Jody Porter of Fountains of Wayne Talks Solo

Recently I caught up with solo artist, and guitarist for Fountains of Wayne, Jody Porter. Working with everyone from Albert Hammond Jr. to Jesse Malin, Porter is one of the most well known names in the rock and roll world.

MM: How does working with Fountains of Wayne and being solo differ for you personally, when it comes to writing songs, and crafting a piece of music?

Porter: I think my songs have a bit more flexibility while being cut in the studio. I like to allow things to happen spontaneously after bringing the song in see where it goes. A lot of times happy accidents can lead to some cool moments. Maybe my approach is less conventional than our approach in fountains,but there is still the same goal of making the song live up to what you hear in your head.

MM: You’ve worked with the likes of Albert Hammond Jr., Jesse Malin, Ivy and Juliana Hatfield. How did you decide to work with each of them? Are there any more collaborations you would like to do in the future?

Well they’re all pals and I’m not that hard to find around the village. Albert and Jules have my digits so it was really just guesting on some friends’ records. I’d like to work with Jesus if he ever shows up.

MM: Already being known for your work, before you released your solo material, does that put any pressure on you as an artist?

I don’t feel any pressure. I’m not trying to do repeat what I’ve done before musically or professionally. I just do it because I’ve been doing it all my my life and can’t help it.

MM: What inspires you to write a song? Not only musically, but lyrically.

Anything really. Some of my songs come out of personal experiences but I don’t think of myself as a “story teller”. There are enough boring songs out there about boring people. The best ones pretty much write themselves.

MM: How has your music personally evolved over the years?

I think the stuff I wrote in England with my first band was more complex. I was into the idea of making progressive music that wasn’t prog rock.Might’ve actually succeeded if I wasn’t so lazy but I think over the years I’ve realized simplicity in a song always wins. It’s what you can do in that 4 minutes that gives the artistic license to go outside of the box.

MM: What is your favorite part of being in the studio?

Like a second home to me. Being able to experiment with different places to take the song keeps things interesting.

MM: What is your favorite part about playing live?

I love the interaction with the audience and I like the girls at the after parties.

MM: How did you get involved with playing the Northside Festival this year?

Engine Room folks are cool and said how bout it.

MM:What is up next for you?

Making more hits. Another solo record is in the works as is staying around for a while.


Of Montreal Releases New Track, Album Release Date

The time is finally here. Of Montreal have finally spread the news on when their newest effort, False Priest (Polyvinyl), will arrive in our grubby little hands. This will be the first record that hasn’t been produced by the band themselves, as duties were taken over by, for the most part, Jon Brion. Kanye West and Fiona Apple also took part of it, and Solange Knowles and Janelle Monae also appeared on the record with guest vocals. This sounds a bit odd, doesn’t it? Kevin Barnes is involved after all so why would it be normal?

It was time for OM to change their sound, which is kind of nice, especially, as being a long time fan, the glitter and dance fest was getting a bit boring when they came to New York City the last time.

What False Priest has to offer is a brand new look at Of Montreal. Currently inspired by everything 1970’s the group has turned over a new leaf. It can be heard by the recently leaked song “Coquet Coquette,” which you can hear below.

Polyvinyl Records, the band’s longtime label, already has the LP version and a brand new tee shirt featuring the album’s artwork, both designed of course by David Barnes (Kevin’s brother) and Nina Barnes (Kevin’s wife). The record is due out September 13th in the U.S. and September 14th in Europe.

False Priest Tracklisting:

01 I Feel Ya’ Strutter
02 Our Riotous Defects [ft. Janelle Monáe]
03 Coquet Coquette
04 Godly Intersex
05 Enemy Gene [ft. Janelle Monáe]
06 Hydra Fancies
07 Like a Tourist
08 Sex Karma [ft. Solange Knowles]
09 Girl Named Hello
10 Famine Affair
11 Casualty of You
12 Around the Way
13 You Do Mutilate?

Of Montreal Tour Dates:

07-25 Jackson, MI – Land of Nod Experiment
07-30 Montreal, Quebec – Osheaga Festival
07-31 Burlington, VT – Higher Ground
08-02 Asheville, NC – Orange Peel
08-07 Lake Worth, FL – Bryant Park (Lake Worth-It) (Kevin Barnes solo)

Of Montreal – Coquet Coquette by modernmysteryblog

Matt Pond PA “Starting”

Tonight I am going to see one of my favorite bands, Matt Pond PA. Here’s my little secret. For some reason I have NEVER seen MPPA live. This is beyond wierd isn’t it? I’m not exactly sure how this has happened, being I live in New York, as does the band, but we have unfortunate incidents, that every time for the past 5 years, when MPPA took the stage I either already had tickets to another show or I was on vacation. It seemed to be working against me. Good grief Charlie Brown.

I still remember the first time I discovered Matt Pond PA. It was 2005 and I was interning at big record label in Manhattan. Someone got fired, and as the intern I was, I got to clean out their cd collection, and keep what I wanted to, and put the rest in the trash. Nothing caught my eye but this mix someone had made the person oddly titled “Sunsetting.” Looking at the tracklist, I saw the good Matt Pond PA name on there, noticed it being familar, and took it. The song that was on there was “The Butcher,” and in my ever mess of a room, I didn’t listen to the mix for almost two weeks. It wasn’t until Sunday night two weeks later when I was watching Subteranean on MTV2, that they showed the MPPA video for “Closest (Look Out).” I’ve been hooked ever since.

Well tonight is the night that I get to experience first hand, MPPA at the Bowery Ballroom. With the recent release of The Dark Leaves (Polyvinyl), and some of the strongest songs Pond has ever written, it is sure to be an amazing night. Plus I am going to experience it with someone who I love dearly. I think it was all meant to happen at once.

Recently MPPA released the first video for the record, “Starting,” which features the new-ish lineup featuring the lovely Miss Leslie Sisson of the Wooden Birds (which she plays with Pond and Andrew Kenny formerly of American Analog Set), running away from a slow swerving car with glowing orbs. It MPPA fashion, it’s beautiful.

Matt Pond PA “Starting”

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin Releases Album Documentry and Tour Dates

There are 56 days until the new album by Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin titled Let It Sway (Polyvinyl) hits stores. Yes I am so excited that I actually just counted the days until I get the record in my hands. That’s August 17th if you need some help there.

The band has just announced some great news that they will be doing a headlining tour with openers Telekinisis, starting the end of August. I have a feeling this is only the start of the tour dates. This may be the album that makes SSLYBY huge, especially with Death Cab for Cutie’s Chris Walla behind it. This is the first release that they didn’t produce themselves.

SSLYBY has also put out a mini documentry for the album which has drummer/singer/guitarist Phil Dickey narrating. It shows the band in their daily crazy life and making the record in the studio(s). It really gives an insight, and a little listen, to Let It Sway.

Give it a view below, and be sure to notice the red plaid scarf that bass player Will Knauer is wearing. It makes an appearance three times. I gave him that for Christmas. Am I famous now??

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin Tour Dates08/31 – St. Louis, MO @ Firebird *
09/01 – Urbana, IL @ Canopy Club *
09/02 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall *
09/03 – Detroit, MI @ Magic Stick *
09/04 – Toronto, ON @ El Mocambo *
09/06 – Montreal, QC @ Casa Del Popolo *
09/07 – Cambridge, MA @ TT The Bears *
09/08 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom *
09/10 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat *
09/11 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Barbary *
09/12 – Cleveland, OH @ The Grog Shop *
09/13 – Columbus, OH @ The Basement *

* = w/ Telekinisis

The scarf!

Catching Up with Harper Blynn

Harper Blynn (Formerly Pete and J) isn’t your average band from New York City. In a time where it’s hard for groups to set themselves apart in the ever growing NYC/Brooklyn scene, rockers Harper Blynn are able to do it perfectly with their own brand of indie rock. We caught up with the Peter Harper and J Blynn recently, who are slated to play at the Northside Festival this weekend. It’s their first time playing the fest, and it won’t be their last we’re sure.

Modern Mystery: With the heavy amount of bands that are always coming out of New York City, what makes Harper Blynn stand out from the rest?

For starters, we have no animals or trees in our name. As far as the music goes, we are heavy on the singing and harmonies, and we are trying to write and perform music that could have come from anywhere at any time. There has always been a ton of music coming out of New York, and we’re trying to do something all our own.

MM: Who are your influences? What bands and artists inspired you to play music?

We are influenced by all types of music. To name a few, Otis Redding, The Police, Wilco, The Cars, The Killers, Paul Simon, Gillian Welch, and anyone who writes great songs.

MM: Is this your first time playing the Northside Festival? How did you get involved this year?

This is our first time, we are Northside virgins! The lovely folks at Engine Room asked us to do it, and we said YES!

MM: Loneliest Generation took only 10 days to record. How did you make the record so fast?

We are a live band first and foremost, and we believe strongly in road-testing all of our songs before recording them. As a result, a lot of the arrangement work was already completed, so it never took more than 2 takes to get the live band tracks.

MM: When writing songs, is it a collaboration between the band members?

Pete and J collaborate to write all the music for the band, and that process has a wide range. Sometimes we come to each other with a finished song, and we’ll work out small kinks and details. Sometimes we start from scratch and write a song completely together. The point is, everything goes through the two of us before we bring it to the band. Once we bring the music to the band, we all arrange the songs together.

MM: What is your favorite part about performing live?

Winning over every person in the room and making them fans of Harper Blynn!

MM: At what point in life did you decide you wanted to become a musician for a living, or did the music chose you?

Most people we’ve met in the music business pretty much NEVER recommend anyone getting involved, and especially these days, you better be 100% convinced that music is your only option. Otherwise, you will be eaten alive.

MM: After the Northside Festival, what is up next for Harper Blynn?

After the festival, we’ll probably grab a couple beers. After that, we’re home for about two weeks, and then we’re hitting the road opening for Greg Laswell and Cary Brothers and playing as their band. So we’ll be on stage all night, playing 3 sets! We’re pumped.

Sunday, June 27th
Public Assembly
70 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, NY

Doors are at 2pm and the show will be free to Northside Festival badge holders. Individual admission is $5 and the show is 21+.


2:30pm – Madison Square Gardeners
3:30pm – The Art Of Shooting
4:30pm – Harper Blynn
5:30pm – Jody Porter
6:30pm – The Canon Logic

Ryan Adams To Release Two Unheard Albums

Ryan Adams. Oh where do we begin. Since ‘retiring’ early last year, Adams has not been out of the spotlight one bit. With book tours and pressing an album with his ‘metal’ project, Orion, if anything, he’s more in the spotlight than ever.

News came this morning that Mr. Adams will be releasing two unheard albums from the vault. Though when they will be put out is unsure yet, in great Ryan fashion, we’ll sure not only will it be soon, but it will be without much notice. The first will be a double LP that he recorded with The Cardinals called III/IV and the second is called Blackhole which was written during the Love is Hell era which he said took him four years to make. I have a feeling this is only the beginning of the Adams’ back issues.

Ryan Adams – “Go Ahead And Rain” by modernmysteryblog