August 10, 2008

Old 97's come to Raleigh

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Old 97's rock Raleigh Downtown Live

I finally got to see one of my all-time favorite bands recently. I became an Old 97's fan after hearing one of their tunes playing on the stereo at Tir Na Nog after a Big Mama E show. Along with a tune by Matthew Sweet, I jotted some lyrics on the back of my setlist, and went to Google to look up who did the song. Turns out the tune was Singular Girl, which at the time was only available used, as it came on a second CD in a bonus version of Satellite Rides which had been release two years before. It took a couple of weeks to find a copy, buy it, and wait for it to be delivered, but from the Friday night that CD showed up, I have been totally in love with this band.

So I was thrilled, of course, to find out they were coming to Raleigh for one show of the 2008 Downtown Live series. The Connells were one of the opening acts (those of you who know me well know of the two 15 minutes of fame episodes the Connells have provided me)...so it was a totally rocking night. Both bands put on great shows, I ended up one row back from the front of the stage, and got some pretty good pics (note to Downtown Live staff....please let me bring my good camera. I had to make do with my cheap point-and-shoot, and the images are less than optimal).

I'll be posting at least one video of both bands eventually, but for now, here are the best images of the Old 97's set.

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Ken Bethea

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Murray Hammond

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Philip Peeples

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Rhett Miller

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Rhett and Murray having a good time

One last comment...what's up with Rhett's shirt??? Does he have to show up sporting a shirt with my soon-to-be-ex-wife's last name on it? WTF....sometimes you have to wonder if somebody is sending signs. And if they are, what the hell do they mean???

Posted by Paul Cooper at 05:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 23, 2005

New CD from The New Pornographers

The New Pornographers - Twin Cinema


This week I awoke to good news: The New Pornographers' new CD, Twin Cinema is due in late August. NPR had an "article" on finding a great summer anthem, and they played a tune off this CD. I wasn't awake enough to determine if I liked the song, but the mere news of a new CD from this band was enough to put me in a 24-hour happy place.

I found The New Pornographers during one of my "5 Degrees of Separation" searches on Amazon. One of Amazon's great features is the "People who bought this also bought" links. So periodically, I'll look up a favorite CD on Amazon, go to the "People who bought this also bought" section, and follow the links. Once I find a couple of bands that have reviews that indicate that I might like the band, I fire up my favorite peer-to-peer program (Limewire) and download several tunes. I burn them to a CD, listen to them for a week or so in my car and at work, and if I like the tunes, I buy the CD (note to the RIAA: I have about 20 songs that I've downloaded "illegally" [I don't own the corresponding CD]. I have bought probably 50 CDs by first "illegally" downloading some music, listening to it, and going out and buying the CD....so, morons, you're shooting yourself in the foot by banning the peer-to-peer networks). During this particular search, I found The New Pornographers and Fountains of Wayne directly off links from my favorite CD of all time: They Might Be Giants' John Henry.

The New Pornographers hail from Vancouver, Canada. I won't try to describe them, other than to say that they are a quirky alt-pop band and I really like them. They have two tunes from the new CD available for download: Use It and the title song Twin Cinema. Download these two songs, give them a listen, and then run out and buy the CD!

And, just in case you really liked those two songs above and you're interested, The New Pornographers are scheduled to come to the Triangle in mid-October: they are playing at the Cats Cradle on October 16! I'm pretty darn excited!

Editorial Rant:
I've pretty much given up on local radio. My last bastion of hope, 96Rock, abandoned their morning show and started running John Boy and Billy, yet-another-crappy-syndicated-morning-show, last last summer. The old 96Rock morning DJs weren't great, but at least they played music I occasionally liked, and didn't spend overt amounts of time doing stupid stunts or pontificating. They told me Cake had a new CD coming, they told me that they were sponsoring Everclear playing a free show on Moore Square....this was information that made waking up a much more positive experience. Once John Boy and Billy took over, I heard morons babbling incessantly, literally NO MUSIC; and so I gave up listening to 96Rock. I tried RDU, but their morning show sucked too. And there was NO WAY I would ever listen to Bob "Dumbass" Dumas on G105. And so, since I was doomed to listen to "talk radio" in the morning, I tuned to WUNC and NPR. At least I could here intelligent conversation, and the occasional interesting article.

Posted by Paul Cooper at 02:19 PM | Comments (0)

July 05, 2005

Big Mama E back in the studio


The band has started work on some new recordings. We're recording at Cavern Studio, which technically is Olly's basement, but Cavern Studio is a much better sounding name. So far, we've got basic rhythm tracks done on four songs, despite my best efforts to screw things up. I managed to delete the whole middle of "The Same" by forgetting to disarm all the tracks except Olly's acoustic while fixing some sections of his acoustic track. Fortunately, we'd only done the drum and acoustic tracks, so they got over it pretty quickly..... god forbid I do it after we've finished the song.

It's been a long time since I've been in the studio. As the guy on the board, there is a hella lot to remember. Arm this track, disarm those tracks, remember to turn the control room off in the studio headphones while the guys are playing.... and to make it all worse, on some tracks we're recording an instrument in one track but playing back a different instrument on that same track. It still hasn't become automatic..... glad the guys are being patient with me.

It is, however, an honor to hang with these guys. To say that they rock is to understate the obvious. But it's more than that. I've worked with A LOT of talented musicians, but I've never been around a group of talented people who could set their egos aside like these guys can. They have fun together, and it makes the creative process of building recordings all that much more satisfying.

So stay tuned. More great Big Mama E & The Cool tunes are on the way!

Posted by Paul Cooper at 08:00 AM | Comments (0)

May 04, 2005

Image upload test


This is a pic I took of Mark Martin's "Viagra Mobile" parked inside Exploris. Big Mama E played at the opening of the IMAX NASCAR film, and this car was there too.


Posted by Paul Cooper at 03:28 PM | Comments (0)

September 17, 2004

RIP Johnny Ramone

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In the summer of 1980, I had just graduated from college the previous summer, and during that last semester at Sewanee, I had begun to embrace the whole punk movement, and had begun to move away from liking the coliseum-rock that I had followed through most of the '70s. But I still did not like the Ramones.....

But in late summer that year, the Ramones played at the old Pier in the Cameron Village Subway, with Raleigh's Cigaretz opening. I had fallen in serious love with the Cigaretz. They were brash, obnoxious, loud, and they totally rocked. So, I was there, the Cigaretz back in Raleigh after leaving to become rock stars in NYC, and the Ramones.

And suddenly, I saw the light. The raw energy of the crowd, the wall that was the Ramones SOUND...I was totally blown away. Yes, the songs were simple, yes, the lyrics were stupid. But there was something else there that transcended all of that, and made them something so much more than just another stupid punk band. I eventually saw Rock n Roll High School, and thought it was the coolest movie ever. I still do.....

And now three of them are dead. Man, there are certain things that make you feel really old, and Joey, Johnny, and Dee Dee all being dead really makes my bones ache.

RIP Johnny. You were something special

Posted by Paul Cooper at 12:17 AM | Comments (0)

September 07, 2004

Everclear video (finally!!!)


So, I discovered a new option on the Adobe Premiere Export menu, the "Export to web" option, that uses Terran Media Cleaner 5 EZ to create .wmv or .rm files for the web. So, after many trials and tribulations, here is Everclear's Santa Monica. Hopefully, it will play awesomely on whatever your media player is. Looks ok, sounds like crap, but what do you want from the cheap microphone in my Optura.

BTW, the image above is a single frame from the video.

Posted by Paul Cooper at 12:01 AM | Comments (0)

August 29, 2004

Everclear comes to Raleigh

So Everclear comes to Raleighwood and performs at a free show put on by 96Rock (WBBB) here in town. The show was downtown on Moore Square, which was a pretty cool place to have it, as Moore Square is big enough to hold a stage, a PA, and a decent number of people. I ran into a friend of mine, Jim, who said this: "If they did more shows like this, maybe downtown Raleigh wouldn't suck so bad." I tend to agree. There needs to be more of these shows, only with bands I work for perfoming. Anyway here's a pic I took....
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More tomorrow, when I have time to deal with them. Also, gasp, some video!!!!

Posted by Paul Cooper at 02:03 AM | Comments (0)

August 05, 2004

Everclear on August 28

Everclear to play a free concert outdoors in downtown Raleigh on Moore Square!

News about another one of my favorite bands! Everclear is playing on Moore Square in downtown Raleigh on August 28th with the Clear, and other bands. Details here.

Posted by Paul Cooper at 10:18 AM | Comments (0)