31 May 2004

Live Review: Sondre Lerche

Sondre Lerche at Slim's on Saturday, May 29: Aidin Vaziri | During one of his typically lengthy anecdotes he declared, in clunky English, "Humans have come to stay." He introduced another song, saying it was quite sad, then offered mathematical proof: "Sad times the amount of people living in the world. That's really sad." Hoping to get his fans to join in a sing-along during the encore, he proposed, "Let's join all the races of the world to sing." It was like watching a lounge singer on PCP...

28 May 2004

Remix Cover Story: Felix Da Housecat

On the cover of the May 2004 issue of Remix Magazine: Aidin Vaziri | A Chicago native, Felix da Housecat knows his house roots, but his electro-funk take on dance music launched him into a league of his own as a DJ and producer. His new album, Devin Dazzle and the Neon Fever, keeps the funk on the floor. Felix talks to Aidin Vaziri about constructing his tracks and deconstructing his studio.

27 May 2004

Mean Street Feature: Velvet Revolver

Read the Velvet Revolver feature in the May 2004 issue of Mean Street: Aidin Vaziri | Does anyone remember when Scott Weiland’s heroin problem got so bad that it became a legal problem and the Stone Temple Pilots got so pissed they just went off and got a different singer and started a completely new band? What was that called? Seven Mary Three? The Eagles? It doesn’t matter because now the exact opposite is happening. And by exact opposite we mean all the members of Guns N’ Roses except the crazy ones have started a new band with all the members of Stone Temple Pilots except the ones that weren’t so addicted to drugs...

26 May 2004

Reviews at E!: Lenny Kravitz, Air & more

Aidin Vaziri | There are a couple of new reviews up at E! Online, including Lenny Kravitz, Air, The Streets, Gretchen Wilson and Aerosmith.

21 May 2004

May 23, 2004: Jena Malone, The Streets, Avril Lavigne, Keane and Joe Firstman

Aidin Vaziri | What's new in the San Francisco Chronicle on Sunday, May 23? Well, there's an interview with serious teen-star Jena Malone about her not-so-serious new movie "Saved," a conversation with white British rapper Mike Skinner, aka The Streets, about his new concept album, as well as CD reviews of Avril Lavigne and Keane. Oh, and there's also a great Q&A with young singer-songwriter Joe Firstman.

Pop Quiz: Joe Firstman

Aidin Vaziri | While Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes busies himself with buying bassinets and picking out wallpaper patterns, 24-year-old Joe Firstman is stepping up to give us our retro blues-rock fix. The North Carolina singer- songwriter released his premiere album, "The War of Women," last year. And although it's unfortunately not a concept album about mud wrestling, it did give him the opportunity to tour with Sheryl Crow, Jewel and Willie Nelson. He also got to collaborate with childhood hero Bernie Taupin, who is Elton John's songwriting partner.

Joe Firstman
Q: What was it like touring with Sheryl Crow?
A: I've got to tell you, man, doing the big opening shows is great because of the mass exposure to people who wouldn't know about your music otherwise. But I never considered myself an opening act. I'm a headliner. Personally, I prefer to headline for 15 people than open up for someone else in front of 3,000.
Q: Did you ever "accidentally" walk into her dressing room while she was taking a shower?
A: That's a very odd question. No. I don't know if that kind of stuff would have flown.
Q: You also toured with Willie Nelson.
A: The last time we were out he was actually in a lot of pain because he has carpal tunnel. He's 71, though, so I'm in good shape.
Q: Did you ever "accidentally" walk into his dressing room while he was taking a shower?

14 May 2004

The Cardigans, Alanis Morissette, Eric Idle

Aidin Vaziri | Sunday, May 16's edition of the San Francisco Chronicle includes an interview about the "Life of Brian" revival with Monty Python's Eric Idle, CD reviews of new releases by Alanis Morissette and British band Athlete, plus a Q&A with Cardigans singer Nina Persson, once voted the sexiest woman in rock.

The Cardigans
Q: You totally cleaned up this year at the Swedish Grammys.
A: Yeah, we kind of did. That was really nice.
Q: Was the competition stiff?
A: Oof! I don't think it's anyone you would know. The rest of the nominees were strictly Swedish artists. Do you know any Swedish bands?
Q: Do polar bears count?

Pop Quiz: Peaches

Aidin Vaziri | Never mess with a woman who wears a fake beard. Especially if she wears that fake beard on the cover of her latest album, "Fatherf -- ." Peaches is a 36-year-old former music teacher from Canada turned gender-bending Berlin electro-punk star. Aside from sexually charged numbers like "Shake Yer Dix" and "Stuff Me Up," her new record also includes a great duet with Iggy Pop called "Kick It." We caught her on the cell as she was barreling across the country toward San Francisco -- thankfully, from a safe distance.

Q: What's your stage show like this time out?
A: Insane. I've got two dancers coming. (pause) Hello?
Q: Oh, I thought there was going to be more.
A: What do you need?
Q: You've got two dancers and what else?
A: And me. What else? What do you need? You've got me. I'm a f -- virtual KISS concert on my own. I don't think you need much more.
Q: But is there more if someone wants it?

Aidin Vaziri's Greatest Hits: Disc One

Via Rock Critics Daily: I've linked to Aidin's stuff (posted on his blog) in the past--and just to alleviate your suspicion, no, we're not friends, and I'm not on his payroll--but after reading his Q&As with the rich, the famous, and the not-quite-there-yet, I feel small and hopeless (in a good way, of course!), and never ever want to feign interest in the presence of a musician again. Now excuse me while I go buy some stain remover. (Coffee stains, y'know.)

Tom Jones
Q: I didn't even know you were into hip-hop now.
A: It all depends on what mood I'm in. I always listen to Top 40 when I'm in L.A. because I want to know what's going on. So I might be singing with Nelly one day and singing with Norah Jones another.
Q: You can probably relate because your songs are all about sex and partying and big butts and everything.
A: You've got to sing stuff that people can associate with.

Leann Rimes
Q: Do you buy a dog every time you put a new record out?
A: No, but that's not a bad idea.

Robert Plant
Q: I heard you were on a break-beat-techno-folk kick lately.
A: Who told you that?
Q: I just made it up.

Jack Johnson
Q: Have you ever had a job?
A: Yeah, I've had a lot. My first job was washing dishes at the local pizza restaurant. That was in high school. And then for three years I was the director of this surf and kayak camp for little kids.
Q: Wait, let me rephrase that: Have you ever had a job where you had to wear shoes?
A: I never had a job where I had to wear shoes.

Burt Bacharach
Q: Ron [Isley] looks like he smells really good.
A: Smells good? He's really a good guy.
Q: Did he try to make you wear any leopard print robes?
A: Not really. We both wore sweats in the studio.

Ryan Adams
Q: From what I've heard, you like to celebrate your birthday every day.
A: From what you've heard I like to celebrate my birthday every day?
Q: I can't open a newspaper without reading about you falling down drunk in a bar.
A: You can't open a newspaper without reading about me falling down drunk in a bar?

Mandy Moore
Q: Can you hold your breath for a really long time?
A: No, that's something that scares me more than skydiving. It freaks me out.
Q: I don't mean underwater though. Like, if you're watching TV.
A: Is that on your list?
Q: I want to hold it for four hours.
A: Oh my gosh.

Peter Cincotti
Q: You've been such a good boy for the past 19 years. When are you going to lash out?
A: How do you know I haven't rebelled already?
Q: You're too nice.
A: So you believe everything you read?
Q: Sure, why not?