Posts Tagged With: Patty Hurst Shifter

Caitlin and Skillet: Married to the Music

CaitlinSkilletCaitlin Cary and Skillet Gilmore used to be Ryan Adams’ bandmates as two-fifths of Whiskeytown’s lineup during the band’s mid-1990s salad days. But nowadays, they’re one of Raleigh’s coolest music-and-arts power couples. They’ll be on the radio together Thursday night, holding forth on Raleigh’s online station Little Raleigh Radio to present “Married to the Music” on the LRR program “Under The Influence.” Based on what they’ve been posting about disagreements over the playlist (Fugazi, y’all?), it’s sure to be hilarious.

“Married to the Music” airs from 9 to 10 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, and you can listen here. And in further news from their respective musical orbits, the first Tres Chicas show in many moons happens April 24 at the Cary Theatre; while Skillet plays with Patty Hurst Shifter March 29 at Slim’s.


UPDATE (2/19/15) — The playlist, interspersed with much good-natured banter and laughter, went like this:

Tres Chicas, “Desire”
Verbena, “Hey, Come On”
X, “Around My Heart”
Sam Cooke, “Jesus Gave Me Water”
Mountain, “Mississippi Queen”
T.Rex, “Lean Woman Blues”
Van Halen, “Jamie’s Crying”
Dirty Little Heaters, “Mexico Way”
Finger, “Shipwreck Dress”
Goner, “Battleground Park”
Ace Frehley, “New York Groove”
Geraldine Fibbers, “Jolene”
Firehose, “In Memory of Elizabeth Cotton”
Elizabeth Cotton, “Freight Train”
Ray Charles, “What Would I Do Without You”
Neko Case, “Calling Cards”
Pretenders, “2000 Miles”

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Stories of the departed: Ian McLagan

KimIanThe past few days, social media has been awash in tributes to the late great  Ian McLagan, the legendary Small Faces keyboardist, who died on Wednesday of complications from a stroke at age 69. Mac was a wonderful all-around chap, dynamite musician and one of the funniest raconteurs of all time (for proof, just check his hilarious and no-holds-barred 2000 memoir “All The Rage: A Riotous Romp Through Rock & Roll History”). I got to interview Mac a few times over the years, including one especially memorable 2009 chat that involved equal amounts of tears and laughter once we got to talking about all the songs he’d written about his late wife Kim.

Pretty much everyone in the roots-rock world who’s played the club circuit over the past few decades has a McLagan anecdote or two, including various members of Whiskeytown. The one from Ryan Adams, which you can listen to here, dates back to when Ryan was bottoming out while making his Love Is Hell album, on which Mac played; and it’s funny, but pretty much a standard excessive-drinking tale. Ryan’s old bandmate Skillet Gilmore has a better story, from his post-Whiskeytown days in Patty Hurst Shifter — in part because he can boast of having been given a nickname by Mac.

Dude, I’m jealous.

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Recalling the 2001 Guitartown firestorm

Eleven years ago this week, Ryan Adams was pretty much on top of the world. His album Gold was out and earning the best reviews of his career, launching him into the rock-celebrity jetstream. For the next year, Ryan would be an inescapable presence in the rock press, which devoted seemingly millions of words to breathlessly covering his doings in interviews, features, reviews, previews and gossip-column items. After years of hardscrabble struggle, Ryan had finally arrived.

But on Sept. 28, 2001, three days after Gold’s release, Ryan found time to settle a score via one of his former hometown’s online watering holes, Guitartown. No Depression magazine co-editor Peter Blackstock was one of the few critics in the country who hadn’t gone gaga over Gold, penning a column in which he likened the album to pyrite. I wasn’t too fond of Gold myself and expressed a similarly lukewarm assessment in a News & Observer album review published around then, too.

Anyway, Ryan dropped on into Guitartown with an expletive-laced tirade that excoriated Peter and vowed that his label’s corporate overlords would put No Depression out of business with a boycott. I’ve got this printed verbatim on page 151 of “Losering,”  and you can also find it in the Guitartown archive — along with the ensuing firestorm it triggered, which went on for days with Guitartown denizens blasting Ryan and Ryan blasting back. Finally, Ryan threw out a parting shot before taking his leave for the last time:

…you just cant stand it because its not about your lousy fucking internet groups anymore, peter you are getting old and jaded but worst of all, you are Ross Grady, with a zine, or maybe like a David Menconi but just no balls

After Ryan called me out by name on Guitartown, I decided I’d had about enough and I did respond. For better or worse, I chose to leave that response out of “Losering” because I didn’t want the book to be “Ryan and Me” and it just felt like calling too much attention to myself. But hey, that’s what blogs are for. So here it is:

<sigh>…

hey, somebody tell Ryan that Courtney Love’s been in here posting under his name.

Ryan, babe, I simply *love* your new direction — Andy Kauffman-style confrontational performance art, wow, whoda thunk it? but to quote one of those literary types you’re suddenly so fond of invoking, you have delighted us quite enough for one evening.

so before you fire your next salvo, hear me out. I’m asking you, not as a critic but as one of your fans of longest standing:

stop. please. because right now people aren’t laughing with you, they’re laughing at you, and not in a nice way.

allow me to direct your attention to something you yourself said not too long ago. the following is a quote from your very own current Lost Highway Records bio:

“But I do have two new rules. One is not to analyze what I wrote. The second is not to read my own press. I just want to make it and not fuss about it. No excuses for it. Just make it and there it is. That way, the process is more pure. And even if people hate it, well, it doesn’t matter. Because I’m just doing it to do it.”

okay, then: prove it. “do it just to do it,” make whatever records you want to make, put ’em out there, take your lumps & move on. and if somebody doesn’t like it, oh well, right? you said so yourself.

in the grand scheme of things, the opinions of critics & pundits don’t amount to a hill of beans. the Rolling Stones aren’t in the hall of fame because some ink-stained wretch liked ’em; they’re in there because they made music that stood the test of time, despite getting plenty of less-than-flattering reviews over the years. you think Keith Richards spent much time tracking those people down to berate & threaten them?

“And even if people hate it, well, it doesn’t matter.” so prove it. because this is supposed to be about the music, right?

right?

still the best fan you ever had,

David Menconi

NP — Ryan Adams, Born Yesterday

For all I know, Ryan never read that because he never responded. He did, however, stop posting, so maybe. There was plenty more said after that, but Ryan was gone and it was mostly Guitartowners talking amongst ourselves. My favorite postscript came from the late Tim Kimrey, who posted what he called a “G’town-inspired PR photo of Ryan.” The picture doesn’t seem to be in the Guitartown archive any longer, but it was something like what you see here.

“It seems a little wrinkled-y for a young feller like him,” Tim wrote, “but perhaps it’s had lots of exposure.”

Ryan’s old Whiskeytown bandmate Skillet Gilmore piped in with the perfect closer: “Yup. That’s him.”

Ah, memories…


ADDENDUM (3/17/2015): Ryan may not come around Guitartown in its modern-day Facebook incarnation, but his name still gets dropped there — even if it’s as “HWSNBN” (“He Who Shall Not Be Named”). For example, there’s the post below. And I have a comment, all right: I can’t decide if “16 Days” or “New York, New York” would be a more appropriate heckle for Bryan Adams when he plays Raleigh.

Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 9.56.27 AM

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