Wednesday, March 12, 2014

First/Last-The Lampshades

"Started by teenagers in a rural central Pennsylvania basement outside of Altoona in 2003, going on a brief hiatus from 2009- 2012, now back as a minimally jaded 20's something Pittsburgh indie power trio."

Check out the band at their official Website, Facebook, MySpace, SoundCloud and BandCamp. The Pittsburgh-based trio released it's second album "Arena Punk" late last year and are playing the Thunderbird Cafe tomorrow night with fellow locals General Fantasy. I want to thank Jaren Love (Guitar/Vocals), Chris Kibler (Bass) and Dane Adelman (Drums) for taking a few to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
Jaren Love: I am pretty confident it was Puff Daddy and the Family's “No Way Out”.
Chris Kibler: “The Presidents of the United States of America” self-titled.
Dane Adelman: Ace of Base “The Sign”... I was in third or fourth grade. I thought I was really cool for buying this cassette. Also, the singles are still killer.

Your last album bought?
Jaren: Last week I pre-ordered the new LP by the Bloomington, Indiana based band Busman's Holiday.
Chris: Paul McCartney “Ram”.
Dane: Angel Olsen –“Burn Your Fire for No Witness”. Really dig this record, she has attitude that a lot of artists are missing nowadays. Also, she is really strong songwriter who seems slightly detached but still has heavy emotional impact.

Favorite album of all time?
Jaren: This is a hard one to answer, but we'll say Beach Boys “Pet Sounds”.
Chris: Jesus. Probably Neil Young “On the Beach”.
Dane: Impossible to narrow to one. But it might be between “Shock of Being” by Make Believe and “SMiLE” by The Beach Boys. “Shock of Being” record is the best ROCK record I’ve ever heard, with great lyrics and stunningly innovative guitar work and drumming. “SMiLE”, man, it's so perfectly composed and performed, just psychedelic orchestral music. My favorite piece of music ever is Tchaikovsky’s “6th Symphony”. Super tragic, the last thing he finished before he died.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Jaren: I'll answer the latter and say Weezer “Make Believe”.
Chris: I don't know.
Dane: Zwan “Mary Star of the Sea”... I love the Smashing Pumpkins, especially “Siamese Dream” and “Mellon Collie”... how could a band with the two most important members of that band, plus the guitarists from Slint (!) and Chavez (!!) go wrong? Ugh, just an awful record, especially considering the expectations and the personnel.

First concert attended?
Jaren: Weezer/Saves the Day/Ozma at the Bryce Jordan Center in State College, PA, 2001.
Chris: Simon and Garfunkel in Atlantic City.
Dane: Sonic Youth in 1997 at the ‘Movin' On’ festival at Penn State University. They were awesome, they only played new stuff from “A Thousand Leaves”. Some dumb frat doucher made fun of them by referring to the four or five minute instrumental section of ‘Wildflower Soul’ as the bridge.

Last concert?
Jaren: (not counting local) Kurt Vile at the Carnegie Music Hall in Homestead.
Chris: Not counting local shows, Fiona Apple at Club AE.
Dane:  The Dirty Projectors at Stage AE. KILLED IT. Dave Longstreth is one of the most talented dudes writing music right now, and his band slays too. Also, in terms of local shows, i saw this fella, Charmaine's Names, at a house show. He basically did karaoke (of his own material) but was a super captivating performer and sang in this loungey style, with really goofy lyrics.  He was pretty amazing.

Favorite concert ever?
Jaren: Probably Teenage Fanclub at Mr. Small's in fall 2010.
Chris: Tie between Guided By Voices at Mr. Smalls and Negative Approach at Gooskis.
Dane: Make Believe at the Grog Shop, Cleveland, 2005. I started reading Pitchfork relatively early. They eventually developed some kind of personal issue with Tim Kinsella (frontman of Make Believe/Owls/Joan of Arc). They trashed every record associated with him, so I dismissed his work. Then I went to see the Good Life (who were terrible!) in Cleveland, and Make Believe opened. At first I wasn't sure what to make of it, but I knew it was different from just about anything else I'd ever heard. Then they played an instrumental song, and Tim Kinsella pulled out a harmonica and played the most atonal, skuzz I’ve ever heard come out of that instrument. That made it for me. Also, Kinsella's confrontational performing style was amazing - he wrapped his mic cord around his own neck, around other people's necks, just was fearless about how the audience perceived him. And the drummer played Wurlitzer keyboard while he drummed with one arm! I became obsessed with the band, and it affected my songwriting, guitar playing, and drumming immensely.

Least favorite concert?
Jaren: Anytime that I have seen the band Real Estate (twice), I just find them to be boring live. Also, I found Sebadoh to be pretty disappointing when they played Brillobox like two years ago.
Chris: I was pretty disappointed by Swans when I saw them in Philadelphia a few years ago.
Dane: Deerhunter/No Age/Dan Deacon at Mr. Smalls (maybe 2010??)/ It was this round robin thing, a band would play two songs, then they'd switch, etc. It just really ruined the flow of the sets. A band would start really hitting their stride and then have to stop. An interesting concept, but a failure in execution. I haven't seen Deerhunter since, and I really love them, so I hope they come around again soon.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
Jaren: I moved to Pittsburgh three and a half years ago. This is home. I have no intention or desire to leave.
Chris: I've experienced too much here, and thought too little.
Dane: There is a lot of talent in this town, but I've seen some great bands come and go. Skinless Boneless and Hot Garbage were both incredible bands that I miss a lot. The “Hot Garbage” LP is one of the best records ever made. Right now, Secret Tombs, General Fantasy, Radon Chong, Adult Field Trip, Radium Girls, Drug Lust, Crappy Funeral, Trapper's Harp, and Liebestod are really knocking me out. I have a lot of optimism about the current state of the Pittsburgh music scene, although I wish there was more integration between different scenes in the city.

Thanks, fellas. Good call on the Teenage Fanclub gig, Jaren. For me, the excitement was finally seeing one of my favorite bands ever open the show, Radar Bros.

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