"You're getting a real behind-the-scenes look," Patrick Stickles deadpanned as he steered a blue whale on wheels down Rock Road, the main drag of Glen Rock, New Jersey. It's mid-afternoon on a dreary Monday. The lunch crowd (presumably made up of people who don't commute to NYC) were sitting at scattered tables at scattered restaurants on either side of the drag. Storefronts looked abandoned rather than empty. The air was suburban-still—listless. We were en route to Rock Ridge Pharmacy, which Stickles noted I might remember from the song "No Future Part Three: Escape From No Future" from his band Titus Andronicus' second effort The Monitor. Also: There was the Glen [...]
Here is the latest video directed by WFMU radio host Tom Scharpling, who is becoming a sort of indie-rock video auteur. His work is full of people in goofy costumes in pedestrian places and marked by a dorky, let's-put-on-a-show enthusiasm—albeit one tempered by a New Jersey native's acceptance that nothing's ever going to really work out anyway. Scharpling used to be a writer for the TV show "Monk," which was funny and great just like his videos. Watch more of them.
Free Energy and Titus Andronicus, "I'm Going Down" (And Bruce Springsteen Covers Throughout History)
Philly's Free Energy and Jersey's Titus Andronicus just finished a tour together. At one of the last shows, last week in Atlanta, the Titus guys joined Free Energy for a beery, raucous rendition of "I'm Goin' Down," a song from Bruce Springsteen's 1984 album, Born in the U.S.A. It's pretty great.
Coincidentally, this is the same Springsteen song NYC's Vampire Weekend has been playing lately.
"The New Brunswick performance was a particular bright spot in a day packed with highlights—we were shooting Titus playing a basement show at a place called Fuck Mountain. The show was wall-to-wall with college kids who were really fired up to see the band return to their low-ceilinged roots." —New Jersey director Tom Scharpling talks about the extra live footage he recorded while making his video for New Jersey band Titus Andronicus's “No Future Part Three: Escape From No Future” back in February. Like the performance above, for example. The idea of being "proud" to be from New Jersey is a weird one. ("Hey Eddie, can [...]
A literate, anthem-prone punk band from New Jersey, Titus Andronicus put out their fantastic second album, The Monitor, in 2010. Shortly after its release, multi-instrumentalist Amy Klein joined the group to play guitar and violin; she also brought along a fierce and charismatic personality that plays a big role in making Titus' live shows some of the most riveting in contemporary music.
Between shows for another project of hers, Hilly Eye, I sat down with Klein at Cafe Lafayette in Brooklyn to discuss climbing on top of speakers, Patti Smith, Joanna Newsom, why everyone should read Rat Girl, and Girls Rock Camp, where she volunteers as a counselor.[...]
Here is a video of the Canadian punk rock band Fucked Up playing their encore last night at Le Poisson Rouge in the West Village. I was at the show. It was awesome.
Strangely, Titus Andronicus's new video about the popular topic of rest stops on the New Jersey Turnpike doesn't include any of the 200,000 solar panels the state's Public Service Electric Gas Company is putting up on telephone poles everywhere. (It must have been very challenging, since, as the Times reported yesterday, "If they were laid out in a solar farm, the 5-by-2.5-foot panels would blanket 170 acres.")
Being from New Jersey myself, I have some feelings about this. 1) This song is good, and with its refrain of "You will always be a loser," and its final, soothing sentiment of, "but that's okay," it makes for [...]
My band, Titus Andronicus, has played a lot of shows since I last blogged about a gig back in late 2009, and if I'm being honest with you, a lot of them have not been fun. It seemed harmless at the time, but I now realize that it was a big mistake to agree to only play Weezer songs at that horrible Vice Halloween party last year. That set a bad precedent. I don't want to admit to how many private shows we've played throughout 2010 where we had to do other people's music instead of our own, but I'm grateful that very little evidence has surfaced online. I [...]