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British Punk’s Prolific Colin Newman: The Band Wire is Not Just Some Heritage Group from The 1970s

The Drill Fest by Wire Packs the Echo

By JOHN NORRIS and DONNA BALANCIA 

Wire held its Drill Fest at The Echo and Echoplex, and it was a rare opportunity to see some of punk’s originators tell it like it is.

Judging by the attendance at the fest, which ran over three days and included performers like Mikal Cronin, Bob Mould and of course headliner Wire, it’s easy to see punk is very much alive today. Or it’s making a “curated” comeback at the very least.

The Pink Flag Guitar Ensemble – a roaring finale – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Drill Fest is not just Wire playing on tour, founder Colin Newman told CaliforniaRocker.com.

“Drill is curated by the bands,” Colin said. “It’s just another aspect of what the band do.

Colin Newman: 'Being influential is a double-edged sword' - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Colin Newman: ‘Being influential is a double-edged sword’ – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Wire: Not Re-Living The Past

“The importance is it’s partly to us,” Colin said. “One of the things about Wire is we’re not doing the heritage circuit. We’re not trying to relive our past. It’s about us making connections to other artists, not necessarily younger artists, but artists of different genres, with different ways of working and in a way it’s putting ourselves in a situation and saying this is what we are, we’re not just some band from the ’70s living off our past.”

Great musicians curated at Drill - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Great musicians curated at Drill – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Newman On Being ‘Influential’

Wire has been so influential to so many bands, but that’s an interesting conundrum, Colin said in typical fashion.

“It’s a double-edged sword, really,” Colin said.

Why?

“Because you don’t like everything that you’ve influenced,” he said. “But everything influences everything else in music. Music is a dialog.”

Musicians and friends - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Musicians and friends – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

That dialog connected this weekend as the crowds at the Echo and Echoplex appreciated the music of many favorites.

Among those who hit the stages were:  Malka Spigel (Minimal Compact), Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips (Luna), Jason Falkner (The Grays, Three O’Clock, Jellyfish), Jessica Lipstate (Noveller), and Jess Labrador, and Shannon Sky Madden (Chasms).

Not just 'Part-Time Punks' The Drill is the real deal - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Not just ‘Part-Time Punks’ The Drill is the real deal – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Other friends and players on hand included Rafe Mandel, Caroline Borolla, Geoffrey Halliday, James Hamblin, Stefan Nelson and Sandy Yang. Wire is Robert Grey, Matthew Simms, Graham Lewis and Colin Newman.

 

 

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Chip Kinman and Ford Madox Ford Debut the New Vid for Bluesy Tune ‘Expect It’

By DONNA BALANCIA

Check out the exclusive video from Chip Kinman and Ford Madox Ford, called “Expect It.”  The video makes its debut right here on CaliforniaRocker.com.

Chip Kinman and Fdmdxfd - Photo © 2017 Deb Morrison-Littell

Ford Madox Ford – Photo © 2017 Deb Morrison-Littell

A Cool Video

Kinman, the well-known wild SoCal punker who rose to fame with his brother Tony in bands like The Dils and Rank and File, is at it again. This time, Kinman is working with another “kin” of his: His son, Dewey Peek.  On bass is Matt Littel and drummer is S. Scott Aguero. The video was directed by Rez Hat.

‘Collapse and Nothingness’

“The song ‘Expect It’ is about collapse and the complete nothingness that follows,” Kinman told CaliforniaRocker.com. “We had a great time making the video, a lot of beer and tacos, North East Los Angeles, dontcha know. It was filmed with a rare Swedish camera that makes everything look like TV in the Seventies, which is what life should be like anyway.”

Chip Kinman - Photo © 2017 Deb Morrison-Littell

Chip Kinman – Photo © 2017 Deb Morrison-Littell

Ford Madox Ford brings a bluesy sensibility to punk and will be taking the great stage at the Echo Wednesday night opening for The Meat Puppets.

Kinman has had his share of innovative bands, predominantly known for The Dils, and Rank and File. As for Ford Madox Ford, Kinman says it’s a fun and new style.

“We’re the only band that plays punk and blues at the same time,” Kinman said.

Check out “Expect It” here. Go to Fdmdxfd Facebook page for more info on the band. Wednesday’s show at the Echo is sold out.

Say 'cheese,' Dewey Peek - Photo © 2017 Deb Morrison-Littell

Say ‘cheese,’ Dewey Peek – Photo © 2017 Deb Morrison-Littell

 

Matt Littell - Photo © 2017 Deb Morrison-Littell

Matt Littell – Photo © 2017 Deb Morrison-Littell

 

Chip and Scott - Photo © 2017 Deb Morrison-Littell

Chip and Scott – Photo © 2017 Deb Morrison-Littell

 

 

U.S. EXCLUSIVE: Paul McCartney Releases Never-Before-Seen Photos for ‘Flowers’ Re-Release

Photos by LINDA MCCARTNEY, Story By DONNA BALANCIA

With a month to go until the release of the reissue of Paul McCartney’s classic album Flowers In The Dirt (the 10th installment of the GRAMMY Award-winning Paul McCartney Archive Collection) – Paul has released some photographs taken by Linda McCartney during the recording of the album.

George Martin and Paul McCartney – Photo by Linda McCartney

The photographs show Paul working with Elvis Costello, who he collaborated with on four of the tracks featured on the album (“My Brave Face,” “You Want Her Too,” “Don’t Be Careless Love” and “That Day Is Done”) as well as a shared moment with The Beatles producer George Martin, who did the string arrangement for “Put It There.”

The majority of the album was recorded at Paul’s Hog Hill Mill studio in East Sussex in the UK. This is also where some of the tracks were written with Costello.

Collaboration – Photo by Linda McCartney

Recalling working with Elvis, Paul said: “I was looking for someone to work with, trying to think of something imaginative to do and one day my manager said ‘Do you fancy writing with Elvis Costello? It might be a great thing’.  I said ‘Yeah’.

“He (Elvis) came down to my studio and we sat opposite each other with our guitars because I had said to him early on that this is how I’d written with John, with me being left handed and him being right handed, it was almost like looking in a mirror.  We did virtually what John and I did which was just make up a song a day.”

Paul McCartney – Photo by Linda McCartney

Those who pre-order the album digitally from today will get Instant Grat tracks – previously unreleased original demo versions of My Brave Face and That Day Is Done – both recorded at one of the early writing sessions.

“Because we were working above the studio, we’d just go downstairs and make the record, just the two of us singing exactly what we had made up,” Paul said.  “So there were a few recordings that haven’t been released.  We keep saying to each other that they’re good because they are raw, it’s hot off the skillet.”

Paul McCartney – Photo by Linda McCartney

The reissue of Flowers In The Dirt is available from March 24th.

PRE-ORDERS: Super Deluxe (3CD/1DVD), Special Edition (2CD), Vinyl (2LP)

I saw Paul McCartney – Photo by Linda McCartney

 

Paul at the microphone – Photo by Linda McCartney


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