Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Nico Blues: never the same thing twice

The Nico Blues is a band from New York that is proud of its DIY approach to making music. The members of the band discuss the creative process, bands they would like to play with, and how they would occupy themselves if they weren't making music.

Complete the sentence. The Nico Blues is...

5 guys who have a serious appreciation for music, and want to create fresh, exciting songs for music fans.

Take us inside the creative process. Give an example of how a Nico Blues tune might come together.

This happens a number of ways. Eric or Evan may come to the band with a song on guitar and a vocal melody, and then we build layers onto that. Other songs come entirely out of jams, often remaining very close to their original form when they're first jammed out. The reason our songs hit on such a range of different styles is because they are never written the same way twice.

What can we expect from the upcoming album?

It's a huge step forward. We're more competent engineers/producers/mixers now, so without regard to the music, it will just sound better. About the songwriting, it's more varied than ever. There are folk songs, post-hardcore songs, alternative rock songs, and some that lack a description entirely. We've embraced alot dirtier distortion this time around, and modeled our guitars after bands like Dinosaur Jr and other indie pioneers. Overall, it's just exciting. 9 new songs, and we promise that we never repeat ourselves.

If you could have a beer and a conversation about music with anyone, who would it be? Why?

Evan: John Frusciante, though he doesn't drink. He has a great sense of what music is about.
Reed: Craig Finn of the Hold Steady. He is the smartest frontman of our generation, and has so much to say.
Skylar: A normal dude at one of our shows. Maybe he'll have something cool to tell me.
Eric: Jack White, I want to hear about what music he's listening to.
Danny: Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse, to learn more about his unique guitar techniques

You get to put a bill together with three other artists. Who do you get to fill the bill with you?

The Hold Steady
Modest Mouse
Dinosaur Jr.

What would you be doing if you weren't making music?
Reed would be wallowing in his own shit. Evan would be climbing trees. Skylar wouldn't even be able to look in the mirror. Eric would go into hibernation. Danny would work at the gas station.

Check out videos of The Nico Blues.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Fox of the Week (1/27/10): SoCal Glamour Girl Savannah

Savannah is a model for SoCal Glamour Girls. She discusses her first photoshoot, her fascination with vampires, and her rough, wild side.

Describe how you felt at your first photoshoot.

My first shoot was interesting to say the least. I have never considered myself photogenic so it was a challenge for me. I needed alot of direction and coaching. Fortunately enought my boss is awesome and very patient. So she intially had to teach me how to take a picture. Plus I had one too many drinks to "help me relax" and by the end of the shoot I was hammered. That and it was hilarious because I am a bit of a squinter so Kat kept telling me to open my eyes and for some reason I was opening up my mouth. No idea what was going through my head at the time but it was an entertaining story.

What makes a great photoshoot? What makes a great photo?

What really makes a photo shoot is a fun, comfortable setting. It really helps to work with people that you trust in various forms of undress. There are times that we walk around semi-nude or completely nude. I just did a shoot the other day for our show The Bitch'in Kitchen where I was pretty much naked and up on the counter with various kitchen ingredients covering essential areas. Sounds kinda awkward but it really wasn't we were laughing and giggling the whole time. Most important though would be to have good direction and a talented photographer. That makes a model's job much easier. As far as what makes a good picture: a fun outfit and setting help, and just feeling pretty. I love to get my hair and makeup done it is a great pick-me-up.

What is your ideal photoshoot location? Why?

I really wan to go to a tropical location to shoot. I know it may be a little cliche but when you think about it where better to be than under the warm sun with a slight breeze by the ocean. That sound like an amazing place to work to me! We have some SoCal Glamour Girl trips that are in the works for 2010 and I can't hardly wait. I have a passport with no stamps in it and I think that needs to be fixed.

You describe yourself as a bookworm. What sort of books do you like to read?

Well lately I have been really into vampires. I loved the True Blood series and of course Twilight. Go Team Edward! I have even gotten my own fangs! I was never really in to vamps before but I find it really sexy and a little dangerous, the craze has definetly got my full attention. Before I got in to that my favorite series was called The Outlander. It's this amazing story about a woman that is transported back in time through a stone circle in Scotland. She falls in love with a Scottish warrior at a very turbulent time in history. The story is cool because although the idea is based on fiction the history is correct to the tee. I would highly suggest it.

What is something about you that surprises people?

Well when I meet people initially they think that I am very sweet and innocent, Don't drink don't smoke you know that sort of thing. What surprises them is that I am a little wild and sometimes prety rough. I have a bit of a biting fetish, which is probably why the vampire thing appeals to me. As well I enjoy to play a little rough in the bedroom. There have been times where flat out I want to cause some damage bite marks, bruises, hair pulling scratches. My man has told me at times that I need to be gentle.

What is one thing you hope to accomplish?

In general I just want to enjoy my life. There are so many things that people get hung up on, my self included. But I just try to let it go, life is too short to be angry all the time. I just want to experience all that life has to offer. That is really what got me into modeling. I got the opportunity and I jumped at it, and I have to say that it was the best decision that I have made recently. I love what I do, I sometimes think damn I get paid to do this.

Catch The Bitch'in Kitchen every Monday from 7:30 to 8:30 Pacific time at the SoCal Glamour Girls website.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Salty Dogs release Brand New Reason this week

(Photo L to R: Brad Williams, Nick Devlin, Brent Labeau, Bart Angel)

The Salty Dogs is a four-piece band from Little Rock. Vocalist/guitarist Brad Williams discusses playing with well-known artists, who he'd like to discuss music with, and the upcoming album Brand New Reason.

Complete the sentence. The Salty Dogs is...

I think you completed the sentence - The Salty Dogs is. I guess according to a former authority, it depends on how you define the word "is". (laughs)

You've shared the stage with some very popular performers. What does it mean to you to have those opportunities?

Of course, it means to be seen and heard by a different crowd and that to me is the coolest thing. Don't get me wrong, it's always an honor to play with whomever, but having a person coming up and telling you that they didn't know you from Adam and really liked you means something.

What have you learned from playing with those performers?

Probably that they are human and in most cases success didn't happen over night. Music is a repetitive skill that they have honed on the road. The good ones don't reflect the calloused repetition in the perfomance. That's the booger of it all. The Gourds are one of those bands that I respect. They tour a lot and still maintain great music and great shows.

Who would you like to perform with, but haven't had the opportunity yet?

Oh, I don't know. I never think about that stuff. Maybe Billy Joe Shaver.

If you could have a beer and a conversation about music with anyone, who would you choose? Why?

First of all, I don't drink beer. Never have. Sorry. Maybe Merle Haggard or Levon Helm. Merle is the Energizer Bunny and his voice and music is so pure to me. I imagine that he would be a wealth of knowledge and have some great stories. Levon to me is in the top 5 people who just exude cool. Levon right in there with Elvis for me. Great voice, great drummer and a great band AND he is from Arkansas.

Tell us a bit about the new album.

The new album, Brand New Reason, will be released on Max Recordings on January 26, 2010. I think the album really captures what The Salty Dogs are really about. The album was recorded and engineered by Will Boyd (American Princes) back in May 2009. You'll hear some feel good tunes, swing tunes and some in between. We are excited about it and can't wait for you to hear it.

What would you be doing if you weren't making music?

Not doing interviews like this.

Get a sample of the new album.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Fox of the Week (1/20/10): Vixxa Violet

Vixxa Violet is a model/actress/dancer from Philadelphia. She was named the model of the year for 2010 on She has been featured on Body-rockin' and HardBody TV. She discusses her best feature, her ideal photoshoot location and what sets her apart from other models.

What do you think is your best feature?

Physically: my butt and my abs. Personality-wise: my creativity and boldness.

What kind of modeling jobs are your favorite?

I love pin-up, sexy lingerie shoots, and anything where I can be creative!

What is your ideal photoshoot location?

A big house or studio with lots of different locations and backdrops.

What sets you apart from other models?

I am completely self-made, and style *all* of my own make-up, wardrobe, and most concepts. Also, I travel with a "traveling wardrobe" van--something I've never heard of anyone else doing.

What is one goal you hope to accomplish?

I'd like to be a horror-film icon one day!

Check out Vixxa on Stiletto Talk Magazine.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

KreepS: We don't fit into a specific category

KreepS is a band that you just have to hear. It is one part surf, soul, lounge. You get the idea. This is a band that covers the bases musically. Dom Kreep discusses where KreepS music is filed, who he'd like to share a bill with, and what he would be doing if he weren't making music.

Where do you file your music in a record store?

This is a tough one - record stores seem to put us in different places all the time. Our records have been in most sections from electroclash to Punk to straight up vanilla Indie. Nobody seems to really know what it is - but I guess we didn't start making music to fit into a specific category. Most of the bands we really like seem to make all sorts of kinds of music which I guess is pretty natural. I think it's a shame - it seems that alot of people need to feel like a band is one thing in order to accept it.

What is essential to every Kreeps song?

Grit. I'm not exactly sure in which forms but in everything we've done there is definitely audible grit. It could be from the kinds of instruments we use or maybe the rooms we use or maybe even the mics or boards - I'm not sure where it comes from and it's hard to define. I like things that sound like they're broke so maybe that's it. In fact some our stuff is just plain broke. We've never used anything new to record anything. Or even expensive. We're mostly held together by tape.

Why should I have your music in my collection?

People should have something dirtier in their life. Y'know - for the balance.

If you can have a beer and a conversation about music with anyone, who would you choose? Why?

Probably somebody like David Lynch. He's someone who puts as much effort into the sounds and music in his films as he does the cinematography and I love when audio and visual media work that well together. I'm not really talking about music videos. Hes somebody that can really make sound work in extraordinary ways - like that abstract way music can make you feel. Things you can't quite put your finger on.

You get to share a bill with three other bands (active or defunct). Who do you get to fill out the bill with you?

Sleepy Eyes Of Death, DFA 1979 and My Bloody Valentine.

What would you be doing if you weren't making music?

Who knows? Shining shoes - holding up a bar somewhere - teaching origami - I can't imagine not making music so it's tough to see where other paths might take me. There'll always be something to get a sound out of.

KreepS album Belly Full of Razorblades is available on CDBaby.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Fox of the Week (1/13/10): tattooed SoCal Glamour Girl Natasha

Natasha is a model for SoCal Glamour Girls. She discusses her tattoos, her love of trucks and dirt bikes, and what's the best part of being a Glamour Girl.

You have 9 tattoos. Which one is your favorite? Where is it located?

Yes I have 9 tats and honestly I love them all but of course I have my favorites! If I had to choose I would say that my favorite tattoo is my half sleeve located on my left arm. I love its beauty. The bright colors are amazing and always stand out but aside from its physical beauty it holds a lot of beauty within its meaning to me. It empowers a lot of who I am, stands for what I believe in, and reminds me of things I have been through.

You say you're not the girl next door but a bad girl. What's something bad you've done that surprises people?

I have been known to say I am a bad girl and c'mon now do I look like your girl next door! [laughs] My usual saying is that "I am not your girl next door but that bitch down the street"! I have my naughty side that is for sure but deep down I am a very down-to-earth loving person who is typically very sweet but push me and that bitch comes out! [laughs] To be honest my list of bad things I have done is not to impressive. Sure I shoplifted as a kid and stirred up trouble in my younger days but for the most part I stay out of trouble [laughs], for the most part. My list of naughty is much more impressive! However something bad I have done that would probably surprise people is... well if I gave away my secrets then nothing will ever surprise them ever again. I will leave that one up to all of your imaginations. [laughs] This should be interesting! Hmmm this could be a fun game - guess what bad things Natasha has done! What do you think? Plus if I gave away my bad side then people would know what to expect from me and I like to be unpredictable!

You like trucks, dirt bikes and sports like MMA and football. Do you get a lot of marriage propositions?

I love trucks the bigger the better. Love dirt bikes especially loud powerful ones, and I have a major love for sports especially MMA and football! I am a huge football fan I go all out when I watch games and I am in NO WAY like some girls who just watch it to look cute and get guys. Hell no! I understand it and I want to watch it! Go Chargers and Goooo Giants! UFC is a definite love for me. It's just so exciting to watch honestly I would love to be in the UFC as a fighter! I have always been a bit of a tomboy as a kid I always played with the boys and always loved getting dirty eh I guess not much has changed cuz I still play with the boys and keep up with them and I am always ready to get dirty! I am definitely that girl that would rather turn on the game then watch soaps and I am not the chick flick kinda girl either. I love my action movies: the more action the better - gore included! An awesome date for me would be going to a football game, dirt biking, watching a fight. You get the idea! Most guys would tell you I am the perfect chick and I have been known to get along better with guys as apposed to girls maybe that's cuz there is a major lack of drama! However I will have to say that I have not gotten one serious marriage proposal. But I did say serious ones. [laughs] I have gotten many guys who say "Oh my God! Marry me please!"

What is the best thing about working with SoCal Glamour Girls?

I started working with the Socal girls almost a year ago! I have had a blast! Working with them is awesome, in fact you cannot really call it work! I mean c'mon do you really think hanging with sexy girls taking sexy pics and doing super hot vids is work? No way! It's fun! Hmmm the best part of working with them would have to be the "No Drama rule at the studio"! Just teasing! The best part about working with the SoCalGlamourGirls is being part of such a loving & fun community, and getting to meet so many amazing people including hot girls! [laughs] SoCalGlamourGirls team is the best team of great people!

If you could do a photo shoot anywhere, what location would you choose?

I could pick so many awesome places! Now I may have to answer this one in two ways! My guy side that loves to get dirty would have to say that an awesome place for a photo shoot would be in the middle of a beautiful desert with my dirt bike as my prop or a football field in the mud! Now my more girlie side would say that an awesome location of a shoot would be on sum isolated private island where its me and the beautiful ocean and white sand. Isn't that every girls dream?

What is one goal you hope to accomplish?

Well I have several goals but since your asking about one I will give you one. One goal that I would like to accomplish, wait let me rephrase that...I will accomplish is to get my degree in nursing and become a registered nurse working in a hospital & of course, continue to work on my modeling career.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Barbarellatones: campy and hypnotic

The Barbarellatones is a band from Malibu that I first heard on Radio Free Bakersfield. Robbie Quine discusses the band's music, and who is his ideal choice to write and record a song with.

Describe your sound for someone who has never heard the band.

I consider The Barbarellatones to be a Neo-Glam band, even though we have some Gothabilly, Surf and Psychedelic overtones. Some call us 'sleaze-rock', but that is only half the story! To me the main vein of the music is Glam or Glitter Rock with a twist, very campy but also hypnotic. I love B-Movies, especially the really bad ones! A lot of the songs lean towards that direction, but I am not afraid to be transparent and bare my soul either. I write dark ballads a lot too.

What is essential to every Barbarellatones song?

I love a retro surf guitar...I am a surfer and I also love Sitars, so will often incorporate that into a song if it feels right. A lot of our songs are kinda dark but playful, a weird combination. Kind of Warhol-ish? Songs about drag-queens and zombies, strung-out surfers, semi-autobiograpical! I was also in Sex With Lurch, a similar gothabilly-ish band. Inspired by Rocky Horror for sure.

If there is an afterlife and you are in the house band, who do you get to fill out the band?

Mick Ronson on guitar, definately! Maybe Johnny Thunders too...Marc Bolan, it would be super-Glam!

If you could write and record a song with any artist, who would it be? Why?

That's an easy one...BOWIE. I love that guy. I've always loved his dark crooning in Diamond Dogs, just beautiful. I would want him to produce also...Bowie's albums with Lou Reed and Iggy are fantastic.

What would you be doing if you weren't making music?

I used to teach surfing lessons in Maui to tourists...that was a very fun job. I would love to do an 'endless summer' trip at some point in my life, and go to Indonesia, Bali, South Africa, Peru, Fiji...all over the world and surf warm-water waves with no time restraints. That would be heavenly!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Fox of the Week [1/6/10] Anowa Adjah

Anowa Adjah is a model from New York/New Jersey. She is a graduate of Temple University and has been featured on IB Concept and Straight Stuntin' among others. She discusses her best feature, how she is misjudged, and her career aspirations.

Complete the sentence. Anowa Adjah is...

The essence of beauty, intelligence, and sexuality!

What would you say is your best feature?

I always say it, but my legs and lips!

How do people underestimate or misjudge you?

I believe I am more misjudged than underestimated. Some people may think I'm stuck up or characterize me as a typical "Video Girl"! There is nothing wrong with doing music videos but I am far from a model simply posing for the camera. I am using modeling as a stepping stone into the entertainment industry! Personally, modeling is not the end-all be-all! I have greater aspirations.

Who are some models you admire? Why?

I have great admiration for Tyra Banks. She utilized modeling as a platform to easily obtain her dream of having her talkshow and syndication. Truth be told, she is her own empire! She definitely inspires me!

Of what accomplishment thus far are you most proud?

I am definitely proud of all my published work, but I would have to say one of my biggest accomplishments to date is doing a VH1 commercial with Grammy-nominated actor/comedian Tracy Morgan.

What is one goal you hope to accomplish?

In the future I am hoping to become a household name and establish a legacy in TV/radio as a successful personality with a thriving media company E. Adjah Media Group!

Follow Anowa on Twitter.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Pornostuntman: getting some is usually the theme of my songs

This week Fox Tracks continues to span the globe to bring you the best in independent music. The Pornostuntman is a music artist from Bern, Switzerland. He describes his sound, his approach to music and his ideal live bill.

Describe your sound for someone who has never heard The Pornostuntman.

Geez, 'slightly retarded' first comes to mind. But if you'd throw a metal shopping basket on wheels filled with pots and pans down an escalator that's going up at the same time a 747 jumbo jet is crashing into the building next door then you'd be getting close to what I think my music sounds like.

What is essential to every Pornostuntman song?

I've been a manic fan of 60's garage punk music for 25 years, so that era is my main influence for a songwriting blueprint. Lots of fuzzy distorted guitars, a simple yet sexy primitive driving Rock N Roll drum beat, some groovy organ and bass lines and some snotty 1966 wanna-be Mick Jagger vocals. My lyrics are sexually suggestive, so the hopeful possibility of 'getting some' is usually the theme of my songs. Most people love to get laid so I figure if you're gonna have to listen to some guy screaming at you then someone might as well be 'getting some' at some point in the song.

What is essential to every Pornostuntman show?

I had my one and only Pornostuntman show in 1996 and I never returned to the stage ever again. Since 1984 I've had heaps of bands but never really brought these songs into the clubs. I counted sometime last year and I have about 150 songs I've recorded, one way or another, as The Pornostuntman. I've kept this recording project a secret to a degree and I never released anything. I've attempted to put bands together playing Pornostuntman songs but it just never sounds right. In the past I recorded lots of my 'drums' on cardboard boxes and bed pans and it never could translate properly when it was played with a proper drum set.
Personally, I gave up on seriously selling records years ago since the style of music I like to write and play didn't even sell many records in the 60's at its peak. I enjoy having a recording project that I'm the boss of and I love that I don't answer to any record label dudes telling me what they think is hip or would sell more records. I just make tapes, CDs and MP3s for friends that know me and never ever sent a single package to any record label.

If you're putting a bill together with three other bands (active or defunct), who do you get to share the stage with you?

Well, it would have to be something like The Pornostuntman opening for The 13th Floor Elevators and CAN since I never had the honor of seeing either one of those groups play live in any incarnation and both groups are my faves.
I've been very lucky to have shared the stage with lots of my heroes at one point or another and for that I'm really proud of my musical achievements so far. I've performed in clubs with 60's legends like The Pretty Things, Love, The Monks, Sky Saxon to name a few and 80's acts like Mudhoney, The Fuzztones, The Lyres, Jane's Addiction, L7 and loads loads more in the 90's and 2000s, too many to mention here.

If you could write and record a song with one artist, who would you choose? Why?

It would have to be with Roky Erickson from the 13th Floor Elevators. He's got a knack for writing little Buddy Holly styled tunes and his voice just melts my mind. I'm sure we could come up with an 'A Two Headed Alien Took My Girlfriend Away' kinda song in an afternoon.

What would you be doing if you weren't making music?

Well, my life revolves around music so it's not just making music that's important, it's the lifestyle I've created around it. I started my first band in 1984 and that's really when my life took off. I got into collecting vintage guitars, fuzzboxes, amplifiers and 60's vinyl records. Afterward I was sure what kind of music I wanted to make. So I had some music gear and some friends to play with but we needed gigs. I made some graphic art for a business card to get us some gigs and then some flyers to promote them, so I dove into learning about Rock And Roll graphics. That process introduced me to the offset printing world, so naturally I dove deeper in and became an offset printer. I needed posters and t-shirts printed so I jumped trades and became an silkscreen printer. My bands got signed to different labels so I started recording and making LPs, and eventually CDs, so I learned how to make product packaging and the essentials to the recording arts. To this day I still work as a Rock graphic artist and still have both hands in the printing trade and have released over 20 albums in the process. And somehow my hardheadedness kept it all focused on my music scene. That's why I eventually made Panti-Christ as it combines everything all into one huge all encompassing sexy Rock And Roll project. The Pornostuntman is merely an escape for me away from all the other music 'jobs' that could, should and need to get done.

Check out this artist's
  • podcast Sonic Nightmares,
  • two bands: The Come N Go and Reverend Beat-Man
  • record label Voodoo Rhythm.