Does anyone remember that old skit on In Living Color about the Jamaican family whose members continually try to one-up each other by namedropping how many jobs they have? Of course you do. Well, Butch Walker would fit in that fictional family quite well dreads or no dreads. Walker is a sought-after music producer, whose worked with Avril Lavigne, Pete Yorn, and Weezer to name a few. On top of that, he's a respected musician in his own right who is currently touring in support of his new album The Spade, which he released with his band of "Black Widows." If that weren't enough, the singer/songwriter also released his debut memoir Drinking with Strangers: Music Lessons From a Teenage Bullet Belt. "Hey mon... how many jobs you have?" OK, I'm done with that analogy.
Moments before taking the stage at the Gramercy Theatre in New York City, Walker performed a tune off his new record and chatted briefly about it in typical "A-sides" and "asides" fashion.
"Closest Thing to You I'm Gonna Find"
...and now for something completely different.
DAMNDOGS hail from Australia and have much more of a rock and even dance work ethic than Walker. The band, who recently released their debut EP Strange Behaviour, consists of Mitch McIvor, Louis Macklin, and JET bandmates Chris Cester and Mark Wilson. As Cester told me in New York City -- just days after their CMJ show at Bowery Electric, DOGS aren't merely a side project - they're a full-fledged band. They're also nothing like JET. With strong hooks and danceable in-your-face rhythms, you're more likely to move your hips than pound your fists to their music. Well, OK maybe you'll do both. Watch a live performance of their song "Cocaine" below followed by an interview with Cester and Macklin in NYC. Enjoy the song, and don't do drugs.
About "A-Sides with Jon Chattman"
Jon Chattman's music series features artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometime humorous) way. No bells, no whistles -- just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, I'm hoping this is refreshing.