Tuesday, June 15, 2010

TVD's Four Way | Mariage Blanc

Day two of TVD's Four Way conversation continues with Pittsburgh's Mariage Blanc appearing Friday night (6/18) along with Malin Nilsson, Bellflur, and Mittenfields at Velvet Lounge.

"Like most, my first exposure to vinyl was through my parents. We had an old hi-fi and turntable in our living room. My parents have a great record collection, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, etc... all the classics. I learned my first "real" song fumbling along to an America record. I still remember how my Dad would meticulously wipe each record with an anti-static dust brush before playing it.

At some point in elementary school, home sick (but possibly faking it), I decided to listen to Let It Be. I pulled the record out of the jacket, placed it on turntable, and pressed play. It spun up, the needle dropped, and then... nothing. I could not for the life of me figure out which combination of buttons I had to press on the receiver to get the music to come out of the speakers. Right before giving up, I noticed that if I held my ear very close to the needle I could just barely hear "I, Me, Mine". Laying on the living room floor, head held just over the record player, I listened to the rest of the album like this."
—Josh Kretzmer,
guitar, vocals

"Like Josh, my first exposure to vinyl was through my parents. I grew up with many of the artists he mentioned, as my father was an avid music fan. However, it is only recently (within the last year or so) that I decided to buy a turntable and start a record collection of my own. Having all of my music in an iTunes library always left me a bit unfulfilled, and I became more drawn to owning bigger, physical copies of my favorite music. Bigger artwork and having a large copy of something that I could hold in my hands seemed much more appealing than a bunch of mp3s.

Listening to albums on vinyl is a process that requires you to pay attention to the music. Putting the record on the turntable, turning it over when the side is done, and listening to the entire album the whole way through are all important parts of experiencing it. It's a process that prevents an album from becoming something that you throw on and ignore, which is something that I hope music never becomes."

—Matt Ceraso, guitar, vocals

"My earliest memories of vinyl are listening to Thriller and The White Album out of my parent's record collection. I thought the George Harrison song "Piggies" was so funny because it talked about little piggies playing in the dirt.

My favorite record store in Pittsburgh is Attic Records, which is actually located in Millvale, PA, a stone's throw across the Allegheny River. There are few other good ones around here, including Paul's and Jerry's.

I go through different binge-record-buying phases, although my only real vinyl obsession is David Bowie, albeit with an early-80's cutoff.

I have an old Magnavox record player/radio in my living room—I got it for free—and it still has more presence and warmth than any stereo I've ever had."
—Sam McUmber, keyboards, vocals

"Vinyl? What's that? A new iPod model?"
—Chris Williams, drums

"The very first record I remember playing was the McDonald's promo record for the Big Mac jingle. Something tells me it wasn't really vinyl but, nonetheless, it left me hungry...for more records. Now I collect records because I miss that sense of discovery that I had when I would dig through my parents records. You listened to music in a different way back then. You didn't skip around if the first 10 seconds of a song didn't immediately catch you - you gave it a chance.

Plus, what am I going to pass along to my children (other than my killer good looks?) A hard drive full of MP3s?"
—Josh Dotson, bass

Mariage Blanc - Whatever You Say I Am (Mp3)
Authorized for download!
("Whatever You Say I Am" is the first song we wrote after releasing our debut EP, Broken Record. Appropriately enough, it's the first song from our new album that we're letting out into world, albeit as a rough mix. Although the record will be properly mastered before release, we just couldn't wait any longer to share a new song. We hope you enjoy it.)

TVD's Twitter Music Monday for 6/14/10

Oh fine. I’ve had a #musicmonday column for all of one week, and already it’s time to write about Amanda Palmer. Because of this:

@amandapalmer RT! @amandapalmer unveils "idioteque" from her upcoming radiohead ukulele covers album http://bit.ly/AFPidio #MusicMonday

Twitter stops counting at 100 retweets. More than 100 people retweeted this on Monday, trust.

If you don’t already know who Amanda Palmer is, I’m not going to tell you because I’m bound to get something wrong and her rabid fanbase will obliterate me, burlesque-style, and possibly by beating me about the head with ukuleles. That actually sounds hilarious and I’d like to know more, but I bruise easily, so just look her up yourself, why dontcha? You can start with the Dresden Dolls, and Evelyn and Evelyn, and look into some of the more contentious moments of her solo career, like when she got into a fight with her record label or walked the Oscar red carpet practically naked.

Here are some things I have to say about Amanda Palmer:
- Whenever I hear her name, I get thirsty for some refreshing lemonade mixed with iced tea. Then I decide that, if my name were so similar to that of an iconic professional golfer with a signature non-alcoholic drink, I would at least change it to sound more fizzy. And then I realize that she’s also called Amanda Fucking Palmer, which I guess makes everything ok. (That is entirely too many thoughts for just one bullet point.)
- She’s engaged to Neil Gaiman. Even more than her fanbase, I don’t want to make him mad. He could come after me with beautifully whimsical stories—one never knows.
- I like (liked?) the Dresden Dolls. For a few years in college, her angsty vocals really spoke to me. It’s been a while, though. (I know, yawn, sorry.)
- Ukuleles? Really?

I guess I should say something about the song, huh? Eh. Let me direct you to my last bullet point. I really like the piano part of this cover. The ukulele sounds plingy and oddly metallic, and on first listen I thought that, other than the plings, it sounded too much like the original. Then I listened to the original and, yeah, it doesn’t. But I still don’t like the way the uke sounds. STAND DOWN, AFP FANS.

I’m not a music critic. “Plingy” is not a technical term. Amanda Palmer is enough of an Internet force that her appearance on #musicmonday dominated the Twitterverse, and she’s a fascinating person to write silly things about. The end.

Role #mmodel: This is the second-best tweet I’ve seen all day. It’s the first-best that does not involve vuvezelas. And it somehow got into the #musicmonday transcript without having the actual #musicmonday hashtag. Hearts! “LeatherNight: RT @TW1TT3Rart: @KarlDetkenProDJ #DJ #MUSIC #TwitterArt ??????????? ???????????????? ???????????????? ????”

My #musicmonday pick: Cover music edition! The Detroit Cobras are forever great to wake up to on a Monday (or Tuesday) morning. Check out Hey Sailor.