Eddie Argos of Art Brut [Interview]

I arrive at the Independent’s box office window a little after 6pm. I hear the melding sounds of drums, bass and guitars booming from outside. I tell the man behind the box office window that I’m there to interview Eddie Argos of Art Brut, and ask if that is who I can hear doing soundcheck. He tells me it is so, and to walk right in. At some point after entering, they play “Bad Comedian,” one of my favorite tracks off the current album, Brilliant! Tragic!.

At another point, I make an awkward attempt to introduce myself in between  songs at the front of the stage. After soundcheck, Argos spots me and walks over.

“Sorry about earlier,” alluding to said awkward introduction. “It was a bit loud. I couldn’t hear you.”

A comic book maven whose heart belongs more to DC Comics’s characters than Marvel’s, Argos’s song lyrics are inspired largely by stories from his own life. A comic book fan myself, I was just as excited to talk comics as I was excited to talk about music with him. In fact, Jamie McKelvie, who did the album art for Art Brut’s Brilliant! Tragic!, is one of my favorite comic book artists. After leading me behind the stage and into the green room, Argos and I sit down on a comfy couch, and that’s where we start.

Brilliant! Tragic! front cover artwork by Jamie McKelvie.

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Mister Heavenly @ The Independent 8/22/2011 [Review]

For what is essentially little more than a fun, tossed-off sidestep of several more high-profile projects, Monday night’s performance at The Independent nevertheless proved Mister Heavenly to be a unique and welcome addition to its members’ collective resume. Comprised of Ryan Kattner (aka Honus Honus of Man Man), Nick Thorburn (Islands, The Unicorns) and Joe Plummer (Modest Mouse), the trio played a short but sweet set of 1950s-tinged indie rock that lived up to its self-described “doom-wop” sound.

Photo by Jacqueline DiMilia.

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Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival

In 2008 when Outside Lands was born, Northern California residents could finally be at peace. At long last, the Bay Area had a major music festival to combat Coachella and HARD Music Festival down in Southern California. This festival provides stunning scenic views of Golden Gate Park and the San Francisco Bay Area. The most outstanding thing about Outside Lands, besides the amazing music, is simply the fact that great effort is placed into all the other aspects of the event, namely the food and wine. Because of this diversity, Outside Lands attracts not only music enthusiasts, but also wine enthusiasts and foodies from all over the Bay and beyond! Outside Lands embodies what I love about this city: creative music, a burst of different flavors, and wine fever.

The crowd gathered for Empire of the Sun at SF Outside Lands 2010. Photo by Jeff Kravitz.

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The Independent- San Francisco [Venues]

One of San Francisco’s popular venues for live music! The Independent is definitely a space to watch your favorite upcoming bands perform. Opened to the city’s diverse crowd in 2004, the venue has had over a thousand live performances behind its doors.

So what is this spot all about?

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STS9- OSL Night Shows

Fans of electronic music should definitely check out Sound Tribe Sector 9 (STS9) at this year’s Outside Lands music festival. This instrumental band from Santa Cruz is sure to put on a good show in a city they are very familiar with. STS9’s self-described “post-rock dance music” has risen to popularity in the electronic music scene. Their live shows have catapulted them to the forefront of electronic music and they have become familiar performers at music festivals everywhere.

STS9 was formed in Atlanta in 1999 and consists of members Hunter Brown, Jeffree Lerner, David Murphy, David Phipps, and Zach Velmer all playing a wide range of instruments. The band also founded their own record label called 1320 Records with the goal of lessening the distance between artists and fans, and their albums have been released on this label. Recently, they have released a live concert DVD called Live As Time Changes, a mixtape with STS9 and other artists, and albums Artifact and Artifact: Perspective. They were ranked #25 among Pollstar’s list of top-grossing touring acts for summer 2010 and consistently sell lots of tickets for their shows.

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The Meters – OSL Night Shows

I was that weird kid in middle school who, instead of being up to date on the latest Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, had my nose (or ears, more accurately) buried in my parents’ record collection. The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Earth, Wind & Fire, George Clinton. You might not know any songs by The Meters off the top of your head, but they had an immense stylistic influence on all of these groups. Now, the rock music of the sixties was great, and so is Britney, but sometimes after a really tough day (or a really great one, or even an in-between one for that matter) there’s nothing like blasting out my favorite funk tunes from my laptop’s speakers, hoping they won’t blow out.

Today, if you asked most young people, the limits of their knowledge of funk is probably Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September”. And their impression of funk is probably that it’s just a little too cheesy, with its catchy horn lines and now-cliché bass lines and falsettos. Although, to be fair, George Clinton & Parliament-Funkadelic did make a pretty big comeback with the 20-something crowd recently.

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Clap Your Hands Say Yeah- OSL Night Shows

SF Outside Lands music and arts festival will take place from August 12-14 2011 in Golden Gate Park and features an impressive lineup including Muse, Arcade Fire, and MGMT.  While there is plenty of good music to be heard during the day, festival goers can continue to enjoy the music into the night with the Outside Lands night shows!  These night shows, consisting of Best Coast, Eskmo, The Original Meters, Arctic Monkeys, The Vaccines, Vetiver, STS9, and the Warren Haynes Band, will start on Wednesday August 10th and continue through Sunday the 14th.

Photo provided courtesy of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.

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