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  #1  
Old 08-25-2006
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Interesting Golden Smog article...

I just ran across this. No real new news, but it's pretty interesting, plus a good picture....

http://www.azstarnet.com/sn/aznightbuzz/143677.php

Golden Smog still offers a release for its members' day jobs
By DAVID BAUDER
Associated Press
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 08.26.2006
NEW YORK - The creative process of the rock band Golden Smog can be tough to witness.

"If people don't like a part you're playing, you're going to hear it pretty quick," said Dan Murphy, the band's guitarist.

Maybe that's because their time together is always short, and there's no time to lie, or go back and erase it later. Since its inception in the early 1990s, the Minneapolis-based Smog has always been a side project around steadier gigs. Murphy's first priority was Soul Asylum. For Gary Louris and Marc Perlman, it was the Jayhawks. For Kraig Johnson, it was Run Westy Run.

The Jayhawks are now defunct, never reaching the stardom some had assumed. Soul Asylum's star has cooled. Life has changed, but the semi-serious nature of Golden Smog - serious enough to put out occasional discs and play gigs, but never their members' top priority - hasn't changed.

The band's most recent disc, "Another Fine Day," is another strong collaboration between old friends who are now old pros, who keep the door open for Wilco's Jeff Tweedy to contribute two songs.

Louris, Murphy and Johnson are all singer-songwriters. Perlman writes, too; his "Cure For This," sung by Muni Loco, has a fragile beauty reminiscent of Velvet Underground.

When one of the songwriters plays a composition for the others and it's not up to snuff, the silence in response will tell him pretty quickly.

"It's not like a lovefest all the time," Louris said. "We get on each other. We don't all have the same vision, but we find spaces for compromises in the music."

He's not a big fan of democracy in bands, reasoning that too much time worrying about feelings can lead to watered-down music. Golden Smog's dynamic might change if it became the top priority, leading to power struggles, he said.

But with side project status, it isn't an issue. In fact, there's a real freedom in not having the pressure to carry the load, he said.

The disc was recorded in Spain and Minneapolis. The title, "Another Fine Day," is a reference to the monotonous beautiful weather they had in southern Spain, which covered up some difficult sessions. The band had some amplifiers confiscated by the Spanish government, requiring a tariff to get them back, and couldn't get the recording tape it wanted until the last few days.

"It was kind of a nightmare in Spain," Murphy said. "It gave the record a kind of scrappy feel."

Instead of writing many of the songs in advance, the Smog tried the tightrope-walking approach of writing during the sessions and thrashing things out.

"I like that because I have full faith in myself to get something done," Louris said. "I feel confident - cocky even - to the point that if we get an idea, then we'll get something great. The main thing is that we get an idea that's not overworked, or over-demoed."

Louris said he seems to work better under such pressure. "The clock is ticking, the red light is on and we have to come up with something," he said. "It's more like a game."

Although all the members involved in Golden Smog are old friends, Murphy said he was curious to see how Louris and Perlman would get along following Louris' decision to disband the Jayhawks. They seemed OK, he said.

It was a sad decision for that band's loyal fans. The Jayhawks survived the departure of co-leader Mark Olson and, behind Louris, turned out a handful of superb discs. But when they couldn't expand the audience beyond a loyal cult, Louris said it was time to move on.

"You can't say we were premature," he said. "Twenty years together. I'd gotten to the point where it was a bit of a 'Groundhog Day' situation, where I was going to the same clubs year after year and playing for the same people."

The precise harmonies and stately songs of early Jayhawks put them at the forefront of the alternative country movement more than a decade ago. That label stuck, much to Louris' annoyance. To see Louris onstage with Golden Smog in New York City recently, closing the show with a squalling cover of Iggy Pop's "I Wanna Be Your Dog," shows how outmoded the term is.

Travel is less appealing to Louris, 51, as he's getting older, and has been since he was involved in a serious auto accident more than a decade ago. He's enjoying the chance to closely follow his beloved Minnesota Twins this season.

He's trying different things, including writing for others. His four songs on the Dixie Chicks' latest album instantly gave his music its greatest exposure. Louris has also renewed his friendship with Olson after a period of estrangement and they're recording an album together - exciting news for those who enjoyed the special blend of their voices.

There are days he wonders what he was thinking in breaking up the Jayhawks and leaving his comfort zone, but they're fading.

"I feel like I needed to shake things up and take some chances," he said.
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Old 08-26-2006
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Nice article Joyce. Informative.

Thanks for sharing.

dflyer
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Old 08-26-2006
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"You can't say we were premature," he said. "Twenty years together. I'd gotten to the point where it was a bit of a 'Groundhog Day' situation, where I was going to the same clubs year after year and playing for the same people."

Hmmm... do you think he's talking about us here??....
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Old 08-26-2006
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Heh - Gary looks like a psychotic game show host.

Last edited by Icehaid : 08-26-2006 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 08-26-2006
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Originally Posted by Icehaid View Post
QUOTE=jcarlile;114070]I just ran across this. No real new news, but it's pretty interesting, plus a good picture....

http://www.azstarnet.com/sn/aznightbuzz/143677.php

[QUOTE

Heh - Gary looks like a psychotic game show host.
You've gone to the Glacier school of quote box management I see.
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Old 08-26-2006
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You've gone to the Glacier school of quote box management I see.
ACK! Don't summon, Jedey!
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  #7  
Old 08-26-2006
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Quote:

Heh - Gary looks like a psychotic game show host.
Marc looks quite glum doesn't he..
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Old 08-26-2006
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You've gone to the Glacier school of quote box management I see.
Oy, that's brutal. Whoops! Gotta fix it.
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Old 08-26-2006
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I'ts great to see Gary smiling. I guess it might be a little creepy to him to keep seeing the lot of us over and over at the shows....

Thanks for posting the article!
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Old 08-27-2006
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I'ts great to see Gary smiling. I guess it might be a little creepy to him to keep seeing the lot of us over and over at the shows....

Thanks for posting the article!
I always hope it's reassuring to them to see a familiar face in the crowd! I used to be a front rower at Wilco/Jeff Tweedy shows along with a few other familiar faces to Jeff. A lot of times at shows he'd make some jokes about us...how about making room for some new people, etc. One time a friend as a joke bought a bunch of stick on mustaches and clown noses (as disguises) and had us put them on just before Jeff came out (I was wearing a black Zorro mustache). Jeff was of course amused and made a comment about the new folks up front. Anyway as Wilco got more popular I was kind of elbowed out by the new VIA bunch but I still make it up front every once in awhile. Just want to make sure Jeff knows I'm STILL there....
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Old 08-27-2006
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Originally Posted by takemewithyou View Post
I always hope it's reassuring to them to see a familiar face in the crowd! I used to be a front rower at Wilco/Jeff Tweedy shows along with a few other familiar faces to Jeff. A lot of times at shows he'd make some jokes about us...how about making room for some new people, etc. One time a friend as a joke bought a bunch of stick on mustaches and clown noses (as disguises) and had us put them on just before Jeff came out (I was wearing a black Zorro mustache). Jeff was of course amused and made a comment about the new folks up front. Anyway as Wilco got more popular I was kind of elbowed out by the new VIA bunch but I still make it up front every once in awhile. Just want to make sure Jeff knows I'm STILL there....
I like that story. I've heard some of those jokes on bootlegs. Jeff is awesome!
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Old 08-27-2006
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Originally Posted by takemewithyou View Post
I always hope it's reassuring to them to see a familiar face in the crowd! (I was wearing a black Zorro mustache).

Sandy, I hope it's reassuring to them too. But sometimes I gotta wonder if they think we're a little over the edge...but then again, I have too much fun at the shows to care. I'm bringing a few uninitiated friends to the GS show in Philly, but they are mostly coming along because I'm so psyched about it!
I'm burning my fave GS songs on a cd for them so they at least have something coming in.

Hey, who would pay cash money to see our Board Goddess in the Zorro mustache?
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Old 08-27-2006
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Hey, who would pay cash money to see our Board Goddess in the Zorro mustache?
Where do I have to send the money to???
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Old 08-27-2006
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Where do I have to send the money to???
Whom did we elect treasurer, again? Was it JP? Well, until we sort the matter out, you may send your $20 chump fe--I MEAN Reservation Fee to

axeeugene
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MN-WI border town
USA

Contact me for more precise details. I will also offer Official Bootlegs of the Caffeine Zombie August show in my living room and RARE audio acoustic performance of "Sandy Plays With Axeeugene's Pitbull Puppy," both together for the first time for a mere $39.95. And to complete your collection, contact Haggis for high-res copies of the Great Chicago Get-Together and cootner for 12x14 giclee prints of "All Your Favorite Fanpage Regulars Drunk on $3 20 ouncers at the First Ave 35th Anniversary Blowout"

Last edited by axeeugene : 08-27-2006 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 08-27-2006
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Whom did we elect treasurer, again? Was it JP? Well, until we sort the matter out, you may send your $20 chump fe--I MEAN Reservation Fee to

axeeugene
Oak Street
MN-WI border town
USA

Contact me for more precise details. I will also offer Official Bootlegs of the Caffeine Zombie August show in my living room and RARE audio acoustic performance of "Sandy Plays With Axeeugene's Pitbull Puppy," both together for the first time for a mere $39.95. And to complete your collection, contact Haggis for high-res copies of the Great Chicago Get-Together and cootner for 12x14 giclee prints of "All Your Favorite Fanpage Regulars Drunk on $3 20 ouncers at the First Ave 35th Anniversary Blowout"

Cheque is in the mail
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