Tour Tools: Iggy Pop’s Epic Rider

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Iggy Pop is famous for a number of things: fronting The Stooges, using peanut butter as body paint, inspiring electric eel-like dance moves, pioneering the stage dive, writing timeless songs, playing a fictional overprotective dad on The Adventures of Pete & Pete…but as of today, we can add “composing epic tour riders” to the list.

The Stooges‘ tour rider, which combines one part practicality to one part off-the-cuff stream of consciousness, is as funny as it is functional.

Keep reading to see the complete rider…

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Song Crush: The Black Keys – “Gold…”

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Gold on the Ceiling

The intro of The Black Keys‘ latest single, “Gold on the Ceiling” reminds me of The White Stripes‘ “Blue Orchid” for all the right reasons. MORE DISTORTION!!

I can’t deal with how much I love this song.

Tour Tales: The Muggs

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The Muggs

The self-proclaimed “Ugliest Band in the World” doesn’t need a pretty face to get by, because The Muggs‘ psychedelic blues-rock speaks for itself. Since forming in 2000, the energetic Detroit-based trio comprised of Danny Methric (guitar/vocals), Tony DeNardo (bass/keys), and Todd Glass (drums) has been taking the globe by storm. Fresh off of their European tour, The Muggs recap a night out in Berlin.

June 16th, 2012

The Muggs @ The White Trash

Berlin, Germany

The Muggs were set to play one of the more famous downtown Berlin rock clubs, White Trash, which featured a restaurant upstairs and a discothèque of sorts downstairs. You could tell this was a serious rock place: Eagles of Death Metal were DJing the next night, and The Bellrays were gracing White Trash soon after that.  The Muggs were billed upstairs, where the stage was crammed against the far wall.  The staff and sound guy seemed leery of us, paying little to no attention to us at first. We couldn’t blame them, after all, were [just a handful of guys] from Detroit.

After our perfunctory meal buyout of burgers and fries, we loaded in my Fender Rhodes bass and Danny’s Fender Deluxe.  Todd, that lucky dog, was able to use the house drum kit, which made load in much easier.

The sound guy gave us the scoop on how the night would go. The expatriate American living in Berlin wasn’t the most enthusiastic guy ever, but he was very nice and respectful of us.  He told us to play one 25 minute set, then break for at least a half hour, then go for another hour. That seemed simple enough.

The Muggs hit the stage around 9:30pm, if I recall correctly.  Our set list was packed with songs from all three of our full-length LP’s, plus powerful blues rock gems from the likes of Rory Gallagher, Free, and John Lennon. By the second set, the crowd was really getting into it. Like the freight train The Muggs can be, we rolled over them with songs like “Get It On” from On With The Show, “6 To Midnite” from Born Ugly, and “Need Ya Baby” from The Muggs.  The DJ was so taken by the music, that from time to time, he would add tambourine to the mix. Nine times of of ten on this month long European tour, we would close out the show with Rory Gallagher’s “Used To Be”, or “the best break up song ever,” according to Mr. Dannymuggs.  Berlin was no exception, we rocked it!!

Immediately after the show, while selling our merch, I was asked by White Trash’s floor manager to come downstairs and handle some paperwork.  By the time I returned upstairs, the DJ was spinning classic 80’s and 90’s music, so the dance floor (located right in front of the stage) was packed.  Our equipment was trapped behind a sea of dancing fools!

Todd, Dannymuggs, and our tour manager, Juanpa, a tall, lanky Spanish man (who loves bocadillo and his café solo), were cutting rugs with drinks in hand and smiles a mile long.  I immediately joined them, to their surprise.  From time to time, Todd would get behind the drum kit on stage and play along to songs like “Rock the Casbah.”

The night flew by and before we knew it, the sun was peaking out – it was 6am!  How could this be?  We had an 8 1/2 hour ride to Switzerland and we hadn’t even gotten to bed yet. We loaded out with the help of White Trash’s manager and got a rotten three hours of sleep at a hostel one block from the venue (which was convenient, thank God). We awoke at 10am, had a slightly lame breakfast for three Euros, and then sat in the van for a whopping 10 1/2 hours, due to two separate traffic jams.

We were 2 1/2 hours late to our last gig at Cafe Bar Agora in Basel, Switzerland, before we flew home to the States.  But like I say, “Rock ‘n roll cures the ails of being late, enduring long van rides, and sleep deprivation.”  To quote B.B.King, “The night life, it ain’t no good life, but it’s my life!”

Tour Tale by: Tony DeNardo (The Muggs)

Video Credit: Schultz Studioz

An Interview With Irvine Welsh

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Bestselling author Irvine Welsh explains why rock & roll and a good book go hand in hand.

Steamrolling over the boundaries of sex, drugs, and rock and roll, Irvine Welsh writes stories that would make your mother blush. Best known for penning Trainspotting, Welsh revisits the silver screen with Ecstasy, a twisted tale that explores the euphoric highs and devastating lows of chemical dependency.

After a recent screening of Ecstasy in Toronto, Irvine Welsh sat down with Tour Death to discuss the music that inspires him to write.

Tour Death: What are some of your favorite bands and what have you been listening to lately?

Irvine Welsh: I’m always looking to music, because it helps me to construct [my] characters. I make up playlists for every character that I write about. I’ve been listening to a lot of British 80s music, because one of the characters I write [about] is very into that, but I’ve also been listening to a lot of country. I’ve got The Cure on one side and Brad Paisley on the other, trying to get into the heads of the characters through the music that they listen to.

Live Shots: Bleached – NXNE

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Hailing from the Best Coast, er…West Coast, surf punk sisters Jennifer and Jessica Calvin delivered their lo-fi sound to NXNE fans during Toronto’s most notable indie music festival. Although the sisters of Bleached draw serious comparisons to Bethany Consentino, we can’t get our hands on enough California fuzz pop bands these days, so the more the merrier!

Bleached Press Shot: Bleached

Live Shots: Plants and Animals – NXNE

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Plants and Animals have come a long way since the release of their self-titled debut in 2002. Although the Montreal-based trio initially began as a fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants instrumental project, the band has called upon new sounds (and voices) over the past decade to create what they refer to as “post-classic rock.” Plucking inspiration from Mick Jagger, Arcade Fire, and Hunter S. Thompson, Plants and Animals wowed NXNE fans at the Yonge-Dundas Square stage.

Plants and Animals Press Shot: Plants and Animals

Live Shots: Eight and a Half – NXNE

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In April of 2011, Montreal indie rockers The Stills announced their dissolution. In the wake of that breakup, The Stills’ principal songwriter Dave Hamelin joined forces with keyboardist Liam O’Neil, picking up Broken Social Scene’s drummer Justin Peroff along the way. The trio formed a new band, Eight and a Half, who brought their synth-driven rock to Yonge-Dundas Square for NXNE

Eight and a Half Press Shot: Canvas Media