It started in Ohio. Of course it did. Having released a ridiculous amount of music (25 albums, 39 singles, and 1,600+ songs) since the 1983 formation of seminal Dayton garage rockers/binge drinkers Guided By Voices, the hard rocking/hard swilling underground icons could actually be more famous for their (several) farewell shows. One show in particular could be the biggest goodbye they gave, at Metro on New Year’s Eve in 2004. The show was a staggering four hours long, eventually turning into something akin to a Bruce Springsteen or Barbra Streisand concert, only way cooler. In all, they played 63 songs.
Veteran garage rock weirdoes The Black Lips are known for their outlandish antics which may or may not including urination, vomiting, and on-stage nudity. But a recent show with Ariel Pink may have taken the cake. “I do like the freaky weirdo scene,” Black Lips lead singer Cole Alexander says in a recent conversation with Chicago INNERVIEW. “We did a tour with Ariel Pink last year and I felt like he really captured the weirdo scene, and I really appreciated him letting us on tour with him. One of the best audience members we got was this guy who came up on stage and lit his pubic hair on fire. It was gnarly.”
Texas is home to armadillos, BBQ, 10-gallon hats and strangely enough, psychedelic rock. Over 10 years have passed since seminal Austin-based psych rockers The Black Angels released their first album, Passover, but this deliciously trippy band continues to crank out incredibly deep music filled with reverb, melody, and clairvoyant improvisational beauty. With a name derivative of the Velvet Underground track “The Black Angel’s Death Song,” the band’s newest and fifth LP Death Song is a tribute to a darkly obscure Native American tradition that feels strangely apropos in our apocalyptic political age. Chicago INNERVIEW spoke with lead singer/bassist Alex Maas on a sunny spring day to talk about the dark ideas behind Death Song.
Over the course of 14 records and countless singles, Kevin Barnes — the driving force and sole constant creator behind legendary Athens glam-pop patriarchs Of Montreal — has laid waste his most personal feelings to the point where the listener at times may feel like a priest in the confessional booth or a therapist scribbling notes as Barnes lays supine on a Freudian couch. The erstwhile Of Montreal frontman was just as forthcoming in a recent conversation with Chicago INNERVIEW as we plied him with questions about his creative process, his nonchalant attitude towards turning his personal life into art, and the direction he sees his prolific project moving towards.