In all respects, the band Television from the new York late 70’S early 80’s era is an absolutely great band. At least they were back in the heyday. I am always struck by the amount of bands that are either making a comeback or have never really ceased touring for decades. Last year I was at a Quebec festival that was stepping into a real blast from the distant past. We ended up seeing acts like Blondie, Billy Joel, Steve Miller Band, alongside other newer acts like Gogol Bordello, Jake Bugg, Father John Misty, Bonobo and many more. Thinking back to bands that really had an impact, these days I am really into Big Star, having revisited some of their seminal albums #1 Record and Radio City after seeing the documentary “Nothing Can Hurt Me”. Theirs is a sad story.
Here is a band that created not one but two albums which are considered instant classics today, yet they never really “made it” as it goes, they somehow got lost in the shuffle, they never made it big, they never really even got recognized, which resulted in an amazing band going sour (no money) and Chris Bell Dying tragically (age 27) Where Alex Chilton goes on to be an integral part of the New York Art/Punk Scene, producing albums for bands like the Cramps and yet again reinventing his entire artistic persona (an amazing feat) after being head of the box tops (who wrote the song “The letter“). Only after they disband and die do they ever get recognized. So let that be a lesson to all you aspiring rock geniuses out there, no point in feeling bad, your kids will probably reap the benefits of your blood, sweat and tears, or some record company in Russia, illegally uploading your music!
By this time next week I think I’m also gonna be under the marquee moon, not in New York but in Calgary. Jon Cohen Experimental is performing at Sled Island Music Fest, a pretty cool event which would showcase bands like Television, Godspeed You Black Emperor, Lightning Bolt, Yo La Tengo and many others. Should be good times all around… If you are in the Cowtown area, come by and check out the show, Ill be performing at Broken City Saturday June 27th. JCEX will also gonna be playing another fest in Anagance new Brunswick in August 8th, called Messtival. It’s a kind of camping fest, so should be a good time.
Musically, it’s been a really cool couple of month for me and the band. We started with a small tour in Ontario (pics below) playing several towns Ottawa, Kingston, Hamilton then Toronto for CMW. This was a good tour cause it was my first time out not as a one man band, with a full band and a good bunch of guys/ musicians. Our drummer dan had hookups for places to stay in every city, which was a big help.
Recently one of the songs off the new EP “Blood On The Microphone” was featured in the popular online radio show called “Bandcamp Weekly”. By my last count that play brought about 9000 listens to my EP Passion Pilgrim in just one week and a bunch of sales + new fans to boot, mainly in the US, Canada and UK. Passion Pilgrim has had a good run since last December, charting in 10 cities and getting good press in New Music Canada, Longueur D’ondes, #CultMtl, Snapd and more. Some people k even tell me it’s on heavy rotation in their player, which is a nice thing to hear. I sometimes try to imagine what situations the music I make is being consumed /enjoyed by others and this pleases me! I guess that’s the push/pull between narcissism and creativity, the Jekyll and Hyde almost al musicians are caught between the fantasy and the reality .
Two New Albums!
Regardless of my inner struggles, sights and sails are still being set once again, I am indulgent but no longer waiting years between records, too much output to keep in the closet. The news is that I’m not only working on 1 new record but 2 NEW RECORDS at the same time.
The 1st is an all-instrumental album of about 7 songs. It will be released online only and will also feature an animated video for one of the tunes (more to come on this). The new record is an all-solo project for the JCEX and drops in a month (end of July) as a pre-cursor to the full length album which the band and I are preparing to record in the fall due out early 2016 if the gods of rock permit it. This one will be with full band and I have a strong feeling it will be the best one yet.
We’ve been working long and hard on a series of new songs, which I feel are gonna be part of the next big opus for JCEX. More music. Look out for summer and fall dates in Montreal, east coast and area. More tours, more music, more every thing. Till then, we soldier on!