Getting Quichey With Brett Rosenberg June 25 2015, 0 Comments
His own website likens Quichenight to 'lo-fi, high-brow easy-listening music for nerds'. Personally I've found it takes me back to the formative years of my childhood- the days of hearing Todd Rundgren's 'hello it's me' coming from my dad's orange Datsun pick up. The days of hearing the theme to 'Welcome Back Kotter' reruns emitting from the t.v. droning on in the background. Popping a Quichenight cassette into your walkman and taking it in, weird things come to mind... perhaps visions of sitting on a Malibu beach circa 1980 and all of a sudden Jack Tripper goes running by, or maybe you're in a vintage kitchen watching one of those clocks with the cat whose tail and eyes that move from side to side. Or maybe you're transported to a different time and space altogether. Who knows. Regardless, I've admired this guys work in PUJOL so much, I thought some of you other Pujol-Pals out there might enjoy learning a bit more about the man behind the guitar- Mr. Brett Rosenberg.
Hey Brett! Thanks so much for agreeing to this Q&A~
Please give us a brief introduction to yourself… Background? Bands you play in? When did you start playing music?
I took organ lessons in 1st grade, but was such a bad sight-reader that my parents and I concluded I wasn't cut out for it. I kept fooling around with it, though. In 3rd grade, I improvised a 90-minute electric chord organ and vocal record into a tape recorder. I still have the tape. It sounds very eastern. Side 2 is comedy. Eventually I became a teenager and of course played guitar and pretended to like heavy metal and learned the history of punk rock, liked some 90s indie rock, started real bands that played shows, etc. Via my friends/heroes The Figgs, I played guitar for Graham Parker on a couple of tours. In 2007, I moved to Nashville for some reason and immediately took 5000 craigslist music gigs and sort of existed in that perpetual local-shows-with a-bunch-of-total-strangers universe. It warped me. It was mostly posi. Now I play in PUJOL with Daniel and funnel my own creative output into Quichenight recordings.
Many folks reading this will be familiar with you from PUJOL… How did you hook up Daniel?
I was living in Battle Tapes, the recording studio where Daniel recorded Nasty, Brutish, and Short and United States of Being. I remember him finishing Angel Baby there, too. Standing in the kitchen, I could hear "SPREAD YOUR WAAAANGS." Very esoteric, catchy, raw, goofy, earnest, distinctly Middle Tennessee rock music. I gave him a Quichenight tape, something I'd started recording in the basement recreationally while people were out of town. He listened to it a lot on tour, and eventually asked me to play guitar.
You guys have been all over the country in the past year or so. What are some of your favorite touring memories to date?
My favorite things about traveling are the places in between places. I like the desert. The Grand Canyon is obviously mind-blowing, but so is the view from a Wal-Mart in Montana. I like hotel showers and deserted lobbies at 4am. Nothing sticks out. It was one big highlight for me. Actually, I really like Deadwood, SD and its depressing, creepy casinos that may have been hospitals at some point.
Your (primarily) solo effort, Quichenight, has been active and playing around Nashville for a few years now. How did that project come about? What’s behind the name?
Quichenight travels through time because time is imaginary and Quichenight has an imagination, as do we all. So maybe we're in the '60s some nights, but we're still us and we still remember. Some bands do a great job of time traveling but a bad job of remembering how they got there or what they were thinking. I mention those bands because I feel like the tastes and process are at times identical. Anyway, we just go back to get the music. We live and write and assemble here, at home.
Quichenight is full of things from other locations, but it stays home. Quichenight admits staying home is a choice, which is why Quichenight feels so good when you stay home. http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quichenotte
With four Quichenight album releases under your belt- all available via limited edition cassette- what was your primary decision behind selecting that medium?
It's cheap, but not totally arbitrary beyond that. We recorded all those albums on 4-track cassette. I listen to tapes. Some of my best times listening to music were listening to a tape. The hardest part is keeping the players working, but there are always more to buy. Trick is to keep 3 or 4 around at all times so if one breaks, you're not stuck with just mp3s, CDs, and vinyl. It's certainly choosing your audience, not the other way around. That said, I'm doing vinyl soon because it is a more proper, reliable, permanent format. A couple people have approached me, but it would be 2017 at the latest. I've been making tapes since I was 4. It's how I think about recorded music.
What is your preferred equipment set up?
I'll play anything, even the new Marshall JCM 50000 with 50,000 knobs and the Snapple Bluetooth attenuator.
Official Five WaxO's ‘Gotta Know’ Questions?
1) First vinyl memory?
Wings, London Town, watching my mom "fix a skip" at the beginning of "Cuff Link." 1984. You can do this at home by applying downward pressure to the needle, pushing it horizontally in the opposite direction the scratch is taking it.
2) What is an album you regularly spin for your own enjoyment?
Gato Barbieri, Chapter One: Latin America
3) What was the last album you added to your collection?
Rupert Holmes, Partners in Crime
4) What was your favorite album or new artist from last year?
I don't listen to enough new music to answer that question adequately and also time isn't real.
5) What artists are you looking forward to hearing more of this coming year?
An early stream of Quichenight's NEW ALBUM 'The Minor Sea' is available at The Tusk. Due out June 30th via Bartertown Co-Op, it's sure to provide some super solid sounds for those sultry summer nights.
With 'Kludge' Pujol Demostrates That Mixing Deep Thoughts with Rock & Roll Can be 'A Crock That Works' May 06 2014, 0 Comments
Many of you know what a huge fan I am of Pujol. He’s an artist who is physically based in Nashville, although his thoughts and ideas seem to span the universe- a modern day thinking man’s rocker if you will.
I began looking into (and collecting) his previous works, which were fairly extensive much to my surprise. He sings about real life problems I, and I think so many Americans-under-the-age-of-40 can probably relate to given the current state of our country/ economy/ environment/ etc., but it’s all packaged in these upbeat, punky, beach boys-esque tunes that just JAM so hard it’s easy to overlook the heavier messages often imparted. But that’s what I appreciate most about him- he’ll delve into these dark, more cosmic topics in such an honest and endearing way, you just can’t not love him.
‘United States of Being’ (one of the BEST albums of the past decade just so you know) hit me personally at a time in my life when I was on the heels of working through some issues similar to things he was exploring in his music. Lines like ‘we saw the same thing right at the same time too’ and ‘I must be consistent with what I believe in or I live a lie’ just really struck me, and stuck with me, and I’ve been a Pujol Proponent ever since.
Needless to say, I’ve been eagerly anticipating ‘Kludge’, his sophomore follow up LP for some time now. Slated to be officially released May 20 th, all pre-orders come with an early download and I awoke to find my digital download from Saddle Creek this morning. Was fortunately able to load it up into my phone and have since been immersing myself in it throughout my work day.
His first single from the album ‘Pitch Black’ is reportedly about ‘someone so alienated by contemporary language and communication he/she surveys old matinee movies on their lunch break and cries.’ Well that person might be crying but I’m rocking out- super catchy, standard Pujol wit. Lines ‘because this economic language to talk about God makes me wanna cram my head in a hole’ and ‘because I'm running out of reasons to trick myself into never ever building a home’ are true standouts and really exemplify the things I love hearing Pujol communicate about.
‘Circles’, his Record Store Day release, available on lizard-green vinyl showcases what Pujol and his boys do best- intense, frenetic shredding accompanied by considered, thoughtful observations of real life shit.
Other initial standouts to me are~
‘Judas Booth’ which starts out (in a musical manner reminiscent of Kelley Stoltz to me) with the sadly awesome admition of ‘I’m getting back into the swing of things, I had a real bad year. I’ve been having trouble connecting with that funny feeling I might call God. But I think I did a real good job of convincing myself not to blow my brains out against the wall.’ I mean, seriously, who can’t relate to that?
'Manufactured Crisis Control', a pit-inducing tune about the battles one can wage within oneself. 'I'm in a fist fight! a fist fight!'
The lovely and super sweet ode to his gal Friday and their bunnies, ‘Spooky Scary'. It might be written about another couple, but I've totally had similar thoughts about my own man and our little zoo. And ultimately, my personal goal is to make enough money ('I'm made of money!') to afford to stay home (or not) and enjoy my time on this earth so can totally relate to 'I just want to make enough bread to get to lay in bed'.
Also 'Youniverse', another prime example of Pujol's wonderfully weird way of blending punk, beach rock, love and universal leanings. 'I want to spend some of my time with you because I know I'm going to die and that you will die too'.
So go. Get your Kludge on. And be sure to catch Daniel and his boys on one of their upcoming tour dates:
May 22 Golden Tea House Philadelphia, PA
May 23 Death By Audio Brooklyn, NY
May 24 Mercury Lounge New York, NY
May 25 Happy Dog Cleveland, OH
May 26 PJ'S LAGERHOUSE Detroit, MI
May 27 Elastic Chicago, IL
May 28 MOTR w/ Swearin' Cincinnati, OH
May 29 The Pyramid Scheme Grand Rapids, MI
May 30 MAJESTIC THEATER Madison, WI
May 31 7th St Entry Minneapolis, MN
Jun 03 Chop Suey Seattle, WA
Jun 04 Star Theater Portland, OR
Jun 06 Bottom Of The Hill San Francisco, CA
Jun 07 The Echo Los Angeles, CA
Jun 08 Pub Rock Scottsdale, AZ
Jun 10 Larimer Lounge Denver, CO (YAY!)
Jun 11 BOTTLENECK Lawrence, KS
Jun 12 The Demo St Louis, MO
Jun 13 Zanzabar Louisville, KY
Jul 17 Exit/In Nashville, TN
SXSW 101- A Newbies Guide to SXSW February 11 2014, 0 Comments
A month from now I will be attending one of my most favorite festivals on earth, South by Southwest.
The anticipation generally sets in about the time I get on the plane to leave the previous years film & music festival based in Austin, TX, so you could say 'it's been a long time coming'. Last year's festival saw over 20,000 attendees and over 2,000 musical showcases. Although it's really too early to know exactly what to expect from this years festival, three rounds of musician (all I really care about) related announcements have already been released.
I've started to piece together my 'Must See' list and here's how it's shaping up so far...
Pujol!, Blondie, Gary Numan, The Strypes, BP Fallon & The Bandits, The Ghost Wolves, Low Cut Connie, Diarrhea Planet, Black Lips, Black Milk, Those Darlins, Sturgill Simpson, Shakey Graves, Kelly Stoltz, Moon Taxi, Luke Winslow King, Natural Child, Deap Valley, and Warm Soda.
Also the interview with Neil Young.
Wow. It's going to be amazing.
And that's just the first day!
So, how do you train for an event of this magnitude you might be asking yourself.
1) Lots of walking. Be prepared for a ton of foot work trekking across town unless you are OK with shelling out beau coup bucks to the pedi cab drivers. Also, if you are staying at a hotel in an outlying area, it's advantageous to purchase a Shuttle pass. Available in single, five and nine-day increments, it's well worth the investment and, in my opinion, is way better than having a rental car and getting a cab is next to impossible. So why try?
2) Study a map of the central downtown area where the festival occurs, especially if you haven't been there before.
Most events are centered between the Convention Center and 6th Avenue, west of I-35. However, in recent years, showcases have begun expanding further east of I-35 and south of the river (primarily on South Congress Avenue). Of course a smartphone is super-handy (and pretty essential) to have whilst down there- not only for checking last minute schedule updates, but for locating yourself and the venues you are trying to find. Showcases are added and schedules are changing until the fat lady is singing and if you're offline, you're probably missing out.
3) If you've purchased an official SXSW badge, create your SXSW social account and start flagging events you're interested in. Things move quickly while you're down there and it's helpful to have several options in mind in case you aren't where you thought you'd be when the time arrives. Also be sure to register online for ticket lotteries to the most exclusive showcases. Winners are generally announced 24 hours prior to events and both my husband & I have been fortunate to win in the past.
4) Register with DO512, and keep up with a ton of Official and Unofficial SXSW events. Unofficial SXSW is almost as extensive as the festival itself, and if you can't afford an official badge there's always music to be found. Often a cover charge and a wait in line can get you into some exclusive showcases (though certainly not all). Waterloo Records is a great place to catch live music and showcases free of charge (plus, cool vinyl, can't beat that!) They often times host autograph signings during the festival, too.
5) We've been to Austin a few times now and have a few favorite restaurants, but I always check restaurant guides (Diners, Drive In's and Dives is one of my fave's) to have an idea of good, accessible and relatively inexpensive places to try while we're there. I also pack snacks to have in our back pack and our hotel room because you can't be guaranteed a Taco Bell at three in the morning.
6) If you get completely burnt out and need to escape the fest for a bit, Austin is a super cool town with lots of fun things to do and see. Home to the State Capitol building, the University of Texas, a bridge full of bats and an abundance of art and culture, there's something for everyone.
7) Know that the Convention Center has restrooms open to the public (non-badge holders this means you).
8) If you're thinking about saving some airfare or beating the crowd by skipping town on Saturday- FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DON'T DO IT! Some of the best things happen on the climactic Saturday nights. It may seem like a good idea at the time, but you'll regret it later.
9) Last but not least, as best you can, prepare to have your mind blown. If there's one thing I know it's that no SX is the same and there's no telling what could happen any given year.