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Any Idea what Steve Albini is up to at the minute? Last thing I heard from him was the production on the McClusky album. Any new Shellac stuff coming out in the future?

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE, Monday, 25 November 2002 15:26 (twenty-one years ago) link

I think he's preparing an egg dish at the moment.

Sean (Sean), Monday, 25 November 2002 15:29 (twenty-one years ago) link

He IS an egg dish.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Monday, 25 November 2002 15:32 (twenty-one years ago) link

9:30 AM (or thereabouts) in Chicago; he's probably not even awake yet. Of course, you could just call Electrical Audio and find out (they're listed).

Yesterday I saw the back of the Rapeman Sub-Pop 7", and that reminds me of why I love Albini: flat-tops!

hstencil, Monday, 25 November 2002 15:36 (twenty-one years ago) link

bong hits and getting small indie bands to pay him lots of money so they can say "WE RECORDED WITH STEVE ALBINI"

Jonathan Williams (ex machina), Monday, 25 November 2002 15:44 (twenty-one years ago) link

bong hits...

Hahahahaha, the guy hardly touches beer! And he gave up smoking cigarettes after the heart attack.

hstencil, Monday, 25 November 2002 15:45 (twenty-one years ago) link

he recorded Songs Ohia's next album

stevie (stevie), Monday, 25 November 2002 15:58 (twenty-one years ago) link

the new giddy motors "make it pop!" lp was engineered by him...

chances are, albini's engineering some record with loud and abrasive guitars and really well mic'ed drums.

msp, Monday, 25 November 2002 16:05 (twenty-one years ago) link

When did he have a heart attack?

J0hn Darn13ll3 (J0hn Darn13ll3), Monday, 25 November 2002 16:14 (twenty-one years ago) link

On one of Rapeman's tours of Europe. If you had your own popcorn machine, your cholesterol would be off the charts, too.

hstencil, Monday, 25 November 2002 16:17 (twenty-one years ago) link

I heard he makes his own mayonaise, too.

Sean (Sean), Monday, 25 November 2002 16:21 (twenty-one years ago) link

homemade mayonaisse made me a believer...

seriously i was a mayo h8r until i discovered the goodness of home-made varieties.

i saw steve smoking after rapeman btw...

gygax!, Monday, 25 November 2002 16:36 (twenty-one years ago) link

i saw steve smoking after rapeman btw...

OMG, WHERE?!?!?!?!?!?

hstencil, Monday, 25 November 2002 16:43 (twenty-one years ago) link

shellac in SF - circa at action park

gygax!, Monday, 25 November 2002 16:46 (twenty-one years ago) link

out of his ass of course.

nathalie (nathalie), Monday, 25 November 2002 16:47 (twenty-one years ago) link

A local slagging-bands zine that comes out every two months has a regular "Dublin bands that fly to Chicago to record with Steve Albini" award.

Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Monday, 25 November 2002 17:01 (twenty-one years ago) link

Which reminds me of an article by Steve Albini. Dunno if you read it.

It is called the problem with music

the problem with music
by steve albini
excerpted from Baffler No. 5
Whenever I talk to a band who are about to sign with a major label, I always end up thinking of them in a particular context. I imagine a trench, about four feet wide and five feet deep, maybe sixty yards long, filled with runny, decaying shit. I imagine these people, some of them good friends, some of them barely acquaintances, at one end of this trench. I also imagine a faceless industry lackey at the other end, holding a fountain pen and a contract waiting to be signed.

Nobody can see what's printed on the contract. It's too far away, and besides, the shit stench is making everybody's eyes water. The lackey shouts to everybody that the first one to swim the trench gets to sign the contract. Everybody dives in the trench and they struggle furiously to get to the other end. Two people arrive simultaneously and begin wrestling furiously, clawing each other and dunking each other under the shit. Eventually, one of them capitulates, and there's only one contestant left. He reaches for the pen, but the Lackey says, "Actually, I think you need a little more development. Swim it again, please. Backstroke."

And he does, of course.

I. A&R Scouts

Every major label involved in the hunt for new bands now has on staff a high-profile point man, an "A&R" rep who can present a comfortable face to any prospective band. The initials stand for "Artist and Repertoire," because historically, the A&R staff would select artists to record music that they had also selected, out of an available pool of each. This is still the case, though not openly.

These guys are universally young [about the same age as the bands being wooed], and nowadays they always have some obvious underground rock credibility flag they can wave. Lyle Preslar, former guitarist for Minor Threat, is one of them. Terry Tolkin, former NY independent booking agent and assistant manager at Touch and Go is one of them. Al Smith, former soundman at CBGB is one of them. Mike Gitter, former editor of XXX fanzine and contributor to Rip, Kerrang and other lowbrow rags is one of them. Many of the annoying turds who used to staff college radio stations are in their ranks as well.

There are several reasons A&R scouts are always young. The explanation usually copped-to is that the scout will be "hip" to the current musical "scene." A more important reason is that the bands will intuitively trust someone they think is a peer, and who speaks fondly of the same formative rock and roll experiences.

The A&R person is the first person to make contact with the band, and as such is the first person to promise them the moon. Who better to promise them the moon than an idealistic young turk who expects to be calling the shots in a few years, and who has had no previous experience with a big record company. Hell, he's as naive as the band he's duping. When he tells them no one will interfere in their creative process, he probably even believes it.

When he sits down with the band for the first time, over a plate of angel hair pasta, he can tell them with all sincerity that when they sign with company X, they're really signing with him and he's on their side. Remember that great, gig I saw you at in '85? Didn't we have a blast.

By now all rock bands are wise enough to be suspicious of music industry scum. There is a pervasive caricature in popular culture of a portly, middle aged ex-hipster talking a mile-a-minute, using outdated jargon and calling everybody "baby." After meeting "their" A&R guy, the band will say to themselves and everyone else, "He's not like a record company guy at all! He's like one of us." And they will be right. That's one of the reasons he was hired.

These A&R guys are not allowed to write contracts. What they do is present the band with a letter of intent, or "deal memo," which loosely states some terms, and affirms that the band will sign with the label once a contract has been agreed on.

The spookiest thing about this harmless sounding little "memo," is that it is, for all legal purposes, a binding document. That is, once the band sign it, they are under obligation to conclude a deal with the label. If the label presents them with a contract that the band don't want to sign, all the label has to do is wait. There are a hundred other bands willing to sign the exact same contract, so the label is in a position of strength.

These letters never have any term of expiration, so the band remain bound by the deal memo until a contract is signed, no matter how long that takes. The band cannot sign to another label or even put out its own material unless they are released from their agreement, which never happens. Make no mistake about it: once a band has signed a letter of intent, they will either eventually sign a contract that suits the label or they will be destroyed.

One of my favorite bands was held hostage for the better part of two years by a slick young "He's not like a label guy at all,' A&R rep, on the basis of such a deal memo. He had failed to come through on any of his promises (something he did with similar effect to another well-known band), and so the band wanted out. Another label expressed interest, but when the A&R man was asked to release the band, he said he would need money or points, or possibly both, before he would consider it.

The new label was afraid the price would be too dear, and they said no thanks. On the cusp of making their signature album, an excellent band, humiliated, broke up from the stress and the many months of inactivity.

II. There's This Band

There's this band. They're pretty ordinary, but they're also pretty good, so they've attracted some attention. They're signed to a moderate-sized "independent" label owned by a distribution company, and they have another two albums owed to the label.

They're a little ambitious. They'd like to get signed by a major label so they can have some security—you know, get some good equipment, tour in a proper tour bus—nothing fancy, just a little reward for all the hard work.

To that end, they got a manager. He knows some of the label guys, and he can shop their next project to all the right people. He takes his cut, sure, but it's only 15%, and if he can get them signed then it's money well spent. Anyway, it doesn't cost them any thing if it doesn't work. 15% of nothing isn't much!

One day an A&R scout calls them, says he's "been following them for a while now," and when their manager mentioned them to him, it just "clicked." Would they like to meet with him about the possibility of working out a deal with his label? Wow. Big Break time.

They meet the guy, and y'know what—he's not what they expected from a label guy. He's young and dresses pretty much like the band does. He knows all their favorite bands. He's like one of them. He tells them he wants to go to bat for them, to try to get them everything they want. He says anything is possible with the right attitude. They conclude the evening by taking home a copy of a deal memo they wrote out and signed on the spot.

The A&R guy was full of great ideas, even talked about using a name producer. Butch Vig is out of the question—he wants 100 g's and three points, but they can get Don Fleming for $30,000 plus three points. Even that's a little steep, so maybe they'll go with that guy who used to be in David Letterman's band. He only wants three points. Or they can have just anybody record it [like Warton Tiers, maybe—cost you 5 or 10 grand] and have Andy Wallace remix it for 4 grand a track plus 2 points. It was a lot to think about.

Well, they like this guy and they trust him. Besides, they already signed the deal memo. He must have been serious about wanting them to sign. They break the news to their current label, and the label manager says he wants them to succeed, so they have his blessing. He will need to be compensated, of course, for the remaining albums left on their contract, but he'll work it out with the label himself. Sub Pop made millions from selling off Nirvana, and Twin Tone hasn't done bad either: 50 grand for the Babes and 60 grand for the Poster Children—without having to sell a single additional record. It'll be something modest. The new label doesn't mind, so long as it's recoupable out of royalties.

Well, they get the final contract, and it's not quite what they expected. They figure it's better to be safe than sorry and they turn it over to a lawyer—one who says he's experienced in entertainment law—and he hammers out a few bugs. They're still not sure about it, but the lawyer says he's seen a lot of contracts, and theirs is pretty good. They'll be getting a great royalty: 13% [less a 10% packaging deduction]. Wasn't it Buffalo Tom that were only getting 12% less 10? Whatever.

The old label only wants 50 grand, and no points. Hell, Sub Pop got 3 points when they let Nirvana go. They're signed for four years, with options on each year, for a total of over a million dollars! That's a lot of money in any man's English. The first year's advance alone is $250,000. Just think about it, a quarter-million, just for being in a rock band!

Their manager thinks it's a great deal, especially the large advance. Besides, he knows a publishing company that will take the band on if they get signed, and even give them an advance of 20 grand, so they'll be making that money too. The manager says publishing is pretty mysterious, and nobody really knows where all the money comes from, but the lawyer can look that contract over too. Hell, it's free money.

Their booking agent is excited about the band signing to a major. He says they can maybe average $1,000 or $2,000 a night from now on. That's enough to justify a five week tour, and with tour support, they can use a proper crew, buy some good equipment and even get a tour bus! Buses are pretty expensive, but if you figure in the price of a hotel room for everybody in the band and crew, they're actually about the same cost. Some bands (like Therapy? and Sloan and Stereolab) use buses on their tours even when they're getting paid only a couple hundred bucks a night, and this tour should earn at least a grand or two every night. It'll be worth it. The band will be more comfortable and will play better.

The agent says a band on a major label can get a merchandising company to pay them an advance on t-shirt sales! Ridiculous! There's a gold mine here! The lawyer should look over the merchandising contract, just to be safe.

They get drunk at the signing party. Polaroids are taken and everybody looks thrilled. The label picked them up in a limo.

They decided to go with the producer who used to be in Letterman's band. He had these technicians come in and tune the drums for them and tweak their amps and guitars. He had a guy bring in a slew of expensive old vintage microphones. Boy, were they "warm." He even had a guy come in and check the phase of all the equipment in the control room! Boy, was he professional. He used a bunch of equipment on them and by the end of it, they all agreed that it sounded very "punchy," yet "warm."

All that hard work paid off. With the help of a video, the album went like hotcakes! They sold a quarter million copies!

Here is the math that will explain just how fucked they are:

These figures are representative of amounts that appear in record contracts daily. There's no need to skew the figures to make the scenario look bad, since real-life examples more than abound. Income is underlined, expenses are not.

Advance: $250,000
Manager's cut: $37,500
Legal fees: $10,000
Recording Budget: $150,000
Producer's advance: $50,000
Studio fee: $52,500
Drum, Amp, Mic and Phase "Doctors": $3,000
Recording tape: $8,000
Equipment rental: $5,000
Cartage and Transportation: $5,000
Lodgings while in studio: $10,000
Catering: $3,000
Mastering: $10,000
Tape copies, reference CDs, shipping tapes, misc expenses: $2,000

Video budget: $30,000
Cameras: $8,000
Crew: $5,000
Processing and transfers: $3,000
Offline: $2,000
Online editing: $3,000
Catering: $1,000
Stage and construction: $3,000
Copies, couriers, transportation: $2,000
Director's fee: $3,000

Album Artwork: $5,000
Promotional photo shoot and duplication: $2,000

Band fund: $15,000
New fancy professional drum kit: $5,000
New fancy professional guitars (2): $3,000
New fancy professional guitar amp rigs (2): $4,000
New fancy potato-shaped bass guitar: $1,000
New fancy rack of lights bass amp: $1,000
Rehearsal space rental: $500
Big blowout party for their friends: $500

Tour expense (5 weeks): $50,875
Bus: $25,000
Crew (3): $7,500
Food and per diems: $7,875
Fuel: $3,000
Consumable supplies: $3,500
Wardrobe: $1,000
Promotion: $3,000

Tour gross income: $50,000
Agent s cut: $7,500
Manager's cut: $7,500

Merchandising advance: $20,000
Manager's cut: $3,000
Lawyer's fee: $1,000

Publishing advance: $20,000
Manager's cut: $3,000
Lawyer's fee: $1,000

Record sales: 250,000 @ $12 = $3,000,000 gross retail revenue Royalty (13% of 90% of retail): $351,000
Less advance: $250,000
Producer's points: (3% less $50,000 advance) $40,000
Promotional budget: $25,000
Recoupable buyout from previous label: $50,000
Net royalty: (-$14,000)

Record company income:
Record wholesale price $6.50 x 250,000 = $1,625,000 gross income
Artist Royalties: $351,000
Deficit from royalties: $14,000
Manufacturing, packaging and distribution @ $2.20 per record: $550,000
Gross profit: $710,000

The Balance Sheet: This is how much each player got paid at the end of the game.

Record company: $710,000
Producer: $90,000
Manager: $51,000
Studio: $52,500
Previous label: $50,000
Agent: $7,500
Lawyer: $12,000
Band member net income each: $4,031.25

The band is now 1/4 of the way through its contract, has made the music industry more than 3 millon dollars richer, but is in the hole $14,000 on royalties. The band members have each earned about 1/3 as much as they would working at a 7-11, but they got to ride in a tour bus for a month.

The next album will be about the same, except that the record company will insist they spend more time and money on it. Since the previous one never "recouped," the band will have no leverage, and will oblige.

The next tour will be about the same, except the merchandising advance will have already been paid, and the band, strangely enough, won't have earned any royalties from their t-shirts yet. Maybe the t-shirt guys have figured out how to count money like record company guys.

Some of your friends are probably already this fucked. Steve Albini is a much sought-after producer and founding member of eighties punk band Big Black. more on Big Black

Jahsonic, Monday, 25 November 2002 17:04 (twenty-one years ago) link

Thanks for posting what Albini was up to like 6 years ago.

hstencil, Monday, 25 November 2002 17:09 (twenty-one years ago) link

is this article a revised version? we should invite albini to revise the figures to take account of inflation.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Monday, 25 November 2002 17:46 (twenty-one years ago) link

hstencil, its monday and we are in a pretty louse mood, right?

nathalie (nathalie), Monday, 25 November 2002 17:49 (twenty-one years ago) link

Despite having to clean up a stopped-up toilet (thank you, roommates) I'm actually in a good mood. Even with that Albini article getting posted somewhere for like the 600 MILLIONTH time.

hstencil, Monday, 25 November 2002 17:54 (twenty-one years ago) link

Albini made the last GY!BE album bad.

Callum (Callum), Monday, 25 November 2002 18:51 (twenty-one years ago) link

explain? (haven't heard it but what is abt albini's contribution that made this record 'bad' in yr opinion?).

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Monday, 25 November 2002 18:55 (twenty-one years ago) link

Albini is great with simple guitar bands like Shellac, Low and Labradford. With Godspeed his attempt to capture their 'live energy' turned it into a big blurry mess.

Callum (Callum), Monday, 25 November 2002 18:58 (twenty-one years ago) link

A lot of you people on here are big nap takers so I might check the new GYBE! out.....

Jonathan Williams (ex machina), Monday, 25 November 2002 19:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

it can't really be albini's fault: what are GYBE supposed to put on the record instead of their 'energy'. I don't think they have tried their hands at songwriting. the point is it prob is the band's fault.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Monday, 25 November 2002 19:04 (twenty-one years ago) link

He put the microphones TOO CLOSE!

hstencil, Monday, 25 November 2002 19:05 (twenty-one years ago) link

Maybe GYBE should try writing songs. I mean, if Mogwai can do it...

Callum (Callum), Monday, 25 November 2002 19:10 (twenty-one years ago) link

if only those microphones were a couple of cm to the right then 'energy' would be captured. precious precious energy.

''Maybe GYBE should try writing songs. I mean, if Mogwai can do it...''

they are not v good at it callum.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Monday, 25 November 2002 19:20 (twenty-one years ago) link

Are too. ;-)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 25 November 2002 19:24 (twenty-one years ago) link

Not very good? Uh, have you HEARD Rock Action?

Callum (Callum), Monday, 25 November 2002 19:26 (twenty-one years ago) link

heard one alb of theirs. that was enough.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Monday, 25 November 2002 19:29 (twenty-one years ago) link

All three of their albums are vastly different, but Rock Action is particularly different. They wrote SONGS for Rock Action.

Callum (Callum), Monday, 25 November 2002 19:29 (twenty-one years ago) link

GY!BE were one of two bands at Shellac's ATP which weren't there by invitation of Shellac. This presumably means that they were invited before the big fight, and Foundation wouldn't take them off because they're a big draw.

Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Monday, 25 November 2002 19:39 (twenty-one years ago) link

I really don't care.

Callum (Callum), Monday, 25 November 2002 19:43 (twenty-one years ago) link

big fight?

jones (actual), Monday, 25 November 2002 19:49 (twenty-one years ago) link

Hmmm, Sunday morning donut & pop tart rock shows.

donut bitch (donut), Monday, 25 November 2002 20:01 (twenty-one years ago) link

Festivals seem like a stupid idea to me. Who wants to watch a rock band at lunch-time?

Callum (Callum), Monday, 25 November 2002 20:05 (twenty-one years ago) link

Why's there such a big cult of personality around a recording engineer? I don't get it.

sundar subramanian (sundar), Monday, 25 November 2002 20:23 (twenty-one years ago) link

Because it's fun.

donut bitch (donut), Monday, 25 November 2002 20:31 (twenty-one years ago) link

Because of where he PLACES THE MICROPHONES. Ooooh!

hstencil, Monday, 25 November 2002 20:35 (twenty-one years ago) link

''Why's there such a big cult of personality around a recording engineer? I don't get it.''

um, he's not just a recording engineer sundar. shellac, rapeman and big black were/are good rock bands.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Monday, 25 November 2002 20:58 (twenty-one years ago) link

It's because of his music? That's even weirder.

sundar subramanian (sundar), Monday, 25 November 2002 21:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

OK he does come across as an idiot and this 'cult' you talk abt (well, since I do live in the UK and don't mix in indie circles)... its the first time I heard of it b-but I like his bands.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Monday, 25 November 2002 21:07 (twenty-one years ago) link

Because there are two people here and I want you to kill them.

donut bitch (donut), Monday, 25 November 2002 22:31 (twenty-one years ago) link

Because of where he PLACES THE MICROPHONES. Ooooh!

oh... don't forget the record buttons! and those level knobs! oh shit... and the pan knob!

(really tho... all respect due...)

msp, Tuesday, 26 November 2002 03:56 (twenty-one years ago) link

i think you're confusing tracking with mixing

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Tuesday, 26 November 2002 04:01 (twenty-one years ago) link

I saw Shellac like a month ago. I went because Rye Coalition were opening, and if you don't know about them, ya betta axe somebody. I was thinking about going up to Steve and saying (in numbnuts doofus voice) "Uh, Mister Albini, here's a tape of stuff I did on my 4-track with about $500 worth of equipment. Do you think you could listen to it, and then tell me if I have any talent that you could perhaps mold into something great, take me under your wing, as it goes?" But I drank to many beers and had to leave 3 songs into Shellacs set, so it didn't happen.

Helltime Producto (Pavlik), Tuesday, 26 November 2002 04:16 (twenty-one years ago) link

You guys are nerds.
Seriously. Steve Albini is not Julia Roberts and you are not Mary Hart.

E-to-the-Izzo, Tuesday, 26 November 2002 16:22 (twenty-one years ago) link

And you're not H.L. Mencken so step off already.

hstencil, Tuesday, 26 November 2002 16:30 (twenty-one years ago) link

That album even has its own POLL

The Thin, Wild Mercury Rising (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 6 September 2023 00:57 (three months ago) link

Do you know what their most recent album is called?

The Thin, Wild Mercury Rising (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 6 September 2023 01:11 (three months ago) link

He seemed to have kicked up a fuss today amongst Jeff Rosenstock fans

Beyond Goo and Evol (President Keyes), Wednesday, 6 September 2023 01:42 (three months ago) link

I'd tread lightly that's a tough bunch

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 6 September 2023 02:08 (three months ago) link

for anyone who came here to see why people are upset and didn't expect a bunch of posts about the Proclaimers

Not often admitted, but merch cuts are 100% negotiable, to the extent that my bands over 40+ years have never, not once, ever paid them. When agents make deals, they don't care about ticket surcharges, merch cut or other leaks; they don't affect their cut. The band has to insist.

— steve albini (@electricalWSOP) September 5, 2023

Murgatroid, Wednesday, 6 September 2023 02:15 (three months ago) link

Albini and Rosenstock ended up saying nice things about one another, but people were posting that German tour diary

Beyond Goo and Evol (President Keyes), Wednesday, 6 September 2023 02:23 (three months ago) link

When it’s not “venue sells,” how does a venue audit / collect? They won’t let you fold up the table until you show them your books and write them a check for 10% of the cash you took in?

Midi, Maxi & Efti stan account (morrisp), Wednesday, 6 September 2023 02:42 (three months ago) link

Rosenstock correctly pointing out that Shellac (with a band leader whose day job isn’t Shellac) doesn’t necessarily play by the same rules as most bands.

papal hotwife (milo z), Wednesday, 6 September 2023 02:45 (three months ago) link

one month passes...

Somebody asked him on Bluesky about recording Sunn O))) and his responses were interesting, so I'm pasting them here.

>>Have you done an interview where you discuss the technical aspects of recording SunnO)))? Such a crazy thing to try to capture.

>>It was hard! Rendering subtleties of texture at 130 dB is no joke, and they were discerning about every small detail. Very satisfying to have the playback sound convincing but a lot of work to get there.

>>But what did you do differently than other loud (but not as loud) sessions to capture those subtle textures?

>>It seems like I'm ducking the question but there's no shortcut. I listened to each of the amps, found a mic that suited each one, maintained phase and polarity between them, listened and adjusted on a per-song basis, sometimes swapping out the whole arsenal, used ambient sound judiciously...

>>Some mics I might have used at lower volume simply couldn't cope, some were surprisingly okay with it. It was not just the loudest thing ever recorded in the studio, it was the loudest thing I've ever witnessed. The whole building was vibrating and it's a pretty sturdy building.

>>Any particular standouts in the representing-high-volume dept (asking for myself)? I assume it would be unhealthy for most ribbon mics...

>>Unless a note hits the resonant frequency of the ribbon (typically quite low, but not impossible) modern ribbons (AEA, Beyer, Royer) can handle pretty high spl, and some shorter old school ribbons (RCA 74, BK5) do just fine as well. I know I used some but without my notes I have no idea which atm.

>>Is it even possible to evaluate the live sound with actual human ears? Or was it mostly about test recordings and iterating mic choice and placement?

>>Oh, the sound in the room, the live sound was what we were shooting for. Steve and Greg would spend quite some time dialing in a precise sound for each piece, and that was that. Loud or quiet, first task of an engineer is to listen to something and make a recording to recreate that sense memory.

read-only (unperson), Tuesday, 17 October 2023 04:19 (one month ago) link

two weeks pass...

Gibby f'n hates Steve Albini!

Anyone know what Steve said about the Buttholes recently?

kurt schwitterz, Monday, 6 November 2023 19:47 (one month ago) link

probably mad about the disrespect shown here:

Been thinking about this picture of Steve Albini playing guitar while wearing an upside down Butthole Surfers t shirt.

— Father Sean Misty (@seanieviola) October 6, 2019

Beyond Goo and Evol (President Keyes), Monday, 6 November 2023 19:52 (one month ago) link

He looks like Martin Starr in Freaks & Geeks.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 6 November 2023 19:56 (one month ago) link

When a Butthole Surfers shirt is being worn upside down, that is a signal that there's distress in the butthole.

Gibby also hangs out with Michael Stipe

deep wubs and tribral rhythms (Boring, Maryland), Monday, 6 November 2023 20:05 (one month ago) link

I mean Johnny Depp (I always get them confused)

deep wubs and tribral rhythms (Boring, Maryland), Monday, 6 November 2023 20:05 (one month ago) link

Damn... I never heard of that tour diary excerpt.

More skin on 'Love Boat' (morrisp), Monday, 6 November 2023 20:06 (one month ago) link

that's a really disgusting passage

though...gibby seems like a dude who might not want his own history under a microscope

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 6 November 2023 20:07 (one month ago) link

Huh, would have expected Albini to be a Surfers fan.

papal hotwife (milo z), Monday, 6 November 2023 20:19 (one month ago) link

There's a Pitchfork interview from 2015 where Albini and Ian Mackaye enthuse about the Butthole Surfers. Not sure what's happened since then.

Beyond Goo and Evol (President Keyes), Monday, 6 November 2023 20:21 (one month ago) link

A lot of anti-Butthole lines were publicly drawn in the lawsuits between Buttholes and Touch & Go, with fellow bandmate Santiago Durango as T&G's lawyer(!)
I imagine the antipathy hasn't gotten any better since then. Even in the reminiscing interviews with Albini/MacKaye, there's always a disappointment expressed at what buttholes the Buttholes became.

Philip Nunez, Monday, 6 November 2023 20:27 (one month ago) link

The Butthole Surfers' '80s catalog is some of the most amazing music ever barfed out under the heading of "rock," and they were incredible live back then, but would I want to hang out in a room with any of them under other circumstances? I don't think so.

Tahuti Watches L&O:SVU Reruns Without His Ape (unperson), Monday, 6 November 2023 20:32 (one month ago) link

there was an extensive Kramer interview covering, in part, his tenure in the Surfers, but it appears to have been scrubbed from the internet, it was the defunct believermag dot com site

lots of harrowing Gibby madness documented

out-of-print LaserDisc edition (sleeve), Monday, 6 November 2023 20:36 (one month ago) link

taking sides: chilling with peak insanity Gibby vs peak asshole Albini

Cow_Art, Monday, 6 November 2023 20:38 (one month ago) link

there was an extensive Kramer interview covering, in part, his tenure in the Surfers, but it appears to have been scrubbed from the internet, it was the defunct believermag dot com site

lots of harrowing Gibby madness documented

― out-of-print LaserDisc edition (sleeve), Monday, November 6, 2023 12:36 PM (four minutes ago)

this one?

citation needed (Steve Shasta), Monday, 6 November 2023 20:42 (one month ago) link

thank you, yes! a great read

out-of-print LaserDisc edition (sleeve), Monday, 6 November 2023 20:45 (one month ago) link

taking sides: chilling with peak insanity Gibby vs peak asshole Albini

This is no contest, I wouldn’t even want to hang with kinder gentler current Albini.

papal hotwife (milo z), Monday, 6 November 2023 20:46 (one month ago) link

be careful with using the word "kinder" and "Albini" in the same sentence unless you want to end up on a list

The SoyBoy West Coast (Whiney G. Weingarten), Monday, 6 November 2023 20:54 (one month ago) link

Gibby is a great guy!

kurt schwitterz, Monday, 6 November 2023 21:01 (one month ago) link

I've been lurking this thread for years and it suddenly occurred to me that I don't care about this guy or his music at all. Going to feel good to remove this bookmark!

Sam Burnt-Friedman (beard papa), Monday, 6 November 2023 21:10 (one month ago) link

Posted this in an Nirvana thread, but there was a pretty great interview last week on Conan Needs a Friend w/Albini, Grohl and Novoselik. Worth it to hear them recollect Albini impersonating Cobain and prank calling Gene Simmons, Eddie Vedder and Evan Dando during the In Utero sessions.

bookmarkflaglink (Darin), Monday, 6 November 2023 21:26 (one month ago) link

omg Whiney

as a lyricist he is from hell (flamboyant goon tie included), Monday, 6 November 2023 23:44 (one month ago) link

That Kramer article was a good read.

Mike Judge should do a Butthole Surfers movie ala "Tales from the Tour Bus". It is a Texas story.

earlnash, Wednesday, 8 November 2023 03:07 (one month ago) link

Albini's one of the few guys who I think actually figured out a way to atone for his past edgelordy behavior so I'm not sure what Gibby is getting at here. everyone knows he used to be like that

frogbs, Wednesday, 8 November 2023 03:17 (one month ago) link

Kramer article was indeed awesome, thanks.

My Prelapsarian Baby (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 8 November 2023 15:19 (one month ago) link

Kramer should write a book, preferably including a lengthy ranting chapter about the messy Bongwater break-up. Then another chapter devoted entirely to analysing the work of The Tinklers.

like being cornered by a drunk gareth southgate (Matt #2), Wednesday, 8 November 2023 15:24 (one month ago) link

I'd love a chapter about The Tinklers!

( X '____' )/ (zappi), Wednesday, 8 November 2023 15:28 (one month ago) link

Holy shit, I was going to just skim it but there is so much there! Someone should Kickstart a Kramer memoir.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 8 November 2023 15:29 (one month ago) link

haha glad everyone is enjoying that interview, it is indeed great

"I. Fucking. Quit. This. Stupid. Band"

out-of-print LaserDisc edition (sleeve), Wednesday, 8 November 2023 16:15 (one month ago) link

the best thing i've read in a while

ꙮ (map), Wednesday, 8 November 2023 21:41 (one month ago) link

I love things where the person has visited several different musical worlds and is able to describe the feeling of being in each one. Fred Wesley’s Hit Me Fred: Recollections of a Sideman and Joe Boyd’s White Bicycles both come to mind.

My Prelapsarian Baby (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 8 November 2023 21:53 (one month ago) link

the bit at the end about gibby et al being solid gold and not being afraid of death was righteous and made me choke up a little. also love how he is awestruck by paul's guitar solo at the oil kids concert. also he looks pretty blazed in that photo with caetano veloso lol.

ꙮ (map), Wednesday, 8 November 2023 22:02 (one month ago) link

xpost OTM, those books rule.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 8 November 2023 22:12 (one month ago) link

Wonder if Gibby has read page 281 of Miki Berenyi's book.

Andy K, Thursday, 9 November 2023 00:09 (four weeks ago) link

Why, what's on page 281 of Miki Berenyi's book?

like being cornered by a drunk gareth southgate (Matt #2), Thursday, 9 November 2023 01:15 (four weeks ago) link

A poop smear

Beyond Goo and Evol (President Keyes), Thursday, 9 November 2023 01:49 (four weeks ago) link

That Kramer article is all time, thanks for sharing. Got some butthole educating to do from here

H.P, Thursday, 9 November 2023 06:45 (four weeks ago) link

Educate your butthole.

The land of dreams and endless remorse (hardcore dilettante), Thursday, 9 November 2023 18:47 (four weeks ago) link


m0stly clean (Slowsquatch), Thursday, 9 November 2023 21:47 (four weeks ago) link

Psychic... Powerless... Another Man's SAT

Beyond Goo and Evol (President Keyes), Thursday, 9 November 2023 21:50 (four weeks ago) link

that BH section of the article is like um, dirtbag rocknroll Blood Meridian. i never messed with BH they didn't seem like they were for me maybe i should investigate

i saw rick moody and was "no way THAT rick moody"? ha i lived through his ice storm and he name checks my mom's 70s store in it, freaked out my 1993 brain

digital chirping and whirring (Hunt3r), Wednesday, 15 November 2023 14:31 (three weeks ago) link

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