 'I'm not going to put myself in that position again,' so I said, 'F--- that, I can't do this anymore.'"

It's not terribly surprising to me especially after what Sennett told Consequence Of Sound back in April.

"I would say that if Rilo Kiley were ... Hmmm ... A human being ... Hmmm ... He's probably laying on his back in a morgue with a tag on his toe," he said.

Anyway, I don't think anyone in the band probably has too many complaints. Lewis has shown little desire in interviews with myself and others with her solo career going strong. Sennett's also been busy with his other band, The Elected.

Jason Boesel has been doing all kinds of stuff including a lot of Bright Eyes work on albums and tours as well as releasing his own solo album on Team Love last year. Oh yeah, and supposedly dating Kirsten Dunst.

Pierre De Reeder also has a solo album and has been releasing friend's work (Nik Freitas, Jake Bellows and others) through his Little Record Company.

Anyway, the biggest disappointment is that these four talented folks won't be working together any more. It also sucks that they came as far as releasing an album on a major label before quitting.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Maha gets a new location

Maha Music Festival, coming on Aug. 13, has chosen a new spot to set up shop: Stinson Park at Aksarben Village.

It's a pretty sweet spot and its location in the middle of town (as well as within walking distance of bars/restaurants, etc.) will be pretty nice.

I think it will also give Maha more of a rock festival feel since it will be on a big, grassy location. All that parking won't hurt either.

Not much else will change for the festival. Guided By Voices, Cursive, Matisyahu, J. Mascis, The Reverend Horton Heat and Envy Corps will still headline.

The local lineup is also (mostly) set: Somasphere, Noah's Ark Was A Spaceship, The So-So Sailors and The Machete Archive. One more band will be chosen by voting at this weekend's OEAA Summer Showcase in Benson.

Tickets already purchased are, of course, good for the new venue. More details about setup, etc. are forthcoming.

Friday, July 1, 2011

311 doing home-town signing on "Universal Pulse" release day

"Universal Pulse"
311 will just happen to be in its hometown of Omaha on July 19, the release day of the band's new album, "Universal Pulse."

And to celebrate, Homer's will host a midnight sale on July 18 at its Old Market location.

The new album will be available for $9.99 (CD) and $16.99 (LP) and the band will be there to meet fans and sign autographs.

I spoke with Nick Hexum yesterday about the new album as well as the signing.

"We saw that the routing was gonna be in Omaha and what a perfect serendipity that it happened to be scheduled to go back to our home," he said. "We have never done that midnight in-store signing kind of thing. It's gonna be kind of cool to make a special event out of it."

The evening of July 19 will have the band headlining at Red Sky Music Festival.

When Hexum's home, he said, he likes to walk around his old neighborhood.

"I like remembering walking to school each day and the smells and sights and to see how things have changed," he said.

We'll have more from Hexum on 311 in our Red Sky preview coverage.

Listen to the new single, "Sunset In July," below.