Despite a pair of new albums and their biggest tour to date LAMBCHOP are still not satisfied. Doug Johnstone finds out why.
ouble albums have a
chequered history. ()utkast
are currently conquering the world with their particular opus. but for every example like that you've got a Guns n' Roses' Use Your Illusion Volumes One and Two. Which are bilge. Maybe that‘s why Lambchop are insisting that their recent two-CD package. endearineg called Aw ("Mon and No You ("Mom consists of two albums. not a double. Hmmm. So are they the new ()utkast or the new Guns ‘n' Roses?
‘Ha. we‘re the new ()utkast.' chortles singer Kurt Wagner into his beer. ‘Detinitelyf
Certainly there appears to be no great theme or concept to the pair of records. and Wagner is happy to admit to a somewhat more prosaic reason for both records coming out together.
‘Well we had a lot of songs.‘ he chortles again. He
does a lot of chortling. ‘We had recorded a lot of stuff
and it was just trying to find a way to put them out in a timely fashion so they didn‘t sit around and become irrelevant later on.‘
After years of toiling with little recognition. the Nashville alternative country collective based around Wagner‘s gentle songs are these days in a much better position to create music. For the last four years the band have earned just about enough money from Lambchop to enable distracting day jobs to be ditched. The renewed musical focus of the band was highlighted when. for the songwriting sessions of the current albums. Wagner locked himself away at home and set about writing a song each and every day. a strict exercise that spread over a period of months.
‘l'd have some coffee and maybe breakfast then go on in the studio at home and see what happened.‘ he says. ‘Sometimes it was over pretty quick and by ten or 1 I it would be done. Other times it would drag on until ten or I l at night. You never knew what was going to happen until you started to get in there and work.’
But while this attitude produced a mountain of
material. it failed to produce much of an insight into the craft of songwriting. something Wagner had hoped would provide the process.
48 THE LIST 18 Mar—l Apr 2004
‘I JUST FOUND OUT THAT WHAT I NEED TO DO IS JUST WORK AT IT SOME MORE'
The ever persua
‘Songwriting is a craft and most songwriters will tell you that. and I’ve often wondered what's the secret. what‘s the craft‘." he says. ‘But it‘s eluded me so far. I just found out that what I need to do is just work at it some more.‘
The Lambchop sound is definitely progressing though. (‘ompared with earlier albums. x‘lt' ("Mon and No You ("mon are almost seamlessly blended
rather than a hotch—potch collection of
tunes. and both records have a distinctly soundtrack feel to them. Hardly surprising then that a variation of the music contained in them was used by the band as a live film score at last year's San Francisco International Film Festival to accompanying l’W Murnau‘s classic silent movie .S'imrise. (‘urrently in the middle of a massive tour. Wagner confirms there are pros and cons to hauling your ass around the world performing live.
‘I like it on the road.’ he says. ‘1 don't like being away from my wife and my dogs but I do like playing music in a series of nights in a row. cos it is kind ofexciting to watch it grow as a live thing.’
And after this tour. what next‘.’ ls he heading back home for some more intense songwriting sessions? The thought appears to horrify him.
‘liasy now.‘ he chortles one last time. ‘Maybe I‘ll go back to one song a year. yeah that sounds good.‘
Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, Fri 26 Mar.
All the Iayaways, giveaways and stowaways in the wonderful world of music
FESTIVALS ARE POPPING UP everywhere this year and Stirling Live is one of the latest to be announced. The six night shindig will run from 13 to 18 April and will host appearances by Wreckless Eric, Thea Gilmore, Martin Stephenson, Grim Northern Social and more. Then there are plans for an Edinburgh Music Festival from 2-4 July. Details are sketchy at the moment but it’s hoped the event will cover various musical bases and include workshops, seminars and live showcases all at Wilkie House on the Cowgate. CONGRATUUXTlONS GOES TO Edinburgh rOCk outfit Super 8. who won in the battle of the bands on Radio Scotland's Tom Monon show. The band were nominated by The List and beat the likes of Sons and Daughters to win the chance to perform live on the show.
Will Cat Power tcketst
Those nice folks at Regular have two pairs of tickets for the Cat Power show at the Liquid Room on Thursday 1 April to give away. To get your hands on a pair, just send an email to promotionsta‘vlistcook by no later than 30 March. Usual List rules apply.
Will Outkast M05!
BMG is pleased to announce the release of OutKast: The Videos - the highly anticipated DVD from hip hop’s hottest band, and we have five copies of the disc to give away. This unique collection showcases the band’s promo videos and includes the hit singles ‘Hey Ya’ and ‘Ms Jackson’ on one DVD for the very first time, released nationwide on 22 March 2004. To be in with a chance of winning one, just send an email to promotions©list.co.uk by no later than 2 April. Usual List rules apply.