The life of William Christopher Handy, the Father of the Blues, is a tale long overdue to be told. After a ten-year effort, acclaimed Emmy-winning filmmaker Joanne Fish is ready to tell it on June 25, at a private event at the MX theater on Washington Avenue. Billed as "A St. Louis Celebration," it will be the first showing of Mr. Handy's Blues

The St. Louis show honors this city's central role in the Handy story. As Fish explains it: "St. Louis was his crossroads moment either to go home and teach or be a vagabond musician. It was his spiritual moment. St. Louis is the soul of the Handy story, Memphis the heart." 

It was in 1894 when a 20-year-old Handy found himself broke, starving and sleeping on the cobblestones beneath the Eads Bridge. He never forgot the pain and despair of those desperate times, nor the blues lament he heard from a woman stumbling down the street: "Ma man's got a heart like a rock cast in de sea." Twenty years later it became a key line in "The St. Louis Blues," one of the most recorded songs in history. 

The St. Louis showing is also a thank you to all the local individuals and musicians who helped her along the way. One of those is the local co-producer Dr. Rosalind Norman, a long time educator, black theater advocate and business consultant. She shared Fish's vision of showing Handy's "economic empowerment, optimism, and his rising above the challenge of Jim Crow violence." "It is an important message for St. Louis after Ferguson," Norman says. "It is an opportunity to see a person of color in spite of racism and poverty rise above it and become an international icon."

Fish's interest in Handy began while working in Nashville for TNT and doing a documentary on the "Queen of Rockabilly," Wanda Jackson. Wanting to learn more about those musical roots and a fortuitous 2007 film festival trip to Florence Alabama, Handy's 1873 birthplace, led her to the W.C. Handy museum. "I learned so much, so many cool things," she says. She was also shocked to learn there were no documentaries about this towering figure of twentieth-century music. Joanne was hooked, and the journey began.  

There are two stories embedded in Mr. Handy's Blues. According to Fish, one "is a tale of family conflict, racial tensions and redemption, his love of music and his talent for transforming the oral traditions of his African American countrymen into a unique and commercial musical genre, namely the blues." 

The other is the story of a successful African American businessman who, with his partner Harry Pace, created the first black-owned music publishing company in 1912 and moved it to Tin Pan Alley in the heart of Broadway in 1918. A century later the Handy Brothers Music Company is still in business. His songs "St. Louis Blues," "The Memphis Blues," "Beale Street Blues," "Yellow Dog Blues" and many more are considered masterpieces in both the blues and jazz worlds. 

W.C. Handy's arrival in New York also coincides with the early years of the Great Migration and the start of the Harlem Renaissance. He was a black businessman, a living example of what Marcus Garvey preached in Harlem about starting black owned businesses. He co-wrote song lyrics with Langston Hughes and organized the first blues performance in New York City's Carnegie Hall in 1928. Handy also wrote and was musical director for the first blues movie, St. Louis Blues, starring Bessie Smith and an all African American cast. (The film can be seen daily at the National Blues Museum.)

Handy was also a musicologist. Long before Alan Lomax took to the Delta with his recording machine, W.C. Handy and Abbe Niles wrote Blues: An Anthology (1926) which was illustrated by renowned Mexican illustrator Miguel Covarrubias and is considered the most famous blues collection in history. Two more important historical texts followed in the 1930s, Negro Authors and Composers of the United States in 1935 and W.C. Handy's Collection of Negro Spirituals in 1938.

The filmmaker uses W.C. Handy to tell his own story himself by using film clips, recordings and his 1941 autobiography Father of the Blues. She also brings the film to life with interviews with family members, historians and musicians like Bobby Rush, Taj Mahal and a 16-year-old Matt "Rattlesnake" Lesch playing a Handy song. Other St. Louis musicians appearing in the film include Miss Jubilee, Kim Massie, Kasimu Taylor, Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes, The Voodoo Blues Band and Race Simmons and the School of Rock Band.

The film and celebration have been supported locally by the Catherine Manley Gaylord Foundation, Cherry Red Productions, and STLBlues.net. The co-presenters for the event are The St. Louis Black Radio Hall of Fame, National Blues Museum, and the St. Louis Blues Society. 

Mr. Handy's Blues has been accepted at a number of upcoming festivals in the summer and fall, including July dates at both the Macon Film Festival and at the W.C. Handy Musical Festival in Handy's hometown of Florence, Alabama. Watch for additional festival announcements. Discussions are also underway with several networks for a national broadcast of the film, as well as talks for the republishing of Handy's autobiography which paints a candid portrait of the violence of the Jim Crow era and an African-American musician trying to make it in society. The journey has been a long one for Joanne Fish and her Labor of Love production company but with the making of Mr. Handy's Blues she can take pride in her important contribution to African-American and musical history.

Coming off the duo's debut album, Swear I'm Good At This, Diet Cig are one of the biggest breakout bands of 2017 and the defining sound of the breakout genre they call "slop pop." Alex Luciano (guitar/vox) and Noah Bowman (drums) met at a show that Bowman was playing in at New Paltz, NY. Then Luciano's offer to make a music video for Bowman ended up turning them into one of the most exciting acts in indie music today. Before their show Friday, June 2 at Blueberry Hill's Duck Room, I had a chance to talk to Alex and Noah about festivals, adulthood, and the precision skills needed to properly pack a van.

Matt:: So you're at Bled Fest and from social media I see you've just finished a show.

Alex: Yeah, it was a really fun set, the festival is really cool.

Matt:: You’re in Michigan right now?

Alex: Howell, Michigan at an old high school, I think. It's pretty wild.

Matt:: Is it an actual festival or a DIY kind of festival?

Noah: It’s kind of like a hybrid, somewhere in the middle -- it has real sound systems and everything and there’s many stages but we’re spread out through the building.

Alex: Like we just played a stage in the big cafeteria. There’s other stages in classrooms and other rooms. It’s run by real production companies and it’s very organized, just smaller than a typical festival.

Matt:: That seems simultaneously really cool and "Oh my god, I’m back here -- I thought I was able to leave this place so long ago."

Noah: Yeah! It kinda feels like when we walked because it’s just a bunch of kids since it’s an all age thing. It feels like you’re in some 2000s music video.

Alex: There’s pop-punk in the background and kids in the hallway. There’s lockers and everyone’s hanging out and it’s really weird. So definitely music-video vibes.

Matt:: That didn’t come to mind but as you said that I thought, "How did I not get that right away?!"

Noah: [laughs] We just had a beer.

Matt:: I have a couple of questions for you guys if you’re ready to answer them. 

Alex & Noah: Sure!

Matt:: So my first question is that I feel like recently there's been this huge wave of young songwriters essentially writing about their transition into adulthood that I think your band is definitely part of with the album title Swear I’m Good At This. Being a part of this generation, I feel like we’re being forced to grow up but we don’t quite know how to because it feels like we weren’t properly taught. So I guess my question is how has this transition into adulthood affected your outlook on life and in turn, your songwriting.

Alex: I mean I'm only 21 and so as I was writing these songs I was kinda in that transition like you’re saying. All of my songs are really very honest and about experiences that I've had. Because of that, I think this kind of transition into adulthood that I've been going through has really affected the songs. Honestly, when I write songs I take situations that have happened to me and different things that have happened in my life and kind of take them and reclaim them in a way -- turn them into something that I can be proud of and excited to share with people. So I think a lot of the hard things and the shitty things that have gone on in my life that I feel like I’m inclined to write songs about have been these transitional periods and not knowing where I fit in the world or with anyone else. I think those feelings are really intense for a lot of people who are going through that phase and I definitely felt them and just decided to own them and be like, "This is real and this is my life, and I'm gonna turn this into something I’m excited to play and share and that I'm proud of."

Matt:: So this next one is a bit of a small question but one I wish others would ask more often. Since you have been touring for two or three years now, how down is your unpacking and packing method for the van?

Noah: Oh, let me tell you that is my favorite thing and I appreciate that you asked that question because no one ever cares about that part and I live for the pack and the unpack -- I’m not even being sarcastic, I love it! I think we have it down to a science.

Alex: Oh yeah, it's like Tetris.

Noah: It is. It's like Tetris and our van I’ve kinda built out to fit our needs, so we have a bed in our van too and a lock chamber for all of our stuff.

Alex: There's only one way it all fits.

Noah: Yeah, there’s really only one way it all fits and I know it and our tour manager Nate knows it, and if you put something in the wrong place…you’re fucked.

Alex: Hey, this time I know something, okay? So interesting enough, on this tour we added a whole big speaker cab and we were like, "How is this all gonna fit?" We had it down perfectly before and funny enough, the first time I help figure out the Tetris move to pack the van, we pack the giant cabinet and have extra space.

Noah: Yeah, she nailed it.

Alex: So I was pretty proud of that.

Noah: Yeah, that was good.

Alex: But that’s really kind of Noah’s territory and his pride and joy on tour.

Noah: I'm such a neat freak and like to have things just organized so I love that part of the day.

Matt:: I'm glad you appreciated the question. Actually, there's a video out there that A.V. Club did where Pinegrove and Into It. Over It. compete to see who can pack their van the fastest.  

Alex: Oh my god, we should do that! We would freaking win against anybody.  

Noah: I'd do it in like what, 45 seconds? No?  

Alex: I don't know about that.  

Noah: No, but that's a fun thing I didn’t even know that they did that.  

Alex: I'll have to look that up, I like that.  

Matt:: Speaking of vans and driving, what's been some of your favorite music to listen to on this tour?  

Noah: I've been driving a lot and as lame as it is I just don't put any music on because everyone sleeps and I usually drive in the morning. But if I am going to throw something on, I really like that Pinegrove record, their newest one, and today I threw on some throwbacks. I listened to Local Natives, that first record they did, Gorilla Manor, that's a good one.  

Alex: You listened to Jimmy Eat World’s Bleed American like every day.  

Noah: Yeah, that's a really good record.  

Alex: I have some newer bands that I love like Sylvan Esso and some other ones but I feel like we're just sick of all the songs we listen to constantly, so I've been trying to throw it back to some '70s jams. The other day we had a really good time listening to "September" [Earth, Wind and Fire] and "December, 1963" [The Four Seasons].  

Matt:: So what are you excited to do in St. Louis?  

Alex: City Museum! We want to go and play in a ball pit…really bad. We’ve heard from friends that this is the only thing that we have to do when we’re there and that’s all I want to do.  

Matt:: I agree, City Museum, you gotta go. 

Alex: Yeah, that's our goal. We didn’t get to go last time and we really want to so…catch us in the ball pit!    

  

Black Lips. The seemingly indefatigable garage-punk band from Hot-Lanta, GA who redefined the genre and helped spur a movement of bands who pirouette on delay pedals and project distortion as though it were a national anthem. Who took on an idea of what a punk band could be for millennials in a new generation still vying for a component of authenticity in everything they spin. Who don't just take the stage simply to perform but wholly take it over with live-wire antics that would make Sid Vicious blush. And who now find themselves a little older and wiser on their latest album, Satan's Graffiti or God's Art. After nearly two decades spent on the road, bassist Jared Swilley chats about working with Sean Lennon, being professional amateurs and never going back. Black Lips play the Duck Room at Blueberry Hill on Monday, May 15.

Kevin: I'm loving the new record -- what's the inspiration for the title? 

Jared: I lifted that from a marquee outside of a church in northern Georgia. I just thought it was weird and hilarious and kind of neat. We were on a road trip so I couldn't stop to pop in and find out but I really wish I could have listened to the sermon. I think it's open to interpretation. 

Kevin: Is the new record a tried and true Black Lips album or is there a sense of newness for you?

Jared: We were kind of stuck in a big time rut. We were going through personnel changes and things in our lives. We've been together 18 years and this really felt like our do-or-die record. 

Kevin: Like, "The Death of the Black Lips"?

Jared: I mean, I don't think we would've broken up but when you're trying to put out new stuff, you really have to breathe new life into it somehow. We kind of found ourselves in this rut and then Sean Lennon came and kind of saved our lives. 

Kevin: How did you get hooked-up with Beatles royalty? 

Jared: We met Sean a few years ago through Mark Ronson. It really came together when we played this show at SXSW a few years ago. After that day, Sean just kind of started recording all of us and we became this really weird recording family.

Kevin: That sounds weirdly awesome. 

Jared: It was great! We're weird guys and sometimes it's not easy to make friends and then sometimes you meet people -- when you automatically see someone or don't even talk for very long -- and just decide, you've got to friends with this person now, because that's just the way it works.

Kevin: Was he a big fan of Black Lips? 

Jared: He must've been because he invited us to go live with him and record in upstate New York. But certain people -- especially when you're making art -- you kind of just know who your people are. It's kind of unwritten, there's no script. There's just this understanding that we're gonna do stuff together. Creating art can be really hard and very vulnerable. It's hard to even do it with people you grew up with. 

Kevin: Black Lips isn't a band I think about being artistically vulnerable. Is that a result of getting older? Have you gravitated more towards maturity now or do you ever wish you could go back to some of your crazier days? 

Jared: We're just us but I don't think we're that mature yet. I wouldn't go back to being a teenager. We did what we did at that time and it was good that we did that. But now we are where we are and it isn't that far from where we were before. Except now I don't get peed on or sleep in a frozen van anymore. That stuff that I dealt with when I was 17 was awesome and I wouldn't take it back for the world. But if someone told me that I could travel back in time, I would say, "Hell, no. Fuck that." 

Kevin: Sounds like you guys are going full-steam ahead.

Jared: The struggle made us who we are now and I'm glad that we did that. Most people wouldn't do that because most people are pussies and can't deal with anything. The reason we worked so hard was so that we could have the luxury of doing this and creating cool music and be able to eat and sleep in the places that don't have dogshit in them. It made us tougher. That's why nothing can really affect us, nothing really fazes us.

Kevin: How about this new record being your 'do-or-die' record? Did that idea faze you?

Jared: Not at all. Because we've been there a million times. We've had band members die, we've had breakups, we've had deportations, arrests. If nothing had broken us before, nothing will now. But we were in this transitional period -- we weren't ever gonna break up, but I'm not about to put out a record that isn't good or that I don't feel proud of. If that certain spark isn't there, I'm just not gonna put out anything half-assed. I've worked a lot of shitty, manual labor jobs, but I did that with all my heart. If you're a garbage man, then fucking chuck that trash. Do your job well. Because that's what you do.

Kevin: Some might think of Black Lips as graffiti or art. How do you characterize of it?

Jared: I think it's both. We've always called ourselves professional amateurs. Art is really whatever it means to you, it's open to interpretation, that's why I've always liked it. People view things in different ways, it's all based on your perception. Some people think we're garbage, some people think we're good. And I think both -- I think we're shitty good.

 

 

Warren Haynes is easily one of the hardest working musicians in the business. At certain points in his long and successful career, the guitarist/vocalist/songwriter has been known to perform in three or four different bands at a time, from the Allman Brothers Band to The Dead and Phil Lesh & Friends, to his own Warren Haynes Band and, of course, as the anchor of Gov't Mule, which he co-founded more than 20 years ago. 

Fully focused on the later at present, Haynes and Gov't Mule are set to release their tenth studio album (and first in four years), aptly titled Revolution Come... Revolution Go, on June 9 on Fantasy Records. The band, which features Haynes on lead vocals and guitar; original drummer Matt Abts; Danny Louis on keyboards, guitar, and backing vocals; and Jorgen Carlsson on bass, makes a stop at The Pageant on Monday, May 22. 

Via phone from the road, Haynes chatted a bit about the new album, which the band began recording on Election Day in Austin, Texas.

"We were setting up and preparing to record, and the first day is always a little boring and tedious, so occasionally we would get a break and glance at the TV news," he says. "Like the rest of the world, we were pretty convinced that Trump was not going to win. I think even he and his supporters were convinced of that. It just kind of changed our perspective on things."

Though a handful of the songs including the title track are somewhat political in nature, Haynes says they were already written by Election Day, so the outcome didn't necessarily affect the songs themselves so much as the recording process. 

"For me, I guess it just forced me to put my head down and focus on the music. I didn't read the paper or watch the news for two weeks. I just concerned myself with making music."

The final product is as strong and diverse as any album the band has made -- expanding on its signature heavy blues-rock sound, anchored by Haynes' soulful vocals, familiar guitar tone and strong songwriting that touches on the dark aspects of our current political climate balanced with messages of hope, unity and personal introspection. The title song provides a sort of musical and thematic centerpiece. 

"It's very long and goes through a lot of changes and musical directions. The lyric for it was definitely inspired by what was going on," notes Haynes. "I think a lot of us kind of predicted what's starting to unravel now and at least predicted that the divide would get bigger and bigger. Some of the songs are kind of taking a humorous glance at it, but it's serious business. But we're a rock 'n' roll band. It's about the music first and foremost."

The music speaks clearly, particularly heavy-hitters like "Stone Cold Rage" and "Pressure Under Fire," the later of which Haynes worked on with legendary producer Don Was, along with the more soulful and inspiring "Dreams & Songs." Though they have performed together, most recently on The Last Waltz 40 Tour, this is the first time the two collaborated in the studio. 

"Don and I have become really close friends the last four or five years. We first met when we did the Red, White and Blues performance at the White House for the Obama Administration," says Haynes. "Don was there with Mick Jagger and we hung out and became friends. He's just so fun and easy to work with and such a pro. He adds a wonderful vibe to the overall thing and has great suggestions, but is just really good at getting the best out of people and creating a nice mood."

Guitar legend Jimmie Vaughan makes a guest appearance on the blues-heavy track "Burning Point." Vaughan lives in Austin where the band recorded, so Haynes says it just made sense to invite him to contribute. "You can hear my guitar in the right side and Jimmy's guitar in the left side and they're very conversational. Our styles are so different, but I think that's one of the things I really love about his playing -- it's extremely unique. I've been a fan for a long time and we've been friends for a long time, but this is the first time we've actually recorded together." 

One of the lighter songs on the album, "Traveling Tune," is a sweet and melodic ode to the road and the shows and all of the people the band has met along the way. Haynes pays respects to "those who didn't make it through life's challenges," singing "We've got to keep on rising, singing in their honor." 

Over the past several months, he's personally experienced the loss of two notable fellow musicians with whom he shared a bond and a stage with over the years -- Allman Brothers drummer Butch Trucks and, more recently, Col. Bruce Hampton. Haynes and Trucks toured the world and played thousands of shows together in the Allman Brothers Band.

"He was one of a kind as a musician and a human being," Haynes says. "He was very passionate about everything that he did and it was a tremendous shock to all of us when and how he passed. It's a huge loss. He was kind of part of this dying breed where I'm not sure musicians like him are going to continue to be put on this Earth."

Haynes was actually on stage with Col. Bruce Hampton when he collapsed and died earlier this month at his own 70th birthday celebration in Atlanta, a shocking moment for all who were present.

Says Haynes, "He was one of those people that it was important to pay attention to what was going on when you were around him because there were little lessons to be learned all the time -- most of them cloaked in humor and craziness -- but you always walked away enlightened when you hung out with the Colonel. I was blessed to know him and he was a wonderful human being who influenced so many musicians. I guess in a bizarre way, I was honored to be on stage with him when he passed. It was the most extreme, surreal moment probably of my life. I don't know anyone who can say they've had that happen to them and we were all devastated; but in the light of day, what a beautiful send off for him." 

Though Haynes has put out several successful solo records, most recently 2015's Ashes & Dust featuring Railroad Earth, he's remaining focused on Gov't Mule for the foreseeable future, he says. "I have enjoyed all of the stuff I'm doing, but Gov't Mule is really kind of the home base. When we reconvene, all my attention goes there for quite a period of time." 

Gov't Mule appears at The Pageant on Monday, May 22 at 8 p.m.

 

 

 

This past year has been quite a crazy one for Chicago indie rockers Whitney. Since releasing their debut album, Light Upon the Lake, back in June, the band has been touring seemingly nonstop and generating even more critical acclaim for their modern take on the classic styles of rock and pop. A year after the release of their debut, Whitney has just recently kicked off a new tour that’s taking the band across the United States and Europe, including a stop at Delmar Hall on Tuesday, May 9th. I recently caught up with the band’s singer and drummer, Julien Ehrlich, to ask for his thoughts on heartbreak, tour life, and the art of mixing Gatorade with sparkling water.

Matt: My first question is what are the psychological steps you have to go through to be able to play the drums and sing at the same time as that seems really, really difficult to me.

Julien: I don't know, I basically just don't think about it anymore, but in the beginning it was pushing more of the movement to my arms and not using my entire core to drum which is what I used to do. And then learning how to calm my core so I can have a steady falsetto that isn't shaky and all over the place. It's a constant struggle still, but I think I'm pulling it off. 

Matt: So Whitney's album last year, Light Upon the Lake, was one of my favorites, as it's a really unique look at heartbreak, especially in the sound which is much more upbeat compared to other artists and albums within the current indie music landscape. On a breakup album it seems like there's a certain sound you have go for, but I think you and Max [Kakacek] took a left turn and went in a new direction with it. What do you think were your influences in taking this direction? 

Julien: I think it has more to do with the fact that me and Max are pretty positive people who were going through a trying time and a number of different, crazy life transitions. Almost like quarter-life crisis vibes. We aren't the types to get truly down in the dumps, we have to look up and feel a bit positive. I think that's where the juxtaposition comes in with sad-sack lyrical content and then a little more upbeat melodies. I guess we were still just writing pop songs, translating a weird awkward time into pop songs. 

Matt: I think I've noticed that, and this might not be the most apt comparison, but it's the one that I'm thinking of right now and that's the new Paramore song "Hard Times" about struggling with depression but trying to be positive and about it and say, "Hey, we're going to beat this." I think Light Upon the Lake gives that vibe -- maybe not in sound but definitely in feeling. 

Julien: Yeah, that's definitely where we were at too. We're just happy people at heart but we have our struggles. 

Matt: You guys are playing a show at Delmar Hall next week, and it's in the middle of this absolutely massive tour you guys are doing right now, so I have to wonder two things: How do you guys think your live show has evolved over the years? And how are you able to survive on the road for as long as you are?

Julien: This current tour that we're on right now is about three straight months, which is the longest any of us have been out consecutively. We're going home right now for about three days, but after that it's another two months. Our live show -- I guess at this point we're just telling each other inside jokes on stage -- we just have little musical jokes that we'll add to our solos or fills. We're basically just having a conversation with each other. We still enjoy it and it still is evolving and it's getting a little bit more ridiculous and a little bit better in some areas. And I don't really know how we're still surviving right now, [if anything] some of us aren't surviving right now.

Matt: Yeah, being on the road for three months is just...

Julien: Dude, it's intense. 

Matt: I think I remember reading an interview where you said that it's much easier to be in a big band doing tours rather than being in a small, three-piece band just because you have more people to talk to and not go as insane by the time it comes to an end.

Julien: Yeah, if it was just me and Max on tour or something, we would have probably ripped each other's heads off just because it helps so much to have an entire crew where you just float around and spend too much time with one person. 

Matt: Since last year, you guys have been working on the follow-up to Light Upon the Lake, any updates on how the record is coming along? It seems like you've been working on it since that first album came out. 

Julien: After finishing Light Upon the Lake, we definitely took a little bit of a breather when it comes to writing. But yeah, we have three songs that we're super, super happy with and are deep into the next one. We're taking the whole month of September off and going to Portland where we rented this insane looking cabin to go write in. We'll knock out a few more songs then. We also have a couple weeks off in July. We don't really write when we're on the road because we're completely busy, but not uninspired because your head is just in such a wild rollercoaster ride. We need alone time at home to process everything and then translate that into the new songs. 

Matt: I don't really have that much time left with you so I'm just gonna throw some rapid fire questions at you and you can try your best to answer them. So my first one: what's the best Gatorade flavor to mix with sparkling water?

Julien: Ooh....I'm kind of a fan of just classic orange but maybe Fierce Grape too. 

Matt: What are your favorite alcoholic beverages?

Julien: The Negroni Slushy at Parson's in Chicago that's right around the corner from my house.

Matt: Favorite record of the year so far?

Julien: It's so easy to say Kendrick's new record [DAMN.] -- that song "LOVE." just gets better with each and every listen. 

Matt: Favorite kind of sushi?

Julien: I'm into just like... sashimi vibes. 

Matt: How does it feel to have an LSD and mushrooms reagent testing kit named after you?

Julien: Oh, what?

Matt: I was asking my friends about what questions they wanted me to give to you and one of them told me that there's this test kit for LSD and mushrooms that shares your name called "Ehrlich's Regeant Test Kit."  

Julien: Oh, really?

Matt: Yeah!

Julien: Dang, that's news to me. That's awesome though. 

Matt: Slanted and Enchanted or Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain?

Julien: Woah...what are you referring to right now?

Matt: Pavement.

Julien: Oh, dude, I've never heard Pavement. 

Matt: Really?

Julien: I'm sure I've heard their biggest songs but I have never really paid attention to them. Should I get into them?

Matt: Oh yes, I had friends who were obsessed with them for a while and eventually put me onto them and they're essentially the definitive indie rock band of the '90s. People usually describe them as essentially the Seinfeld of indie rock, whereas you know the "Seinfeld is bad" theory which is that people think it's bad, but mostly because of how much sitcoms took from Seinfeld. So basically there's a lot of indie rock that took from Pavement. At first you're wondering what's the hype behind this but then you realize how pretty much everything traces back to Pavement.

Julien: Like the Nirvana vibes. By the time I heard Nirvana, that was what alt radio sounded like all the time. So then when I heard Nirvana I was like, "This just sounds like mainstream." I just didn't understand how groundbreaking it was. So that's like the same Seinfeld thing. (I also don't like Seinfeld very much.)

Matt: Ok so, All Things Must Pass or Plastic Ono Band

Julien: Oooh, oh man. Both of them have a lot of mediocre songs on them in my opinion, but probably All Things Must Pass because his cover of "If Not for You" is fucking insane, so good. Actually, All Things Must Pass all the way. 

Matt: The last rapid fire question I have for you is, Six Flags or Dollywood?

Julien: Wait, Six Flags or what?

Matt: Or Dollywood.

Julien: What's Dollywood?

Matt: It's like Dolly Parton's theme park in Tennessee. 

Julien: Woah... I would check that out before going to Six Flags. But also, I wanna give a shout out to this waterpark in McMinnville, Oregon that's also an aviation museum [Wings and Waves Waterpark]. If you up go to the top of the building you take a water slide out of a Boeing 757, as it's this massive plane. Yeah, it's a crazy water park so shouts out to that place. 

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