Tag Archive | Breeders

Attention: Kelley Deal is Playing A Show Tomorrow At the Crack Fox with Her New Band, R. Ring


Attention: Kelley Deal is Playing A Show Tomorrow At the Crack Fox with Her New Band, R. Ring
By Jaime Lees Fri., Jul. 13 2012

Saturday, July 14, 2012 at the Crack Fox
R. Ring (Kelley Deal of The Breeders and Mike Montgomery of Ampline)
Samuel Fickie
Grace Sophia
Bluefish
Doors 8:00, show 9:00, $10, 21+

Kelley Deal endeared herself to St. Louisans a few years ago when she chose to film the video for the Breeders’ single “Fate to Fatal” with our roller derby team, the Arch Rival Roller Girls. The video was populated entirely by locals — both on skates and in the audience as extras. Since the filming, Kelley’s sister (and fellow Breeder) has been busy with her other band, the Pixies, and Kelley has joined up with Mike Montgomery of Ampline (and Candyland Recording Studio) in a new duo called R. Ring.

This is a lo-fi project, with both Deal and Montgomery singing and playing acoustic guitars. Montgomery mostly sings as back up to Deal’s familar angelic voice and together the two R. Ringers create songs that range from muted to psychedelic, but always sound personal. It’s a sweet little folk act, but with all of the excellent weirdness and uneasy chaos that permeates Deal’s other musical endeavors. Basically, if you’ve ever wanted to know how Kelley Deal sounds when she’s singing in her living room, this is your chance.

R.Ring – Fall Out And Fire from Be Lie All on Vimeo.

link: Riverfront Times

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Interview with Kelley Deal of the Breeders (STL)

Interview with Kelley Deal of the Breeders

Kelley Deal, Amy Whited in 2009 looking out over Skatium Rink (photo by Jennifer Hylton)

Kelley Deal, Amy Whited in 2009 looking out over Skatium Rink (photo by Jennifer Hylton)

This one is personal, darlings. As a Breeders fan and a native St. Louisan, I was beyond stoked to learn that the band would be shooting a video in my city with our roller derby team, the Arch Rival Roller Girls.

The event was whispered about for months, but nobody was sure if it would really happen until about a week before the video date. There were no contracts involved, just people getting together to make something cool, completely D.I.Y. style.

So imagine our excitement when it actually happened. Right on time, Kelley Deal arrived in town with video directors Mando Lopez (Breeders bassist) and James Ford. Suddenly, we were superstars. And it was all set up by my friend, Amy Whited.

Whited is a lovable little spaz with a brain that moves lightning fast (and a mouth to match). I’ve known her since I was about 17 years old and she was a cool older sister type who had a band and hosted riotgrrrl concerts in the basement of her ramshackle house.

As far back as I can remember, Whited’s true love had always been music- specifically the Breeders. She’d met the band, seen them play countless times and she has artwork from a Breeders record tattooed prominently on her upper arm. She even adopted two little mixed Dachshund puppies and named them Kim Dog and Kelley Dog.

Whited explains, “They were my most favorite band. I loved the Pixies before them. I was on a mission to meet them cause I saw them in Columbia, Missouri in April 1994, and I was thinking that I must speak to Breeders at Lollapalooza. And they were nice!”

Her dedication all of these years resulted in a spectacular success: arranging for the Breeders to record the bands latest video in St. Louis with her roller derby team and newest obsession, the Arch Rival Roller Girls.

The shoot was scheduled for early on Valentine’s Day and despite the drizzle, the roller girls turned up en masse. During the eight hour video shoot they had to skate pretty much constantly, but they hardly even took breaks. In fact, the rollers seemed to rally near the end of the day.

“We kind of got delirious around hour number six, ” explains Arch Rival Roller Girl Lauren Busiere, “We had to keep skating all day and we were all exhausted. We were completely bonkers. It was like a child’s slumber party in the middle of the day- except Kelley Deal was there. It was really awesome, but completely crazy.”

The spirit of the day was greatly helped along by Deal, who has endless enthusiasm and a contagious smile. She trotted around the rink, sprinkling encouraging words, heartfelt ‘thank you’s and pats on the back wherever needed. Her main role of the day, however, seemed to be to coach the performers with the song lyrics. She wanted the derby players to be the ones singing the song in the video, so she spent much of her time standing behind the camera, holding up a lyric sheet and singing along.

I talked to Kelley yesterday and asked her about Whited, roller derby, the video, her new EP and the Breeders’ future plans. The interview is below.

Jaime Lees

——————————————-

JAIME LEES: Ok, so let me just say, I’ve known Amy Whited for about a million years.

1994-b

Kelley Deal, Amy Whited, Kim Deal in 1994

KELLEY DEAL: Oh, me too. Do you know the story of how we met her?

Yes, but please tell me all of it.

Ok, the Breeders- this was in 1994, the Breeders were on Lollapalooza and we were in Chicago. And my mom and dad had gone to that show ’cause they live in Dayton. So, of course they have all the backstage passes and all that stuff. So we were out walking around and stuff and then we go back to say hi to my mom and dad and they have this, like, 16 or 17 year old little blond-headed girl with them. And they introduced us to her and we were like “Hey, well Hi, how are you?” and my mom is like “This is Amy. She’s joining us back here.”

I guess they started talking to her and they discovered she’d hitchhiked from St. Louis, Missouri to Chicago to go to Lollpalooza. So, of course, my mother and father were just appalled at that idea. So they kind of adopted her that day. So we said hi to her and got her a pass and we hung out back there. And I know before the end of the day my mom and dad gave her money and made her promise to take a bus home back to St. Louis.

Awww.

You know, I never did ask her how she got home. I need to ask her that. Cause if it were me, I’d have spent it on drugs, you know? Wouldn’t you? But, so after that, years would go by. And any time the Breeders went out, any time we were close to St. Louis like Chicago or Cincinnati we’d be like “Hey, there’s Amy!”And eventually we exchanged phone numbers and then when the email came along we exchanged email.

And the last time I saw Amy was back in the summer when the Breeders came to St. Louis and we met up and we were talking to her and her and some of her friends and roller girl friends came on to the tour bus and we hung out there and stuff after the show. And Amy and I were just talking about how cool it would be to do a video with the derby involved in it somehow. Like the Breeders could play in the middle of the rink or something and we both thought it would be a great idea but then we just kind of forgot about it.

So we left and then the Breeders did this Vote Early, Rock Late rally. It wasn’t for Obama but it kind of ended up being for Obama, if you know what I mean. And it was in Cincinnati and we’re hanging out after our show and we’re talking to these girls and one of them had a derby shirt on for the Cincinnati roller derby and I’m like “Oh my god, are you guys in derby, too? Oh, do you know Amy?” Thinking that everybody knows everybody, you know how that is. So then… That was in October and in November, you know, I had my knitting book out.

Yes.

So there’s this thing called the No Coast Craft Fair in Minneapolis in November and they invited me to go out there to do a book signing and to

judge craft contests. It was really fun. There was five teams and it was me and several other judges. And one of the teams was the Minnesota roller girls. And they actually won the contest. But they actually deserved to win. It wasn’t just that I liked roller derby and so they won. (laughs) Yeah, so I was like “What is going on with this derby stuff? This is crazy! Ok, I can take a hint.” And so I called Amy up and I said, “Amy, listen, we’ve gotta do this.” And since then we had a new song we had done. And I was like “That new song, ‘Fate to Fatal’ would be perfect for this.” But then the idea of us all getting together… We were taking a break, the band was taking a break and two of the people live in Los Angeles.

Right.

And Kim and I are in Dayton and I’m like “How are we going to get all of our people down there to do a live show?” And at the same time, I was thinking about how cool it would be if the [roller] girls would do the lip-synching. That’s way more interesting to me, to have them do the lip-synching. So we started thinking, how could that work? Cause there’s not any real narrative to it. It’s not like there’s really a story, and I never really wanted there to be a story, I really just wanted it to be about their derby and how fun it is and how rad it is, you know? And that’s it. I don’t think it needs any story. It’s a fantastic visual. And it’s a great song. So it just worked out perfect.

So how did you decide to do it here [in St. Louis]? Are the Dayton/Cincinnati roller girls pissed?

Good point, good point. At one time, Amy and I were talking and we had talked about all of this a lot. And we’re like, what we could do- I was calling them away games but they’re not they’re called “road derby” or something. And they were going to be going through Detroit and I was like “Well, you guys could come through Dayton, and you could, like, play against the Dayton derby.” And that would have been cool. But the thing is, logistically, where are we gonna set all the girls up? And they’d have to come through here, we’d have to get hotels or find houses for people to stay in- it just made more sense [to film in STL], because there’s so many derby girls there in St. Louis. I mean, there’s the whole league, and it’s not just Amy’s team. And it took me a while to put that together. I was like “Oh, so there’s not just 13 of you rolling around.” “Oh no, there’s tons of us, and we could actually play against ourselves on our teams.” And I’m like, “You know what, Amy, it will just be easier.” And I drove down from Dayton in my car. And then Mando [Lopez] and [James] Ford, they flew out to St. Louis. And you know, cameras are so good now, and Mando- he’s the bass player in the Breeders- he actually does it for a living. He does camera work for a living.

So you were like, “Well, we don’t have to get a camera guy…”

Exactly. So then it was like, how is this gonna work? Cause I’d never been to the Skatium before. And I’m like what about drinks? Cause people are going to be thirsty. And what about food? And I’m just… all of these are question marks, cause we were in the middle of doing something else right then.

Kim and I were driving to Chicago to do this benefit we do with Second City, it’s like a 24 hour comedy and music thing. We’ve been doing that for a few years and it’s really fun, so we were rehearsing for that cause you’ve gotta kind of tear all the songs apart and make them interesting for just two people to play. And we had to figure it out. Kim would be like, “We could do Pacer, Kelley, if you play the bass part.” And I’d be, “OK, well how does the bass part go?” [Kim,] “Well, wait, I don’t remember. So I’ll play the bass part and sing.” So we were kind of re-learning that. So it was really busy, and Christmas was coming up, and it just seemed really busy so I was so worried it wouldn’t come together. That I was just going to drive into the Skatium and I was just going to go “Uh… here’s the lyrics. Go! Make magic!” So I get there, Amy has it completely— I don’t know what she does for a living. I think it has something to do with, like, organization and shit, doesn’t it?

Yeah, it’s some kind of office something right now.

Yeah, exactly. You can tell. Everything was completely mapped out.

Dude, if Amy wants to get something done, she just gets it done.

Oh my god! And gets it done well. Yeah. It ran like clockwork. I mean, I was so fuckin’ impressed, man. Yeah, I was really impressed.

She has some kind of weird motivating skills, do you know what I’m saying? She got all of those chicks to show up and skate for eight hours straight…

Oh my god! They skated like dogs for eight hours. Without drinking. No beers.

They really did.

I’m impressed with that. They’re really good about not drinking and skating. At least, they seem to be. Maybe somebody is there with a flask takin’ a nip, but I was pretty impressed with that. There’s a lot of socialization there, too. You wanna talk with your friends and you wanna have fun, so the idea of not drinking when you’re doing it for eight hours and it’s on a Saturday…

Well, what’s kind of great about that derby is that most of those girls didn’t know each other before they got involved in it. They all just kind of made their own family and it’s kind of sweet to watch. Cause they wouldn’t really know each other otherwise.

Oh, I know. It’s so cool. And, you know, when you get older you have all of your high school friends and all your neighborhood friends and then you have your work friends but as you get older you kind of start losing the number of friends somehow. I think, I don’t know what it is, how that works and shit, but something like derby, having those relationships with girls- it’s so good. And it’s not work relationships. I used to work in an office, you know, and everybody in the office goes out to dinner afterward, you go to a bar, meet up or something like that, but then you invariably start talking about work, or people at work. But the derby it just so great cause it’s something other than work.

I mean, I was shocked by how much they just- they just skated for eight hours straight and then all of those tricks at the end? I had no idea they could do that stuff.

Oh I know, oh my god. I don’t know if it’s out right now, or if it’s going to be out in the next couple of days. Have you seen the video? Mando called it- he titled the making of “Skate to Fatal.”

Yeah, I saw the clip on Rolling Stone.

They were really cute talking about- I mean, you see all of these wipe-out shots- it was pretty bad at the beginning there.

I watched saw James [Ford] take a serious fall. I wasn’t sure if he was going to be OK there for a minute!

Ha! Oh my god! Yeah! Mando was talking to me, about an hour into it, and he’s like “Man, I’m telling them to slow down but they can’t slow down. Listen I don’t know how this is going to work, but it’s not going to work how I thought it was. They can’t slow down. They’re unable to.”

Yeah, you just have to get out the way!

Yeah! So the video is cool. It’s awesome. There’s so many wipe out shots that look really bad ass. I don’t know all the girls and stuff, but there’s this one girl that’s got long hair and she’s doing push-ups. As a chick, I just really love it. And there’s at the very end, the whole thing ends with Grave Danger absolutely wiping out and she’s just laughing- it shows her laughing on the rink. It’s so cute. And they were all so patient! And they were willing just to try everything and they had enthusiasm and they looked great and the shots were amazing.

And they were doing those jumps and spins and shit. I mean, I’ve seen plenty of games, but I didn’t know they could do stuff like that.

I know!

So were you technically a director?

No, I was the… how do you say… I was the idea person.

Well, it was hard to tell, cause it seemed like you had some stuff planned out. But then it would be like “OK, wait, now to this.”

Right. I mean, I had a vision. And Mando respected that.

(Laughs)

And I appreciate that he let me, you know, work on it.

So tell me about the EP that “Fate to Fatal” is going on. With Mark Lanegan and all… I love him.

Oh my god, his voice…

It’s so soothing!

You know, he sings like… (long pause) he sings like an old black man. He has that resonance of life, love, love lost, dreams smashed, forlorn- you know what I mean?

Oh yeah.

It’s like he sings like a serial killer would.

Yeah!

It’s kind of really spooky and eerie and kind of dangerous but soothing, too, in a really weird way.

It’s half soothing, half really sexy and I’m always confused about how to react when I hear it.

(laughs) Yeah, right, exactly. Like, “Should I be afraid of that voice?”

Yeah, am I scared or am I turned on or what?

Totally. Yeah, should I be turned on or not?

So why did you put out an EP and not a full album? Are you going to make another one?

Well what happened was last summer Kim got into a little writing frenzy. So we were doing some songs and we decided to record one of the songs, Fate to Fatal, in England at the very tail-end of the tour. And then we came home until, like, November. And we had a month, month and a half break there. And then we worked some more. And we worked some more. And we knew we were going to do All Tomorrows Parties, do you know about that?

Yeah.

Yeah, we’re curating and we’ve got really good bands. X is doing our party. Gang of Four is doing our party. Wire is doing our party.

Damn girl!

I know, it’s so awesome. And Teenage Fanclub…

(gasps) Don’t even talk about Teenage Fanclub. Love them!

Yeah! I like to call it “my party.” (laughs) And so we were going ATP and we’re going, “Geez, we’ve got these songs, we should release, like, an EP around that time. It’s be fun. It would give us new songs to play- cause we just did Europe- we were just there. So we can do some new songs and people would actually know the new songs cause they’d have been released.” So that’s what we decided to do- put out an EP. And then we were talking about how we should release it, and we talked to 4AD a little bit and it was, like, overkill, so we thought “we should just do it ourselves” so we did.

And now it’s going to be on vinyl and digital download?

Yep.

Well that’s the best way to do it now.

I think so, yeah. It just so happens that we were doing this the same time that Record Store Day was coming up. It’s this Saturday, so we were like, if we wanted to, we could just make the release date Record Store Day. So we just did that and it will be available for download on iTunes the following Tuesday. We’re doing the in-store at Shake It Records and that’s this Saturday. Shake It Records is a local vinyl store in Cincinnati, and Kim and I are going to drive down there with some guitars and play for like a half an hour or 40 minutes and I think we’re going to sign some records, too.

Everything just seems to keep lining up in the right way. And when I was looking up the release info it said that Pod and Last Splash were being re-released on vinyl, too. Is that true?

Well, we’ve never had a release that has not been on vinyl. So yeah, it’s all coming out on vinyl and I think it’s great.

So are you gonna summer tour? Are you coming here? What up?

That’s a good question. I know we’re doing… we’ve already… dates are already starting to get confirmed for August in Los Angeles. We’ll start working that out then. We’ll start moving out from there. I think we might do this San Diego street fair- Street Scene or something like that. Then opening for Elvis Costello who is doing something with Jenny Lewis at some bluegrass thing. He’s doing something with her and some other people. I can’t remember what it’s called, but it’s a bluegrass kind of thing. I think it would be awesome. Whatever Elvis Costello does- I’m so happy to open for him. Oh my god. So yeah, some more touring. I don’t know exactly where or when we’re coming.

Well, that’s nice. But when you do the midwest again you know you’ve got to come here cause you know about a million more people want to come.

Oh my god, I’d love to. I can’t wait for those guys- and for you, too, cause you were there during it- to see the video.

Oh my god, I stayed the whole time, it was so long.

They skated like dogs!

Like dogs!


———————————–

Concert Review: The Breeders in St. Louis

Concert Review: The Breeders in St. Louis
Saturday, May 10, 2008 – Pop’s

(setlist by RØB Severson, review by Jaime Lees)

It used to take a lot for me to drag my ass to the East Side. But after last weekend, good ol’ Sauget, Illinois, might be one of my favorite places to hang out or see a show. Saturday the Breeders played Pop’s, and the whole experience was just so damn pleasant. One would never know they were mere yards from the terrifying, toothless tranny hookers that congregate just on the other side of Route 3.

Before the show I was disappointed to hear that Pop’s was going to close off half of the venue (something the venue does at certain shows), but when everyone made it inside, it was clear that this was the right decision. Floor space was tight, but not smashed and the balcony was cozy.

Sure, drinks are always more expensive on that side of the Big Muddy, but the staff was helpful and laid back, showing no signs of the aggro tendencies I’ve witnessed there during other shows. The staff seemed to recognize that this was a show for sleepy indie folks and acted accordingly. I asked a bartender if he caught the sound check and he said, “I didn’t. And you know, I don’t know anything about the band. But I’ll tell you what: those sure are some nice people. Great smiles, too.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Watching the band is like catching up with old friends. Older songs (“I Just Wanna Get Along,” “Divine Hammer”) induced much heart-swelling and the newer songs from latest album Mountain Battles (“German Studies,” “It’s The Love”) blended perfectly into these live sets. On stage, Jose Medeles and Mando Lopez, also of pumped-up punkers Fear, kept the rhythm section bumpin’ and thumpin’ while remaining mostly heard and not seen. New kid Cheryl Lindsay hopped in where needed with extra vocals and instrumentation, and mostly stood calm and still on the side of the stage.

Predictably, Kim and Kelley Deal (and their mega-watt smiles) took center-stage. Both seemed at ease, happy and comfortable with the audience, sharing jokes and answering questions. In addition to Breeders jams, the Deals sang quite a few songs by the Amps (including “Empty Glasses,” a rarity), Kim’s other band. Kelley graciously stepped into the wings when she wasn’t needed during Amps songs, but could still be seen through a rip in the stage curtain rocking out and enthusiastically singing along as if she was a mega-fan.

1. Tipp City (Amps song)
2. Huffer
3. Bang On
4. Shocker in Gloomtown (Guided By Voices cover)
5. Divine Hammer
6. Night Of Joy
7. No Aloha
8. Pacer (Amps song)
9. We’re Gonna Rise
10. It’s The Love
11. Walk It Off
12. New Year
13. Cannonball
14. I Just Wanna Get Along
15. Happiness Is A Warm Gun (Beatles cover)
16. Iris
17. Safari
18. German Studies
19. Empty Glasses (Amps song)

ENCORE:
20. Overglazed
21. Fortunately Gone
22. Here No More
23. Saints

SXSW: The Random Picture Post

These snaps were just too hot not to post.

photo by Jaime Lees
PHOTO: Dead Confederate
WHEN: Wednesday, March 12, 11p.m.
WHERE: Stubb’s BBQ, big outside stage
NOTE: This band opened for R.E.M. (Athens represent) and might have been the best surprise of the festival. Read our coverage here.

photo by Jaime Lees
PHOTO: AA Bondy
WHEN: Thursday, March 13, about 9:30p.m.
WHERE: The gorgeous poolside rooftop stage of a heavily sponsored free party.
NOTE: This was one of 12 AA Bondy shows in a 3 day time span in Austin.

photo by Jaime Lees
PHOTO: downtown Austin, TX, view from the AA Bondy rooftop show
WHEN: Thursday, March 13, late night
WHERE: at 3rd Street and Guadalupe looking East
NOTE: There should be more rooftop shows. Always.

photo by Jaime Lees
PHOTO: Autolux’s Eugene Goreshter
WHEN: Friday, March 14, afternoon
WHERE: Red Eyed Fly backyard venue
NOTE: Goreshter’s amazing vocals on Autolux albums? Not studio magic. Dude actually sings like that.

photo by Jaime Lees
PHOTO: J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr, solo show
WHEN: Saturday, March 15, mid-afternoon
WHERE: Garden Party (read: gorgeous yard), the French Legation Museum
NOTE: J Mascis is a God among men (who just happens to use a baby pink Razr as his preferred cellular device.)

photo by Jaime Lees
PHOTO: Thurston Moore and the New Wave Bandits
WHEN: Saturday, March 15, afternoon, slot after J Mascis
WHERE: East Austin, French Legation Museum
NOTE: Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore stole the show with his expansive talent and boyish charm. Read our coverage here.

photo by Jaime Lees
PHOTO: The Breeders
WHEN: Saturday, March 15, about 9p.m.
WHERE: Waterloo Park, north of downtown, 2nd stage
NOTE: Two Deals are always better than one. Read our coverage here.

photo by Jaime Lees
PHOTO: Kid Sister at the Fool’s Gold Showcase
WHEN: Saturday, March 15, 1a.m. (after Flosstradamus, before Chromeo)
WHERE: Volume nightclub, next to the told Emo’s on 6th Street
NOTE: Kid Sister claimed she was crunk but she still held down her raps with a little help from brother Josh “J2K” Young (of super-fly duo Flosstradamus) as back up.Category: Music, Reviews, SXSW, Snapshots

The Breeders at SXSW

The Breeders played an unofficial South By Southwest show in Waterloo Park last night and gave the audience a small preview of its upcoming tour. The band dished out a long set of classics from its albums, plus selections from the Amps (Kim Deal’s other, other project). Instead of serving as a nostalgia act, the Breeders seemed fresh, well rehearsed and enthusiastic about the show. Surprisingly, even songs off of the forthcoming Mountain Battles went over well. As usual, Kim and Kelley Deal were gracious, dorky, sweet, smiling and sang in perfect angelic harmony. Kelley, especially, seemed into the performance. On stage wearing her “Dayton, Ohio” t-shirt, she picked up the bass and joked “I wish I knew a Korn song.” Their parents really should have had more kids.

Setlist (from picture):
Overglazed / Bang On / Tipp City / No Aloha / Huffer / Walk It Off / We’re Gonna Rise / Pacer / Shocker in / Gloomtown / Night of Joy / Divine Hammer / Cannonball / Happiness in a Warm Gun / Iris / Saints / Safari / Here No More Encore: Fortunately Gone / German Studies / Regalme

Note: pictured setlist isn’t entirely accurate, “Regalme Esta Noche” wasn’t played and I remember rocking out to quite a few songs that weren’t listed (“Doe,” “Hellbound,” “It’s the Love,” etc.)

Interview with Bobby Bare Jr.


Bare Is My Mind?
Bobby Bare Jr. covers up with his ace Pixies and Breeders tribute act.
By Jaime Lees
Published: January 2, 2008

Call him what you will — Charles Thompson, Black Francis or Frank Black, but as the frontman of the Pixies, ol’ what’s-his-name deserves a little praise. From 1985 to 1993 Black pulled lead singing and songwriting duties for America’s preeminent alternative band — and is credited with bringing killer caterwauls, magnetic guitar hooks and paranoid, UFO-themed lyrics to the masses. The Pixies reigned over college radio and youth culture for a time, and the bands that followed in its sonic wake still hail the power of the quartet as a revelation. (Most famously, its loud/quiet/loud dynamic was claimed to be the sound inspiration for a blue-eyed, blond-haired guy fronting some band called Nirvana.)

Nashville singer-songwriter Bobby Bare Jr. counts himself among the Pixies’ many fans. As the son of country musician Bobby Bare, he grew up around music and has the distinction of receiving a Grammy nomination at the age of five. First fronting the rock band Bare Jr. — and now as a solo artist churning out stripped-down, bittersweet compositions that push the envelope of alt-country — Bare has found genuine success throughout his entire career.

But for now, Bare has put all solo and future plans on pause in order to squeeze one more project into his busy schedule: His very own Pixies cover band, Is She Weird, Is She White. (Appropriately, it’s currently touring with a Guided By Voices cover band, the Teenage FBI.) Bare’s Pixies covers can sound much different than the originals, often changing the tempo or the tone of the songs — making these interpretations insightful, if not asking the audience to listen again with fresh ears.

Which begs the question: Why would Bare, a renowned solo artist and pedigreed musician, start a cover band? That scene is usually a schlocky, dirty world populated by balding has-beens and portly never-beens. Why would Bare take the chance of sullying his good name — and embrace another artist’s music?

“Because the Pixies fuckin’ rock!” Bare explains, enthralled.

And indeed, his love of Black Francis is well-documented. The lyrics to “Dig Down,” a song found on Bare’s first solo album, Young Criminals’ Starvation League, include Francis in an exalted list of historical rock icons. Bare sings about all of the distinguished dudes who have used up all the soul and original ideas in the world of rock & roll, listing Francis in a pantheon of recognized legends including Pete Townshend, Jimi Hendrix, Chuck Berry and the Beatles.

When we catch up with Mr. Bare via phone, he seems honest and charmingly childlike, as though he can’t contain any emotion — be it excitement or insecurity. He comes off as a hyperactive kid on a sugar high when talking about music that thrills him, and he’s eager to relay fanboy stories of Frank Black and the Pixies (like a fantastic, “freaked out” moment when he sang background vocals on a recent Frank Black record). And of course, Bare’s most eager to discuss his past and future work — and undying love for the Pixies.

Bobby Bare Jr.: I obviously have been a fan for a long, long, long, long time. Because it’s like, I don’t know, do you dress up for Halloween?

Jaime Lees: Oh, hell yeah.
It’s exactly like dressing up for Halloween, for a musician. It’s just fun to be somebody else.

How do you have time to get all of this done?
It’s a whole lot of work. Usually for a real set you learn fifteen songs — like, for an hour [long] set. If you learn fifteen Pixies songs you’ve only learned 30 minutes worth of music. So, you know, we’ve got to learn twenty-something songs. And we do some Breeders songs.

What’s your favorite to sing? Or what do you most look forward to?
What songs? The ones like “Gigantic,” where I just play guitar. ‘Cause I never, ever get to just play guitar in any band. So that’s what’s fun to me.

Are the people who come to the shows your fans? Or Pixies fans? Or a mix?
Um, I think they’re just mostly Pixies fans. We’ve only done this in Nashville. This is going to be our first show out of town.

The St. Louis one is?
Yeah. We’ve only done probably four of these. It’s me; the former drummer from […And You Will Know Us By the] Trail of Dead [Doni Schroader]; and Beth Cameron, both of whom are also in a band called Forget Cassettes. And a girl named Leah [Paxton] who’s been in bands with the other two people.

How did you get hooked up with the Guided By Voices tribute band?
It’s other people who have been in my band. It’s my drummer from my last tour who is also the drummer for Clem Snide [Ben Martin]. The guitar player is William Tyler; he’s in Lambchop and the Silver Jews.

Did you go see any of their [Pixies] reunion tour shows?
Yes, I saw three of them. I played Sasquatch in Seattle and Austin City Limits in Austin where they were the headlining band….But they played the Ryman Auditorium [in Nashville] and that was the best show I’ve ever seen anybody do anywhere. Seeing them at a festival where there’s 75,000 people was just OK, but at the Ryman it was transcendent.

Did you hear any of the new Breeders album yet?
No! When did it come out?

It didn’t come out yet, but they leaked a single online last week.
Oh, wow. Is it good?

It’s really good. It’s sort of like, sleepy-time Breeders, you know? It’s really pretty. They said that they’re going to have a whole U.S. tour in the spring and do South By Southwest…
For the Breeders? Holy cow. Awesome. Isn’t there supposed to be a Pixies album, too?

I don’t know. No one ever gives a straight answer on that crap.
Do you think anybody will come out and see us?

Heck yeah. We’re big here on fun shows…So are you gonna call yourself Bare Robert or something?
Naw, I’ll just be Bobby.

9 p.m. Thursday, January 3. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Avenue. $10. 314-773-3363

  • 01-02-08 Riverfront Times (St. Louis) – article link
  • 12-17-07 reprint in the Nashville Scene (Nashville) – article link
  • Bobby Bare Jr. – website