I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Joel Gion, the most famous tambourine player in the Indie Rock world, about his new album Apple Bonkers on The Reverberation Appreciation Society label in Austin (also the home of Night Beats, Elephant Stone, Holy Wave, Austin Psychfest DVDs and Christian Bland & The Revelators, guitarist for The Black Angels)…
Your new album Apple Bonkers on the Reverberation Appreciation Society label seems like a great fit. How did you hook up with one of Austin’s finest labels?
Well after I got most of the album tracks recorded I saw the Austin Psych Fest was coming up so I wanted to premiere my new songs at the coolest Festival in the world. I emailed them the tunes and they’re like “hey let us put this out on our label” so I got the perfect fit before I even had to go shopping.
I saw a prior Joel Gion album, Extended Play, at Other Music a while back… How would you compare the experience of making and playing that record to your latest?
Oh that’s neat they had that. It was a home recordings EP. It was my first attempt at writing my own songs and I turned it into an experiment. I wrote, recorded and mixed the whole thing on my computer and had a limited edition vinyl pressed before ever playing the music to anyone. I was just bored and was up for some learning in public. Some of the results I love, but it’s got some wonky moments as well. But then Burger Records wanted to do a cassette so I was able to add a couple more songs and make some afterthought adjustments. That’s the best version.
Doing everything by yourself I get, but I also think it’s kinda masturbatory. I much prefer collaboration with like-minded weirdos. I guess I found I’m just more of a circle jerk kinda guy. I wrote all the songs and had a great time fleshing it out in a proper studio with many friends. It was really nice to have people I respected want to be apart of it. Rob Campanella, Collin Hegna, Dan Allaire & Matt Hollywood from The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Pete Holmstrom from The Dandy Warhols, Ryan Van Kriedt from Asteroid #4, ex-BJMr’s Miranda Lee Richards and Jeff Davies and others. The Psychedelic Super Friends!
“Hairy Flowers” is a Psych-Pop smash hit in our opinion. What’s the back-story on that particular song?
Thanks. Well that song more than any other is a true expression of myself and also explains why it took so long for me to start making my own work. I’m lazy as f#ck! I can sing that song with pure honesty and self awareness. I love music that romanticizes just being free to bum around. Lee Hazlewood, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings — all that “Sunday Morning Coming Down” type fare.
OK now lets jump back into history… you and I met while the documentary Dig was being shot here about your old group The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Dandy Warhols in what was then the TVT offices. Can you synopsize your time with BJM and leader Anton Newcombe for us?
Well he’s incredibly motivated and intelligent and funny and a real f#cking trip of a dude. He’s also very self-obsessed which is common in people that prolific. My Chinese Astrology animal is the Dog which makes perfect sense in that I’m fiercely loyal and so the perfect right hand man. So we went through all this crazy stuff and people came and went but I was always the constant guy hanging tough with him. When I finally did have just too much of what had become total heroin negativity and left, I came back a couple of years later to a different situation. The “band” mentality was gone (if it was ever truly there) and the idea is it’s just him and whomever. Which is fine, I absolutely accept his vision. But for me, what makes it better than before is the line up that has been the constant since my return has turned into the best bunch of friends I’ve ever had (except for one guy but that’s still pretty good for an 8-piece).
So now we’re in this current year of the Horse, and dogs run as fast as the horses, you see, so I’ve stepped out on my own as my own leader. This year I put out a new single, an album and now have 4 songs recorded for the next one plus I’ve got 2 different live bands. I also toured Europe for a month and an additional 3 months with BJM. I’ll always play with Anton as long as it makes sense for both of us, but now things are different for me too. It’s a lot funner to write and record your songs than it is just to play tambourine. There, I said it and it freaks me out!
Hi Everyone, my name is Desiree Finigan, but feel free to call me Des.
I’m a native Californian from the San Francisco Bay Area, which makes me a proud and faithful 49ers and SF Giants fan. I found my way to Los Angeles when I was accepted to Loyola Marymount University, and graduated with a degree in Television Production. I’ve been a Production Coordinator and Associate Producer for multi-camera series for Sony Pictures Television, TV Land and the Disney Channel.
I’m an active member of the Junior League of Los Angeles, a women’s volunteer organization, where my focus has been in Development (fundraising) for the league. I’m chairing my first fundraiser this fall. I also enjoy doing home improvements and hope to add some stamps to my passport!
I’m excited to be joining The Orchard team and look forward to meeting everyone!
As some of you may have noticed, we’ve updated the look and feel of our iTunes Heatmap in The Orchard Workstation Analytics. While the interface itself is a thing of beauty, we couldn’t just stop there! You’ll notice an increase in speed and overall performance of the tool as well. The most substantial difference is in the heat, or lack thereof, once you really zoom in on a region or city. We’ve made our metrics more reliable and interactive, so you get the best insight in the simplest way.
Once you reach a certain zoom level, the heat will disappear and you’ll see markers and clusters take their place. A marker denotes sales for a specific postal code, while a cluster aggregates sales from multiple postal codes. You can tell them apart by the layer of shading surrounding a cluster vs the more “solid” border of the marker circles. Hovering over a cluster will tell you how many postal codes are being grouped up to make up the sales, while hovering over a marker will just give you the postal code information. Want to see a more detailed view of what is hidden beneath a cluster? Just click and the map will zoom in to that cluster’s area.
We’ve covered look, feel, and performance, all of which come together to make a pretty killer tool on The Orchard’s utility belt. If you haven’t used the Heatmap in a while, do yourself a favor and check it out, poke around a little bit and enjoy! And as always, let us know what you think.
The great, big world of BalconyTV is one that extends all over the globe, from Tel Aviv to Tokyo, from Brooklyn to Barcelona, and about 50 other cities in between. And on top of those kick-ass acoustic performances with gorgeous city backdrops, the phenomenal BTV producers have been so kind as to recreate the shows on their website for all to see. Sounds like a pretty spectacular musical web presence, right?
Abso-freaking-lutely. Which is why BalconyTV (including all of their Balconies around the world) was the winner of not one, but TWO Lovie Awards! The Lovies, Europe’s top-tier awards for online excellence, seek out the web’s best creative innovators. BalconyTV was not only sought after, but also received the Judges’ Silver Lovie (voted on by the Academy) and the People’s Lovie (voted on by the public) for best Music & Entertainment Internet Video.
What does all this awards talk mean? That BalconyTV and its producers have some of the most killer online content in the EU. They’ve been putting out high-quality live music performances on their website since 2006, and the catalog just keeps getting bigger and better.